This is what I imagine that Sean will tell people about me when he is grown man. When he comes to see me, he will be alone, without his children, because I will be one of those crazy old people who frighten small children. He will find me sitting in a rocking chair clutching a shovel, wearing a far off expression and angrily muttering something about !#@$% moles and rocking so hard that I scoot the chair clear across the room.
2006 was the year a mole got my goat.
We have a mole in our backyard. He is destroying everything, including my sanity.
A year or so ago, we foolishly spent several thousand dollars having our backyard professionally landscaped with trees, bushes, flowers, ivy-lined stone paths, flower beds. It was so lovely. Then the mole showed up about 15 minutes after the landscaper left and the check cleared the bank.
When we first saw the tunnels and mounds, we had no idea what was going on. Every morning, Sean and I would go out into the backyard in our pajamas astonished at what had happened to our yard overnight. And then we would get busy stomping down the tunnels like two crazy people frantically trying to make wine, only to find more tunnels the next morning. Which lead to more stomping and then stomping became what Sean and Mommy did together every morning.
I have since exhausted Sean’s college fund on various products trying to get rid of the mole. Please don’t email me about caster oil sprays, poison peanuts, sonic devices or traps. I’ve done all that several times. I’ve even cut up sticks of chewing gum and shoved in their little holes (oh, the imagery!) so that they might die an agonizing death as they explode from the ultimate case of constipation.
The chewing gum tip came from my own mother who knows about everything because she’s retired and has all day to surf the internet in her quest for interesting information, like creative ways to kill vermin or fun things to do with twenty packs of chewing gum. She even knows that moles have little underground condos with different chambers for different activities. According to my mom they have a dining room and a pooping room, which at our house is one and the same since we have a toddler.
So I’m at Wal-Mart and I put the 20 packs of chewing gum on the checkout line and the cashier looks at me and says, “That’s a lot of gum.” I agreed that it was a lot of gum. And then, just because I wanted to mess with her, I actually told her what it was for.
The chewing gum didn’t work. The moles continue to destroy our yard, except for now they are doing it with minty fresh breath. Now that I’ve given them gum, I wouldn’t be surprised to come home to find them sitting on our sofa, eating our Cheetos, watching our cable television and helping themselves to our Pinot Grigio.
The next thing I tried was blasting them out with the garden hose. I would stick the garden hose down the hole, kink it up and then have Sean turn on the water full blast. The problem is, we have an iron fence and there is a jogging path that runs behind our house, so I cannot even conduct my insanity in privacy. I have to endure the humiliation of having our neighbors jog by and witness me giving my yard an enema or my toddler and I dancing around on mole holes in our pajamas at the crack of dawn. The moles were not fazed in the least by the garden hose experience. First chewing gum and now Wet N’ Wild! Why would they want to leave? Perhaps I’ll serve popcorn and soda on Thursdays!
The last tip I received came from my friend Kurt. He emailed me an article written by a man who like me had tried everything. He finally got rid of his mole by sitting out in his yard in a lawn chair under the light of the moon armed with a shovel and a can of beer. When he saw the mound move, he would quietly set his beer down and then jump up and whack the mound with the back of the shovel.
And the scary part is, I have a shovel and a lawn chair. And it is starting to sound like a reasonable thing to do.