The Dogs of War

By Slade Ham


Character is what we are in times of crisis or when no one’s watching or some other strange set of criteria. For the last week I have been plagued by visitors in the night, sent to attack me and me alone, determined, I believe, to watch me in action and see how I respond. It feels like a psychology experiment gone bad, like the Milgram Experiment or that Stanford Prison thing. Maybe not that bad, but I still feel as if I’m being toyed with.

I lay in bed at night and I hear them coming. Whispers and clicks in the dark, the invaders peer through the inky black and wait for exhaustion to drag me into an uneasy sleep. They organize and plot and look for the perfect opening, and then they come for my socks.

These fucking squirrels.

But it’s not just the squirrels. The entire animal kingdom seems out to get me. Whether it’s rabid cats, mercenary mosquitoes, or obnoxious birds, I’m like the opposite of Dr. Doolittle.

I moved in late summer to a garage apartment, a perfect little spot for a constant traveler. It’s big by apartment standards and comfortable. There’s a place for my car and my motorcycle and all of my stuff fits exactly as it should. My bookshelf is full of the volumes I’ve collected in the last year punctuated by a thousand trinkets and memories from my travels. My desk sits on one side of the living room, my dual monitors surrounded by speakers. This is a place I can get stuff done. My bedroom faces south so the sunlight is constant. I opted not put up blackout curtains so that it would jar me out of bed and into productivity on most mornings. My brilliant plan to surface at eight or nine has been preempted though.

My apartment sits isolated from my neighbors in the middle of four intersecting backyards and one of those backyards is home to a rooster. A rooster, a rooster, a ROOSTER, inside the loop in Houston, Texas.

It’s more elusive than one would expect a rooster to be, too. It is borderline ninja and I know this because I’ve tried to kill it. I have a really hard time contemplating hurting an animal. I’ve never been hunting and I’m a total sucker for the animals of any sort. I could cause harm to a human much more easily than I ever could an animal, but it’s not a human standing in the backyard cock-a-doodle-doo-ing at 5:00 am, seven days week.

The woman that owns that house is bat-shit crazy. She won’t answer her door for me or the police. For all I know she could be dead herself. The wooden fence around her yard is painted with bright red hearts and catchy little hippie phrases like Animals Are People Too! and One Planet, One Love. The sign on the door that I have beat on every morning for the last month reads I maintain this house for the comfort of my cats. If you can’t deal with that, you can’t deal with me. She places the welfare of these animals above my own, and for that I hate this woman. She is a hopeless PETA-head, and that is why I bought the slingshot.

I’ve collected a good number of small rocks (ball bearings would look too much like evidence) and from my bathroom window I can see into her backyard. The rooster prances up and down a particular path, hidden almost entirely behind the branches of a low-hanging tree. It knows it is safe, but that hasn’t stopped me from rifling pebble after pebble through the leaves in an attempt to hit him. He of course knows this, and waits until I have shut the window and given up. Then he runs up to the fence and lets out another mad cackle before darting back to the cover of the brush. THWOP, THWOP, THWOP. Three more rocks rip through the air and hit nothing. “Goddamn bird!” I yell. “I’m gonna shoot you in your little rooster face.”

I want to drag its carcass to the hippie’s doorstep and bang away until she’s forced to answer. “Looks like people can be animals, too!” I’ll say, with wild eyes and chicken blood running down my arms. What criminal mind houses a yard full of birds and a house full of cats with such disregard for others? Probably the kind of person that would raise an army of attack squirrels. I bet my invaders are the product of her animal friendly lifestyle as well. She probably hand fed them and took them in, and now that she has sixty-three cats they need a new place to hang out, hence the velvet rope and the bouncer outside the squirrel dance club that my attic has become.

And now I am not safe inside.

A few days ago I woke up to the morning crowing and stumbled into the kitchen to make coffee. Bleary-eyed and headachey, I poured my first cup. As I started to gain my focus I noticed a sock hanging out from under the counter. “Did something happen last night that I don’t remember?” I think to myself. “Why would I take my socks off in the kitchen? Did I try to put them in the cabinet? How drunk was I? This makes no sense.”

Pulling the sock out from the opening underneath the base board, I noticed that it had several holes in it. “Squirrels,” I growl. I’ve known they were here for a while. It’s an older place and there are plenty of openings that allow them into the attic. I hear them constantly but I’ve remained unconcerned. Once I knew that they weren’t mice or rats – the piles of nuts in the attic and the sight of actual squirrels hopping from the power lines onto my roof cinched that – I just resigned myself to being a winter refuge for the fuzzy little things.

But now they’re taunting me. They’re literally stealing my socks – as if my clothes dryer wasn’t already doing enough of that. They are strategic. To get my socks requires some investigation. While I will occasionally leave a pair lying in the living room (one of the perks of bachelorhood), they usually end up in my bedroom. None of my other clothes are touched, nor are the dish towels or the beanie I left laying on my desk or the bag of Cheetos Puffs on top of my microwave. They’re selective little creatures. I mean, it takes determination to say no to those Cheetos. Cheetos are delicious.

They seem content to only drag the socks as far as the holes under the cabinets too. They don’t take them all the way inside, but leave them hanging out just enough to let me know they were there. It’s a form of counting coup, I’m afraid, and this is why I feel I’m being experimented on. It’s as if they know that I am incapable of simply trapping them or killing them. They want to see how I’ll react.  They know that boredom will entice me to fight back. I have moved anything cloth-like to my bedroom now and I make sure the door is shut when I leave. Then I place one sock strategically in the middle of my dining room floor before I make my exit or turn in for the night. I have to know if they come, and come they do, but never when I can see them.

I sit on my couch and stare like a child waiting for Santa. Unable to stay awake, my eyes finally close, only briefly, and then snap open again to find the sock tucked neatly in its little cubbyhole under the sink. “How the hell did you do that?!?!” I yell. Somewhere a squirrel rolls around on the floor laughing and high-fiving his friends. I rip the sock out from the hole and throw it back on the floor. “I’m going to bed, you bastard!” I yell at nothing whatsoever. “Come get your stupid sock if you want it!” Then I wake up the next morning to find it sitting exactly where I left it. It’s no fun for them if I don’t care, it seems.

So I have to formulate a plan before I go out of town again. I have to get rid of them. I don’t know if I am up against one rogue animal or a hundred. In my mind, my walls and my attic are now one big Squirrel Kingdom. Buttons and thimbles and scores of socks line the halls of a Secret of NIMH world. Will taking one of these creatures out be enough? Should I trap one and leave it bound in the middle of my kitchen floor as a warning to other squirrels? Should I poison a sock? Buy an owl? I don’t know what to do exactly.

I know that the gauntlet has been thrown down though. They started this, this thing with the socks. “Cry Havoc,” I say, “and let slip the dogs of war!” And maybe that’s the answer – actual dogs. Or a fox. A fox would eat the squirrels and the rooster. I want to put on face paint and get a ghillie suit and hide with my slingshot. I want to set up a box and a stick with a string tied to one of my socks. I want a jet pack and some rocket skates and I want to paint a fake tunnel on my wall like Wile E. Coyote. I want to put the squirrels and the rooster and all their little friends in one big bag and toss it into the ocean – and then blow up the ocean.

I want to win.

Maybe I should focus on the flower child in the house behind me, maybe point my slingshot at her instead. Cut off the head and the monster dies, right? Maybe she’s like the Other Mother in Coraline. Who takes their animals that seriously? Seriously. These things are interrupting my lifestyle and her desire to protect them only makes me angrier. Now I want to cook steak with my windows open so she has to smell it. And I want a fur coat. And I want to beat a baby seal to death with an endangered penguin. Her “Save the animals” mission has clearly had the opposite effect on me.

