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What is the correct method for disposing of a gopher?
A question homeowners as well as professional maintenance personnel are constantly asking is: "What is the correct method for disposing of a gopher?"
The answer is: "Not the method that was attempted recently by maintenance personnel at Fowler Elementary School in Ceres, Calif." I learned about this incident from a major front-page story in the April 5 Modesto Bee, sent to me by many alert readers. What happened was, a student found a gopher on the grounds of the school, which has a chronic gopher problem. The gopher wound up in the custody of three janitors, who put it in a bucket in a small, poorly ventilated utility room.
I will give you 300 million guesses as to what they decided to do next.
What they decided to do was freeze the gopher to death by spraying it with a product called (I am not making this up) "Misty Gum Remover." This product is designed to be sprayed on the gum wads that are found on the undersides of school desks. (They are stuck on right at the desk factory.) The product freezes the gum, making it easier to chip off. Misty Gum Remover is not specifically designed to send gophers to that Big Hole in the Sky, but the Fowler Elementary custodians had successfully used it for that purpose on more than one occasion, feeling that it was a more humane disposal method than others they had tried, including whacking the gophers over the head with rakes.
So at this point, we have nothing more than a routine case of three custodians trying to freeze a gopher to death with gum remover --the kind of thing that (ask your kids!) goes on in our nation's schools every day.
Then one of the custodians decided to light a cigarette. As an American, I place full legal blame on the Misty Gum Remover manufacturers for not putting a label on their product stating: "DO NOT SPRAY THIS PRODUCT ON A GOPHER IN A POORLY VENTILATED ROOM AND THEN LIGHT A CIGARETTE."
You have probably guessed what happened next.
The Misty Gum Remover fumes exploded in a blast that blew the three custodians out of the utility room and injured a total of 19 people. The gopher--I am still not making this up--lived. According to the Bee, it was taken into police custody and released in an empty field, where I imagine it will spend the rest of its days whimpering and gulping down tiny gopher Valiums.
The moral of the story, for both homeowners and maintenance professionals, is that if you must dispose of a gopher, you should use the method recommended by leading authorities such as the Archbishop of Canterbury, namely, mail it, in a secure package, to Madonna, who will certainly find a fashion use for it.
Created: Ron Gilliams,
Monday, March 11, 1996 7:35:24 PM
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