There I was, lying on a white sandy beach with the tropical sun beating down on my back, listening to the gentle hiss of the surf.
Beside me lay a stunningly beautiful, nubile, young blonde girl, nearly wearing a bikini and gently caressing the hair on the back of my neck.
I rolled over to kiss her gorgeous lips …………………
She dug her elbow in my ribs ………………….. hard!
“Gerroff” I growled.
Another dig in the ribs. Harder this time. “Are you awake” I heard.
It was Jen (my wife).
I opened one eye. The alarm clock said 3.25 am ! Who in their right mind is awake at that hour.
I decided I was still dreaming. Perhaps if I got back to sleep quickly enough the blonde would still be on the beach.
“Should there be water dripping off the light fitting?” came Jen’s voice again.
What a stupid question, I thought. “Of course there shouldn’t” I growled.
“Well there is. It just dripped on my head” came the reply.
Dimly, I remembered a school physics lesson where we learned that water and electricity don’t mix very well. I also remembered that the cold water tank and pipes were in the loft above our heads.
Muttering darkly, I pulled on some clothes, got a stepladder from the garage and climbed into the loft. As I lifted the hatch I heard the scamper of little feet and when I flicked on the light I saw the tail end of a squirrel disappearing into the eaves, but I could see no sign of a leak.
Everything seemed dry enough, except around the light fitting over the bedroom below. There it was damp, and there were little squirrel droppings around the fitting.
It dawned on me what was happened. Jen was sleeping directly below the squirrel’s toilet!
It was p***ing on her head!!!
I’m afraid I laughed.
No, I was helpless with laughter.
Eventually, I recovered enough to return to the bedroom and report my findings.
“Good news” I said “No leaks”.
“Bad news” I said “We’ve got squirrels in the loft and they’re p***ing on your head. But I don’t think it’s personal”
I’m afraid I laughed again. Much louder and much longer.
Jen didn’t seem so amused.
“They gotta go” she said.
I tried to defend the squirrels. After all they were only doing what comes naturally.
I suggested that Jen could sleep with a plastic bag on her head or maybe, under an umbrella.
I even offered to rig up a little drip tray.
All no good.
“The squirrel’s gotta go” was her response to all my ideas.
So the following day it was a visit to the local pest control officer. He hired us a humane trap and told us that, if we captured any squirrels, we should take them a little distance away before releasing them back into the wild. He stressed that we should take them over water and they wouldn’t return. (The advice given now is very different).
So, no problem. We live a few hundred yards from a river, the other side of which, is a large country park full of great big oak trees. Squirrel paradise!
So the following night we placed the trap on the floor of the loft, baited it with peanuts, and went to bed.
We were woken in the early hours (again!) by a huge crash and then a series of bangs in the ceiling above our heads.
We’d caught our first squirrel.
The following day, we took it over the river and released it into the park.
The next night we caught our second squirrel and the process was repeated.
The next night we caught out third squirrel and the process was repeated again.
The next night we caught our fourth squirrel.
I woke to find Jen staring at the latest capture.
“That’s the same squirrel we caught yesterday”, she announced.
I sighed (quietly).
“How do you know that?” I asked. “They all look alike and we took them over water like the nice pest control man said”
“You just have to look at him to see he’s the same” came the response.
“But they all look the same, it doesn’t mean they ARE the same” I said knowing full well that I was never going to defeat Jen’s logic.
Then I had a brain wave. “Suppose we mark each one we capture in some way. Then if it returns we’ll know by the marking. We could use paint or something”
“I’ve got some old nail varnish,” said Jen. “We’ll use that”
She gave me a bottle of fluorescent pink varnish and I daubed some on its tail.
It was obviously a male squirrel as he looked mightily affronted by this. Clearly he was concerned about losing his street credibility, or maybe it wasn’t his colour! Either way, he did his best to remove my fingers with his teeth.
Anyway, after painting, he was released like the others.
The following night we caught our fifth squirrel.
No nail varnish.
This time we put the nail varnish on it’s head before we released it.
We caught a total of fourteen squirrels, eleven of which were released with nail varnish on various parts of their anatomy.
So, if you see a squirrel in your garden wearing shocking pink nail varnish, the chances are that it’s one of ours.
BUT NO! WE DON”T WANT IT BACK!