"In recent weeks, intelligence operatives have arrested 14 squirrels within Iran's borders." - Islamic Republic News Agency

I'm up to my haunches in a land of hot sand and strange languages, hunted for who I am. Five months ago, I was in the shade, living in a nice sugar maple outside of Langley when I got caught in a Hav-A-Heart trap. I didn't need that Dixie cup of dry-roasted peanuts; I just wanted them very, very, very badly. Well, I got the peanuts, a dart in the side of the neck, a speech about how great America is, and a ticket to Iran. I've been here for the last couple weeks in the employ of the Central Intelligence Agency. Let's say my name is Mr. Piddles.


The Iranians are not bad people, there's just like Americans but with a completely wrong belief system.

I'm not the only one in country, the Company sent 14 of us. I knew all of them growing up, just with different names. We don't use those old names anymore. Part of the training is forgetting your past. My only question is why use us, the ones who got caught? Wouldn't our free-roaming, more elusive pals been better suited for this kind of job?

I can't talk about what I'm doing in Tehran. The Company doesn't like loud mouths and all it would take is one bad acorn to shut me up forever.


It didn't take us long to realize the Company's big mistake. There are no squirrels in Tehran except the 14 of us.


There's 13 of us left. Mr. Peeper's ate a bad fig from a cart at the bazaar. Mr. Jingles said we're better off without Peepers. My hate for Mr. Jingles only grows.

I can tell you why there aren't any squirrels in Iran. There aren't any goddamn acorns. I tried eating curried pistachios and ending up pissing fire for two days. I hate the people here, they're weird and loud. They also tend to more than their fair share of fist shaking.

The light hurts my eyes and the dryness is eating up my sinuses.


I keep seeing monkeys around the markets here. They're the biggest losers in the animal kingdom. Opposable thumbs and all they've figured out is how to pick fleas off each other. A waste of tree space, if you ask me.

I was watching television today and saw an Iranian newscaster with a picture of a squirrel with an American flag behind him. The squirrel appeared to have television antenna coming out of its ass. I said a silent thank you for the miniaturization of digital technology.

The Iranian secret police have staked out every public park in the country. To me, palms are just not trees.

I spent three hours hiding under a fez.


I'm on my own now. The Company, as promised, has disavowed any knowledge of this operation. I saw Senor Dribbles a week ago under a cashew cart in the central market. We agreed that it was best to split up. Two squirrels are a crowd in Iran.

I could have been out of this hellhole a week ago if it weren't for my indecisiveness crossing roads. I've always had this problem. I'm somewhere in the middle of a street when I start thinking about life, my family, acorns. Brenda, my case officer in Langley, said this would be the death of me. I'm beginning to think she's right. All I know is that everyday when the minaret's loudspeakers announce the call to prayer and the pious face Mecca, I'm tucking my bushy tail between my legs and bounding in the opposite direction.



A Criticism of the Preceding Story

The author of the above story is obviously an unrepentant moron. The piece is filled from start to finish with grievous factual inaccuracies. It disgusts me that the writer has not done the most basic research, and when I say basic I mean sources such as A Children's First Abridged Dictionary for Dummies or the Disney animated film, Aladdin. Some of the errors:

1. The city of Tehran is not located in the desert, but rather among snow-covered mountains in Northern Iran. It is unforgivable that the author did not know this. He should be ashamed for presenting this story for public consumption.

2. The Tehranian landscape is not covered by palm trees. Tehran is a major metropolitan area, not an oasis in the middle of the Gobi Desert. If the author's life goal is to be entirely ignorant of the world, then mission accomplished.

3. This mistake truly disappoints me as the fine people of Iran are not even in the top 10 of angriest nationalities (They are actually 11th). Just a side note, the angriest nation is Denmark. The Danes are known for a common irrationality fueled by ignorance, fear, and Aquavit. At any moment, including the one you are reading these words, there are thousands of Danes in the streets of Copenhagen fighting each other with bottles and broken chairs.

4. The author's ignorance of culture and place is appalling. Not only are there acorns in Tehran, but they are the city's leading source of oak growth.

5. I have come to realize that anyone who would include this many errors in a manuscript is most probably suffering from some form of diminished mental capacity. How could we denounce someone who cannot even summon the brainpower to know that the fez is traditional Moroccan headwear? Obviously, the author is trying as hard as he can and should be congratulated for this flawed attempt. The word that best describes an author writing on a subject that he has clearly no knowledge of and has done no research on? Heroism.


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