Your stress affects my climate

What have you done?

All of you. What have you done? I wake up after being kidnapped and drugged– yes, kidnapped and drugged. No, I won’t tell you the harrowing tale of heroism that was my escape. You don’t deserve it.

Anyhow, I wake up, free of my bonds, and I figure it’s only been a week or two. Just enough time to hunt down my translator and force him to write my biweekly missive, I think. Why did I think that? Because it’s rainy and only kind of cold. Surely, this can’t be December.

Wrong. Not only is it a quarter of the way through the 12th month, but I don’t understand my translator’s joke about calling him “Shirley.” Sorry. I mean, I don’t understand why there is no snow or below-freezing temperatures. Unfortunately, my translator may have given me a possible clue.

You see, when I tried to dictate this column to my translator, he told me to bugger off. Apparently, he had no time for this kind of thing. Well, I reminded him that I have teeth, and I knew which discs had his term papers on them. I hate getting heavy-handed. But, my words must meet the under-developed and deformed eyes of humanity.

Then it occurred to me. This was the time in your “semester” when everything is due, isn’t it? When all the exams happen at once, right? Suddenly, there was a bright flash of insight. It blinded drivers in the numbered streets and caused a three-car pileup. Put a smile on my little squirrel face. Anyway.

Y’all don’t realize it, but your collective stress has far-reaching physical effects, like turning metaphorical statements into bad puns. Every time final exams and final papers come around, weird things happen. You ever see the albino squirrel? She used to have a rich brown fur coat with reddish highlights. Used to, until one week in late April a few years ago. Not coincidentally, there were reports that every single ENG 111 portfolio went missing for an entire week.

Yes, I have seen the unnatural and unholy make themselves manifest each May and December. I won’t even get into the mutated beasts roaming around beneath BGSU sidewalks. But could your collective stress really subvert the local climate? For the sake of your fleshy bits that can be gnawed upon, you better hope not. (Translator’s note: The last sentence is a rough equivalent of what Jamison probably said.)

Not one to jump to conclusions without hard evidence (like a certain news network whose channel is a number higher than 47), but I went to see the campus mathematician-priest-squirrel (Translator’s note: I think that’s what his chatters meant). I knew this would be dangerous, since your end-of-semester time plays havoc with the laws of physics. But I had to know.

The holy man, M. Valdemar, was weary from the tribulations of humanity’s collective stress. I humbly beseeched him to tell me of the reason behind the lack of snow. A sad, pitiful look came over his weary eyes. He told me of the snow gods, and how they were angry. Whereas other northern areas had already felt the flakes of the first snowfall, something in this place had caused the snow gods to look away. I suggested that it might be the collective stress of BGSU students. He began meditating.

Hours later, I was bored out of my mind, and had already eaten all the acorn offerings. But M. Valdemar finally came out of his trance. He told me that I had stumbled onto the cause of the lack of a white holiday season.

That was it. It’s one thing to be an ignorant sub-squirrel species — it’s another to mess with a squirrel’s snow. I could be leaping from branch to branch against a background of softly falling snowflakes. Instead, I’m huddled on a deck, cold and wet, talking to a man who keeps asking me to repeat myself.

You know what? To hell with y’all. I’m done trying to entertain and edify the human populace. I work with a translator who can’t understand half of what I say, I see my messages posted in the “Not News” section, and I still haven’t seen this month’s acorn payment? For all this, I lose my snow?!

Nope. Done. My bloody translator will probably continue writing for this publication, but not with me. Oh, sure, maybe I’ll pop by once in a while, you know, to remind you of the pathetic state of humanity. But don’t look for me. All I have left to say is **********.

(Translator’s note: There’s a little bit of confusion with Jamison’s last phrase. It is either a squirrel expletive involving a blade of grass traveling through a horse’s digestive system… or it’s a rough equivalent to “happy holidays.” I’m not sure which. Take your pick.)

Jamison T. Squirrel and his translator (J. Michael Bestul) are a part of the Samizdat Radio Corpus ( You can reach J. at [email protected].