Just the chip of the iceberg.

In the last 13 days, I've captured sixteen chipmunks. Sixteen.

I knew I saw a lot of them running around this year, and my wife has been losing some plants lately, but I had no idea that I was running some sort of chipmunk refugee camp. Because of this problem, I've been reading up on them, and it turns out that they only have a home range of about a 1/2 acre. I'm not sure how many I may have in a 1/2 acre, but I do know I'm not done yet, and the little bastards are wearing me out.

I've been transporting them to a field about a mile away from my house, and letting them go. It's become so ridiculous that I'm running low on almonds and peanut butter. I still have plenty of wheat thins though. A wheat thin with a dab of peanut butter and a whole almond on top, put on a small plastic plate. Yes, that's what they seem to like the best, and yes, I realize I'm making hors d'oeuvres for chipmunks.

When I first started catching them, I didn't know what to expect. They wanted out in the worst way, and I was afraid to get my hands too close because I didn't want rabies or whatever other funky diseases these things might carry. They also tended to piss when you lifted the trap up, and I had no desire to go to work smelling like I got a golden shower from a filthy ground squirrel.

I was pretty careful at first, and I started out by putting the cage on the ground and opening the trap, but after about the 8th or 9th chipmunk, I got tired of squatting down in the brush and taking the risk that a tick might climb up my pant leg and attach itself to my man parts again. Yes, I said "again," but that is a story for another time. Anyway, somewhere along the line I decided to see what what happen if I just opened the trap at chest level. The chipmunks didn't care -- they shot out of there like a cannon. In fact, I started pretending I was Duke Nukem firing my RPG:*

Of course, they didn't actually explode when they hit, but...well, in my mind they did. They're nothing but filthy little forest rats. Very cute filthy little forest rats, but rats nonetheless.

The only one that wasn't so cute had to be the local stud around these parts. He's probably the one responsible for the crazy population explosion. First, he was twice the size of the others and had balls like a fruit bat and he looked kind of greasy, like he just rolled off some chipmunk bimbo and was now making himself a snack in her kitchen. Second, he wasn't scared of me at all. The other chipmunks went completely apeshit when I picked up the trap and carried it to the car -- he just sat there and stared at me through the bars, eating his peanut-butter covered almond as fast as he possibly could. He had a look in his eyes like he was thinking, "As God is my witness, I am finishing this fucking almond before I leave this place."

Right before I took him out of the car, he glanced up at me and then jammed the last of the almond into his cheek. Then he just sat there, waiting for me to open the cage, like he'd done this a dozen times before. When I opened the door, he made a graceful leap to the ground and chattered at me before running into the woods. I'm pretty sure he flipped me off, but I can't be 100% sure.

By now he's probably met up with a bunch of his old crew and he's starting a new colony about a mile from my house -- and you know what? I wish the big-balled bastard luck. He had style. Hopefully he'll take some time out to grab a shower, though, because he smelled like dirty feet and chipmunk cock, and nobody wants to smell that. I'm assuming that includes chipmunk sluts too, but what do I know? Maybe that's his version of Dolce & Gabanna Light Blue.

Only, you know, for chipmunks.

*Yes, I realize that I'm old.


  1. I found your blog two months ago when I was searching for a picture of a fruit bat and totally cracked up when it was mentioned here today. I volunteered at a zoo and the fruit bats, I swear, would flash people! They are shameless.

    We had a big ground squirrel and chipmunk infestation - you haven't lived till you've watched a chipmunk run into an enclosure w/ two baby tigers...ROCKET CHIPMUNK!

    It took me two months to read your blog from the beginning and it was totally amusing :)

  2. Anonymous10:04 PM

    You, of course, have heard of badussy.

    This, young Johnny, this kind of writing, is the reason I visit your blog. So that I can laugh till spittle drips down the side of my face and snot rolls the length of my finger mustache.

    I salute you

  3. OK...great post and funny...but how would you know what chipmunk cock smells like???

  4. Hell, I will get in the cage for a wheat thin covered in peanut butter and topped with an almond! You serving chimpmunk cosmopolitans too? I am a little worried that you have knowledge of fruit bat balls and chipmunk cock, but you made me laugh my ass off...and that is a lot of laughing!

  5. The BFG was from Doom, not Duke Nukem... Just saying :) (Yeah, I'm old too).

  6. Oh man. Almost every day my boyfriends cats catch a chipmunk and eat the entire body and leave the little tail as a gift outside of the back door. You need some outdoor cats. The population around his house must be almost extinct at the rate they're going.

