Monday, January 9, 2012


Apparently this is the kind of story one writes when one is sleep-deprived.

Just last week, I was taking a stroll in the park when I stumbled upon a grumpy woodchuck.  When I say "stumbled upon," I don't mean that I noticed him sitting by a tree, or we crossed paths in front of the flower garden.  I mean that I literally stumbled over him as he was plopped down in the middle of the sidewalk.

"Hey, watch where you're going, dumbass," he said.  Like I said, grumpy.

"Oh, sorry," I replied.  "Didn't see you there.  You're a woodchuck, right?"

"No, I'm a friggin' water buffalo.  Yes, I'm a woodchuck.  Name's Carl."

"Hi Carl.  I'm Chris."

"I don't give a shit."

"Can I ask you a question, Carl?"

"Would it matter if I said no you can't?"

"Probably not.  Don't know if you know this, but we humans have always wondered something about you guys."

"No kidding.  What's that?  What we taste like if we're barbecued and slathered in A-1 sauce?"

"Uh, no.  Actually, we'd like to know how much wood you could chuck.  I mean, if you could chuck wood.  What's the story?"

"You can't be serious.  You're the most advanced species on the entire friggin' planet, and that's the sort of shit you spend time thinking about?"

"Yeah, pretty much."

"Pathetic.  But I'll see what I can do.  First, I guess it all depends what you mean by 'chuck,' man.  Do you mean 'to toss or throw with a quick motion,' 'pat or tap lightly, as in under the chin,' or to eject from a public place, like, 'Sully was being such an obnoxious asshole that he got chucked from Fenway Park without receiving a refund?'"

I thought about that for a minute.  This guy sure had a keen grasp of the English language, not to mention Bostonians.  After determining that wood would not attend Red Sox games at Fenway, nor did it have a chin to lightly tap, I said, "Throw with a quick motion.  How much wood do you think you could throw?"

"What kind of wood?  I'm sure that I could chuck pine farther than say, mahogany."   I could tell Carl was warming up to this.


"How big a piece?"

"Twelve inch lengths of two-by-four."

"What's the time frame?  Are we asking how much wood could I chuck in ten minutes?  An hour?  Or how much could I chuck until I simply collapse from exhaustion?"

"Let's say fifteen minutes."

Carl said, "Well, I guess there's only one way to find out, man.  Let's go get some wood!"

I helped my new rodent-like buddy into the bed of my Ford F-150 and we took a quick trip to Home Depot.  I bought 500 foot-long cuts of two-by-four and loaded them in the truck.  Carl rode shotgun as we headed back to the park.  Along the way we hit a McDonald's drive thru and I quickly found out how many fries a woodchuck could eat if a woodchuck could eat fries.  Answer: a lot.

We got back to the park where I unloaded the wood with no help whatsoever from Carl, who sat in the shade polishing off the last of his strawberry shake.  When I had all the two-by-fours arranged in a neat pile, I told him that it was showtime.  He did a few quick stretching exercises, picked up a piece of wood, and chucked it.

"Shit, Carl!  What the hell?"  He'd hit me right in the forehead.

"Sorry, man," he said, giggling.  "My bad."

He didn't look sorry.

"All right, let's do this," I said.  "You've got fifteen minutes, time to start chucking."

In a maelstrom of woodchuck fur and lumber, Carl sent the two-by-fours flying all over the park.  A Boy Scout on a Razor scooter took one off the left hip.  Another landed at the feet of a stray German shepherd, who picked it up in his mouth and bolted.  Several more boards ended up in the fountain, scattering a flock of pigeons who were mostly minding their own business.  Fifteen minutes later, it was all over.

"TIME!" I called.

As I counted the two-by-fours that remained on the original stack, Carl walked over to the lake, took a quick drink, scratched his personal area and crapped on the grass.

"Okay, Carl," I said, "we have the results.  There are 218 boards left, which means that you successfully chucked 282.  Not bad!"

"Whatever.  Now piss off, would ya?"

And with that, Carl and I parted ways.  But I'd learned two things that day.  First, a woodchuck would chuck 18.8 twelve-inch lengths of two-by-four per minute, if a woodchuck could chuck wood.  And I learned that Carl the Woodchuck is a furry little asshole.

Now where can I find that damn owl with the Tootsie Pop?


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Junk Drawer Kathy said...

This is gold, man. Just gold. Thanks for the belly laughs.

injaynesworld said...

I will never think of a woodchuck in the same way. Not that I ever thought about them much anyway, but from here on out -- Yep, definitely different. Funny stuff!

And Carl, you're right. Human's are pathetic.

roughneckturtle/Jeff C. said...

Man, nice, very nice.

Eva Gallant said...

You are too funny!

SherilinR said...

that was just delightful! i wouldn't have anticipated the giggles if someone had described your tale to me, but it was truly enjoyable. now i kinda hope to meet that cranky little bastard.

Suldog said...

Oddly enough, I did sit next to him at a Red Sox game. Every time somebody in our row of the bleachers bought a beer from one of those concessions guys roaming the stands, and it was passed down our row, he'd drink half of it when it got to him. Nasty little drunken bastard by the fifth inning. Then he started calling the woman sitting in front of him a... well, I don't want to use the exact word, since you have a mixed audience here and some might take offense. Let's just say it rhymed with a baseball term for a short sacrifice. And every time the woman turned around, the little bastard ducked underneath his seat, so naturally she thought it was me who was saying it, so she went and got security and I got chucked. That was bad enough, but while I was trying to tell security it was a drunken woodchuck who was saying those nasty things, he peed on my leg, too.

I should have known better than to sit next to him. He was wearing an A-Rod jersey, after all.

Peter Varvel said...

You said 'wood.'

Anonymous said...

Ha! Funny!

And thanks for answering one of the most annoying riddles evah!

If a woodchuck could chuck wood.

heh heh

notactuallygod said...

What kind of an itiot is this woodchuck, getting in the car with a strange man? Was he hoping to get molested? (Bald with a goatee is the unofficial uniform you know)

Boom Boom Larew said...

I figured the woodchuck could probably chuck wood at about that rate. But to find out he's a french fry fiend? You learn something new every day.

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