Now that my yard (and my heart) were completely ripped out by EasyTurf, the soil of my dog forefathers lay exposed to the light of day. With the covering of grass yanked away, the underground cartel of gophers began scurrying about in a frenzy. For years, they had been running an illicit network beneath my owners’ noses, moving large quantities of exotic animals and pirated DVDs to the shady figures of the underworld. Their operations had occasionally spilled over into the backyard, where they would surface, engage in brutal turf wars with their squirrel brethren, and leap back into their holes.
As the workers prepared to lay down a sheet of gopher wire on the yard, they were doomed to be forever entombed inside the earth. Many of them began running for the next state line, while others started burrowing into neighbors’ lawns or hid with my stuffed animals collection. Their leader, Dread Pirate, climbed to the nearest flower box and began an oration praising those who had fought and died for Gopheria. When he had finished, he yelled to his rodent comrades, “They may take away our lives, but they’ll never take our freedom!” Letting loose a fierce battle cry, he and the other gophers charged the workers, clawing at their shoes and firing rounds from behind their holes.
When it became clear that they were no match for the workers, the gophers grabbed as much of their prized possessions as they could carry and fled. Others stayed behind, vowing to go down with the ship. The gopher wire descended over them, imprisoning them beneath an impenetrable layer of galvanized steel. To get out, they would have to find a different route.
Next, the workers began spreading a thick layer of decomposed granite over the wire, forming a new foundation for the artificial gopher proof lawn. They used machines and tampers to get this stone to a ninety-percent compaction rate. Water would be able to pass down into the ground, but nothing from the world beneath the turf, whether weeds or gophers, would ever again make its way to the surface. As the workers began unrolling the artificial grass, the squirrels reveled while I bid farewell to my gopher companions.