Wednesday, April 8, 2009

It's Getting A Little Squirrelly Over At NPR

I have to admit, I really don't know what to think about this one. Either I'm missing the point or someone else is completely insane. Both very distinct possibilities.

So over there at The Denver Post there's a story about public radio station KRCC. Public radio is financially dependent on donations from its listeners. Twice a year, KRCC holds a pledge drive in order to raise those their funds. For some reason, KRCC wants people to donate early. They want people to donate early so badly that the station "...likes to offer members a thank-you gift" for those who do donate before the pledge drive actually starts. I guess the reasoning being that maybe you will be more likely to donate if you're getting something in return. (Of course, that's usually called 'buying', but I'm really not going to argue semantics with NPR.) Some years they've given out symphony tickets. Other years they've given out museum passes. This year they're giving out neither symphony tickets, nor museum passes.

This year they're giving out squirrel underpants.


Uh, underpants for what? Oh, for squirrels? REAL squirrels?! OK, see, squirrels don't need underpants. They're squirrels! What the hell?

According to one KRCC general manager (and future mental patient) Delaney Utterback, "They are really tiny cotton underwear," Well, I imagined they would be if they were for squirrels! I wasn't having a problem with the term "squirrel underpants". I was having a problem with why anyone would want squirrel underpants, even if they're a squirrel! What are they going UNDER?? Nothing! That's right! Because they're squirrels!! They don't wear pants! Thus, they don't need underpants! They're pantsless all the way around!

What am I missing? Perhaps it is the distributor of said squirrel underpants, the "Seattle based oddity peddler Archee McPhee." Just in case you're unfamiliar with that particular product distributor, I will tell you that Archee McPhee is also the "purveyor of the inflatable fruitcake and the unisex prosthetic chest hair" and markets the rodent undergarments as "The underpants squirrels prefer!" Good Lord. Wait. What?!


(Side note: They also have inflatable toast!)

I should mention that the Squirrel Underpants are apparently not just for squirrels. Oh, no! No, it's claimed that they're " Also good for hamsters, frogs and gerbils!" (You know, I'm going to disagree! Hamsters, frogs and gerbils are all quite a bit different from each other, let alone from the squirrel! Besides, they have a three inch waist. If you have a frog with a 3-inch waist, you've got quite a problem on your hands and I don't think underpants are going to fix it. And I will again reiterate that we are talking about underpants for squirrels! Think about that!)

For some reason, the Denver Post article also informs us that "The 100-percent cotton tighty-whiteys have a 3-inch waist and are machine-washable." Well, good. I'll be sure to let the squirrel know because I am not doing his laundry! He's on his own!

Below is a one Jennifer Newman. She is (currently) the membership coordinator for KRCC. (No word on whether or not she'll still be the membership coordinator after endorsing the Squirrel Underpants promotion.) She says that it's true! Every early pledge donor will receive at no extra cost and theirs to keep as their free gift, a package of Squirrel Underpants! Hurry and pledge today! Operators are standing by!

OK, OK, that's enough of this! What are they doing?! Is the "Squirrel Underpants" novelty just such a...a....OK, a novelty that they're willing to be that their early pledges just go through the roof by giving away these things? I mean, novel they may be, but they sell for $6.95 each. I'm guessing that symphony tickets or museum tickets were a bit more than seven bucks. Even still, all I'm saying is that I just don't know that they're a tool for economic prosperity in the public radio industry. That's all.

Not only are the Squirrel Underpants available at Archee McPhee's website, the Squirrel Underpants have their own website! (Of course they do.), where they ask you to "Help a squirrel hide his nuts for the winter." It is there that you will learn that they are endorsed by S.A.D., which stands for Small Animal Decency. (Of course it does.) And of course you know that they have their own website as well.

The S.A.D. website claims to be " organization that works to keep animal nudity away from the eyes of innocents." Good Lord.... They also claim that " don't have to be human to experience shame." And while I'm sure that may be true for all of the pantsless squirrels running around the forests of the world, it's still unclear to me as to whether the Squirrel Underpants would remove the shame or if they would induce it. Tough call, really.

So what have we learned? Not enough from our past, I'll tell you that much. But from this, we've learned that the NPR station in Colorado is betting the farm that the naked squirrel epidemic will result in a stampede of pledges never before seen in our lifetime (or something like that). We've also learned that to some, hamsters, gerbils and frogs can be similar enough to a squirrel that they can mix and match their clothing. (Sort of like a real life version of Garanimals!) And while that may be some of what we've learned, what has been apparently forgotten is that squirrels are animals. Animals, as a general rule, don't need clothes. They're animals!

But KRCC does need donations, so don't let my little hang-ups about keeping the denizens of the forest unclothed stop you from giving as generously as you feel like if that's what you're so inclined to do. And if you do, lemme know how those Squirrel Underpants are working out for that special squirrel in your life.

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1 comment:

grannyann said...

Is KRCC the radio station for the local psychiatric hospital? Besides I like my squirrels naked. If there is anything I dislike it is people or animals who let their underwear show. Besides if they run around in their underwear there is no mystery as to whether they wear boxers or briefs.If the radio station needs money let them ask Pelosi for the money.