Scott Wegener is a multi award-winning creative writer who believes in looking on the lighter side of life’s predicaments but still values how serious life is. This site features a wide variety of Scott's published and performed works. If you want to use any of these pieces, or commission something origional, contact Scott Wegener

Nov 5, 2005

How much wood would a woodcuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

Actually, a woodchuck would chuck no wood since a woodchuck can’t chuck wood. But if a woodchuck could chuck and would chuck some amount of wood, how much wood would a woodchuck chuck?
Well, even if a woodchuck could chuck wood and even if a woodchuck would chuck wood, should a woodchuck chuck wood?—That’s the question we should really ask ourselves.
The reality is, a woodchuck should chuck wood as long as a woodchuck could chuck wood and as long as a woodchuck would chuck wood.
To answer the initial question, however, we must first have a closer look at what it is really asking. The dictionary has several meanings of the word chuck. Tap, throw and vomit are just a few of its definitions. Also, a “woodchuck,” as discovered in my research, is actually a groundhog, weasel or whistle pig.
Finally, we should also be sure of the definition of “wood.” This can mean either the hard, fibrous substance beneath the bark of a tree, a golf club or a keg.
And so by substituting these terms into the question I’ve come up with three possibilities of what the question is actually intending to ask, answering each.

Question 1: How much hard, fibrous substance beneath the bark of a tree would a ground hog tap if a ground hog would tap the hard, fibrous substance beneath the bark of a tree?
Answer: Enough to produce a handful of sawdust.

Question 2: How much of a keg would a weasel throw if a weasel would throw a keg?
Answer: Enough to hold a handful of sawdust.

Question 3: How much of a golf driver would a whistle pig vomit if a whistle pig would vomit a golf driver?
Answer: Enough to require a handful of sawdust.

While we can speculate until the woodchuck chucks, which definitions the question intends, the only thing we know for sure is that if you see a woodchuck about to chuck wood, you’d better either be wearing safety goggles and an apron or stand well back.


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