Wednesday, September 09, 2020

This is submarine captain Rod, who, up until just a few weeks ago, lived in the lilac bushes at the far end of my yard. However, while on a routine patrol of the creek at the end of the street, his sub got caught in a massive storm that took him way off course before he could dive deep enough to safety. Now, his ship is completely lost somewhere far out in the strange and violent part of the ocean, and his crew has begun to give up hope altogether.

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Detective Jack is having a hell of a day. A hell of a month, actually—ever since this case crossed his desk, he hasn’t been able to do anything except think about it. That, and drink. In between trying to solve this case and the drinking, he’s lost his girlfriend, a handful of potential new clients, and perhaps even his home—although that last one doesn’t really matter, since he’s been sleeping in his office most nights anyway. Somehow, someone in this collection of suspects knows something, or _did_ something. Or perhaps they’re all in it together. One way or another, he’ll figure it out –he always does.

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This is Beth, or, as her clients know her, Madame B. Ever since she was a little squirrel, Madame B has been able to predict the future, whether it be the sudden changing of a traffic light from red to green, or where the other squirrels will bury their nuts and bits of donut. And while all the other squirrels freak out at the appearance of a full-grown adult by the bird feeder, Madame B always knows that none of the people were there to harm any squirrels—they're usually just there to fill the bird feeder or pick something out of the garden, and even the dog that sometimes comes out with them is too well-fed and lazy to be a problem. There’s a very good chance that what squirrels call “premonition” is really just “short-term memory,” but we don’t know that for sure, do we? Call her today to find out YOUR future, for the low price of one 56-ounce can of Planter’s mixed nuts per minute.

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Mabel has been waiting for today for months. Today’s the start of the first vacation she’s taken in years—I won’t tell you where she’s going exactly, but it’s sunny and warm and full of nuts. However, since she wanted to get the cheapest flight possible so that she could save her money for actually having fun, she wasn’t able to get a ride to the airport, so she’s stuck waiting for the bus. And boy, is the bus taking a long time to show up. She was only supposed to have to wait for an hour at the stop, but it already feels like days and days have passed. In fact, she’s pretty sure she’s dozed off a few times and still, no bus. She’d ask her companion at the stop if he knew how much longer they had to wait, but she’s very polite, and was taught that it’s super impolite to interrupt strangers when they’re reading.

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Meet Peaches, lead singer of the folk duo, Chuckles’n’Peaches. Today is a sad day in the history of folk music, because after 70 years of playing together, Chuckles and Peaches have decided to call it quits. Perhaps best known for their 1960’s top 10 hits, “Who Grabbed My Nuts?” and “Can’t Stand the Rain,” Chuckles’n’Peaches have been a constant presence on the folk scene, participating in music festivals as far away as across the street from my house and across the alley out back. Their tumultuous relationship is well-documented, with Chuckles being responsible for inviting a field mouse to take Peaches’ place on stage at the last minute to point out how completely replaceable the little squirrel is, while Peaches once took a screwdriver to Chuckles’ joints right before a show, rendering him immobile, leaving Peaches to perform their entire set a capella. But it’s over for real now, mostly because, with so little time left in their lives, thoughts of settling down and having a family seem more important than traveling all over the yard to play for whatever crowds are still interested in live music. It’s sad, but no band can go on forever.

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Tuesday, September 08, 2020

Meet X-S, world famous model and notorious party animal. X-S’s face has been seen on fashion magazines around the world, but behind the scenes, the angry little squirrel is known for throwing coffee cups at photographers, trashing hotel rooms, and bullying other models to the point of making them leave the set (and their careers) completely behind. Luckily, today the studio’s brought in robot photographer S-192, known for having a calm, steady hand at the camera and being completely unphased by difficult models and in-house tantrums. Sometimes, all it takes to bring out the best in a model is having the right person behind the lens.

