I belong to a neighborhood community website that lets neighbors, elected officials, and first responders keep in touch about everything from road closures and coyote sightings to requests for contractor referrals and babysitters. (Think Facebook for your 'hood.)
Residents have been mostly respectful and keep their comments and posts about the neighborhood. Some just give the facts or ask simple questions-- Others definitely "over share".
Case in point...
A neighbor posted that squirrels were eating all the lemons off her tree and wanted to know if anyone had an easy solution that had worked for them. From her post question, I got the impression she was looking for safe and sane solutions.
But that's not the response she got. Turns out, peeps in our 'hood are very passionate about their fruit trees! And they really don't like squirrels-- Any squirrels! Not. At. All.
One guy talked about the wolf urine he buys online and sprays on all his fruit to scare the squirrels away. Another talked about having tried a hot pepper concoction that was only successful at killing her trees. And another actually takes the time to rubber band all her fruit to the branches while it ripens making it more difficult for critters to carry off.
A prominent member of our community went on and on that all she has to do is feed the squirrels plenty of peanuts every single day and they stay away from her fruit trees. I yiyi-- That was met with screams and pleads to stop feeding wildlife complete with links to county ordinances to prove it's against the law.
There is a long time resident (whose profile includes his photo and complete address.) who simply traps and drowns the squirrels claiming it's the very most humane thing to do. His comment was easily 300 words long and explained-- in great detail, the ins and outs of his reasoning. This comment was met with barely a response!
Good lord, you'd think the squirrels were carrying away small children, not lemons!
Within 24 hours there were about 30 comments to the simple question of "how to stop squirrels from eating lemons off trees" with many neighbors feeling compelled to comment for the first time ever.
But then... One comment in particular, well.... that's when things really went sour.
A middle-aged guy (I know because his comments came with his full name, photo and full address)-- let's call him Bozo, bragged that he didn't notice any "bare fruit trees" because he takes daily walks in our area and "has lunch" by picking fruit off other people's trees along the way-- several pieces in fact-- and thinks there's nothing wrong with going into people's yards scavenging because "there's enough fruit for people and the squirrels".
That made me wonder if he poached and dined on the fruit with the wolf urine sprayed on it.
To add insult to injury, Bozo went on to brag that he and a buddy drive around in a swank BMW and gather shopping bags full of a variety of fruit from people's yards... in the dark of night.
And the you know what hit the fan.
The community site blew up with comments.
Apparently, we have some crazy squirrels in these parts who not only eat lemons (and figs, oranges, avocados, apples, pears and plums), they also chew their way through cable wires, security screens and the likes. Folks mostly just want the squirrels to go away. But they really, really want Bozo to go away. And by "away" I mean-- Behind bars in an orange jumpsuit (Orange--no pun intended)!
More than 100 comments later and people are still livid that Bozo sees no problem with stealing fruit from people's yards. Great debate has gone on and he's justified his actions on the site at least 6 times with no apologizes. Even people who don't have fruit trees are going ballistic.
Folks have politely, and not so politely, explained to Bozo that homeowners pay a high price for watering, pruning and maintaining their trees. And the trees are on private property. Bozo doesn't have a leg to stand on or any right to be taking people's fruit from their yards.
And the comments go on and on and on...
To be honest, I have not gotten into the great squirrel debate with my neighbors but as a result, I've changed my settings to only include police reports on our community website. Some may say I'd be more passionate about this issue if the squirrels were a problem for me but, at least for now, they are not.
Other than thinking trapping and drowning squirrels is hateful, I just can't get on this bandwagon. To read all the banter and drama about the fruit thief and see only a few comments about the squirrel-drowner has left me not really feeling very neighborly.
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Summer has flown by! I hope to be back on a more regular basis.
Thanks for stopping by.
Welcome to www.TheFiftyFactor.com - Joanna Jenkins
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