Suicide Squirrel Death Cult

Location: John and Janice’s house (map)
Miles: 805.3

I got my first inkling of the seamier underside of this quiet town a few days ago while a passenger in John’s car as we headed up the Glenwood cutoff toward Highway 17. It was a peaceful morning; we had a few errands to run – I needed ethernet cables, John had an item to drop by the tailor’s in preparation for his upcoming Polkacide gig. The sun shone down through the branches high overhead. Visibility was excellent, and the day quiet. Not even a Metro was going to sneak up on a woodlands creature on that day.

Yet, inexplicably, as we approached a tree (map) a squirrel leapt out of the foliage directly in the path of the car. John stomped on the brakes, but it was far, far too late. The squirrel vanished out of sight beneath the hood. John looked in the mirrors while I turned around to see the aftermath, but there was no obvious body. Perhaps he had got lucky.

John and I laughed about it, imagining the other squirrels on the side of the road egging that one on, but John must know. He’s been around here too long to not know about the Suicide Squirrel Death Cult. People keep their dark secrets to themselves in small towns.

It was today that the truth became obvious to me. Driving peacefully up Glenwood from the main town (map), two six-packs of beer placed carefully so that the side-to-side forces of the upcoming twisty road would not dislodge them, a squirrel came dashing out from the far side of the road and ran full-tilt to intercept me. I hit the brake, dumping bottles of beer out onto the floor on the passenger side, but as I slowed the squirrel changed course toward me. I cringed as my car passed over the squirrel. Once again, however, when I looked in my rear-view mirror, there was nothing. No squirrel guts, but no squirrel scampering to safety.

“Who trains the squirrels here anyway?” I asked the sky, as if every municipality had a squirrel trainer and the one for Scotts Valley just wasn’t very good. But after my initial innocent outburst, the terrifying truth began to dawn on me.

A hundred yards farther on lay the body of another squirrel. This one clearly had lost his bet with the gods of steel and rubber.

Yet there are eerie parallels between the two squirrel encounters, the most sinister being the complete disappearance of the mad rodents. Ghost squirrels? Perhaps it is an auto-matador squirrel club, keeping points among its members, who try to get as close to the car as possible without buying the acorn stash. Perhaps. But if had been something that innocent, then the locals would have been able to talk about it. No, the secret must be darker. It must be the Suicide Squirrel Death Cult.


87 thoughts on “Suicide Squirrel Death Cult

  1. Jerry, Thankyou for talking about the unmentionable. The taboo unspeakable…I too wonder why I don’t ever see a rolling body. This is a bigger problem than UFO elvis babies! I try to be a humane driver. I too have thrown everything from seat to floor in a wheel locking skid to save a squirrel. And on rare occassions…there’s the dreaded thump, then the glance to the rearview…and Nothing! Where’s the body!!! I firmly believe car makers have outfitted the bottoms of our cars with antisquirrels. When we hit, the two entities annihilate one another, leaving a little bit of energy and some squirons and rellons to spin off.

  2. Well, I think maybe our thin mountain air is starting to affect Jerry. Rumors about this so called “Suicide Squirrel Death Cult” start up every few years, but it’s always some crazy teenagers who get liquored up in the woods, or foreigners, or the damned yellow press, just trying to give our quiet little town a bad name. Some have even gone so far as to claim the ground squirrels are in on it, digging tunnels that come up in the middle of the roads, using the Botts Dots as hatch doors, so the squirrels can mysteriously disappear. This is obviously crazy, and we locals don’t take kindly to it. Don’t get me wrong, Jer has nothing to worry about… from me, but it might be a good thing that he’ll soon be headed overseas. The neighbors, you know.

  3. The conspiracy appears to go to higher levels than I thought. Precious little had been published about this scourge. But no matter how diligent “they” are, there are tantalizing references out there. like this, for instance:

    Although the original article has been purged, still in the backwaters of the Web traces linger…

  4. No, as a former Santa Cruz resident, I know of the “Suicide Squirrel Death Cult,” as you call it. I know little more than whispers John speaks of, but these whispers… well, I don’t know if Prague is far enough… I can only say that they are out there, and their level of technology would leave William Gates reeling.

