Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Don't Make Me Go All Chester Crabtree on Your Ass

As many of you may already know, I have a special place in my heart for Groundhog Day. A recent discovery has brought me face to face with a dilemma, however. Living under my house (and having recently taken up residence--two weeks ago or less) is a large, slow groundhog. Contrary to popular belief, a groundhog is not a gopher (which immediately renders my Moose Miller title reference innacurate, but, whatever). It is, according to sources the same animal as a woodchuck (and is also known as a whistle pig). It's a marmot (which reminds me, as does many things, of The Big Lebowski--"Nice marmot").

Regardless of what it is or isn't classified as, the main point of emphasis for me is that this particular whistle pig is living under my house, tearing up dirt and insulation to make a cozy little woodchuck nest (and not, as far as I can tell, chucking one freaking piece of wood (but there is a conditional in there: "IF a woodchuck COULD chuck wood", so I guess I shouldn't expect to see that), and driving Ripken Ozark crazy. The squirrels, in there attempts to raid every last bird feeder in creation, have been scaling the walls and roof of the house to leap, with no regard for their own personal safety, onto nearby feeders, and driving Ripken "up a wall", so to speak, with their clatter. The marmot offers new torment for Ripken, since he knows now that this particular rodent is pretty easy prey. Yesterday, when we went out back, dog was about two inches from clamping down hard on some whistle pig spine. I yelled, "No!" That may have slowed the dog up just enough to save the groundhog. Now, I sort of wish I would have just let the dog do what he was about to do, but then I would have had to get a dead marmot away from my dog--gross and difficult, I am sure.

Let me tell you this: the whistle pig is a slow micky ficky. I guess, with its short legs and its ponderous girth, it is relatively impossible for it to get any speed, but I have never seen an animal move so slowly that wasn't a turtle. As a matter of fact, I may have seen a turtle or two with a faster time in the forty than Monsieur (or Madame) Marmot. It makes me wonder how they have managed to live so long (evolutionarily speaking). With such slow times, one would think that any fox or bobcat or coyote could have snatched up every last one of these slow-mo mammals that ever lived. I guess not. They must be crafty, these groundhogs.

So, my dilemma is this: the marmot must go, and Landlord is responsible for that. But, what if Landlord's brilliant plan for removing the groundhog involves poison, or squirrel-shaped plastic explosives, or a slug from a .22? I am pretty sure he's not the type to lay out a Havahart trap and drive the captured whistle pig off to the nearest groundhog refuge. So, what to do? Landlord has already been called, so I guess my dilemma is no dilemma at all anymore, but I still hope that Woody has a chance to carry on his slow, herbivorous life somewhere else. How would they treat Punxatawney Phil, after all?

Now, If I could just figure out how to get these damn squirrels to stop crawling all over my house, Ripken could live in peace.

Note to JPB: I never did get around to the Texans, did I? Stay tuned.


Anonymous said...

Said whistle pig would be an excellent candidate to join me on the ark I'm building here in the floodzone known as the mid-Atlantic. However, you must keep your squirrels.


Anonymous said...

As you may remember from my time in Oregon with Mr. Chubbs, I have a certain affinity for such nutria/marmot/muskrat creatures. I was appalled when I Googled "Missouri Groundhog Refuge" to get this result: "Controlling Nuisance: Groundhogs." Apparently there is no place for our furry woodland friends to run (er...meander) free. The Mizzou Extension Service and Missouri Dept. of Conservation have some keen ideas on how to handle this "nuisance". For example: groundhogs can be hunted yearround and "a young medium-sized groundhog makes excellent table fare if properly prepared." What the Hell? I implore you, dear Missouri Monkey, as someone who has purchased you underbriefs - spare this whistle-pig! I could not, in good conscience, come visit CoMO knowing you've got a "marmot coffee-table."

On that note: let's hear about those wacky Texans!


Anonymous said...

Hi, JPB!!! How is it that you have purchased MoMonk underbriefs? And how can I get in on this deal?

PS: Have you seen my cookies?



ATR said...


"Have you seen my cookies?"?!

You thought you could get away with that?


(And stop offering to show your cookies to people!)


In MO, just about anything "makes excellent table fare if properly prepared".


Anonymous said...

If JPB can buy underbriefs for MoMonk, I can flash some cookies up on this piece. Just for JPB though - NO PEEKING anyone else!

Apparently ATR may have "excellent table fare" in mind for his little sub-house dweller. You down with WPP (whistle pig pie)?


(= body mass index, doctor?)


Anonymous said...

Ahhh....I'm just enjoying my men-folk feeling comfortable with their masculinity and isht.

AMVB--you didn't even say nothin' about ATR droppin' "micky ficky"--come on now!


Anonymous said...

AMVB: Is it not your cookies that bring all the boys to the yard? At which point you retort, "Damn right - they're better than yours!" You then offer to instruct us, but only for a nominal fee. I would venture to guess that fee is $3. Now having seen your cookies, AMVB, I feel compelled to buy you underbritches as well.

ATR: The search is on for whistle pig boxers as I reckon those monkey britches are showin some wear.

MMD: Sup Meghawich!


Anonymous said...

JPB, you so funny!