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Opinion >  Column

The Slice: Marmots have issues

Got an email from Slice reader Karen Botker.

“I got to introduce my grandkids to the Wonderful World of Marmots yesterday. Apparently there is a large population of them living around the apartments they live in off Pines in the valley. When I saw them I asked if the kids knew what they were. They said squirrels.

“After explaining that they were actually marmots, they proceeded to let me know that they were mean. I can’t help but wonder if those adorable rodents would be hurt to hear how our younglings perceive them.”

No, Karen, marmots don’t mind if children believe they are mean. In fact, they sort of like the idea.

But I will tell you what marmots do mind.

1. People using bagged bear scat in their gardens in an attempt to scare away deer. Marmots are not fooled. Not for a second. But that stuff stinks.

2. They mind when people flip out over a few chewed up engine hoses.

3. Habitat destruction. Marmots do not like developers. One way you can tell is that marmots never make campaign contributions to the same candidates as developers.

4. When you don’t return borrowed books. Marmots hate that.

5. That scene in “The Big Lebowski” where the Dude refers to an animal that is definitely not a marmot as a marmot.

6. Getting blamed for stuff raccoons did.

7. It’s really more of a generational thing. But sometimes older marmots listening to young marmots really have no idea what in the blue blazes they are talking about.

8. When another marmot is proud of having gained a lot of weight and just will not shut up about it.

9. Dogs not on a leash.

10. Usually, marmots have a “Just don’t call me late for supper” attitude about how they are labeled. But they all dislike being confused with prairie dogs.

11. Marmots don’t really like people. They have been known to paraphrase Mr. Edwin Starr and ask the musical question, “Humans, huh, good God y’all, what are they good for?”

12. They really do not like it when people (or other marmots, for that matter) try to give them noogies. But then, who does?

Today’s Slice question: How happy would you be if you went an entire week without a major household appliance failing?

Write The Slice at P. O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; email pault@spokesman.com. Dennis Rainey found a Spokane newspaper under his floor from the day he was born in 1947.

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