  5. Doesn’t John drive a Miata also? Maybe this is not so much a matter of the disappearing Ghost Squirrels, or the Suicide Squirrel Death Cult, but an added feature (sometimes better none as bugs to Microsoft users) to the Miata design that has previously gone unnoticed. Have you ever had the car jacked up high enough to look under the body? Is there some sort of squirrel scooping device? I personally haven’t had a squirrel encounter. There was an unfortunate incident involving a house cat one afternoon in La Jolla, however, had such a device been installed, it probably would have removed the unsightly mess from Noth Torrey Pines Road and saved me about 45 minutes of “getting home” time. But my miata is an older model and may not have come equipped. Jack it up Jerry and take a look.. End our fear and torment.

  6. It’s an easy mistake – who would figure that with ten people tops posting, that there would be two Johns? The John with the Miata is my cousin in Montana.

    But, you know, he used to live in Santa Cruz…

  7. I must bring another incedent to light. The other day, near Eleephant Butte Lake, I happedned upon a sect of the S.S.D.C. (Suicide Squirrel Death Cult). We had just taken our twenty-six foot sailboat out of the lake and were driving up a hill when out from a rock jumped a lake squirrel. We were maybe 30ft away when this cult member jumped. We had no chance to slow down. There was no trace of the body afterward. Later, we were coming the other way down this road when, not 100ft from the first encounter, jumped another, smaller squirrel. We were quit a ways off, but the squirrel bacame

  8. Second Part

    scared of it’s mission to the cult, so at the last instant it ran of the side of the road. The road at tihs point hangs precariuosly on the side of a cliff, and the squirrel didn’t go to the uphill side. I figure it chose to end itself by droping 80 ft. onto a rock rather than to be squished by a large SUV towing a boat. I hope that when more light is shed on this matter, the carnage and dissiperances will stop.

  9. So, the scourge seems to be spreading. This is how it starts, you know, isolated pockets here and there, and then WHAMMO! Squirrels leaping off skyscrapers in New York and assaulting double-decker busses in London. If I’ve seen this happen once, I’ve seen it a hundred times.

    The time for action is upon us.

  10. It’s spreading further! I was returning from grocery shopping in town, and was headed into Laguna Vista. I was driving along, admiring a handsome palomino horse, ridden by a handsome cowboy (who, for some inexplicable reason, had a cell-phone held tightly to his ear), accompanied by a handsome cattle-herding dog, moving some handsome Scottish Longhorn cattle from the pasture on the east side of the road to the pasture on the west side of the road.

    I came around a bend, and suddenly, there it was! A squirrel, dashing across the road, trying its hardest to get itself embedded in what passes for a grille on the Cavalier. No thump, no sign of the squirrel in the rearview mirror.

    I wonder if the cowboy with the cell-phone was alerting the local cell of the cult?

    Carol Anne

  11. AIIEEEEE! Now they’re getting serious! The past several mornings, between the hours of 6:30 and 8 a.m., the doorbell has been ringing. Every once in a while, it also rings at other times of day, but, since I’m now in a place where I’m SUPPOSED to sleep in, the early-morning rings are the most annoying.

    When I get up to answer the door, nobody’s there. Ever. As best as I can figure, the squirrels are playing a sadistic game of ring-and-run, in order to intimidate me into not spreading the awful truth. Oh, sure, some people might say, but really it’s probably just some thermal thing as the early-morning sun shines on the doorbell, and the temperature change causes a short-term short circuit. But I know differently. I know those critters are out to get me.

  12. What mom said elswhere is true. The dorbell is electric and has no wires. The squirrels must use supersonic sound waves to trick the dorbell into ringing

  13. Jesse,

    I’m working on verifying your anti-squirrel theory. Today when I left the house for a band rehearsal up in San Francisco, I made sure the detection equipment was hitched to my car. I suspect the neighbors are getting tired of this experiment, because my Metro can’t go very fast while towing a boxcar full of deuterium, but nobody ever said science would get you invited to block parties.

    Sure enough, as I hit the gas on the straightaway between Mountain Charlie Road and Weston Drive — and the speedo crept perilously up toward 5 MPH — a member of the SSDC leapt out in front of the car. My hand may have twitched on the wheel, my foot may have spasmodically jerked toward the brake pedal, but let’s face it: all my attention was on the equipment readouts. And then there’s the fact that turning the wheel and hitting the brakes in a 1900-lb car isn’t going to change the course of that boxcar any time soon.

