This bicyclist's first mistake is naming his victim:
But little Rusty [the skwerl] must have heard the call to go toward the light, because just as I rode up, he lunged. Straight through the spinning spokes of my front wheel.
That's what I would've yelled, of course. But the poor schmuck is actually horrified. He probably hasn't ever killed anything more complex than a cockroach in his life.
But then his life gets even worse:
As I stood guiltily over the injured animal, two enraged bystanders rushed up. The first, a man, put his face right into mine.
"Didn't you see him?" he screamed.
My response: "Pshyeah!! Wasn't that an amazing hit? Lemme finish him off and we'll call it a mulligan."
His response is a little confused and conflicted, however. He's torn between his horror at having desperately wounded little Rusty plus having reaped the ire of the PETA-types, and his notion that skwerls really are just stupid little rats who occasionally reap the Darwinian consequences of their stupidity.
"We're members of the Animal Rescue League of Sydney," he said.
"You're kidding," I stammered, unable to believe my bad luck. A million squirrels in Washington, and I had to run over the one that was under observation by international animal rights activists.
"We're wildlife rescue technicians," the man continued in a take-charge tone. "We'll need to get this squirrel to an animal rescue center right away."
It gets even better.
"Look, mate," said the man, eagerly displaying a camera. "I've got it all here on video!"
It turned out that the Australians had been not just watching Rusty but filming him. My new friend displayed the footage for the crowd on the camera's swing-out screen.
There was the squirrel eating out of the woman's hand, and then he went off for a drink, and -- "Ewww!" moaned the tourists. Several glared at me.
Some people have ALL the luck.
See, now this doofus is going to be famous on YouTube for something he's embarrassed about... whereas if it'd been ME whodunnit, I'd be sending the link to all my friends and family to show them what a WWI Flying Ace I was.