Monday, May 01, 2006

I Can Talk to Squirrels

I used to lie on my resume and say that I could speak an “elementary level” of French and Spanish because I could order food in those languages and understand street signs. My girlfriend pointed out the patent disingenuousness of that and I have since removed these claims.

I have one other secret, elementary understanding of a language that I have also left off of my resume: I can speak Squirrel.

I discovered this while I was walking around Georgetown, listening to the varmints in the trees chatter about to each other. I practiced a decent imitation using my tongue and some clucking and saw to my amazement, and theirs, that squirrels would stop what they were doing and pay strict attention to me. If they’ve been accustomed to being around people, I can get amazing results. One friendly bugger kept scampering closer as I clicked until it finally started climbing up the outside of my pants.

Unfortunately, this does not bear out for all squirrels. My girlfriend has seen the mixed results, but she makes the noise now, too. The problem might be that we have the words down but not the syntax. We haven’t considered dialects, or whether Squirrel has ten verb forms like Arabic does, or even whether we’re dealing with passive or active tense.

We get interesting reactions. Yesterday, a squirrel in the park by the Vietnam memorial sat on his haunches and pointed at his chest, as if to say (in a Sam L. Jackson voice), “are you speaking to… what are you trying to say? SQUIRREL, MOTHERFUCKER! DO YOU SPEAK IT?”

This, of course, makes for a really lame superpower until you fully explore the possibilities.


Anonymous qkslvrwolf said...

"Where is my acorn?"
"Squeek Squeekity Squeek?"

"You stole my acorn!"
"Squeekers squeek squeekum!"

"You owe me a new acorn."
"Squeekity squeek squeekers".

Ahh, the good tiems.

9:12 PM  

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