Monday, January 12, 2009

Fierce Hunter of Squirrels

This past weekend I had a very sad task. I had to clean out the Cupcake Man's office.

Last October, my dear, sweet Cupcake Man had a very bad stroke. So bad, in fact, that he is still in rehabilitation and will probably never return to work in the office. I miss his pain the ass requests, his constant phone calls (he's one step below Partner #3) and the never ending deliveries of sweet, calorie laden treats that "I've just gonna try". His office has been vacant since his episode and the P's decided that it was time. Surfer Dude is going to be moving into the office. I'm happy for him, but at the same time it's bittersweet.

As I packed up his files and every single piece of mail that he's received since he was hired (the man was a huge pack rat!) I was reminded of the months after my grandfather died. To truly feel happiness and sadness at the same exact moment, clean out the personal effects of someone you've loved after they have passed. You will be overwhelmed with happy memories as you are mourning their death.

My grandfather was the most organized man on the planet. He labeled and cataloged everything. One of TH's favorite memories is having a tour of my grandfathers basement workshop. Every single item was in its place, every widget perfectly labeled and every machine blown free of sawdust and looking like it had been just purchased off the showroom floor instead of being used hours before. As we were walking past the shelves of boxes, all carefully labeled with black magic marker on masking tape he spotted one box on the shelf and began to laugh. The box was very carefully labeled "Empty Box".

My grandfather kept an old, metal army surplus desk and he use to sit there as he cataloged, labeled and organized the household. Several months after his death my grandmother was looking for some important papers and came across something that still, to this day, has the family laughing: My grandfather was a squirrel hunter (and a very poor speller)
The war against the squirrels began many, many years ago when my grandmother became a bird lover. She had multiple bird feeders and they all were being ravaged by squirrels. So my grandfather, who was an excellent marksman, began to take drastic measures to rid the yard of the pesky squirrels.

Up until now, you would think that they lived in the back woods of Kentucky. No Siree! They live in the cute little suburban town of Sharon, MA. Population 17,033 and home of the famous Revolutionary War hero Deborah Sampson and the Patriots, Matt Cassel.

We never knew he was keeping a tally, but we had witnessed his "tail" collection. This gruesome discovery was made by my mother and myself. We were in the shed, looking for a shovel when we spotted them dangling from the rafters. He even had a few chipmunks up there too.

I know, I're thinking that this was a 75 year old serial killer in the making. But, I will tell you that he did try the "no kill" method of trap and release. But, this never worked and the fluffy, tailed rodents just kept returning to the scene of the crime.

This is in my blood, y'all! I got his crazy "organize/label everything" gene. What's next? Running around in my nightie with a shotgun hunting squirrels?


  1. Sorry to hear about Cupcake Man. That's gotta be a tough spot to be put in having to clean out his stuff.
    Wow, your grandfather sounds hilarious. So are there a bunch of squirrel tails stored away somewhere? Ick.

  2. Poor Cupcake man. Poor squirrels. Maybe you could make you an outfit with those squirrel tails, that way they didn't die in vain. ;P

  3. This was a great post. It sounds like your grandfather was a great character!

  4. That was a beautiful post! How sweet of your grampa to go all military on those squirrels' asses for your gramma :)

  5. My grandpa is also a squirrel marksman. My grandparents have a pecan tree in their backyard that drops an assload of peacans every year which my grand parents shell and give out to all the family and my granny makes pecan pie out of. Well it is a constant battle with the squirrels to keep them away from that tree when the pecans are coming into season and they tried the humane relocation thing, but they always come back.

    Long story short, when my grandad dies I am soooo looking for a tally list!

  6. That sucks about Cupcake Man. It is hard to go through someone's belongings. I love that damn tally, though!

    If you ever do start your rampage, come on over. I've got more squirrels than you can imagine, and they're all yours!

  7. Casey: I think that the tails are gone. EWWW!!

    Heather: I'm thinking a hat would be quite fetching.

    The damn expat: My grandfather was the shit! He was the best guy! I really miss him.

    Phoenix: My grandmother pretended to be horrified, but we know she thought it was romantic.

    Debbie: I'm having them matted and framed for my home office. Everytime I see them I laugh.

    Kat: I bet he has one! All the good hunters do. I wonder, where he keeps his tails???

    Lola: It was bummer to go through his stuff. I had to stop a few times to compose myself.

    I don't think I could kill a squirrel. I can't even trap mice!

  8. I would have put the tails outside, as a warning to those squirrels still alive.