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Thursday, September 29, 2022

A UC Davis squirrel threatened me

Hi, stop feeding them Oreos and half-smoked joints

 

BY ANNABEL MARSHALL — almarshall@ucdavis.edu 

 

Picture this. You’re alone at a table in the Memorial Union. It’s one of those black tables, the kind typically occupied by a pre-health fraternity or some club that wants you to try underwater calisthenics or something equally unhinged. You open your laptop, a symbolic nod to the fact that you have four missing assignments. You reach into the smallest pocket of your backpack, digging between Rite Aid receipts and empty granola bar wrappers, searching for the birdnest tangle of your headphones. It rustles like the crushing of dry leaves and empty granola wrappers. This is your mistake.

Look up. You’re face to face with a squirrel. But for the look in its eyes, you might as well be face to face with a WWE wrestler, muscles plump with testosterone and vanquished childhood dreams. The squirrel, who considers your specific life a hilarious accident of God, twitches its tail, which is simultaneously wormy like a rat and linty like a dryer filter. It pities you.

Freshmen have been feeding it pizza crusts. It resembles a water balloon that’s been filled with chili. Its walk is more of a lazy lumbering crawl. Unlike you, it has no biology midterms. Its girlfriend has not been harassing it about its lack of a bedframe. This squirrel’s sole purpose is coercing innocent students into handing over food. And their feeling of safety on campus. 

You have no offerings. You don’t even have food for yourself, despite the fact that your last meal was 4 a.m. coffee. The squirrel does not care. It creeps closer, closer until it is four inches from your knee. It is daring you to move. 

People are walking by. You have a choice. Keep calm, hope that this bush-tailed vermin doesn’t hop in your lap and give you the gift of rodent rabies. Or you can run, make a scene and inevitably face plant in front of your English TA.

This is your future. If it hasn’t happened yet, it will. Your torment awaits patiently.

Side note: Have y’all been seeing those two ducks? I want to pick them up and take them home. I want them to sleep in my bathtub and protect me from evil spirits and vengeful TAs. One time I was walking through the Quad and a duck offered to help me with my anthropology homework and mend my relationship with my mother. I never want to hear the words “relationship goals” unless they are being applied to those ducks.

Anyway, back to the squirrel. This quivering hell beast will maintain eye contact for a solid 40 seconds until someone walks by and says, “Oh, how cute!” and you have to pretend you’re not in the fight of your life. Eventually, you’ll realize there’s only one thing you can do. Leave. Abandon your things, run. Your laptop belongs to him now. There’s nothing you can do. Maybe he’ll learn R Studio. 

 

Written by: Annabel Marshall — almarshall@ucdavis.edu 

 

Disclaimer: (This article is humor and/or satire, and its content is purely fictional. The story and the names of “sources” are fictionalized.)

 

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