All posts by The Etiquette Squirrel

Etiquette Squirrel

Dear Etiquette Squirrel (from the future),

It has come to my attention that D does not stand for ‘degree.’ I thought I was doing well, but now I’m not too sure. Is it too late for me? Will I pass school? Please help.

— Failing?

Dear Failing?,

Think about school like a game of Monopoly: you roll the dice, make a good go at it, and sometimes you win. What I’m trying to say is, you’re not going to pass ‘Go’ anytime soon. But no worries, you’ll eventually discover a love for board games, win the International Monopoly Championship, and gain a small fortune for yourself. Unfortunately, Monopoly money has no value. But hey, you can always join me up in a tree.

Hello Etiquette Squirrel (from the future),

Will my mom ever love me?

— Neglected Child

Dear Neglected Child,

I would like to say that in the future, your mother will realize that you were the greatest thing that ever happened to her and she’ll stop criticizing your grades. But let’s just say that a little squirrely told me it’s in your best interest to remember her birthday next year — and maybe don’t say that you liked Brenda’s pie better than your mom’s. Otherwise, she’ll always love your brother more than you.

Yo Future,

When is your album dropping? What’s up with your new name? I don’t really dig this squirrel thing.

— Future’s Biggest Fan

Dear My Biggest Fan,

You’ll have to talk to my manager about that.

Dear Etiquette Squirrel (from the future),

What’s life like for squirrels in the future? I read on a conspiracy site that the world will end with squirrels destroying the human race. Is it true?

— Doomsday Now

Dear Doomsday Now,

I wouldn’t call it destroying the human race so much as improving it. You cut down our homes, so we cut down your population. But don’t worry, life is pretty great, or at least it is for us squirrels.

Hey Etiquette Squirrel (from the future),

I’ve been having a rough time balancing school, work, and sports recently and don’t know what to do. Will my future get better?

— Rough Time

Dear Rough Time,

Like I always say: the world is your acorn. Work your tail off, kiddo. It’s going to be okay.

Hi Etiquette Squirrel (from the future),

Have you heard about the freshman fifteen? I’ve been so unhealthy since university started and want to get back in shape — my doctor gave me supplements to help, but I don’t think they’re working. What should I do?

— Health Nut

Dear Health Nut,

Have you been drinking your almond milk? You know what they say: ‘an almond a day keeps the doctor away.’ This is probably a good thing since your doctor is not properly licensed and is trying to rope you into a pyramid scheme. Those weren’t real nutritional supplements, Health Nut. Always check your doctor’s credentials.

‘Sup Etiquette Squirrel (from the future),

Help! I have a paper due tomorrow night and no motivation to finish. Can you help me find some motivation — and also a topic?

— No Motivation, Mo’ Problems

Dear No Motivation, Mo’ Problems,

I can tell you that you end up writing about Plato’s view on the form and beauty of squirrels.

Hiya Etiquette Squirrel (from the future),

I’ve been trying to cut down on my coffee intake. Could you suggest some alternatives?

— 2 Decaffeinated 2 Function

Dear 2 Decaffeinated 2 Function,

I’m personally a fan of a nice 1987 Margaux Red, or some 1963 Cheval Blanc. If you’re looking for a low-budget option, I suppose you could go for a 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley, but why would you do that to yourself? I would avoid any 2023 Piedmont Reds though.  They really doesn’t compare to the 2023 Pomeral Reds.

Bonjour Etiquette Squirrel (from the future),

When will I marry a millionaire?

— Too Much Tuition

Dear Too Much Tuition,

July 17, 2028. You’ll have a nice destination wedding in Honolulu because although you are rich, you are still basic. You offer to fly in all your friends and family, which doesn’t really work out since your friend Michael decides to bring that girl from high school who always made fun of your eyebrows. But what do you care — you’re a millionaire.

Bonjour Etiquette Squirrel (from the future),

When do I marry a billionaire?

— Too Much Tuition (again)

Dear Too Much Tuition (again),

February 14, 2053, after you divorce the millionaire.

Dear Etiquette Squirrel (from the future),

If a tree falls in a forest and nobody’s there to hear it, does it make a sound?

