Sunday, October 07, 2007

You Won't Believe This

When I last left you I was in the middle of war. War against chipmunks. After dispatching with Alvin and sending him (or her it's really hard to know) to acorn heaven another furry burrower took up residence under my patio. My guilt of committing animal murder, justifiable in my opinion, was replaced with a single rage of eradicating these patio destroyers from my lands. But when I caught the second chipmunk on a glue trap I showed him some mercy and put him in a cage, my worthless Have-a Heart trap that doesn't work, and drove him a couple of miles away and released him from the glue trap by pouring vegetable oil on him. The oil dissolves the glue. In a few moments Alvin Jr. was running into the forest to terrorize some other chipmunk or person. Job well done. Moby Dick has been slain, or released in some other place far away from Ahab. But alas, it was not to be.

The day or two of bliss was shattered when coming home one day I saw the burrow had been re-excavated. Moby was back and as big a dick as ever. Not to panic. I had a good supply of glue traps. So I calmly set a couple around the hole next to my patio and waited. Not even enough time to watch a rerun of Seinfeld had gone by when I saw I had captured the third chipmunk to test my hunting abilities. Once again I put on my work gloves and placed the chipmunk trapped on the glue board into the cage trap, grabbed the vegetable oil and drove to the release site. Once again I poured oil on the varmit and once again it slide free shortly thereafter and scampered away. This has to be it. Chipmunk free at last.

But it was not to be. Two days later the same burrow was dug up again. Now my mind was playing tricks on me. Could this be the same chipmunk I released twice? Could it possibly be finding its way back to my patio? I've read stories of dog's left hundreds of miles away from home and somehow find their way back but a chipmunk? This time if I caught it I would drive it miles and miles way so that it really couldn't get back. So I put a glue trap down and waited. And waited. And waited. And waited. Usually it took only 15 or 20 minutes for the little rodent to make a misstep onto glue-land. Not this time. Could it really be the same chipmunk that found its way back twice and now it knows not to get close to the glue board? Is that even possible? Before I could answer that question I saw the glue trap jumping around. Alvin IV was caught. Now this was routine. I took the oil, cage and gloves out there and put him in the cage and then into the hatch of the station wagon and drove away. thinking how far should I drive him before I release him? The answer was taken out of my hands.

So I'm doing 60 down the highway around the corner from my house when I hear scurrying and the sound of metal. I look over my shoulder and on the right armrest of my kid's car seat is the chipmunk. Holy shit! I'm doing 60 mph with a pissed off chipmunk loose in my car. As I pull over to the shoulder Alvin leaps into the front passenger area between the door and some bags on the floor. I can't see him but all I can think is there are rabies shots in my future. I lean over and open the door and almost immediately he jumps out into the underbrush on the side of the highway. Holy hell. I knew I should have killed it and just be done with it.

I get back home and open the hatch and there on the glue trap inside the cage is the last inch or two of the tail of Alvin IV. It's gone from Moby Dick to some horror flick. At least now if it comes back I'll know for sure if it's the same chipmunk. I also am leaning towards a quick execution at the scene since this close encounter with a tailless pissed off chipmunk trapped in a passenger compartment has taught me to either be merciless or don't even bother catching them. Anything in between is hazardous to your health.