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When you least expect it – squirrel attacks

By Jason Offutt, syndicated columnist to the Richmond News

There’s a danger in this country more volatile than car jackers, the flesh-eating virus and Donald Trump’s hair. That’s right, squirrels.

They may appear innocuous. These little furry clowns skittering around like they’re high on crack (this is an actual problem in big cities. Go ahead, type “crack squirrel” into Google), but they’re not cute. Oh, no. The movies have it wrong, folks. The next dominant life form on Earth won’t be talking apes – it’ll be squirrels.

And they’re making their move.

Chicago Alderman Howard Brookins Jr. spoke out against the increasingly “aggressive squirrels”’ in his city during a council meeting in late 2016. Apparently squirrels had caused $300,000 in damages to the city’s trash bin lids.

“We are spending too much money on replacing garbage carts because the squirrels continue to eat through ’em,” Brookins announced at the meeting, according to an article in the Chicago Sun-Times.

Hard-hitting stuff, but not as hard hitting as an eastern gray squirrel on the Cal-Sag Trail.

Brookins biked on the trail Nov. 13 when a squirrel dove into the spokes of his bicycle, sending the alderman flying over the handlebars and crashing onto the trail. According to The Washington Post, the attack fractured Brookins’ skull, broke his nose and scattered six of his teeth along the pavement. He spent four days in the hospital.

“I can think of no other reason for this squirrel’s actions than that it was like a suicide bomber, getting revenge,” Brookins told the Chicago Tribune.

The lesson here? Squirrels, much like the Mob, are best left alone.

But Brookins isn’t the only victim of these rodents.

In December 2015, Richard Williams, 78, of Pleasant Valley, California, was working in his garage when a squirrel ran through the open door and attacked him.

“He jumped me three or four different times. When I got him off, he’d get back on,” Williams said to the Marin Independent Journal.

Although he defeated the gray squirrel in hand-to-hand combat, it bit and scratched his right arm, leg and head.

He wasn’t the only Pleasant Valley resident attacked by Sciurus griseus (its classification sounds like a “Star Wars” villain for a reason). Seven others, including children and a school teacher, were attacked by a squirrel jumping from trees and gnashing at them with its nasty pointy teeth.

“The fact is, we want people to stay calm,” Lisa Bloch, Marin Humane Society spokeswoman, said in the New York Daily News. “It’s probably just one squirrel.”

One squirrel? One squirrel? One is apparently enough.

One squirrel invaded a retirement community in Volusia County, Florida, in November, attacking four people and probably interrupting bingo.

“It’s jumping on people and biting them and scratching them, so we need help,” a worker at the retirement community said after calling 9-1-1, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

A worker eventually grabbed the squirrel and tossed it outside, although not before it made the entire human race question its future.

It’s the beginning of the Squirrelpocalypse, people. Watch the trees.

Find out about everything Jason at jasonoffutt.com.

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