Category Archives: Humor

Squirrels Attack!

 

McSquizzy

McSquizzy

 

Long-time readers of this blog might have the opinion that I am prejudiced against squirrels. While I have written about previous confrontations with the pesky varmints cute little critters, I firmly believe there is a place for them in this world: right next to the mashed potatoes and gravy.

Occasionally, we outdoorsmen are accused of exaggeration. Some question the accuracy of our measurements or the veracity of our reports. Some would say it is impossible for a fish to be so big that the level of the lake drops three inches when he is taken out. Some would say that a buck with a rack that looks like a rocking chair on his head is beyond the realm of plausibility. They might, and I emphasize MIGHT, have a point, but I assure you that what I am about to tell you is the pure, unadulterated truth. I will not blame the reader for skepticism. Had I not witnessed it first hand, I would be slow to believe it myself, but in the words of the late, great Wendy Bagwell, this is a fact with my hand up.

There are those who think that squirrels are just cute, energetic little things that are happy all the time. They labor under the misconception that squirrels, while perhaps a bit shy around humans are basically harmless and the only thought that goes through their acorn-sized mind is where to find the next nut.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Squirrels are devious, destructive beasts who are capable of distinguishing between different types of firearms, planning coordinated attacks and are intent upon inflicting bodily harm on humans.

A few days ago, my two sons and I went deer hunting on my grandmother’s farm. It was a nice fall afternoon and the total absence of deer was counter-balanced by the serenity of the great outdoors. The boys were located in their hunting spots and I was comfortably situated in my hunting chair with my feet propped up on a fallen log. Life was good and I was completely relaxed.

The tranquility was suddenly shattered by an explosion of shrill chattering and barking. A squirrel had completed a recon mission on my situation and decided that I did not pose a threat to him. He doubtlessly knew this from the orange vest I was wearing and the deer rifle that I was holding (I told you they could tell the difference between guns). He jumped from behind a tree and engaged in a rush of angry monologue. I am not fluent in Squirrelese, but I had no doubt of the content of his words. He was cussing me out. This is not unusual, it has happened to me, and many other woodsmen, before.

While the first squirrel was continuing his diatribe against me, I began to hear objects striking the ground close behind me. I turned around in my seat and craned my neck to look up in the hickory tree behind me. Another squirrel had snuck up behind me while I was distracted by his partner and was bombing me with nuts. He would scamper along a limb until he found a nut that hadn’t yet fallen, pull the nut off the branch and launch it in my direction. He fired six or seven shots. He didn’t just chunk them randomly, I could see him actually taking aim, adjusting for the wind and elevation. The only thing that kept me from getting hit was the fact that he was too weak to throw them far enough away from the tree. Had he been as big as even a fox squirrel or raccoon, I would undoubtedly have knots on my head now.

So be careful, my friends, next time you are around these scampering, chattering, bombarding menaces. They may look cute and charming, but they are probably just on a recon mission to find the best way to attack you.

I Feel Better Now

   After watching this clip, I feel better knowing that other countries have to deal with assinine politics too.

 

   HT: Kelley Murphy

Help for Undecided Voters

Just in case you are undecided on the next election, here’s a little help for you. I don’t normally post things that are forwarded in e-mails, but my good buddy, Rob, sent me this one and I couldn’t pass it up.

Are you a Democrat, a Republican, or a Southerner?

Here is a little test that will help you decide. The answer can
be found by posing the following question:
You’re walking down a deserted street with your wife and two
small children.
Suddenly, an Islamic Terrorist with a huge knife comes around
the corner, locks eyes with you, screams obscenities, praises Allah, raises
the knife, and charges at you. You are carrying a 40 caliber Glock, and you
are an expert shot. You have mere seconds before he reaches you and your
family. What do you do?

Democrat’s Answer:
Well, that’s not enough information to answer the question!
Does the man look poor or oppressed?
Have I ever done anything to him that would inspire him to
attack?
Could we run away?
What does my wife think?
What about the kids?
Could I possibly swing the gun like a club and knock the knife
out of his hand?
What does the law say about this situation?
Does the Glock have an appropriate safety built into it?
Why am I carrying a loaded gun anyway, and what kind of message
does this send to society and to my children?
Is it possible he’d be happy with just killing me?
Does he definitely want to kill me, or would he be content just
to wound me?
If I were to grab his knees and hold on, could my family get
away while he was stabbing me?
Should I call 9-1-1?
Why is this street so deserted?
We need to raise taxes, have a paint and weed day, and make this
a happier, healthier street that would discourage such behavior.
This is all so confusing! I need to debate this with some
friends for few days and try to come to a consensus.

