21 June 2009

The nuisance factor

Much is made, in newspaper articles and even in general discussion, about squirrels' ability to be exactly where they aren't wanted. In attics. Raiding bird-feeders. In the middle of a busy street. At the back door, begging.

It is socially acceptable, sanctioned and at times even encouraged to make them targets of our hostility or - worse. We can only feel sorry for the person who has never felt the rush of having been acknowledged, or even recognized as a sucker, by a squirrel accustomed to seeing them with a few tasty handouts in the garden or the park. These are the same people who have likely elevated Road Rage to one of the major martial arts.

Imagine for a moment, though, if we were to harness this nuisance-avoidance trait that is so uniquely human, and use it for more practical purposes: Consider, if you will, the workplace nuisance: There is the oversolicitous or overbearing boss, the unendingly chatty or curious colleague, even the phone, possessed by a perpetual motion ringtone that will not stop ringing? Imagine the consumer market, then, for some of these must-have products: A boss-sized Hav-a-Hart "humane" trap (or leg-hold trap for the seriously obnoxious). How about predator-proof work stations that throw the interloper off balance by being counterweighted (like some so-called squirrel-proof bird feeders). Imagine seeing your supervisor one moment coming over to badger you, and in an instant, seeing him or her flung across the room, airborne, and not sure why.

Let's not forget the curious colleague who has come to peck at your luncheon sandwich or salad. That's nothing a little hot pepper won't cure. (This well-touted garden remedy is presumably the last resort before folks resort to fox urine, but this alternate method doesn't lend itself readily to inclusion in a bag lunch.)

There is a world of potential in this new market. While some choose to make their money repelling squirrels, and encouraging others to do so (by purchasing their products, of course), I say: Let's go after the real nuisance culprits. They walk on two legs, and they are around us - everywhere.


Cactus Jack Splash said...

I never think of squirrels as a nuisance...you are right there are humans out there more irritating and we treat them nicer.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

I have to say that I am less inclined to be "humane" when repelling human nuisances. :)