Wingzofsteel Adventures and Reviews

Epic Motorcycle Camping Adventures

A Hitchhike across the Extragalactic Nebula

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Picture 18I have the pleasure of knowing a chipmunk that is in the process of taming me.  This little ball of fur comes to me every few days and gets locked up in a cage that I made for him in order to get a few peanuts. He knows I will feed him, give him a talking to and then turn him loose. Sometimes he will get locked up two and three times a day just to get an easy peanut or two. All he has to do is squeeze in under the garage door, go into his cage and make a lot of noise alerting me that he is there. When I walk down stairs, I can see him looking at me with his eye pressed up to the wire cage. So far, he has me doing nearly everything he wants me to do.

The other day, when I told my brother Mitch about this little creature, he said, “Why don’t you name him Otis, like the character on the Andy Griffith Show”.

“Hey, that is a great idea”, I replied.” “The similarities are sure there!  Hey thanks Thanks Mitch, that’s what I will call him from now on his name is now Otis,” I said in a resolved tone to my voice.

Mitch looked at me quizzically and then asked, “You are not about to tell a story are you”? He asked with an air of uncertainty.

“Why yes,” I said, “I was just getting ready to say….”

“Hey, I just remembered, Dr. Stephens wanted to do a root canal on me this morning to fix that hanging nerve in my back tooth, so for sure, I don’t want to be late for this. So, see you later, Brother. Bye”, Mitch said enthusiastically as he walked hurriedly to his truck.

An innocent bystander might have thought Mitch was a speed-walker by the funny way he was walking to his truck or perhaps a stunt driver by the way his Subaru was kicking up loose gravel as he sped away.

“OK! I’ll see you later, Mitch”, I said. “Maybe next time”, I yelled out.

As I was saying, as you may remember, Otis was the town drunk of Mayberry that locked himself up in the jail when he has had too much to drink. He would just wander into Andy’s jail and lock the cell door behind him until the next day. Then, when Andy came to work the next morning, he would let Otis out of jail. Otis would saunter off after Andy gave him a talking to. Sometimes, however, Otis would surprise you and lend some homespun wisdom to Andy who would be in some dire straits over Helen Crump, Aunt Bea or Barney Fife.

The reason I bring Otis up is there hasn’t been many times in my life since my growing up years when my world and the wild animal world would meet.  As I previously mentioned, Otis, who has recently found me out, and then there was a flying squirrel a couple of years ago.

As it happened, our peaceful and quiet community was in slumber-land early one nippy October morning.  Well, it was until a blood curdling scream coming from the 680 address went traveling through all space and time. It was a sound that could only be experienced, a sound that echoed through our neighborhood and brought neighbors out in their underwear and robes trying to surmise what exactly woke them. Sleepy eyed children were ordered to stay in the house until a determination was made of what was exactly going on. Husbands armed with baseball bats and wives clutching their cell phones with fingers poised over the dialing pad preparing to dial 911 as soon as they had first sight of anything resembling a perpetrator. After a few minutes of this confusion and with no other incident to draw upon, everyone slowly returned to their respective homes and on to bed to which slumber-land was restored.

Well, all except for the inhabitants of the 680 address. An address I am somewhat familiar with as this happens to be the house I live in.

We are usually fast asleep during this time of morning, and this particular morning was no exception. All of a sudden my young bride, Twyla Jo, rose up clutching her chest and began screaming in a high pitched voice.

 “Get it off of me, get it off of me, GOLLY HEMLOCK, get this thing off of MEEEEEEEEEEEE”!  

Then the aforementioned, “A-H-H-H-H-H-H-H-H-H-H-H-H-H-H-A-A-A-A-A-A-A-A”, rang out; a scream that shook the night and all that was in it!

 I immediately awoke thinking an escaped convict was loose or we had a Zombie infestation. I quickly clicked on my lamp while observing it was 3:03am as indicated on my clock that projects the time on the wall. I instantly turned around and saw, as I looked around in the direction of my wife, a critter with a bushy tail jumping off the end of the bed, running madly away through the bedroom door and down the hall at lightning speed.

I also noticed there was a flying squirrel in the house.

The whole incident reminded me of the squirrel scene in National Lampoon Christmas Vacation, where the Griswald family was chasing a squirrel that came inside their house by hitchhiking on a Christmas tree, except this was not as funny. At least to me it wasn’t! You may get a different answer by poling the squirrel and my wife Twyla Jo.

