THE COON HUNT

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racoon
    At the age of six, I took my first drink. Father, Mother, Aunts, Uncles and Grand Parents all drank heavily on a daily basis. What separates a daily drinker from being an alcoholic? This is clearly defined in step one of the Program of Alcoholics Anonymous. ”We admitted we were powerless over alcohol – that our lives had become unmanageable. Avoiding the gory details, my family could not manage boiling water.
    I took my last drink on May 14 1978, and have been sober since. I did not want to but had to drink.  At two quarts of vodka a day the pain, physical and mental became unbearable. It will also cause you to return items you did not steal. On that morning, lying on a cold floor, I asked for help. A call to AA brought a man to our home who would later become my AA sponsor. I began attending meetings.
    Alcohol became my life, its absence convincing me that I would never laugh again; “my life is over” this cyclic thought like and old song playing repeatedly. The following is an event that occurred after ninety days dry. Living in a bottle creates an imposter like identity. I see myself as a sophisticated city kitty, lover of blues, overwhelmingly brilliant, and never wrong. Of course, none of this is real but inventing and wearing it everyday soon assimilates reality, answering the unasked question “Am I OK“ with a resounding yes. AA slowly erasing the false you to be drawn as God intended. It literally takes years.
    Around nine PM the phone rings, it is my sponsor (let us call him Frank). “Throw some cloths on, grab the wife and come over to the farm; a bunch of us are going coon hunting”. “Coon hunting“, I ask, “I don’t think so” and I
hung up. “Was that Frank“, my wife asks? “Yeah it was him, wants me to go coon hunting, I can’t take that redneck, tobacco chewing, dung pumping cowboy“. Frank pumps septic tanks for a living. “You should go“, she says, “It might be fun”. “I doubt the fun part but OK I’ll do it”. Calling him back, I told him we are on our way.
    Carl, Frank and I are the threesome. Carl has a young Blue-Tick, named Smoky that he is raving about. Frank has a Great Dane, born without a brain that has no idea of raccoons and is just going along for the walk. We will be hunting near The Devils Backbone which is a high ridge paralleling Elk Creek. There are sheer drops of sixty feet straight down to the creek. In the fall, the water can reach seven feet deep.
    I am the carry person, lantern, dog tethers and Ruger .22 revolver. Frank gives me a headlight, which I have never owned or used. I become completely intrigued when I realize, no matter where I turn my head I can see! “Dave what are you doing”; asks Frank? “The headlight, I have to buy one of these”. “How easy it is to entertain a recovering drunk” he replies and off we go.
    Hours pass without Smoky making a sound. “Carl”, I ask, “how much did Smoky cost”? “Twelve hundred”, he answers, then spits chew into his beard. I find that worth a chuckle and think how many used cars I could have bought. I realize I am laughing but at someone else’s expense. “Either there is no coon here or Carl got stuck”, I mumble.
    Suddenly Smoky lets out with “A-WOO-WOO”; “he’s on one” screams Carl. We all take off in a run. Do you recall the sixty-foot drop I mentioned earlier? Well, Smoky just ran off the edge. “The dog went over the cliff” yells Carl. We all peer over the edge and see that Smoky is walking out of the water, seemingly no worse for wear. Now I am stifling a laugh. “Take it easy Carl, says Frank, we will walk down to the creeks edge then back upstream and get Smoky”. We all make a left except the Great Dane who steps forward, “A-WOO-WOO-WOO” then the sound of the Dane hitting the water, which resembles a watermelon exploding.
    “Gosh dang it”, shouts Frank, “Both dogs are in the creek”. I have to step back because tears are running down my cheeks and I do not want them to know I am laughing my butt off. I envision two Cocker Spaniels holding cards over their heads with the number one on them; “neither dog knows how to dive,” says one Cocker.
    As we reach the edge of the creek, Frank tells me, “Stay here until we come back with the dogs”. “OK”, I reply, “take your time I’m having fun”. It is three AM; I am standing on the bank of Elk Creek with a .22 pistol on my hip and a headlamp on. “How on earth did I end up here”, I ask myself, it sure is beautiful“. Looking down into the water I am shocked at the number of very large Lake Run Rainbow, Coho and Chinook salmon, so I shot one and pulled it out of the water. A thirty-eight inch Rainbow, and by far the largest fish I ever shot! I turned out my headlamp.
    Thirty minutes later Frank is shouting; “Dave where are you”? Turning on my headlamp, I answer, “Over here”. “What is that you’re holding”? “Frank, I shot a fish; how are the dogs‘? “Oh fine…just fine, let’s head to the house”.
    As we walk into the kitchen Frank’s wife asks, “How did you guys do”? He replies, in a rather moody manner; “Dave got a fish”.
    I will never forget this evening, so etched in my mind. A ripple of laughter instilling hope that there is life in sobriety would soon become a tsunami. They never asked me to coon hunt again.

