Monday, July 17, 2006

Evolution: Only the truly petty creatures get left behind!

At this time of day, when the sun drops behind our building, the squirrels come out and start their gravity-defying dance up and down the back wall and across the power lines. I should clarify that this is not the first time we see them each day – oh no! They also like to be up and about early in the morning, and they particularly like to sit on the window-sill of the bathroom, and screech, ”Good Morning, Donkey! Good Morning, Donkey! Good Morning, Donkey! Good Morning, Donkey! Good Morning, Donkey! Good Morning, Donkey!”

Aaaaaaaaargh! “It’s not freakin’ morning, it’s 5am! That’s the middle of the bloody night, now piss-off you little bastards!” I bellow, but unfortunately I can’t speak ear-piercing squirrel, and they can’t understand Donkey, so the only way to actually shut them up is to get out of bed, go into the bathroom and shoo them away by rattling the bars on the window. BUT, because it’s 5am (did I mention that this happens at 5a-freakin’-m?), I generally can’t be arsed getting up, and so they continue to screech, “Good Morning, Donkey! Good Morning, Donkey! Good Morning, Donkey! Good Morning, Donkey!”, and I yell back “It’s not freakin’ morning, it’s 5am! That’s the middle of the bloody night, now piss-off you little bastards!”, and they say “Good Morning, Donkey! Good Morning, Donkey! Good Morning, Donkey! Good Morning, Donkey!”, and I yell … anyway, you get the picture. Basically, our day starts with me in a shitty mood, and Mrs Donkey with an earful of obscenities.

But I digress (Surprise! Surprise!). At this time of the day, our little, fluffy-tailed ‘friends’ are all out there, running up and down the walls, skirting along the power lines, and I’m usually crouching down on the back balcony, hiding behind a chair or the air-conditioning unit. Basically, I’m lying in wait for one of these little pains-in-the-arse to wander by, and when they least expect it, I’ll jump out with a loud cry in the hope that I’ll give him a fright and cause him to fall off the wall, branch or power line! I’ve been trying to do this every day for the last four months, and it hasn’t yet worked, but I reckon I’m getting my technique down pretty well, and I’m expecting success soon. Actually, on the basis of this success rate, I figure that I should be able to effectively cull the squirrel population out the back of our house such that I will be able to count on a sleep-in on the last weekend of our two year posting here in Delhi. And to me, the promise of that uninterrupted slumber will be worth the endless hours of joint pain, muscle cramps and haemorrhoids that I endure from sitting silently and unmoving on the hard concrete floor.

So anyway, I was out there today, crouching in wait, and watching this squirrel coming towards me along the power line. Every two or three steps, he would stop and let out a high-pitched screech, but what I noticed this time, which I hadn’t ever noticed before, is that each time one of these little buggers lets out a piercing shriek, their tail jumps up into a vertical position like some real-life, albeit fluffy exclamation mark! It was bizarre! All of a sudden I noticed that each one of these little furry trouble-makers seems to have this weird, arse-mouth connection going on which makes their tails shoot up in the air whenever they say anything.

How would that be? Every time you opened your mouth, as your jaw moved up and down, your bum-cheeks would clench. You can imagine that for some people, that would give their arse quite a workout. Radio announcers, school teachers, public speakers … their bums’d be incredibly taught; like a couple of giant walnuts in a pair of Speedos!

Crikey! What would it mean for those of us who enjoy the comfort and support of a g-banger? Just a single friendly argument about politics or religion would result in that already flimsy lifeline being subject to a horrible pounding. Each convincing comment about, for example, the legitimacy or otherwise of The Da Vinci Code, would see that important, supportive strand becoming pulverized, and more and more frayed with every impassioned declaration that Audrey Tautou really is Jesus’ daughter (No arguments from me there!).

And what about the work cocktail party? Imagine having to deal with the snapping of that essential guy-rope (no pun intended) while you're half-way through a conversation with the boss’ wife. Just think of it, you’re smiling and banging-on to a glamorous millionairess about migratory ducks in Eastern Europe and at the same time surreptitiously reaching into your pocket in an attempt to steady a couple of bouncing testicles which have suddenly been dislodged from their comfy hammock like a couple of deadly stones hurled from David’s sling towards an unsuspecting Goliath! (hey, that’s quite a good pun). It’d be horrible, and certainly not an easy thing to pull-off (sorry, another pun … sorry, that was bad). It could certainly be a career-breaker, or at best, expose you to a number of very embarrassing social questions.

So as I sat there, waiting for that little ball of fuzz to come just a bit closer, and squirming in frustration every couple of seconds as he stopped and screeched with his tail pointing to the heavens, I reflected that we humans have certainly evolved compared with these little critters. Sure, we can’t walk up and down walls or along power lines, but (perhaps with the exception of John Howard), our arses are no longer connected to our faces! And that can only be a good thing!

Sorry, no photos of squirrels, so it was either Audrey or John Howard, and I know which one I'd rather look at. Photo: Yahoo! Movies

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