Dinner: The Birth of Squirrelly-J

Despite the innate planner in me, spontaneous evenings out are often my favorites, with no schedules to meet or expectations to live up to. On Saturday, I was just about to leave to go grocery shopping and pick up some dinner when I heard my cell phone buzzing. A missed call.

“Hey, it’s Nat. Farnsworth and I are going to dinner at Olé Olé, and then out for drinks. We’ll be there around 8:30. Give me a call on my cell if you want to join us. Oh, and we have a present for you if you come… bye!”

I knew that “out for drinks” would mean going to our favorite neighborhood cocktail bar, where Natasha, Farnsworth and I were working hard to become regulars. Nat’s boyfriend recently crossed into uncharted territory there, by learning that there was a secret list of off-the-menu drinks that had to be asked for by name. One of these drinks was the color of Windex, tasted like tropical paradise, and had a single red cherry resting perfectly at the bottom of the glass.

It was almost too beautiful to drink.

The prospect of that, coupled with Nat’s sing-songy promise of an unexpected gift made it clear that groceries could wait, so I quickly got ready and met them at the restaurant. Before I could even open my menu, Farnsworth told me he wanted to give me my gift – a rare find from a recent yard sale that he couldn’t pass up:


I may have gasped with delight.

“OH MY GOD! Where did you get this!?”

Farnsworth smiled, pleased with his purchase, and said modestly, “You know, I picked it up somewhere.”

“Ohmigod! Thank you so much! This is so perfect! A book of breakdance poetry?! It’s exactly what Nat and I need to inspire us for our breakdancing class. Hey – is Dee-Dee signing up for it, too?”

Nat shrugged, “I don’t know. I think she’s still busy coming up with our hip-hop names.”
“I’m not sure I’m comfortable with Dee-Dee being in charge of that. Wasn’t she the one who kept suggesting pig Latin versions of our astrological signs? I mean, she wanted me to be Isces-Pee. Isces-Pee?! Are you kidding me?! Yeah, because a breakdance name with the word “pee” in it is really cool. That’s really gonna inspire fear among the other breakdance crews.”

“Well, it’s not much better than the Irgo-Vee that she wanted to call me!”

“I thought you were gonna be Xanadu?”

“Nah, I think I’m over that.”

“Actually, I was thinking that maybe I want to be called The Squirrel, or just Squirrel.”
“Like walking the squirrel?”

“Exactly. ‘Cause I’m CRAZY! You never know what Jenny’s gonna do on the dance floor – she’s all squirrelly and shit!”

Farnsworth chimed in, “Squirrelly-J!”

I thought about it for a minute and started to nod, “Squirrelly-J. The Squirrel, aka Squirrelly-J. It has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it? Watch out for Squirrelly-J – she’s just trying to get a nut.”
Nat filled our glasses from the pitcher of margaritas that had just arrived. “So what’s your signature move, Squirrelly-J?”

“Good question. Maybe I could like, chatter at people. Like squirrels do? You know, like, ak-ak-ak-ak-ak-ak?”

“That’s not really a move, though, is it?”

“No, but it might scare some people off the dance floor.”

“Or maybe all your moves could be in a straight line, like a squirrel walking along a telephone wire?” suggested Farnsworth.

“And then I just throw walnuts at their heads. ‘Cause I’m Squirrelly-J, ak-ak-ak-ak-ak!”

“Personally, I think we need to start the class first and let our natural style dictate our names.”

“Yeah, you’re probably right. But we at least have to start thinking about what we’re going to wear. I was thinking of getting a new pair of Converse Chucks for class.”

“No, those make my feet look weird. I might get a pair of black Vans.”

“Look, if you want to do this right, you know what you both need to get, don’t you?”

Nat and I shook our heads no.

Farnsworth paused for effect, then said, “Old school Adidas.”

“Ooooh! You’re so right! And it just so happens that I have a pair of old school Adidas. Sweet.”


