My Arch-Nemesis

Since the beginning of time there have been arch-nemesises. Cleopatra had Octavian. Superman fought Lex Luthor. Debbie Gibson and Tiffany battled for the Pop Princess throne. I, however, had survived all these decades peacefully until my nemesis moved in, not next door but under my deck. Meet the epitome of evil, at least in my gay opinion, The Groundhog.

I grew up in the city, apartment and condo living for me (I just adore a penthouse view, darling I love you but give me Park Avenue). A few years back, my partner and I bought a house, still in the city but with country rules. When you buy a house built in the time of Lincoln with a stone wall basement and dirt gorges under additions, you get critters.

With our deck inches off the ground, critters seem to think that’s an open invite to move in…I’m glad family and friends know better. We’ve had chipmunks, rabbits, cats, and just in the past few years a groundhog. Sure he/she (I don’t get close enough to know the sex or know how he/she/they identifies) is adorable but thanks to my friend Google, I learned they can cause serious property damage.

What’s an animal loving gay vegan to do? I put in my iPod (at least it wasn’t my Walkman, yeah I’m that old, bitches), donned my big boy pants and work gloves, and took some bricks (she’s a brick house, she’s mighty mighty, just letting it all hang out) the previous owners left behind to shore up the perimeter of the deck.

Unfortunately, the groundhog moves the bricks and I put them back. One of us will eventually tire of this game but it’s not going to be me. The groundhog won the battle but I will win the war…it can’t live that long. “Alexa what’s a groundhog’s life expectancy?” Great, they can live up to fourteen years, maybe I’ll claim it as a dependent.

The groundhog is also playing mind games with me. Every day I have to go down the basement to check our no-kill mouse traps (in condos I only had to worry about roaches) and fear the groundhog tunneled through and is chilling down there. A few days ago I noticed a mouse in the closed trap. However it was unusual, this “mouse” was hairless, without a tail and had covered eyes. What kind of mouse doesn’t have eyes?

I grabbed a flashlight and picked the cage up for a closer look. That’s when the “mouse” jumped against the wall of the wire cage towards my face and let out a high-pitched screech that made my heart stop and bladder release. An even louder squeal escaped my lips as I dropped the cage. I started running around the basement, flailing my arms, tears in my eyes, and in fear the groundhog was being called to attack.

I grabbed the cage and ran for the stairs looking back to make sure I wasn’t being followed. I got to the top of the steps, yelling for my partner who was too busy watching West Wing to realize our home was under attack. I told him we had an emergency. I couldn’t see his face but knew when he calmly said, “whatever it is we can handle it,” it was followed by an eye roll. I told him I caught a blind baby groundhog. Just then it lets out another blood-curdling scream while hanging from the roof of the cage. My partner, stated with his calm-eye-roll tone, “it’s a bat.” Him not acknowledging the severity of the situation caused me to snap, “it’s not a fucking bat, it doesn’t have wings.”

Between the “bat” screaming and me pacing, my partner finally got off the couch to peer inside the cage and said, “oh that’s a mole.” I looked at him like he had three heads. Like I’m supposed to know what that is. What the fucks a mole? All I do know is, if this becomes a regular thing, we’re moving because those screams are still haunting my dreams. I don’t know how the groundhog did it, but I know who’s to blame.

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