I never thought of myself as an animal killer. I don’t eat veal and am offended by fur coats. I’m no card-carrying member of PETA and I don’t carry spiders outside in little cups, but I always believed that animals had souls and should be respected.
Until I met Bastard.
Bastard is a groundhog who has been living at my boyfriend’s house for the past year. Some groundhogs dig one or two holes when they invade the side of someone’s home, but Bastard is a four-hole kind of rodent. He’s a dig-all-night, chew-through-all-of-your-cables kind of mongrel. And I was put on earth to destroy him.
My boyfriend is selling his house to move in with me. It’s very exciting yet means that a certain something needs to be eliminated so we can move some real estate. We tried humane things like setting out traps and baggies of fox urine to convince the little destroyer to relocate, but that’s not how Bastard rolls. With Bastard, it’s all or nothing. And with groundhogs, war means smoke bombs.I thought I’d feel badly when Orkin Man dropped that stick of dynamite in Bastard’s favorite hole. I thought I might cry. Instead a huge rush of adrenaline swooped over me (much like the smoke enveloped Bastard’s evil little bachelor pad) and I found myself pumping my fists. Orkin Man thought we had him. I pictured the smoke filling Bastard’s little bastard lungs and suffocating him, and it made me smile. I thought of him trying to dig his way out to apologize and swear never to come near these parts again, and I laughed out loud. My only mission was to ensure that sucker fried.
A few days later after Bastard happily re-dug all of the holes that we filled up, an angry Orkin Man deployed another smoke bomb. This time I pictured Bastard clutching his throat and squeezing out a couple of pirouettes before crashing to the ground.
I still don’t know if Bastard is dead. I hear phantom digging and see him sneering in my dreams. What worries me is my manic obsession with ending his life. But after surveying the extermination products at Lowe’s, I learned that I’m not alone. There are others like me with rodents like Bastard. I read with glee promises like “Guaranteed to Kill” on bottles with pictures of headless moles and upside down mice. This weekend I’ll be watching “Caddyshack” with a crossbow in one hand and some beef jerky in the other.