With winter’s cold fast approaching, most of us are facing with dread the high costs for heating our homes.
Well, I’ve got a good farmer/rancher friend, ol’ Willie Sollvit, who decided last summer to be proactive, rather than reactive, about solving the economic problem of finding a way to pay his extreme winter heating bills.
Willie took a good look across the country at all the new drilling techniques the energy companies have to extract natural gas from the Earth and figgered he’d just as well cash in on the natural gas bonanza and drill a gas well in his back yard so that he could heat his home, barn and outbuildings for free for the rest of his life once he’d made the initial investment in the gas well.
He figgered he had enuf spare cash in savings to do the job, so he consulted with a local wildcat well driller about his prospects of hitting natural gas. The driller came to Willie’s place and gave Willie this honest assessment: “Ain’t nobody in this vicinity never hit nuthin’ drilling for oil or gas. Your chances of hitting gas are about as good as a conservative ever getting elected president again. In other words, save your money.”
But, my friend Willie is both stubborn and superstitious. So, he told the driller, “Well, you might be right, but I’ve got a feeling in my gut that there’s natural gas underneath this yard. I’ve got enuf cash to drill, so get your drilling rig out here as soon as you can and get to drilling.”
The driller shrugged and said, “It’s your money, but I’ll need to get paid at the end of every week.” They shook hands and the deal wuz on.
A few days later, a crew commenced drilling. The roughnecks reached 1,000 feet at the end of the first week. No gas or oil. They reached 2,000 feet at the end of the second week. Still no gas or oil. They reached 3,000 feet at the end of the third week. Same thing.
By this time, Willie wuz getting nervous, but he told the drillers that he had enuf money for another week. But, by the end of the fourth week, they still hadn’t had even a sniff or gas or oil.
So, Willie threw in the towel. He told the crew to quit drilling and accepted defeat for his idea. The driller said that just for a few bucks more he would cap the empty well shaft for safety’s sake.
But, like I said, Willie thinks he’s a problem solver, so he told the driller, “No way. Just leave the drill hole open. I’ve got another idea.”
The driller said, “What in the world are you gonna do with a 4,000 foot deep dry well shaft in your back yard?”
Willie replied, “Well, we have a lot of parties and family get-togethers in our back yard, and I always hire a Port-A-Potty to keep the folks from traipsing through our home, so I’m gonna build me a fancy old fashioned outdoor privy right over the top of that dry well shaft. That’ll solve the Port-A-Potty problem.”
He went on enthused, “It’ll be perfect. I’ll build a brick two-holer with those iconic half-moons in the door. With 4,000 feet of drill shaft underneath it, it’ll never fill up or run over, it’ll never stink, it’ll never pollute and it’ll never draw flies.”
And that’s just what he did. He built the fanciest outdoor privy in the county.
And, when he got it finished, Willie and his wife decided to have a huge backyard barbecue party for all their friends and family so they could have an official dedication of the new facility.
So, when everyone wuz assembled and before he fired up the barbecue, Willie instructed the folks to gather around the privy for its dedication. For the occasion, he got a cold bottle of beer and broke it on the corner of the privy.
Then he announced the privy officially open for service. But, then he said, “Folks, since I’ve sunk so much hard earned cash into this privy, I’m gonna be the first to use it. I haven’t used one of these outdoor privies since I wuz just a little kid and I have a lot of fond memories of using them.”
And, with that he retired into the new fancy privy and shut the door behind him. The crowd outside waited for him to emerge. Then they waited some more. Then they waited some more. Finally, they heard a loud “THUMP” inside the privy.
Willie’s concerned wife cautiously opened the door and saw poor old Willie passed out on the privy floor. His face wuz blue and he wuz breathing shallow. Some friends dragged him out onto the grass outside, tossed a glass of cold water in his face and Willie began to revive.
When he could talk again, his wife asked, “Honey, what happened in there?”
Ol’ Willie shook his head to clear it and said, “Well, when I wuz a kid, I always used to hold my breath waiting for my ‘doins’ to hit the water.”
Kind readers. There’s a moral to ol’ Willie’s story. Don’t hold your breath waiting for something you expect to happen or you’ll end up blue in the face. Those are my words of wisdom for this week. Have a good ’un. ❖
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