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Squirrel and Rat

I have writer's block, but feel the need to put something new here.

I am working on an audio/web/multimedia project in which I sing like a squirrel. I am writing many of the lyrics and the narration. Someone else is writing the music. He is the rat to my squirrel.

The squirrel and the rat are friends - they become friends. But it was not always so. The rat once took advantage of the trusting squirrel. How they resolve this terrible quandary and rebuild the trust that is lost - well, you can buy the CD when it's released and find out.

I have been asked to take Squirrel and Rat seriously. I am months behind in the S/R treatment. “I know this is hard for you,” says the person who is playing Rat. “But I need you to be a squirrel. Really. You need to write this thing, get the squirrel story out. People want to make this happen.” He pauses, for emphasis. “You're so naturally retarded, it's perfect.”

In secret, I have been practicing my squirrel voice. It is a lopey-dopey optimistic voice.

Squirrel: It might be a day to find nuts!

Rat: Or cigarette butts.

Squirrel: Pecans...

Rat: And moldy flan!

Squirrel: I think that's flahhn.

Rat: Come ahn!

Squirrel: Oh, some crumbs of bread.

Rat: And here's a bug that's dead!

Unison: (Park theme...)

I have also been coming up with songs about the loneliness of the short-distance squirrel. (“I got the best nest in the old oak tree, so why won't no one squirrel with me?”). And we've been working on the rat's angry show-tune, where he explains how he loves garbage, rot, and robbing other creatures.

We want to produce about 6 songs with themes and narration. Sweet, for kids, but for us, too. The guy who produces Pulp and Suede will do a dance remix for one or two of the songs. Cyndi Lauper's tour manager will represent the project. A record label is curious. The Rat is fully committed, diligent, focused. I alone am the blocked valve in this verminous entertainment engine. I am thus shamed.

I am 28. I have a career, clients, a girlfriend, priorities. I must find the time to become a squirrel, one that sings.


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About the author: I've been running this website from 1997. For a living I write stories and essays, program computers, edit things, and help people launch online publications. (LinkedIn). I wrote a novel. I was an editor at Harper's Magazine for five years; then I was a Contributing Editor; now I am a free agent. I was also on NPR's All Things Considered for a while. I still write for The Morning News, and some other places.

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