This is probably going to sound a bit weird, but I think maybe Jerry Garcia came back as a squirrel and he’s living in my back yard with a whole raft of furry dead-heads.
Yeah, I’m sure you are probably wondering what I’ve been smoking that would make me think such a thing, but interestingly enough, that’s kind of the point behind this whole blog entry. Not the smoking per se, but the ingestion of psychedelic substances, and no, I’m not talking about a rainbow bomb pop from the ice cream dude.
Now, as a rule, I think squirrels are pretty cool. After all, I am a devout follower of Foamy, and I regularly exchange Tweets on Twitter with Butters The Squirrel. For those of you who are unfamiliar with these two tree dwelling rodents, Foamy is the activist with a foul mouth, and Butters is quite a bit more of a pacifist. Basically, I suppose I am covering all of the bases in the event of an unexpected “Squirrel Uprising.”
Now, lest you think I am merely playing both sides against the middle, I am also a great supporter of the squirrel kingdom across the board. I have a pinwheel feeder which I keep stocked with feed corn (incidentally, my father-in-law calls it a squirrel gymnasium), and when winter rolls around and the temperature drops off, a big part of my morning routine is preparing breakfast for the tree rats. I do this by breaking a couple of slabs of Ramen noodles into squirrel friendly sized pieces, then coating them with chunky peanut butter and rolling them in sunflower seeds & feed corn. Not exactly gourmet, but I haven’t had any complaints yet. In fact, Clem and Cletus, a couple of my regulars, can often be found peering into our dining room from the picture window while they wait for the restaurant to open.
But, let’s get back to Jerry and the Dead Heads living in my back yard. You see, I’m actually old enough to remember Jerry. I’m also old – and experimentally curious – enough to have experienced the Dead Head culture. Now, I never actually followed The Grateful Dead across the US in a beat up microbus. Truth is, I never even attended a Dead concert in person (I could only afford just so many concert tickets). However, this is not to say that in my younger, wilder, less inhibited, and somewhat stupider years I didn’t maybe partake of a few controlled substances.
Yeah, I inhaled.
And guess what, I don’t intend to run for public office, but if for some reason I do lose my mind and put my name on a ballot, here you go. No digging required. Get over it, odds are you inhaled too.
But, moving right along… There was another substance that made the rounds with the Dead Heads, that being The Magic Mushroom. Yep… Psylocibin containing psychedelic fungus. Happy toadstools from the cow pasture. Your ticket to the magic kingdom.
Did I ever partake of them? Well, I probably shouldn’t say… But in case you are wondering, for the record those things taste like crap. (whoops… oh well… didn’t say I was proud of it, but hey, I’m being honest here…)
And so, anyway, Funny Fungus is exactly why I think Jerry and the Furry Dead have pitched a tent city in my back yard. You see, the other day I pulled into the driveway, parked and all that jazz. However, unlike any other day I heard this loud thump as I climbed out of my truck. Darting my eyes in the direction of the noise I saw a wild eyed tree rat perched on the railing of my trailer. He began chittering at me, as squirrels tend to do, then darted off down the length of the flatbed following an erratic serpentine pattern. Against my better judgment, I followed the little furbag.
Before I even reached the back gate I saw a half dozen more squirrels running around the yard like their tails were on fire and their nuts were catchin’… Aww, come on… I mean like peanuts, walnuts, hickory nuts… sheesh, you dirty minded folks… Anywho, I watched as they darted about, jumped up onto the deck railing, beat their tiny little paws against their chests while doing these squeaky little, high-pitched Tarzan yells, somersaulted onto my BBQ pit, ran up a tree, jumped 72 feet to the roof, double back flipped into the wading pool, and then started all over again.
Let me tell you, it was a sight to behold.
I stood there wondering what had gotten into them when something caught my eye. A couple of the tree rats who weren’t engaged in happy jungle gym time were sitting back on their haunches atop a stump. In their paws they held huge chunks of brownish-orange fungi. Before long, one of the crazed rodents who had been doing the backstroke in the offspring’s pool ran up to the stump, tore a hunk of the fungus from the side, then sat back and began gnawing on it. My guess is that his Psylocibin levels were getting a bit low and he needed a booster.
This continued daily until the fungus was all gone. No big surprise there. I almost offered them a boom box and a stack of Dead CD’s, but they seemed to be getting along fine without tunes.
And, you know, I can’t say as that I blame them for the rampant, repeated frolicking and going back to the trough for more, so to speak. As I recall, the magic kingdom was a nice place to visit. Not a place where I’d want to live, but hey, it had it’s moments.
Still, with that said, if I ever catch the little bastards cooking up meth in the tool shed, I’m having squirrel and dumplings for dinner that night.
More to come…