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TRUCK STOP

BY Rich T.

“Hey, you know that plastic banding that came with your new mill?” Safety Ranger Todhunter asked. “You mean that thin plastic stuff that’s annoying as heck to try and put in a garbage can because it has a life of its own?”, I asked back… “Yup! Put a good length of it in your hunting pack and it will come in real handy fer draggin’ critters with!” he excitedly explained. “So, you don’t have to use your belt to drag an elk with? Which if I remember right, your belt just happened to break as you were tugging away on said elk, and you went backwards over a cliff and landed on your tailbone, thus earning you the coveted Herbie Award?” I retorted. He then went on about how he was “Railroaded” into receiving the Trophy as that particular incident really did not meet proper protocol for issuance of such a prestigious award. “Perhaps you’re right.” I agreed. “It was a borderline incident, protocol wise, but the snake incident wasn’t.” “Which one?” He asked. It had slipped my mind that there had been several snake encounters the two of us partook in, any one of which easily met the proper Herbie Award Protocol. So did coming face to face with a particularly fast Black Widow Spider in a large gopher hole while we slithered along the ground trying to get in range of an antelope with way more intelligence than we were displaying at that particular moment. (Jason wanted to borrow one of my arrows and one of my empty sandwich bags so we could catch that Spider and bring it home to show the “Kids” …) Still not convinced that any of this that he had been a part of was good Herbie Award material, I explained to him, “Well then surely the dead badger in the back of the pickup that suddenly came back to life, twice, certainly was an award winning moment.” I went on, “And as long as we’re discussing small critters regarding Herbie Award Protocol, remember the Skunk Incident?” Ya, he remembered that one… The Skunk way out in the middle of nowhere, The spot on the wall of the “trappin’/deer n elk hangin’/general storage of huntin’ n fishin’ stuff room” out in the barn that indeed lacked a properly tanned skunk hide… (That’s the only time I’ve ever seen an epic skunk battle with the only weapon being a broken fence post instead of arrows or bullets as it was critical that the skunk hide didn’t have a bunch of extra holes in it…) Heading home with the skunk secured to the spare tire on the Ol’ Jeep-Car, we almost pulled it off but darn the luck, the Jeep-Car sprung a radiator leak thus requiring a “Tow Home” from Safety Wife Diana Todhunter, which come to find out, didn’t much care for skunk aroma, or us, for that matter… We did make it up to her not long after though when she shot a nice bull elk that Ross Tee and I assisted on getting to the pickup. “Remember what happened when we went to load that elk in your pickup?” I asked Safety Four-Wheeler Driver Todhunter. Having flat wore ourselves out dragging that elk out, wait a minute… I should explain this “Elk” a little better. It was only the front half as the back half Safety Elk Dragger Todhunter managed to get out the previous day. Well, the front half of that nice bull had spent the night up on the mountain in sub-zero weather and was now a frozen “Elk Statue” that bordered on impossible to drag. Fast forward with me now as we are attempting to load this hunk of frozen elk statue into the back of Jason’s truck, and whereas the elk statue was sorta kinda still somewhat attached to the four-wheeler, the general consensus amongst the small group of wore flat out Elk Draggers was leave the elk on the four wheeler, and simply drive up the ramps into the back of the pickup. It was working perfectly too until the frozen elk shifted and an undetermined appendage of that elk managed to push the throttle of the four-wheeler and it went into the back of the pickup “wide-open”. That turned into quite the rodeo what with the frozen elk on the four-wheeler, and Safety Cannot Find The Damn Kill Switch Todhunter on top of it all desperately trying to avoid the spinning back wheels whilst flailing his big mittens at the handlebars in an attempt to shut the darned thing off… “Good one.” He said. “But still not enough to meet Herbie Award Protocol.” “Maybe not, but how about the argument you got into with your dog over fetchin’ a Coot that I believe you lost?” (Safety Duck Hunter Todhunter at the mention of this incident immediately went into a tirade which isn’t printable here, and darned if it wasn’t awful close to the same tirade he had that day when Addison, the duck fetching machine refused to bring to shore a Coot that one of us had just shot.) Oh sure, she swam out and grabbed the Coot in her mouth and instantly spit it out and came back without it. “ADDISON!!! FETCH!!!” the duck hunter told his prized dog. “Nope. Ain’t gonna do it,” the dog said back to the duck hunter. “It ain’t right… Don’t know what it is, but it certainly ain’t a duck…” (Coots are weird and have fur instead of feathers and their feet aren’t totally webbed like a bird otta have considering they float around all day, and are not on the list of retrievable critters as far as Safety Duck Hunter Todhunter’s dog Addison was concerned…) And as luck would have it, the wind pushed the Coot right to us about the same time that the epic Duck Hunter/Dog argument came to and end…

“So, Jason, is the Herbie Award at your house now? Like permanently since 2008?” I asked. “My house? What about your house? Wasn’t it there for almost a year once upon a time? Let us discuss some of your occurrences that clearly meet Herbie Award Protocol!”, he replied. “Good point.” I said. “Between the two of us, the Herbie would probably never go back across the divide again. We could go on with some of those tales but darn, I’m outa room…”

Until next time,

That Is All.

Rich T.




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