“.17 or .22?”
As a come-on line I thought it was genius. I was talking to a very svelte blonde coed at the University of Texas where I was attending a conference. During one of our few breaks I ventured outside for some fresh air and to admire the mall’s many century plus oak trees, which are apparently homes to several hundred squirrels.
The tree rats were everywhere; in the trees, on the benches, in window sills, in the gardens, circling some guy practicing with a ninja sword – yes, a guy practicing with a ninja sword – and sitting atop the recycling bins that are placed every 30 feet or so. I had just tossed an empty can into one of these ever so convenient mini-recycling centers when I noticed the blonde sitting by herself.
“.17 or .22?” I asked again.
The blonde turned to me, measuring me up, drinking me in with her deep blue eyes.
“To shoot them,” I explained. “Would you use a .17 or a .22?”
The blonde’s eyes squinted, lines volleyed into her ever so tan forehead.
“You talking about killing them?’ She asked.
“You’re sick! I don’t murder animals!”The blonde stood and huffed away.
I guess it wasn’t the best come-on line after all.
She’s probably more into 20-year-olds who practice their ninja techniques in public places.
Photo: DAVID ILIFF