Thursday, June 22, 2006

Marmotted!

As of today, that IS a word. Let me tell you a story...

The story begins like this: What the hell???? Why are those cars securely wrapped in tarps like they're xmas presents???

I mean, check THAT one out!!! There's no mini van for the tarp!!!
As it turns out, this is called "marmot-proofing". To which I gleefully responded; marmot-proofing????!!!!?!???!!??!?! And the story ran around that when you park up in the Sierras, marmots come out of hiding, and like to snack on your car engine. I nearly DIED for laughter! You people believe that??? You ACTUALLY think that a MARMOT, one of these cute over-sized guinea pigs pictured below, likes to eat bits out of your car engine when you're out for a hike??? I was shameless in the ridiculous rumour-believing that American hikers were showing. Pringles chimed in with saying that it surely must be an urban myth, I mean, has ANYONE we know ever actually experienced a "marmotting"? I laughed and suggested we get myth-busters in on this. We all thought it was great. We hiked and photographed the chubby little guys chuckling about marmottings the whole way.

Look at this guy, all fuzzy and smiling. He's not going to eat your SUV! We ran into some other hikers and continued the marmot discussion, when one guy informed us that "seriously, last year I hiked here and laughed at all the tarps and when I got back to my car I had to have it towed out ($700) and have $1500 worth of damage repaired due to marmots, who had evidently eaten the distributor cap and chewed through all the hoses causing ALL the fluids to leak out". We were impressed. Intrigued. Not completely believing. Stopping at the ranger station on the way out of the park I asked about "getting marmotted", and the ranger lady said that they seem to like eating the insulation out of the engine hood. What the????? Don't these little guys normally eat VEGETATION? It was definitely an unexpected hiking hazard...
Returning to our vehicle, Rockbuddy Rich set off the alarm to alert any foraging furries that we were coming and that they should remove themselves from the engine if they were there. Sure enough, out scooted a marmot from his snack beneath the truck next over, but not ours. On the drive back, Rich's engine light came on and cruise control stopped working... Pringles and I joked about having gotten "marmotted" today - what a laugh. Got home, looked under the hood, and what did we see??? Apparently the hood insulation and whatever is reponsible for cruise control made a tasty lunch for a marmot today.

5 comments:

Rockbuddy said...

I feel soooo violated. I have been marmotted.

Kilometres said...

SHUT UP!

I wouldn't have believed it if not for the picture! I always knew they were a menace those marmots! I think we need to start planning marmot executions again. They've clearly become more than complacent towards humans.

The logical progression from the car eating is that marmots have become omnivores. Omnivores that crave the flesh of humans! Beware! They will disable your car leaving you stranded. If you wait until nightfall you will have waited too late! They will strike with their tiny chewing teeth and nibble you to death!

From here on in, if you see a marmot, shoot to kill. They'd to the same if they could figure out how to hold the gun in their tiny digging claws.

gnat said...

Addendum to the Marmotting: it is most bizarre that the marmots don't eat through the tarps at all... I'd think that was easier to gnaw through than a distributor cap.

Kilometres said...

My guess is that they aren't as tasty. Marmots have a very fickly palate donchaknow.

MJBlog said...

Maybe you could contribute the word marmotted to urbandictionary.com