Yield: A run in with Patrick Mahomes | TheFencePost.com

Yield: A run in with Patrick Mahomes

In my neck of the woods, folks are excited by the Kansas City Chiefs' football season. The Chiefs new young quarterback, Patrick Mahomes, in particular has fans excited with his winning ways and swashbuckling demeanor on the field.

It's in my general nature to assume professional football players are overpaid, spoiled, egotistical and self-centered. And, I figgered Pat Mahomes fell into that general description, too.

However, what happened to an acquaintance of mine a couple of weeks ago, who's retired and lives in Council Grove, Kan., is making me rethink my unflattering opinion of young Mr. Mahomes.

Here's what happened. My acquaintance in Council Grove has a retirement public service job. He drives one of the community's public transportation vehicles. He takes folks to doctors' appointments, social gatherings, family emergencies, etc., and his trips sometimes take him into the Kansas City area.

Well, he wuz transporting an elderly lady to a doctor's appointment on the Kansas side of the border in Kansas City. He wuz a bit early, so he decided to go ahead and fill up with gasoline for the return trip. He pulled into a convenience store and stopped next to a gas pump. Before he could exit his vehicle, his elderly companion visibly gasped and wide-eyed said, "I'm pretty sure that's the Chief's new young quarterback filling up next to us."

My acquaintance disbelieved her until he took a look. Sure enuf. The guy filling up his vehicle at the next pump certainly looked like Patrick Mahomes. The elderly lady excitedly tore off a piece of paper and implored my acquaintance, "Please, see if he'll sign an autograph for me."

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So, with a little trepidation, my friend approached Mahomes and explained the situation. To his surprise, quarterback Mahomes not only willingly signed the lady's piece of paper, he asked my friend if he wanted something signed, too. My friend quickly took him up on his offer.

Then, Mahomes walked over to the elderly lady, opened the car door and started a conversation with her. She enthusiastically said she was a big Chief's fan, a Mahomes fan, and never missed watching a Chief's game on TV.

Mahomes thanked her for her dedication to the Chiefs. Then when he closed the car door, he went to my skinny 70-year-old friend, gave him a serious look from head to toe, then said, "You ever thought about trying out for a wide receiver spot with the Chiefs? I can always use more good wide receivers." Then he gave my friend a wide grin, shook his hand, thanked him, and drove off — leaving two senior citizens from Council Grove astounded.

That's a neat story and I won't soon forget it.

•••

This week's weather in the Flint Hills has been unusual, even for Kansas. Thanksgiving Day was near 70 degrees and sunny for our family get together. By Sunday, we were in the midst of a full-blown blizzard — with the emphasis on blown. The temps were in the teens and the wind stayed above 30 mph all day with gusts to 50. It blew snow into every crook and cranny on Damphewmore Acres. Today the weather is clear, temp in the 40s and the snow is melting.

•••

The Kansas firearms deer season opened today. At my age, my enthusiasm for deer hunting has waned a bit, but I still buy a deer license — just in case a careless deer wanders within range. We have too many deer and they do so much crop damage and cause so many traffic accidents that I almost feel obligated to try and downsize the state's deer herd.

•••

Speaking of deer, my nephew's high-school-aged son is quite the experienced hunter already. Last week while archery hunting for a big buck, he ran across a smallish buck that had entangled its antlers in a barbed wire fence in the bottom of a gully. The deer was caught tight and wuz not gonna get loose by itself.

So, my nephew's son did the ethical thing. He managed to get the trapped deer out of its predicament and let it go on it's probably not-so-grateful way. That's what ethical hunters do, but they seldom get credit for caring about the animals they also hunt or their conservation efforts on wildlife's behalf.

•••

I read that an off-shoot company of Google is making good headway toward eliminating two species of disease-carrying mosquitoes near Fresno, Calif. They are breeding and releasing male mosquitoes that carry a bacteria that keeps female mosquitoes from having fertile baby mosquitoes.

The pilot study results are quite encouraging. Numbers of the two disease-carrying mosquitoes are down almost 80 percent.

I hope this technique can work on agricultural insect pests like army worms, chinch bugs, grasshoppers, leaf hoppers, etc. That would be wonderful to handle those pests without insecticides.

•••

My wry words of wisdom for the week come from my Colorado friend, Jay Esse. He said the bad news is that his old pickup truck doesn't get good mileage. The good news is that at his age, Jay has plenty of gas.

Have a good 'un. ❖