— Not a Lumberjack

Dear Not a Lumberjack,

Of course, silly human. Remember what I said would happen when you cut down our homes? The sound that is made when a tree is cut down is the scream of a mother squirrel watching her three children getting crushed under the weight of an oak branch and human folly.

Hi Etiquette Squirrel (from the future),

Do we ever figure out the answer to life?

— PHL100 Student

Dear PHL100 Student,

It’s 42 nuts.

Hi Etiquette Squirrel (from the future),

Does Bernie Sanders ever become US President?

— Berned Out

Dear Berned Out,


*Etiquette Squirrel (from the future) does not endorse any candidate

Howdy Etiquette Squirrel (from the future),

Will squirrels ever get equal rights? I’m rooting for you guys.

— Squirrel Whisperer

Dear Squirrel Whisperer,

Thank you for the support. Unfortunately, we don’t get equal rights until all humans do.


Will I ever find love???

I will always love you.

Will I ever get a dog?


Will I become Prime Minister?


Will I ever own a house?

In this market? Please.

Will Brangelina ever get back together?


Etiquette Squirrel

Dear Etiquette Squirrel,

I love my family — for the most part — but there’s just one thing they do that really gets to me. How do I get my family members to stop cutting open resealable packaging? I’ve tried showing them the ways of the zipper seal to no avail. It’s the best thing since sliced bread though. I just don’t get it. Please help!

— Broken Freshness Seal

Dear Broken,

Some people will simply sit back and watch the world burn. Or rather, they will watch the world mould and rot and become inedible. I suggest that you eat all the food before they have a chance to let it rot, and then they’ll go hungry next time they open the fridge. That’ll teach them about misusing resealable packaging in the future.

Dear Etiquette Squirrel,

A squirrel has been secretly living somewhere at The Varsity headquarters since the beginning of the year. We thought it died at one point, but it seems to have made a remarkable recovery and now sporadically roams the design office. How do we get it out? Unless… is that you?

— Concerned About Asbestos

Dear Concerned,

No, it isn’t me, as I live in a rather well-decorated elm tree on Sussex Avenue, but I do apologize for the situation nonetheless. Unfortunately, you have my cousin Ricky staying with you. I told him once that I did some writing for The Varsity, and as I was explaining how warm the offices are, he bolted. I should have known he would be squatting with you fine folks.

Next time I see him I’ll give him a talking to, but maybe he just wanted to crack a story? Please don’t judge all of us squirrels against Ricky’s annoying tactics!

Hello Etiquette Squirrel,

There is a boy who is breadcrumbing me. How can I throw his breadcrumbs right back at him? I want to coat him in his own breadcrumbs like Panko! Please help me pull off my master plan.

— Master Chef

Dear Chef,

After my extensive research, I think breadcrumbing means that he is leading you on? If so, he’s completely nuts if he doesn’t go for you. I recommend that you don’t give him the time of day. He doesn’t deserve you, and you don’t deserve that kind of treatment. If he’s actually a good guy, he’ll come around and show himself to you.

Promiscuous Squirrel,

Wherever you are

I’m all alone

And it’s you that I want.

— Nelly Furtado ft. Timbaland circa. 2006

Dear Nelly Furtado ft. Timbaland,

Sorry, I’m already taken.

Etiquette Squirrel

Dear Etiquette Squirrel,

Any suggestion on how I could make my dorm room more homey? It still doesn’t feel quite right sleeping there, and I want to spruce it up a little bit. 

— Not an Interior Designer

Dear Designer,

You most certainly could be! Don’t let your inhibitions keep you from expressing yourself in your room; do whatever you feel is right. I have self-portraits, a photo of Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, a set of fine china, and acorns. Lots of them.

Your space should express who you are, display your interests , and help you feel relaxed. It’s important to customize your dorm room, so you can feel as comfortable as possible and escape the daily stress of university. First, check out top houseplant picks on page 8, then make a list of your interests, and then come up with ways to embody them throughout your space.

