I had an epiphany the other day: I'm kind of afraid of squirrels.
Now, I know what you're probably thinking. "Squirrels? They're cute little woodland animals! They have big fluffy tails! They hardly ever get rabies! What is wrong with you?"
Well Internets, the answer to that question is "many things." But why am I afraid of squirrels? I think it comes down to one thing: I don't trust them. Sure, squirrels are cute, but so are Leprechauns.
What a squirrel looks like, on the inside.
There's just something funny about the way squirrels look at you. It's like they're thinking to themselves "fight or flight?" and seriously considering the "fight" option. Some of them even look at you like they want to crack you open Willy Wonka style to see if you're a bad nut. At any rate, the gleam in their beady little eyes is off-putting.
Last Friday afternoon, I turned a corner between the third and fourth floors of the parking garage at work, and found myself three feet away from a very trapped-looking squirrel. Now I understand that a parking garage is kind of a squirrel house of horrors*, but this one looked at me like he wanted to take me out Griswold Family Christmas-style. I had to back slowly down two flights of stairs before he finally ran off.
My mild squirrel phobia is not a recent development. I've always been sort of uncomfortable around squirrels, especially the ones that are a little *too* comfortable around people. When I was at UT, it was considered good luck to see an albino squirrel on the day of an exam. Thus, any vaguely white squirrel within a five mile radius had been hand-fed for so long that any trace of fear of humans had long since been wiped away. I once saw a squirrel hop onto the lap of a tiny old professor and demand a peanut butter sandwich. It was like a horrible, real-life version of "You Give a Mouse a Cookie."
Maybe I'm wrong, and squirrels wouldn't secretly like to take over the world one smallish person at a time. But I'm not taking any chances.
P.S. I was going to call this post "25 Things About Me: Sper*ophile Edition," but I didn't want my site to get banned from anyone's work computer.
*The parking garage is sort of a house of horrors in general, actually. There are all sorts of rabid bats and things there.