Thursday, March 22, 2012

The 10 Foot Chipmunk

In February of 2002, my husband Bob and I, desperately seeking an escape from the winter doldrums, found ourselves boarding a plane with our then four year old daughter Melissa in tow, destined for “The Happiest Place on Earth”.  Judging by the look of wonder that filled my offspring’s eyes, I’d say Disney delivered on its promise to create a magical vacation memory!

By our last night there, however, the early mornings, extensive walking, and hot Florida sun had taken its toll.   Exhausted, Bob discovered a low-key evening activity at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Campground.  As we gathered under the stars eating freshly made s’mores and waiting for a movie to start, Disney’s resident chipmunks Chip and Dale entertained the kids.  Still too young to realize that real people in costumes brought these magical mammals to life, Melissa ran after those cheerful chipmunks, begging them for hugs and kisses, and posing for photographs. 

Little did we know that several years later, we would be running for our lives when confronted with a REAL, LIVE, chipmunk.

Seems that "Chip", (or maybe it was Dale, they look so much alike), got tired of living amongst the throngs of theme park tourists and hopped a plane for New Jersey, bound for The Weinstein Household!

We must have been out when "Chip" showed up on our doorstep, so I guess he figured we wouldn't mind if he just let himself in.  

Later that evening, while Melissa took her shower, I climbed up the stairs and headed down the hall to our bedroom, where Bob was getting ready for bed.  Suddenly, out of the corner of my eye, something small, brown, and furry raced out from under my bed and ran into the bathroom.

So naturally, Bob and I greeted our old buddy "Chip" with open arms.  Demonstrating the calm demeanor that comes with being a responsible adult, we invited "Chip" for coffee and dessert, while we reminisced about old times in Disney.

Alright, so I exaggerated a bit.  If you ask Melissa to tell the story, she'll explain that she had to jump out of the shower and quickly throw a towel around her to find out why blood curdling screams were being emitted from her mother, who had locked herself in the spare bedroom, and why her father now stood precariously on top of the bed to escape the danger.  (Because we all know  that chipmunks can't climb onto beds, right?)

Eventually, I opened the door to the spare bedroom, and Bob tentatively placed his feet on solid ground.  Melissa put on her pajamas, and the three of us reluctantly decided that, unless we wanted live in a hotel for the rest of our lives, we'd better find "Chip".  

We peeked into the bathroom only to shriek once again in terror as "Chip" raced past us, a giant creature standing at least 10 feet tall (and we're sticking with that story).

Screaming, we followed "Chip" down the hall and watched him run for the safety of the spare bedroom.  Once we knew that our guest was inside, I slammed the door.  So we'd never use our spare bedroom again, I could live with that.

Not sure who to call at 9:00 at night, we dialed our local police station, because I'm sure they had nothing better to do.  (Who cares about drunk drivers, fights, and robberies, tonight we get to chase chipmunks!)

Then we combed through the yellow pages looking for a business that dealt in animal removal.  A frantic phone call, and a half hour later, a man named Ed, and his nine year old son, Ed Jr., showed up to save the day.

We huddled together down the hall as Ed and Ed slowly opened the door to the spare bedroom, walked inside, and closed the door behind them.  As we waited, we wondered if this must be some kind of weird "take your kid to work day" ritual for Ed Jr.

Finally, Ed and Ed emerged from the darkness, carrying "Chip" now safely tucked inside a paper bag.  Ed assured us that "Chip" would be taken to "the wild" to join his New Jersey based cousins.  

A half hour after our evening excitement had subsided, the door bell rang.  Perhaps "Chip" had forgotten something, I thought while opening the door.  There stood two police officers, dutifully responding to our cries for help.  Bob and I apologized profusely, assuring them the danger had, indeed, passed.

Every now and then we see "Chip" "Dale" and their cousins scampering about outside, along with a host of squirrels, rabbits, and the occasional beaver who wanders aimlessly around our yard.  During these sightings we happily watch these cuddly critters, content with the knowledge that thick walls and windows separate our world from their's.  
Because we all know what happens when a critter gets inside The Weinstein turns into a savage monster, standing 10 feet tall!

And I'm sticking to that story!
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  1. I TOTALLY understand. We had a squirrel get in the attic when I was a kid and somehow it workd its way into the upstairs bathroom where it ran under a clawfoot tub. My father quickly shut it in there and spent a half hour lining up objects on the hallway floor to make a channel leading down the stairs. His plan was to go in and startle the squirrel which would then obligingly run out the bathroom door, straight down the stairs per his carefully laid out course and then out the front door. Didn't quite work out that way. When the "racetrack" was finished, he went in there and poked aroud under the tub with a yardstick to flush the squirrel out. A yell, a lot of clattering, and then my father came runnig out and slammed the bathroom door behind him and jumped ona chair. His only statement: "It got my stick!" We were doubled over. We had to have a squirel guy come and get it out. Took him 2 minutes.

    1. That is hysterical!! Sounds worthy of a blog story!

    2. Oh my goodness, that's funny! I am impressed with my own calm now that I've read your two stories. I would be the one catching your critters if we were roommies!

  2. Congratulations, Lisa, I have nominated you for the KREATIV BLOGGER AWARD.

    Go to my blog to see your name in bright lights, then check out the rules for the award, which I've pasted below:

    The Kreativ Blogger award comes with the following rules:
    1. You must thank the person who has given you the award.
    2. Copy the logo and place it on your blog.
    3. Link the person who has nominated you for the award.
    4. Name 7 things about yourself that people might find interesting.
    5. Nominate 7 other Kreativ Bloggers.
    6. Post links to the 7 blogs you nominate.
    7. Leave a comment on which of the blogs to let them know they have been nominated.

    1. Thank you for the nomination Cindy! I will most definitely do this if I can figure it out! My tech skills are lacking!!

  3. hahaha! I love how your rescuers were Ed and Ed. And one of them was 9. :) Hilarious!! Seems like the huge vermin only make their way into my house when my Hubs is traveling for biz - spiders, giant moths, crickets, etc. It's just me trying to kill 10-feet-tall critters quietly with a shoe as to not wake the baby. :)