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Raul is a shy young male from across the alley. Raul’s favorite hobby is looking for comets and passing aircraft and other space oddities with his telescope, although he will admit to indulging himself in the guilty pleasure of spying on other squirrels in the city. Really, though, there’s just one squirrel that he looks for when he's done inspecting the surface of the moon for signs of unexplained activity or checking his star maps to see if he’s discovered some new phenomena. Once, long ago, he used to date a squirrel named Vanessa, but she wanted to get married almost right away and Raul didn’t, so he let her go, and now, he spends way too much time watching her and her husband and now their two little squirrel children through his telescope from the safety of his living room, thinking of all the things that might have been.

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Today is the most magical day of Robert’s life. After several years of courting Natalie, she has finally allowed him to put a ring on her cold, metal finger and be his wife for ever and ever. Everything about today has been absolutely perfect, from the dress Natalie chose, to having their friends and family assembled to witness their nuptials, to the beautiful summer day that had been threatened by storms just the night before. But most important of all, this day has finally happened, despite all of Robert’s doubts and fears. Oh, Robert—kiss her, you fool, you lucky, lucky squirrel! Kiss her!

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Jill is one of the most famous horror writers of the squirrel literary scene, with over 15 books that cracked the New York Times’ bestseller list. Her most popular books belong to her “Poisoned” series, which include “The Poisoned Donut,” “The Poisoned Half-Eaten Hamburger,” and “The Poisoned Pile of Soggy Ritz Crackers.” Her latest novel, “The Poisoned Peanut,” is possibly her most frightening one yet, and sure to go straight to the top of multiple "Best Of" lists and give millions of her readers delicious nightmares.

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Lucy is having a wonderful day, for today is Squirrel Christmas, the one day of the year where friends of squirrels gather to give squirrels presents. Since squirrels are super territorial and don’t enjoy each other’s company all that much, there’s usually just one squirrel per Squirrel Christmas party—but everyone else who is not a squirrel is invited (it’s not like Dog Christmas at all [July 11], where all dogs are invited because dogs all mostly love each other). Even though only squirrels get presents on Squirrel Christmas, most of their guests don’t mind because squirrels are easy to shop for and nuts are super cheap.

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Monday, September 07, 2020

Lorna and her friend Tommy are totally obsessed with superheroes. They don’t just like to sit and read all the comic books and watch the superhero movies—no, they’ve managed to convince themselves that they can actually _become_ superheroes. Tommy’s decided that the best way for them to get their superpowers is to be hit by lightning, since that’s a major theme in the world of superheroes, but Lorna leans more towards the biological acquisition of powers, such as via spider bite. These differences in belief have led to many heated discussions between the two friends, mostly because Tommy is terrified of spiders and Lorna really doesn’t want to get hit by lightning, but the one thing they really agree on is that actually getting these powers would be super awesome.

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This is Billy, but he goes by the name “Pablo” because he thinks it sounds more artistic, and as an up-and-coming artist, he’s very conscious of personal branding. Pablo’s work focuses mostly on the themes of construction equipment versus trees, his conception of what commercial industrial sounds might look like if they were light waves instead of sound waves, and people throwing nuts and crackers at squirrels. Here, he’s standing next to his latest masterpiece, “Smiling Lady Gives Me Treats.”

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This is Jenna, and Jenna is exhausted from constantly finding herself witnessing significant events in history.

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This is Zeke, who used to be known as the Mean Pirate Zeke, but after his ship got swept off course and broke irreparably on this lonely tropical island during a terrible storm, he’s come to think of himself as just Zeke. Luckily, the island he crashed into has plenty of coconuts for him to live on, which is something that would have been really nice to know before he ate his lifetime traveling companion on the high seas, Polly. Oh, how he misses hearing Polly ask him for crackers and make piratey sounds at him! The seagulls on the island, though plentiful, are unruly and have proven impossible to befriend. Arrrgh, poor Zeke. Poor, lonely Zeke.

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Jack ran all the way across my neighbor’s roof to get here today. Jack would like you to know 1: he is a very, very brave squirrel, 2: this skeleton was already in the window well when he arrived and he don't know nothin' about nothin', and 3: he and the other squirrels are getting a little fed up with my shenanigans.