  7. Bean, thanks! I really wish you had video of baby tigers chasing a chipmunk.

    Anon, I am not sure why, but that link doesn't seem to work for me.

    MLS - I'll admit, I'm just assuming here, but I was trapped in a hot car with him and something smelled like a ferret cage, and I showered that day.

    Malisa, the fruit bat exposure wasn't my fault. It was that bastard Walt Disney.

    Codemonkey, Dammit! You're right. I was thinking of the RPG. I fixed it. I was just reading an article about the death of the duke project and it was stuck in my head.

  8. Anonymous6:33 AM

    Are you sure you aren't running an amusement park for chipmunks?

    From www.pestproducts.com/chipmunks.htm regarding trap and release of chipmunks...

    Once caught, take them at least 5 miles away to release to insure they won't find their way back to your property.

  9. Johnny - There might be a reason why there are so many chipmunks in your yard. You're taking them about a mile down the road and dropping them off. Other people could be doing the same to you. I know my mother-in-law ends up with a lot of stray cats because people will drive out into the country and drop them off.....in her yard. Just wonderin'...

  10. I had a field mouse infestation in my house. I live-trapped and released in a cornfield about a mile from the house. After trapping about a dozen, I noticed that about one in four had a kink in its tail, about a quarter inch from the tip. Suspicious, I got some yellow acrylic paint, and started marking captures at the base of the skull.

    Yup. I'd been recapturing the same four mice over and over.

    It didn't stop until I started releasing them on the other side of a creek, near a horse barn (food source!), about 2 miles from home.

  11. Anonymous9:08 AM

    Okay, I'm sure you've probably thought of this, but have you ever considered that you might be catching the same rodent again and again?

    I had an issue with what seemed like an army of adolescent possums that kept breaking into my house (I know, it doesn't say much for the structural integrity of my house if it's that easy for a medium sized marsupial to stage a home invasion). I'd go to pu t the scoop into the dogfood bag and there they'd be, looking up at me defiantly. I kept driving those creepy, glaring, hissing little bastards up the road about a mile and letting them go. After a while I sort of figured it was probably just the same guy returning.

    Not to be a dick, but have you considered using a rat trap instead? If not, maybe you should just accept it and have that crafty spouse of yours knit a tiny sweater with an A on it. Let em settle in.


  12. I can kind of relate, because we do frog relocations at my house. When there are too many in the back yard and they get too loud, we catch them and drive them to a lake about 1/2 mile away and let them go. They are probably thinking the same, "Hey, guys, if you want a lakefront vacation, just keep croaking. The people that live here will load you up and escort you to the sweetest lakefront paradise."

    Although, now I feel bad that I have not been providing fly canapes.

  13. JV, isn't it just a bit disturbing that you know what chipmonk c*ck smells like?

  14. Anonymous10:26 AM

    Have to stop drinking coffee while reading your posts - just spit it all over my shirt.

  15. JV,
    Outstanding - food, a road trip and trap launching - no wonder they keep returning!

  16. Freaking hilarious! Thanks for the laugh.

  17. Wiredoxiemom3:45 PM

    The film of the projectile chipmunk is TOO FUNNY!! When are you going to write a book?? Plus, it has been a while since we heard any stories about your brothers. Hope to see one soon!

  18. batcock nightmares! wahhaahaaahaa. ur killin me! These chipmunk shenanigans are hilarious too! Maybe the big guy is the same chipmunk, just calmer 'cause he's used to the routine? And of course coming back for the PB snacks... Can't wait to hear the tick story, or maybe I can. my word verification is nopie. I'm sad now.

  19. Anonymous6:52 PM

    If my cat escapes the house he'll catch the chipmunks in our backyard, eat the heads (yes, just the heads) and leave the bodies for our 2 year old Boxer to use as a toy when he goes out. I swear the two of them plot this out, I can never find the bodies before the dog goes out but seconds later the mutt is swinging a headless chipmunk around.

    And if there are no chipmunks in our yard the cat will go over the fence to the neighbors catch them and bring them back over for head crunching.

  20. Damn, Sean figured me out. Oh, and once had a friend who routinely got infections in his belly button, probably similar to your chippie cock smell. Course he would insert his finger in there and then share it with me... remember, I said once had a friend.

  21. I've got to stop reading your posts over supper. Hilarious, though. Chipmunks are so cute!!! we don't have them here, so whenever we go up North I look forward to seeing them. Couldn't your wife just sprinkle cayenne pepper around her plants & let them stay?

