Don’t Fear the Reaper…Do Fear the Squirrels

Stories from the road

Note: This piece was originally posted elsewhere on 2nd November.

Don’t fear the reaper…Do fear the squirrels.

A squirrel update will follow, but first:

Baseball in Kansas City

The Royals are one win away from clinching their first World Series title since 1985. This could happen as early as tonight in New York, which would mean that my tickets for Games 6 & 7 would not be needed.

If my Game 2 experience is to be it, what is World Series baseball like in Kansas City?

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Imagine going to a picnic with 40,000 members of your extended family.
You’re all there to celebrate your great aunt Ethel’s 90th birthday.
Everyone is relaxed, friendly, familiar.
Then, after a few beers, one of your uncles (and a couple of cousins that nobody talks about) commandeer the stereo so that it pumps out nothing but ACDC and Van Halen for the next 4 hours.
In the midst of all this a baseball game breaks out.
Win, lose or draw, everybody goes home having had a good time.

Lessons for the AFL

Things I liked about baseball at the ‘K’ more than football at the ‘G’:

– With my ticket I could enter the ground at any gate. ANY gate!
– Once inside I could walk the concourse the entire way around the field. In either direction. As many times as I liked.
– The area around the outfield bleachers is home to fountains, outdoor bars and family play areas.
– The ground staff were sooooooo friendly. Greeted with a smile and a hello, it took less than 2 minutes to enter the stadium, even though every spectator was checked with hand held metal detectors. The same staff were at the gates when leaving (with another smile) to wish everybody a safe trip home and a “hope to see you again soon”.

It made a nice change from the steel barriers and segregation of the MCG.

Fun Fact: Since 2011 the mayor of Kansas City has been a guy named Sly James. If his administration is ever toppled as a result of a corruption scandal, nobody should be surprised. Its right there in the name people!

All hail our tyrannical squirrel overlords!!!

I’ve written previously about the incalculable number of squirrels that inhabit Independence, MO. Turns out that it is much worse than I first feared.

As near as I can tell, squirrels are the dominant species in the local ecosystem.
They are organised into gangs that control entire neighbourhoods.
Each house within the operating zone is allocated a minimum of three squirrels.
You simply cannot walk by a front yard without seeing them at work (i.e. frolicking).

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Why is this a problem?

I’m glad you asked.
Aside from the ever present threat of nut shortages, the squirrels are responsible for:

– bombarding parked vehicles with unwanted food and plant matter
– causing road accidents by gleefully prancing in front of traffic
– lost productivity by enticing passers-by to stay and watch their antics, thus delaying vital economic activity (hey…it happened to me)

From an outsider’s perspective, it is clear that the resident human population lives in constant fear. However, after discussions with a number of locals, it seems that they remain largely ignorant to the oppressive rule of their tyrannical squirrel overlords.

Its amazing what you can get away with if you are cute and cuddly.

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More to come.

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