Friday, February 23, 2007

Guns, grenades or peanut butter?


Alex is gone. Read the post "Alex the Squirrel" below for the story behind the squirrel in the fireplace.


E 'handled' the situation. Note that E has access to a lot of weapons and ammo and was looking for a way to stay entertained while home on a sick day, so any of the scenarios shown below is within the realm of possibility.

What happened to Alex?












Enter your guess in the Mercenary or Merciful Contest by posting a comment. Tell whether you think Alex was killed or set free, and then explain how you think it was accomplished. The actual scenario may or may not be depicted in the photos above. If you enter the actual answer, you'll win! The actual prize is TBD, but your real reward will be glory and recognition. Contest closes 9:00 a.m. on Friday, March 2, 2007.
In case of a tie, the winner will be chosen from a random draw of the correct entries. If there are no correct entries, the winner will be chosen by a random draw from the correct entries for the "killed" or "set free" portion of the answer.
Karen, Alex, and E are not eligible to participate in the contest.

35 comments:

stephen said...

while e returned to his benedryl coma, karen, wearing laura ashley and lightly scented with chanel no.5, lured alex into a ralph lauren pillowcase(how?, u may ask. did i not specifiy it was a ralph lauren pillowcase?).

she then got him into the car, drove into town, and set him free in westmount park, hoping he woud find a better life among the monied residents. At the very least he would have access to more ralph lauren bed linens.

Karen said...

Karen wearing Laura Ashley? Shoot me, please.

Leyla said...

For starters, E looks quite cheery for a sickee, but then again, nothing can get a guy out of misery like the prospect of blowing things up or wielding weapons for or for no reason. So given the precarious ying-yang balance of your ammo house, one is inclined to think that A did make it outside but quite possibly held upside down by his hinder paws as a winter hunt trophy. However, that would have landed E in a dog house, and K most certainly would not have been in a mood for announcing contests on the web AND emailing them round.

I vote that E and A, with great disbelief and misgivings on both sides, came in contact, and somewhere on Ile Perrot there hops about a "shell-shocked" A, who has forgotten what the hell happened anyway.

Anonymous said...

1) Frankly I'm stunned that Ed is still around. I thought he went into hiding like that guy in the states that was mailing bombs and they found him hiding in a log cabin.

2) Although not a wildlife expert I can say with some authority that it is not normal for a squirrel to stay in one place longer than it takes for it to forget why it had stopped moving in the first place and then, suffering from squirrel attention disorder, try to eat a rock or a nut, and,

3) Seeing how it wasn't frolicking about Eric's place, chewing through the walls, probably means something bad has happened to its arms, legs or brains.

Good luck in determining if a squirrel has brain injury.

Sgt Yahoo said...

Seriously now... I think Karen's question is "which method did Eric use to get rid of the squirrel?"

Ok, let's go through the facts. Eric is a hunter. This means that he is a professional at going into the woods and killing things that would be better off dead. He understands how to eliminate wily squirrels. So let's look at the choices:

Grabbing it: I don't think Eric is likely to try grabbing a creature that can run up your arm and bite you on the head faster than you can blink. If, however, Eric were to try this feat, please video it, post it on YouTube and please forward me the posting URL so I can watch.

Katana sword: A good idea, however still puts you in remarkably close proximity to a creature that can leap 6-8 feet when frightened and has teeth designed to bite through walnuts. Unless Eric can wield that thing like a Cuisinart blade and set up a whirring shield of slicing steel, this is probably not a good idea. However, still a possibility for YouTube.

Shotgun: Clearly a weapon that Eric can use with deadly precision. Potential downside: a cloud of liquefied squirrel bits drifting into all those hard-to-get-at corners of the house. Hard to clean.

Blowtorch: A good idea. No squirrel, no matter how crazed, is likely to leap AT a flame. However, if this method works, it'll be the lingering scent of charred squirrel that remains, and Eric knows how hard it is to get THAT smell out of the drapes.

Grenade: As a guy this is, without question nor hesitation, my favorite and I heartedly encouraged Eric to "go with his gut" on this. I can't think of anything I would rather watch. On YouTube.

Unless the squirrel is brain injured in which case you pick it up by the tail and swing it out of the house like a beach toy.

Jim said...

