A Tight Squeeze

Ummmm... a little help please?

Ummmm… a little help please?

I’ve talked before about how squirrels build nests in trees to help make their own little piece of arboreal paradise feel like a home.  These nests are often located in the forks of sqturday squirrel logotree branches where there is some support for their building materials.  But if a squirrel’s lucky enough to move into a neighborhood with a hollow section in their tree… you can bet the rodent’s going to stake a claim to that ready-made penthouse suite in two flicks of a bushy tail  These open cavities don’t have to be too large… squirrels are good at squeezing into tight spaces and still feeling nice and cozy.  But there are some built-in apartments that are just a bit too tiny for easy access.

This week’s Saturday Squirrel is probably regretting not finding a reliable contractor to make his front door just a little bit wider.  That’s an awful tiny hole for an acorn-stuffed sciurine to try passing through.  He certainly didn’t have an easy time of it…

Hang on, I'm getting the KY.

Hang on, little buddy, I’m getting the KY!

Looks like this might call for the Jaws of Life.  Time to go on a diet or upgrade to a larger home…

Have a great weekend everyone!

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A Creature Of Hobbit

And at long last, I now know where this meme comes from.

And at long last, I now know where this meme comes from.

Well, this is it folks.  Today marks the end of the line for my Prompt the Squirrel series of prompt logoposts.  Seventeen of my readers were kind enough to send me something to work off of… and for the past four months worth of Fridays, I’ve done my best to come up with something creative and hopefully entertaining in response to them.  And Lord knows I’m nowhere near out of the woods yet with regards to PTSF, because thanks to my procrastinating ways (never put off till tomorrow what you can put off until the day after tomorrow), I saved the prompts I knew I’d have the most trouble with for the end.  And I sure saved a doozy for the finale… I’m quaking in my turban as Ed McMahon hands me the last envelope…

May the possum of poopoo peck you on the pucker.

May the possum of poopoo peck you on the pucker.

The final reader suggestion in my Friday series comes from Anxious Mom.  One of the first things I learned about her, other than her Little Man’s infatuation with his penis, was that she was obsessed with the Tolkein universe… so I wasn’t the least bit surprised when I noticed she had submitted a prompt that went a little something like this…

I would like to see your squirrels Lord of the Rings-ized. Transform them into a fellowship of sorts and have them in a scene from LOTR

Oh dear.... what do I do now?

Oh dear…. what do I do now?

In the Spring of 1990, I was on the verge of earning a D in my 9th grade Freshman Lit (first fucking period) class.  It would have been the only D or F I had ever gotten as a semester grade in any post-elementary school class I had ever taken.  But a deus ex machina by the name of “The Hobbit” swooped in as our final assigned book of that God-awful fucking class, and for whatever reason, I took to that novel enough to ace all of the quizzes and tests that came with it, and got to add another C to my permanent record.  Despite my obvious liking of the book, 25 years later I remember only three things about “The Hobbit”… Bilbo, Gollum, and the invisibility ring.  It’s the one and only time me and J.R.R. Tolkein ever crossed paths in this life.

Yeah, put that in your pipe and smoke it, J.R.R.

Yeah, put that in your pipe and smoke it, J.R.R.

I may have been able to dance around an earlier prompt about Scaredy Squirrel, but not many people even know books about fictional squirrels exist, so there’s little chance of getting called out on any factual errors and blatant misrepresentations.  But despite me being the master of bullshit who earned a lot of those passing grades in school by being a wizard at churning out an expertly crafted research paper from of about an hour’s worth of research reading stuff and several hours of just typing up random crap that looks good… there is no way in hell I can get away with the same lackadaisical approach for the subject of Lord of the Rings, a universe I know almost nothing about.  There are way too many people out there with Elfin tattoos and cosplay Hobbit britches who would be lining up to call me out on anything that is not certified kosher canon.

Though that may not be such a bad thing after all...

