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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?”

Here?  Where?

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.

19 comments

1 Cristy { 01.13.16 at 7:39 am }

Revenge of the squirrels! But revenge for what is the burning question.

I’m terribly guilty of leaving on my lights. Thankfully we now own a car that beeps at me if I leave the car while they are still on, but I’ve also developed a routine of checking everything when I turn off the car.

And water-proof tape totally exists. It’s great stuff too.

2 loribeth { 01.13.16 at 8:52 am }

Little buggers. :p You have my sympathy:

http://theroadlesstravelledlb.blogspot.ca/2015/05/the-squirrel-saga-p.html

The lights on our old car used to turn off automatically when we turned off the car… the lights in the new car need to be turned off manually (unless there’s some hidden setting we’re not aware of?). :p Trying to get into the habit… so far no emergency calls to CAA (the Canadian equivalent of AAA).

3 Jenn { 01.13.16 at 8:55 am }

Thank you for the morning laugh! What amazes me is that you have a car that has manual headlights. Mine are automatic and have been on every crappy old car I’ve had after my first one (1989 was the oldest I’ve had). I believe you about the tape. Can we make shirts that say “I have better things to do than educate men.” I would love a link to this tape so I can get some for my future RV life.

4 Becky { 01.13.16 at 9:00 am }

I admire your restraint in not going around telling all the men everywhere that you are right and they are wrong.
I worked at a car dealership for years, and the guys in the service department got so tired of having to jump start my car because I left the lights on they would go out and check to make sure I had turned them off every morning. Smartasses.

5 a { 01.13.16 at 9:02 am }

Must be vermin week. My husband found that due to my leaving 10 lb of potatoes in the trunk, and my daughter scattering candy wrappers and food crumbs in the back seat, we had a mouse in our car. A trap took care of it (we hope).

Maybe it’s time to replace your battery if sitting with the lights on for 20 minutes drains it… We have auto-shut-off on both of our cars, but my husband still yells at me to do it manually. But even though I’m generally forgetful about that, my batteries last 5 years, so I don’t pay too much attention to him.

6 Twangy { 01.13.16 at 10:41 am }

Oh thanks, I needed that. I am not alone!
(would love to see some of your prints btw.)

7 Justine { 01.13.16 at 11:23 am }

I want to laugh, but I also want to comfort you and tell you that you’re not stupid at all … you’re the person everyone wishes they could be. And car batteries are stupid for dying on people who have left their lights on to read. 😉

8 deathstar { 01.13.16 at 11:30 am }

I love this story! And the next time you take your car in for service, you might want to replace your battery. That used to happen to us and our battery was old.

9 deathstar { 01.13.16 at 11:32 am }

Also, I kept telling this guy in Home Depot about these clips that you can attach to brick walls so you can hang stuff and he told me they don’t have them. And then I found them. Friggin’ men.

10 Charlotte { 01.13.16 at 11:35 am }

I once ran out of gas around the corner from my kids school one morning. I was in my pjs (that were raggedy like I should only be painting in them) no bra, old mud shoes and no socks or coat. No cellphone either. We started walking. Another parent picked us up. I was so embarrassed, mostly because of how I looked. I had to go in to the school to call AAA and then walk back to my car and wait. Now THAT was stupid. You are not.
As for the squirrels, they must have been mad you watched them having sex.

11 Ana { 01.13.16 at 2:26 pm }
12 Middle Girl { 01.13.16 at 8:56 pm }

Ii am in on that t-shirt! Love this tale of woe. Maintenane and repairs are among the many reasons I don’t own a motorized vehicle.

13 Jessie Francis { 01.13.16 at 10:47 pm }

I laughed and then I shared this with my husband, and he sent this back:http://d.justpo.st/media/images/2015/02/34b07049ad8397054019d6585b02e7f8.jpg

14 35jupiterdrive { 01.13.16 at 10:50 pm }

Look in to an AAA battery if you do replace. They have some really crazy guarantees/replacement policy. (3 year replacement and 6 year limited warranty in Cali. ) And they will come to your house to do it. (I can’t get a link to it though because their website is designed to go to whatever state you’re in. Not helpful when you’re trying to check out if something is a national policy.) I have a forgot to turn my lights ON story that is just as bad. So nope, you aren’t stupid.

In other news: screenprinting??? Really? I did it in high school and want to get back in to it. LOVED it. (Made kick ass posters for the musicals. Yeah, baby.)

15 35jupiterdrive { 01.13.16 at 10:51 pm }

a forgot = forgotten. Drat.

16 Mali { 01.14.16 at 12:48 am }

But if we don’t educate the men, who will?

17 Lori Lavender Luz { 01.14.16 at 4:08 pm }

But were you wearing pants?

I can’t stop laughing at your post!

18 apluseffort { 01.15.16 at 3:09 pm }

Recently I saved a meme for future reference that said “Somewhere there is a woman who doesn’t know your opinion. Yet.” It would accompany this post nicely.

19 JustHeather { 01.16.16 at 6:32 am }

It sounds like you need to carry that tape around with you. 😀 I too have run into guys who wouldn’t believe me, until I told them the story. Men, sometimes!
I too want to hear more about your silk screening!

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