Are we all nuts? DC Squirrel talks about the end of the world

May 13, 2011

If you've been working, playing or even touring in Washington, D.C. lately, then you've seen them: Signs declaring the end of the world on May 21, 2011. Well, DC Squirrel has a thing or two to say about that. DC Squirrel answered your end of the world questions, like if Saturday really is Doomsday, or if this prophecy just plain nuts.

Follow @DCsquirrel on Twitter!

This great picture of DC Squirrel was sent in by Washington Post user maxinator29.

Unless you live in a tree (which I do) you have probably heard that the world will end on May 21. That's according to an 89-year-old human named Harold Camping. What does this mean? Well, it means the Redskins won't have a quarterback controversy next season. It means we won't get to see what Ashton Kutcher would be like on "2.5 Men." In other words: Bring on the apocalypse.

But in my neck of the woods (which is, literally, a neck of the woods), the chatter has been of  a different sort. As squirrels, we don't believe we're going anywhere on May 21. (You probably aren't either, but that's a question for theologians.) Rodents are unlikely to be Raptured.

We have mixed feelings about this. On the one paw, the fewer humans on this planet, the fewer of us get flattened under steel-belted radials. On the other paw, we rely on birdseed that you guys put in those cylindrical feeders for us. (Thanks!)

We're going to discuss these sorts of issues today -- and anything else that's on your mind, End o' the World-wise. Squeak! Squeak! Blink.

Since you clearly have the same soothsaying abilities as the groundhog, are you angry that you don't have your own day, as Phil does?

It's like when a kid complains to his parents: "How come there's a Mother's Day and a Father's Day but there's no Children's Day." What do the parents say? "Every day is Children's Day." Well every day is Squirrel Day too, my friend.

As for Phil, I feel sorry for the guy. We're related but, between you and me: drinking problem. Can't take the pressure. Medicates himself with massive quantities of Yuengling every February. When the media says he sees his shadow what he usually sees are spiders crawling from under his skin: delirium tremens, the DTs. He's probably hoping the world will end on May 21, anything to end the pain.

Help me figure out my strategy. On the one hand, when I hear "global catastrophe" I immediately think "time for a free TV, let's riot!" On the other hand, there probably won't be any electricity for all those TVs to work. Am I being penny-wise but pound foolish? Should I grab solar panels in that riot, too? Thanks.

Why do you think there won't be any electricity? I have seen various statistics when it comes to how many Americans are "born again," and thus likely to be Raptured. It ranges from 37 percent to 46 percent. Let's split the difference and say 40 percent. Now, do you think the 40 percent of people who will be floating up to Heaven includes an inordinate number of Pepco employees? Um, heck no. Pepco brings darkness. Who is the Prince of Darkness? Satan. I think you'll be fine.

Is this the way the world ends? Not with a bang, but a whimper?

I guess he was wrong about April being the cruellest month! I feel inspired:

Let us to then, you and I

When the squirrel is spread out against the tree,

Like an opposum flattened against the asphalt

Let us go, through certain half-eaten birdfeeders....

with the Peacock? or the Cobra? or does what happens in NY stay in NY?

It was actually a peahen. Biiiiig difference. I don't hang with either, but I'm more into mongooses (mongeese?) than cobras. For obvious reasons.

For more on this, check out @bronxzoopeacock and @bronxzoocobra.

Are you male or female? And how old? Does this offend you?

My gender should be obvious from the photo. Just look at the bike. That gives it away.

I'm 2. But 2 is the new 1.

What is the one key item I should have with me on doomsday?

A Leatherman. Also, tail wax.

Hey DCS! Daily I feed many of your relatives both shelled and unshelled peanuts. One, I've named Buddy and he comes a'hoppin every time he hears my voice! Could you let them know, though, that I really don't appreciate them peeing on the top of my trash can?? They always seem to jump up to see if there are any nuts, and I think they are paying me back for the fact that I don't put any up there. They just need to rummage in the grass. Kind of like an Easter egg never know what you'll find!

Just keep the nuts coming and you won't have any problems. When the nuts stop, the waterworks start. You have been warned.

I would like to produce a Mayan 2013 calendar and put an end to all these doomsday proclamations. Anyone willing to join me?

Great idea! What other business opportunities are there? There's that atheist who will adopt the left-behind dogs and cats of Raptured pet owners. Imagine all the cars that will be looking for new owners. I think people expecting to be called to Heaven should be encouraged to leave their keys under the floormat, just to make it easier on the sinners. And please drive carefully.

