Owning a home in the country has long been deemed a danger to a reasonable man’s good health and happiness. I define “the country” as any acreage designated for dwelling that is not located in the few civilized residential blocks of Manhattan. Yes, Connecticut, I refer to you.


Unlike an idiot-proof apartment in the city, a home in the country involves property that requires landscaping and maintenance. This responsibility humbles a man. My heart stopped when I spotted that first heinous dirt mound near my prize-winning Kehr Hybrid azalea bushes in my meticulously manicured front yard.  My busybody neighbor informed me the peculiar mound is due to an infuriating, beady-eyed rodent called a gopher. “They can really destroy a lawn, ha, ha…” he needled me.


The stress and irritation of this creature invasion has catapulted me into a crisis: Blood pressure higher than a kytoon, sleep tortured by ghosts of gophers past, present, and future, fingernails gnawed to the bone, digestion disrupted, mental faculties in disarray, martini consumption and general crankiness escalating off the charts.


I am determined that a pesky little critter the size of a penis will not get the best of me.


Being a thinking man, I pursue sound, logical approaches to the problem:


·        Trapping with artisan cheese

·        Flooding by garden hose

·        Water boarding

·        Smoke bombs

·        Elaborate fencing

·        Sonar repeller rods (a regrettable purchase from the captivating but essentially useless Sky Mall Catalog)

·        Death by dog (sicking our aging beagle Floppsie on the vile little bugger)

·        100% Organic, gold-lined chemicals designed to euthanize the prickly pest (special precautions taken so I don’t kill my wife’s beloved cat… even though he treats me with all the respect offered a convicted sex offender)

·        Blasting mezzo-soprano Whitney Houston classics into the tunnel. Perhaps the piercing high notes will call him to Jesus?

·        Creative visualization – I imagine the gopher as road kill on my local interstate.


Nothing works. Having lost all hope, I resort to sniveling, cajoling, begging, and sobbing. However, this hurts me considerably in the bedroom with the Mrs. as women sense incompetence and despair faster than you can say, “flash sale on designer purses.”


After five weeks of soul numbing failure to exterminate the furry little Fuhrer, I succumb to a pitcher of Orange Blossoms (heavy on the sweet Vermouth) for divine inspiration.  Voila. I am struck with an answer so counter-intuitive yet brilliantly simple I want to scream.  Go with a Zen approach. Ohm. Peace envelops my entire being. Ohm. Ohm. I accept you, oh measly gopher. Ohm. Ohm. Ohm. I am now “one” with my fuzzy friend.


It also helps that I put the property up for sale and retreated to the city, where all creatures, great and small, fight fair - right in your face.