Rattle Those Pots And Pans

Crazy ass drummer in training.

Crazy ass drummer in training.

It’s time to get your week started off on the right note, with another annoying earworm from The Nest’s Top 30 Cover Songs of All Time countdown!  DJ Scratchy and Sponkies One and Two have got a real hoof stomping treat for you all today.  I promised that as we got higher up in the countdown, the music would begin to veer away from pop hit covers and more towards the truly obscure and eclectic… and I can’t think of two better words to describe this week’s honoree.  On with the freak show, Vinyl!

top30covers

#14. “Money (That’s What I Want)” – The Flying Lizards

Motown is as iconic a U.S. recording company as you will find in the early decades of rock and roll history, and one of their first smash singles was a song written by founder Berry Gordy that would be performed by Barrett Strong.  In 1960, Barrett helped usher in the age of greed with this tune about how all he needed was money.  Ironically, maybe the best known cover version of this song was by a band that once sang about how money couldn’t buy them love… and that of course would be that fab group…. oh, what’s their name again?

Help me out here, Merby!

Help me out here, Merby!

While these lads may have revolutionized rock music in the 60’s, by the late 70’s, the British rock scene was truly a anarchistic hot mess… what with the advent of punk and new wave.  Somewhere in between those two genres, you’ll find The Flying Lizards.  In 1979, they did an amazingly fucked up take on “Money” that is so blatantly absurd, that it is impossible to not absolutely love the shit out of it…

Wow, right?

Now what in tarnation did I jest listen to there?

Now what in tarnation did I jest listen to there?

The Flying Lizards taught us that you can make music with more than just guitars, drums and kazoos.  You can use pots, typewriters, sonar, howling dogs…. whatever happens to be lying around the garage.  Who needs money when you can turn anything handy into a musical instrument?

Like the radiator!

Like the radiator!

Most people who consider themselves to be music aficionados will grimace and wretch at the very idea that The Flying Lizards version of this song even exists.  I love to rattle their cages (another fine instrumental idea!) by singing the praises of this most bizarre of new wave offerings.  Long live experimental rock!

Do The Lizards need a flautist?

Do The Lizards need a flautist?

Join me again next Monday for lucky song #13!

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Hey Neighbor!

Hey Tim!  Can I borrow your reciprocating saw?

Hey Tim! Can I borrow your reciprocating saw?

For as long as there’s been private property, there have been fences to enforce the boundaries.  Neighbors have been meeting along these fences to catch up on the latest gossip sqturday squirrel logoand chew the fat for generations.  That shouldn’t be any different if your neighbor happened to be a squirrel now, would it?  I know I’d be tickled to death to have a squirrel next door who poked his adorable little head over the fence every once in a while to ask about how Mecca’s treating me, whether I’m ever going to cut my grass, or if I have a spare corncob he could “borrow.”

Sorry, buddy.  All I can do is take your picture so you can star as this week’s Saturday Squirrel.  Be sure and tell the Missus I said hi…

Have a great weekend everyone!

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Nothing To Fear But Fear Itself

And clown possums.

And clown possums.

prompt logoWe’ve finally made it to Friday!  Well, you finally made it to Friday… I was in no hurry to go back to work after having the last four nights off.  That’s OK, because as always, the treat is for my faithful readers… and what better way to reward you all than to pull another hairbrained suggestion you sent in to my virtual mailbox for my Prompt the Squirrel series!  I only have six bullets left in the chamber, but if you haven’t jumped in yet and want to ensure this game of WordPress roulette continues on for a while longer, please shoot send me a prompt!  I promise to go on about almost anything and everything…

Within the guidelines of common decency, that is...

Within the guidelines of common decency, that is…

There are two prompts patiently awaiting my insight dealing with subject matter I have absolutely no earthly notion about.  I’m going to tackle the easier of the two this week, which was sent to me from Jenn at her Midlife Crisis in Sassy Green Boots blog.  Here is what she sent to me:

What are your thoughts on the Scaredy Squirrel series? I like the books…and I’ve tolerated the animated series. Inquiring minds want to know….

Who!?!?!?

