Monday, June 13, 2011

The Gopher

Yeah, we didn’t watch any movies this weekend; cry more. We did watch an all day Marathon of Dual Survival on Discovery channel. If you've never seen it go watch it; it's unintentionally funny, which is the best kind. I also did battle with a monstrous beast.

Rewind a bit. We’ve been living in our little house for a few years now. It’s a nice house, perfect for a young couple without kids. It has its quarks just like any other house. There is one thing that has always irritated me about it though, the yard. I hate to mow grass. If it were socially acceptable I’d let nature reclaim it. Alas my neighbors would be pissed if I just quit mowing it all together. I’ve also thought about field turf and concrete painted green. It just doesn’t make any sense. Who decided lawns were cool? My father-in-law’s lawn makes me want to barf it is so perfect. Anyways, I am forced to battle my lawn every summer. This battle is made more difficult by the gopher that has taken up residence beneath my grass. Every time the yard starts looking better, he digs it up again. I’d never seen him until yesterday…

So yeah, back in college, before I lost all faith in humanity, I liked to make short movies. I started experimenting with the Light Saber effect they use in Star Wars. It’s pretty easy if you have time and Photoshop. Before filming could start I needed a prop to use as the base for the saber. So I went to the hardware store and rigged up a ¾ inch wooden dowel rod with a handle made from some plastic pipe fitting. The idea is to film the scenes and then go in with Photoshop and paint over the wooden rods with the light saber effect. Needless to say that part never happened. So now the dowel sabers just sit in my house, by the door, because I like to take them outside occasionally and mock fight; by myself. Go ahead and take time to laugh at me.

That seems like a pretty random thing to tell you right? Listen people, good story telling is all about painting a prefect picture for your readers. Without knowledge of my hatred for my lawn or my wooden light sabers you’d never understand what happened next. Mom came over for lunch. We ate in the living room. After we finished I gathered some plates and took them to the kitchen. As I dropped them into the sink I saw it out the window, in the yard; the gopher. Here was my chance to scare the crap out of that animal so it would never come back. So it would never again destroy the yard I care so little about. So what did I do? Lost my mind.

It all seemed very reasonable at the time. The creature was walking away so I had no time for shoes; I opted for flip flops instead. As I dashed out the door I noticed the old wooden dowel saber sitting, forgotten; it called to me for action. So I snatched it up and ran outside. Neither my Wife nor my Mother had any idea what I was doing. I dashed into the yard waving the saber above my head. Then I yelled at the gopher; such a battle cry has not been heard in centuries “Hey! Get outta my yard gopher!” It stopped and turned to face me. As I approached I realized the beast was not going to running away so I flung the wooden saber through the air in an attempt to scare it. I missed horribly and came out of my flip flops. I barely caught myself from falling down. Now I faced the gopher. We stood locked in an icy stair for an eternity. I gathered my flip flops and made a move for the saber. The gopher, to my surprise, counter moved to block me from the saber. It stood up on its back legs to seem more threatening. At a foot tall this seemed a little ridiculous, but when I moved for the saber again it made some sort of sound and rose up even further. I was intimidated.

I realized I was being demoralized by a gopher. So I went for the saber again. As I did the gopher charged! I grabbed up the saber and swiped down in the direction of the animal. It dodged the blade and retook its upright stance. Saber in had I commanded the foul beast to be gone. I defied me and made that noise again. Not so much a growl as a click. I took a step towards it and it charged again! For a second time I swung the saber down at the gopher and for a second time it evaded my strike and forced me to give ground. It was about this time that my Mother and Wife came outside to look at our flowers. My stand off with the gopher continued as they both came to watch and ask what I was doing. When I stated I was battling this fierce beast, they both laughed. The gopher knew it had won and retreated into the woods by my house, victorious. I am filled with a shame only Bill Murray could understand.

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