Horrible Squirrel Ball of Doom

“Horrible Squirrel Ball of Doom”
By Dan Cheek
21 July 2006
© Dan Cheek 2006

Sam sat there at the kitchen table, writing out checks to pay this week’s battery of bills.  It was times like these, little moments really, that Sam enjoyed the most.  During times like these, Sam could pretend that he lived a normal life, that everything was just hunkey-dorey.  Moments like these came very far and few between.

“Sam, I made something for you,” Doctor Sanity announced from behind him.  Sam didn’t want to turn around.  He knew that Doctor Sanity, the mad genius of the Sock Puppets, was probably holding something horrible.  The last time Sanity had told Sam that he had made something for him, it turned out that the Doctor had found a way to make an electric toothbrush out of a chainsaw and an old broom.  Not only did it remove plaque, it could also cut through most walls.  Like most of his other inventions, Sam buried it in the backyard.

“Sam, look, look at what I’ve done,” Doctor Sanity said, now standing right along side his chair.  Sam closed his eyes, took a deep breath, muttered an old curse he had learned from his grandfather, and then exhaled.  He opened his eyes and looked down.  Doctor Sanity was holding….a basketball.

Sam’s left eye twitched noticeably.  He forced himself to blink and then to breath.  “You invented a basketball?”

Doctor Sanity smiled.  “Not quite, Sam.  I’ve invented an inescapable prison for that damn squirrel that’s been running amok.”

It took a few seconds for Sam to catch up with what Doctor Sanity was saying.  “You think that basketball,” Sam said slowly, “Is going to hold a squirrel?”

Doctor Sanity nodded.  “And not just any squirrel, Sam,” he said in a cheery voice, “That rogue villain of a rodent that’s been using our trees like his own personal jungle-gym.  I’ve found a way to contain his madness.”

“So let me get this straight,” Sam said, “You’ve decided that you’re going to put a squirrel inside that basketball and you’re going to do this because you think the squirrel is insane and needs to be stopped.”

Doctor Sanity nodded again.  “Absolutely.  Only you should stop speaking hypothetically.  I’ve already captured the beast.”  He glanced over at the basketball, sitting beside him.

The noise that came out of Sam was a combination hiss and scream.  He recoiled in shock.  “Are you saying you’ve already put the squirrel into that ball,” Sam asked, not really wanting to know.

“Indeed,” Doctor Sanity said proudly, “That son of a bitch is trapped in here but something good.”

Sam went a little pale as a few more years were removed from his lifespan.  “How, exactly,” he said slowly, “Did you go about capturing a squirrel and then trapping him inside of that ball?”

“Good question,” Doctor Sanity answered, “It wasn’t easy.  And the garbage man was horribly maimed in the process.  We should probably send him a card.”

Sam’s shoulders dropped a little.  “Why did you maim the garbage man and what did you do to him?”

“The answer to both those questions will upset you, Sam,” the Doctor announced.  “You’ll probably sleep better at night not knowing.  Just know that it was an unfortunate, yet entirely preventable tragedy that everyone involved feels horribly about.”

“And what should the card say that you think we should get him,” Sam asked.  At this point, most of his body was numb and he could feel the sides of his head throbbing.

“I’m not sure, Sam,” Sanity said as he stood there thinking about it, “I’m not very poetic or sentimental, but how about, ‘Sorry about your legs.  We’ll mail them to you once we find them.’  Something like that.”  He looked up at Sam.

Sam was sitting there, holding his head in his hands with both eyes closed.  In his mind, he was trying to block it all out.  The squirrel, the crazy little Sock Puppet who he was talking to, and the garbage man’s legs.  At all costs, Sam didn’t want to think about any of that.

“And whatever you do,” Doctor Sanity continued, “Never, not even ever, bounce the ball more than once.”

“Why,” Sam asked, still holding his head.

“Because the explosives arm on the first bounce and go off on the second.”

Sam looked over at Doctor Sanity and the basketball.  Sweat was pouring down his face.  “Explosives?”

“Yup,” Doctor Sanity said proudly, “It’s what makes the prison so effective.  If any of his little squirrel friends try to come and spring him free, they’ll no doubt activate the explosive trigger.  BWHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!”

“Oh Dear God,” Sam muttered.  “Doc, get away from the ball.  Come sit with me out on the couch.  I need to think.”

“Okay, I like thinking,” Sanity said as he followed Sam out into the living room.  Sam plopped down on the couch and Doctor Sanity hopped up along side him.

“Is there anyway to disarm it,” Sam asked nervously.

“Nope.  Why would you want to disarm explosives.  That’s like taking the blades off a lawnmower.  You WANT the explosives to explode.”

The sweat coming off Sam’s head now was a steady river.  “What are our options,” Sam asked in a whisper.

“I could paint the ball green.  That would be neat, eh?”

Sam stopped breathing and shook his head.  “Stop talking.”

“Cool,” Lost Cause called out, “A new basketball!”  He was in the kitchen.

Sam and Doctor Sanity both looked at each other in terror.  “Uh oh,” was all that the mad Doctor could say.

They heard the ball bounce once.  “Goblin is gonna love this!”  The ball bounced again.  Then the windows blew out and thick, black smoke came billowing out of the kitchen.  The shockwave knocked both Doctor Sanity and Sam off of the couch.

From the kitchen, Lost Cause managed to eek out two pain-filled sentences.  “Sam, we need to talk.  Bring the Windex.”


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