WHO IS ETTA?

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The decision to move South, nineteen years ago, was due too an epiphany. Delaying this leap of understanding for most of my life is brain damage from fifty birthdays of Great Lakes weather.

Choosing North Carolina’s coast as the landing site, for those suffering from HCD Syndrome (habitually cold & depressed), is a nirvana like selection. Besides, unlike moving to Peru, English is the language.
Packing the contents of a three-story home into a rental U-Haul is like stacking BB’s. My wife, who knows how to put toothpaste back in the tube, is immediately in charge.

We are on the road at five AM with my son at the wheel of Mr. U-Haul as I follow in my car. The trip should take thirteen hours. On Interstate ninety-five, the truck begins to develop symptoms of engine trouble. Our top speed is forty-five and supporting waves from all the other traffic really enhances our ability to accept one ugly drive. My son, a bit of a rigid man, occasionally waves back.

Pulling up in front of our new home, twenty-six hours since leaving Erie, my son says “Do not ever ask me to do this again. I am so hungry, please go get something to eat and wake me when your back”.

I drive down Market St. caring little about what to eat; “First place I see” I mumble incoherently. A Kentucky fried Chicken pops into view; I immediately pull in, park, enter and get in line.

The place is rather busy but with only four customers in front of me, it should be quick. As I look around, I become aware of a huge man behind me, tapping a nervous size forty cowboy boot on the tile floor. I am five foot eight and his belt buckle is level with my nose.

I am next and step up to the counter. The woman asks; “Wha yo wan”? I’ll take a bucket of chicken, cold slaw and two Pepsi’s”. She goes to place the order. The cowboy boot is tapping at a quicker pace. She returns and says “Etta criby”? I think she must be talking to someone named Etta so I do not react. Narrowing her eyebrows she leans forward directly in my face and says; “Etta criby”? Embarrassment and confusion is taking over because I have no clue what she is saying. I still do not reply.

Goliath in cowboy boots thumps me in my back. Leaning over he yells in my ear; “WHA SHE IS ASKIN’ YA’ALL IS EXTRA CRISPY“! I tell her “sure, absolutely…of course”. Picking up the order, I‘m gone in seconds. Driving back to the house I recall the moving to Peru thought; “I have a language to learn,” I mutter.

Waking my son he questions, “What took so long”? “I was talking to Etta”. “Who is Etta“? “Never mind, eat your chicken”.

KOREAN FAT BOY 3

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KOREAN FAT BOY 3

Rita, Rita, Rita

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Have you ever just looked at something and knew the wheel was turning but the hamster was dead?

North Korea Fat Boy – Two

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North Korea Fat Boy - Two

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“Yes that girl, right there…Have her bring five pizzas”.

I MUST BE A REDNECK….…… AT LEAST I AM ACCORDING TO THIS.

