The Beast in the Trash Bin
When I opened the door the smell of stale pizza exploded from the room like fire in the movie Backdraft. The cleaning crew apparently forgot to clean the youth room last week. It stunk. Something had to be done. Heroically I grabbed the five old pizza boxes in one hand and a trash bag full of used cups, plates, and napkins in the other and headed for the dumpster outside.
It was unusually hot that morning. When I grabbed the black lid of the dumpster it burned my hand a little. Inside the dumpster it must have been boiling. Enough to drive even the sanest of animals mad.
I only got the lid a few centimeters open when I saw it. There was a wild terrifying beast in the dumpster waiting to attack me. Everything suddenly went into slow motion. It was like I was in the Matrix. The beast stared at me and then let out a high-pitched battle cry. Its beady eyes were desperate and full of hate. It bounded off of one wall to another, and then right toward me. Its claws were extended forward with venemous intent. I could sense the rage rippling through every muscle of the beast’s body. Its sole goal was clearly to rip my face off. My heart filled with terror. My life flashed before my eyes. My adrenaline raced and I muttered a quick prayer asking God to take care of my family. Then a wave a determination washed over me. “This would not be the day I lose my face! Not today you face eating vermin! NOT TODAY!” I declared to myself.
What the beast hadn’t counted on was my cat-like lighting fast reflexes. Underestimating me was a grave mistake. In mid-air, moments before the horrible monster reached me and began tearing off my face, I slammed the lid of the dumpster down. It landed squarely on the beast’s head. For a brief second the beast and I made eye contact: I, the victorious and conquerer, and the beast, his small sad little squirrel head caught between the lid and the dumpster, defeated.
The beast fell with a bang to the bottom of the dumpster. Enraged even further it continued to fruitless bang its head against the lid still hoping to tear off my face.
“Let the beast rot and die so you will not have to battle it another day,” one side of my brain declared. “You can return to claim its corpse as a trophy and mount it on a poll in the parking lot as a warning to all other face ripping squirrels that here works a warrior not to be trifled with.”
“No!” the other side shot back. “Today in youth sunday school you are teaching on creation and how we are to be care takers of the earth. If you don’t release the beast you will be called a hypocrite for ages to come…plus a squirrel trophy, while cool, may not send out to the community that ‘we are a place of love, forgiveness, and fellowship’ vibe you are hoping for.”
I knew the wimpy animal loving side of my brain was right. I had to free the beast…but how without getting my face torn off?
In a move that future generations will refer to as a stroke of mechanical brilliance not equaled before or since, I returned to the stinky youth room and retrieved a pool stick. Back at the dumpster I used the stick to open the lid from a safe distance. At first the squirrel beast did not stir. He was probably waiting to get a glimpse of my face so he could again attempt to rip it off; but then, remembering his defeat in our previous encounter, he decided instead to calmly bound to the top of the dumpster.
For another brief second we again made eye contact; but this time the evil beast was the one with terror in his heart for he knew that I could have had his hide. Before he scurried away I sensed from him salute of respect.
“Go forth nobel face ripping squirrel,” I thought to myself. “Go and live to fight another day.”
All at Valley may now feel safe. Never again shall the face ripping squirrel return to lay wait in the dumpster for a victim to devourer.