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Sunday, September 06, 2020

This is Misty, and after consulting with the local dog priest, her family has finally decided to stage an official intervention. Despite years of gentle, loving patience with Misty, the stubborn squirrel still won’t sit in a chair or wear clothes of any sort, eats way too many nuts, and insists on being taller than Papa Dog. “Please be more like a Dog,” pleads Papa Dog, echoed by their littlest, Baby Dog-Squirrel. “Can’t you just try?” But Misty, she don’t change for nobody, not even for love.

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After being stuck inside for the past few hours longingly watching the rain through the little window of his living room, it’s finally clear enough for Elliot to work out in the yard. Like most of us who garden, Elliot loves buying way too many flowers at the garden center, and truly revels in the unmatched joy of planting something special in the ground.

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This is Darlene, and Darlene has done a terrible thing.

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 George is a monster hunter. Every single day he tries to find and kill at least one monster, because he has goals and a list and “Monster Killing” is the number 1 item on his list every single day. Already today, way before lunch, he’s sticked a vampire right through the heart, just as it was emerging from its coffin. Who knows how much anguish George has saved his community by being A): so dedicated to his purpose and B): such an early riser? Look at him go! George is awesome.

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This is Rebecca, and she is so tired of sleeping on the couch. Bob doesn’t mean to keep her awake at night, but in between the sleep-mumbling and the constant beeping, she can’t sleep a wink. She’s gently suggested that maybe they should get a second bed, or maybe even turn their home office into a second bedroom, but Bob just says he’ll try to be quieter at night, and that he can’t sleep without her in bed with him, which makes Rebecca feel just awful. Yesterday, she was so tired she almost fell out of a tree, which is really dangerous for squirrels. So it’s off to the couch again to catch a few short hours of sleep before sunrise, with hopes she can catch a nice nap when she gets back from work.

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Saturday, September 05, 2020

You ever want to just do something as simple as just eat breakfast and not talk to anyone, only to find some beardo waiting at your favorite spot, ready to pounce into conversation at any moment? Welcome to her life. I mean, why is this guy here? Does he think these are HIS peanuts? Is he going to grant her some wishes? Has the little shrew, whose burrow he seems to be guarding, decided to hire a bouncer to keep squirrels away from her home? None of these scenarios adds anything positive to poor Daphne’s day. Except maybe the wishes.

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Dr. Cornelius is a famous mathematician and quantum theorist. Moments ago, Dr. Cornelius finally answered what he thought was the question of why regular squirrels that are not specifically flying squirrels can’t fly no matter how hard they flap their little arms, but instead, he accidentally opened portals to several mirror universes and basically just screwed everything up. The dead are rising! A variety of unimaginable horrors are about to be unleashed on the Earth! Math is really fucking dangerous.

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Billy is a treasure hunter and charismatic world-traveler. After years and years of fruitless searching, Billy’s finally stumbled across the treasure of the Cult of the Big Frog, a secret society that has worshipped the bones of an ancient, man-eating toad for thousands of years, sacrificing countless novitiates to keep the monster toads at bay. But Billy is not the first treasure hunter to find the vast riches that the Big Frog guards in its dank, underground lair—because finding the treasure isn’t the problem. Walking away with it is.

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This is Anna, and boy, Anna does not like the rain. Even the lure of two whole fistfuls of peanuts is barely enough to get her to come down from her tree. She is cold and wet really wishes I would just bring her breakfast up to her in her nest, but I am too old and much too sensible to be climbing trees in the rain for squirrels.

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Ingrid’s a shy young female from the apple tree by my house who is more inclined to curl up with a good book at night than go to a party or be around lots of other squirrels. Deep inside, she wishes she could be more outgoing, and greatly admires those who are super-extroverted, because they seem to be having all the fun. However, as you can see, the few good friends Ingrid does make, she keeps close, and she keeps them…..forever.

