Eleventy-billion (read: 6) years ago, I was in school. Nursing school, if you want to be pedantic about it, which, as Pranksters, I’m sure you do, because obviously.
As the three of you who have read my blog since I started spewing my words and polluting the Internet may remember, Nursing School was not = to Aunt Becky’s BFF. In fact, Nursing School was PROBABLY my archenemy, if it had feelings, which, I’m presuming, it did not. Otherwise it’d have spit on me whenever I got too close…kinda like that patient on the psych ward.
Alas, I digress.
I was the Bad Kid, the Black Sheep, the Outcast. I’d gone from sitting in the back row, eagerly spitting out answers to questions to sitting in the back row, playing Bejeweled on my phone as I pretended to be anywhere but, well, there.
Every break I got, I popped out to the front steps to smoke my cigarettes and glower at the happy college students bounding past me – probably carefree music majors – until one day, a boy showed up and introduced himself. Ryan was his name, and he was one of two boys in the program, which meant that he was as big an outcast as I.
We’d pass the time that way, he and I, sitting on the stoop of the Nursing School building, me smoking while he talked about his time as a Patient Care Tech. Having never worked in a hospital before, I was fascinated by stories like, “So this one time, I helped this old man onto the toilet and his balls actually dipped into the water.” I hadn’t realized that testicles got REALLY dangly as men age. On those steps, we devised an invention to keep ball bags out of the water: a small intertube that the testicles could comfortably rest in.
As our college (Elmhurst College, for those of you curious about which institution would give a diploma to someone like me) was set on a forest preserve, it wasn’t too long before his bizarre-ness came to light.
One day, as I carefully threw away my omnipresent Diet Coke bottle, a squirrel popped out of the garbage can, just like it owned the fucking place. Like the teenage girl I was (not), I shrieked and jumped back.
“I hate those motherfucking things,” Ryan said, as he chased it away from me.
“Huh?” I wasn’t sure if he was talking about my Diet Coke or the garbage can. With Ryan, you never did know.
“Squirrels. They’re fucking rats with tails. And have you seen their creepy, beady eyes? They’re going to murder us while we sleep,” he said.
I goggled at him, mouth hanging open wide enough for several squirrels to make their wee nests in.
While I’ve felt particularly vitriolic about some things (see also: the color orange and earwigs), I couldn’t imagine anyone actively HATING squirrels. They’re just so…cute! And fuzzy! And fluffy! And FULL of the awesome.
Before any roving squirrels could nest in my mouth, a mental picture popped into my head: squirrels banding together into one gigantic murderous squirrel, breaking into his dorm room, to murder him in a nut-filled haze while he slept. And then, well, I busted out laughing.
“What are you laughing about?” he demanded. “I’m putting together some fliers to post around the school, trying to ban the squirrels from living here.”
I laughed so hard that my sides ached and I couldn’t breathe. He was just so…serious.
“Will you help me?” he asked.
“Sure,” I replied, gasping for air. “Can we ban the color orange, too?”
“NO!” he nearly shouted. “That’s my favorite color.”
“I heard that squirrels love the color orange,” I lied. “You should probably get on that immediately.”
“Oh,” he replied. “I guess I can support your cause if you support mine.”
“You got it,” I agreed, even though I find squirrels to be the apex of awesome.
And that was how I ended up putting up hand-drawn posters all over campus that said, “BAN THE SQUIRRELS. THEY’RE PLANNING TO EAT YOUR BRAIN AND DRINK YOUR BEER.”
Because that, Pranksters, is how political Your Aunt Becky gets.
So dish, Pranksters: what’s the dumbest thing you’ve gotten behind?