  14. The readouts didn’t budge. At least not while I was on the road, and I’m pretty sure the end of the data stream was corrupted when the redwood fell into the deuterium. I followed the skid marks, and the trail of destruction, back to where the squirrel had run in front of me and there was no sign of a body.

    Once I get the Metro out of the creek I’ll reconfigure the detectors and try to mow down some more squirrels… I mean, take some representative drives along local roads and aim at data points. It may be a while though, because I need another 40,000 gallons of deuterium.

  15. I think I have found a training camp for the SSDC. Over the weekend i was backpacking in the Santa Fe National Forest. We had a bag of food hanging at a good height from a string. The string was tied to a dead tree which had fallen onto a live tree like this




    / ll

    / ll

    /I ll

    / I ll

    / O ll

    / ll


  16. My tree illistration didn’t work! Yuo will have to use your imagination.

    Anyway, this big fat squirrel ran up the dead tree untill he was right across from the bag. He then leaped for the bag and missed. He then ran up the live tree, jumped onto the dead one where he promptly found the string. He then slid down the string, and got swatted off by a branch that the srring rubbed against. The squirrel then went back to the string slid down HEADFIRST, cleard the branch and slid to the bag, where it promptly lost ballance and flumped to the ground.

  17. Tree illistration, attempt 2





    ll I

    ll I

    ll O .

    ll . .

    “l” =live tree

    “” =dead tree


    O =string and bag.

  18. John,

    40,000Gal of deuterium! Which part of this experiment did you think got you uninvited to block parties?

    Besides, everybody knows it takes precisely 40,000.000027 gallons of deuterium to properly detect squirrel/anti-squirrel annihilation.

    Was this grant proposal peer reviewed? (though, I admit, you are without peer)

    Q. If a tractor trailer runs over a Geo Metro, will anything appear in his rearview?

  19. Jesse,

    All us mountain folk got big vats of heavy water in our cisterns, root cellars, or whatnots; it’s a… survivalist thing. Yeah, that’s the ticket. I just had to hit up a few hundred of my neighbors, explaining that I was engaged in “important research,” and then assure them that said “important research” would not help the gub’ment in any way in Their mind-control efforts. Once I told the really tough nuts that I was out to blow the lid off of an enormous conspiracy, well… I won’t have any trouble getting that additional 0.000027 gallons of deuterium, I tell you what. How much is that in eighth-teaspoons?

    So my experiment has certainly been neighbor reviewed, and independently beer reviewed.

    I’m not letting any tractor trailers run *me* over. I’ve seen the anti-Metros studding their undercarriages.

  20. I’ve been assuming you were talking about refrigerated liquid deuterium, since you measured it in gallons, which just naturally led me to believe that you hillbilly survivalists had some kind of major neutron source.

    I’m thinking black hole. [I first typed that ‘black mole’. Finger spasm or message from forces we cannot begin to comprehend?] [I love the use of ridiculous rhetorical questions to say things without actually endorsing them.] I’m thinking you yokels have a l’il ol’ black hole hid away up thar somewheres, an’ she a’spewin’ that there hawking radiation like there’s no tomorry. Course, that ain’t no neutrons or nuthin’, but thet puppy’s purty hot, I tell you what. Kin drive a still till there’s no tomorry. Little deuterium gets caught in the trap, all’s the better.

  21. The add at the bottom of this window right now is “A Really Super Book About Squirrels” I’m going to click it…

    Holy crap.

    Customers who bought this book also bought:

    Squirrels at My Window: Life With a Remarkable Gang of Urban Squirrels by Grace Marmor Spruch, Nurit Karlin (Illustrator) (Rate it)

    Nuts About Squirrels : A Guide to Coexisting with — and Even Appreciating — Your Bushy-Tailed Friends by Richard E. Mallery (Author) (Rate it)

    Welcome to the World of Squirrels (Welcome to the World Series) by Diane Swanson (Rate it)

    Squirrels: A Wildlife Handbook (Johnson Nature Series) by Kim Long (Rate it)

    Squirrels by Brian Wildsmith (Rate it)

    Books by people with nothing better to do than watch the rodents run around outside their windows.