But for now, I will continue to type, stopping every sentence or two to pause my music and glance into the kitchen and try to catch a glimpse of the cocky little rodent as it mocks me. Because right now I am clearly not winning. Right now I am losing.

And badly.

I can hear the squirrels flitting back and forth on the roof even now. I can hear the rooster too, cluck-cluck-clucking just feet outside of my apartment. I cut my eyes across the desk to the slingshot. “I could go outside and kill them all right this second,” I think.

And I would, too, if only I could find a pair of socks.

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SLADE HAM is a stand up comedian. He has performed in 52 countries on six continents, a journey that can be followed in his book, Until All the Dragons Are Dead. One day he hopes to host a travel show and continue to trick the world into paying him to do the things he loves to do. Slade is also an Editor for The Nervous Breakdown's Arts and Culture section. He keeps a very expensive storage unit in Houston, TX.

325 responses to “The Dogs of War”

  1. D.R. Haney says:

    There’s an old horror movie called Frogs about animals ganging up on people, which I think you ought to consider remarking. Here’s the trailer:


    I’ve always had roosters living in my neighborhood. It seems to be a tradition, and I suppose I don’t mind, since I’m a heavy sleeper who’s prone to be awake at dawn anyway (writing, always writing), and the sound of a crowing rooster reminds me of my grandparents’ farm in Virginia, and I loved that farm as I’ve loved few other places.

    But I think the problem here isn’t the squirrels and it isn’t the rooster; I think it’s that hippie lady. If I may make an observation, Slade, there’s a certain species of ladies that causes trouble for you — the real-estate agent, the cop who arrested you, the manager of that bad comic who was on Saved by the Bell, and others you’ve mentioned who don’t come immediately in mind — and I think this hippie lady must be a witch who put a spell on the squirrels, so when you find and put on your socks, you may want to think about a different target with your slingshot. If she ever gives you a chance to see her, that is. She’s obviously, being a witch, rendered herself invisible.

    • Slade Ham says:

      What a horrible and hilarious film… I can’t let the trailer slide by without noting what is apparently a taxidermy chicken head at 1:55. What an interesting trophy to place on the wall, no? I’m passing judgment, but if I do kill this rooster after all, I would consider its head a prize for a battle well fought.

      Now, more to your point. I do seem to attract a certain type of female antagonist into my life (and I can’t exclude my ex from this observation). It is more consistent than I would have thought, though when typed in the space of a paragraph it does become quite obvious. The question is, can I pull the trigger (or in this case, release the pebble)? She’s probably immune. Like you said, either invisible or, as I imagine her to be, protected by an impenetrable cloak of hippie sorcery. Goddamn hippies.

      I’m glad that you are comfortable with the sound of crowing roosters. I am not. Where does the morality line blur when it comes to things like this? Maybe if i just zing her in the leg or something….

      • You stole my comment Duke, but I was going to mention Food of the Gods, instead of Frogs.


        Giant roosters! Plus, it stars former child celebrity evangelist Marjoe Gortner! And poor Ida Lupino. What is she doing in there?

        Anyway, Slade, this is High Concept gold. All you need to do is buy a copy of Final Draft and crank out a screenplay. I advise introducing a disembodied hand as well, though.

        • Slade Ham says:

          Wow. Sadly, someone will beat me to it and choose instead to just remake The Food of the Gods, or Frogs, and do it this time with all CGI. Except they’ll probably introduce a retarded little talking frog a la Jar Jar Binks.

          Some of these movies were so much better with the 70’s effects. I do feel like that though, that they’re all ganging up and coming after me……..

          I’m gonna have rooster nightmares all night tonight from these trailers, and I can only imagine that my mind will finally snap when I am awakened from my chicken dreams by an actual crowing one.

      • Black says:

        Hey buddy, I have plenty of experience with all that ! First off the rooster, I grew up with a best friend of mines kung foo ninja rooster. Every time anyone went into the back yard of his house the rooster would go for the face. So of course at first I ran like a little girl screaming at the top of my lungs to the joy of anyone who saw. Then I went to the Ninja school of animal attacks. HA,HA, now what rooster boy? Come for me of course he did, so I side stepped did block move with a twist so that I could grab the foot. Oooooowww they hate that but there is nothen they can do once you have the feet. Or you can just make rooster calls from the window they hate competition and will come to you with slingshot in hand. Side note, DO NOT LET HIM GET TO YOU! He will fight your face.
        Ok for squirrel fun just put out a mouse trap under sock and then sit back and laugh every time it goes off. Ha HA HA HA ! . . .

        • Slade Ham says:

          Squirrels seem too smart for mousetraps.

          And you fought a rooster? Did you have to put little spurs on your ankles? Did a lot of Peruvian guys form a circle and bet? That sounds awesome.

    • Tom Hansen says:

      Dude! I saw Frogs at the drive-in when I was a kid. Great movie. Great movie poster, the huge frog with the human arm sticking out of its mouth

  2. New Orleans Lady says:

    What a perfect story to read first thing in the morning!
    This will keep me laughing all day.

    “It’s more elusive than one would expect a rooster to be, too. It is borderline ninja and I know this because I’ve tried to kill it.”

    So funny.

    My neighbor had 2 chickens and a rooster when we moved in but one of my cats got to them. This same cat also took pride in her kills and would leave them on my front or back porch for all the world to see.

    There was no way for me to deny her mischevious behavior.

    Rats, mice, rabbits, and rooster feathers have all made it to our welcome mat and you would see Marilyn (who I called Monkey) perched proudly next to her kill, waiting for my approval.

    • Slade Ham says:

      I have contemplated getting a cat over the last week or so. Not a regular cat, but something a bit African. An ocelot or something. A bird corpse at my doorstep would make me smile endlessly. My former two cats (how this became an admission that I used to own cats, I’m not sure) were far too ineffective to ever do any damage. One was huge and refused to do much of anything ad the other had ADD.

      Good for your battle-cat…. I would happily turn a Marilyn/Monkey loose.

      • New Orleans Lady says:

        The key to success with her was that she was the only one not fixed. I’m guessing her maternal insticts kicked in and she felt she needed to hunt on the off chance she got knocked up. She was also the smallest of all the cats. Thin and shabby looking. She had a beautiful face though with a tiny black spot above her lip like Marilyn Monroe. Fierce hunter.

        You know, Daly may be on to something with the coydog. They are much easier to handle than wolf mixes. Give it a go. If not, I know a place you can get a fox or a raccoon. Raccoons will protect their territory from other animals but they also may steal your socks so maybe that’s not the way to go…

        • Slade Ham says:

          Yeah, raccoons just seem like they would be the same problem, but bigger. As for the coydog, I apparently would have to learn to be a “pack leader”. I’m reading up on them now.

  3. Joe Daly says:

    As an admitted mush for pretty much all animals, I feel your pain. And as always, I laugh at your plight, as you describe the growing mania so well. Love the fantasy sequence that ends with you delivering the carcass to the woman, covered in blood and psychosis.

    My suggestion is this- fight fire with fire. Get a coyote. I have a dog that’s part coyote, and the first thing she did when she arrived in my house was kill all the rats. I used to live two blocks from the beach, which is great for surfing, beach going, and entertaining. It is NOT good for avoiding rats, which live in palm trees. That’s right- those pretty tropical stalks are nothing but filthy rat colonies.

