My blogging friend, Ilona over at Rainy Day Writing, has an AGMA-esque sense of humor. Or maybe AGMA has an Ilona-esque sense of humor? Whatever…
She posted a really funny piece a few weeks ago called Mantras for Old Age. You can read it here.
One of my favorites is her Better Pee First mantra. Tell the truth, shame the devil – those of you of a certain age know what she’s talking about…
AGMA needed to recite that mantra this past weekend.
Specifically, Saturday evening. But didn’t.
That was the day AGMA had my High Noon showdown.
We live in the city limits of Chicago, but have our share of wildlife. There are signs in the alleys about not leaving trash around for the rats to eat. So there are rats. Thankfully, AGMA’s never seen one. And my neighbor had a small snake in her yard. There was even a coyote wandering down the railroad tracks behind our house this spring.
Because there’s a buffer of trees between the alley behind our house and railroad track (it’s a spur line that is only used several times a week by an 6 car train), we have a plethora of perky, pesky squirrels literally hanging around.
Last summer, a squirrel, let’s call it Pitas (pain in the ass squirrel), would come up on our deck in the wee hours of the morning and dig in my tomato plant planter. When AGMA opened the blinds in the morning, dirt was scattered all around the planter.
As the summer wore on, Pitas got bolder. It started picking MY cherry tomatoes and eating them. Oh, the humanity!
When Pitas got bored with a diet of partially consumed cherry tomatoes, he/she ordered carry-out. I found a half eaten piece of pizza, a partial bagel, and bits of bread on our deck at different points in the summer.
AGMA’s grateful Pitas got to them before the rats.
Bouyed by his/her foraging success last year, Pitas returned this summer. At least I think it’s Pitas…
No longer operating under the cover of darkness, it staked its claim on our deck by boldly walking around in light of day.
Our cat, Max, is quite interested in looking out the large sliding glass door at Pitas. Max walks up to the window every morning in anticipation of seeing his rodent buddy.
And I think Pitas is interested in Max. So interested that it started literally hanging on our screen door to look inside the house. At Max. And sometimes Gus.
Sometimes when AGMA goes out on the deck, Pitas flops down on the deck railing or steps, and just watches me. It’s like he/she’s plotting something.
All this is to say, this is one ballsy squirrel who, like honey badger, doesn’t give a sh*t. And apparently isn’t afraid of too much.
But AGMA’s discovered a chink in Pitas’ armor. It’s not at all fond of getting squirted with the hose.
Fast forward to Saturday evening when my DIL, grandchildren V & T, and AGMA were sitting on the upper deck.
Pitas startled us by crawling up onto our deck from our nice neighbors deck. My DIL tried to chase him/her away but it held its ground. She tried again. Again, Pitas stayed anchored to its spot.
I explained that “our” squirrel was very bold and not easily chased away.
After a third time, Pitas scurried behind my chair. Thinking he/she may have scampered down to the ground or hopped back onto our nice neighbors deck, I peeked behind the chair
Before I continue, AGMA needs to let you know that my DIL does not like animals at all. She is kind of terrified of them. Especially in the ‘wild’.
This is key to understanding what happened next…
“He’s still here…I see his tail,” I said.
Just about then Pitas popped its head up over the back of the chair and stared at us.
My DIL then proceeded to scream bloody murder, and we all ran down the stairs to the main deck.
I was laughing so hard, I could barely breathe.
It was at that point that AGMA regretted not doing the Better Pee First mantra. I won’t make that mistake again…. Ugh.
Five minutes later, after a quick change, I was in the kitchen filling up a pitcher.
AGMA’s battle plan was to spritz him with water until he ran away.
My DIL, 5 year old granddaughter, 3 year old grandson and I slowly went back up the stairs to the upper deck with AGMA in the lead carrying the water pitcher. Pitas was now on top of the back of my chair.
Squirrel scene in Christmas Vacation minus the Christmas tree and dog, right?
It jumped down on the chair cushion which sent my DIL flying down the steps and back into the house, leaving her 2 young children and myself out on the deck at the mercy of arch villian, Pitas.
Evidently it was every man for himself.
But V soon followed her mother into the house, and she called to little T, to follow her (which he did.)
It was just AGMA (the squirrel hunter), Pitas, and the water pitcher.
In my mind, I heard Tex Ritter singing, “Do not forsake me, oh my darling.”
So this was how it was going to end…
I managed to spritz him/her and get it off the deck. But Pitas decided to hang around on nice neighbor’s deck ledge. He/she was trying to wait me out.
Nah baby nah – AGMA dumped the whole pitcher on the little a-hole.
Unbeknownst (is this a word?) to me, my DIL was videoing our shoot out at the AGMA-OK Corral from the kitchen window.
When she sent me the video, I lost it again and started laughing uncontrollably.
It starts out with the 3 year old screaming through the window, “Nana, get rid of it!”
Yesterday, I got the brilliant idea of checking our Ring camera video to see if it captured any of our Keystone Cops antics.
Sure enough, I got us all running down the stairs after Pitas popped his/her head up behind the chair, and AGMA running into the house howling with laughter.
The second video captured my DIL flying down the stairs and directly into the house (when Pitas was advancing on me.) And leaving her children to fend for themselves.
Since I started writing this, I’ve broken down into fits of laughter multiple times.
Fortunately, AGMA did my Better Pee First mantra before I started typing.