I'm thinking #7 (counting from the top) Knock the little blighter out then chuck him unceremoniously out the back door. Much less messy/smelly than most of the other options,and no carcass/crispy remnants to dispose of.

Anonymous said...

I think the following would have worked:
If he used a small piece of dark rye bread with a crushed peanut (or two)
along with one-quarter of a ground up children's aspirin, he would have been
able to get the critter in a box that would later be used to set it free.

(posted by Karen - this was sent to me in e-mail. Good to know in case there's a 'next time' )

Anonymous said...

You're crazy...!
You should write a story about Alex's point of view...

Aren't you supposed to be getting organized ?
and what is this book you keep talking about... well writing about... Finish-up with the writing, publish and be rich already!!!!

(posted by Karen - also sent to me in e-mail. I'm hearing this a lot - too many distractions, not enough focus...)

Anonymous said...

To get right to the point, E is a hunter in the wild but would never gives a name to a wild animal....therefore, A will survive!

Eric simply went down to home depot and got a little humaine box for A, put some peanut butter in it & there ya go....A is a hungry little bugger!!!

I say this because country living has given me a friend....but I didn't name the little bugger therefore I just bought a 1.99$ trap and put it by where he was hiding. Voila! Serves me right for not going to the dump any sooner!

Quess Who :)

stripyjosh said...

put a beaniebaby squirrel with makeup and a dress on the roof doing a curtsey.

Mac said...

Well, then…. I guess I’ll have to go with the obvious, and choose peanut butter as the means by which rascally Alex the Squirrel was lured from the fireplace, if for no other reason than to guarantee myself a prize from E.’s ammo-and-gun room.

Here’s what really happened. It began with Karen sitting upon the couch, and staring…

Karen sat upon the couch, staring. She looked intently at the little creature, trapped –although still very safe- behind the thin pane of glass that covered the fireplace. The object of her scrutiny was Alex. Alex was a curious little creature, and had indeed become quite comfortable in this predicament, and certainly indifferent to any peril. In fact, he liked this situation, and was quite content to remain where he was for some time longer. Alex was observing.

You see, Alex had made a habit of this sort of thing. Within his own community, Alex had indeed become known as “Alex the Curious”, for he was endlessly fascinated with all things human. His mother had warned him of getting too close to the “Strange Ones”, but Alex’ innate curiosity could not be suppressed. Often had he investigated the fascinating, and strange nests of the human kind, and upon entering, had seen wondrous things: strange boxes that glowed with light, very soft grass upon which to walk, and snuggle, and, upon occasion, if he was very, very lucky, his most very, very favourite thing of all: marvelous, scrumptious things to eat! Oh! How the “Strange Ones” kept such a supply of edibles, the likes of which no one of his kind had ever before seen! (His favourite was something the colour of dark wood, that tasted creamy, and sweet!) He could never tell ANY of his own kind of the treasures he had found, for he knew he was forbidden from entering this world.

Karen continued to stare at Alex. Alex sat contentedly, staring back at Karen. If such a thing as a smile were possible for a squirrel, then Alex surely would have done so.

Karen heard a low grumbling from downstairs. The low grumbling was accompanied by an unmistakable, metallic “racking” sound.

“Oh, no you DON’T!!”, she exclaimed as she slammed the TV Guide down upon the coffee table, and charged downstairs.

Alex pressed his paws upon the glass. The sudden noise had startled him. He saw the female “Strange One” disappear from the room, and go down further into the underground burrow. What followed sounded strange to his ears. He heard a high pitched shrieking sound, occasionally interjected by a low, dull, pathetic, sullen kind of sound. Not long afterward, the two “Strange Ones” emerged from the underground burrow, with the softer looking one leading, standing upright, and straight, with the other, rougher looking one, stoop shouldered, and mopey.

What Alex hadn’t known of course, was that in the world of the “Strange Ones”, this tactic –known as “acquiescence”- is often employed the males in order to avoid entirely eliminating the possibility of doing something later on in the day, long after the sun goes away, known as getting one’s “freak” on.

“We’ll lure him out with peanut butter. It’s easier, and it won’t harm him! He’ll like it.”

“…mmm-mmble…”

“Ok, so go get the peanut butter! I’ll wait here…. Hello little Alex… come on, that’s it. Come here, sweetie!”

