(We left off last time with me … um … being a schizophrenic mind-possessor. It wasn’t pretty. You didn’t miss anything.)

Killer attack squirrels! For real!

So here’s the lowdown on the crazed rodent hoedown. My wife Cat and I were walking around San Diego's Balboa Park. Gorgeous day. Vast expanses of grass looking like the Elysian Fields of heaven—assuming angels play Frisbee. Which they might. But probably don't. I really wouldn't know.

Anyway, the whole park is just idyllic. People walking their dogs. People holding hands. People holding hands with their dogs. Dogs wishing their owners would get a life. Packs of wild dogs standing around sniggering at their domesticated counterparts. And everywhere you looked, people bicycling, skateboarding, roller blading, skootering, tricycling, unicycling, go-carting, pedicabbing, wagonning, and rickshawing.

As we were walking my wife stopped, faced me, and took both my hands in hers. Looking up at me lovingly, she said, “We’re road kill if we don’t get off this path. C’mon.”

Showing a familiarity with the park’s grounds that at the time surprised me but that now, upon reflection, makes me suspicious, Cat ducked through some tall hedges, went along a little path, found her way through some underbrush, and finally popped us out into a clearing beside one of the weirder things you can happen across on a nice spring day when all you’re trying to do is keep up with your Daniel Boone of a wife.

We came upon a bunch of elderly people. Moreover, it was a bunch of elderly people who were all wearing, from toes to hats, white clothes. Which meant they were a bunch of organized elderly people. So right away I had mixed emotions. I like elderly people, but tend to shy away organized groups of people. An organized group of people—especially one in which everyone is wearing the same thing—always feels to me like it's one Guy With A Megaphone away from turning into a rampaging mob.

I have no idea why I think that. Even as a really little kid, I remember watching The Mickey Mouse Club, and thinking, “Oh, sure, now they’re all smiling. Now it’s great. Just look at them all, singing and dancing. What fun! But if that Leader Adult of theirs wills it, or somebody blows a special whistle or something audible only to people with those ears, those kids’ll attack whatever they’re told to like four-foot tall rabid rats. You can just see how forced those smiles are.”

So then I’d switch the channel, and see, like, Flipper. Which definitely wouldn’t help.

Anyway, there they were: Seniors in White. And it was too late to duck back into the bushes. They’d seen us.

johnshore@sbcglobal.net

www.johnshorebooks.com