Dear Etiquette Squirrel,

I’m in first year and my mother keeps asking me to come home on the weekends, even though I live on residence. I knew this would be a problem when I chose a university near home, but I didn’t think it would be this bad. She’s nuts! She even downloaded Snapchat to see what I’m doing on my weekends. Help me, Etiquette Squirrel — how do I avoid my mother’s nosiness? 

— Overprotected and Overworked

Dear Overworked,

Oh, I’ve been there; all squirrels have overbearing mothers. Probably a result of being prey. Anyways, when we leave home, our mothers sometimes don’t know what to do. They’ve spent so long taking care of us that they feel like something’s missing and they don’t want to hibernate; they try to hold on to you so you’ll never leave. Remember how lucky you are that you have a mother who loves you and that you’re able to go home whenever you want. There are some students who can’t go home for numerous reasons and I bet they get homesick. Be happy you’ll never lose touch with your mother, because she won’t let you!

Dear Etiquette Squirrel,

I love where I live. It’s a nice neighbourhood and my roommates are friendly, but I do have one complaint: my landlord. She’s quite involved in the day-to-day comings and goings of the tenants, and I don’t know how to tell her that it’s a little weird! She has a key to my room and sometimes I get worried that one day I might not wake up in my bed. Etiquette Squirrel, in all your wisdom, what should I do?

— Scared I’ll Lose My Kidneys

Dear Kidney-Loser,

Don’t get squirrelly! I will admit, this is really odd. I’ve never quite heard of a landlord acting like this, but what I can tell you is that maybe you could try and —

No, forget it, I can’t consciously tell you this is okay! If your roommates start to go missing, you could be next! Let’s just hope you aren’t first, but my advice is to get out of there as soon as possible. I’ve got a futon you could stay on, but you might not fit.


Etiquette Squirrel

Dear Etiquette Squirrel,

I’m on the verge of graduating, but I’m starting to feel guilty about some unfinished business. I had a very lenient professor one year that was kind enough to give me a tentative final mark, with the promise of me getting my outstanding course work in as soon as possible. The thing is, I never completed that work and my degree is almost finished. Should I follow through with that promise before I take off? I can barely even remember what we learned in that class.

— Better Late Than Never

Dear BLTN,

I am sorry to hear that you finally have a conscience, but it is probably best to leave the past in the past. It sounds like the agreement that was made has entirely slipped your professor’s mind, and it would not be very polite to remind them of it now — think of the embarrassment that would cause! Do not look this rare gift horse in the mouth; soothe your guilt with the knowledge that you have preserved your absent-minded professor’s dignity.

— ES

Dear Etiquette Squirrel,

I recently tried hosting a little get together at my house. After a very enjoyable, yet tiring, night, I could not get a particular guest to leave. I was appreciative of the company, but they did not decide to leave until the wee hours of the morning, long after we had run out of food, drink, and new conversational topics. I was utterly exhausted by the time I got to bed, and now I’m hesitant to invite anyone over again. Am I just not cut out to be a hostess?

— Lacklustre Entertainer

Dear Lacklustre,

You should not let one mooching guest ruin the fun for everyone. I am sure you were a lovely hostess, now you just need to learn a few maneuvers to discreetly bring your party to an end. Try offering the overstayed guest some leftovers and then handing them their coat when you are done packing up the food; or you can let them know what a wonderful guest they have been and offer to call an Uber to take them home. Basically, you need to balance control with niceties. Remember: you are the hostess and you run the show.

— ES

Dear Etiquette Squirrel,

I submitted an in-class assignment last week, and after I placed my assignment on the professor’s desk, I saw another student pick it up and copy the answers down. Then they handed in their assignment and walked away like nothing happened. I was too stunned to do anything at the time, but I’m not sure if I handled the situation properly.

— Standing With My Jaw Wide Open

Dear Wide Jaw,

I understand your surprise and hesitation at the time, but it is not too late to take matters into your own hands. That is your personal work — no one has the right to plagiarize it; also, you do not want to be called into question for submitting work that is identical to someone else’s. In order to protect yourself, you need to contact your professor immediately and explain the circumstances. Do not be afraid of snitches getting stitches, because you have every right to stand up for yourself, and I am sure you will probably not suffer any bodily harm.