    Anyway, my two golden retrievers were entirely oblivious to the rat menace, but in the course of a couple of days, Lola the Killer had all but eradicated the rat situation.

    Note that a regular dog in the house won’t do- you need something that’s at least partially feral/wild. Squirrel problem = solved.

    Then just walk by the rooster lady’s place with your killer once or twice a day and let it sniff the rooster. If by some accident, the coydog slips under or (with some help) over the fence and offs the rooster, what can the lady say? It was another of God’s beloved creatures that did it, and surely she can’t have any issue with that?

    Think about it, brah- coydog.

    • Slade Ham says:

      Ooooh, a coydog. You posted this as I was typing my desire to get an ocelot in the comment above. A coydog sounds perfect, though I’m afraid it would want to howl at the moon until all hours and just extend my sleeplessness.

      The problem with getting a pet is my road schedule. These things will want to eat something other than squirrel and chicken and I am not here for a week or two at a time sometimes.

      Now if I could find a place that rented coyote-dogs…. now that would be something. Hippies do seem fine with animal on animal crimes. We should open a rent-a-pet business. I’m sure there is already something of the sort. I’ll Google it in a second. You can head up our West Coast office. And we’ll need to find someone to manage the warehouse full of coydogs.

      • New Orleans Lady says:

        A snake!!

        I had a python that loved bird! Plus, they only eat once or twice a week! Problem solved!

      • Joe Daly says:

        The only time Lola gets hot and bothered is when she hears the coyotes in the canyon behind my house. Then she runs over to the open window and just listens intently while they kill and maim some poor canyon bunny or something. Oh, and they howl like motherfuckers when they hear a siren. Otherwise, you’re all aces.

        Here’s mine:

        I would LOVE to head up the West Coast Office of the coydog business. We can run it as both a protection business and a revenge business. The possibilities are endless.

        As far as the warehouse goes, what about Simon? He’s looking for a way back to the States, preferably in California. We could tell immigration that he’s a highly specialized Australian coyote keeper, whose skills are so advanced and unique that there is no American who can carry out the duties. We get a coydog keeper, Simon gets his green card, and we get paid in the meantime.

        I’m really liking this…

        • Slade Ham says:

          Oh wow, she’s a beauty.

          And Simon it shall be. We could even branch out into half-dingos. A ding-dog. Hahahahaha. Ding-dog. I want one.

          So how do they get the coyotes and dogs to mate, without one of them getting eaten I mean?

        • Joe Daly says:

          So how do they get the coyotes and dogs to mate, without one of them getting eaten I mean?

          Barry White and lava lamps, all night long.

        • Slade Ham says:


          And Boones Farm Strawberry Hill.

        • Matt says:

          I’m half a mile from Mission Bay, close enough to smell it most of the time. It really wigs me out to hear coyotes at night in Tecolote canyon. You expect that sort of thing out in say, east county, but so close to the water? No, sir.

        • Joe Daly says:

          Super creepy, right Matt? I’m sure they’ve been pushed around by all the development that whenever they can get to a canyon, they just dig in for the long haul.

          The freaky thing around my ‘hood is how devious they are. You’ll see one running up ahead of you, following you along your walk rather innocently, but if you keep walking, at some point you’ll see two behind you, bringing up the rear.

          If I didn’t speak coyote, I’d be effed in the a.

    • Gloria says:

      You could get a dragon. In Eragon the baby dragon eats all the mice. (sorry, I’m short on practical suggestions and flush with useless kid movies, which I’m forced to watch on repeat from time to time.)

  4. Becky Palapala says:

    The squirrels are CLEARLY the diversionary tactics arm of Underpants Gnomes, Inc.

    Have you counted your underwear lately, Slade?

    • Slade Ham says:

      All present and accounted for. It’s always the socks with me, and usually the dryer takes them. The thought that it might be hiring minions is a scary one.

      This begs the bigger question though: Is underpants theft a big problem in Minnesota?

      • Becky Palapala says:

        Not that I’m aware of, but apparently, it plagues animated 3rd-grade coffee addicts in a fictionalized South Park, Colorado:


        Slade! I thought you, of all people, would catch that.

        Not only is the episode hilarious, it’s the debut of Tweek, who quickly became my favorite character and, if not for copyright law, could easily be a co-mascot of TNB alongside TNB Guy.

        In fact, he looks a lot like TNB guy.

        • Slade Ham says:

          Now I feel douchey for missing that entirely. I used to love that show and I remember that episode specifically now, precisely because of Tweek. Trey Parker and Matt Stone are balls-out geniuses.

          I disconnected my cable this year though and have fallen off the SP bandwagon. I have to remedy that I think.

          There have been some glorious moments in that show – particularly the way they handled the exit of Chef. Fucking brilliant, I say.

        • Michelle says:

          Thank you for the laugh. I live in Southern New Mexico where it is unusual for neighbors not to have chickens. In our neighborhood alone we have deer (which are pretty quiet), chickens, geese, cows, coyotes and one little fucking rat dog that barks constantly. The irony is that I can handle all the other animals but one, can you guess? I have decided after reading this that I need a slingshot. Thanks for the inspiration.

        • Slade Ham says:

          There’s a yappy dog around here somewhere too, though just on the fringes of earshot. Remember when Jim Carrey said, “You want to hear the most annoying sound in the world?” in Dumb and Dumber? Well, he was wrong.

          It’s those fucking dogs…

          Slingshot away 🙂

        • Becky Palapala says:

          Poor Tweek never gets any script time anymore. I miss him.

          Fuck that rooster. In the middle of the city? Really?

          On the other hand, I like animals. I say you kidnap him in the night and drop him off on the outskirts of town at the nearest hobby farm, where people actually get up at 6 o’clock in the morning.

          Slade Ham: Comedian, writer, roosternapper. For his happiness and your own.

        • Slade Ham says:


          That has such a ring to it.

          My brother and I, when he was in town over Thanksgiving, contemplated a midnight chicken theft. A simple hop of the fence would have done it. No one would be upset if I did it. They would understand. They would have to. There should be no mistaking this for chicken territory. Literally, I’m barely two blocks north of I-10 smack in the center of the city. Even the rooster has to know it doesn’t belong here.

          I’m getting Roosternapper business cards. And Pet-Renter ones.

        • Becky Palapala says:

          You could put a little jacket on him with a note. Like Paddington Bear. No one would turn away Paddington Rooster.

          Him in his little cage, in a little felt coat, on the front stoop.

          “Please look after this rooster. Thank you.”

        • Slade Ham says:

          Hahahahaha. Ahhhhhahahahaa.

          That just made me smile. Poor little rooster, with a marmalade sandwich under his hat.


        • Becky Palapala says:

          He tries so hard to get things right…

  5. Demetria Dixon says:

    Buy decoy socks. Get a big bag of the irregular socks from the 99 cent store. Rub them on your feet so they have foot scent and then place them out. It’s a win-win.

    • Slade Ham says:

      I’m gonna buy some decoy socks. A big pile of them. To cover up the boa constrictor I just decided I’m going to buy.

      • Demetria Dixon says:

        Just be careful. No one wants to read, “When last seen, Ham was returning from a successful comedy tour. Authorities did share that they found several piles of irregular socks and a boa constrictor with quite a large lump in its stomach and several squirrels who appeared to be giggling. The SPCA has been called in to remove the animals. Authorities would not share whether they thought the lump was Mr. Ham. A police spokesman shared, ‘No one wants to jump to conclusions. Inquiries are being made with several young ladies in the area as to the whereabouts of Mr. Ham.’ “

        • Slade Ham says:

          And with my tendency to disappear for several days without warning, I would probably be fully digested before anyone even got suspicious…

  6. Matt says:

    The people living next door to the house I grew up in had not just a rooster but an entire chicken coop in their back yard. Lucky for us, their rooster was a lazy bastard who prefered to sleep in.

