The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, March 05, 1993, Page 5, Image 5

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    Rodent’s death haunts commune
The dead warrior expired on my
lawn. The snow buried him
because we wouldn’t.
He had been known as Gherkin.
Often he would terrorize the com
mune, flitting about the porch. Oh, he
seemed harmless enough. But those
beady eyes, that frightful stare —
gave me a case of the willies a mile
Oh, you could call him a simple
squirrel. Many did. Some didn ’t. Hey,
it’s a free country. And he was a free
Gherkin would venture often onto
our porch demanding scraps of food.
He wasn’t much of a talker; squirrels
seldom arc. But he could outclimb us
all any day.
The trouble with squirrels is that
you never know what to expect from
them next.
For example, The Seattle Times
reported that a squirrel freaked out in
Kirkland, Wash., terrifying 50 office
workers. Employees at a real estate
office said the squirrel attacked those
who tried to escape. The responding
Eolice officer called for backup after
is pants split during a chase.
When the squirrel was finally
brought under control, he gnawed
through aplastic cage, attacked a vet
and ran off.
Police had few leads in the case. I
can understand and sympathize with
the peace officers. The other week on
“Cops” I saw a squirrel rip through
eight pairs of'pants, handcuffs and a
tin can — yet he still sliced through a
tomato with razor-sharp precision.
That’s the beauty of squirrels.
Evidently, those who think about
such things agree that squirrels be
come aggressive after we humans feed
them. They come to expect those
nibbles of people-food as a supple
ment to their regular daily diet of
leaves, unattended babies and Live
Gherkin was one such squirrel. He
probably lived in that tree in my front
Employees at a
real estate office
said the squirrel
attacked those
who tried to
escape. The
responding police
officer called for
backup after his
pants split during
a chase.
yard, up with the birds and those little
blue-winged guys who follow me
around and, for some reason, can be
seen only by me.
Once in a while, Gherkin would
lumber down the tree, wobble up to
the door and sniff around. If we hadn * t
left him any old bread or girly maga
zines, he’d punch a hole in the screen
Gherkin was forceful like that. He
knew what he wanted in life. He was
the kind of squirrel to take a situation
by the horns and then run up a tree.
He was also the kind of squirrel to
die on our curb and begin to slowly
Thankfully, it snowed after that
tragic event, and the evidence of
Gherkin’s demise was soon lost in
while powder. I suppose that, deep in
the collective memory of the com
mune, we knew a gallant squirrel lay
beneath the tundra. But we pul it out
of our minds. We chose not to grieve.
We looked away, and a squirrel’s soul
That was before the thaw, before
the sun reappeared over the commune
of Isle Broddick, before I went ahead
and got that operation despite my
parents’ objections.
“It’s my life,” I thought, matter-of
It was before Apollo crossed die
sky in his fiery chariot and warmed
the Earth, revealing once again that
which was — or at least had been at
one time — Gherkin.
It was somewhat surprising to sec
the little bugger still sitting there on
the edge of the curb as though he were
waiting for the first bus to the squirrel
afterlife or something. He hadn’teven
packed a bag, I realized through a
“Gherkin,” I called in vain, “Gher
kin .. . .” My voice echoed off the
nearby cliffs in a fearful way. “Gher
kin ... Gherkin ... Gherkin-”
The squirrel tormented my
thoughts. So did those cliffs, which I
had never noticed before.
From that moment on, I always
saw Gherkin sitting there right in front
of me — except when I wasn’t look
ing at him. Then, I didn’t see him at
all. Yes, those were the good times.
Ah, that such times would return!
But when I walked through the
early morning mist on my way to
campus today, Gherkin stared at me
making my way down the block. He
looked a little thinner than usual; death
hasn’t been kind to Gherkin. But it
was still him, all right.
It was still that pesky squirrel. Still
waiting. Still watching. Still working
on those damn origami projects he
liked so well.
Maybe the rain will wash him into
the gutter before long.
Phelps is a junior news-editorial major,
the Daily Nebraskan managing editor and a
Undies should stay out of sight
Sometimes I wonder why I still
live in a residence hall. I could
move out. I could find a dozen
or so friends to share some skanky
apartment with me. I could get used to
eating macaroni and cheese and
Ramen noodles.
It all started Monday.
There I was, wailing in line at my
residence hall cafeteria, minding my
own business. I was trying to decide
whether to have rice pilaf or taco
surprise, going about my daily routine
without any especial joy or misery.
Rice. Again.
