My job is to get rid of gophers, so I will never, ever be able to stop the jokes. I’m pretty new at this animal control company. We specialize in trapping animals, getting rid of wild animals, getting snakes out of people’s homes or businesses, taking care of bird problems, and yard pests like voles or moles. Since I’m new, they started me out on the easier animals. I’ve assisted the more experienced guys with trapping skunks or opossum control, but that’s all I’ve done with the larger wild animals – assist.
Until I get more experience, right now I’m the guy who’s always sent out to trap the smaller, less vicious animals, like mice or moles. I get rid of gophers, for example. And, I’ve gotten really good at it, too. I learned on the job, and now I’ve developed my own technique that makes me really efficient, and I started getting some respect from some of my co-workers.
And then, the gopher attacked.
Most of the time, I use gopher traps that humanely kill the gopher on impact. It gets rid of gophers effectively. People get so sick of gophers digging through their yards or gardens, killing off plants and grass, and throwing big mounds of dirt all over the place. Lawn mower blades get broken, kids or animals can step in the holes and hurt themselves, and predators are attracted to homes or yards where gophers live. So, it is a real service that I provide.
One day, as I was setting gopher traps to get rid of gophers out of a cornfield, a gopher actually crawled up out of its hole and walked right up to me, finally perching on my boot. I looked at it really closely, and it didn’t look sick or anything. When I shooed it off, it went off a little ways, and then jumped right up into my truck. Weirdest thing I’d ever seen a gopher do. But, it wasn’t hurting anything. So, I finished setting the traps, got into my truck, and headed back into the office, keeping an eye on the creature. The little thing just hung out on the floor on the passenger’s side of the truck, cute as could be. I figured I’d take it into the office and let the guys see it for themselves, and then get rid of the gopher.
I carried it in the office, with thick gloves on my hands, and even the lady who helps with billing thought it was cute. But, wouldn’t you know, the thing leaped out of my hands, and then ran around on the floor, leaping and actually kind of gnashing at my feet, if gophers can gnash. It just surprised me, is all, and that’s the only reason I fell backwards over a chair. It ran over my chest, which made me swat at it like a crazy man, while all the other guys just stood there laughing. Finally, I composed myself enough to stand up, put the chair back, and catch the little troublemaker.
The guys awarded me a t-shirt that says “I survived a gopher attack,” which I proudly wear all the time now.