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Wednesday, January 04, 2012

I was in Haywards Heath today, where I discovered a shop selling just about everything you could ever want in life...

Sex, Food & Wine
The only thing they don't supply is top quality anecdotes, but as luck would have it, I picked up one of those at the St Catherine's Hospice Shop around the corner.

I was idly browsing the menswear section at lunchtime today, when the lady on the till asked her colleague if she'd had a nice Christmas. An innocuous question, you might think, but one which resulted in an answer so surprising that I actually loitered in the shop just to hear the end of the story.

Apparently the lady had been staying with friends for Christmas, and as she arrived home a few days ago, her neighbour came rushing out to inform her that whilst she'd been away, a squirrel had got into her house via the chimney and set off the burglar alarm. Fortunately the neighbour had a set of keys, and was able to go in and turn off the alarm, but the lady was naturally concerned that the squirrel might have caused a lot of damage, so she asked her neighbour how long it had been in there for.

The news was good. The whole thing had only happened that morning, the neighbour had gone straight in, and the squirrel had spent less than half an hour in the house. From that point on, however, the news took a turn for the worse.

The lady continued her story by posing this innocent question to her colleague:

"Now, if you were going to remove a squirrel from your neighbour's house, how would you do it?".

The colleague said she would open all the doors and try shooing it out. The lady herself suggested throwing a blanket over the creature, and scooping it up safely. Neither of those things had happened.

Instead, the neighbour had summoned "her gentleman friend" to deal with the situation in his own inimitable style. As the charity shop colleague put it, in a slightly alarmed voice, "Don't tell me he used a shotgun?"

"No," the lady said. "A hammer."

Apparently the gentleman friend had entered the neighbour's house armed with nothing but a carpentry set, and in an admirable feat of agility and lightning-fast reflexes, had succeeded in getting close enough to the squirrel to hit it on the head with a hammer.

Game over for Tufty, you might think. Sadly not. Despite being smashed in the skull with a piece of DIY equipment, the squirrel, which up until this point had caused no damage whatsoever, survived the blow, and immediately set off across the living room at high speed with blood spurting from its head like a fountain. The neighbour's squeeze took off in hot pursuit, and by the time the creature was cornered by the three piece suite, and a second, fatal blow delivered, there was a trail of blood on the carpet, and the wallpaper had been redecorated in red. Frankly a shotgun would have caused less damage.

Of course, when you've given new meaning to the phrase 'Hammer Horror' by creating an indoor sprinkler system out of a squirrel, turned your neighbour's house into a crime scene, and found yourself standing on the sofa with blood on your hands, you're naturally going to want to clear things up a little. And sure enough, the gentleman politely removed the corpse from the living room.

The charity shop colleague then asked the lady what he did with it. She rolled her eyes before answering:

"He left it on the lawn for the crows".

If I were her, I'd move house.