    I’ve never had a major squirrel problem myself, though they did once infiltrate the crawlspace under the roof of one of the buildings at my high school, and apparently loved to compete in Squirrel Olympics whenever we were taking tests.

    What I HAVE had to deal with is rats. Like Joe says, they climb trees and cross over power lines just like their squirrel cousins, and a huge colony of them infested the first house I lived in when I first moved to New Orleans. It was an eight-month battle to get rid of them, which finally culminated in my finding the decaying corpse of one under my bed (I thought it had died in the wall).

    The odds are pretty good the squirrels are pilfering whatever feed your hippie uses for the rooster, which would be why there’s such a high concentration of them.

    Happy hunting, amigo.

    • Slade Ham says:

      I remember having to search my Mom’s house for a dead mouse (a deadmau5?) a long time ago. I am terrified of having a dead anything in my walls. They smell like death and unhappiness.

      As for the chickens, were you in a rural area or the city? I’m certain it’s illegal for this woman to have the rooster. I can’t understand why ANYONE would thing that a chicken coup is a good idea. It can’t be for the food, whether meat or eggs. I live one block from both a huge Kroger and a Popeye’s.

      • Tawni says:

        Many cities allow hen-keeping, because they are quiet and provide eggs, but I don’t think most cities allow roosters.

        Chicken laws of some cities: http://home.centurytel.net/thecitychicken/chickenlaws.html

        • Slade Ham says:

          Houston, TX. Chickens may be kept on a lot which measures at least 65 feet X 125 feet: 30 chickens, turkeys, geese, ducks, peafowl, rabbits or guinea pigs or 40 of any combination of the above.

          If this hippie gets 40 turkeys……..


        • Tawni says:

          P.S. Re: Fourth picture down in the chicken laws: Please enjoy the bird lice swarming your adorable little girl as she holds the chicken in her arms. Gross.

        • Slade Ham says:


          “My family is a huge fan of your website.”

          They need a new family.

        • Becky Palapala says:

          If that hippie gets 40 turkeys, she’ll be utterly outnumbered and easily mauled to death within days.

          Turkeys are mean-ass birds.

        • Matt says:

          Damn right they are.

        • Slade Ham says:

          I would love to look out of my bathroom window to see her hippie body being hen-pecked by a rafter of turkeys (I looked it. A rafter? Odd.).

          Ahh, a man can dream….

      • Matt says:

        We lived on the eastern edge of town at the time. The San Diego riverbank ran right up along the rear of our property, and all sorts of critters used to turn up from time to time: skunks, raccoons, snakes. A huge white snowy owl lived in one of our trees for several years, and I’m absolutely certain it helped itself to one of my neighbor’s chickens from time-to-time. Not to mention my sister’s pet cat.

        A couple of friends of mine, living more or less right smack in the middle of the city, have a skunk that’s made a home for itself under their back porch. Brazen little fucker even had the temerity to come wandering about during a cookout they were having a month or so ago. And I’ve seen a coyote wandering around in the same neighborhood.

        The animals are taking over, man.

        • Slade Ham says:

          A skunk would get it, no questions asked. I’m not bathing in tomato juice. I don’t even like Bloody Maries. The animals are just taking back over I think. We’ve gotten lazy in our attempts to conquer everything. Good for them, too. They can have everything but my little apartment though. That’s the one corner of the world I will continue to defend. To the death. Like the Alamo. I just hope this ends differently than that…

          Snowy owls, btw, may be the coolest looking animals on the planet. Absolutely stunning creatures.

        • Matt says:

          Yeah. It used to come out and watch me while I mowed the lawn. Left owl pellets all over our back yard, too, which were always really handy for show n’ tell during science class.

  7. Tawni says:

    Roosters should not be allowed within city limits. That’s ridiculous. I grew up on a farm, and they were annoying even in the open country. We also had a donkey that brayed obnoxiously every morning around 5 a.m. I’m glad your crazy neighbor doesn’t have a donkey too.

    Havahart traps to catch the squirrels, maybe? The local animal shelter here will loan them out to people to catch feral cats and dogs, but I don’t know about squirrels. You could always lie and say they are for cat catching. (As long as Lenore’s Sugar Packet Policemen aren’t around to point fingers at you for your dishonesty, I mean.)

    I hope the naughty squirrels will let you sleep tonight, Slade.

    • Slade Ham says:

      A donkey. Dear god no… those things are such jackasses.

      I’m actually going to look into the Havahart traps. I have to catch one of these things for Zara anyway.

      As for the morality of the lie, I wouldn’t even bat an eye in the process. Lenore’s Sugar Nazis be damned…

  8. Lorna says:

    I’m rooting for the rooster. Sorry, it’s just the hippie lady in me.

    Methinks perhaps this a little bit of karma for the vengeance you had on the real estate lady.

    I think a kitty would probably solve your problem and you could board your kitty when you travel. Although your rent-a-pet idea is also pretty creative. I have blue healer that might like to eat the rooster and I’m sure my princess doggie would like to go at your squirrels.

    • Slade Ham says:

      You’re pulling for the chicken? Where is the love? That real estate lady totally started that. I should be on the good side of Karma by now, and I think that every day that goes by that I don’t sink a rock in that little bird’s head is another ten or so points to the positive in my account.

      Let me know if you want to rent the dog out. I’ll have someone in our West Coast office get back to you.

      • Lorna says:

        Actually the visual of little old lady with hearts painted on her hippie fence kind of gave me a fright. As if it was a creepy look into what my future might hold. It scared the love right out of me.

        My dogs don’t travel well. They’d want to eat you by the time they arrived. Besides you’ve moved on to other more creative ideas like the ding dog. lol.

        • Slade Ham says:

          It is creepy.. AND some of them have typos. Ex: “All livings beings deserve compassion.”

          All livingS.

          What the fuck does that even mean? Crazy and dumb. And they’re not even good hearts. I’m gonna sick my Ding-Dog on her.

  9. Renee Hooks says:

    Awesome tale! I could picture your adventures with all your furry, feathery, and flipped out neighbors! Good luck with your mini military maneuvers ; )

  10. J.M. Blaine says:

    Nobody paints a picture
    like the Ham man.

    I love Roosters.
    with Dumplings
    or Spanish rice.

    War on brother.

    Genesis 1:26 “and God gave man dominion over the animals…..”

  11. dwoz says:

    Poison is not an option, it is M.A.D.

    (Mutually Assured Destruction).

    The swansong of the expiring rodent would be to choose a damp location within the wall next to your bed to lay down it’s mortal remains…and it would become the gift that keeps on giving, an olfactory warrior-rodent-zombie attack that cannot be defended against.

  12. Natalia247 says:

    I have never known someone who can attract the negative forces of the animal kingdom quite like you do:) It makes for good entertainment, though. You DO have your rabies shot up-to-date, RIGHT?

  13. ChrisNeri says:

    Another well done story, Slade. I feel the same way about animals and people. Both can be bastards but if I see an animal die in a movie it hits me in the gut. Yet slasher flicks are no problem. Go figure.

    But if that lady ends up with 40 turkeys and NONE of them are dinner? Then she’s an asshole.

    It’s awesome too that you own a slingshot. Personally I think it’s an underrated weapon. You never really run out of ammo. Just things to hit.

    Btw, southparkstudios.com has every SP episode ever if you don’t have cable but want to stay current.

