27 September 2008

Hangin' wid da homies...

A couple of weeks back I attended my university reunion. It had been X* years since we all graduated and had all been in the same hall of residence. A big group of us met up every year anyway, but what with this being a special year we roped in as many as possible (one couple flew in from Texas).

It was kind of strange seeing everyone again. With one notable exception everyone was either an accountant or worked in IT (despite only one person studying either of those subjects) - the notable exception being a 'freelance writer.'**

We took over the best curry house in Clifton and then, for old time's sake, embarked on a Clifton pub crawl until everyone realised they were no longer 20 and headed back to their hotels at midnight. I, of course, wasn't drinking which was convenient as it meant I could ferry our disabled member from pub to pub while he got wasted. While this sounds like a pain it was in fact great fun because I got to use his Badge of Power

Having a Badge of Power*** is the most awesomest thing ever. You can park anywhere! After living in a city where the few available parking spots are jealousy guarded like Faberge eggs (and almost as rare), being able to dump the car halfway up any pavement you like and walk away whistling was the height of coolness.

See you, Mr. Double Yellow Lines, I spit on your pathetic attempts to stop me parking here - for I have The Badge of Power! Mwahahahaha! Loading bay? LOADING bay!?! I laugh in the face of loading bays! I mock their usual 'Do Not Park Here' status as I crush them beneath my wheels. All hail The Badge of Power! Those silly zig-zag lines by pedestrian crossings? See how they cower from the might of The Badge of........what?.....but I have a badg......really?........ok ok, I'll move it. No need to get arsey about it.....

Stupid pedestrian crossings. *grumbles*

Anyway, a good time was had by all, and I thoroughly enjoyed being bouncy and awake the next morning amongst a collection of bad hangovers. We spent the afternoon lazing in the sun around
Cabot Tower which I had amazingly never visited during my decade (*cough* or so *cough*) in Bristol. I took the following arty looking shot:

The gardens surrounding the tower are beautiful and full of wildlife, including squirrels (hence the title of this post). As far as I'm aware I'm the only red squirrel remaining in Bristol after my fellow reds were supplanted by the American grey squirrel. In a move unprecedented in human history, a whole bunch of brash yank squirrels came to England many years ago (in the infamous words of one long-gone red, they were 'Over-fed, Over-sexed and Over Here'). They caught the eye of a few impressionable young red females and *poof* a couple of decades down the line and we're nearly extinct. Of course, the greys turned out to be better at a few things than us reds - namely Eating, Sleeping, Shagging and Living - but that's not really the point.

I did notice that all the squirrels by Cabot Tower were half breeds, and the ones doing best of all were showing more red than grey. As you can see from these pictures, they happily came and shared my nuts:

Note the white belly in the second shot - a classic sign of red genes triumphing over grey.

It did leave me with a troubling thought - if the red gene is slowly proving stronger than the grey, how did the greys wipe out the reds so quickly? A glance around told me the answer. Y'see, the people bringing nuts were only feeding those that looked more red and ignoring the greys. So sure, the grey may be better at actually foraging for nuts, but us reds are clearly better beggars.

Big Issue anyone?

*Not telling you what X is. It makes me feel old :(
**She actually stars in fetish porn films from Spain. It's a career I guess.
***Or, as my friend with dodgy knees calls hers, 'my spazzy badge'


At 27 September 2008 at 17:02, Blogger Gorilla Bananas said...

Ah, the camaraderie of these reunions is wonderful to behold! Did you sing any songs together?

At 28 September 2008 at 13:09, Blogger Glamourpuss said...

I read somewhere that the grey males would attacke the red males and claw off their testicles, thereby stopping them breeding...

I hope you wore your cricket box.


At 28 September 2008 at 20:47, Blogger weenie said...

Sounds like a good reunion. Not had a proper uni reunion yet, although I meet up fairly regularly with a core group who were on my course. When we're out, we are aware we're no longer 20 but I swear some are worse than before, especially now they are supposed to be responsible parents!

At 28 September 2008 at 20:50, Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow glamourpuss, u've now idea how much that hurts! alfa male

At 30 September 2008 at 18:19, Blogger Red Squirrel said...

gb - not really a singing kind of bunch. Though I did attend Heidelberg University for a year (scene of The Student Prince) and the 'Verbindungen' are really like that!

puss - ouch!

Double ouch! :(

weenie - all our 'responsible parents' took full advantage of not being near kids to go to bed early and lie in the next day!

alfa - amen.

At 8 October 2008 at 22:37, Blogger Charby said...

delay but yeah there was competition for food, nesting and they fought and the greys are just bigger and more agressive than our little reds, the greys also carry a germ on them that they're immune too but our reds aint!


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