What’s Real from Phooey Kerflooey

Extreme Wheelchair Athletes

Yes! These athletes exists and are so so amazing! Here is a video of Aaron “Wheelz” Fotheringham jumping his chair, doing flips, and taking falls! No language in the video and super amazing!

Here is sitskier Trevor Kennison in the trailer for a movie about him not only competing in the Xgames but returning to the location of his spinal injury with the goal of being the 1st person in a sitski to ever land a double back flip. There is no language in the trailer, however there is classic footage of a skier smoking.

Rampaging Squirrels

I live off-grid at a remote Bible camp and we absolutely have encountered rampaging squirrels. So many! They look cute, but the destruction they can cause is truly epic. In Phooey Kerflooey I have the squirrel do a lot of damage in a short period of time for story purposes. While, I have never seen a squirrel cause quite this much trouble in just a few days, each individual instance of squirrely havoc is indeed based on real squirrel crimes.

Once, I foolishly decided to feed a pair of squirrels for fun. Because my grandparents had always been able to safely feed their squirrels, I wrongly considered our family safe. We lived in an upstairs apartment in camp housing. There was a small shelf outside of one window used for placing the air-conditioner in the summer. Well, there was nothing there in the winter and so I started putting a variety of snacky items for the squirrels. They were at first suspicious, only nibbling whole wheat crusts or nuts. Soon, they began to expect regular treats. Well, summer came and so did our air-conditioning unit. It sat on the squirrel shelf and since there is so much food available in the wild during summer months, I thoght the squirrels would not notice. I was wrong. The squirrels were enraged! The pair chewed through the screen in the window and entered our home with rampage in mind. They took a nibble out of every food item in our kitchen. Tortillas, bread, rolls, bagels, whatever they could find they nibbled. They left poos on the counter and the top of the fridge. Then, they wanted to make sure that I knew exactly who they were angry with. My scent must have been on the scraps that I put out, because they went into the bedroom, bypassed my husband’s pillow, and left squirrel poo directly in the middle of my pillow and my pillow alone!

Squirrels have invaded the camp as well. They are VERY had to get rid of, are incredibly fast, athletic, and can make a giant mess. They can chew a hole in a wooden door, can run upside down along railings and run up walls, and can chew a hole in the wall and then hide in that hole for a very long time sneaking out to steal food and wreak havoc.

A squirrel once started a fire at my grandparents’ place. My grandfather called one night, “There’s a fire!” My husband (Scruffy) rushed down and put out the flames in their carport and shop. What had happened? Grandpa left one of his powertools plugged in. A squirrel chewed part way through the cord. The cord started sparking. Those sparks landed in the sawdust heaped up on the floor. The sawdust caught fire and the fire spread to the wall, where Scruff was able to put it out just in time!

Bomber (our maintenance gal) once had a squirrel run directly across her face while she was sleeping.

But the battle between Phooey and Rasputin was inspired by an epic battle I witnessed between a local squirrel and Ewok the chicken. Both Ewok and the squirrel wanted to eat the chicken food and thus, their mighty clash was born! I watched, amazed as the squirrel jumped onto Ewok’s back to bite and scratch. Ewok clucked out her rage and scratched and pecked at the squirrel and ran around. I would think this was impossible if I had not witnessed it myself, but the squirrel actually ran around in circles on Ewok’s back, over her back, under her neck, and back around, biting and scratching and raging. However, our chicken won as eventually, the squirrel ran away and Ewok remained by the chicken food.

Squirrels do steal paintballs! We have found giant stashes of pirated paint before.

My brother’s dog was bit on the nose by a squirrel.

I watched a boy I know trap squirrels with a box trap, only he used a large tin can propped up with a stick. He caught several squirrels, but his mother made him catch and release.

In much the way that Rasputin ran with the box on top of him, we watched our Newfoundland dog, Princess Leia Freyja, run off with a giant plastic kiddie pool when she was just a tiny (20lb) pup. She ran with over top of her until it caught on something and flipped over, taking her with it and plopping her inside.


Our first Newfoundland dog, Shamu, refused to eat lunchmeat and moldy cheese. He loved meat in general and so it made us wonder what exactly they put into that stuff. We were especially concerned once we realized that he loved organic lunch meat but turned his nose up at what we normally ate.

Our second Newfoundland, Princess Leia Freyja, only wanted to drink out of mugs. She refused to drink unless we got her a fresh bowl or mug every time and she was known to turn her nose up at dog dishes as well as request ice cubes in her water by poking her nose at the fridge door when we visited Grandma Judy and her amazing in-the-door ice-making fridge!

Princess Leia Freyja did indeed steal a giant jawbreaker from our middle son Theo, twice! Theo was undaunted and simply wrestled it out of her mouth, washed it off, and then continued to eat his candy!

I haven’t seen a dog bark with a doll baby in her jaws, but our big girl, Princess Leia Freyja barked very fiercely with a bagel in her jaws … and also her squeaky octopus.

Princess Leia Freyja would point her snout towards things to tell us something. She poked the car window with her nose to get us to roll it down. Leia once got me out of bed, walked me to the propane heater, and stared at the thermostat until I turned the heater off. Then once the heat stopped being produced, she went back to sleep.

Disasters and Traps

At the camp where my husband and I work (Camas Meadows Bible Camp), we once sopped up over an inch of water off of the floors in the main lodge after a pipe froze and broke. Mops, towels, and then fans to run across the floor for several days took care of that flash flood.

The Rube Goldberg machine that trapped Phooey was based on a Rube Goldberg machine that my oldest son Judah made for 8th grade science and it works! Although he used a small fan instead of a wagging tail and did not employ a soup tureen but used a cup of water instead that doused a flame. Please ask your parents for help with the candle if you choose to recreate it!

Phooey’s TP doll is real! My mother once crocheted this TP doll dress for my Grandma Autumn. When she passed away, I inherited the dolle and named her Creepy Cordelia. Here she is in all her glory!

Our middle son once slipped while running into the bathroom, skidded, and hit the toilet with his face. A gush of blood washed over his eyes so that he couldn’t see. He required several stitches.

Dear Reader, so there they are. The crazy real stories that sparked bits and pieces of my crazy made up stories in Phooey Kerflooey! What about you? What strange real life events have you lived that might be fun in a made-up story?