Chances are. . .

By Mir
April 30, 2008

… that it’s not going to be a good day when you’re headed out to the dentist and you end up running over a squirrel.

God, I hate squirrels. HATE THEM.

Still, it’s not like I TRIED to run him over. He (she? it?) was darting back and forth ahead of me, and he’d run off mostly to the side, and along I came, and he ran right out under the car and I felt that tell-tale kerTHUMP as he met my rear tire. Whoops.

It was already not a good morning, if you must know, and I’ll confess that my immediate reaction to his demise was “SERVES HIM RIGHT FOR EATING MY DECK!”

Technically speaking, I cannot prove that THAT was the squirrel who once snacked on my deck. I was pretty close to home, though, so you never know. It could’ve been.

And so on the heels of “SERVES HIM RIGHT!” I found myself thinking “Hold a grudge, much, Crazy Lady?”

And then, “You just killed something that used to be alive. WAY TO GO.”

It’s not as though I’ve suddenly developed a soft spot for squirrels or like I’m not the most flesh-loving carnivore you’ve ever met, because I haven’t and I definitely am. But adding murder to the list of things I have to be upset about today just wasn’t on my agenda.

No, see, my agenda looked something like this:

  • Get up.
  • Hate everyone and everything because life sucks.
  • Get kids off to school.
  • Hate some more, perhaps with a nice cup of hazelnut coffee.
  • Answer some email.
  • With caffeine coursing through veins, decide that perhaps I am overreacting.
  • Shower.
  • In shower, decide that I am actually justified. Vow to make several voodoo dolls.
  • Go have my teeth cleaned.
  • Come home, do some work.
  • Have an unprecedented second cup of coffee and vow to be more zen.
  • Do some more work.
  • Be free of hatred—even if only temporarily—by the time the kids get home.

I thought it was a good plan.

And then I ran over that damn squirrel, so now I am just telling you, all bets are off. That squirrel was a SIGN, man.

A sign I never should’ve gotten out of bed today.

P.S. No cavities! Only a propensity to kill, and the dentist didn’t even notice that.


  1. Leandra

    If the dentist could pick up on that, he could totally get into a new line of work. Either that or go into the Witness Protection program.

  2. Anne Glamore

    David Sedaris has a point– why do we never see BABY squirrels?

    Am also heading to dentist for oldest to get 4 teeth extracted– Good Times!

    But hooray no cavities. Those babies (speaking of babies) are getting expensive.

  3. Aimee

    Well, what kind of a dentist is he, REALLY, if he can’t pick up on your rodent-cidal tendencies just by looking at your teeth?


  4. MomCat

    If teeth cleaning = running over small rodents, I’m bound to hit a kangaroo today. I have a root canal in an hour.

    (I’ll make you some jerky)

  5. RuthWells

    I ran over a squirrel once. It sent me into quite a little tailspin of depression and remorse. Glad to see you’re handling it better than I did!

  6. mamajama

    You and my husband should form a club. He hates squirrels because they poop and pee on him…he can’t prove that it was the same one both times, but he’s pretty sure too.

    Anne Glamore, we see baby (well adolescent anyway) squirrels all the time. They must proliferate in our neighborhood. Trust me you don’t want to see them though…they are like the motocross versions of squirrels…they think their bones are unbreakable.

  7. Jo

    See, I feel guilty when I see squirrels that other people have run over on the road. I couldn’t imagine what I would be like if I ran over one. I have issues.

  8. dad

    You’re off the hook on the murder charge. I think, based on the knowledge I’ve gained from watching all the episodes of “Law and Order,” that the worst you could get nailed for is criminally negligent vehicular homicide. Unless you prove the sqirrel was suicidal and threw himself under your wheels.

    On the down side, you will be unable to call the sqirrel to testify. On the up side, you already have a lawyer you like. Don’t you?

  9. Sheryl

    Who are you making voodoo dolls of? I’d be happy to help gather hair for you.

  10. Katrina

    When my son was 10 weeks old I was driving home from daycare with him and ran over a squirrel. I started sobbing hysterically. I was on the phone with my sister and she thought I was a nutcase. Come to think of it, I probably was at the time with undiagnosed PPD. Now I am super careful because if I killed a squirrel with my now 4 year old in the car, I would devastate him for killing Jumpy the squirrel (thanks, Curious George). And Jo – I feel the same way about seeing a dead goose/duck on the side of the road.

  11. Flea

    Yay for no cavities!

    Did you finally take care of the squirrel/deck problem? Did I not catch that last fall? And squirrels may be cute, but they’re demon spawn.

    Then again, running over any living creature sucks. Okay, I make exceptions for Opossum. Be grateful neither of your children were in the car. The one time I ran over a squirrel, my Little Guy – the one who wants to open an animal shelter when he grows up – was with me. I wasn’t thinking quickly enough to lie when he asked if I hit it. We were both depressed the entire day, even though it sorta scampered away.

    But since there were no children present when that particular
    tree fell in the woods, it didn’t make a sound, Mir!

