I live with a big walnut tree. It’s kind of like living with a large, incontinent dog. It’s big, imposing, majestic, and it drops its waste all over my yard. I do have grass in my yard, it’s just hard to notice under all the twigs and leaves. And the walnuts.

Oh, the walnuts. Walnuts are a fine thing to eat, but I’ve never been able to figure out if mine are edible, because they never make it that far. Because of the squirrels. The squirrels of Minneapolis all got together in some smoke-filled squirrel room and decided my tree would be the Old Country Buffet of Squirreldonia. They are everywhere. And gosh darn are they hungry.

Walnut husks litter my yard, my porch, my life. They rain down on my roof like… well, like rain. Many is the time I heard pitter-patter, and thought “hey, when did it start raining?” And I look outside and realize it’s just squirrels pelting my domicile with walnut fragments. It really can be that heavy. There have been times where some parts of my yard were ankle deep in walnut husks.

One time, it was a nice late summer evening, cool yet warm enough to sleep with the windows open. I was awakened at dawn by an odd grinding noise, faint but enough to wake someone up earlier than they would want. I couldn’t identify it. My best guess was a chainsaw, way off in the distance. “What assmunch is running a chainsaw at this hour?” I grumbled. So I went to the window, parted the curtain, and startled a couple of squirrels. It was just squirrels, chewing walnuts.

Okay, I was groggy, I hadn’t had my coffee yet, but I must stress this point: I confused squirrels having breakfast with a chainsaw cutting logs. That’s the level of squirrel pig out activity that goes on in my yard.

Every year it’s the same thing. I get an early start on autumn yard work, because the squirrels have been goin’ to town. I need to rake up a good ten to twelve leaf bags worth of walnut husks before the leaves fall, otherwise regular leaf raking becomes unworkable. And my yard ain’t that big. Do you know how heavy a leaf bag full of walnut husks is? I haven’t done any scientific measurements, but the mass seems to exceed the tensile strength of a biodegradable leaf bag by several factors. I go through a lot of biodegradable leaf bags.

Squirrels eat the walnuts on any flat surface. My car is a flat surface. For two months out of the year, my car is a mess of dried walnut juice, wood bits, and what I assume would be squirrel droppings and urine. It’s hideous, but there’s no point in washing it. The next day it’ll be back to subnormal. Walnut waste is an odd-looking mess to have on your car. People don’t know what it is, and I have to explain it. No, I didn’t get mad at my car and pelt it with eggs and coffee grounds. Those are green walnuts that have been ripped apart and feasted by ravenous gangs of gluttonous squirrels. When I got back from Maine, the mess was so heavy my car looked furry. You can’t really prepare yourself for your car looking furry. That ain’t natural.

Squirrels are cute, but I’m getting a little tired of their table manners.

I’m starting a new temp job tomorrow. Hallelujah! They want me to come in a bit later, and the Roman walnut orgy seems to be tapering off, so I may risk getting the car washed. I don’t remember car washes having a setting for “the shattered and bloody corpses of walnuts,” but maybe things have changed in recent months.


Power Outage

The Press Conference At The End Of The World may have been the highlight of my acting and writing semi-career. Big crowds, enthusiastic response, actual profit. All the things I worried about proved to be non-things. And To Mars With Tesla won the encore slot at it’s venue, for having the most attendance. It’s really impossible to figure out how I could have had a better Minnesota Fringe Festival than I did.

So why did I take so long to mention this? Well, right after the Fringe, I went on a family vacation to Maine. It was something my parents and my brother had planned for quite a while. So I was unplugged in Maine for about a week. If you haven’t been to Maine, just imagine a trip to northern Minnesota, and swap out all the walleye with lobster. But I jest. The scenery around Acadia National Park is just astounding. If big rocks and waves and forests excite you, and yes seafood, you should hustle your butt over there sometime.

But I tend to be one of those people who needs a vacation from a vacation. I came home and did aggressive amounts of nothing. It was like nothing squared. After the marathons of CONvergence, the Fringe Festival, an upcoming birthday/middle age crisis, and vacationing with small children and elderly parents, the sudden nothingness kind of swamped me. The temp job I had petered out, so I didn’t even have day job drudgery to occupy my mind. It wasn’t the good kind of nothing, like a revitalizing nothing or a peaceful nothing. My power supply was cut. I just shut down.

Anyway, I’m sort of waking up again. If nothing else, there’s this whole thing of employment I need to address. So I’ve been posting resumes, deleting spam about really terrific insurance agent franchising opportunities, and wondering how much longer I can survive on microwave burritos.

I’ll be funny again. I just haven’t been able to summon the energy for a few weeks.

Speaking of funny again, I’ll be a voice actor in Fearless Comedy Productions’ Big Fun Radio Funtime , at the Bryant Lake Bowl September 12th at 10:00 PM with audio sketches by people such as Tim Wick and Courtney McLean. And I’ll be in the Fearless Lab show at Honey on September 10th at 7:00 PM. Thank you, Fearless, for giving me something to do in September.