28 September 2012

Squirrel is my co-pilot

What's next? Drivers' licenses for squirrels? It's only a matter of time, apparently, even though we already have more than our share of nuts behind the wheel.

Take the recent case of the Clay County, Florida motorist who was pulled over for DUI - driving under the influence. Turns out there was another reason he was driving distracted: He was also Driving Under the Influence of a Squirrel. A small bushytail was busy navigating the roadmap of the driver's chest hairs and had obviously entered a problematic intersection, or perhaps it was a bottleneck, somewhere in the southwest quadrant of the human's abdomen. Without any GPS to help him, the squirrel obviously freaked.

Still, a moving violation is a moving violation. The squirrel did not deserve a ticket but the driver clearly had one coming. Probably two: Owning a so-called "pet" squirrel may not have merited a fine but it's clear the squirrel - as seen in a video shot by the local TV station, WJXT - was quite young. Where was the government-mandated booster seat for infants and children? Had this driver been the parent of a 10-month-old, would he have considered it appropriate to stick the child in his underwear too?

As any Department of Motor Vehicle Commissioner will tell you, there are clearly proper ways to drive with a squirrel in one's vehicle. Pay heed then, to the example set by Pyotr Pankratau, who was a soldier in the Belarussian army when rescued a young Eurasian red squirrel. The creature who has so adapted to his caretaker's civilian lifestyle that he rarely leaves his side, even when Pankratau goes on his rounds as a taxi-driver.

It is noted that, in all photos seen on the Internet of Pankratau and his squirrel, Minsk, the animal is never shoved up his shirt. In fact, he keeps a respectful distance from any kind of underwear while on duty. Yes, in a few photos, Minsk is seen on the vehicle's dashboard - as an auto accoutrement one might liken to fuzzy dice or a living, breathing bobblehead doll - but let the record show that the taxi is always safely parked - and the engine is off - whenever the squirrel is in motion.

And he never gets behind the wheel.

Perhaps the philosophy of Squirrel Chauffeuring is a different matter in Belarus - or anywhere outside the United States, for that matter. But the safety issues are clear:

Before getting behind the wheel, park your squirrel somewhere safely. Drunk or sober, friends don't let friends drive squirrels.

6 comments:

tcgequine said...

I wonder if there are any photos available of a squirrel in a Belarus Rocket... you know, that car built (I believe) into the 90s that hadn't had a styling change since the 40s? Soviet version of the Checker Marathon... but I digress. The closest I've ever come is having a yellow jacket go up my pants leg. All the way up.... That's the day break dancing was invented...

squirrelmama said...

Funny but I had that very same dance teacher. One of your teacher's cousins went up my pants leg (the right leg, if it matters) a few years ago and encouraged me to do some hip hop. I did more hop than anything else. Does this remind you of your teacher? I think his name was BUZZ.

Linda said...

Funny post! Thanks for the chuckle.

Wayne, bbq guy said...

Is this for real? This is the cutest thing I've ever seen.

squirrelmama said...

This is totally for real, Wayne. Some things you just can't make up - hard as you might try!

lgsquirrel said...

Thanks. Really love that sleeping squirrel.