Though that may not be such a bad thing after all…

Well, let’s see… if I’m going to create a fellowship for this prompt and come up with some half-assed LOTR scene for them to act out, I better start doing a little casting of my characters into the book/movie roles.  Frodo’s the main character of the trilogy, and wouldn’t you know it, I actually have a ready-made Frodo ES in the archive…

There really is an ES avatar for any occasion.

There really is an ES avatar for any occasion.

Then there’s Frodo’s companion Sam… he looks like a good fit for ES’s star flunky Robbie.

Swords just aren't as easy to deploy as Mecca box cutters.

Swords just aren’t as easy to deploy as Mecca box cutters.

From what I can gather, Merry and Pippin seem like the comic relief tag team of the bunch.  Since I have way more female characters than male critters, it’s a given I’m going to have to do a little genderbending in this experiment.  Let’s assign these roles to everyone’s favorite frenemies Hooly and Odyssey.

The hobbit life is not for everyone.

The hobbit life is not for everyone.

Gandalf the wizard…. do we have a magic user among the gang?  Wiki isn’t quite right for the role, but unicorns know a thing or two about casting spells…

Fear the rainbow beard.

Fear the rainbow beard.

Aragorn… the man who would be king, or at least, so my cheat sheet I’m using for this post says.  For the series’ big, strapping studmuffinly badass, we can turn to none other than The Nest’s denizen who checks all of those Fabioan boxes and then some, Clem.

There's not enough wind in Middle Earth to make a hero's luscious locks blow fittingly enough.

There’s not enough wind in Middle Earth to make a handsome hero’s luscious locks blow fittingly enough.

Legolas the elf… let’s see… do I have a long haired blonde who knows how to use a bow and arrow?  Why yes, I believe I do…

There's not much cuter than a pointy eared skunkette.

There’s not much cuter than a pointy eared skunkette.

Now we need a rugged looking dwarf to play Gimli.  Ah yes… our prickly little porkypine Nabob.

First one to call me a midget gets a head-ectomy.

First one to call me a midget gets a head-ectomy.

OK, I think that’s a big enough fellowship to do something simple like destroy a magical ring.  Now we just need the right critter to play Gollum.  Someone who isn’t all that good looking and who nobody will miss should he end up getting knocked into a volcano full of lava.  Hmmmm…. let me think here for a minute…

Thank you for volunteering, Buster!

Thank you for volunteering, Buster!

OK, places everyone!  Let’s make up a scene where all of our characters are standing atop Mt. Doom, ready to destroy Sauron’s ring and bring peace to the land of Middle Earth.  And….. ACTION!!!

EVIL FRODO: So, I just drop it in this volcano, and that’s it?

RAINBOW GANDALF:  Yes!  Hurry up and complete the mission!  I have a class to teach at Hogwarts in half an hour.

MERRY HOOLY:  I say we just pawn the ring and use the money to have a kickass par-tay!!!  Whooooooo!!!!

ODYSSEY PIPPIN:  I protest this whole scene!  Mt. Doom is a protected national park, and it is against regulations to throw junk in the volcano!  Not to mention the environmental impact…

FRODO:  You’re all right, I can’t do this.

SAM ROBBIE: No, Frodo!  But you must, or else the critics will pan this film and we’ll never find work again!  Aragorn!  Do something!

CLEM ARAGORN:  I am going back in my trailer until I am allowed to wear my trademark sneakers on the set.  Any of you chicks want to come back with me?

HOTTIE LEGOLAS: You touch my ass again, Aragorn, and I’ll crown you with an arrow through the temple!

NABOB GIMLI:  OH, Jesus Mordor, is this about over?  It’s past my bedtime…

FRODO:  I think I’ll just slip this ring on and take over the blogosphere….

BUSTER GOLLUM:  Sigh…. give me that damn cheap ass Cracker Jack prize, stupid squirrel hobbit.  (Buster yanks the ring out of his hand then leaps into the volcano.  The ring is destroyed and Buster is burnt to a crisp.  The eye of Sauron Applewhite goes dark)

FRODO:  (Cough, gag!) The stench of burnt possum is killing me!  Let’s go back home and work on a prequel trilogy….

The star of the next LOTR movie!

