She was the sweetest, most loving, and funniest dog I’ve ever known, and I will miss her for the rest of my life.
And now, ladies and gentlemen, I give you Crazy Squirrel Corn Lady.
Crazy people adore me. They seek me out in public places and attach themselves to my elbow. And once you have a crazy person attached, they peel off about as easily as duct tape. (Aside: Saying “duck tape” is not cute unless you are six with a lisp and missing front teeth.)
There are times that I welcome the crazy people. They are often much more interesting than your everyday sane person, and sometimes they even tell you their most astonishing and/or deeply personal and disturbing secrets within the first 30 seconds of the Crazy Person Encounter.
Other days I have little patience for the crazy people. Sometimes they make me nervous, but sometimes I simply don’t feel like having a conversation with a perfect stranger and want them to take the hint. Crazy People are renowned for being unable to take a hint.
And then there are those rare times when not only do I converse with the Crazy People, but I even encourage them in their particular brand of insanity. I am not proud of myself, no, but look, I don’t approach them, they approach me, and who says I’M not crazy? I mean, they should be careful who they go up to and spill their crazy all over, right?
So today was an Encourage the Crazy Person day for me.
We were in Lowe’s buying bird seed and various home improvement items when it happened. We feed maddeningly ungrateful birds (blue jays, cardinals, painted buntings, doves, and rotten grackles) and squirrels in our backyard, and since it’s getting cold (it does too get cold in South Florida. We’re in the THIRTIES tonight!) I wanted to make sure they were all well fed.
Now, the mama squirrel really steals a lot of seed, but she’s preggers and so I do want her to eat well, so I’m not taking any sort of squirrel repelling measures. But I thought maybe I’d give her her own feed, so I’m inspecting a big bag of corn cobs, CORN COBS FOR SQUIRRELS mind you, when it happens.
To give you a good idea about the sort of thing I’m talking about, go here.
I can see, out of the corner of my eye, a woman go darting past behind me, but I apparently sent out my Crazy Person tractor beam, because she stops with a great startling motion, as if she ran into an invisible brick wall, and comes right for me. She gets nice and close and duct tapes herself firmly to my elbow and gazes over my shoulder and says: “You could eat that.”
As you can see from the following transcript, I started out okay, but quickly went downhill.
Me: It’s for squirrels.
CSCL: But it’s still corn.
Me: It’s for SQUIRRELS.
CSCL: Maybe you could make corn meal from it.
Me: IT’S. FOR. SQUIRRELS.
CSCL: But you could, look, see? You could like, cut it off, and make corn meal.
Me: Lady, look at this stuff! (Here I helpfully shake the bag of desiccated old discolored broken corn cobs, which have clearly been treated rather cavalierly, and are clearly NOT for human consumption, and not just in a well-aren’t-you-a-spoiled-little-white-American-girl-who’s-obviously-well-fed kind of way, either.) And see? (Here I helpfully point out the label which clearly reads SQUIRREL.)
CSCL: If it’s safe for squirrels to eat it’s safe for humans.
And here’s where I turn the corner from vaguely irritated to Encouraging the Crazy Person.
Me: So, how would you actually go about doing this?
CSCL: You could cut them off the cob, and then you’d grind it up, make cornmeal.
Me: I think you should do that.
CSCL: It would work, right?
Me: Absolutely. Yes. You could make cornbread. That would be excellent.
Here she furrows her Crazy Person brow.
CSCL: They have mixes for that now.
And then she turns around and sprints away…
JUST AS IF SHE’S BEEN TALKING TO A CRAZY PERSON.
Kristy Kiernan is the author of Matters of Faith and Catching Genius. She lives in Florida, which, considering the winter the rest of you people are having, proves that she's quite sane.