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  • Last modified 867 days ago (July 6, 2016)

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Public enemy No. 1

Sorry, no time to comment on unimportant issues this week — like whether the city really needs to spend several hundred dollars recarving a sign, whether county road crews lucked out or actually did something right, whether environmentalists need to get used to genetically modified crops, even whether ghosts are real.

A much more pressing issue has held us hostage for the past seven days — a criminal lurking in our backyard, stalking our every move, stealing at will, and mocking every attempt to encourage him to become a law-abiding good neighbor.

Forget walls on borders and telling Muslims to go home. After a week of trying everything we can think of, our only hope may be that Donald Trump hears our plight and responds with one of his typical master strokes of policy.

It began last Tuesday. When coming home from putting the paper “to bed,” I noticed on the ground a plexiglas shield that keeps peanuts in a squirrel feeder Thinking little of it, I replaced it and went to bed.

Night Two comes and goes, and the next morning the plexiglas once again is on the ground. This time, however, I had a clue, having spotted something bushy scurrying away the night before.

Facing what clearly was a simple problem, I grabbed a hammer and nails and secured the plexiglas so it no longer moved. That night, however, I caught my first glimpse of Public Enemy No. 1, caught red-handed (or black-pawed, as it were) opening the lid and glutting himself on legumes.

A hook-and-eye latch ought to do the trick, I thought, so I bought one the next day, installed it, and latched it before retiring that night. The next morning, when I emerged to loosen it to allow squirrels to get their intended food, it already was unfastened, and all the peanuts were gone.

Undeterred, I added a second latch, carefully positioning it so it would move in the opposite direction to make it harder to loosen. It wasn’t.

Saturday was brick day. A brick atop the feeder lid, plus the two latches, surely would send the thief elsewhere. But when Sunday morning came, the brick was on the ground, the latches were both unlatched, and the peanuts gone yet again.

Monday, I added a chain to the mix of countermeasures. All it did, however, was provoke a response. Tuesday morning, not only were all of my defenses removed. The lid itself was ripped from its hinges and left on the ground.

So now we’re down to The Donald as our last, best hope for peace. Or perhaps we should summon Hillary to send our foe some harshly worded emails.

— ERIC MEYER

Last modified July 6, 2016

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