Eventually, what goes up must come down on ME. I appear to be some sort of walking, talking skeet shoot. I have had not just the bird-crap-at-unfortunate-moments (meeting my grandparents' very proper, elderly aunt and it not only hit me in the head but ran down my cheek. Talk about your first impressions), dead pigeons, irons, etcetera, but today was golf balls. I was headed to the grocery to pick up something for dinner and was struck by a random golf ball falling from the sky. Had I been near the golf course, I'd have understood this. But no. I have NO idea where that thing came from and I'm very glad I was in the car because that left one helluva dent.
I discovered something this week. GROUNDHOGS HAVE LONGISH TAILS. Seriously! I did not know this! I thought they had little stubby tails, I guess and trust me, in my family? There's a long groundhog history.
My mom is an avid gardener. She puts in 6 or 7 gardens around the house each year and could practically start her own nursery with the number of plants she puts in. Unfortunately, one year she attracted the attention of a very fat groundhog who had a taste for the good life - as in, $1500 worth of plants eaten within two weeks.
My stepdad bought one of those humane traps and caught the cat, a squirrel, the cat, a turtle, the cat, the cat, a rabbit, the cat, the cat, the cat, the cat, the cat, the turtle again, the cat, the cat, the cat.... so he gave up on that idea. Next, he filled in one of the burrow entrances (they usually have two) , tossed in a couple of poison gas sticks, and filled in the other entrance. The next morning, there was another burrow entrance and the depleted "gopher killers" were now laying below the burrow in the woods.
Next, he got an air-powered BB gun and much entertainment ensued... not because he was shooting an animal but because he was completely UNABLE to. Someone would spot the groundhog and raise the alarm and he'd grab the BB rifle and try and run around the house before it took off. This didn't work so well. One afternoon he actually spent hours hiding in the gigantic forsythia bush, waiting for his furry nemesis to appear. Finally, as dusk approached, he got his chance. The groundhog waddled into view, pausing to nibble at some hosta. My stepdad raised the rifle to his shoulder, stepped out, took aim and fired.
And since he had completely forgotten to pump up the gun, the pellet rolled leisurely out of the barrel and dropped into the grass.
Lather, rinse, repeat. This little sitcom went on for months and one day the starts aligned and he got a bead on it and shot it, hitting it in the face.
And damn if that groundhog didn't sit up on its haunches, scratch its cheek and look around, pissed off to no end. Spying my dad, it came barrelling right at him as my sisters and I watched from the deck. My dad yelped once, lifted the BB gun over his head and brought it crashing down onto the Groundhog from Hell. THE GUN BROKE IN TWO PIECES. No joke. My stepdad was now running back toward the house while the groundhog tottered unsteadily towards the woods, shaking its head and wondering what the hell just happened.
Eventually the situation was resolved but my poor dad will never hear the end of it. We're pretty rotten that way.