  22. The “use of ridiculous rhetorical questions to say things without actually endorsing them” is going to come in mighty handy during the campaign.

  23. Black hole, huh. Seems that that would also take care of the bodies. The squirrels have access to this black hole and have developed ways to put some in a squirrel sized pill. The cult member consumes the pill. The said member gets hit by car, outer shell of pill cracks, mini black hole instantly shrinks squirrel into tiny piece of road.(?)

    As for the books, these people could be our only hope, as they are observing the squirrels more that any of us. On the other hand, they could be on the lookout for the squirrels, creating propaganda that shows that squirrels are realy stupid, food motivated, inocent animals of the forrest.

  24. I very recently discovered that I have a suicide squirel infestation myself. They have beaten a hole in the mesh covering my electric attic exhaust fan. This fan still operates when it gets hot in the attic. I found hair in the mesh, but so far no blood and guts on the fan blades.

  25. I just realized why THEY’RE AFTER ME! They’ve been tracking me down for two and a half years, and they’ve finally found me!

    It goes back to the year we had our cabin built. We had decided on the plans and options early in the year, but due to a lot of delays in lot preparation (most especially Rio Arriba County’s environmental planning folks — not as picky as those in California, but a whole lot slower), we couldn’t put the house in right away. But because of model-year changes, Palm Harbor had to build it in May. The house then sat in Fort Worth until November, when the lot finally was ready.

    This is where things started to get weird. The house was trucked to New Mexico in November and finally placed on our lot in December. When we were finally able to move into it in March, we found a squirrel cache in the fireplace. —> continued …

  26. —> So some poor, unlucky squirrel in Fort Worth had his winter’s supply of acorns hauled off to New Mexico, leaving him destitute for the winter.

    Now he’s tracked me down, and he’s got all his buddies with him, and they have revenge on their minds. AAAIIIIEEEEE!!!

  27. Oh, dear sister, you should be so fortunate to have the mercy of vengeful squirrels compared to the might and wrath of the SSDC (as you all like to call it). A few hungry rodents as they grasp to the last clutches of life…pale versions of viciousness compared to the darkness of the SSDC.

    Capsuled suicide black holes, to a trained operative of the SSDC, are but a mere parlor trick. They have the means to create the moon launch systems of which you dream, my brother. Theirs is a world of possibility unbounded by the constraints of ‘technology.’ G. Byrnes was close to explaining the ceaseless drive forward of the SSDC in his description of the Republican party, “…really stupid, food motivated, innocent animals of the forest;” but he comes just short of verbalizing the pure blackness that comprises their souls.

    Perhaps it is time for the public to know. Perhaps there is still time.

  28. Never underestimate the wrath of a deranged Texan — even if he is just a squirrel. This one’s called in his buddies from Oklahoma, who all worship Toby Keith.

  29. Mon frere, tres bien! Tres paranoid! You have summarized in a few words what we yet have learned about the Suicide Squirrel Death cult. However, I must also send a tres bien the way of our older and possibly wiser sister as she points out the redneck connection. Were squirrels involved in the Oklahoma City bombing?

    However I think, brother of mine, that you may not be telling all that you know. You were long in an area known to be a hotbed of suicide squirrel activity. When pressed, you cough up a few details, but that just makes me think you know more.

    I don’t know the extradition treaties between the US and he Czech Republic (note to self – look into treaties before going on crime spree), but it’s time you considered coming clean. Enough innuendo! There are those that know stuff, and they should be talking!

  30. I’m back!

    If the squirrels start causing major damage to the us, Mr. Bush will just have to declare a war against Squirrelism. This could easily get out of hand.

  31. Careful, or Lil’ Bush (Shrub as some like to call him) will use this secret war as another excuse to cut down trees!

  32. Other locals are starting to drop hints. From a listing of acts at the upcoming Santa Cruz Blues Festival, at the end of the Buddy Guy writeup:

    “Look out for squirrels wearing dark shades disguised as small children. Don’t squash them, but don’t give them your wristband either. They don’t handle alcohol very well.”

