We have a mole. Correction…we have moles.
And judging by the extensive tunnel network spread across the nearly two acres of grass area I cut (I use the term ‘grass’ loosely because they’re actually closely cut weed fields) I would estimate we have at least two moles and possibly 6 million.
Give or take a few.
I noticed the mole infestation was getting a bit worse just as the late fall days turned cold and I was in the process of winterizing all our power equipment. In addition to changing the oil, cleaning off the dirt and crud, touching up the rusty areas with paint and running stabilized gasoline through the fuel systems, I like to move the most used pieces of equipment into a central area where they can huddle together during the winter months and swap stupid human stories amongst themselves.
You’ve just got to hear the one about Mrs. Cog and the Husky tiller.
It was during equipment moving day when I first noticed the significantly increased mole activity. It became particularly obvious when the right rear wheel of one of my tractors dropped into the abyss and up to its axle, nearly throwing me out of the saddle in the process. Have you ever tried climbing off a tractor poised at a sharp angle while on the side of a steep hill? There is no graceful way to exit, particularly when you are 6’ 4’ and on the wrong side of 250 pounds.
I must have hit a den of thieves because the activity just under the surface was frantic and just a little bit frightening. I may be north of 60 years of age and just as north of senile, but as far as I remember the ground is not supposed to move like that. And yet here it was doing exactly that. Fumbling for the glasses in my coat pocket (why wear glasses for a crystal clear view of reality when slightly…err...very blurred is so much more comforting) I quickly surveyed the scene.
There were mole tunnels EVERYWHERE, all intricately interconnected into a mass of humps and bumps that would put a capital city planner, so proud of his/her geometric street grid pattern, to shame. There is no such thing as straight lines in Moleville.
Lacking the time, nor the inclination, to do anything about the moles at that precise moment, I levered the tractor out of the sinkhole and carried on with my winterizing business. There were tractors to keep before I sleep. And tillers, lawn mowers, chain saws, generators, pumps, log splitters, carts and wagons.
Within a week it turned cold. Very cold in fact, at least for these parts. As in low teens and single digits cold, with a few visits below zero just to remind this mere mortal who’s really in charge of the outdoor thermostat.
Hint: it ain’t me.
During my thrice a day trips to feed the bottomless pit called our outdoor wood furnace, I surveyed the land to assess the mole activity and was smug in the knowledge the resident mole population had beat a hasty retreat from the cold. Out of sight, out of mind is how I like my mole problems. Heck, if the United States of America can kick the can down the road with regard to every socioeconomic problem on the books, and several dozen well off the books, who am I to think it might not work for me?
Of course the infestation had not disappeared, but had simply dug itself even deeper.
Alas the cold spell receded, the snow turned to rain and my attention turned to things other than moles. Over the holidays Mrs. Cog and I got really really sick and became house bound for nearly two weeks. Essentially we took turns doctoring each other while continuing to feed the Heatmaster.
At first we diagnosed our malady as the return of the black plague and posted notices on all the doors and windows to turn away those not yet infected. But towards the end I managed to drive myself down to the local store to purchase medical supplies and discovered the locals talking about the entire one horse town being sick with some god awful yuck that lasted two or three weeks.
It was then we christened our illness the Bubba Bug. Who says you can’t laugh while you’re dying?
Today was the first day in nearly three weeks I managed to summon the strength to actually walk the outbuildings and nearby weed fields. Guess what I found?
Moles. Lots of moles. Gazillions of moles.
Actually, to be precise I saw no moles, just mole ‘sign’ in the form of surface tunnels crisscrossing the land as far as the eye could see. They’re back and with a vengeance. Naturally my mind immediately turned to mole murder and the various methods I could employ to accomplish the molicide. But then another thought crossed my mind.
With Trump just a few days from being crowned King, I have been thinking about his economic stimulus plans, particularly his stated interest in rapidly increasing investment in public infrastructure projects. It suddenly occurred to me the moles had already heavily invested in their own infrastructure projects and the local mole economy was certain to enter a recession, if not an outright depression, when the inevitable molenomic slowdown kicked in.
Instantly my mind turned to that economic genius (sarc) Paul Krugman, and his brilliant (double sarc) ‘alien invasion’ and ‘broken windows’ theories. In a flash I realized I could introduce Paul Krugman to the moles by raining a ‘natural’ disaster upon Moleville by the resident ‘alien’, little ole me. I was certain I would soon be awarded the Moleville Medal of Freedom for my heroic efforts.
Just before the first snow ‘we’ (meaning ‘I’ while dragging Mrs. Cog by her pigtails) had purchased a new garden tractor. You know, to stimulate the economy. It was our patriotic duty. But ‘we’ (meaning ‘I’) had not had much of a chance to break her in (the tractor, not Mrs. Cog) before the cold and snow arrived. In an attempt to break thousands of windows with one measly stone, or tractor as the case may be, I fired up the brand new Husky tractor and proceeded to flatten every mole hill and tunnel I could find within a 200 yard radius.
With supreme confidence and a touch of shear madness, I knew without a shadow of a doubt I was increasing Moleville’s GDP by at least 10% per day for at least the next three to four weeks. Paul Krugman, eat my exhaust. The Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics would soon be awarded to my fat ass, just as soon as I polished up my thesis.
After finishing the dirty deed, then picking the mole collateral damage from between the tire treads, I proceeded to establish the National Bank of Moleville and fire up the electronic fractional reserve fiat faker so that the moles may burrow…umm…borrow themselves to health, wealth and prosperity as they repel the alien invasion and repair all those broken windows and crushed tunnels. Of course, in return for my minor contribution to Moleville’s economic miracle, I will become filthy rich and honorary King of the Mole Hill.
Someone contact Trump and inform him I am available for consultation if the price is right or the presidential medal is big enough.
Since it is blatantly obvious even to a deaf, dumb and blind man (paging Paul Krugman) that my molenomic plan will be a smashing success (pun intended) there is no need to follow up with Moleville economic studies and careful mole observation to confirm my theories. Even if initial indicators show little economic growth, there remain several gallons of stabilized gasoline in the tractor, allowing me to launch several more alien invasions.
What doesn’t kill the moles will most certainly make them stronger. So says the Federal Reserve, so says Cognitive Dissonance.
You may now kiss my ring.
The Alien Star Cruiser towing the automatic window breaker. The Husky tiller can be seen way in the back of the shed. Mrs. Cog made me promise never to tell you that story. You'll have to get it from the machines.