So I had this family of squirrels (real ones!) who moved in with us…into our yard and finally made the other move into our attic for the winter! You know!…They wake up so early and generally cause such a racket up there…playing catch-me-if-you-can and cracking their nuts (real nuts please!) and then you cannot sleep in because they wake up so early to begin their day…even on a weekend! Now if they would just consult with the landlord and agree on sleeping …waking up and play time, maybe things would have been different. But Noooo! They just do what they want…and they don’t even pay rent!
I checked out the yellow pages and called an animal catcher…They who deal with pests like that…squirrels, snakes, raccoon, birds, bats, rodents…! I get a guy who came highly recommended to me by the animal catcher dept of the local municipal council. This fella arrives in a pimped up jeep, accompanied by his pretty, blond galffie and he himself dressed in shorts and bulging out of a Tee…He generally reeks ex-marine yadda yadda and after we get talking…yes! He IS ex-marine! And now I am thinking we are in business because he served in places with tougher animals and things…so whats squirrels! Rightie? Wrongie!
Inevitably and as we initially chat to get introduced, he latches onto my accent despite me making all the right noises of “How is y’all doin?…It’s kinda hat (hot!) taday!”…and he asks whether I “is from Jamaica”. I say “Naah!…I is fram Af’ica!”, I insist bado with akso and tweng to boot!…Then he dropped the bomb on me (More an IED since we are talking on the curb outside our house!)…”So how come…How you be scared of squirrels if you’se all from Af’ica???…They’s got all them big snakes over dere…and lions and things…?” I am wide-eyed now and think…”What the yonks!…This guy thinks I sleep with lions…after watching the movie “Sleeping With The Lions” I guess!
I breathe in and out…in and out…and ask him whether he thinks the snakes and lions and dem other animals is related to me and ask him whether he wants the job or not! He says he wants the job and that he specializes in snakes ‘specially…real big ones too!” and how he has been bitten so many times…”. I tell him snakes is for later and could he check it out and tell me what he’s gonna do! “Uh-Huh…well checkin it out is gonna cost you like $70 and then I’ma come back with traps and things”. I ask him how he didn’t bring the tools of his trade and things since I was clear on the problem I have and he chimes in about how the car he came in was not his work car and that he will come in the truck with the stuff after we settle the little matter of the “jus’ checkin it out” fee!
Long story short I told him that I needed to consult with my African hubby who has the check book authority. I told him in Africa hubbys are king of the hill and they must say yes…basically like in Lion King…I said! His lady was like “Wooow!…How cool! And y’all women in Africa don’t mind?”. I said we are happy about that and told her that he also bought me the brightly colored mumu I was wearing and that was billowing in the breeze on this rather warm spring day! I said to them I would call and so he gives me his cell number again and tells me I should call because they’s no telling how big the squirrels could grow up there then…who knows?..A collapsing ceiling owing to fat squirrels and …Yeah! We don’t want that happening do we now!
I watched them jump into their jeep and take off thinking…”Be gone before I set my lions that I keep in the bedroom upstairs and the gnu grazing in my backyard to kick your a… on ya!” I never called. But then I got this other excellent team of guys from Animal Removals LLC who came and were excited too to hear that we are from Africa. They did a great job and they were nice, skinny and lanky kids, dressed in green Tees that said “Animal Remover” across the chest…And who “squirreled” up the ladder, set the traps and soon the unwanted guests, lured by the mystery “goodies” they put in the traps, were history. And they sealed our roof too if just to let any other would be unwelcome tenants know that this house is closed for business!
But these guys were also cheerful and hilarious and the most they wanted to know is how to say “Hello” in Swahili. So I said to them Hello in Swahili is….But that’s another story…
©njeriOsaak is a trained journalist, a Public Relations professional and a College Speech Communication teacher / Consultant, currently based in the United States.