Men and Squirrels
Charlie and me buzzed over to the Agway, Saturday. He was picking up his snow blower, which was in for a tune up, and I wanted to get some more bulbs to sneak into the ground. You know, before it’s too late. I got some assorted tulips and daffodils. Come spring, you can’t have enough of them, in my opinion. Those hopeful, green shoots pokin’ their way up out of the remaining patches of snow. Then, gorgeous flowers: red, yellow, pink, orange! It perks my spirit up, no end.
I also got three amaryllis, the kind that come in a box you grow from scratch. Boy, when they bloom, they look so pretty on our kitchen table, which we got in front of our picture window overlooking the backyard bird feeders. And the flowers last for ages! I was tempted to pick up some to them paperwhites, too, but then I remembered the smell. Kind of overwhelming, you know?
So Charlie’s out back, settling up with the small engine repair guys and shooting the breeze, no doubt. I’m at the checkout up front, paying for my bulbs, when a new display of bird feeders catch my eye. What got my attention was the design. They’re round, right? And the sides are this collapsible wire mesh. Looked like something you’d use in the kitchen to hold onions or something. Then I saw the name, “Genuine Squirrel-Proof Wild Bird Feeder” it said on the label.
“Joyce, are these feeders really squirrel-proof?” I ask. She and her husband Roger have owned the Agway since I can remember.
“Nothing’s 100 percent, Ida” she replies, “Let’s just say it’s squirrel resistant.”
“Darn! Had my hopes up there for a minute. Charlie is something else with those squirrels.”
“Roger’s the same.”
“My feeling is, squirrels got to eat, too. And if they’re smart enough to get past the squirrel guard, let ‘em have a little reward, if you know what I’m saying.”
“I hear you. You wouldn’t believe how much time and energy Roger puts into it. He’s tried every gewgaw they send us. Even rigged up something with one of them plastic liter soda bottles. Awhile back, I look out in the yard and see Roger greasing the pole of the birdfeeder with my Crisco!”
“Oh, yeah! Charlie’s been there, done that. He’s forever startling me, knocking on the window to scare the poor buggers away from the feeder.”
“Men! It’s a good thing they come with such handy accessories.”
“Don’t you just know it! That’s their savin’ grace.”
I’m studying the bird feeder in question, reading the label. “Virtually indestructible, huh?”
“That it is. We’ve had ours up all summer, and it’s in great shape. If you don’t count the 22 holes.”
“Yup. Them squirrels got Roger so ticked off, he shot at it.”
“I told him, ‘The least you could do is wait ‘til the squirrels are on the ground!’ He goes, ‘Damn thing ain’t squirrel-proof!’”
“Honest to God!”
“So I says to him, ‘Feeder ain’t idiot-proof, either!’”
“What’s so funny?” Charlie asks, strolling up to us.
“Girl talk, Charlie, girl talk. Your blower all set?”
“Yup. We’re good to go. I gotta swing ‘round back to pick it up.”
“Thanks, Joyce,” I says. “Always a pleasure.”
“Back at ya, Ida.”
On our way out of the store, the kissing balls and wreaths caught my eye. But I’m waiting ‘til next weekend before I shift to balsam, holly, and ho, ho ho. My motto is: Let’s keep Christmas in December where it belongs. That way you appreciate it all the more.
That’s it for now. Catch you on the flip side!