The Squirrels Ate My Car
Sometimes I’m too stupid to exist.
A month or two ago, I pulled up into a carpool line and turned off the car to read a book. Oh, I should probably mention that I was near the front of the line, just to let you know how annoying I’m about to become in this story. So the moment comes for the kids to be released, and I go to turn on the car and the battery is dead. I was reading my book for twenty minutes with the car off but the headlights on.
Everyone’s favourite person.
There was a wonderful woman who ran over with a jumper cable power pack, and she got my car working again with only minimal honking behind me. I drove around town for a while and then headed home feeling a little sheepish.
Fast forward to this week.
We get to the twins’ art school early, and we decide to sit in the car while I read them Hunger Games. I am totally in character, doing a very passionate Katniss speech when I glance up and realized I HAVE LEFT MY LIGHTS ON AGAIN.
For the love.
After begging around the school for help and finding no one with jumper cables, I call AAA who comes to save my ass. The man gives me a look as he walks up to my car as if he, too, agrees that I am too stupid to live. I smile and say, “I may have left on my lights, BUT I also backed into the space which makes it really easy to get into the hood.” This, apparently, does not redeem me.
You may be wondering when the squirrels are going to make an appearance in this story. You know, those squirrels who have mad, passionate sex in my backyard? Yes, those squirrels.
So we pop the hood and the man says, “What did you do here?”
I lean over to see what he is looking at and see that the SQUIRRELS HAVE EATEN MY CAR. As in they have chewed a child’s fist-sized hole underneath the hood of the car. The man can’t stop laughing, especially because the squirrels left behind a few acorns as payment. He tells me to patch it up with putty. I tell him that I’m actually going to close it with waterproof tape, and he promises me that waterproof tape doesn’t exist.
And here is where we need to pause for a second. I own waterproof tape. I use it to tape my silkscreens. I have been using it since I started printmaking at 15. I feel pretty secure in its existence. Not just because I’ve used it before, but because I currently own an enormous roll of it.
When I went to buy it at Home Depot, every man I encountered (3 of them!) promised me that waterproof tape didn’t exist. Yes, it does, I told them, and they gave me this patronizing smile and told me that it was cute that I thought tape could get wet. When I finally got myself a roll of waterproof tape, I wanted to drive back to the store and shove it in all of their faces and scream, “I’M RIGHT, ASSHOLES!”
But I didn’t. Because I’m a woman and I have better things to do than educate men.
So back to my squirrel-ravaged car: I start to explain to the man that, yes, waterproof tape exists and while it’s usually used to protect wood frames in printmaking, I’ve also used it many other times — even once on a sink where it got wet dozens of times a day and continued to work for years. And he wanted to argue with me about this, so I just smiled and said, “Sure, I’ll use putty. Thanks for the suggestion.”
Because I’m a woman and I have better things to do than educate men.
Like I have to go write myself a post-it note and leave it in the car so I remember to turn off my lights. And then I have to go talk to a few squirrels.