“Insurers Demand $2 Million for Negligent Squirrel-Torching”

You read that headline (from Lowering the Bar) correctly, yes.

It might surprise you — as it does me — that in this otherwise insanely hilarious lawsuit item there is no explanation whatsoever as to why anyone would be attempting to burn the fur off a squirrel. Unless squirrel was on the dinner menu.

Which reminds me: I have a cookbook called “Secretary of State Jim Brown’s World Famous Squirrel Stew and other country recipes (NEW EDITION Includes Celebrity Section!”) signed to me by Jim Brown himself:

“To Naomi — Hope you will try a few of my recipes, Best Wishes, Jim Brown.” (In the 1980’s Mr. Brown was the Secretary of State for Louisiana — you did realize that a cookbook dedicated to squirrel cuisine would emerge from one of the southern states, right? I mean, it wasn’t coming out of Central Park.)

Hon Jim has a great signature, by the way: forceful, sweeping and near-calligraphic in quality.

When I began posting news of this squirrel-related lawsuit, I had no intention of telling you, or even remembering, this cookbook, but it does now seem relevant, doesn’t it? (Although I never tried any of the recipes.)

Maybe that’s why this guy, Khek Chanthalavong, was using a blow-torch on a (presumably dead) squirrel:

People, how many times do I have to say, “Never leave a hot squirrel torch near something flammable when you go inside to wash the carcass”? 

I mean, I really didn’t expect to have to say that once.

This happened in 2012 in Michigan, but is back in the news because now it’s time for the lawsuits. There are lawsuits because, sadly, the squirrel-torcher was unable to douse the fire that started after he put the torch behind a plant holder, and the fire spread to 32 other units. No one was injured (except for the squirrel, and one firefighter who broke a toe), but insurers paid out over $2 million in damages.

They would like to have that back.

Ah yes.

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