I have never loved a squirrel before, so forgive me if this question is inappropriate: do you mind that I want to squeeze you - but not too tight - to get me through all this "end of the world" talk?

By all means! Soothe your growing fear by petting a squirrel. Just be careful you don't pick the wrong rodent. You wouldn't want to end up with this. And don't squeeze too tightly. We don't want any "Of Mice and Men" moments.

Your despicable species is infamous among electric companies for staging suicide missions at substations to knock out electricity to neighborhoods. In fact, they've learned of the nefarious scheme you've been planning to hatch on May 21. They know that billions of you will converge on the national power grid to try to plunge the entire country into darkness. You probably thought you could torment the humans by filling the air not with smoke and brimstone but with the rancid odor of fried squirrel. But they know how to defeat you. Every wild canine, feline and raptor in the country stands ready to intercept you miserable pests. You'll face death that day for sure. But it won't be instant oblivion from high voltage, it will be the agony of slowly becoming breakfast for hungry hawks and coyotes. Stay away if you know what's best for you.

Whose side do you think those other animals are on? You really think they're going to go after us? I mean, our carcasses have been feeding them for years. And they like us raw, not cooked.

Will fleas survive doomsday? Do you have fleas?

Do I have fleas? How dare you, sir?

Are squirrels terrorists? Did the Squirrel Mafia do this:

We call it "sleeping with the kilowatts." You touch my nuts and you too may end up a furry pinata.

What's a good place to stash some nuts in the event of apocalypse?

I'm thinking a church. Should be empty.

Hello DC squirrel. I am a Los Angeles squirrel wondering what you will be eating for your last meal before the world implodes. So what kind of nuts? Do you have a special recipe? Also, is there anything left on your bucket list? There isn't much time left!

Liver and fava beans. Mmmm.

My bucket list? I've always wanted to run with the bulls in Pamplona. (Would someone please quickly Photoshop a squirrel running with the bulls? I'd like to see that.)

Is it true that squirrles are related to rats?

Related to rats? How dare you, sir?


Squirrels ought not be petted. They can carry plague (as in bubonic). Me thinks you trying to bring about the End of the World via Pestilence and Plague by convincing people that you are innocent and fuzzy.

And rabies. Don't forget rabies. And our razor-sharp claws. And fanglike incisors. Plus, we have a tendency to defecate when excited. Besides that, we're the perfect pet.

Have any of you squirrels stopped burying nuts, and digging up what you've buried? Do you all go in for buying milk and toilet paper for predicted disasters?

I stock up on single-malt Scotch and Nutella. That can get me through any disaster.

You should do Hax's chat. She has fingers but is still a very slow typer.

Well, her answers have to be right so she has to take her time. The worst that happens if I get something wrong is some kid gets rabies. But if Hax flubs it somebody ends up getting divorced.

Aren't you glad that panda ... what's his name ... went to China? He was hogging waaay too much press.

What was his name? It's slipped my mind completely.

I have a cousin who lives at the zoo who met him. Total prima donna, he said.

So if I want to make friends with the squirrels in my backyard, what should I feed them? And how do squirrels feel about birds?

You mean if you're not going to put out Glenlivet and Nutella? Peanuts. Or sunflower seeds. Shell them, please. Saves us risking splinters in our paws.

Are you & the other mammals getting your fur bleached?

That was in style a while back but I'm glad to say it's out of fashion. For starters, we had to make our own bleach out of  pigeon droppings and warm Sprite. Noxious stuff. When I see a bleached squirrel now I think, "The Eighties called. They want your fur back."

Perhaps you should be more careful re: messing up. I know someone how passed away from rabies.

So do I. But I know more squirrels who passed away from Bridgestones.

Will you get 72 virgins when you die?

Funny thing about female squirrels: They're perpetual virgins. Check this out:

Birth control. The aim of every living thing is to perpetuate its DNA. This sometimes means stopping other living things from perpetuating their DNA. At the end of their ejaculation, male squirrels secrete a coagulating agent apparently designed to block the ability of other males’ sperm to fertilize the female, a sort of squirrel sponge. “I’m not sure it does it very successfully,” Dr. Thorington said. Often, the female will simply pull the plug out.

Since it's roughly a week until the end of the world, I am debating if I should take a few "mental health days" and hang out on the Mall feeding your fellow squirrels. Or, should I just suck it up and act as if the world will continue on May 22nd and be in the office all week?