Alex twitched his bushy tail, smiled a little squirrel smile, and took a hop toward the glass. He was very happy to be in the world of the “Strange Ones”.

E. slogged his way toward the kitchen. He mumbled quietly to himself. Returning with a jar of peanut butter, he sullenly asked Karen, “Now what?”

Karen, thought… “We need something to put him in…. “

E.’s eyes glazed over. He stood stock still, and smiled thinly. His thoughts flashed to his equipment room, and any one of a number of different medieval looking devices, each with pointy-

“STOP THAT! Go get a pillowcase or something! We need something soft, that won’t harm him”

E. mumbled something inaudible, disappeared up the stairs, and returned momentarily with a pillow-case. Karen already had a spoon out, and daintily skimmed the top of the jar of delicious, peanut butter, extracting the tiniest, adorable, squirrel-sized portion. She cracked open the door to the fireplace ever so slightly. Alex’ nose twitched. What was THAT?? It smelled absolutely WONDERFUL! Alex arched forward ever so slightly, extending his paws forward to receive the offering.

“Come on, Alex…. that’s it…. Here’s some tasty peanut butter for you…”

Ever so slowly…. Ever so carefully… Alex reached out to taste the lovely, soft, warm, creamy treat. He paused as it excited all of his tiny taste-buds. THIS WAS WONDERFUL! He absolutely wanted more!!

Karen skimmed off a tiny bit more from the bountiful jar.

E. wrinkled his nose, and followed up with an “..Eugh…”

Karen smeared a tiny dab of the peanut butter deep inside the pillow-case. If Alex wanted more, he would have to venture inside for it. And this is precisely what Alex did. He exited the safety of the fireplace, lightly picked his way onto the living room floor, and crawled tentatively inside the cotton sack.

“…Therrrrrrre…..”, exhaled Karen with relief. “Here, take this outside and let him go.”

E. grinned greedily, and extended his hands.

“Never mind! I’ll do it! Come on, little Alex.”

Karen very steadily slid her way over to the door, so as to avoid any unnecessary jostling of the pillowcase that held its precious cargo. Along the way, Karen could have sworn she had heard the tiniest, little, squirrel-like, lip-smacking sound… Strange.

Karen opened the front door to the house, crept outside, carefully laid down the pillowcase, and opened it wide.

With some hesitation, its furry cargo tip-toed outward, pausing only to sniff the air, and twitch its little nose. When clear of the bag, he turned, and looking at Karen, chittered something comprehensible only to others of his kind, and waited. Karen, eyes misting, muttered softly, “I’ll miss you too, Alex”. With that, Alex scampered off across the lawn, and into the nearby woods.

Karen turned around, glanced at E. balefully, and the two went back inside the house.

Alex was back outside, unharmed, and free to explore once again. Although, he thought… perhaps this was enough adventure for now.


Although, as fate would have it, tomorrow would be another day, and another day, was another opportunity to explore. And explore he would.

Alex would leave his nest early in the morning, and venture off in another direction. He would happen across another odd-looking nest that he would know for sure belonged to the “Strange Ones”. This one would look different, somehow. Big… but with many things sticking out of it that reminded him of branches, somehow. Alex would decide to investigate further.

Unbeknownst to Alex, this type of nest was something the “Strange Ones” referred to as an “electrical switching station”. He would notice some of the “Strange Ones” who had hard orange shells upon their heads, scurrying around frantically, and waving their arms. They would seem to be alternately running toward the nest, and running away from the nest at the same time. Alex would scamper closer, and make his way up one of the numerous smooth tree trunks, and out along another very thin branch. Alex the Curious –true to his name- would be compelled to move closer. He would move as far out as he could, until he would come to a shiny, roundish looking object at the end of the branch. Standing upon it, he would reach out for a similar looking one that lay across an open gap, and that was just beyond his grasp. He would have to get closer. He’d reach out again… he would almost have it, this time. Just a little closer….. Almost there…. Just… a bit… closer….

A sketchy, and somewhat inaccurate timeline of the events that followed could be pieced together from the testimony of surviving eyewitnesses at the scene. In hospital, investigators managed to revive several survivors who remained in a heavily sedated state with burns to over 90% of their bodies, for periods long enough to extract small, and seemingly disjointed pieces of the picture.