Oh, sorry.  I didn't see your nametag.

Oh, sorry. I didn’t see your nametag.

Scaredy Squirrel got his start as the title character of a book written by Canadian author Melanie Watt in 2006.  Six books in all have now been published in the series.  He also was spun off into his own animated series a few years ago which supposedly is/was aired in the US on Cartoon Network.  While I can’t say I haven’t come across the name of this character before, I’ve never seen either his books or his cartoon… but being the resourceful squirrel I am who is not scaredy of a little challenge, I’m just going to totally wing it and offer my take on what I can dig up on this questionably drawn critter from the internet!

Or basically, the same quality of crack reporting you can usually expect from me.

Or basically, the same quality of crack reporting you can usually expect from me.

Note: All italicized quotes that follow come from the Wiki page for Scaredy Squirrel….

The books often follow the same format: the titular protagonist Scaredy Squirrel identifies his fears, shows how he avoids them at all costs, and develops contingency plans, which usually involve an emergency kit and playing dead till the threat has passed. Scaredy is inevitably faced with the fears he tries so hard to avoid, eventually learning that it is not as bad as he initially imagined. However, he only slightly alters his strict daily routines after these experiences.

So Scaredy’s main fear is the fact that he might have to break one of his ridiculous OCD habits.  There’ nothing wrong with always having an emergency kit in case somebody predicts the next Y2K or something, but the playing dead trick never works well for possums, who usually just get squished or eaten while they’re lying helpless.

Anyone have an emergency spork handy?

Anyone have an emergency spork handy?

The first book, “Scaredy Squirrel,” introduces the main character, a nervous squirrel, who is afraid of many things and keeps safe in his tree, following an intricate routine. One day he has an unexpected visitor, which he thinks is a “killer bee”. The terrified squirrel takes a leap into the unknown and discovers to his surprise that he is a flying squirrel.

There are a great many things we do not find out about ourselves until later on in life.  I’m pretty sure the ability or non-ability to fly would be one of them.  Where were Scaredy’s parents to pass along this bit of vital information to him?  Were they maybe too scared to have “the talk” with him about flying?  Was he unknowingly just a misfit of science?  If someone is afraid killer bees are knocking at their front door, wouldn’t they probably also be too afraid to leap from tall distances before they found out they could fucking fly?

I'd rather end up a tangled heap of dog food than get stung to death by a little bee.

I’d rather risk ending up a tangled heap of dog food than get stung to death by a little bee.

A sequel, “Scaredy Squirrel Makes a Friend,” was published in March 2007 by Kids Can Press. In it, Scaredy decides to leave his nut tree and find the perfect friend; he must be germ free, toothless and completely predictable. With meticulous planning and preparation Scaredy sets off with rubber gloves and air freshener in hand, but the friend he finds is not what he had in mind at all.

Oh gee, what a shock that our obsessive compulsive rodent is also a germophobe.  I’ve been watching squirrels for years and have never seen one spray down an acorn they just dug out of a pile of doberman dung with Lysol before eating it.  I can also assure you that the only toothless critters you are going to find out there probably have lots and lots of germs to thank for their gummy mouths.

I take that back... this is the perfect friend for Scaredy.

I take that back… this is the perfect friend for Scaredy.

Just what are some of the specific things that scare Scaredy shitless throughout the book series?  Well, they include…

Green Martians

I'd be more scared of pantless ducks.

I’d be more scared of pantless ducks.

Tarantulas

But they're so cuuuuuuuute!!!!

But they’re so cuuuuuuuute!!!!

Poison Ivy

To each their own, Scaredy...

To each their own, Scaredy…

Biting

Needless to say, Scaredy is not a Knicks fan.

NOOOOO! Marv, NOOOO!!!!

Walruses

Germs will give you diabeetus.

Germs will give you diabeetus.

Beavers

Bet Scaredy's even afraid of pussies.

Bet Scaredy’s even afraid of pussies.

Pirates

OK, I'm with you there, Scaredy.

OK, I’m with you there, Scaredy.

Jellyfish

I want to know what kind of trees Scaredy's hanging out in.