  12. Deb

    LOL, poor thing. And the ads on the side crack me up…most are for dentists, but one says “Squirrel Crossing Signs”, imagine seeing a million of THOSE signs up ;-)

  13. jennielynn

    I can totally relate. Mostly because my house was robbed on my birthday. I’m still feeling mad, bad and dangerous to know.

  14. donna

    No cavities, rid the world of one more varmint – I’d say it was a decent day. (is that right, is there really an ‘n’ in varmint, I always thought it was varmit … huh …)

  15. Nelson's Mama

    I’m with Jo…I’ll do anything to avoid hitting one!

  16. Melissa

    Mir, I’ll see your squirrel and raise you a fluffy white kitten.

    Sad true story that has scarred me for life: My first day of school 30 years ago, my mom ran over a little white kitten that she had shooed away (he ran back under the car as she pulled out). Horrible crunch, and my mom and a neighbor mom had to deal with the sad remains while I and my little friend next door sat in the car and said “is it dead? is it dead? did you KILL it, mommy?”

    Yep. Scarred for life.

  17. Astrogirl

    I agree with your dad – there was no premeditation, so you get off the murder charge. And there’s always self-defense (what, you’ve never been attacked by a squirrel? Lucky you).

    I, too, ran over a squirrel many years ago, and it ruined my day (I swear, they do that on purpose).

    Good luck with the voodoo dolls – my mom is an excellent sewer, so if you need someone to put those together for you, she said she’d be happy to help (isn’t she great? :)).

  18. Kemi

    Mir, I feel your pain. I recently committed my first vehicular birdicide on the way home from a zoo visit, while listening to the “Enchanted” soundtrack. More specifically, the “Happy Working Song”. I am not kidding– this is what we heard:

    “Come my little friends, while we all sing a happy little working song! Merry little… *THUD*”

    Poor quail… I still feel sad when I think about how he missed his updraft and the way the van shuddered with the impact. :(

  19. Ani

    Try to think of it as a furry Palmetto bug. It’s not that far from the facts.

  20. Damsel

    Squirrel, schmirrel.

    You should hear the ker-THUMP of running over an armadillo. It’s much like running over a ROCK that darted under your wheels.

    I daresay one has to work one’s way up to running over an armadillo, though, so I’ll forgive you for only squooshing a measly little squirrel.

  21. Caution

    I’m sorry, but I think we are going to be better off with one less squirrel to contend with. (That’s really ugly, isn’t it?) Oh well.

  22. Vane

    Oh poor Mir! :(

    Hope your day gets better!

  23. Sara

    Never had the misfortune (or good fortune?) to hit a squirrel or larger animal (do you hear me raccoons?? watch out, I might aim for you…) but I have hit a bird twice. Well, not the SAME bird, obviously, because that would be something wouldn’t it? But there is nothing more disheartening than realizing Tweety is not going to make it and then seeing feathers wafting to the ground. After all, I have no argument with birds. (Do you hear me raccoons? YOU are on my list…) And I alway remember the words of Atticus Finch and then, although realizing he was speaking of mockingbirds, let my mom-guilt go into overdrive and apply it to all winged creatures.

  24. Natalie

    I got hit by a deer once. In Maryland. I grew up in the middle of the Rockies and never came close to hitting a deer. Nope, that waited until I got to Maryland.

    Yes, you read right. It hit me. I did not hit it. It ran into the driver’s side door of my car. I remember thinking, ‘wow, that is a huge boulder that just hit me’ followed by, ‘wait, there aren’t any mountains on this road for boulders to fall down’. (I claim it was an indecisive deer: it couldn’t decide if it wanted to go in front of me or in back of me).

    I felt bad until I remembered a biology class full of wisdom from Charles Darwin and decided that my car had helped pick out the fit that would survive.

  25. Chris

    Where ever did Chickadee get it from:)
    Seriously, hope it, all of it, gets much better.

  26. Kimberly

    I have to go next week for my cleaning. Maybe if I run over a squirrel on the way, I too will be cavity free?!

    I’m going with it. What the hell.

  27. The Other Leanne

    It was obviously suicide. Poor, depressed Squirrel, having lost the joy of eating decks and peeing on mamajama’s husband, ran to the side of the road and waited until just the right moment…

  28. themuttprincess

    No cavities is good.

    And the squirrel probably deserved it. It was not your fault.

  29. elizabeth

    gotta go with Natalie on this – DARWIN!
    I like squirrels and all but if they are going to run under your car instead of away, well, survival of the fittest all the way.

    yeah for no cavities!

  30. Heidi

    Perhaps it wasn’t your fault at all. It may have committed squirrilicide.

  31. Carolyn E

    Mir, even your *dad* is a good writer. His humorous, pointed post shows Mir-like genius. Very cool.

    (I was going to say he was “a funny, pointed writer,” but even I could see that there was something not-quite-right about that phrase that would reveal my deep lack of writerly genius, lol.)

  32. Beth

    Just a random tangent: my ex-husband described his commanding officer as “having the decision making skills of a squirrel in the road.”

