It’s All About the Gophers | Teen Ink

It’s All About the Gophers MAG

By Anonymous

We were stuck in traffic when Mom turned down the radio and glanced in the rearview mirror at us.

“All right, girls,” she said, “I have a piece of wisdom for you.” She slipped into another lane, pushed some blond hair out of her eyes, then added warily, “regarding boys.”

Automatically, I replied, “Is this about sex?”

The car swerved a bit as my mom’s hands jerked.

“What? No!”

“Is it about birth control?” piped Lily.


“GIRLS!” my mom’s hands shook. “It’s not about any of those!”

“Then what?” Lily asked.

Mom reached up to adjust the mirror. I glanced at the highway billboards. Lily fiddled with the trash that had accumulated in the hours we had spent on the road.

“Squirrels,” Mom said, “or gophers.”

I tugged at my seat belt nervously.

Mom continued, “You see, boys and men have this–”

“Mom, are you talking about playing hard to–”

“No, no I’m not,” she said.

“Yes, you are. Why else would you mention squirrels?”

She shook her head and sighed, “All right, so I am.”

“You told me this yesterday,” I pointed out. “And last Sunday. And when I was calling Jim–”

“It’s not for you,” my mom interrupted. “It’s for your little sister.”

“But I was there too,” Lily groaned.

“Anyway!” my mother said, plowing through my sister’s sentence. “Where was I? Gophers. Yeah, that’s better. Gophers. Well, actually wolves.”

“What? Wolves?” my sister snapped, leaning forward suddenly to peek around the driver’s seat.

“Yes, wolves.”

“What about the gophers?”

“They’re coming. Hold on.”

“What about boys? I thought you said this was about boys.”

“They’re the, um,” Mom’s fingers tapped the wheel nervously, “they’re the wolves, sweetheart.”

“And who are the gophers?”

My mother was silent.

“Mom! We aren’t the gophers, are we? Why are we rodents?”


“Mom, can you just turn the radio back on?”

“No! This is important and I need you to listen.”

“Okay, so wolves, when they’re hungry, if they see a groundhog–”


“Whatever. So when they’re hungry and they find a gopher and the gopher doesn’t move, the wolf will kind of lazily, you know, catch and eat it.”

I sharply turned to my sister to see that her expression matched mine: eyes big, mouth gaping, eyebrows raised.

“You want the boys to eat us?” she asked.

“Mom, this lecture is freaking me out.”

“Why does the wolf have to eat the gopher?”

“I don’t want to be a gopher!”

“… are you saying we should be lesbian gophers and not get eaten?”

“NO!” my mother burst. “Girls, just let me finish!”

I rolled my eyes at my sister. She shook her head, glancing at the back of Mom’s head.

Mom continued, “Okay, so if a wolf gets hungry and finds a gopher and the gopher runs away, then the wolf gets excited, you know wagging its tail and sticking out its tongue–”

“I thought you said this wasn’t about sex,” I mused.

She gave me a warning glare. I shrugged. “So, when the wolf has something to chase, it has a better time. Like when you play tag,” she added.

“So, the wolf is ‘it’?” Lily asked.


“But to be ‘it’ we’d have to have tagged him, right? When did the gopher tag the wolf?”

I heard my mother grit her teeth; she muttered through her clenched jaws, “The wolf was ‘it’ in the first place.”

“But what if the gopher wants to be ‘it’? Every one of God’s creatures should be able to play tag and be ‘it’! Quadrupeds, amphibians, rodents, and fish everywhere!”

“Okay! Okay!” my mother cried. “They were never playing tag! He just chases the gopher, okay? He likes chasing! It’s fun and exciting and interesting, do you understand? That way when he catches the gopher–”

“He catches the gopher?” Lily said. “I thought in this scenario the gopher doesn’t get eaten!”

“Well.” Mom’s grip on the steering wheel tightened. “It does.”

“How is that better?”

“I’d rather be the gopher that isn’t getting chased by wolves,” I piped. “What does a gopher have to do not to get chased by wolves?”

“Yeah, these are some stupid gophers,” Lily said, turning to me. “Why can’t they just go back in their holes?”

“Or can’t the gopher like, swipe at the wolf, at least?”

“Kick dirt in his face?”

“Push him in a lake?”

“GIRLS!” my mother cried, through our giggles. “What I’m trying to say is, it’s more fun for the boy if he chases you. Make him work for you!” Mom sighed again. “So, no more of this flirting with boys. No more calling them. No more–”

“But, Mom! We can be friends, can’t we?” I grumbled.

Mom shook her head sympathetically. “I’m sure you can, sweetheart, but sometimes they get things mixed up. They can’t help it.” Then after a moment she added scientific backup: “Hunter instincts.”

“Mom, we can make it clear that we’re just friends. We can remind them. Use sticky notes if we have to. I don’t want to make my friends chase me!”

“It’s different with boys, honey!” she insisted. “You see, it all started in the cavemen times when the men would hunt–”

Lily turned away from the window and punched me lightly on the arm, “Massachusetts.”

“What, seriously?” I asked, leaning over to her window.

“Yeah, right there, the weird-looking green car.”

“Oh man, that thing is beat up.”

“Girls?” Mom said.

“Ooh! Oregon!” I punched Lily in her side.

“Girls, do you understand? Are you going to run away from the wolves? Girls, do you understand what my analogy is about?”

“It’s about having sex,” I exclaimed.


“That’s what gophers do, Mom.”

“No, it’s like this,” Lily said. “You see first they try and make friends with the wolf, but the wolf thinks they want to play Monopoly when the gopher wants to play Twister. Then the wolf gets mad and demands a samurai showdown. And then the gopher pulls out her ninja stars and light sabers and shuts down the wolf, then runs to the hole she should have been in the whole time.”