I must tell you, I will never be the same.  I ran and dived at the squirrel as the little devil dodged and weaved and climbed on everything inside the house.  Each dive produced a direct landing on my unprotected knees while I slid across the rough fibered carpet. Each crash landing left a good amount of epidermis at the landing site from my legs and elbows.

I walked stiff limbed for days following this incident as my scab encrusted appendages made an attempt to heal themselves. A day or two later while lumbering through Wal-Mart, I overheard a young child ask his mama if I was a Zombie and by the look on her face, I am not sure if she was ever convinced that I wasn’t.

It was only when I threw a towel over the little flying squirrel did I manage to catch it. Once firmly clutched in my grasp, I noticed the little fellow’s heart was beating as though it were trying to jump out of his chest. I am quite sure, however it was from laughter. I can tell you also that by this time my wife’s original fear had also turned to amusement.

During one stint of acrobatic pirouettes across the living room floor, I looked over to observe her entire body shaking out of control. While standing on the dining room chair, she held in tight embrace, a chair cushion that partially covered her face.

Out of genuine concern and wanting to calm any fears she may have had, I said with great resolve, “It’s OK, it’s just a little squirrel, everything is going to be alright”, I said while gasping for my breath.

“Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha”, she finally burst out; not being able to hold it back any longer.

I was taken back at this eruption of laughter as it came from a very twisted and dark place within her. The outburst diverted my intense concentration and forced me to ignore her altogether in order to refocus on the task at hand. I did, however, make a mental note to closely examine our relationship and take inventory after the incident was over with. I suppose I should be glad that I could provide the two of them, she and the Squirrel, with some late night entertainment; although, due to my partial nakedness, it would have to be a PG rating.

So, with skinned knees and elbows, and wearing fewer cloths than the law would demand, I went out into the night. I carried the little squirrel quietly to my neighbor’s yard. As I prepared myself to release the little fury nocturnal creature, I immediately became surprised at what came out of my mouth! I am most positive that those words have not passed through my lips in over forty five years, but at that moment, it did as easily as though it was 1965 again.

 “Oon-gawa”, I said loudly.

 In case you don’t know what the word “Oon-gawa” means, is the universal animal language that means, “go away”. The term came from the “Tarzan, The Ape Man” movie from long ago which aired on any given Sunday afternoon in the early sixty’s.

What is even more amusing, I also pointed with my arms fully extended out to the direction where the squirrel should “go away” to, which, was in the opposite direction to my house; with complete confidence that he understood.  All that was needed to make the scene more complete was if the underwear I wore during this event were made out of leopard skin! Now there will be those who read this and will inappropriately replace the word “underwear” with the word “thongs”, but I am here to tell you there isn’t an ounce of truth to any rumors of such nonsense.

While growing up in Blackshear, Georgia, my brothers Mike, Mitch and Jeffrey and I would use the term “Oon-gawa” on a daily basis. As we grew older, the term “Oon -gawa” expanded to also ward off escaped convicts and zombies in addition to all animals whose eyes light up in the woods at night. Even our dog, Buster Brown, grew accustomed to the term, although he would give us a stare as though he was saying, “Good giggly-wiggly Brothers, WE ARE IN AMERICA, talk like it”!

The word “Oon-gawa” was convenient and stood ready to use on the tips of our tongue, unknowing that it was bound for a forty five year hitchhike across the astral flora, the extragalactic nebula that speckles the landscape of our rich and fertile minds.

The squirrel, you asked? Oh yes, he Oon-gawa’d alright, but did so stopping ever so often to clutch his belly and slap his knee while cackling with laughter.



Written by wingzofsteel

November 5, 2009 at 10:16 am

2 Responses

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  1. Very entertaining. Fell off of my sofa reading this. Keep them coming.

    Cindy Weber

    November 8, 2009 at 1:03 am

  2. That is too cute, made me chuckle. My dear mother and sister had a squirrel in the house and my father was not home. He had somehow fell down the chimney and waS JUST AS AFRAID AS MY MOM AND SISTER. Mom called 911 which of course told her to call animal control, and of course being after hours she had to leave a message. They ended up using a cereal trail (hanzel and gretel style) out the front door to get him to “Oon-gawa”.
    Perry, hope you are doing fine. From your past account manager at GWI.

    Karen Haugstad

    November 7, 2011 at 11:30 pm

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