Friday, January 23, 2009

The Groundhog Adventure

So, you're old buddy boy, Darian had taken off from the Office and his side job one day.  I'm hanging out around the house and just wallowing in my own filth.  It wasn't like I was heading anywhere, so why take a shower?  I was making my morning jaunt to get the morning paper on the lawn and what do I see digging next to my stoop...a giant Groundhog.  

Now, keep in mind, those that know me, know that I'm not the nature type.  In my case, it usually ends with scratches, stinging, or just a bad time.  So the Groundhog stops digging at my foundation, looks at me, and then starts digging again.

I yell, I scream, I response from Mr. Groundhog.  So I go in the garage and grab the lawnmower.  

I figured, most wild animals hate loud noises and he would scurry on back to Groundhog Town after my vacuum cleaner.  I was wrong.  Apparently, he's used to it. He paused briefly, and then continued working on his hole.  

I then went to the garage and wheeled out my lawnmower.  It's WAY louder than my vacuum cleaner and a lot more annoying.  NO DICE!  He paused one again, and then continued his carnage.  Then I reached for the hose.  Sprayed him right on the head.  He FINALLY STOPPED. He then shook of the water, and continued.  

I then accepted the fact that he was going to dig no matter what I tried.  I went back in the house and opened up the phone book, and came to a startling conclusion.  Apparently my town doesn't have animal control.  So I searched for a professional company that dealt with critters and varmints.   I called and told them what was happening.  They said, "Well Sir, we won't be able to get anyone out there today."  I pleaded, "but he's digging NOW!  Whatever, how much?"  The gentleman said, "Well it would be about $250.00 to set a trap, and then another $150.00 to take the animal away."  "Thank you. Bye!"

 So I start thinking about projectiles.  What can I shoot at this thing without killing it and having to clean up a dead animal?  Thinking back to my childhood, I thought of those dart guns with the suction cup tips.  Something to annoy that animal...from a distance.  I'm not friggin' Grizzly Adams here!  I don't generally deal with woodland creatures, and I don't know how it may react.  I'm sure I can win a fight against a Groundhog, but at what cost?  Rabies?  Hell-to-the-Naw!

So I head to the Dollar Store expecting to find the dart gun section teaming with different automatic and semi-automatic options.  It's been a long time since I was little.  Surely they've stepped up on the Dart Gun technology.  Unfortunately, no dice!  They didn't have any!

So my search leads me to K-Mart.  They don't have dart guns either.  Something about "Young Children" and "Gun Safety."  Anyway, I then begin to wonder...instead of Darts...what about...Pellets?  Surely they're faster than dart guns, and probably more painfully annoying!  I purchase a pellet gun and safety goggles (Safety first, even in Pest Control!) from K-Mart and still find the Groundhog digging away. 

I unwrap the packaging, load the gun and then attempt to do some test fires.  The gun jams.  I call the 800 number in the instruction manual and they tell me I may have a bad gun.  Take it back to the store and get another.  I go a step further and get a refund and leave the ex-girlfriend that is K-Mart and head to good 'ole Wal-Mart.  

Not to get too geeky but I found an inexpensive .25 caliber Colt (a recognizable firearms manufacturer as opposed to the more expensive and less recognizable K-Mart brand of Crossman) that can hold 15 shots and worked just fine during a test fire.  Wal-Mart even had more expensive versions with laser sights, Combat models, and 

Upon my return to my home, I find NO GROUNDHOG!  I went into the house, happy that the Groundhog was gone, but crestfallen that I couldn't get avenge the hole in my yard on that stupid creature.  Maybe it's for the best.