Squirrels & Nuts

Mitch was driving out of the park. Sheryl was in the seat beside him.

Sheryl could see a squirrel up ahead, in the middle of the road. It was in their lane, sniffing at a nut.

“Squirrel,” she told Mitch. “Slow down.”

But Mitch didn’t slow down.

At the last second, the squirrel saw Mitch coming. It spun in a frenzy, then darted off the road, barely escaping death.

“Jerk,” Sheryl said. “I hate people like you. You didn’t even slow down. You didn’t even tap the brake.”

“I didn’t speed up either,” Mitch observed.

“It wouldn’t have deserved to die,” Sheryl said. “If you’d have killed it, you could have prevented it.”

“Darwinian selection,” Mitch said. “If it’s too stupid to get outa the road when a car’s coming, it doesn’t deserve that nut and whatever comes after. The ones that deserve what comes after the nut are the ones smart enough to get out of the way.”

Sheryl crossed her arms and stared out the passenger’s window.

“What?” Mitched asked.

But Sheryl refused to answer.

They made it out of the park and into town. After a few stop signs and lights, Mitch said, “You’re right. I’m a jerk. How about I make it up to you?”

“How?” Sheryl asked.

“Let’s stop and get us some big fat steaks to toss on the grill. We get home, I’ll cook ’em up real nice. I’ll saute some onions and mushrooms in butter while you relax.”

Sheryl eased her shoulders.

“And a bottle of wine,” Mitch added.

Sheryl uncrossed her arms. She looked over at Mitch.

“Okay,” she said. “But good ribeyes. Not sirloin. You’re not getting off cheap. And I’m picking the wine. A good wine, cause you never get it right.”

“Okay,” Mitch said, knowing all along he’d nothing wrong.

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