    So that’s how they nerve themselves up to dash out in front of cars…

  33. I just discovered something sinister about the telephone service here in Rio Arriba County. For some time, more of the phone calls I’ve been getting have been been wrong numbers than right ones, and many of the wrong numbers have been things like bail-bond agencies and public-defender’s-office lawyers. I’d been wondering if this phone number had some sort of criminal history I ought to know about. As the squirrel activity escalated, I began to worry that they were trying to frame me for something.

    A bit of background on the phone number: Since the local exchange, 588, translates to LUV, we thought we’d try to get a cute phone number that meant something. We started by asking for 588-2628, to give us the name of a 1970s sitcom as well as our reason for having a home on a lake —>

  34. —> (continued) but even though nobody else already had that number, the phone company wouldn’t let us have it. We tried several other word combinations, but no dice — the numbers weren’t available even though nobody else had them. We finally gave up, and had the telephone company person click the “easy-to-remember” feature and ended up with the number we have.

    This afternoon, for the first time, a wrong-number caller told me who she thought she was calling — the Rio Arriba County Courthouse! That’s the site of the United States’ last recorded Wild-West shootout, in 1967 when land-rights activists, led by Reyes Lopez Tixerina, had it out with Rio Arriba County Sheriff’s Deputies and later New Mexico State Police.

    So … the squirrels have taken control of the Valor Telecom computer and are using it to assign dangerous phone numbers to people who pose a threat to them. —>

  35. —> (continued) In another thread, you talk about how the environmental debate has been oversimplified as minnows vs. farmers, when it’s really the river’s ecosystem vs. the traditional agrarian lifestyle. Lopez Tixerina was definitely in favor of the traditional agrarian lifestyle.

    If the squirrels are involved, however, it may be that they are trying to keep the factions fighting with each other, so that we destroy each other and leave the world in anarchy for the SSDC to take over.

  36. Iff the squirrels are smart enought to sabatage cars, they mus know how said car worked. If they know how cars work it will only be a mater of time before they are driving. If they stat=rt driving, our worst fears will have come true.

  37. Squirrel fishing. That’s why they are after us. We leave food out for them an at the last minute …BAM …the food, with the squirrel hanging on, are suddenly bein pulled along the ground!

  38. I let the kid go online for “just ten minutes” and he posts a dozen replies?

    OK, I can understand, he’s part of the underground army fighting against the SSDC. Their latest endeavor: attempting to immobilize us by slashing our tires. We went in to Chama Saturday for the opening day of the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad. When we got off the train, we found that our vehicle had a flat tire. Since Pat’s arm wasn’t operational, we called AAA. The guy AAA sent found out that our tire had been punctured by a rather large nail. Obviously, the squirrels did it. They don’t want to make life easy for those of us who know the truth.

  39. For the past two years, we have had these black helicopters cruising overhead, in formation, over Tierra Amarilla. At the time, I attributed it to US forces training for overseas action — a noted defense authority had said that attacking Afghanistan would be like attacking Rio Arriba County, because the terrain and the climate were so similar. Now I wonder — maybe the real target isn’t Afghanistan. Maybe the squirrels are running the black helicopters, and their targets are much closer to home.

    This evening, those helicopters were hovering over the Albuquerque Isotopes baseball game.

  40. There was an article in the Albuquerque Journal a couple of years back that was intended to debunk some of the paranoid rumors that have gained so traction in this country. They didn’t help. Two of their statements:

    There are no black helicopters.

    There are no foreign troops on US soil.

    That doesn’t help when people *see* the black helicopters (actually very, very dark blue) flying around or parked at the airport. (They belong, I believe, to the US Customs, but I could be misremembering that.)

    At the time the article was published, there were German troops in El Paso and Southern NM for training.

    Nothing like publishing with grand authority, in an “I know more than you do” voice something that is demonstrably wrong to feed paranoia.

    UNLESS… the Journal is conrolled by squirrels, who for their own nefarious ends wish to spread disinformation, foment paranoia, and generaly lend to the confusion. Any comment, CA?

  41. I used to work for the Journal, and in all the time I worked there, I never saw a squirrel inside the building. Their cousins, the mice, however, were very much in evidence. Perhaps the squirrels used mice as moles within the organization, to rat on the weasels in the newsroom.

    But then, I wasn’t all that close to anything important going on — I worked in the “toy department,” otherwise known as the sports desk.

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