Last night I saw the groundhog. You know, that could either be a really great opening line to a bad horror flick or the beginning of the long and complex tale of a hippie's spiritual awakening on too much bad mescaline but in actual fact it is, in fact, a simple statement of fact. After consultation with my son and a half heard radio gardening program I caught parts of driving back from my mother's, I have decided that the huge groundhog who lives under the scary, collapsing shed in the way back of my yard is the miscreant who has been eating my tomatoes and lettuces. Yesterday evening I was out on the deck with S, drinking beer and commiserating about how large portions of both of our lives have essentially turned to pure-D shit in just the twinkling of an eye and there, back in the back of the yard, was the groundhog. He was heading towards the garden, observed with interest by the neighbor dogs (my dogs, alas, are much more interested in whether some other dog is going to walk down the street in front of their house so they can go completely berserk than in protecting my food supply from marauding rodents.) I would have gone and gotten the BB gun from the coat closet but a) I don't know if it's loaded and b) I don't know where the BBs are, if we even have any BBs, which we may well not and c) I probably am not at heart tough or country or starving enough to actually shoot something cute and furry and d) let's face it: I don't know how to load the BB gun or fire it or turn it on or, actually, do anything with it except either look kind of tough if you think girls with guns are cute and/or club something. Groundhogs are immune to my cuteness factor (why should they be an exception to the general rule?) and I really don't want to get close enough to a groundhog (they have serious teeth and claws and yikes, help) to club him with a BB gun. Fortunately, the groundhog feels the same way about me and so he split when I started running down the steps into the dog yard, shouting and brandishing a large rock; the groundhog doesn't know, yet, that my aim with a rock is uncertain at best and actually totally nonexistent at that distance, like, it would probably have fallen some 20 feet short. Then he could have sneered at me. We haven't gotten to the sneering part of our relationship yet but something tells me that we will, alas, we will.