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“Picked up along the way for your enjoyment”…..David

 

We have enjoyed the redneck jokes for years. It’s time to
Take a reflective look at the core beliefs of a culture that
Values home, family, country and God. If I had to stand
Before a dozen terrorists who threaten my life, I’d
Choose a half dozen or so rednecks to back me up.
Tire irons, squirrel guns and grit — that’s what rednecks are
Made of.  

You might be a redneck if: It never occurred to you to
Be offended by the phrase, ‘one nation, under God….’
    
You might be a redneck if: You’ve never protested about seeing
The 10 Commandments posted in public places.

You might be a redneck if: You still say ‘ Christmas’
Instead of ‘Winter Festival.’

You might be a redneck if: You bow your head when
Someone prays.

You might be a redneck if: You stand and place your
Hand over your heart when they play the National Anthem

You might be a redneck if: You treat our armed forces
Veterans with great respect, and always have.

You might be a redneck if: You’ve never burned an
American flag, nor intend to.

You might be a redneck if: You know what you believe
And you aren’t afraid to say so, no matter who is listening.

You might be a redneck if: You respect your elders and
Raised your kids to do the same.
Some of you are so old you don’t have elders to respect.

You might be a redneck if: You’d give your last dollar to
A friend.

You might be a redneck if: You believe in God & Jesus

And believe that others have the right to believe in which

Ever God they believe in as long as their God does not

Tell them to kill anyone who does not believe the same

As they do!

God Bless the USA!

Keep the fire burning, redneck friend. You can pass it on to your redneck friends

And Associates———It is totally acceptable and might save our Country.

IN GOD WE TRUST!
 

 

 
 

 

 

Men Remember…Anonymous

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     A woman awakes during the night to find that her husband is not in bed. She puts on her robe and goes downstairs to look for him. She finds him sitting at the kitchen table with a hot cup of coffee in front of him. He appears to be in deep thought, just staring at the wall. She watches as he wipes a tear from his eye and takes a sip of his coffee. ‘What’s the matter, dear?’ she whispers as she steps into the room. ‘Why are you down here at this time of night? The husband looks up from his coffee and says, ‘It’s the 20th Anniversary of the day we met.’ She can’t believe he has remembered and starts to tear up.
    The husband continues, ‘Do you remember 20 years ago when we started dating? I was 18 and you were only 16,’ he says solemnly. Once again, the wife is touched to tears. ‘Yes, I do,’ she replies. The husband pauses. The words were not coming easily.
    ‘Do you remember when your father caught us in the back seat of my car?’ ‘Yes, I remember,’ says the wife, lowering herself into the chair beside him. The husband continues, ‘Do you remember when he shoved the shotgun in my face and said, “Either you marry my daughter or I will send you to prison for 20 years?’ ‘I remember that, too,’ she replies softly. He wiped another tear from his cheek and says, “I would have gotten out today.”

 

 
 

 

Smoked Turkey

Aside

Smoked a turkey for today. Most of the cost was for the ashtray.

Waste Management

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Living in the county outside city limits requires residents to purchase privately owned trash pick-up; the cost of which keeps rising. A new company offering a much lower price began operating in our neighborhood. I purchased their service.
The following Monday I called the existing company to cancel the service. “Good Morning, this is Waste Management, how may I help you”? “This is Elmer Shoe, I’m calling to cancel my service”, I replied. “Are you moving Mr. Shoe”? “No, madam, I’m just cancelling”. She went on, “can you give a reason why”? “No, I’d rather not open that door if you don’t mind”. She presses on. “I need to know why you’re cancelling your service Mr. Shoe”. “Alright, if it’s that important, you charge too much”.
“Mr. Shoe, are you going with the new company”? “Yes I am”. At this point I feel forbearance walking away. “Our service is better”, she adds. “Miss Management how on earth could it be better, a guy picks up a trash can and dumps it in the truck, what is he wearing a tux”?
“You’re missing my point”, she blurts. Patience leaves the building…“Point, what point”? “Mr. Shoe, my can is bigger than their can”! “Oh, in that case you should consider Jenny Craig”? She hung up.