I already wrote about the intellectual abilities of the groundhog, but I felt the need to take a more level-headed approach to these oversized rodents. Even though Google is readily available for you to read up on these pests, I’ll save you a little time by giving you an overview of their assault on the natural world.
First of all, they look like genetically deficient beavers, or roided-up field mice. Regardless of which analogy you like better, we can all agree that their faces are devoid of intelligence, and their greatest contribution to the world is their own deaths. Some people might find that cruel, but I’d like to remind everyone that plants grow in dirt, and dirt is made up of dead animals, dead plants, and feces. Therefore, without the dead animals part, we cannot have plants, and if we don’t have plants, everyone dies.
Why do groundhogs bother me? Well, they like to dig holes around the foundations of houses, specifically my house. Since I’m very much a fan of my house not having lots of holes near its foundation, I must take off my playful exterior and become the harsh, rugged slab of masculinity that I only show on occasion lest people fear me too much.
So, how do I express this manliness? Well, with the aid of a kill trap. For anyone who doesn’t know what a kill trap is, it’s a trap, and it kills. If anyone finds that overly harsh, I’d like to remind those people that there are not (to my knowledge) any organizations that defend the lives of cockroaches with any level of vigor. Cockroaches of course are famous for being filthy vermin that can only be killed by Excalibur, so there’s little need to march for their right to live.
But anyway, for people who think I’m too cruel by killing groundhogs, I’ll gladly donate any live groundhogs I catch to those people’s homes. Then they can bask in the rich fullness of having a blubbery rodent dig holes around the foundations of their houses, causing any number of mildly irritating things, like basement flooding. I’m sure those homeowners will be in their basements up to their waists in dirty rainwater saying, “Well, our basement is flooded, but at least the groundhogs are safe.”
Of course, if the groundhog hasn’t dug his tunnel properly, he may have very well drowned in his own stupidity. As an added bonus, the smell of their worthless carcasses will eventually work its way into these people’s homes, which is an amusing, if not unorthodox way of experiencing the beauty of nature.
Lest people think I started with the idea of callously executing groundhogs whenever they popped their hideous heads out of their holes, I’d like to clear the air groundhogs shouldn’t be breathing. I initially purchased a live trap, which is a small metal cage, about the size of a manly toolbox. The idea is that you place some sort of food in there, and the unsuspecting groundhog will waddle in, oblivious to its impending appointment with claustrophobia. The trap doesn’t kill them (hence the obvious name, “live trap”), so there’s that.
It turns out that groundhogs, for all their stupidity, do know enough not to go into live traps (at least the ones where I live are that smart). So, what happened with my humanitarian attempt to catch groundhogs alive? I ended up catching a raccoon. I don’t kill raccoons, because raccoons, for all of their faults, don’t dig holes around my foundation. Therefore, they may live.
Raccoons, as everyone knows, are another type of filthy animal that spends most days sleeping and collecting lice. At night, they wake up and go trash can tipping. It’s kind of like cow tipping, except it’s actually real, and a lot more annoying, particularly to people who don’t like their trash spread haphazardly across their yards.
The raccoon I caught was not in a good mood, and that probably had to do with the fact that he’d eaten the apple I’d left as bait the night before, and then was promptly rained on for eight hours straight. His attitude made Rocket from Guardians of the Galaxy seem like the Dalai Lama. He was hissing and barking at me, so I figured the best thing to do was to throw him in the back of my uncle’s truck and take him to the woods so he could have a Pocahontas moment.
When we got to the woods, I tipped the cage over the truck tailgate, and my uncle stood by with a pistol in case the raccoon decided to get nasty. With thick gloves on, I carefully opened the door of the cage, and the raccoon didn’t move.
So, I nudged the cage with my foot, and the raccoon jumped out, landing in what I can only assume was some sort of raccoon jujitsu move. He stared at us from the ground like an undersized demon, then darted under the truck, waiting to an opportunity to infect me with rabies and every other vile disease it was carrying.
Since rabies wasn’t a life experience worth acquiring, I clambered across the top of the truck cab, sliding into the driver’s seat with the skill of James Bond, if James Bond had no coordination and had never executed that movement in his life. I was able to get the truck away from the area without getting bit and without knocking my uncle out of the truck bed. It did occur to me that the raccoon may have been hanging onto the undercarriage like a rodent Indiana Jones.
All in all, everything turned out fine. Except for the groundhogs. They were still dead.