Republican’s Answer:
BANG!

Southerner’s Answer:
BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG!
BANG! Click….. (Sounds of reloading)
BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG!
BANG! Click
Daughter: ‘Nice grouping, Daddy! Were those the Winchester
Silver Tips or Hollow Points?’
Son: “Can I shoot the next one?”
Wife: “You’re not takin’ that to the Taxidermist!”

Editorial note: This post is tongue-in-cheek and is not intended to make fun of Southerners, Republicans or Islamic terrorists.

Top Ten Signs You’ve Been Watching Too Much Olympics Coverage

I thought it might be time to have a little fun, so with apologies to David Letterman here goes.

10.  You can immediately distinguish the difference in each flag that represents a former Soviet republic.

9.  You start planning your child’s future in four-year segments.

8.  Bronze has become your third-favorite metallic substance.

7.  “Prime time” now means “before lunch”.

6.  You are applying start values based on difficulty to all of your home projects.

5.  You can look at a total stranger and tell what country they are from simply by the color of clothes they are wearing.

4.  Eastern European names roll off of your tongue as easily as do “Smith” and “Jones”.

3.  You attempt to calculate your own weight in kilograms.

2.  You use the word “riposte” in a conversation and actually know what you are talking about.

1.  You are starting to consider badminton as a sport.

Feel free to add your own to the list.

Ya’ Think?

I couldn’t believe this news headline:

Experts Say Gasoline Is Overpriced

 

It appears that only when Congress hears from “Experts” do they get the message.

Speaking of which, someone once broke down the word “expert” for me. “Ex” is “has-been”, “spurt” is “a squirt under pressure.”

Do I Look Like a Threat to National Security?

I’m serious. I’m a patriotic, law-abiding, tax-paying, voting citizen of the good ol’ US of A. I have ancestors who have fought in every war in our nations illustrious history. My forefathers were among the earliest colonists. I still get chills when I hear the “Star-Spangled Banner”. I am an American.

Which is why I was shocked and humiliated on my recent trip to Washington, D.C. to find myself being pulled aside and searched in a very personal manner.

As most of my readers will know, my brother, his family and mine got together at his home in Virginia a couple of weeks ago. We had a great visit and saw some incredible fall foliage. While we were there, we had planned to tour our nation’s capital together. One of the sites on the itinerary was the U.S. Capitol building.

I took great pains in preparing for the day to deliberately eliminate items from my attire that might arouse suspicion. I left my pocket knife in the hotel room. I chose not to wear my shotgun shell studded belt since it has a lot of extra metal on it, opting instead for a plain black leather job.

I had already passed through a number of metal detectors without incident. We went through the very thorough security checkpoint to enter the capitol building without a hitch. Just innocent tourists seeing the sights and pointing them out to our kids.

Having obtained some passes to the Senate gallery from our tour guide, we decided to drop in and see our tax dollars at work. We dropped off those items, such as cameras, etc., that were prohibited at the check room and proceeded to yet another security point.

The rest of our group went through with no problem and I assumed that I was okay as well. As I approached the gate, I noticed a box of disposable rubber gloves on top. It seemed as if a few were missing. The forefinger of one stuck ominously out of the slot in the box. It seemed to fold over and point itself at me as I handed my keys to the guard.

“I’m sorry, sir,” he said, “You can’t take these into the Senate.”

“Are you serious?” I asked. “These are keys.”

At my use of the word “serious”, his left eyebrow arched slightly as if to say, “I never joke.”

“This is a battery-operated, electronic device,” he replied, pointing to the remote keyless entry thing-a-ma-bob that opens the door to my Jeep. “You can’t take battery operated, electronic devices into the Senate. Please take it back down to the check-room.”

Feeling a bit foolish (although, I don’t know why) I made my back down the corridor to the check room. The attendant grinned when he saw me.

“Back so soon?”

Wordlessly, I handed him my key ring.

“Ah,” he said knowingly, “Happens all the time.”

Feeling a little less confident I once again approached the security point. The two guards, one male and one female, were eyeing me suspiciously. The rubber finger sticking out of the box of gloves seemed to be getting longer. I took a deep breath and walked through the gate.

Sure enough, it lit up like a Christmas tree and emitted a loud tone that caused several heads in the corridor to turn and look at me as if I should be on the next boat to Guantanamo.

“Sir, please step over to the side and raise your hands,” the female guard instructed with all the sternness of a fifth grade English teacher reprimanding a little boy for saying “Ain’t”.