Firstly, we would come to know this: The electrical switching station at Parrot Island had been acting in a peculiar way. One of its converters had been damaged, and repair crews had been called to the scene.

A potentially dangerous build up of electricity was taking place, and crews on the scene had to make the fateful choice between abandoning the site and evacuating the area, or attempting a controlled release.

Secondly, what would happen next may never be fully understood, however a brief description of the sequence of events that followed would be submitted in the official report, months later:

For reasons unknown, a contact was made between two poles, conducting the dangerous electrical build-up through a non-grounded conduit.

Tendrils of electrical discharge shot out in all directions in a manner that would rival the greatest of Tesla’s machines. The workers in the vicinity were ultimately incinerated, and rescue crews would report finding nothing but barely recognizable human remains, fused with something that may have been their orange work-helmets.

One of the electrical arcs ignited the gasoline fumes of a repair truck, the driver of which not having properly secured the gas cap upon refueling. The resulting explosion tore a hole in the station’s generators, and sent the electrical build-up back along the line, like a freight train heading down the wrong track.

An electrical feed-back pulse annihilated power station, after power station, taking countless lives along its path of destruction, and crippling towns and cities within the region. With each subsequent explosion, an electrical surge would be created, further feeding the pulse, and gaining it terrifying momentum.

The terminal point of the event was the Chalk River Nuclear Power Plant. The pulse so overwhelmed the station’s safety systems that a serious breech occurred of the site’s containment core, resulting in what future historian’s come to would refer to as “this country’s Chernobyl”, rendering the land uninhabitable for decades, and bringing suffering, and a desperate longing for death by untold hundreds of thousands.


But for now, Alex the Squirrel was safe.
And in the end, wasn’t that all that really mattered?

Karen said...

Seriously, Mac - GET HELP!!

I thought I was a little nuts for posting this thing, E was a little nuts for going along with it and finding approporate headwear for each weapon, but you really went all out. I might have expected this if there were a zombie element, but going from a squirrel in the fireplace to nuclear meltdown??!! I'm impressed. I'm afraid of you, but I'm impressed.

Anonymous said...

So,... is the animal still stuck there? Or did it end up as squirrel loaf for supper?

billygoatbartman said...

Cool nunchucks! This one gang really wanted me to join them because I'm really good with a bo staff.

Anonymous said...

I think Alex died naturally before E had a chance to kill him. I think E had already disposed of the body before those staged photos were taken.

(Inbal might say the squirrel committed suicide after having to watch too many back-to-back episodes of Gilmore Girls on the tv next to the fireplace. Personally I like the show.)

-cousin Laura

Anonymous said...

I agree. I think about killing myself after watching ONE episode of Gilmore Girls. I mean, WHO TALKS like that?

Karen said...

I deleted the comments speculating about the relationship between Lorelai and Rory. Let's stay focused, please...

Anonymous said...

...or distracted!

Anonymous said...

If the squirrel is still there Eric should use the grenade, simply because I would think that using a grenade in one's own home would be an atypical way of achieving anything.

Mac said...

Can we introduce other species?

How about if we make up our own species?

Mac said...

Er, actually... in looking at the pics... are we sure that he didn't just CLIMB out? Chimneys are not laundry chutes, after all... Heck, with those paws, and that grip. I mean, he climbed DOWN, right? I'm starting to think that you just happened to accidentally CATCH him in the act on that day. Maybe he and his buds have been coming in and out through this secret tunnel like Hogan's Heroes all winter long. (Start taking inventory around the house. That's my advice.)

Anonymous said...

This HAS to be the MOST entertaining thread in the HISTORY of this blog. Clearly the drama of pitting a world class hunter against one of nature's craftiest creatures has everyone glued to this site.

Will Eric triumpth? Will the squirrel escape? Will the squirrel, at some point, as Mac mentioned, realize that the chimney is pretty much a ladder for something with claws that can hang upside-down on a tree branch?

Is the squirrel still stuck there? The problem will solve itself shortly if it doesn't have any food or water.

Anonymous said...

Or, it could in fact just be a diversion.

By now, EVERYONE has seen "Over the Hedge".

Coincidence? Or is there some greater plan at work, here?

