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Saturday, August 21, 2010

The Garden

As my hero, Dick Pronneke, says in the PBS show, "Alone in the Wilderness"..., not much of a garden by Iowa standards. And it may not even rate as a garden by Texas standards. But I am brand new at this garden stuff. I'm a Rancher..., I ain't no Sod-Buster. Don Henry Ford Jr. inspired me to plant The Garden last year. Despite some life threatening experiences that happened back then..., I am trying it again.

If you have to ask about the .357 Colt Python that I carry..., you haven't heard thee story. This is what I wrote to Don last year..., admonishing him for his complete failure to warn me of the hazards involved.

Speaking of That Garden...,

you inspired me to plant. You could have warned me about hazards other than toil, sweat, and beers (to replace the sweat).

I will die of green mouth, the way many of my ancestors in Ireland did during the Great Potato Famine, before I will set foot in The Garden again. I mean, I planned The Garden as a life sustaining endeavor…, the sod-busting and planting of it produced a death wish on a day or two when the sweat was flowing like beer at a biker bash…, but last weekend I had one of those near death experiences that should be reserved for the movies…, or the Jerry Springer Show.

I was just trying to water The Garden. I stretched a hundred feet of garden hose out from The Barn and was proceeding along at a leisurely pace, with visions of baked potatoes, boiled potatoes, fried potatoes, mashed potatoes, and French fries dancing in my head. When a 10 foot python danced out of a flake of hay practically under my feet. I know you'll say that we don't grow pythons in Washington State gardens…, but make and model aren't important or relevant here. And I refuse to look at a picture card line-up to try to identify the culprit. I don't know how many people reading this have ever tried to fight off a 15 foot python with nothing but a garden hose…, but I don't recommend it. Even with a fancy, high-powered spray nozzle attachment in place. The slimy bastard had me around one leg in no time flat. Then the other leg. Then around my waist, my chest. I fought valiantly…, though somewhat blindly. I can't stand to look at a picture of a snake…, let alone look one in the eye that's trying to eat me. Once he got me around the neck he really put the squeeze on…, and I thought I was done for. My life passed before my eyes…, and other things passed from my body. There was a terrible stench and everything went black.

I probably hadn't been lying on the ground long when my wife Julie found me there…, tied up in 100 feet of garden hose. That 20 foot python knew I wasn't dead…, and that evil bastard trussed and tied me up in that hose…, and left me there. I don't know if it was a male snake and he tied me up like that, then slithered off to get his buddies so he could brag about his capture…, and then let them in on the kill…, and the feast. Or, maybe it was a female and she needed to train her offspring to kill with some live bait? I won't bother to dwell on those possibilities…, or speculate on others. I was sure that Julie had somehow sensed that I was in mortal danger…, that famous women's intuition…, that bond between two people that is so strong that you experience the others' pain. But she denied that that was the case…, she said she heard the most horrendous bellering and screaming…, she said it sounded like a Sasquatch with its foot caught in a bear trap. I didn't know snakes could scream and beller. I certainly didn't hear anything like that. But then, often times when you are in a life or death struggle, some bodily functions shut down..., so that more life giving blood and oxygen can get to more important body parts. It seems logical to assume that my hearing and vision shut down during the struggle to survive. And I don't remember any of the details of the epic battle…, just the horror…, the horror. Not all bodily functions shut down…, some go into overdrive. I was glad the hose was still handy when Julie found me.

Continued in the comments section

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Knock On Wood...,

I posted these comments on one of Don Henry Ford Jr's pieces over at The Agonist.

Knock On Wood..., the hard times haven't hit us..., yet. Not as long as I am shooting the elk with a camera..., instead of a gun. Hope it doesn't come to that. But there is a big disconnect between what is happening on Wall Street and what is happening on Main Street. Whatever you believe..., there is one thing that can be counted on. There is a balance in this old world, and that balance will be achieved. Either Wall Street is coming down or Main Street is going up. Given the recent housing start numbers and the employment numbers..., I don't need to tell you that I don't think Main Street is moving up any time soon.

The elk stayed on their side of our fence..., this time. I do wish they would have come on over and cleaned up that last patch of Scotch Broom. Since they didn't..., I suppose I better get out there myself.