If Mr Free Market can recycle the Beaver story I can post the Groundhog one from alt-Peeves.
"Possession of a GroundHog"
/groundhog n. another name for woodchuck./
/woodchuck n. a North American marmot having course reddish-brown fur./
/marmot n. any of various burrowing rodents of Europe, Asia, and North
As one of the first rites of spring approaches I feel the urge to emerge
from my snug, highly-mortgaged burrow and cast about for shadows. This
day, which as a child, I called Candlemas, was a religious holiday
dedicated to a well-connected infant. On This Side Of The Puddle however,
it has been renamed and dedicated to a somewhat chubby herbivore known as
a groundhog, from whence springeth my peeve.
As a result of fraternisation with the aforementioned species I now have a
criminal record. Something which any employer who bothers to check can
discover. I now answer 'yes' to the question "Have you ever been
arrested?"...for possibly one of the most disconcerting crimes of the
century. Groundhog possession.
/Peeve:/ Inane local ordinances.
When I purchased my abode, I didn't notice the tunnel under the front
stoop. The estate agent didn't bring it to my attention either. Unknowns
dwelling beneath front steps are not Selling Points.
/Semi-related Peeve:/ Listing agents have incredible semantic ability,
I'm certain if my agent had been thinking clearly she could have renamed
my underground resident a "Small Organic Lawn Trimmer."
Once my furnishings were in place and the draperies ordered it was too
late to change my mind anyway. After a few weeks of residence I met my
lodger in the basement flat. and to be candid, being somewhat unsure of
the Local Fauna, she scared the hell out of me. Fortunately the feeling
was mutual and she quickly retired to her quarters...prompting me to push
aside the foliage and discover the entrance to her home.
A call to the local Forestry Department put my mind to rest with regard to
her likely temperament and life went on as normal. Over the next few
years I watched her on the front lawn as her figure waxed and waned with
the season. In the spring she usually had small replicas in tow. We came
to an equitable arrangement over inter-speciatal relations. She didn't
gnaw the flowers, I didn't put the hose down the burrow. We adapted to
one another and lived quite peacefully.
Little did either of us realise what was in store when the new neighbours
moved in. I looked out my office window one night to find a strange woman
poking about my front shrubbery. In an attempt to remain neighbourly I
inquired as to her need for assistance. She responded with: "Do you know
you have a platypus under your porch?"
Platypus?! Ye gawds...I may have moved around a bit, but even I have a
fair grasp as to which continent I'm currently residing upon.
We eventually ironed out the fact that the 'Platypus' was a slightly more
evolved creature and as a well-behaved citizen was unlikely to attack her
over-fed, under-exercised excuse for a cat.
/Mega-peeve:/ That damned flea bitten cat hanging about *my* house
instead of its own, causing my indoor felines to go nuts at the windows.
Two days later, I opened the door in response to a knock and found myself
facing a somewhat bemused Law Enforcement Type.
He promptly handed me a summons to appear at court for "Possession of a
Groundhog". I read my summons. I had 30 days to "remove said animal from
the premises or be found in contempt of court."
"You can't be serious."
"I'm afraid so m'am....we've had a complaint."
"And if I don't remove 'said animal'?"
"For harbouring a fugitive groundhog?! Don't you have traffic citations
to write or something? Is this town so well-mannered that the only
criminals are rodents?!"
/Peeve:/ New neighbours who interfere with established routines and
impose *their* values on me. I fussed and fumed around the house for a
good hour after he left. I briefly contemplated contacting the ACLU but
instead called my attorney. It took him five minutes to stop laughing and
catch his breath. He finally managed to gasp out.
"I don't think you have to worry about deportation."
"Very funny. C'mon, lets have some legal advice...it's what am I paying
Advice was quickly forthcoming. It was determined that I should do
Nothing. This is exactly what I did. Thirty one days later, there was a
knock on my door. My Friendly Law Enforcement Official was back. He had
apparently reconnoitered the area and concluded that 'said animal' was
still in residence and had come to haul me off to jail. Despite my
request for handcuffs and the full lights/sirens treatment, he was
insistent that I drive my own vehicle to The Station. Apparently I didn't
look desperate enough. I did however get my 'one phone call' and promptly
dialled up my Legal Wizard.
"Guess where I am?"
"Shit!! What for? And is anyone listening?"
"Yep...ears everywhere. And possession."
"About ten pounds of groundhog."
"You've been busted for possession of a groundhog?!"
"Justice is swift and sure....now will you come get me before they throw
away the key?"
"On my way...one more question...What are they keeping the
"Hmph! The 'evidence' is still at large. Will you *please* put your
ass in that over-priced, over-horsepowered midlife crisis on wheels and
get over here??? I think they're going to take my belt away..."
I was hauled before a judge and it was determined that as I was unlikely
to skip town, I could be released on my own recognisance, provided I post
bond ($50.00!), the real court date was set for 60 days later.
Point in fact, my arrest took place in September, when they returned 60
days later to hunt down the critter, (Whoops! I mean, 'impound the
evidence'.) she was nowhere to be found.
Not overly surprising for Drear November, the little demon had gone into
hibernation. Technology was applied to the entrance of the burrow (sticks
poked into it....the very latest in Animal Eviction Equipment
Anyone with half a brain knows that once those animals hibernate, dynamite
won't budge them. There was no response from the subterranean chambers
beneath the stoop. After an hour of poking and prodding the Minions of
the Law admitted defeat.
/Worried-peeve:/ If the police can't apprehend a groundhog, what will
they do when faced with a *real* criminal? And to shorten a tedious
judicial process, the end result was the case being thrown out of court,
charges dismissed, owing to Lack of Evidence.Habeus corpus in an entirely
new light. My money was refunded and I was "Free To Go." The arrest
however, remains on my 'Permanent Record."
/Peeve:/ My tax dollars hard at work!
Spring is fast approaching. The snow is melting, the flowers will bloom,
the birds chirp and to my consternation, small animals will frolic upon my
lawn. And larger animals will once again be knocking on my door. I have
no doubt that what's-her-name next door will be complaining of "Tasmanian
Devils" under my stoop.
It is not outside the realm of possibility that my next post will be from
the Will County Jail as I languish there for 'Obstructing Justice.'Can
anyone send an e-mail with a *literal* file in it?
/!!!!!Peeve:/ The skunk which used to dwell under my shed has found new
accommodations under my neighbour's deck. I can hardly wait for their
first outdoor party of the season.
Have a nice day.