— ES

Dear Etiquette Squirrel,

My boss at work obviously loves to dance. He constantly parades around showing off his moves — except he doesn’t even have any moves! He absolutely cannot dance and is actually notorious for ripping his pants, while attempting the ‘slut drop.’ How can I get him to stop?

— Embarrassed To Be A Spectator

Dear Embarrassed Spectator,

You cannot stop your dancing boss and you should not attempt to do so. Your boss is a free spirit simply expressing his artistic side. You should respect his demonstration of courage and be appreciative of the lighthearted mood he brings to the office, but you should not hate on his style. If you are embarrassed by the show, you do not have to be a spectator; but I would instead recommend letting go and joining in on the dancing fun.

— ES

Dear Etiquette Squirrel,

I keep running into a former TA at the grocery store. This wouldn’t be so bad, if it wasn’t for the fact that she failed me, and she’s really attractive. One half of me is mad I didn’t pass that course, but the other half is mesmerized by her eyes. My academic pride is bruised, would it be smart to give her the chance to break my heart too? I don’t know if I should pursue a relationship with her, but she is just so beautiful.

— In Love With A TA

Dear TA Lover,

I have good news: you are probably not in love with the TA. You seem to be infatuated by her beauty, and you should try not to get the two mixed up. I suggest you switch to another grocery store, give it a couple weeks, and then reassess your feelings for her. If you forget about her in the process, then you will just move on. If you are still interested in her at the end of the two weeks, then perhaps maybe it is something more than infatuation, and you should tread carefully. She is already critical of your academic performance, so relax, take your time, and impress her with your true self.

— ES

Dear Etiquette Squirrel,

I have had some recent encounters with a persistent raccoon that frequents the green bins outside my house. I keep running into it at night, and it scares the bejeebers out of me every single time. Once, it even snarled at me and I ran away in terror. I think I’m developing a fear of them, how do I get rid of this pest before it turns into a full-blown phobia?

— Hiding From The Raccoons

Dear Hiding,

Heed my warning: beware those dreadful night time creatures. Avoid them altogether. Move away and never look back. They are simply too vicious to take down.

— ES

Etiquette Squirrel

Dear Etiquette Squirrel,

I’m a fourth-year science student, and fairly studious. Lately I’ve been noticing a higher-than normal influx of requests for notes from classmates that didn’t make it to lecture. How do I tell them I’m not their scribe?

­­­— My Notes are my Lyfe

Dear Notes Lyfe,

Nobody likes a mooch. We’ve all been involved in enough unfortunate group projects to know that some people will always free-load off of those who are driven enough to pick up the slack. But consider the situation before rejecting these requests outright. Is it someone you know to be a serial slacker? Or an anonymous classmate who is a first-time asker? If it is the latter, award the benefit of the doubt, and share. You never know when you might need someone to return the favour. For the slacker, though, politely tell them that you have decided against sharing your notes, but offer to talk to them about the content. If they really only want you for your notes, they probably won’t take you up on the offer.

Dear Etiquette Squirrel,

Why do people think it is acceptable to come to the library sick — sneezing, coughing, sniffling — disrupt everyone, spread germs, and produce a growing pile of dirty tissues on a shared worktable?

­­­— Get your Phlegm outta my Physics

Dear Physics Phlegm,

The offenders you are describing are simply overworked university students just like the rest of us, bogged down by homework in addition to other communicable ailments. That being said, they should absolutely be cognizant of the fact that their sneezing and tissue-producing in close proximity to other students only stands to spread the misery. While you may be tempted to tell this person off, resist this urge. It will only come across as nasty, and it’s not their fault that they got sick. Instead, do your best to steer clear of the dirty tissues (seriously, humans can be gross) and move to another table. If the situation gets truly out of hand, ask the library to post more notices about using hand sanitizers and masks during cold-and-flu season.

Dear Etiquette Squirrel,

I walk up the path through UC basically every day, and squirrels are always in the way. Can I walk over them to save time?

­­­— In a Hurry

Dear Hurry,

One day your disregard for squirrels will come flying through a garbage can to bite you. Until then.

­­­­­­— ES