  14. Zara Potts says:

    But.. but..they’re squirrels.
    How can you be at war with squirrels? I want to be the Captain of the Squirrels. Why can’t they come and move my socks around? Hell, I’d buy them their own hosiery store if only they’d come and visit me.

    I WANT A SQUIRREL!!!!!!!

  15. Lenore says:

    wait…squirrels eat socks? i thought goats ate socks. or moths. i didn’t know squirrels did. what kind of fucked up squirrel eats a sock?

  16. Tom Hansen says:

    Really? PC PETA freaks in Houston? I think the world is lost. That sort of thing is normal here in Seattle, but I thought it was legal to just shotgun what you didn’t like down there. Man. I got in trouble on facebook recently for posting “I’m getting really tired of these fully functional people bringing their ‘service animals’ into the grocery store.” It’s getting ridiculous. When we elevate the rights of animals the rights of humans goes down. Where will this lead? Doggie drinking fountains on the street while bums and people go thirsty? I’ve had enough. I’ve been thinking of starting a war on reality television. Maybe we can join forces, “The War on Squirrels and Reality Television.”

    • Slade Ham says:

      Believe it or not, we do still have the PETA-heads here. I thought we had pushed them all to Austin but clearly we missed a few. I will happily join forces with you – like a frustrated Voltron. I think all of this shit started the first time someone put a jacket on a dog. The problem is, I think I hate reality TV even more than I hate the squirrels and the PETA peeps.

      Part of why I disconnected the cable….

  17. Dan says:

    Just put a flier on her door inviting her to the panda bear dinner you will be serving. She will be there. Then you take her fucking socks and give them to the squirrels.

    • Slade Ham says:

      She doesn’t wear socks. She plods around her animal shelter/compound barefoot. Stupid hippie…

      And I have to be honest, all this talk of panda meat is making me hungry. Makes me think of that scene from Tropic Thunder.

  18. Reno j. Romero says:


    first thanks for the laugh. NOT at you, pal, with you. Too funny. great write as usual. thanks for that.

    ‘I lay in bed at night and I hear them coming. Whispers and clicks in the dark, the invaders peer through the inky black and wait for exhaustion to drag me into an uneasy sleep. They organize and plot and look for the perfect opening, and then they come for my socks.’

    brilliant. that truly made my day. so absurd. so slade. ha!

    like some have mentioned before the problem is the woman. find a away to terrorize her. play tejano music at full blast. crank it to 11. play horror movies at full volume. one of those flicks with bloody buzz saws and screams. i just moved from a house that had a fucking rooster behind it. that bastard pissed me off. i hated him. i feel your pain.

    the rooster’s death can come in the form of worms. NOL has a lizard that munches on worms. hit her up for the most delicious worms on the market. she’s in the know. buy some. coat them in some poison and chuck them over the fence. in a flash that stupid loud-beaked rooster will hit the worms and then hit the dirt. sure, not as fun as beaning the son of a bitch with a good stone, but it will be a CLEAN death. no blood. no death feathers strewn over the yard. just closed rooster eyes. closed for good.

    i like squirrels. yeah, probably because they’re damn cute and are always hoping around doing stupid shit. but they are rodents. they are scavengers. they are a pest. now, listen, slade, don’t cock the slingshot full bore just go half way, aim, and hit one in the ass. give em’ a nice welt. trust me, my friend, the word will get around. okay, with that i’m out. good luck. and keep us posted.

    • Slade Ham says:

      Thanks, Reno. After my bout with the Tejano neighbors, I don’t think I could handle it on my end, regardless of how much it pissed her off. The poison worms, man. Now THAT’S the way to go. Close its eyes forever, like a Lita Ford song. G’night Sweet Rooster-Prince.

      There does need to be a speed adjustment to the slingshot, more than just “my best guess”. I’d like to send it back into the trees with a message. “What happened to your leg?” his friends would ask.

      “That sock guy? Yeeeah… he will FUCK you up.”

    • New Orleans Lady says:

      Superworms would be your best bet. Like their name suggests, they’re huge and apparently delicious. My cats and dog both get pissy when Jose, my bearded dragon, gets the lot.

      You can order them online or you can find them at your nearest PetCo. Any powdered poison would work and that would be the end of your rooster.

      Also, you can buy squirrel repellant. All natural and you won’t have dead animals stinking up the place. Plus, YOU CAN’T KILL THE SQUIRRELS! They are too cute. socks are cheap.

      How bout we all send Slade socks for christmas?
      and whiskey in hopes he forgets about the little creatures.

      • Slade Ham says:

        You’re right. They really are too cute to kill. I will sit by my mailbox now, awaiting my socks and whiskey.

        Or a box of poisoned superworms.

        Whatever Santa wants to bring…

  19. This is so funny Slade! We had squirrels once. I HATED them! It sounded like they were tap-dancing in the walls. I had visions of taking a sledge hammer, smashing open all the walls and . . . I don’t know what I’d do next, I just wanted to rip open the walls so they’d stop all that scrambling up and down them!

    I’m sorry about the loss of your socks.

    • Slade Ham says:

      My mind plays such crazy tricks on me when I try to envision what they’re really doing when they make all this noise. The sound gets so amplified. I mean, I know they’re rolling nuts into the corner, but it sounds like they’re playing rugby. And inside the walls…. I don’t even know what the inside of a wall looks like.

      I’m going to start collecting sympathy cards for my socks.

      • They’re like a bunch of drunk lunatics–keeping strange hours, always tumbling around, partying like mad! We hired someone to get rid of them. He offered two ways: live traps with food to lure them in, or the guillotine. I wanted the guillotine, that’s how pissed I was. My daughters INSISTED we use live traps. So they were trapped, driven forty miles away (apparently they’ll come back if you don’t go at least forty miles) and set free. Allegedly. My husband thinks the drive is a story–what guy in a truck full of guillotines would really drive a squirrel forty miles out into the woods?

        • Slade Ham says:

          Yeeeah, that dude just leaves and kills them. For sure.

          As for the trapping thing, if I really thought that it was just one or two annoying animals, I would be all over it, and that will still most likely be my solution, but…. There are a billion of these motherfuckers in my neighborhood. They’ll just send reinforcements once I take POWs.

          Partiers, all of them. From 4-6 and then again at night. Sometimes they wait until I take a shower and then come grab the sock. It would be funny if it weren’t so annoying.

  20. NICOLE says:


    I know exactly what youre going through. I live on the 3rd floor where the squirrels get in the attic. Its fucking creepy man….especially when I come home from work around 5pm, sit on the couch and hear nothing til 10pm. wtf?? squirrels scurrying above me in the middle of the night? AAAAAGGHH! Twice my landlord has ‘fixed’ the way theyre getting in. I scattered moth balls all over the attic and purchased some device from home depot that creates a ‘silent to us but loud to them’ sound maker. Its been a month…so far, so good.

  21. Richard Cox says:

    So many great lines, man. Love especially the bit about painting a hole on the wall, and how you’re using rocks instead of ball bearings because you don’t want to leave behind evidence. Hahaha.

    At least the squirrels haven’t carted off your bottle of Jameson yet, right?

    I have a story a bit like this. One morning, early, I noticed a weird metallic sound coming from somewhere in the attic of my house. Or it seemed like the attic. It would last for two or three seconds and stop. A few mornings with nothing, and then it would happen again. It began to happen more and more often and it was waking me up too early and I had no idea what it was. Whenever I looked for it, it would stop. It could have been a ghost waving a giant hand saw back and forth. Such a strange sound.