I moved on to the buffet’s fruit and
dessert section, idly listening to nearby
“You want to see it now?”
I turned to walk into the dining
area, only to be confronted by a most
unpleasant sight.
There, in the crowded dinner line,
some girl had her jeans undone and
her underwear pulled down on the
side hal fway to her knee, as she showed
off a garish tattoo.
In the dinner line. In PUBLIC.
Thai’s it. This is where I draw the
line — the bikini line, in fact.
When living with a couple of thou
sand strangers, one expects to sec
unpleasant things. But, underwear?
Tattoos? It’s a residence hall, it’s a
cafeteria — not a wet T-shirt bar.
And, in front of the apple pic? It’s un
Isn’t there a law about indecent
exposure in the. presence of perish
ables? There should be—and it should
be strictly enforced.
I’d like to sec less time, money and
energy spent terrorizing rappers and
unwed mothers and more devoted to
the real corruptors of youth—people
who expose themselves in public.
I’ve been assured by someone who
once worked at Younkcrs in the inti
mate apparel section that my experi
ence was minor, at best.
“People would always pull up their
shirt, or pull down their skirt to ask me
if I recognized the brand they were
There, in the
crowded dinner
line, some girl had
her jeans undone
and her
underwear pulled
down on the side
halfway to her
knee, as she
showed off a
garish tattoo.
All those Maidenforra ads where
the women arc standing around in
their undies and no one minds... it’s
just fiction, folks.
This world is depressing and gro
tesque enough. With the mess in
Bosnia and that Texan claiming to be
the Messiah and shooting people, no
one needs underwear in the dinner
It’s uncalled for.
I admit, I am easily repulsed by
underwear. I think it's because under
wear was such an ISSUE in our house
when I was growing up.
Until recently, three of my younger
brothers refused to wear anything but
briefs and Spidcrman shirts on the
weekends. And my sister’s under
wear always ended up on my door
knob or in the bathroom sink.
Or maybe I’m just bitter because
my mother refused to buy me Wonder
Woman Underoos.
When I left for college, I thought
I’d left all that behind. I thought that
until I married and had a family of my
own, I wouldn’t have to deal with
anyone else’s undergarments. In other
words: I never planned on dealing
with it.
If exhibitionism in the dinner line
isn’t traumatic enough, there’s al
ways the underwear bandit.
When people leave their laundry
unattended in our residence hall’s
washer/dryer-filled basement, some
weirdo actually sorts through the laun
dry stealing nothing but the under
This happened to my neighbor.
She left her Maytag alone for 10 min
utes to make some popcorn, and when
she returned she was missing a vital
wardrobe element. She hadn’t done
laundry for a while, and they nabbed
her whole supply.
She was pretty upset. For weeks,
she had bizarre nightmares and lived
in fear that her underwear would show
up on a flagpole or on a drunkard’s
As an optimist, 1 like to think this
person really, really needs underwear,
or that he or she distributes the stolen
goods among the poor. It’s probably
the work of some perverted Fruit of
the Loom cull.
Every lime the bandit strikes, some
one pipes up with the story of the guy
the police supposedly found last year
or the year before, or the year before,
who had more than two thousand pairs
of BLACK underwear in his car.
Everyone present gets an appro
priately queasy look and then runs to
her room to count her unmention
Call me a puritan. Repressed. Up
tight. I can take it. It's probably true.
But, please, please, keep your pants
on at dinner.
•' • t.
Rowell is a junior news-editorial, adver
tising and English major and a Dally Nebras
kan columnist
Come cheer on the Husker Men's Gym
nastics Team when they jump into action
against Penn State.
Saturday Night
March 6, 7:00 P.M.
Devaney Sports Center
$2.00 - General Public
Free - UNL students with I.D.
For ticket information call
This spring take a break from the usual vacation down south... f -
and head north... to Loveland, Colorado... and get vertical! We've
got some of the best snow in the
and that's not all. We've got a m
tain full of sunshine for the perf»
tan! So grab the skis or boards. L
the beach blanket at home. This
spring break the party is at Love
Call 1-800-225-LOVE for rcserval
University Program Council PRESENTS:
Choosing and pursuing a successful career.
At twenty-one, she
became a partner in
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and at twenty-two
she became a
millionaire, all while
taking night classes
to earn her
degree at NYU.
Author of Flay
Money: My Brief But
Brilliant Career on
Wall Street and
Street-Smart Career
Guide: Success '
Through the Back
Monday, March 15th at 7 p.m.
Nebraska Union-Centennial Room
Free for UNL students,
General Public - $3