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Editor’s NotebookEditor’s Notebook: Not a good look

Editor’s Notebook: Not a good look

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That headline has nothing to do with the photo of the squirrel above; that story can be found below.

Nope, what is not a good look, as the headline says, is what kindly Uncle Scotty saw at the Arlington County Board meeting on Saturday.

While the very contentious discussion leading up to the pre-ordained result of Rouse-Febrey-Lothrop-etc. estate was going on, at least one (and maybe two) board members were chomping on snacks for an extended period of time.

(I say “maybe” two because one was obvious about it, while the other, if he/she was doing it, was more surreptitious.)


People, people, people … using board meetings for snacking is not a good look, for two reasons:

First, it is disrespectful of the process and all those taking part, much like attending these meetings and not dressing appropriately.

And second, because nobody — but nobody — looks attractive shoveling chips or pretzels or whatever into their mouths while sitting in front of a computer.

Nothing wrong with the occasional sip of water (or whatever County Board members imbibe to make it through hour after hour after hour of interminable meetings…). But please do not be so obvious about the snacks. Tacky, tacky, tacky.

MY NEW BEST BUDDY: This is one of those tales where it is going to take a couple of paragraphs to get to the point. So bear with me.

My cat (Albert the wondercat) came to me from the Animal Welfare League of Arlington last year with instructions that I needed to purchase and feed him very specific, veterinarian-approved dry cat food to address urinary issues, and to do this until death takes one of us to that great kitty-litter box in the sky.

(Those same instructions also said I needed to buy specific “wet” cat food for the same purpose, but lordy the price was outrageous, so screwgies to that; Albert seems more than content with Fancy Feast Gravy-Lovers cans. Nary a drop ever left in the bowl.)

The cat is voracious; the times I have attempted to bring the 17-pound bag of dry cat food (which lasts about 6 months and costs about $70 from Chewy.com) into the house, he uses those finely honed nails of his to rip it to shreds and get at what he wants.

And so, for safety purposes, the big bag sits in the back of my car, and as needed I scoop out some of the cat food and bring it inside.

But now I have made a new friend – a squirrel lives in the vicinity of Sun Gazette World Headquarters and who has deduced that there’s a buffet – probably a lifetime supply for a squirrel – awaiting, if only he or she can get into the car.

Occasionally I come downstairs from our office and into the car to make a phone call (I never said it was a big World Headquarters …), and as I’m there, my new squirrel friend will show up, plop himself on either rear-view mirror or the windshield itself, and give me the “c’mon, just a little bite” look. And this is not a scaredy-squirrel — he laughs off my motions for him to shoo.

I’s probably a big mistake, but I do drop a couple of the cat-food pellets in the grass so my squirrel can get them later. Who can say “no” to such an adorable face? (Then again, I’ve got an adorable face, and plenty of people have said “no” to me through the years.)

This is no Loch Ness Monster story, where the only visual proof is some grainy, far-away photo of dubious origin. The image that goes along with this blog was taken inside my car looking out, with the squirrel outside looking in.

— Scott McCaffrey

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