I want to know what kind of trees Scaredy’s hanging out in.

Falling coconuts

Less dangerous than kids eating Cocoa Puffs.

Which are less dangerous than hyped up kids eating Cocoa Puffs.

Dragons

Beware the fire breathing possum.

Beware the fire breathing possum.

Fairies

Oh no!!!  I'm surrounded!!!

Oh no!!! I’m surrounded!!!

Bats

batting skunk

That squirrel is going, going, gone!!!

Unicorns

OK, Scratchy.  Lose the fucking steampunk glasses.

OK, Scratchy. Lose the fucking steampunk glasses before you give anyone else nightmares.

Ants

It's always best to make squirrels confront their fears.

It’s always best to make squirrels confront their fears.

Confetti

But he looks toothless.

But he looks toothless.

Ponies

We're coming for you, Scaredy!

We’re coming for you, Scaredy!

Porcupines

And the feeling is mutual.

And the feeling is mutual.

Skunks

Which would explain why Scaredy's best friend in the TV series is a fucking skunk.

Which would explain why Scaredy’s best friend in the TV series is a fucking skunk.

Quicksand

Drop the snake, Toad!  Drop the snake!

Drop the snake, Toad! Drop the snake!

The Three Bears

We'll teach you to share our porridge!

We’ll teach you to share our porridge!

Penguins

And zippers

There's nothing to fear, as long as you make sure Woody's out of the way.

There’s nothing to fear, as long as you make sure Woody’s out of the way.

OK, that took a while.  Where was I?  What was I talking about?

Good question!

Good question!

Aw, fuck it!  I think I did a good enough job making another prompt look lame.  Thanks Jenn for the chance to talk about a squirrel’s fears.  Come back next Friday for the start of what looks like it’ll be the final month of your prompts… and they promise to only get sillier.

Oh my God!!!  It's full of germs!!!

Oh my God!!! It’s full of germs!!!

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Evil Squirrel’s Nest Comic #165 — 6/25/15

comic62515

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A Dry Heat

You know where else you'll find a dry heat?  An oven.

You know where else you’ll find a dry heat? An oven.

It’s midweek for you, mid-minivacation for me… but regardless of how you perceive our seven day week, it’s definitely time for another Photo Story Prompt inspired by Marilyn from the Serendipity blog!  I found a few interesting things while scavenging through my photo archives, but after the very rainy start to summer we’ve had for the past couple weeks, here’s the picture that struck me to pontificate about today…

From the files of Better Homes and Gardens.

From the files of Better Homes and Gardens.

As I attempted to mow my yard yesterday, having the blade stop spinning every two minutes because it had once again gotten clogged up with tall, soaking wet grass… I thought back with pleasant memories to three summers ago and how I wouldn’t have even been outside doing this stupid ass homeowner’s duty.  The summer of 2012 was bone dry in my neck of the Midwest.  From Memorial Day through August, it maybe rained twice… and only one good soaking rain for sure.  According to that creepy information that your camera encodes in each picture you take, I took this photo on July 23, 2012.  After two months of shaking and baking, this is what my backyard looked like.  And you could tell who the thoughtless people who believed their lawns deserved a drink more than their neighbors were, because if their grass didn’t also look like this, they were quite obviously Dusty Bottomsing the rest of us.

Of course, all of those clear, rainless days came at a price…

No, my wall isn't really melting.  But it could have...

No, my wall isn’t really melting. But it could have…

From late June through mid August, temperatures reached triple digits (Fahrenheit, not Celsius… that would just be crazy) almost daily.  That kind of oppressive heat is typical of desert locales like Arizona, Las Vegas and Mercury… but not so much St. Louis.  The problem with many weather patterns is that once they get set in, they can be extremely stubborn to move out because the conditions they create tend to be self-perpetuating.   It’s very hard for precipitation and sun-blocking clouds to form in a very dry atmosphere, which is why dry spells often turn into droughts.  Such was our fate three years ago.

The harvest of 1934 2012.

The harvest of 1934 2012.

But for a summer without lawnmowing…. I’ll take it again.  Maybe…

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