As the late rocker Jim Croce's lyrics advises us, you should always pick your battles wisely: Don't tug on Superman's cape. Don't spit into the wind. Don't pull that mask off that ol' Lone Ranger and ... don't mess around with squirrels' teeth.
Those ever-growing, razor-sharp incisors - the apotheosis of calcium gone wild - always win in any skirmish. These are teeth that can crack nuts and split bone and you don't want to cross their path enroute to dental disaster.
In Huntington, N.Y., at least one group of human dental practitioners has harnessed this simple scientific fact for commercial purposes. We hereby introduce Flossie the dentally conscientious squirrel - she appears to be a 13-lined ground squirrel, not a New York native - and Flossie is the spokesmodel not just for keeping your teeth sparkling and nutcracker-healthy between dental visits but for keeping your scheduled appointments.
She graces a postal card inscribed on the reverse with the following reminder: "We have reserved this time for your for your next dental checkup."
The card is downright cute, a word one doesn't normally associate with the dreaded dentist's chair. Combining dentistry with Rodentistry clearly has its perks and being cute is one of them. Indeed, I suspect those Huntington dentists may enjoy a greater-than-average compliance from even the most drill-shy patients who read the card and understand the ominous message hidden behind that engaging visage and those impeccably clean, well-flossed incisors:
Don't tug on the squirrel's temper. Be sure to spit into the sink after you get your semi-annual cleaning. And you don't mess around with Flossie.