Do both: Get a big bag of nuts and leave it at the third bench from the end on the Mall, in front of American History. Then go to work. I promise to distribute the nuts in a timely and fair fashion, like the Red Cross handing out Stouffer's French bread pizzas to flood victims.

Do you have children? If so, how many and what are their names.

Two litters a year for the last two years, three pups in each litter,  adds up to 12  offpsring. Names were easy at first: Manny, Moe and Jack. Second litter: Peter, Paul and Mary. Third litter: Barry, Robin and Maurice (major Bee Gees fan; I think they had squirrel hair on their chests). The last litter was tough, though. We were running out of names. Went with Bill, Hillary and Chelsea (Handler, not Clinton).

Are you telling me albino squirrels aren't real?!

Most of them are bad dye jobs. And check out the ridiculous shoulder pads on a lot of those squirrrels.

So hoss do you a great recipe for squirrel stew?

Oooh, I love a nice Tuscan white bean stew, served with a crusty bread. Wait... Did you mean a stew squirrels like to eat or a stew MADE FROM SQUIRRELS? (Cue shrieking "Psycho" violins.)

Do you prefer your nuts cracked or left whole?

I like to have a lot of air circulating around my nuts. It keeps them drier. Therefore, I like my nuts cracked.

Is it too much pressure competing with Chris Cillizza's chat? He's talking about you, by the way.

He's not drinking again, is he?

We built a house for our squirrels (Nutty and Nibbler) and for a whille they were very happy there -- But last week they started collecting twigs and piling them on a branch near by as if they are building a new nest? Do you know why? Do you think the house might have been too hot?

That's a lovely house. It just needs two little Adirondack chairs on the roof. But, yes, maybe it was too hot. I suggest a window unit air conditioner or a heat pump.

How do you feel about squirrel fishing? Do you think it is worth the entertainment afforded to humans in return for receiving some peanut treasures of your very own? Or do you think it is a cruel joke played upon your kind?

Squirrel fishing?!


Sorry, I never get tired of that.

I am totally scared of squirrels, to make my fear lessen I have decided to follow you on twitter. However, you are one smart, savvy squirrel. Please give me some reasons why I shouldn't be afraid of squirrels. Whenever I see a squirrel I think its going jump on me!!!

Don't be afraid. The squirrel is not going to jump on you. Unless he's rabid. Then he'll be so flipped out from the parasitic spirochetes infesting his brain that he'll  probably jump on you and try to shred your clothing for bedding and  nest in your hair. But there's only a 30 percent chance of that.

Let's face it, you're such a mirthful squirrel you must be Jewish. And speaking of humorous Jews, will you be taking Weingarten's spot now that he's declared he's run out of funny. And seriously, stick with Laphroig. Might put some hair on that bandy little chest of yours.

Weingarten's Jewish? Well, it'll be nice to have him around after May 21.

When I told my husband that the end of the world would occur next Saturday, he asked if it was the rain date for the previously predicted end of the world that was to occur sometime last year. Is it? And if it rains on May 21, when is the next rain date?

The End of the World is like a bus: You wait and wait for it and then three come along at once. And one runs you over.

I haven't been stockpiling nuts for doomsday as I'm sure you have. What would you recommend that I do on the short time I have left before doomsday?

Go placidly amid the noise and haste and remember what peace there may be in silence

Also: "Family Guy" box set marathon.

If this really is the end of the world for everyone, do you have squirrel friends in other cities around the globe and what is their opinion on topic?

You want the truth? The consensus among my squirrel friends is that no one --  no squirrel, no man  -- can know for certain when the world will end. There's nothing in the Bible that says when the Rapture will come. We squirrels tend to think humans who say they can predict the Apocalypse -- or who say they are authorized to speak for some almighty power -- are either a little weak in the head or are deliberately trying to mislead. Why? Who knows. I'll leave that up to you humans to decide.

And on that bombshell, DC Squirrel will say goodbye. Thansk for joining me today. Here's hoping we'll be able to enjoy each other's company for years to come. Please, brake for squirrels. And would it kill you to toss us a nut every now and then?

In This Chat
DC Squirrel
DC Squirrel may be the most common of mammals, but The Washington Post's John Kelly devoted an entire week's worth of columns to this furry creature. Now DC squirrel just spends its time paling around other mammals around the city and tweeting. Follow @DCSquirrel on Twitter for your daily dose of nuttiness.
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