Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.
I really, really don’t like the Swarthmore squirrels, with their beady little eyes, and personally believe that they should all die a fiery death — the Iranians had it right when they arrested fourteen squirrels on charges of espionage. What’s the worst thing that a squirrel has ever done to anyone?
Although one might hesitate to declare it the worst act ever perpetrated by one of our sciuroid nemeses, one New Jersey squirrel performed quite a feat earlier this month. This pest was hanging out on some power lines when he decided he needed a snack, and, not seeing any nearby nuts, thought it might be a bully idea to start chewing on said wires. Apparently he was more successful at this pastime than are most squirrels, as he made it far enough into the wire to get a nice zap of high-voltage electricity through his tiny squirrelly body. There was enough current flow to ignite the beast; in despair, or maybe just because of a lack of muscle control, the little bugger jumped, or maybe just fell, onto an unwitting 2006 Toyota Camry parked just below. Not content with his damage thus far — taking down power lines and ruining paint jobs — the conflagrant squirrel slid into the engine compartment, where his blazing body lit the gasoline, causing, quite literally, an explosion. Luckily for the squirrel, the vehicle was unoccupied, so its detonation caused no injuries — except for, of course, the squirrel, who got what he had coming.
So far, no Swarthmore squirrel has been known to precipitate any vehicular explosions.
Diagram by Miles Skorpen