Sidewalk Showdown or the Squirrel that Ate Indy

I regret to inform you that Indianapolis has been invaded. Assaulted, if you will, by what can only be an alien species.

I came face to face with one of the creatures for the first time a few days ago when I got out of my car at the Harrison Center. All was well with the world. I opened my car door with a smile, the sun was shining, I was wearing my favorite shirt, and I had remembered my lunch. I pulled my bag out of the trunk, slung it over my shoulder, and stepped onto the sidewalk.

I made eye contact with a cute girl across the street and smiled even wider. She smiled back and as I turned, I started to hum the chorus of a song that I had just been listening to in the car. It was a good day.

Then all of that joy dissipated—replaced by abject terror.


Now, I’ve loved being in Indianapolis, but no one mentioned you can stumble into a personal judgement day just walking to your car. Squirrels here aren’t just squirrels, they’re behemoths. Enormous colossi casually strolling the sidewalk. Great hairy titans standing at the street corners or lounging just a few feet above your head in a low-hanging branch.

The reason for my surprise is that they’re in a totally different league than the squirrels we have back in Tennessee. Those are small, grey rodents. These look like they could easily learn to ride a horse. I’m just accustomed to something a fraction of the size of your squirrels, and my unfamiliarity almost led to my demise.

So, there it was. Just standing on the sidewalk, daring me to move another inch. This was it. This was the end for me. I stared at him, and he stared back as I began to cry with barely audible whimpers. I considered offering up my lunch as a potential scapegoat, but the savagery I saw in his eyes told me enough to know he had no interest in Penne Alfredo.

It glared, flexed his sinewy muscles, and then, with no warning, it let out a hair-raising screech and rocketed up a nearby tree, presumably to hunt down a victim more worth the effort than my bony self could provide. The sound was similar to Godzilla’s shriek just before he knocked over a row of buildings in the recent summer blockbuster. Some may not believe me, but I looked over my shoulder as I fled the scene in terror, and I swear it sprouted wings, swooped out of that tree, and carried off a small dog.

I stumbled inside the office and fell to the floor, gasping for breath and sobbing in great, humiliated heaves.

My coworkers’ response? They laughed.

I tried to explain the situation to them—all the panic, horror, tears. I tried to explain the danger outside because I had to warn them of the midwestern chupacabras stalking the streets, and they just wouldn’t hear it.

But I know what’s really out there. It’s a warzone. I’ve spent the past three days gathering supplies and sleeping at the Harrison Center. I’m making a break tonight with armor made from three ring binders and duct tape. I may just yet be able to make it to my car and escape squirrel armageddon. If not, I’m sorry my blog postings have been so short-lived. It’s been a wild ride, Indy.

Just tell your next visiting intern about the dangers involved.