  22. Anon, 5 MILES??? Yeah, I'm not doing that. I am maybe a mile away. But everything else I've read has said a half-acre? I'm getting the spraypaint.

    Sean, that would be hilarious.

    Silk, a mouse went a mile?? Seriously? That doesn't sound possible!

    Anon2, I tried the rat trap. It worked well, except for the two times where it just caught a leg, and that wasn't pretty...but the real issue there is that there are coons and coyotes and other animals that just set the trap off and eat the bait.

    Brutalism, that's awesome that you relocate frogs. I'm not sure that's legal though. ha!

    Ray, it smells like ferret balls. And like the carpet in my car. Now.

    Mary, I'm not buying you a shirt if that's what you're hinting at. I'll buy you a silly straw for your coffee though, because those are cool.

    Wired, by the time it's done, nobody will want to read it.

    Reiven, it was not fun. When I discovered it, it had been there a while. It was the size of a grape. Gah.

    Anon3, just the heads?? When I was a kid, our cat *left* the head. And the stomach.

    Vidna, that's disgusting.

    KC, the problem isn't the plants above the ground, the problem is they tunnel under the plants with bulbs and eat them out from under the plants.

  23. Anonymous9:59 PM

    You need to build a chipmunk swimming pool. It involves a half-filled 5 gallon bucket, some sunflower seeds, and a ramp. Of course, then you'd have all those chipmunk burials to do...

    I'm a heartless biatch when it comes to chipmunks.

  24. Anon I tried that too - racoon cleaned me out every night. Caught a ton of mice by the woodpile with it though

  25. Duke Nukem.....haven't thought of that in years! Lots of wasted time on that when I should have been studying:) I suspect it is time to break out the spray paint. As for the flower bulbs....you can buy little cages to plant them in so the chipmunks cannot get to them....or you can make them yourself...see homes-n-gardens.com for instructions if you find you are losing the battle. Alternatively....I hear they taste like chicken:) Good Luck!

  26. I see others have mentioned you're probably getting the same chipmunks, so I won't mention it again. They're right, though. I feel your pain re: the rat traps and other undesired wildlife. So I will share some of my vast knowledge with you for free. Using wire, FIRMLY attach an unshelled peanut to the trap. Then hang the trap from a tree or somewhere you've seen the chipmunks scurry in a vertical manner. The leg issue is taken care of because of the wired peanut - they'll work like bastards to get at that peanut. The other wildlife issue is taken care of due to the hanging trap. Added bonus - you then have a hanging visual warning to other chipmunks. Yes - I'm cruel.

  27. i should know better than to read your blog in a quiet library. my stomach hurts from holding in the laughter. damn you, jv. i mean that in the nicest way, of course.

  28. Anonymous12:09 PM

    i have a cat who likes to flush chippies and a terrier who dispatches them. they even have the grace to clean up after themselves when they're done.

  29. Anonymous9:04 PM

    Re: ticks stuck in your man parts... Been there, done that and it wasn't very fun.

    Another great read. Thanks!

  30. Driving them away is very kind of you! I hope they stay away or there may be an almond shortage in Upstate NY!

  31. I'll never be able to wear my perfume without thinking of this post...thanks for the laugh and thanks for giving me a reason to go out and buy new perfume :)

  32. I'll probably regret sharing this with you, but you are the type who would take sick satisfaction out of this:

  33. Love Cynic, that's horrible. Unless he lands on a blow up bouncy house. Then it's funny.

  34. I consider chipmunks and their even-more-overly-populated cousins the squirrels to be the rat-version of the suburbs. And for anyone who thinks there aren't enough of 'em, just check out the road kill here in NY.

    This was freakin' hilarious...and I wish you Godspeed in keeping up with the Wheat Thin demand.

    How funny would it be if you discover that Nabisco is behind the surge of chipmunks in your neighborhood? (Well, maybe not funny for you....)

  35. Dayna4:16 PM

    AWWW! Why must you dis the Light Blue?!

  36. Dayna, not dissing it -- chipmunk balls smell good to chimpmunks, light blue smells good to humans. See?

  37. That video is amazing.

  38. Anonymous6:12 AM

    While looking for a new toy I found this and thought of this post. It's a squirrel and not a chipmunk but still...


  39. Ok. I've given it some thought and I can't be sure that I knew chipmunks existed, outside of animation. I gotta get out of the city more often.