Like your best friend who “dishes” all the dirt to you after a few cocktails (some of them even do it sober), it’s time to pull back the curtain and share some secrets with our beloved Vital VOICE readers.

I am The Squirrel.

Yes, The Squirrel.

Vital VOICE’s (un)official mascot here in St. Louis. And like some of our city’s most beloved treasures like the Zoo or Botanical Gardens, I have witnessed things.

Pretty things. Scary things. Horrifying things.

Dieta Pepsi was my inspiration. An offhand comment during a 2010 video shoot from the fried chicken diva herself started the whole Squirrel frenzy. In 2011, a friend of the VV’s showed up to an event in a Squirrel costume, and a legend (of sorts) was born.

In 2012, I shook my moneymaker at a LOT of Vital VOICE events, and chances are that I overheard you talking smack about any number of “beloved” community figures within the STL LGBTQ community. Even Todd Allan “used” me to help raise funds for a children’s hospital via the St. Louis Cardinals “Rally Squirrel” mania. I am clearly altruistic, because allowing myself to be used by Todd was a bitter pill to swallow. And as you know, I swallow a lot.

You may be wondering what the most bizarre thing is that I witnessed as The Squirrel. Well, I am not at liberty to divulge all of the sordid details, but it may or may not have involved sexual role-playing in the locker room of a sports venue.

Dangerous?

You bet. I got caught in the middle of a turf war late one night in South City, and you better believe this motherfucking squirrel sent two punks to the ER. As they were carted away, I taunted them with, “Hope you like eating through a feeding tube, assholes!”

The most entertaining thing I’ve witnessed?

Easy.

One night at the office after everyone else had left, James Patrick was putting the finishing touches on a feature story for the next month’s Issue. He was listening to a Spice Girls song on iTunes, and then he made his way out to his car. Ten minutes later, he re-emerged in FULL Victoria Beckham “Posh Spice” drag. Let me tell you, that boy fully committed to the role. To this day, I get chills down my spine when “Wannabe” comes on the radio.

What does the future hold for me? It’s unclear. Everyone wanted to hear what that fucking FOX had to say years ago, but squirrels, it seems, are no longer the darling of the animal kingdom. At least not here in the Lou.

Keep your eyes peeled. One never knows when I may dust myself off and take a gander out into the community to represent Vital VOICE.

Stay Squirrely, bitches. V