Feb 08 2012


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What am I? A Nut!

Background: I used to clean offices at a pharmaceutical company in the evenings during college.  The part-time job fit conveniently into my schedule, made me a few dollars, and was pretty easy.  One night, I received new cleaning supplies which included a new feather duster, and I was excited.  I wasn’t “getting picked first in kickball” excited, but I was full of joy.  I remember laughing to myself because my new feather duster was large and it reminded me of a peacock’s tail.  

 Yes, it was that fancy.  I know everyone reading this is jealous.   


My current feather duster was worn and beat down from all my office cleaning battles.  It was practically worn down to the nub.  Ha!  I like the word “nub.”  Nub is a funny word. 


I have to admit, I was pretty good at using a feather duster.  I would put it in my back pocket, and just like a gun slinger, was able to attack my target in seconds.  Okay…so my targets were someone’s desk, family photos, and book shelves.  Be nice!  I was cleaning offices at night and my mind jumps around like Robin Williams on speed.


On to the story…


After finally calming down from my feather duster excitement, I started my normal cleaning route.  About an hour into the work night, I had to make my first trip to the dumpster to throw away trash.  The dumpster was located around 35 yards from the maintenance entrance.  So there I was pushing my trash can on wheels and happily singing.  I had my personal audio entertainment system attached to my waist and I was wearing headphones.  Again, I like to sing. 


I arrive at the dumpster.  I slide open the small door on the side of the dumpster when all of a sudden.



Out jumps a squirrel and it attaches itself onto my chest.


I jump back! 


My heart is beating a 1,000 times a minute.  I’m not singing anymore.  I’m screaming!  The squirrel runs down my body and hides behind the dumpster.  I throw the trash bags into the dumpster and I run back to the building.  After several minutes, I begin to settle down and laugh about the whole embarrassing scene.  I was glad no one saw my cowardly battle with the squirrel.


Another hour passes by, and I have to make my second and final trip of the night to the dumpster.  This time, I’m ready for Mr. Squirrel or at least I thought I was ready.  I come out of the building singing as loud as I can.  I want Mr. Squirrel to know that I’m back and I mean business this time.  As I was approaching the dumpster, I decided to turn down my music and stop singing to avoid another sneak attack from my small enemy.


Wait!  What is that noise behind me? I stumble backwards a couple of steps and my back hits the trash can on wheels.  Suddenly I feel something move on my back.


My heart is racing again. 


I slightly turn my head and in the corner of my eye, I can see the squirrel’s tail.  Mr. Squirrel has jumped on my back! 


I immediately go to Plan A.  Operation: Boogie.  I begin to shake my body as if I were being electrocuted while trying to install a ceiling fan.  Unfortunately, my new electrocution dance move doesn’t work because the squirrel is still on my back. 


I panic. I switch to Plan B, but instantly realize that I do not have a Plan B.  I quickly make up a Plan B, and call it, Operation: Run & Scream.




I’m off!  I’m running and screaming towards the building.  Running is an understatement; I’m desperately sprinting as fast as a “Pants on Fire” person on a treadmill.  Yes, I was running that fast.  I mean come on…I was trying to stay alive. 


The squirrel is still on my back. 


My headphones fall off of my head half way to the building.  I suddenly realize how loud I am screaming.


The squirrel is still on my back.


I switch to Plan C.  Operation: Topless.  I’m going to rip off my shirt in a final attempt to rid myself of this beastly animal.  As I approach the maintenance entrance in full sprint mode, I remove my shirt. 


As soon as I enter the building, I hear a noise behind me.  I’m now running down the maintenance hallway and quickly approaching the lobby of this pharmaceutical company.  I realize that my small enemy has hit the floor.  I finally attempt to slow down and to also quiet my screams; but it’s too late.



I run into two doctors in the lobby.  I literally run into two doctors almost knocking them both over.  Keep in mind that I was still running and screaming for my life at the time of impact.  Oh yeah, I was also topless during this whole accident scene.  Having worked there for a while; these two doctors knew me. 


One of the doctors looked at me and said, “Are you okay Iric?”

“Um…yes.  I’m okay.  Why do you ask?”

He laughed, “Because you almost knocked both of us over, and just in case you didn’t notice; you’re not wearing a shirt.”

I embarrassingly replied, “I was having some problems with the cleaning equipment.”

He laughed again, and said, “Did the vacuum cleaner suck your shirt off?”


I apologized and shamefully went to get dressed.  Walking this time down the maintenance hallway, I see my enemy lying on the floor. 


I looked down at the floor. 


What do I see? 


I see my new feather duster lying on the floor. 


It wasn’t a squirrel on my back.  It was the fancy new feather duster that hours ago I so joyfully received.  During that moment at the dumpster, I absolutely, without a doubt, believed a squirrel was on my back because I could see its “pretty peacock” tail over my shoulder.


A half an hour goes by and I’m in the maintenance room.  I hear a knock at the door.  I turn around and see the familiar face of another doctor at the door.


“Hi Iric.”



He proceeds to tell me, “About 35 minutes ago.  I was on the phone looking out of my window and I saw you at the dumpster.  At first, I was laughing because you appeared to be dancing so funny.  Then I saw you look over your shoulder and it seemed to me that you were scared of something which made me laugh even more.  The next thing I know, you were running towards the building.  I swear when you reached the door it looked like were you taking off your shirt.  I was laughing so hard I had to end my call.”


“Yes.  I took my shirt off because I thought something was on my back.”


“What did you think was on your back?”


I held up my new feather duster and told him I thought it was a squirrel.  I thought I had a squirrel on my back.  I told him the whole embarrassing story.  I told him about my first trip to the dumpster and also about my topless encounter in the lobby with his coworkers.  He laughed so much; he cried.


While I was at the home improvement store to purchase materials to fix my leaky faucet, I mistakenly went down the aisle with the feather dusters.  I noticed my feathery enemy staring at me.  I jumped back.  It reminded me of this story.  For a brief fearful moment, I contemplated running, screaming, and tearing off The Vest, and getting topless again.

© 2012, Iric. All rights reserved.

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