Evil Squirrel’s Nest Comic #103 — 4/17/14


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They say that one of the best ways to make money, other than starting your own reality show on cable, is to invest it wisely.  There are countless brokerage companies out there looking to earnestly take a cut of your money so that they can dump it all in a junk fund that will make themselves and their cronies all feelthy rich and living it up at Millionaire Acres while you have to take up residence on the Poor Farm…

Well, it beats being lost in the jungle...

Well, it beats being lost in the jungle…

tuesday tvAs the 80′s dawned upon us and the culture of greed was ready to explode on the scene like spiked hair and excess makeup, old established houses of financial wisdom had to hit the airwaves and advertise among the hoi polloi of consumer items out there if they wanted to ensure those hefty commissions kept rolling in.  One of them even managed to create an ad campaign that, while not all that well remembered, was quite popular and recognizable at the time its commercials were airing in the late 70′s and early 80′s.  For this week’s Retro Ad Tuesday, let’s take a look back at the brokerage that could silence the noisiest crowd….

If you are as old as me (or, dirt, in other words), you probably recall the famous tagline to this campaign…. “When EF Hutton talks, people listen!”  So you got this guy mentioning EF Hutton and hushing an entire airport, even the guy who was getting a cavity search by the TSA.  You also had golfer Tom Watson shushing a golf crowd… which really isn’t all that much of an accomplishment since they don’t let real sports fans who hoot and holler into a golf tournament.  And this diner silencing an entire restaurant full of millionaires and snotty waiters because apparently his brokers can predict the winning lottery numbers.

This is my favorite EF Hutton ad, though… the first commercial in this video:

You gotta love an old, conservative outfit like EF Hutton going totally non sequitur and playing off the fact that their founder’s first and middle initials were consecutive letters of the alphabet.  Ebeneezer Scrooge would be proud of this ad.

Though he might take exception with how much it cost to run the ad...

Though he might take exception with how much it cost to run the ad…

These kids aren’t even old enough to get an allowance yet, but they want to know what EF Hutton has to say about stock in WordPress, or those all important chileh futures.  Kids, sit back down in your chairs and let me give you a lesson about how the people who make their living off of Wall Street can sometimes set a bad example you wouldn’t want to listen to…

Seriously?  And they don't put you white people in jail for this?

Seriously? And they don’t put you white people in jail for this?

The same decade that gave us Michael Milken and the Savings and Loan scandals actually started off with a little bit of financial shenanigans by the brokerage everyone wants to listen to.  EF Hutton found a clever way to spend the same money twice in what essentially amounted to check kiting.  They constantly wrote checks their asses couldn’t cash because they were also spending the money in the account the check was going to draw from when it cleared.  Since this was still 1980, and it took about seven years for a check to clear the bank (that may be a slight exaggeration), it gave the boys at EF Hutton a nice little window to use their money in the bank, while also having the spending power of the check that is in limbo.  While EF Hutton was able to dodge any severe penalties once their little scheme was uncovered by the federal government in 1984, the bad publicity led to a lot of lost business and EF Hutton faded from the public’s eye for good…

So my broker's EF Hutton, and.... um, I said EF HUTTON  Anyone?  Hello?  Baby Ruth!

So my broker’s EF Hutton, and…. um, I said EF HUTTON! Anyone? Hello? Baby Ruth!

In a rather interesting sidenote, the company we used to know as EF Hutton eventually wound up merging with another brokerage that had a famous ad slogan around the same time as Hutton’s…. Smith Barney!

Here at The Nest, we don’t have any investments other than the crap we get by being employed at Mecca and the stash of acorns we have buried in the backyard collecting ants, but no interest.  But many others like to invest in the market of corporate America, so we’d like to give a cup of the ear salute to EF Hutton for being able to stop traffic back in the day when people actually overheard conversations and weren’t lost in smartphones or iPods.  When The Nest squawks, people listen… and we get our likes the old fashioned way…. we suck up earn them!

Nobody ever stopped to listen to what you had to say, E*Trade baby.

Nobody ever stopped to listen to what you had to say, E*Trade baby.

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The Squirrel’s In The Corn

If I get my head stuck, just please refill this corncob, OK?

If I get my head stuck, just please refill this corncob, OK?