The star of the next LOTR movie!

Wow… I made it!  I got through the final prompt with something that was actually….. well, at least it should get attendance points and a gold star on the progress chart.  Thank you Anxious Mom for making me learn a few things that may come in handy in a trivia contest some day.  And to everyone who participated in my Prompt the Squirrel project for the seventeen weeks it lasted, THANK YOU for giving me material to keep Fridays happening around The Nest.  I expanded my artistic boundaries, challenged my abilities to write about anything, and most of all… had fun with this!  I may revive this series at some point next year…

Because I'm such a masochist.

Because I’m such a masochist.

I have no idea what I’ll do with Fridays beginning next week… but I’m sure whatever I come up with will continue in The Nest’s tradition of fun, quirky and irreverent.  And if it ends up sucking marsupial mange… well, at least you can always take comfort in the fact that you’re one day away from cute squirrel pictures…

it's impossible to top a cute squirrel anyway.

it’s impossible to top a cute squirrel anyway.

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Evil Squirrel’s Nest Comic #170 — 7/30/15

comic73015

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A Marsupial Mecca

I'm ready for my close up!

I’m ready for my close up!

It’s been a loooooong week preparing for today’s inventory at Mecca, but my weekend has finally arrived, and with it another exciting Frisbee Wednesday Photo Prompt… sponsored as always by the serendipitous Marilyn.  Besides the tedious work of preparing a torn up hellhole so that it can be counted by a group of disgruntled people who probably make even less per hour than one of our own starting employees, perhaps another reason this week seems to have gone by so slow is because I couldn’t wait to post about what happened at work Saturday night….

No, I didn't have to get the pad wall ready for inventory.

No, I didn’t have to get the pad wall ready for inventory… though that would have been just as exciting.

During the summer I take my breaks with a couple other co-workers out on the lawn & garden patio (a nice advantage to working at a non-24 hour Mecca), and what should we see sitting as cute as could be on a support beam of one of the bins but a BABY POSSUM!  And OMG, there was another one hiding behind a stack of patio tables in the same bin!  One co-worker tried to take a picture with his phone, but since there isn’t much light outside at midnight, he got nothing but a blurry mess.  I decided I was going to make a quick trip home as soon as I clocked out for lunch two hours later to grab my camera and hope there was still a photo opportunity to be had…

I only ran two red lights to make sure I got back as quickly as possible.  At 2AM on Sunday morning, nobody even noticed.

I only ran two red lights to make sure I got back as quickly as possible. At 2AM on Sunday morning, nobody even noticed.

When I made it back to Mecca, the patio was unfortunately quiet and deserted.  I grabbed my lunch and staked out the area.  It took only five minutes for one of the l’il ones to zip in front of the gate at the end of the aisle where we sit, but he was gone before I could get my camera ready.  No sooner had I sat back in the chair after cussing that lost opportunity when Mama Possum came strolling in from the outside lot through a gap in the gate…

Time for the Mecca Possum photoshoot!

Mama emerges from behind these patio tables.

Mama emerges from behind these patio tables.

Who are you?  The Paparazzi?

Who are you? The Paparazzi?

It is easy to see where possums get their reputation for being not the most prettiest of creatures.

It is easy to see where possums get their reputation for being not the most prettiest of creatures.

Here's my stunning profile for you... it's my best side.

Here’s my stunning profile for you… it’s my best side.

Mama Possum is not amused.

Mama Possum is not amused.

Well, isn’t Mama Possum just darling?  If she doesn’t make you squeal though, perhaps her little kidlet will….

I haz a bewbie!

I haz a bewbie!

Can I have a possumback ride?  Huh Mommy?  Please?

Can I have a possumback ride? Huh Mommy? Please?

Wheeeeeeee!!!!!

Wheeeeeeee!!!!!

Oh look Mommy!!!!  We're gonna be famous!!!  Hi everybody!!!

Oh look Mommy!!!! We’re gonna be famous!!! Hi everybody!!!

Junior!  I told you not to talk to strangers!  Remember what happened to your Uncle Buster?

