17 years ago
A little OT, but GOOD for a laugh.
I never dreamed slowly cruising on my motorcycle through a residential
neighborhood could be so incredibly dangerous! Little did I suspect...
I was on Brice Street - a very nice neighborhood with perfect lawns and
slow traffic. As I passed an on coming car, a brown, furry missile shot
out from under it and tumbled to a stop immediately in front of me.
It was a squirrel, and it must have been trying to run across the road
when it encountered the car. I really was not going very fast, but there
was no time to brake or avoid it -- it was that close. I hate to run over
animals, and I really hate it on a motorcycle, but a squirrel should pose
no danger to me.
I barely had time to brace for the impact. Animal lovers, never fear.
Squirrels, I discovered, can take care of themselves.
Inches before impact, the squirrel flipped to his feet. He was standing on
his hind legs and facing my oncoming Valkyrie with steadfast resolve in
his beady little eyes.
His mouth opened, and at the last possible second, he screamed and leapt!
I was pretty sure the scream was Squirrel for "Bonzai!" or maybe "Die, you
gravy-sucking, heathen scum!" The leap was nothing short of spectacular...
He shot straight up, flew over my windshield, and impacted me squarely in
the chest. Instantly, he set upon me. If I did not know better, I would
have sworn he brought 20 of his little buddies along for the attack.
Snarling, hissing, and tearing at my clothes, he was a frenzy of activity.
As I was dressed only in a light T-shirt, summer riding gloves, and jeans,
this was a bit of a cause for concern. This furry little tornado was doing
Picture a large man on a huge black-and-chrome cruiser, dressed in jeans,
a T-shirt, and leather gloves, puttering at maybe 25 mph down a quiet
residential street, and in the fight of his life with a squirrel.
I grabbed for him with my left hand. After a few misses, I finally managed
to snag his tail. With all my strength, I flung the evil rodent off to the
left of the bike, almost running into the right curb as I recoiled from
the throw. That should have done it. The matter should have ended right
It really should have. The squirrel could have sailed into one of the
pristinely kept yards and gone on about his business, and I could have
headed home. No one would have been the wiser. But this was no ordinary
squirrel. This was not even an ordinary angry squirrel. This was an EVIL
MUTANT ATTACK SQUIRREL OF DEATH! Twisted Evil.
Somehow he caught my gloved finger with one of his little hands and, with
the force of my throw, swung around and with a resounding thump and an
amazing impact, landed squarely on my BACK and resumed his rather
antisocial and extremely distracting activities. He also managed to take
my left glove with him! The situation was not improved, not improved at
His attacks were continuing, and now I could not reach him. I was
startled, to say the least. The combination of the force of the throw,
only having one hand (the throttle hand) on the handlebars, and my jerking
back unfortunately put a healthy twist through my right hand and into the
throttle. A healthy twist on the throttle of a Valkyrie can have only one
This is what the Valkyrie is made for, and she is very, very good at it.
The engine roared and the front wheel left the pavement.
The squirrel screamed in anger.
The Valkyrie screamed in ecstasy.
I screamed in ... well... I just plain screamed.
Now picture a large man on a huge black-and-chrome cruiser, dressed in
jeans, a slightly squirrel-torn T-shirt, wearing only one leather glove,
and roaring at maybe 50 mph and rapidly accelerating down a quiet
residential street on one wheel, with a demonic squirrel of death on his
The man and the squirrel are both screaming bloody murder.
With the sudden acceleration, I was forced to put my other hand back on
the handlebars and try to get control of the bike.
This was leaving the mutant squirrel to his own devices, but I really did
not want to crash into somebody's tree, house, or parked car. Also, I had
not yet figured out how to release the throttle...my brain was just simply
overloaded. I did manage to mash the back brake, but it had little effect
against the massive power of the big cruiser.
About this time, the squirrel decided I was not paying sufficient
attention to this very serious battle (maybe he was an evil mutant NAZI
attack squirrel of death), and he came around my neck and got INSIDE my
full-face helmet with me.
As the face plate closed part way, he began hissing in my face. I am quite
sure my screaming changed intensity. It had little effect on the squirrel,
however. The RPMs on the Dragon maxed out (since I was not bothering with
shifting at the moment), so her front end started to drop.
Now picture a large man on a huge black-and-chrome cruiser, dressed in
jeans, a very raggedly torn T-shirt, wearing only one leather glove,
roaring at probably 80 mph, still on one wheel, with a large, puffy
squirrel's tail sticking out of the mostly closed full-face helmet. By now
the screams are probably getting a little hoarse.
Finally I got the upper hand ... I managed to grab his tail again, pulled
him out of my helmet, and slung him to the left as hard as I could. This
time it worked ... sort of.
Spectacularly sort-of, so to speak.
Picture a new scene. You are a cop. You and your partner have pulled off
on a quiet residential street and parked with your windows down to do some
paperwork. Suddenly a large man on a huge black-and-chrome cruiser,
dressed in jeans, a torn T-shirt flapping in the breeze, and wearing only
one leather glove, moving at probably 80 mph on one wheel, and screaming
bloody murder roars by, and with all his strength throws a live squirrel
grenade into your police car.
I heard screams.
This time they weren't mine...
I managed to get the big motorcycle under control and dropped the front
wheel to the ground. I then used maximum braking and skidded to a stop in
a cloud of tire smoke at the stop sign of a busy cross street. I would
have returned to 'fess up (and to get my glove back). I really would have.
Really...Except for two things.
First, the cops did not seem interested or the slightest bit concerned
about me at the moment. When I looked back, the doors on both sides of the
patrol were flung wide open. The cop from the passenger side was on his
back, doing a crab walk into somebody's front yard, quickly moving away
from the car. The cop who had been in the driver's seat was standing in
the street aiming a riot gun at his own police car.
So, the cops were not interested in me. They often insist to "let the
professionals handle it" anyway. That was one thing. The other?
Well, I could clearly see shredded and flying pieces of foam and
upholstery from the back seat. But I could also swear I saw the squirrel
in the back window, shaking his little fist at me. That is one dangerous
squirrel. And now he has a patrol car. A somewhat shredded patrol
car...but it was all his.
I took a deep breath, turned on my turn signal, made a gentle right turn
off of Brice Street, and sedately left the neighborhood. I decided it was
best to just buy myself a new pair of gloves. And a whole lot of
Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved
body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting, "Man,
alive ... what a ride!" Amen