The best known staple of a squirrel’s diet is of course nuts, and acorns in particular.  This association between beast and comestible is so strong, that the mere mention of one sqturday squirrel logousually makes a person automatically think of the other.  Thus why Scrat is always busy chasing an acorn, and a cartoon movie about a squirrel was of course named “The Nut Job.”

My neighborhood squirrels get plenty of acorns in their diet from my backyard oak tree, but they are also very well fed on hard corn.  Squirrels may very well like the corn I put out for them even better than the endless supply of nuts they get from the branches above and stow away underneath my yard.  This guy in the lead photo sure does seem to be going nuts over the treat I left for him in my corncob feeder.  Look at him work his little head into the spiral framework of the feeder to get at those few kernels left on the back side of the cob!  I’m also loving those tabby stripes this squirrel has on his belly!

They do compliment my sixpack of abs very well, don't they?

They do compliment my sixpack of abs very well, don’t they?

Squirrel corn is readily available at most stores that sell birdseed, and if you’re reading this from the States, I’d bet your local Mecca’s got the same feeder I use in stock very cheap.  Feeding squirrels is a fun and rewarding activity that you should try if you want to liven up the activity in your yard.  Take it from my hungry friend above, your squirrels would love for you to leave them out a corny treat!

I give this outdoor cafe five stars!  Burp!

I give this outdoor cafe five stars! Burp!

Have a scrumptious weekend everyone!

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A Squirrel’s Life


My very first guest post anywhere, and a rare glimpse into the real life of this squirrel. I was awarded the opportunity by being declared the winner of Merby’s Beatles contest she held last month. Go over to her blog and check it out, if you dare! If you aren’t following Merby’s blog, shame on you!

Originally posted on Knocked over by a feather:

My name is Evil Squirrel… and I’m an introvert.


I don’t talk a lot about myself on my blog, because that’s not what my blog’s purpose is to me.  I’m an entertainer at heart, and a wannabe attention ho.  So you get my silly drawings and comics, flashbacks and old TV ads, lots of squirrel pictures, and all kinds of other nonsense I might feel like talking about… all wrapped up in my sarcastic, bizarre, crude, but ultimately fun loving sense of humor.  I don’t post much about my personal life because, quite frankly, there really isn’t much to talk about.  You would be bored to tears by a day in the life of this rodent.

You can't think of one exciting thing you've done in the past week, ES?

You can’t think of one exciting thing you’ve done in the past week, ES?

And when I happen to mention that, out come the naysayers.  Oh, I’m being too modest, or too hard…

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And So It Begins….

Ooooh! We're online now!

Oooh! A message board!

Well, this is it!  After the tease last week, it’s time for me to tell the first part of my strange and exciting journey that led me to the ABC studios in New York to be a contestant on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire back in 2001.  Of course, there’s still a whole lot to set up before I get to the juicy parts in the upcoming weeks (dodges rotten fruit and acorns thrown by his impatient audience).  I’ll still try to make this first look into the story as entertaining and exciting as possible.

Good luck with that...

Good luck with that…

On May 5, 2000, my family finally entered the internet age.  I had played around with the “information superhighway” as it was called back in those early days in the waning days of my college career in 1997, but now I had all the time I wanted to look up whatever I wanted on Al Gore’s playground.  Woohoo!

A whole world wide web full of wholesome entertainment!

A whole world wide web full of wholesome entertainment!

I distinctly remember one of the first subjects I combed the vast archives of the web to read up on was the classic shows from 1980′s Nickelodeon.  Of course, I also checked up on baseball, and lots of other stuff that has long eroded from my brain.  It was only a couple weeks after getting hooked up to the net that I did a search for the game show I had become hooked on, as was much of the rest of America at the time.  I distinctly remember typing the names of the first three contestants to win Millionaire’s million dollar prize into a Lycos search engine (at the time, I had no idea what a Google was), and up popped the ABC home page for Who Wants To Be A Millionaire.

Howzit goin'?  Here, have a fistful of Benjies!  I've got money coming out the wazoo!

Howzit goin’? Here, have a fistful of Benjies! I’ve got money coming out the wazoo!

After a little snooping around there, I found a button that said “COMMUNICATE”.  Hmmm, what’s this thing do?

Oh, wow!  A message board!

