The Onion: Beaver Overthinking Dam Matt 20 Apr 2006

10 comments Latest by Alex Bunardzic

The Onion: Beaver Overthinking Dam

Despite time constraints dictated by the changing seasons, Messner has spent nearly 400 beaver-hours stripping logs of their bark and foliage, and more than two weeks scouting locations up and down the Muskoka River. “I just want everything to be perfect,” he said.

That beaver needs to Get Real!

10 comments so far (Jump to latest)

b 20 Apr 06

Lol. I saw that yesterday and thought “How long will it be before someone at 37signals says ‘Damn, Beaver. You need to Get Real.’”

Congrats, it took you just under 24 hours.

JM 20 Apr 06


Chris 20 Apr 06

Haha, that’s awesome. I love how he’s going to form a community discussion with the fish.

Scott 20 Apr 06

I love the ending: “This marks the third consecutive spring in which Messner has sought to build the perfect dam. Many in the area believe that Messner will fail and resort to burrowing a hole in the muddy ground where he will spend the rest of the season, as he has done the past three years.” Sounds like a lot of my corporate IT projects :)

Keane 20 Apr 06

But he did get real! Twice!

Messner has already overthought and razed two dams this season alone. He dismissed the proportions of the first as “aesthetically dysfunctional,” and the second was built out of cottonwood, which he called “a mistake.”

Luis 20 Apr 06

There is simplicity in a tree when looked at from a mile away. Put it under a microscope and you�ll realize that it�s much more than just wood fibre wrapped in wood fibre and topped with greens. It�s many many things all at once.

I guess what I�m saying is this: Let�s stand back and just observe the trees for a change and let whatever happens at a microscopic level just happen.

AW 20 Apr 06

Matt L. that’s histerical! Nice entry and follow up comment! Love it!!!

Christopher Fahey 20 Apr 06

It’s important to note what Dennis’s more ‘realistic’ colleagues are doing:

Longtime friend and fellow Beaver Lodge No. 913 brother Tim McManus, who is nearing completion of his own dam, took a more pragmatic approach to construction. “Work-work-work. Gnaw-gnaw-gnaw. Build-build-build. Must hurry,” he said.


“Get to work, get to work, build the dam, build the dam,” Cyril Kyree said as he dragged a number of logs into the shallow lick of river where the rest of the lodge has built their nests. “Chew-chew-chew. Need a mate. Build the dam.”

I try to make sure that being focused doesn’t necessarily mean “Code code code, push pixels, push pixels, code code code”. The thinking and caring about the work part is what makes Dennis a very special (albeit a little self-obsessed) beaver, and I think it’s what makes the difference between good and great web sites, too.

Claire Tompkins 20 Apr 06

Ah, the perfectionist! The beaver who gets a lot of work done, but not a lot of work done. This is kind of another form of procrastination. Procrastinators can’t get started and perfectionists can’t get finished.

Alex Bunardzic 20 Apr 06