“The Squirrel is a real nut job,” Professor Plum said as he entered the mail room.

He read the mail…. (More)

The Squirrel flicked his tail and tapped at his Blewberry: “I loved that movie!”

“It was a cute film,” Professor Plum said, “but of course I meant something else.”

The Squirrel sighed. “When it comes to nuts, humans usually mean … something else.”

Professor Plum gave the Squirrel a little scratch between the ear tufts, then left with Ms. Scarlet to join the resident faculty in the wine cellar library, where they’ll spend the weekend drinking thinking on our motto of Magis vinum, magis verum (“More wine, more truth”).

In the staff poker game, the Professor of Astrology Janitor was playing like a real nut job, bluffing at random. Surprisingly, that strategy was serving him well. So when Chef opened with a routine pot-sized raise, he called with his Jack of Clubs and Three of Diamonds. The flop brought the King of Diamonds, Ten of Hearts, and Six of Spades. The Professor of Astrology Janitor checked and Chef checked behind. The Eight of Spades on the turn didn’t seem to change anything, and again the Professor of Astrology Janitor checked. This time Chef put in a half-pot-sized bet, and the Professor of Astrology Janitor replied with a pot-sized raise.

Chef paused for a moment. “I don’t believe for a moment you have a Nine-Seven,” she said, “and I don’t think you’re semi-bluffing on two Spades with just one card to come. So I’m all-in.”

The Professor of Astrology Janitor was bluffing only because the first card he’d been dealt and the first card on the flop were both Diamonds. But random bluffing only gets you so far. He flicked his cards in the muck and began his plaintive mewling. Chef flashed a pair of black Kings and went to the kitchen to make Apple-Nut Breakfast Porridge, leaving your lowly mail room clerk to review the week’s correspondence….


Dear Ms. Crissie,

I just fired the head of the F.B.I. He was crazy, a real nut job. I faced great pressure because of Russia. That’s taken off.

The President, Chief Executive, and Commander-in-Chief of the United States and Leader of the Free World

Dear God-King,

You correctly identified the presence of “a real nut job” in that interaction. Alas, you were describing yourself.


Dear Ms. Crissie,

Why do humans refer to unstable humans as “nuts” or “nut jobs?” I consider myself an expert on nuts, and there’s nothing crazy or unstable about them. Also, that Apple-Nut Breakfast Porridge sounds really yummy. Is it safe for squirrels to eat?

Nutty for Breakfast in Blogistan

Dear Squirrel,

You unwittingly answered your first question in your not-quite-pseudonymous signature. According to Dictionary.com, “nuts” came into use as an adjective meaning “crazy” in the mid-19th century, derived from the 18th century usage of “nuts” to mean “very fond of.” That usage remains in phrases like “I’m nuts about her,” and may have derived from a 17th century usage of “nuts” to mean “any source of pleasure.” That in turn may have derived from a walnut being vaguely head-shaped, thus “off his nut” or “out of his nut” as slang for “off/out of his head.”

As to your second question, Chef says Apple-Nut Breakfast Porridge would indeed be safe and healthy for squirrels. To make it, coarsely chop 2 Tablespoons of nuts in a food processor, together with 1 peeled and cored Granny Smith apple, 2 dried white figs, and ¼ teaspoon of ginger. Transfer to a bowl and top with 1 teaspoon of dried goji berries (or dried cranberries), and ½ teaspoon of ground flax seeds. Bon appétit!


Photo Credit: Getty Images



Apple-Nut Breakfast Porridge.


Happy Sunday!