I chose that particular snippet from the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine (from October 6, 2000) because it’s the only snapshot they have from 2000 that archives a post I made.  If you know my email address, you can probably pick me out in that link (And if you are really up on your ES world, you might even find the poster who inspired my Mini character).  After a week of lurking, I made my first post on the board.  After a few more weeks of semi-regularly visiting, I became an all out regular.  And when I say regular, I mean regular.  Throughout all incarnations of our group (which still exists), I have shown up to post something every single day since June 20, 2000.


Someone needs a life…

I mentioned before that had I not found that group, and things not unfolded as they did there over our 14+ years together, Evil Squirrel and his blog would not exist.  I also would have never even sniffed being a contestant on WWTBAM.

Back in those days, the only way to get on the show was through a nightly phone-in contest they held for about a week and a half each month.  You’d get three questions like the Fastest Finger questions on the show where you had to put four choices in order, and if you got all three questions correct, you would clear Round 1 and be eligible to receive a call the following day to play a Round 2 game at a later date.  Through October 2000, I had passed the Round 1 questions 20 times, and 20 times waited for a Round 2 call that never came.

Evil who?  No, he's not home.  Quit calling here..

Evil who? No, he’s not home. Quit calling here..

Despite the slim odds one faced at getting through to the big show via this phone game, it was still a favorite among the WWTBAM fans I virtually hung around with.  The best feature of the phone game was that it was unable to cherry pick contestants for their personality or demographic diversity.  Many of the folks on the message board were trivia loving clods who fit the dreaded stereotype WWTBAM contestant the phone game kept stocking the first season of shows with…. white, middle aged males with white collar jobs and not a whole lot of television presence.

Regis? ..... Regis? ..... Regis?

Regis? ….. Regis? ….. Regis?

So you can imagine the outrage that was dredged up on our board when the show’s website put up an announcement on October 17th that it was going to hold auditions in seven cities to stock its slate of tapings for January 2001.  No more hiding that shy, geeky personality behind a telephone receiver.  Given my deeply rooted introvertedness, I too was saddened to see WWTBAM taking this step.  Not that I ever really thought I would get on the show anyway, but with the phone game there was always that slim chance.  No way I could ever pass a personality test…



The seven cities they would be visiting to hold auditions would be Cleveland, Detroit, St. Louis, New York City, Sacramento, Seattle, and Birmingham.  Wait a minute… St. Louis?  They’re coming….. here?  Oh boy….. do I?  Um…..

Man up, Brony!

Man up, Brony!

Oh wait, I have an out!  You have to call in at a specific time to get a PIN Number to attend one of the auditions.  Each city has three sessions, and each session is limited to 150 auditioners.  The first two cities up were Detroit and Cleveland.  The lines opened several hours before the show that night even aired to announce the call-ins.  Within half an hour, all 900 slots for those cities had been given out.  A lot of my fellow boardies who had tried to get through got nothing but a busy signal.  The St. Louis call in was the next night, by itself.  Surely it would fill up even faster…

squirrel on heart shaped bed

Goody! Now I can just hide in my bed and forget I ever heard about these auditions!

The St. Louis call in was October 20th, which was a Friday.  The line opened at 5 PM in my time zone.  Being as Friday nights are the Monday of my workweek, I was typically fast asleep napping then anyway.  I still hadn’t convinced myself to call…. but for some reason I stayed up during the afternoon anyway.  As the clock was preparing to strike five, I slinked my way towards the phone.  Oh hell, I figured, it isn’t going to hurt to listen to busy signals for a few minutes.  I can’t just write it off that easily, right?

Noooooooooo!!!!!  Pick up that phone!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!! Pick up that phone!!!

So I dial the number.  Soft busy signal… still a few minutes early.  Pretty soon I get the loud busy signal, and I know the clock has started.  So I hit redial a few times.  Busy, busy, busy, busy, busy, ring…..



The sixth try was the charm.  Great, I am now one of the 450 lucky callers who will get to attend the audition held in St. Louis on November 4th.  Since I got through so early, I got the early slot… the 9 AM audition.  Since that is a Saturday morning when I am usually dragging my carcass straight to bed from work, even getting the early time if going to be a challenge.  I had two weeks to psyche myself up to actually do this….. or talk myself out of doing something so foolish.

What to do, what to do…..?

It's cliffhanger time!!!

It’s cliffhanger time!!!

Tune in next week to find out what happened next, boys and squirrels!

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