Laugh Tracks in the Dust 11-29-10
Living in rural areas provides many amenities not found in cities. One of the foremost, in my humble opinion, is the plentiful opportunities to view and appreciate the wildlife and the landscape. In fact, for the past two weeks, in the mornings I’ve been enjoying watching two nice whitetail bucks roving around my pond. One is a grizzled old veteran with a gray muzzle and nice ivory antlers – though not record quality.
While on the topic of deer, I’ve got to relay a true story I got last week. My old buddy, Bowen A. Rowe, a redneck from near Wilburton, Okla., called and said he and a buddy were out in the woods archery hunting for whitetail.
His buddy had a nice tree stand with woods behind it and a nice clearing in front. Well, Bo said his buddy climbed into a tree stand and set up a watch into the clearing. He wuz standing on the platform and leaning his rear end against the big tree trunk.
After quite a while, the buddy got restless and started shifting his weight around to get comfortable. Soon thereafter, the slight breeze brought the unmistakable aroma of deer urine to his experienced nostrils. He froze in place, just knowing that a big ol’ buck had approached his stand from the woods to his rear. After all, he could SMELL that huge deer.
He tried to worm his way around on his stand to where he could get draw his bow and shoot an arrow behind him. He was having difficulty moving quietly and inconspicuously.
But then he felt a wet dribble down the back of his leg. It wuz urine all right, but not his own. It wuz the contents of a plastic bottle of deer urine he had in his back pocket and had squashed to smithereens while leaning against the tree trunk.
He reeked so badly that he quit hunting that morning. Bo didn’t tell me whether or not his buddy had to throw away his hunting clothes. At the very least, I’ll bet they got a good washing – probably by him, outside.
Last week, I wuz having trouble with the wiring on a dog trailer I am gonna pull to Pratt, Kan., to go pheasant hunting. So, I called a do-everything, fix-everything friend of mine, ol’ Tapen Wyre, to see if he could get the trailer lights to work. He came right over.
Well, Tap finally found the main trouble in a couple of blown fuses in the truck, but I’d bought a new trailer electrical plug-in and we decided to put it on, too.
Tap wuz trying to wire the plug and he laughed and asked if I had a pair of reading glasses he could borrow. He wuz having trouble seeing those little wires and screws. Of course, I do – and I fetched him a pair.
As he wuz winding up the wiring job, Tap told a personal story about his diminishing visual acuity. He said one recent cool evening before he went to bed, he finally turned his home heating furnace on so the house would be warm when he got up.
Not long afterwards, he went to bed, Tap woke up in a drenching sweat. His home wuz sweltering. Taking a close look at the thermostat, he found he’d mistakenly set the temperature at 80 degrees instead of the 60 he wanted.
With a wry smile, he said, “And to think, I’m the one who used to make fun of old people who insist on having thermostats with big numbers so they can see it clearly.”
He said, he had to open the doors and windows and watch TV for half an hour before his home cooled off enuf for him to go back to sleep.
For me, two of the saddest days of every year are the day I have to tear my tomato vines out of the garden and the day I eat my very last fresh tomato of the year.
I love tomatoes – and ol Nevah and I can a lot of tomatoes, juice, and salsa every year – but eating that very last fresh-off-the-vine tomato of the season almost brings a tear to my eye.
There’s nuthin’ edible left in my garden now but some turnips, some kohlrabi, some kale, and some green beans I’m leaving to harvest as dried beans.
Someone sent me an e-mail that said marriage is like playing cards. In the beginning it’s all about hearts and diamonds and in the end it’s about clubs and a spade.
Well, better quit for this week before you take a club to me for impinging too much on your time. I’ll close with this quote about hunting by philosopher Bertrand Russell: “Civilized life has altogether grown too tame, and, if it is to be stable, it must provide harmless outlets for the impulses which our remote ancestors satisfied by hunting.”
Have a good ‘un.
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From June through September, John Etchart spends most of the day driving a tractor through hayfields below the mountains near Meeker in northwestern Colorado.