With footwear decisions made, and a potential hip-hop nickname in the works, I was now able to enjoy my dinner, but not before an impromptu poetry reading from my new favorite book:

Electric Boogie

Now I do the moon walk,
Watch my feet,
Heel, toe, backward glide,
Right to the beat.
I’m walking in space, man.
I am the ace, man.
– Lillian Morrison

Nat and Farnsworth snapped their approval. We finished our margaritas, paid the bill, and headed off to continue our evening of secret drinks and B-Boy poetry.


[Tune in later this week for the fascinating conclusion – Drinks: Desperately Seeking Susan]

13 Responses to “Dinner: The Birth of Squirrelly-J”

  1. asia Says:

    When I was two years old we had a beagle named Farnsworth. He and I, we weren’t very close. Apparently I wasn’t to be trusted.

  2. Tracy Lynn Says:

    Dude, that is so cool, I can hardly stand it. Go, Squirrley, go Squirrley, GO!

  3. Jessica Says:

    If it’s pig Latin, doesn’t it end is “ay” (not “ee”)? Like, “enny-Jay”?

  4. shari Says:

    Add “Reverend Doctor” and change the spelling, and you’ve got it, I think: Reverend Doctor Squirly-J.

  5. jenny Says:

    Asia: I’m sorry you and Farnsworth weren’t able to overcome your differences. Did you steal his squeaky toys? Pull on his ears?
    Tracy Lynn: We’re still looking for some beat-boxers, so let me know if you want to throw your hat in the ring.
    Jessica: If we were dealing with most people, yes. But Dee-Dee has her own language at times. Only Nat and I understand it.
    Shari: BRILLIANT! And I love the shortened spelling. Squirly is much better – I’ll give you credit when I make it big.

  6. Anonymous Says:

    Dear Jenny,
    I must admit, I like your blog so much better now that you swear all the time.
    P.S. I can’t believe you didn’t call me immediately after getting that book of break dance poems.

  7. Mocha Says:

    I’m so loving that you are taking the class and reading the book and the old school Adidas? Well. You’re at the top of my Cool List now.
    I’m going to break out some Grand Master Flash and Melle Mel “White Lines” and think of you, k?

  8. Sunny Says:

    Ooo… breakdance class! Make sure and tell us when you begin to learn how to spin on your head.
    I’ve always wanted to know how that works – without serious brain damage.

  9. dan Says:

    my nephew decided he wanted to be a rapper when he was 8 years old. His name is paul, and he’s got a great sense of humor, so he thought his handle should be “Funny P.” I think he reconsidered when we laughed so much harder than he thought we should have. You can feel the difference, I guess, between laughing with someone and laughing at them.

  10. sandra Says:

    Is there any chance that you’d videotape yourself breakdancing? Please?

  11. jenny Says:

    Viv: I didn’t know how you’d feel about breakdance poetry. And welcome to the new Run Jen Run After Dark. I might even spell out the word “f*ck” someday.
    Mocha: Oh no. No you did not. You did not just pull out Melle Mel on me! That’s what I’m talking ’bout.
    Sunny: Well, to be honest, this is more the poppin’/lockin’ kind of class vs. the true breakdance spinning on your head class. I value my spinal cord far too much for that.
    Dan: You tell Funny P that he can hang with Squirly-J anytime.
    Sandra: If you come to TC’07 in Portland, maybe I’ll get my posse to put on a little show. That’ll give me enough time to learn how to moonwalk.

  12. Nat Says:

    maybe we’re Squirly-J and Crabapple Kid — Our fearsome feet rule the street. Recognize. My girl J-Squirl will lob a walnut at yo head. sucka.

  13. Cheryl Says:

    I think you need to up the alternative-spelling ante. Something like “Rev’rynd Doktor Skwirlee J.” Or maybe “Skwirleigh” if you’re feeling yuppie-ish.
    I did a drill team routine to “White Lines” in high school. We did toe-touch jumps on the “higher baby” part. My past is totally skwirlee.