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Friday, September 04, 2020

This is Becky, and you are witnessing her first big break. After years of being stuck writing copy, taking communications and media classes at night school, and even doing demeaning but high-profile tasks such as offering to bring the crew their coffee every morning, she’s finally getting to sit behind the “big desk” for the first time with a real live co-anchor. It’s not a big story—just a local news fluff piece—but to her, this moment is everything.

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Jasmine is a freelance explosives expert who specializes in underwater targets, and while I’d like to tell you exactly which governments and organizations she’s worked for, she’d probably kill me if I did. When she’s not orchestrating massive-scale, truly gruesome, politically-motivated bloodbaths, Jasmine can usually be found relaxing at home, collecting dried leaves and feathers to line her nest, or just trying to see how many peanuts she can stuff in her cheeks at once.

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This is noted ornithologist Dr. Bob, seen here looking at birds. Because most squirrels are more interested in chasing away birds than studying them, Dr. Bob is considered to be both a pioneer and a rebel in the academic world, subject to ridicule by those who believe squirrels should just continue to chase birds and not worry about their motivations, but praised by those who think most squirrels should take some time out of their day to consider the thoughts and actions of other species.

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All Shirley wanted from today was have a nice, quiet breakfast, listen to the birds, maybe even catch up on some light reading, but no, she just had to set up her picnic right where Shakespeare in the Back Yard spontaneously decided to start reenacting random scenes from Hamlet. And worse, it’s one of those audience-participation performances, so it’s not like Shirley can just sit there and read and eat and ignore the whole thing. She’s already been asked several times, “I wonder whose skull this is? Poor Joe, poor Billy. Nope, that’s not right. Miss, can you help me out here? Miss? Hey, you!” What a way to start the day.

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Not only is Rico the coolest squirrel on the dance floor--he’s the _only_ squirrel on the dance floor. Rico’s into clubbing, meeting new people, and enjoying the finer things in life, but he is always up for a quiet night at home with the right lady friend. He does not like moonlit walks on the beach because squirrels are diurnal and have terrible night vision, and he also does not like candlelit dinners because squirrels are very sensibly afraid of fire.

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Thursday, September 03, 2020

This is Captain Tiffany, who, unfortunately, looks like she’ll be spending most of the day trying to fix her space ship after crash landing on this inhospitable asteroid. Luckily, she only left Earth a couple of days ago so she still has plenty of food and water on hand and her rocket tank’s close to full, so hopefully, it’s just going to be a matter of tightening a couple of nuts to get this baby back up and running. Let’s just hope she doesn’t wear out the battery listening to the radio while she’s making repairs.

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Bud’s been living in an underground bunker for the past 5 years, and despite his very careful rationing of supplies, ate his last can of beans this morning for breakfast and had to come back out to look for more food. Luckily for him, he’s a squirrel, so any sort of people-related pandemic or crisis doesn’t effect him whatsoever. In fact, right now he’s running around the yard chasing some girl he just met, so he may decide to stay topside indefinitely.


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Scotty’s real bad news and just an overall jerk. In fact, just a few moments ago, he put a bag of flaming rabbit poop on his neighbor’s doorstep and is now just sitting around, chuckling in anticipation, waiting for his neighbor to answer the door and stomp out the bag and get poop all over his poor little paws. It’s such a played out and stupid prank but Scotty’s not a particularly original squirrel.Image

Gerry's a rugged outdoorsy type who likes hoarding food, chasing other squirrels away from his campsite, and indulging in post-apocalyptic fantasies. He sucks at making photogenic tents, as evidenced by this picture, and tends to build his campfire too close to his tent, which does keep it nice and warm inside but is definitely a fire hazard.

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The only thing you need to know about Sebastien is that he's an awful pet owner. When he got Spot (pictured in cage) a few months ago, he didn't even bother getting him from a licensed pet owner--he bought him off the back of a truck in a Walmart parking lot, and then he went straight home without even bothering to pick up a manual on proper pet care. Things might have worked out okay if Sebastien hadn't almost immediately gotten a call from his girlfriend to run around in the garden with her for the afternoon, and then one afternoon turned to two, then three, and before you know it, poor Spot. Poor, poor Spot.

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