I'm starting to put more faith in the notion that there is an endless parade of tools, equipment, and food stuffs being moved out of that house on a daily basis.

Something's going on.

grasshopper said...

Eric probably did want to kill A the squirrel, but he would probably have been in the dog house as a result. Eric grudgingly got a burlap bag. He lured A. into the bag with some leftovers. Wait this is Eric, there were no leftovers. Eric used an old stinky sock from his last run. He threw the sock in the fireplace and A. almost fainted from the awful smell. Alex made a run for it straight in the bag. Anything would be better staying around in the fireplace with the stinky workout socks. Hey Wait a minute , Eric. I thought you felt sick on Friday?
Okay , I'll go with, you got your second wind once you found out that you had a visitor in the fireplace.

Mac said...

Monday.

E:(Whistling...)
....
"Hey... Where's my three-quarter inch socket...?
....
....
Where the hell's my three-quarter inch socket...!?
....
....
KAREN, DID YOU SEE MY THREE-QUARTER INCH SOCKET...??
....
....
'KAY.
...
...
(Where the hell's my three-quarter inch socket...?)

grandorse said...

I think the solution had to be both humane, for Karen, and dangerous, for Eric. That wimpy little squirrel doesn't look terribly dangerous but you never know. I think Eric donned protective clothing and gloves and then did something to stir up Alex so that catching him would be more of a challenge than luring him into a burlap bag with peanut butter. He then caught Alex, put him in a cage or bag and took him outside. He gave Alex 15 minutes to recover and run off or be shot so he wasn't devoured by a more dangerous animal.

Mac said...

Tuesday.

Karen: "...What...!? I'm down here, I can't hear you...!!
...
...
Have I seen the WHAT??...
...
...
The lint roller...!?

You're asking me if I've seen the lint roller....??
...
...
No, I haven't seen the lint roller. Where did you leave it last!?
...
...
Well, I didn't touch it!
...
...
No, I didn't, my clothes aren't linty...
...
...
Well I sure didn't take it!"

FecalMatter said...

Forget about what Eric did, here's what I would have done.

Squirrels are like water, they'll take the path of least resistance. I would have created a corridor of obstacles leading to the nearest exit to the outdoors, opened the outside door, then the fireplace door. If the squirrel didn't leave right away, I'd feed it some Jolt Cola and videotape it bouncing off the walls.

Mac said...

Wednesday.

E: "What the-?... (rustle, rustle) Am I nuts, or didn't we keep the rubber bands in the junk drawer...?"

Dodi said...

Alex lives!

My guess is that a human trap containing peanut butter bait was inserted into the fireplace by E. wearing the gloves, welding visor and bandana. Karen stood on the couch holding the fireplace broom and a large beach towel should Alex escape during insertion of the trap.

I was going to get creative, but there is no way to top the previous answers.

Anonymous said...

So what's the deal with those Gilmore Girls?

Dodi said...

I thought of a second method. Death by Gluttony. Useing the protective gear and a shield to prevent escape, E chucked a large bowl of peanut butter into the fireplace and slammed it shut. Then you simply waited for Alex to eat himself to death.

I was inspired while grocery shopping. Is there an Animal Control agency in Canada?

Anonymous said...

Oooh! The Gilmore Girls. I like the chemistry between them. You know, I hear rumours about that...
(Nudge, nudge...)

Maria said...

Made it in the nick of time.... few minutes to spare on providing an answer before the contest closes.

My answer is --> definately the little guy is alive, and I am not talking about E. but the squirrel.

Given the fact that E. did not do so well hunting last season he probably would have missed even if he tried to use his rifle. So all this being said he definately used something to attract the squirrel best guess is some peanuts or peanut butter. Once the squirrel came out to have his/her lunch E. grabbed him, ran for the door which Karen was holding open and threw him into the snow. This definately broke the squirrels fall and he walked away unharmed with the peanut in his mouth.

And they all lived happily ever after.

Anonymous said...

Let's face it, there's two things to consider here:

1) K. may or may not be feeding the squirrel, ergo, the squirrel may already be dead from starvation. Problem Solved.

2) Unless E. can do this the most dangerous, crazy way possible, he's not interested. I say this, E., throw the squirrel in a bag and bring him up Mt Washington, the way you tried to get rid of your girlfriend. This time, something should die.