Dead Squirrels and Anger Issues

8 Aug

I was making my daily “survey the acreage” walk around my home last Friday. First morning cup of tea in hand, I walk a circuit either from front door to back or vice versa. Along the way, I make note of things that need attention, but since I have nothing to make the note on, I usually don’t remember the thing that needed noting until I’ve noted it several times.

This particular morning, I hadn’t even left the house and I already knew something wasn’t right. I looked out my front door and saw a grey lump in the middle of the sidewalk. “Hm,” I hm’d, “someone left one of Pogo’s stuffed animals outside.”

Pogo, our dog, once brought me a present of a dead baby rabbit. Since then, he’s enjoyed a series of stuffed faux wildlife. He delights in grabbing the critter in his teeth, then whipping his head back and forth until the poor thing pops its stitching. More than once I’ve come into the family room to find a limp, drool-soaked faux hide lying in the midst of a mountain of fluffy white stuffing.

A closer inspection revealed there was nothing faux about the wildlife on the sidewalk. Doing my best “Ducky,” I deduced that the squirrel, due to the relatively intact state of the body and scant amount of blood, had literally dropped dead out of the parkway tree onto the sidewalk. Removal, I further deduced, was a job for Animal Control.

Animal Control informed me that wildlife removal was my responsibility. Period. Oh, they gave me the helpful suggestion of using doubled grocery bags, garden gloves and a shovel to secure the dead squirrel and then said I could just drop it in with my normal trash. I balked at this.

When my dog, which I own, dropped a dead bunny, which he killed, onto our deck, which is in our back yard, I put the dead bunny in my trash. It stank more than stink can stink by the time the trash was collected some days later. Surely, removing a wild squirrel that fell from a publicly maintained tree onto a publicly owned sidewalk is the responsibility of the public. Nope.

By this time, the cul de sac was filling with children playing in various vehicles. One was being pedaled as quickly as its toddler driver’s legs could pedal it straight toward the dead squirrel in the middle of the sidewalk. I warned the parents, saying I’d get to the squirrel as soon as my skin stopped crawling. Then, a miracle occurred. The dad offered to dispose of the squirrel. I looked at him as if he were insane. He said, “No, really, not a problem!” He was sincere; his eyes gleamed. I looked to his wife. She said, “Oh, he gets rid of dead animals all the time!” At this point, I figured it was not just convenient to have him remove the animal, but indeed it might be unwise to deprive him of the pleasure . . . of helping a neighbor.

Squirrel dispatched and it being my daughter’s birthday, I started cleaning up the house in preparation for family festivities. At some point, the phone rang. There was something else going on in my life at the time that required me to lower my defenses just a bit. Otherwise, I never would have done what I did. I answered the phone, even though the caller ID said, “Private Caller.”

Private Caller said he was looking for Alan Zachary. I asked Private Caller for his name. He said he was looking for Alan Zachary, that he had a package for him. I asked him for his name. He asked me, “Are you, like, Mr. Zachary’s wife or something?” I said that I was not like Mr. Zachary’s wife, that I was indeed Mr. Zachary’s wife. Finally, he told me he was John Lynch, that he was with the IRS and he had a package to deliver to my husband. So I said, “Well, deliver it.”

“Yes, m’am,” he said, “this is what I am trying to do.” John Lynch had a foreign accent, so it came out more like “thees ees what I am trying to doooo.”

“Fine,” I said, “deliver the package.”

“M’am,” he said, “Thees ees a cashier’s check. We are trying to deleever eet. You need the code.” Code? I thought. Since when does the IRS use codes? Fear, yes. Codes? Foreign accents? Refusal to identify self?

“Who are you?” I asked. At this point, I figured he knew that I knew that he was a scam artist, but this was a day that started with a dead squirrel, so I played through.

“M’am! I am telling you! I am John Leench. I am trying to deleever a package to your husband.”

“And I’m telling you to deliver the freaking package,” I said. I may have used a different “F” word.

“M’am,” John Lynch said, “you have anger eessues.”

I started to tell Mr. Lynch that he had some nerve calling me to scam me and then accusing me of having anger issues, but he kept interrupting me to tell me that I was behaving like a child and that I needed anger management classes. So I hung up.

The phone rang again. I was in another room. I let it go to voicemail. Then it rang again. Maybe it was the dead squirrel, maybe it was the other pressures in my life, I picked up the phone. It was John Lynch.

“Hello, m’am,” he said. “You must stop acting like a child. I am trying to deliver the package to Mr. Alan Zachary.”

I decided to have a little fun with Mr. Lynch. I did my “I am the most reasonable woman in the world” routine and asked him to repeat everything he had already told me. I promised to speak with my husband and get back to him. John Lynch breathed an audible sigh of relief and told me that he worked for the Treasury Department. He gave me a 202 area code number where I could reach him. “Oh,” I said, “I thought you were with the IRS.”

“Yes, M’am. The IRS and the Treasury.”

“And what did you say your title was?”

Silence. I heard John confer with someone.

“I am the manager, m’am.”

“And what department do you manage, Mr. Lynch?”

“The Treasury department.”

“The whole deparment?”

“Yes, m’am.”

“Where are you, Mr. Lynch?”

“At the Treasury department.”

“No, where is your office? Where are you right now?”

John put his hand over the receiver for a moment, then came back on the line.

“I am in Flareeda,” he said, with the emphasis on the “ree”.

“I’m afraid I’ve never heard of that. Where are you?” I asked.

“Flareeda, m’am. Flareeda. It’s in the US.”

“Oh, you mean Florida,” I said.

As I signed off with Mr. Lynch, he told me to be sure to get some anger management classes. I told him something he could do to himself, then phoned the Treasury Department Fraud hotline.

My day did not improve after hanging up with Mr. Lynch. My daughter accused me of treating her birthday as if it were any other day. I got a nosebleed as I stepped out of the shower. I sneezed my lunch all over my hand. I had an upsetting conversation with a friend. My computer froze. I realized I had neglected to invite my father to the family birthday dinner that evening.

Still, I made it to the end of the day. My daughter had a lovely dinner at her favorite Chinese restaurant with (most) of my family. I unwound with a cup of tea and a slice of bright blue birthday cake.

After everyone had gone, I checked voicemail.

“M’am,” John Lynch’s voice said, “you need anger management classes. You have anger eesues.”

Maybe I do, I thought. But I got through a day that included a dead squirrel, a delusional Nigerian scam artist, a nosebleed, a pouting Birthday Princess and a hand covered with lunch sneeze. In the end, I was surrounded by family and there was a smile on the Princess’ face. Not a bad end to a pretty bad day.

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4 Responses to “Dead Squirrels and Anger Issues”

  1. Maestro's Journal August 8, 2011 at 4:03 pm #

    This was a real charmer…I am still chucklin…

    • jmlindy422 August 8, 2011 at 4:18 pm #

      Why, thank you! And thanks for stopping by. I like your work, too.

  2. Amy Rohrer August 8, 2011 at 10:40 pm #

    FUN!!!!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Snide Reply - September 26, 2011

    […] my episodes on the prairie illustrate, I still have anger issues. I still hate liver, read crap and get jealous, too. But, I haven’t taken a serious trip to Funky […]

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