Right there, in front of my family and the world, I stood with my hands in the air as she swept me from head to toe with a battery-operated electronic device that for some reason made me think of these guys.

As the device passed over my right pants pocket, it gave a loud “Beep”. I flinched, expecting to be vaporized at any second. The guard’s eyes went to the box of rubber gloves.

It was at that moment that I had an epiphany and discovered what James meant by “effectual, fervent prayer.” Thankfully, God intervened and the gloves remained in the box.

“Sir, what do you have in your pocket?” She asked coldy.

Before I could stammer out that I had a pocketful of change, she suddenly decided to FRISK me and began grabbing handfuls of my leg.

YIKES!!!!

“It’s change, it’s nothing but money,” I was finally able to gasp.

She finally became convinced that I was telling the truth and let me pass, but my humiliation was complete.

Can you believe that? It was money, legal tender that had been validated and minted under the authority of the very people I was going to see working (?).

Then, after all of that, we entered the Senate and saw a grand total of five Senators on the job. I have a hunch the other ninety-five were hard at work coming up with a bi-partisan plan to further humiliate their constituents.

Now, I realize that security is important. One of the most basic rights guaranteed to American citizens is the government’s protection of the innocent’s right-to-life from those who would threaten them.

That makes me wonder, how strictly do they search the Senators before they release them upon the general public?

The Great Yellowjacket Caper

   From time to time, I enjoy writing about the outdoor adventures that I experience with my two sons. One of our favorite activities is squirrel hunting. We really enjoy hunting them, and eating them is fun, too. It seems like just about anything can happen when you are in pursuit of these fuzzy little critters. With the fall season fast approaching, we are eagerly anticipating the opportunity to go after a mess of ’em.

   The events of this story took place about five years ago on my grandmother’s farm. She lives about 45 minutes away from us and we enjoy going over there and hunting, fishing and just generally knocking around in the woods.

   My oldest son, Clay, was 6 at the time. One Saturday morning, I took him and (another little boy who was 4 whose name I promised not to mention–hereafter known only as “X”) squirrel hunting at Nana’s (my grandmother) place.

   It was a balmy fall morning, slightly overcast and the squirrels were active. We had already bagged two or three in the location where we had started and decided to move around a bit since Clay and Gl X were getting antsy.

   We started making our way through a stand of oak trees when I happened to look up at the sky and saw a bald eagle flying overhead. This was the first (and only) bald eagle I have ever seen on my grandmother’s farm and I began to move more quickly trying to get a clearer look at it as it flew slowly over the watermelon field that was between the woods where we were hunting and Nana’s house.  The boys were trying to keep up with me and I didn’t want to get too far ahead of them, so I found an opening in the trees that gave me a clear view and stopped to watch the eagle fly away.

   It was then that little X hollered that he was stuck in some briars. Clay, being a helpful brother, stopped to help him get untangled. I began to make my way to them, when suddenly Clay yelled, “Yellowjackets!”

   Yellowjackets, being the sneaky sort of bug that they are, often build their nests in the ground. Leaves can cover the openings to the nest leaving them practically invisible. Unbeknownst to X, when he got tangled in the briars, his little foot was sinking down into a large yellowjacket nest.

   The pandemonium that ensued could best be described by imagining a whirlwind in a henhouse. I dropped my gun and ran back to where Clay was still trying to disentangle X from the grip of the briars, even as the yellowjackets were rising from the nest and circling angrily around them. X felt the prick of the briars and thought the yellowjackets were stinging him and began to scream.

   I told Clay to run for it and grabbed X by his arm, pulling him free of the briars. His shoe (brand new–naturally I had grabbed the wrong ones that morning) came off in the yellowjacket nest. I drug him through the woods with the yellowjackets in pursuit as we tried to catch up with Clay who had suddenly found his high gear.

   We made it out of the woods and realized that the yellowjackets were no longer chasing us, but that the boys had them crawling all over them. Concerned that they might be up their sleeves or pants legs, I told the boys to take their clothes off. They stripped down to their skivvies and for some unknown reason, they turned in unison and took off through the watermelon patch for Nana’s house wearing nothing but their Fruit-of-the-looms.

   I tried to catch up with them (just for the record, I was fully clothed) but they were running in a highly motivated fashion. When I breathlessly arrived at the house, they were huffing and puffing and crying and trying to explain to Nana what had happened.

   After a careful examination, we found that X had miraculously escaped being stung. He had some pretty bad scratches from being snatched out of the briar patch and he had picked up some sand spurs as he ran through the watermelon patch, but was otherwise alright.

