Pizza from Scratch, 92

23 August, 2007

Spy Squirrels?

© Bill Lemmond (Actually, you're welcome to download and share these web-resolution images, and you probably won't be happy with printing them.)

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I had a few strips ready, with which to start the fall term, when two funny stories, featuring animals even, broke in the mainstream news media. Sadly, the Middle East seldom makes the news in a happy way, as far as I ever hear or see. Yet I checked, and serious, established news sources (not just blogs) reported that the Iranian police claimed the 14 squirrels they had just arrested had been spying.

The mole wearing a fez is supposed to be Morroco Mole, who worked somewhat in the Shadow of Secret Squirrel, a squirrel who really was a spy, on Saturday morning cartoons.

When I was researching online, to verify that Iranian police really did claim to have caught squirrels spying, I found another story, about squirrels native to Iran. There really is a species that is endangered due to shrinking habitat. The URL can still be entered into "The Wayback Machine" (the Internet Archive) if you want to read about them. The link about the spy squirrels can also be used with the Wayback Machine.

I suspect I know what really happened with the squirrels the Iranians caught. My time in the Virginia Army National Guard showed me that military people will throw things away, rather than be caught with supplies or equipment in excess of what they're supposed to have. I suspect there was a unit in Iraq that had at least 14 extra GPS ground units, and they decided to have some fun with some live-trapped squirrels and some light line or duct tape.

I don't know if they're still in business, but back in the 1960s, the Berlitz people published phrase books, for English-speaking travelers, with hopefully helpful things to say in other languages.