Friday, March 23, 2012

Greasy, Grimy Gopher Guts

Note:  Names have been omitted to protect me from people who know where I live.

Note the Second:  Any rodents harmed in the making of this post would have been dead of old age by now anyway.  It was quick, and more painless.

For the animal, anyway.  Rather less so for the people involved.


Gophers.  They are a problem on a farm, where they burrow in fields.  Those burrows can collapse under the weight of machinery and cause damage--not something you want on a several hundred thousand dollar machine.  Their gnawing damages crops.

Year ago, an older man used to offer his son fifty cents for every gopher he killed.  As the younger man was concluding the first meeting of his new girlfriend and his parents, he saw a gopher run into its burrow out in the adjacent field.

The young man grabbed a shotgun, a baseball bat, and a bucket of water.

(This is not going to end well for any party involved.)

He gave the the bucket and the bat to his girlfriend and stationed her next the the hole he'd seen the gopher go into.  Searching out the other end of the burrow, he planned on shooting the gopher flushed out by the water poured down the girlfriend's end.  In case the gopher decided to go for a swim and come out the girlfriend's end, she was ready with the bat.

(Can you see what's about to happen?)

Now, this girlfriend was a sporting type, and went along with this plan.  That might not have been the best idea.  Especially given the fact that the man got a little overeager after the flushed gopher ran, half-drowned, out the girlfriend's end of the burrow--

He took the shot.  (At the gopher, not his girlfriend.)  With a shotgun, I might remind you.

The gopher exploded.  All over the girlfriend.  Who had a baseball bat in her hand. 

Via   (Except with squishy gopher guts instead of bolts.)

Later, the man's father, who usually gave his son fifty cents a gopher, gave the girlfriend a whole dollar.

Best part?  She married the guy.

(True:  A woodchuck would chuck all the wood he could if a woodchuck could chuck wood.)

Jemma recommends a bath.  Or twelve.


  1. When I worked at the National Wildlife Health Center we had to catch some ground squirrels for a study. Turns out there's a lab at UW-Madison that uses ground squirrels for research on hibernation so we asked one of the scientists to show us. He took me and some of the other technicians to a local golf course (they were happy to have us take their ground squirrels for free). Turns out the method of flooding the burrows works really well on them too, except that grabbing them when they come out the other end is tricky.

    1. They are tricksy little things, rodents are.

  2. Are these....people you know, or is this just one of those stories that makes the rounds when someone brings up gophers?

    Gophers are apparently an East Coast thing. I had never seen one outside of Caddyshack until my parents moved to New Jersey while I was in college -- lo and behold, we had a lawn full of the dratted things. Or moles, or woodchucks. I don't really know my burrowing rodents.

    I did the only sensible thing -- graduated and moved back to the West Coast.

    1. Smart move! (Literally.)

      These really are really real people. I know them very well.

      Here's a bit of useless trivia for you: gopher is an umbrella term that covers a bunch of different burrowing rodents. I've never actually been to the east coast, but there are plenty of gophers (of whatever variety) here in the midwest, too. Probably safest to stay on the West Coast, then. :D

  3. Ha!!! That story never gets old!!!! Lol!!!!

  4. The West Coast is not immune...sigh. We had LOTS of burrowing rodents on our five acres in Washington State and I know we aren't the only ones. Great story!

    1. Thanks! I know my--I mean, the people who are featured in this story in completely anonymous ways were *thrilled* that I shared this one. :D