Set your DVR.
A small group of Crestonians will be featured in a video airing on America’s Funniest Home Videos (AFV) 6 p.m. Sunday on ABC.
The video — submitted by Penny Oetken of Creston — captures her screaming reaction after coming in close contact with a jumping squirrel inside Creston Elks Lodge #605 in January.
She captured the squirrel video footage Jan. 18. Penny said the squirrel had been in the lodge for several days prior — even doing damage to tiling on the third floor.
Penny said members were made aware of the squirrel and, that Saturday, members observed the squirrel bolt from the women’s restroom at the lodge, down the staircase (pictured left) into the dining room.
“We all saw him,” Penny said. “Some of us went toward the women’s restroom staircase and the other half went down the staircase by the bar.”
Elks Lodge members Kevin Mahan, Tyler Mahan, Bill Oetken and cook Clint Williamson all trekked downstairs to corral the squirrel and usher it back up the (women’s restroom) staircase and out the front door. But, they ran into some problems.
“We chased him all over the downstairs dining room,” Tyler said. “He went under tables, used chairs to jump over tables. We had aprons and towels trying to direct him where we wanted. We just wanted to keep him out of the kitchen area.”
While that was happening, other Elks members blocked off all ground floor entrances to the women’s restroom, third floor, coat and bar rooms.
“It was about that time I got the idea this should be on video,” Penny said.
Tyler said the squirrel finally cooperated after about 20 minutes and they were able to funnel him up the stairs.
“They yelled, ‘here he comes,’” Penny said.
The squirrel sprinted up the stairs and at the landing used the sidewall to spring into the air directly toward Penny’s camera phone.
“It was like a scene from Rocky and Bullwinkle,” Penny said, laughing. “He flew right at me.”
The squirrel landed near her feet, then darted north toward the bar room, but Jenny Mahan was blocking the entrance with a floor mat. While screaming, Penny continued filming the entire event until the squirrel exited the front door at the Elks and ran across West Montgomery Street toward Hair Tech.
“She doesn’t normally get scared like that,” Bill said.
Penny posted the video that Saturday on social media and friends urged her to submit the video to America’s Funniest Home Videos. She did on Jan. 25 and less than one month later she received a call from Sean Nietschmann with AFV in Los Angeles, Calif., informing her the video was selected for the show and he would call her a week before it aired.
On Monday, Nietschmann called.
Oetkens said they plan to watch the show Sunday from the comfort of their own living room.
“They have prize money for each show,” Bill said, “but I doubt we are part of that because they didn’t ask us out (to California). We’re probably just another clip on the show. We’ll find out Sunday, I guess.”