  33. Megan

    Mir’s dad – Southern squirrels are definitely suicidal. All of ’em. I lived in Virginia for a year and had to learn that the darn squirrels dart TOWARDS the wheels when you swerve to miss them. If you swerve to hit they survive. Not sure if that says more about the local drivers or the local squirrels on second thought…

  34. annette

    I wander what the squirrel’s list looked like this morning?

  35. annette

    Oops! Should be wOnder! Although, I guess he did wander…right under your car!

  36. Sue

    I think cocktail hour should start early today!

  37. Amy-Go

    Running back in forth in front of traffic? Totally a squirrel with a death wish. No guilt required.

  38. Katie in MA

    See, Mir, I think things are actually going your way today! You’re lucky that it was *you* who was dealing with the propensity to kill today, and not the dentist…

  39. Ann

    Hmmm… I had a suicidal squirrel do the same thing to me – it ran straight for the car, and the next thing I knew, he was rolling around in the street writhing in pain. I felt so bad that I went around the block with the intent of running him over again – in hopes of putting him out of his misery. Thankfully, he was dead by then. Dumb thing – couldn’t even commit suicide correctly… What a loser!

  40. Elizabeth

    My husband’s squirrel-avoidance strategy is to aim the wheels right at them. He says they always move anyway, so you’re better off aiming for them than trying not to hit them. But he also refers to them as “tree rats”, so maybe he wouldn’t be too upset to hit one…

    Hope your day improved even a teeny little bit as it went on!

  41. Bronie

    *sigh* A squirrel…at least he was zigging and zagging. I totally crunched a turtle the other day. With my kids in tow. I KNOW! A slow, just trying to cross the road turtle. In my defense, I was traveling 80mph on the interstate with a big truck in the lane next to me. It was the turtle or the truck. Now why the heck was he crossing the interstate anyway? That’s what I want to know. My almost teenage son assured me, “He was probably just trying to get home to his family, patriarch that he was, could’ve carried the cure for some disease on his little shell. Guess we’ll never know, now will we? You turtle killer!” I didn’t know till I had kids that sarcasm was hereditary–stupid genes!

  42. mike golch

    I was taking some possible buyers to see some property whe two squirrels decide to cross the road,I got both of them.

  43. Kim

    Hey Mir,
    Check out this article on caffeine boosts to enhance your daily grind. Turns out frequent small doses are better than one big cup. So stop the guilt. Except for the whole stained teeth thing…

  44. Veronica

    We have brushtailed possums here and I HATE them with a passion. HATE HATE HATE.

    I might be more blood thirsty that you though because I smile everytime I see one dead. Yes, there is a lot of road kill on our roads. Yes, it doesn’t take much to make me smile.


  45. Daisy

    Unprecedented second cup of coffee? You are a stronger woman than I.

  46. susan

    It is a well known fact that having your teeth cleaned wipes away all bad Karma for accidental squirrel killing. So you’re good! Hope you have a better day tom.

  47. Ukey

    Happy squirrel killing day! Yeya!

  48. Law Student Hot Mama

    It’s not the squirrels you have to worry about . . . it’s those bunnies. If you kill one of them, well . . . karma is a biotch and I think she’ll come back to get you!

  49. Chuck

    I just got my teeth cleaned today, and the hygenist jabbed my gums while she was distractedly talking to someone else. Always a fun time. At least I don’t need to do it again for six months.

  50. Mishel

    Makes me think of that Geico commercial where the two squirrels make the car crash and then they do like a squirrel high five/fist pump thingy congratulating themselves on it. And I smiled before reading all your story too:)

  51. Dani

    I haven’t read a single comment but I must say…

    You SO sound like you have PMS. (I think I’m allowed to say that without ducking because I’m a girl, right?)

    A Fellow Mood-Swinger

  52. Brigitte

    I ran over a squirrel once . . then, a week later, hit another in the exact same spot. Although I KNOW it isn’t so, all I could picture was the bereft mate, suicidally flinging itself under my tires to just end it all, leaving little orphaned baby squirrels somewhere.

    I’m ignoring any dentist chatter – LA LA LA LA LA!

  53. Bakerina

    I second Lori. Bacon chocolate is what you need — and a certain grocery chain, known in my house as Rhymeswithvole Foods — now carries the complete line of Vosges chocolates. And baby, I ain’t too proud to ship. Just in case, you know, you wake up hating everyone again and you want some Strong Medicine to put it right.

  54. ImpostorMom

    I swear the squirrels in our neighborhood have some sort of collective death wish cause those suckers will just run right out in front of you.

    The husband accidentally squished some baby opossums the other night though. The car in front sort of grazed the mama and not realizing it had babies on it’s back he saw them rolling around in the road. :( Nothing really could be done. So at least you didn’t put an end to any baby animals.

  55. carson

    I’ve never hit a squirrel, but I have hit a frog, a chipmunk, a seagull and a cat. I’m pretty sure that I’m the Kevorkian of the animal kingdom. (The seagull lived, at least until it swooped down in that seagull flight pattern in front of another car.) I never saw the cat, not until the next morning when we went out to the car and my son pointed it out to me. I can’t figure that out.

  56. Another Randi

    You haven’t lived right until you hit a skunk. That stays with you for many moons. Our local car wash didn’t have a tomato juice button…

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