Junior! I told you not to talk to strangers! Remember what happened to your Uncle Buster?

OK, we're blowing this joint before we end up in the deli's rotisserie.  Say goodbye to this loser...

OK, we’re blowing this joint before we end up in the deli’s rotisserie. Say goodbye to this loser…

Neither Mama nor baby possums have made an appearance since that night… which is a good thing since wildlife is not encouraged on the Mecca patio.  But I was way too incredibly excited for this very first up close and personal opportunity to meet a real, live possum and its offspring…. not to mention getting to nab a few photos of them.  I’ve never even gotten a picture of a baby squirrel before, but I can now say I’ve seen and photographed a baby possum.  Awwwww, thanks Mama for bringing the kids by for my entertainment…

I think I'm getting the evil possum eye.

I think I’m getting the evil possum eye.

I don’t think I can possibly top possum photography, but I’ll certainly try next Wednesday…

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Hakuna Matata

Cover songs bring out the animal in me...

Cover songs bring out the animal in me…

It’s another Monday funday here at The Nest, which has been starting your week off with only the finest musical earworms for 14 months now.  This is a very special Monday, as it marks the start of our venture into the upper crust of my Top 30 Cover Songs of All Time countdown!  Yes, if you thought the records being spun on Scratchy’s turntable over the past 20 weeks left you with an indescribable feeling inside…. well, you’ll really be thrown into a musical coma by what’s to come now that the dust jackets have come off and the vinyl is really going to hit the fan!  Crank up your hearing aids to eleven and let’s really get ready to explore the very best of the recycled best!

top30covers

#10. “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” – Robert John

Way back in 1961, a consortium of American musical geniuses decided to hijack an old Zulu standard that was popular among the black population of South Africa and turn it into a whitebread hit that would make them lots of money.  “Mbube,” or “Wimoweh” as it was also called, was carefully cobbled into a catchy pop ditty and dubbed “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” which was then handed to a teeny pop group called The Tokens to record.  It hit the top of the charts and became the only reason anyone remembers that a group called The Tokens even existed.

And they recorded it AFTER Neil Sedaka left the group!

And they recorded it AFTER Neil Sedaka left the group!

Many artists in many different genres have recorded versions of both the Solomon Linda original “Mbube” as well as the more familiar pop sounding “Lion,” both before and after The Tokens made it a worldwide hit.  It’s truly one of the most covered songs of all time.  But there’s only one king of the jungle when it comes to wimowehing, and that is none other than 70’s singing sensation Robert John.

Turn the other way!

Turn the other way!

Like The Tokens, Robert John didn’t exactly put a whole of lot of music on the charts, and he’s basically only remembered for his 1979 #1 hit “Sad Eyes.”  But before he had women everywhere bawling to his mellow sounds, he took a stab at “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” in 1972, which made it to #3 despite being largely forgotten these days due to the popularity of The Tokens “original.”  I don’t know why people continue to cling on to the dusty old black and white version, because Robert John’s “Lion” is one of the most awesome feel good songs in the history of musical Prozac!

Wow!  Where do I even start rattling off all of the qualities of John’s song that makes it better than the extremely dated Tokens version?

John’s backup singers are the bomb!

gladys knight

Sometimes the Pips make the song, and not the Knight.

No annoying soprano!

The lion may sleep, but the hippo is on the loose.

The lion may sleep, but the hippo is on the loose.

And any pop song that can totally rock the tuba deserves some kind of special award…

The tuba players get all the chicks.

The tuba players get all the chicks.

And though I have never seen “The Lion King,” I’m pretty sure it doesn’t use the Robert John recording of this song… and really, isn’t this version exactly what Timon and Pumbaa should be dancing to?  It’s got a fun and carefree attitude the stodgy old original doesn’t.  Hell, use some of those special CGI effects to throw this song into The Wizard of Oz as well…

Hush my darling, don't cry my darling!

Hush my darling, don’t fear my darling!

But enough about Leo.  Be sure to return next Monday as we unveil song number 9, number 9, number 9, number 9….

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