I have no idea what a woodchuck is, and I’m not sure what wood chucking is. Assuming a woodchuck is a kind of bird (Snoopy’s pal is my evidence base here), and chucking (in relation to wood, at least) is some kind of throwing, then I think the most significant variable is going to be the size and shape of the wood, and what structures it’s arranged in. Also the time available for chucking is a fairly important factor. And motivation.
I just did some googling. Turns out a woodchuck is another name for groundhog. Did anyone know that? That’s totally buggered up my visuals, as before I had a little yellow bird transporting wood around. Now I’ve got a little brown monster too scared of it’s own shadow to notice the wood. And turns out the name has nothing to do with wood or chucking; it comes from the algonquin name for the animal, Wuchak.
Define also yielded (amongst others, including an audio programming language, which we’ll not get into): ‘pat or squeeze fondly or playfully, especially under the chin’.
So now I’ve got a groundhog flirting with a pile of wood.
So the answer, really, remains the obvious ‘a wood chuck would chuck as much as a woodchuck could chuck if a woodchuck would chuck wood.’ But they don’t, so stop being silly.
Of course, another name for the woodchuck/wuchak/groundhog is land-beaver. And beavers build huge dams. Out of wood. So if we were going to make any functional analysis of groundhogs’ ability to wood work, we should probably compare it to the beavers. They seem motivated, but then, they’ve got those weird tails (unless that’s just in cartoons again.
I’m finding it really hard not to get distracted by the word groundhog.
I mean, for fucks sake, hogs are renowned for their fondness of the ground. There’s an even more clichéd statement about flying pigs that relies entirely for it’s meaning on the notion that hogs are grounded. There are no skyhogs.
I can’t even explain how much I’ve got disappointed by actually researching this unstruck. Turns out that wuchaks are just a type of marmot. This means marmot, which in turn is just a type of squirrel. Which makes the native fauna of america about a million times less interesting (and makes me sad about red squirrels again).
Of course, it’s kind of all made up for the marmot picture on the wikipedia page. That yellow bellied beggar is clearly having a fag break to enjoy the view, which is adorable (wouldn’t be if he was actually smoking). One almost gets the impression that he’s enjoying a well deserved break having chucked his allotted wood for the day.
Which leads me to an answer I can be contented with, in that it is at least as ridiculous as the question.
A woodchuck would chuck all the wood there was to chuck. But it’d do it in it’s own good time, thank you very much.
Illustration by Paul.