    One morning I went outside and caught the culprit in the act. It was a woodpecker. He was happily banging away on the anti-bird housing at the opening of my chimney. By now I was suffering from insomnia and I knew he had to be stopped. I went to my dad’s house and retrieved my old pellet gun, the one with the scope on it. The next morning I went outside, ready to shoot, and then I noticed something. The woodpecker was communicating. He’d bang on the chimney, and then in the trees above me, another woodpecker would respond with his own banging. I surmised it was a mating ritual of some kind. I had the bird in my crosshairs, and I felt guilty, and I thought about not shooting it, I really did. I have a soft place in my heart for animals, all animals. But all I could see was morning after morning of not being able to sleep, and survival instinct kicked in, and I pulled the trigger.

    And oh, the beautiful silence. So sweet it was. For one day.

    The next morning the banging returned. I couldn’t believe it. I went outside and that’s when I realized the other woodpecker was on my chimney, communicating, looking for its friend who was longer there. I felt terrible. I really did. I knew it was awful for me to have robbed this beautiful woodpecker of its mate.

    Then I put that one in the crosshairs and shot it, too.

    • Slade Ham says:

      I’m cackling at my computer, hahahahahaha. I thought of you when I wrote this actually, and HOPED that it would elicit this very story.

      You are an inspiration, sir.



      That story deserves to be a post all on it’s own really.

      • Richard Cox says:

        Even better than the story is I just told it to you with no recollection of having already done so. And so begins the slow, downward spiral into dementia.

        • Zara Potts says:

          You shot a woodpecker, Richard Cox?

        • Slade Ham says:

          You did, Rich. It was while you were down here though, so it is quite possible that you and I were reeeeeeeally drunk. Was the rooster crowing then? That may have been what prompted it. Nevertheless, it remains the most honest story. I love it.

          You can’t be mad at him Zara, hahahahaha.

        • Zara Potts says:

          Yes. Yes I can.

        • Richard Cox says:

          I grew up in Texas and went bird hunting many times as a kid, ZaraPotts, but when I was 18 or so I decided I wasn’t a fan of killing things anymore. The only thing I ever kill now are scorpions that find their way into my house. I was stung in bed by a scorpion once, so those fuckers get no mercy from me.

          The two woodpeckers are an exception fueled by self preservation. I have enough trouble sleeping as it is. I can’t have a bird banging on my house every morning at 6 o’clock.

          Slade, I don’t remember the rooster, but since I don’t remember telling you the woodpecker story, I cannot be considered a reliable source.

        • Zara Potts says:

          Why didn’t you catch the woodpeckers and send them over to me? I want a woodpecker.

        • Richard Cox says:

          You’ve seen the roof of my house, ZaraPotts. You tell me how I’m supposed to get up there and catch an animal with wings sitting on top of my chimney!

        • Zara Potts says:

          Get a net. Throw the net over the chimney and catch the bird. Then send it to me.

        • Slade Ham says:

          ZaraPotts. You have a solution for everything. Just get stateside and come rid us of all of our animal woes, will ya already?

        • Zara Potts says:

          Yes. Yes I will. I will be Queen ZaraPotts -friend of woodland creatures.
          I shall command my animal armies to rise up against you and Richrob and put you both in a little plastic spinning wheel.

          Then you’ll be sorry.

        • Slade Ham says:

          Yes, yes. And then Lenore can push us out into traffic.


          Or else I’m bringing back Bon Jovi…..

        • Richard Cox says:

          The difference between my solution and hers is mine was actually feasible, as opposed to a magic net that I can toss 25 feet into the air and will capture a woodpecker (who is able to fly) and bring him to the ground, injury-free.

          I’m also proud to say I got each woodpecker on the first shot, from about fifty feet and only able to see the top half of the bird, and I hadn’t fired a gun in at least fifteen years.

        • Zara Potts says:

          Okay. You’ve gone too far this time.
          Threatening me with BJ is a step too far. I shall now loose the dogs of war.

          Come, Squirrels!
          Arise, Chipmunks!
          Fly to me, Woodpeckers!
          Cute animals of the USA, rise up and go and annoy the goddamn Texans.

          Watch out.

        • Richard Cox says:

          Jesus Christ, ZaraPotts. Don’t abbreviate Bon Jovi like that! I choked on my coffee before I realized what you really meant.

          And yeah, I said choked.

        • Zara Potts says:

          HAHAHAHAHAAHA. That was my plan.
          Makes you want to spit, don’t it?

        • Richard Cox says:

          Spitters are quitters.

        • Slade Ham says:

          HAHAHAHA. I had to go back and read my comment. BJ? Huh? Ohhhhhh, yes. The Jovi. There’s definitely a Slippery When Wet joke here somewhere…

        • Richard Cox says:

          Ohh, you’re halfway there…
          Take my hand and you’ll make it, I swear

        • dwoz says:

          how much buckshot can a woodpecker duck
          if a woodpecker could duck buckshot?

    • Becky Palapala says:

      Oh. My. GOD.

      I once beat a friend with the butt of his own BB gun for training it on a furry animal in my presence.

      This is not good. Not good at all.

      I don’t know what to do with this information.

      • Slade Ham says:

        Aaaahhhhahahahahaha. Becky doesn’t like the dead woodpeckers?

        • Richard Cox says:

          Someone build me a real phaser and next time I’ll set it to “stun.” In the meantime, woodpeckers stay away from my house.

        • Slade Ham says:

          I vaguely remember THIS being the reason you hadn’t posted this before, hahaha.

        • Zara Potts says:

          I’m going to whistle my little squirrel flute tune and command all the gangs of squirrels to go to your house and Richrob’s house and bite you both while you sleep.

        • Becky Palapala says:

          Woodland creatures are not to be molested! I don’t want to see it, I don’t want to hear about it. What people do on their own time is their business, but once they start bragging about it, all bets are off.

          I told my friend, “Don’t you dare raise that gun at that animal while I’m standing here.” And he thought it was funny to taunt me. And he raised the gun and started to aim. And it ended up being not so funny for him. I, on the other hand, was very pleased with the outcome.

          Those better not have been Piliated Woodpeckers, Richard. They’re endangered, you know.

        • Richard Cox says:

          I’m not sure what kind of woodpeckers they were. I hope they weren’t an endangered species. But in any case they’re especially endangered if they attack my chimney every morning before the sun rises.

        • Becky Palapala says:

          I fucking knew you were going to say that.

          Some super dude thing like, “Every animal that makes noise like that at 6 am outside my house is endarged! Har har har. *burp* *fart*”

          My friend thought he was funny too, Buster.

          That’s right.


        • Slade Ham says:

          It made ME laugh.

        • Becky Palapala says:

          Maybe you should take Richard with you as a guest performer on your Furry Creatures and Endangered Species Eradication Comedy Tour.

        • Slade Ham says:

          So… now the question is this. It is possible that the creature that is sneaking in is a rat. There are still squirrels, but I don’t think they’re going anywhere but the attic. This is speculative, but highly likely.

          Hypothetically, you’re in my shoes. Kill or no kill?

          Remember, we’re talking about a fucking rat.

          In your house.

      • dwoz says:

        wait….woodpeckers have FUR??????

        Here we have a glimpse into the etymology of Becky’s Brain. When her grandpa said “those little peckers are all through these woods” she naturally made the literal connection…

        • Slade Ham says:

          It’s Minnesota, Dwoz. Even the birds wear coats up there.

        • Becky says:

          I do understand that birds have feathers. Sorry for the confusion. I’ll try to speak more literally in the future so you can understand, dwoz. It is also entirely possible that it was a city or town or hamlet creature and not a woodland one, lest that bit is causing you consternation as well.

