01 January 2008
2008, a tough nut to crack?
You've got to love a city that, at least in the eyes and hearts of squirrels, knows how to do New Year's Eve right. In Raleigh, N.C. ("the city of oaks") they drop a Big Acorn - not a Times Square ball.
To squirrels this is merely the most routine of acts. After all, they drop acorns from trees every day - at least during the fall - and many of us have had the questionable thrill of being beaned on the head by one or more of these very identifiable flying objects. The comic strip, "Mutts," even features squirrels engaged regularly in target practice on tops of unsuspecting fellow critters' heads.
Perhaps in some parts of the U.S., where red squirrels predominate, New Year's celebrants might consider dropping a pinecone instead. And prairie dogs, cousins of the arboreal and terrestrial squirrels, could inspire the ceremonial descent of dandelion greens or bales of tall grass. Hardly dramatic or speedy but it sure would make a pretty sight.
While we're at it, let's retire Dick Clark and some of those other celebs who've made their names in Times Square and get ourselves a master of ceremonies more befitting the theme of all this acorn-heaving - Punxsutawney Phil is still asleep (and he has his own holiday) so New Year's wouldn't necessarily be the groundhog's calling but perhaps the networks can woo Tufty the squirrel, American squirrels' UK cousin, or even the cartoon world's Rocky the flying squirrel? Or maybe one of the squirrels from that infamous GEICO insurance commercial?
The theme of it all? "Let's go nuts for New Year's"
It's something to think about. It would certainly give the squirrels of this country something to chatter about.