Squirrel Hitches Ride with Rock Star

The album Traveling by guitarist Steve Poltz has received tons of critical praise, such as the following from the Houston Press: “a super-smart power-pop gem, an album that should endear itself to all kinds of personalities, sane or insane.”

But the point I found most interesting from this wrap-up of Poltz’s life is his newest traveling companion:

“Steve, the band and the tour manager, however, are not alone in the (tour) van. There’s also a squirrel who hitched a ride a month ago in Eugene, Oregon, and refuses to leave. “There’s plenty for him to live on — rotten burritos, discarded French fries, almonds . . .,” Steve says. “But now we’re trying to find him a female squirrel to keep him company.” “

This Is What We Talk About…When We Talk About Squirrels

When I saw that headline come across my news alerts today, I immediately clicked. It’s a play on the title “This Is What We Talk About When We Talk About Love,” a short story by the great Raymond Carver.

However, while Carver’s short story is serious, and somewhat depressing,  “Talk About Squirrels” is hilarious, perhaps one of the best pieces of squirrel non-fiction I’ve ever read.

Author Richard Chiappone details a long-running disagreement with his wife: Whether to remove the prolific squirrel family living in their attic in their Anchorage, Alaska, home, or let them keep proliferating.

“Evenings, I would sit on the couch with [my wife] and our four cats listening to the beasts rolling spruce cones back and forth between the roof rafters. …

Richard’s worst fear is that all the squirrel would eventually eat through the house’s wiring, causing a massive fire.

“I thought about what my friends had told me. “Ed swears that squirrels gnaw wires!” I wailed. “Honey,” my wife said, patiently, “Ed swears that king salmon can hear him talking about what lure he’s going to use next.”

While a fire never happened, two dramatic things did: one good (a new, interesting creature moves in) one bad (he finally goes up to the attic to have a look-see, brining the marital argument to a rapid end.)