“Nice. Can I be that gopher, Mom? That’s one cool gopher.”

“No! You have to be eaten!” My mom was flustered, her shoulders tensing and her head shaking. We snickered. “Wait! I mean, will you just take this seriously? Do you understand the message?”

“Yeah, it’s all about the gophers.” I said solemnly.

Mom’s shoulders sagged.

“That’s right. That’s exactly right, thank you, Olivia. It’s all about the gophers. Just be good little gophers and make the wolves chase you.”

“Before they eat us.”


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This article has 35 comments.

on Mar. 26 2012 at 5:13 pm
Bigfish13 SILVER, Gilford, New Hampshire
7 articles 0 photos 2 comments

Favorite Quote:
"I feel good. I feel great. I feel wonderful."
~Bill Murray (What About Bob)

absolutely hilarious. by far my favorite article on here!

Charly11d7 said...
on Apr. 5 2011 at 6:54 pm
lol totally mad me laugh! So confusing but so funny at the same time! Keep writing!

Leann14 GOLD said...
on Nov. 24 2010 at 3:29 pm
Leann14 GOLD, DeGraff, Ohio
16 articles 4 photos 110 comments
WOW that made me rotfl:)

on Oct. 7 2010 at 8:26 am
oddballinthegroup GOLD, Wausau, Wisconsin
18 articles 1 photo 26 comments

Favorite Quote:
pinaple is my favorite vegitable

wow this was the best have you seen cady shak with the gopher man i love that gopher

on May. 10 2010 at 7:30 pm
Eliz@Beth BRONZE, Jewett, Texas
3 articles 2 photos 3 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Shoot for the moon, even if you miss you will land in the stars."and " Life is not about the breaths you take but about the moments that take your breath away."

This is really funny and adorable! :) Keep writing!

bilbogirl GOLD said...
on Apr. 18 2010 at 5:12 pm
bilbogirl GOLD, Townsend, Delaware
19 articles 0 photos 39 comments

Favorite Quote:
If you cant rock it, dont even bother trying.

i loved this! this was soo cute! please keep writing!

on Feb. 27 2010 at 7:46 pm
Waterlogged BRONZE, Grapevine, Texas
1 article 0 photos 36 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Winston, you are drunk." To which Churchill responded, "and you, madam, are ugly. But in the morning, I'll be sober,"-Lady Astor and Winston Churchill

That was really funny! Keep it up.

on Jan. 13 2010 at 5:11 pm
BeckoningLovely GOLD, Wilmington, Delaware
15 articles 1 photo 106 comments

Favorite Quote:
"I think our favorite quotes say more about us than the people we are quoting," John Green

hahahaha niiice

. said...
on Jan. 13 2010 at 3:49 pm
i agree! lolz me n my friends say that all the time now... :D

on Jan. 5 2010 at 4:25 pm
ghostfan16 BRONZE, Elgin, Illinois
1 article 0 photos 2 comments

Favorite Quote:
"I'm nobody's stepping stool. Get it, got it, GOOD!"

I really enjoyed this story because not only was it funny but it really teaches a life lesson. Basically it's saying instead of letting the guys get to you right away, play hard to get and let them work for you.

on Dec. 29 2009 at 6:53 am
BeckoningLovely GOLD, Wilmington, Delaware
15 articles 1 photo 106 comments

Favorite Quote:
"I think our favorite quotes say more about us than the people we are quoting," John Green

“… are you saying we should be lesbian gophers and not get eaten?”
best. line. evverr!

on Dec. 7 2009 at 7:28 pm
AnImE_LoVeR54, National, California
0 articles 0 photos 8 comments

Favorite Quote:
Love Anime!!!
I love to read anime books!!!!

ThIs StOrY Is VeRy FuNny!!('-')

(Ha Ha Ha)

morganlee said...
on Jul. 31 2009 at 4:36 pm
morganlee, Iola, Kansas
0 articles 0 photos 7 comments
that was flippin halarious!!!!!!! nice job!

on Jul. 11 2009 at 9:00 pm
annkaykay2011 DIAMOND, Lansing, Michigan
75 articles 11 photos 137 comments

Favorite Quote:
"I am who I am, sorry, no changes."

First thing that popped in my head was "wth?" I laughed so hard just because thats what happens alot to parents. They try talking about something important appropriately but soon the kids have no idea what they're so they guess more and more.

Bottom line I loved it!

megan39 BRONZE said...
on May. 1 2009 at 3:04 pm
megan39 BRONZE, Bohemia, New York
4 articles 0 photos 19 comments

on Apr. 23 2009 at 9:02 pm
meghhannnxx BRONZE, South Setauket, New York
1 article 0 photos 2 comments
Lol! That was really funny! Great job.

on Mar. 18 2009 at 2:29 pm
Poetrywritter BRONZE, Seneca, South Carolina
2 articles 0 photos 9 comments
i really liked it. it was sooo funny

on Mar. 15 2009 at 3:16 am
Toxic_Wasteland PLATINUM, Andowver, New Jersey
23 articles 0 photos 31 comments

Favorite Quote:
"In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life... It Goes On."~Robet Frost

i love how the mom was getting frusterated while reading this so was i... i just wanted to hear what she had to say and that's what i love when things can you annoyed or aggrivated just by writting

on Feb. 26 2009 at 1:13 am
Hay_Wire PLATINUM, Independence, Missouri
42 articles 0 photos 219 comments
i almost peed my pants reading that. my mom was dying laughing..thank goodness ive never heard about the gophers from her!

on Feb. 4 2009 at 2:38 pm
I really enjoyed this story . i will definitly recommend this to my friends.