        • dwoz says:

          I’m just now thinking that maybe the woodpecker is really a squirrel incognito. They are resourceful and devious.

          I have a squirrel problem too. There’s a huge pile of dirt appearing to the side of my barn, which means that the squirrels have dug a vast catacomb underneath. I’m just waiting for the barn to disappear one day, into the massive sinkhole. Squirrels aren’t really adept with the engineering aspects of their work.

          I don’t know if my experience is unique, but my horses kill rats. They stomp them. I’ve found about four rat-pancakes over the past few years in the paddocks. However, they don’t seem interested in the squirrels, or the squirrels are just too quick.

        • Slade Ham says:

          It has to be that the squirrels are too fast. Once you stomp, you can’t stop. Rat pancakes… Maybe I should get a horse for my apartment.

    • Don Mitchell says:

      I am soooo tempted to post a piece that’s been spinning around my hard drive for a couple of years. It’s called “Trespassers Will Be Shot,” and it’s about shooting and/or trapping furry things, but not feathered ones.

      It’s about graded responses.

      • Slade Ham says:

        Well, you have my curiosity piqued now. I will say this – clearly the audience is split on killing versus not. I think you should definitely post it.

  22. Zara Potts says:

    Oh! Squirrel socks! I WANT A SQUIRREL WITH SOCKS ON!!!

  23. Slingshot!

    Where were you the two winters I was home-invaded by squirrels? Ohhhhh the damn squirrels…they turned me purely deranged…I even used a French style rolling pin to smash a hole in my ceiling to try and manually drag those fuckers out.

    • Slade Ham says:

      So wait… what was the resolution? I don’t even own a rolling pin. The slingshot it may be…

      • Hang on…we’ve HAD this conversation before. Did you mention your squirrel situations in a previous post? I am having serious deja-vu…

        • Slade Ham says:

          I’ve never brought up squirrels. Not in a post anyway. I am apt to comment drunk though, so I forget a lot of them, hahaha. I did have some in the roof of my old house, but I never wrote about it. Strange.

          I don’t have the deja vu feeling though, so it may just be you.

          But you have me wondering now…..

        • Slade Ham says:

          I retract my statement about not remembering. Earlier today I had a brief flash of you and I talking about this on another thread. Either about the ones in the roof or in some other context. I thought it was on my post about the Realtor and the things I was doing to scare potential buyers away, but I looked and it wasn’t there.

          With that said, everyone of my posts somehow spirals wildly out of control into conversations about the most random of subjects, so it could have happened anywhere, hahaha.

          If I find it, I’ll say so.

  24. When this post gets bumped to ‘Inside TNB,’ I nominate this photo be used:

    Squirrel with Machine Gun

  25. Don Mitchell says:

    Squirrels — Havahart + laundry sink, you’re done.

    Rooster — I think the poison suggestions are the best ones. Or a violent emetic. Or convince her to get a large drake. I had a Muscovy duck once that beat the shit out of every rooster in the village, tread on all the hens, and had the most amazing penis imaginable. The duck will silence the rooster, see? Then you deal only with quacking.

    • Slade Ham says:

      Quacking is nothing. I can deal with quacking. Plus, ducks always make me think of Mitch Hedberg. It starts about a minute in: The Ducks Would All Like Sun Chips

      A big, well hung duck to kick some rooster ass is just what this neighborhood needs.

      And the Havahart traps are on my to-do list tomorrow I’ve decided. Seems to be the popular opinion, and definitely the least messy. After all, a .22 in my dining room can’t be good for the floors.

      • Don Mitchell says:

        The duck well-hungedness is hidden until required. If you Google “duck penis” you’ll find videos. In the meantime:


        My duck had a corkscrew dick. When he was finished, he would flop over on his back, quacking, wings spread but jerking, duck feet in the air, and this amazing corkscrew penis — probably 6 inches long — draped on the ground.

        It was so funny that the village kids would start to scream “the ducks are fucking!” and people would drop what they were doing and flock around to see the post-coital duck dick. I swear it’s true. The duck became a porn star because there hadn’t been any ducks in the village for many years (they don’t do well there) so most people hadn’t ever seen ducks fucking. It’s a treat.

        • Slade Ham says:

          Don, you tuck these little gems into my comments section and I don’t know that I can ever repay you for it. You do what StumbleUpon only dreams of. Two things I most certainly didn’t know:

          Some ducks grow phalluses as long as their entire body.

          That will get you some attention in a bar…

          Female ducks seem to be equipped to block the sperm of unwanted males.

          With all of our genetic engineering, this is the trait we should be attempting to breed into the next batch of humans…

        • Don Mitchell says:

          Arrrgh. There’s a joke from the sixties that I can’t remember, that featured a guy with a dick so long he drapes it over his shoulder and walks into a bar . . . and then what? Shit!

          I suppose I could Google “long dick jokes” + bar but that would probably generate five million hits.

          Always glad to provide bizarre tidbits. Here’s another duck:


          And finally, I won’t tell my favorite “fuck the duck” joke except I will say it ends with the Vicar saying “Oh goody. May I dangle my balls in the fruit salad?” You could look it up.

        • Slade Ham says:

          An other drake mallard raped the corpse almost continuously for 75 minutes.

          Arrrgh! Hahahaha. Wow.

          And a cursory search for your “fuck the duck” joke didn’t turn up the joke itself. Might have been the key words I used. It did turn up a guy’s MySpace profile though, that included this under his “General Likes” tab:

          Being a dinner guest and dropping my balls in the salad bowl and yelling, “Naughty lettuce, tickling my balls. Somebody stop the naughty lettuce!”

        • Don Mitchell says:

          It’s an Australian joke. As you probably know, the Aussies love to make fun of the whinging Pommies (=Brits).

          I’ll tell it in shorthand.

          Father is carving the Sunday duck, but it slips and slide across the table.
          Father yells, “Fuck the duck!”
          Son asks Mother, “What does that mean?”
          Mother says, “It means he’s going to carve the duck for us to eat.”

          Next week the Vicar comes to dinner (you can see this coming, right?)

          Mother brings the duck out of the kitchen.
          At the table, the son says, “Vicar, Daddy’s about to fuck the duck!”
          And the Vicar says, “Oh goody, May I dangle my balls in the fruit salad?”

        • Slade Ham says:

          Hehehehehehe. Ahhh, thank you for that 😀

  26. Gloria says:

    Funny shit, man. I tried to find you a clip of Bob Ross talking about his happy little squirrel friends, but there seems to be a dearth of Bob Ross videos on the interwebz.

    I sympathize, truly. I have a very small planter space outside – my entire “garden” area of my own in existence in the whole world. I planted some bulbs in there at the start of fall. And SOME FUCKING SQUIRREL keeps digging up my hyacinth. I do not hurt animals, but I’m willing to irritate it a lot. My brother in law recommended wiring the bulb with a 9 Volt battery so that the squirrel gets a little jolt when the fucker tries to dig up my bulb again. But I haven’t done it. I thought about it though.

    Seriously, this piece is really frickin’ funny. 😀

    • Gloria says:

      Oh, and great tags.

    • Slade Ham says:

      I remember your garden, or at least a very wonderful piece about it a while back. That squirrel is fucking around on your sacred ground. He deserves to have the bulb wired. Maybe you and I could start an anti-squirrel terrorism class. I, too, am hesitant to kill them. I see a day of trapping and relocating in my future I’m afraid.

      But I just may hotwire my sock first, hahahaha.

