Due to an overwhelming level of recent interest in Penn’s squirrel community, this week, Street has decided to feature an exclusive interview with a campus squirrel.
Street: Were you born on campus, Squirrel?
Campus Squirrel: No, my family emigrated from war-torn Czechoslovakia after the Iron Curtain fell in ’89. I was conceived upon an ocean liner while it was crossing the Atlantic.
Street: So you’ve spent your life on campus, then?
CS: For the most part. My parents also have a tree on the Jersey Shore, so we go there sometimes.
Street: But you hibernate on Penn’s campus?
CS: Actually, it is a fallacy that all squirrels hibernate. Although most American campus squirrels are “scatter-hoarders” [a highly intelligent species of squirrel that still practices hibernation], post-Cold War diasporic squirrel communities have significantly complicated hibernation politics in the U.S.
Street: So you don’t hibernate?
CS: No, I do not. I feed off the supple grain that litters Penn’s campus.
Street: You mean like acorns?
CS: Actually, I have never had much of a taste for acorns. I like food cart leftovers. The sorority culture at Penn tends to foster the disposal of carbohydrate-heavy foods, which I enjoy.
Street: Like what?
CS: You know, like those pitas they give you at the Magic Carpet cart. If I’m lucky, they’ll contain a magic meatball or two. I see a lot of discarded rice from Houston Hall sushi, bread rolls that come with those salads, Dijon-tinged crepe shells.
Street: Sounds delicious.
CS: You have no idea. I have to restrain myself from overeating as many of my rotund, squirrely peers have done. Spring Fling was a feast. I’ll have to spend a couple extra hours on the Branchmaster this week [pats his stomach].
Street: The Branchmaster?
CS: A popular squirrel exercise machine.
Street: Is it like a Stairmaster except it simulates branches instead of stairs?
CS: Brilliant, you must go to an Ivy League school!
Street: [awkward silence] Well … do you like living at Penn? I always thought that if I were a squirrel, I’d get pissed at all those tourists who come through and take my picture.
CS: Meh, I fancy myself rather photogenic. The attention makes me feel like a movie star.
Street: So next stop Hollywood?
CS: I’m afraid not. I prefer the East Coast where people are more down to Earth.