      I was happy with the tags as well. Thanks for noticing.

  27. Simon Smithson says:

    Don’t feel bad – squirrels have brought down the NASDAQ at least twice. At least it isn’t some goddamn Mynocks.

    A guy I used to be friends with had a rooster. He liked the fact that it was, basically, re-affirming its own masculinity in the eyes of the neighbourhood every time it crowed. Kind of like Kool Keith:
    ‘Represent what? My nuts!’

    • Slade Ham says:

      I picture him a little cockier every morning. “Cockier”. Probably the origin of the word now that I think about it.

      And Mynocks would suck. They’ll chew through the power cables, or so I hear.

  28. […] on by Slade’s piece and Richard’s comment I cry Havoc! and let slip this one. I’d like to claim I knocked it off today […]

  29. I agree with Becky. These squirrel bastards are in league with those awful Underpants Gnomes.

    I’m not really sure what to suggest as a viable means of disposing of your animal foes. Have you thought about fire? Fire kills things, and they’re fun to start.

    • Slade Ham says:

      By God, David, you may be on to something. This may be the exact motivation I needed to finally build a flamethrower. I need a winter project anyway.

  30. Kavita says:

    Our family once owned a rooster who at some point in time developed dislike for my sister. He’d pounce on her/chase her if she was not accompanied by my father. She had to remain indoor all the time that guy was out. Dad finally killed him. It tasted good, my sister says.
    And my mother has always been at war with rodents who dig up her garden nightly. (They’ve been winning, by a wide margin.)
    Go after the squirrels. I have a feeling it’ll scare the rooster. Kill ’em, Slade.

    • Slade Ham says:

      Birds do that sometimes I’ve noticed – getting moody towards a particular person. My grandmother’s parrot HATED me. Always.

      And I bet your sister did enjoy the rooster. Nothing tastes as sweet as victory, they say 🙂

  31. Nathaniel Missildine says:

    Hey I just got here, what did I miss? Anybody up for a brief recap? From the looks of it, I was right to be scared of the light sabers.

    But I do like lines like “I lay in bed at night and I hear them coming. Whispers and clicks in the dark” that accelerate the piece until you hit maniacal by the end. I grew up in a woodsy neighborhood where squirrels ruled and we the human trespassers seemed to be carefully watched from the trees at all times. I was lucky to make it out alive now that I think about it.

    • Slade Ham says:

      You missed little, Nathan. Just the typical nonsensical spiral of my comments section, hahaha. Lightsabers and squirrels began to surface after Richard Cox Photoshopped a squirrel in a bikini wearing Lenore’s socks. It was odd.

      Thanks for noticing some of the lines. Aside from just the humorous angle, I really enjoyed writing it.

      I know that feeling of being watched well. Woods-walking is a favorite of mine. All the creatures do seem like sentries posted to make sure that we don’t get out of line as we pass through.

  32. Kavita says:

    You may also want to read this very funny blog post by Johnny Virgil on chipmunks and see if this will work for you: http://15minutelunch.blogspot.com/2010/06/just-chip-of-iceberg.html

    • Slade Ham says:

      It does seem that no matter how I go about trapping these things – whether I cook up a first class appetizer course or not – I’m going to have to drive them far, far away so that they don’t come back.

      What a fun read. I feel his pain. Thanks for the link, Kativa.

  33. Okay, I was going to get a squirrel-with-a-bazooka-rocket-launcher gravatar to accompany this comment, but, alas, I am not as talented with photoshop as Richard. Just imagine it. Sorry about your animal battles, but, damn it makes for a fun read! The squirrels terrorizing my home are fairly focused on my dog. I swear — they’ve learned to *imitate her bark* because doing so drives her mad.

  34. Dana says:

    Oh Slade, these things certainly happen to you simply so you can write great stories!

    I just read through all the hundreds of comments — you guys are all certifiable. Thanks for all the great laughs and avatars.

    I’m well versed in the Havahart traps…

    Many years ago my mothers beautiful rose garden was suffering from the plague of bunnies. Because her daughter is a huge advocate for all things furry, great and small, she opted for a Havahart. It was successful almost immediately. My father was a park ranger in the summer and he decided to relocate the little bunny to the state park to live out his bunny life. He drove the little dude 21 miles to the park, walked it 20 feet or so into the woods and pointed the exit into the forest. The bunny quickly exited, pulled a u-turn and ran into the road where it was promptly squashed by an 18 wheeler.
    The end.

    • Slade Ham says:

      That’s the best ending to a story ever. That’s why I have absolutely zero issues killing flies or mosquitoes. They’re lifespans are so short to begin with, does it really matter?
      As for the comments, if I’m going to be certifiable, what good company to be in, no? I’m so glad you enjoyed the read.

      • Dana says:

        I may have some useful advice for you. My father-in-law was a good egg. In his late 70’s he grew to love to watch the squirrels outside his window and even named a few that he’d see most often. He took to feeding them corn in a feeder something like this. http://www.bestnest.com/bestnest/RTProduct.asp?SKU=AUD-NASQCHAIR

        He attached it to a large oak tree right out his front window. One afternoon his favorite little friend was sitting in the chair enjoying his corn snack when a sudden thunderstorm broke out. The tree was struck by lightning and little Frankie was fried in his little squirrel electric chair.

        God speed.

  35. Dana says:

    p.s. Richard!!! Coxy!! Pecker killer!!

  36. Erika Rae says:

    “…and that is why I bought the slingshot.”


    (I fucking love you, Slade.)

  37. Lisa Rae Cunningham says:

    Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! THESE squirrels!

    • Slade Ham says:

      Hahaha, yes… THESE squirrels. Clearly my own arrogance just went ahead and assumed you had read it 😉

      I’m locking my trapdoor now…

  38. Irene Zion says:

    I left a comment and it was eaten, (probably by a squirrel,) between you and Singapore, where I am now.

    I’ll try one more time.
    an air gun to scare the rooster to some other yard far, far away.

    The squirrels are a bigger problem than you understand.
    We had them living in our attic in the winter in Illinois one year, thinking we were giving the cute little things a warm place to stay.
    They ate our phone lines.
    (This was before cell phones.)
    They ate our electric lines.
    They ate everything.

    We had to get a pest guy to evict them,
    then a builder guy to close up all the holes,
    then an electrician to put BACK the electricity,
    then a phone guy to put back the phone wires.

    You gotta get rid of the squirrels.

    • Slade Ham says:

      If they eat the lines and the power goes out and there is no light, I will resort to living like the cavemen.

      Which means I will have to hunt my food.

      Which means those fucking squirrels are in trouble…

      Safe travels through Singapore.

  39. Irene Zion says:

    But Slade,
    Why not just eat them NOW,
    BEFORE they eat your wires?
    Then you won’t have to live like a cave man.

    • Slade Ham says:

      It’s the catching them part that is vexing me. I think I would be more motivated if I were starving to death.

      Plus, I think one of them has turned into a rat. That, or it shaved its tail.

      I’m having hell, AND I keep stepping in these stupid glue traps.

  40. Irene Zion says:

    Oh NO!
    Slade, now you are in trouble!
    It is a well-known fact that when squirrels are getting ready for war,
    they shave their tails!
    Gird your loins for battle!

  41. angela says:

    omg, sooo funny.

    i’d be freaked if i knew squirrels came into my apartment. they’re just rats with fluffy tails.

    • Slade Ham says:

      I’m starting to realize that now, though I’m not convinced one of the trespassers isn’t an ANCTUAL rat.

      Thanks for stopping by, stranger. Hope all is well 🙂

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