   Clay only received one sting. Wouldn’t you know that it was on the very end of his middle finger? He went around the rest of the day showing people the wounded digit. I finally told him, “Son, you either have to show them all your fingers or none of them.” (I didn’t want people to think the preacher’s kid was giving them the one-fingered salute, you understand.)

   Eventually, I went back out there and retrieved their clothes, my gun and other paraphenalia that they had shed in their flight. Unfortunately, the new shoe that X lost had to stay with the yellowjackets. By the time I got back they had adopted it as part of their house and were having a victory party in it.

   There have been times when I have questioned the intellectual abilities of squirrels, but this experience made me wonder if maybe the squirrels had formed some kind of military alliance with the yellowjackets.

   Nah, I guess that’s just me being paranoid.

   Or is it…

Editorial note: This story was approved by all of those involved in the squirrel hunt. X read and approved this article before it was posted.

The Day I Made Papa Mad

   I had the best of intentions, I really did. I was only trying to help. I did not mean to cause chaos on the farm and make  Papa mad, but I did. As far as I can recollect, it was the only time in the seven years that Papa was part of my life that he got mad at me, his eldest grandson. Most of the time, I could do no wrong, as far as he was concerned, but on this day I blew it.

   Papa was a fisherman (actually, that’s somewhat of an understatement). He fished to eat. Speckled perch, shell-crackers and bream trembled at the thought of Papa even being near the lake. I believe if they could have, they would have jumped directly from the water into his fish cooker to avoid the humiliation of being hooked. He caught fish when no one else on the lake or even in the boat was catching fish.

   In fact, he was so good, that only once in all the times that we went fishing did I beat him. The last time we ever went fishing together I caught more than he did. It caused such such a stir in the community that local legend and Outdoor Hall-of-Famer, Jack Wingate took my picture with my fish and hung it on the wall of his restaurant where it remained for over 25 years.

   It was not unusual for Papa to go fishing 4 or 5 times a week. Since he lived way out in the country and the nearest bait store was several miles away, he developed his own bait supply. He had a nice worm bed where he would throw old coffee grounds and grits. The worms grew fat and sassy and were always in abundant supply.

   He also had a minnow tank that he had made out of one of those concrete vaults that go inside graves in the cemetary. He had located it out behind his tractor shed. It had a hole in the center that served as a drain. Plugging this hole was a piece of one-inch metal pipe. Filled with water and oxygenated by an aerator, it provided a nice abode for about a thousand minnows. They were very happy in their concrete fortress, blissfully unaware of the fact that they were destined to be eaten by bigger fish. They were also ignorant of the fact that outside that tank, the area was infested with about twenty or so cats that hung around the shed.

   It was in January of my fifth winter that the Incident occurred. We had a particularly hard cold snap that left a sheet of ice about an inch thick over the top of the minnow tank. You need to understand that it hardly ever gets that cold in South Georgia, so this was a new experience for me.

   As I looked at the minnow tank, it seemed likely to me that the minnows would not be able to get enough air to breathe. There was no way that oxygen could into the tank through that layer of ice. I could just imagine the ice thawing out in a couple of days to reveal a thousand dead minnows who had suffocated.

   I knew if that happened, Papa would be out bait for the speckled perch that I so dearly loved to eat. In addition, he would have to buy more minnows to restock the tank and that would be a lot of trouble. So, I decided to do him a favor.

   I climbed up on the cinder blocks that the tank was sitting on and leaned over the side with a stick in my hand. I figured that if I could break the ice, the minnows would be able to breathe again and the crisis would be averted. Alas, for the best laid plans of five year old boys! I leaned over just a little too far and fell into the tank, breaking the ice and completely soaking myself. That was undoubtedly the coldest water I have ever felt. It was so cold that suddenly the minnows looked like penguins.

   My younger brother stood there gazing in astonishment as I came up for air, too cold to even scream. All the noise I could manage was something that could best be described as a combination of a shriek, a gasp and a wheeze.

   In all the excitement, I managed to dislodge the metal pipe that served as a drain plug. The water began to pour out of the bottom of the tank, taking a thousand hapless minnows with it. The ground was was literally covered with flopping minnows (They did seem to be happy about the fresh air, although they were probably wondering where all the water went).

   I don’t know how the cats discovered the smorgasboard so quickly, but before I could even get out of the tank, they came pouring in from all directions like good Baptists coming to a covered-dish supper. In the days to come, everytime I would walk by the shed they would gather around me with the expectations that I would provide another feast for them.

    About that time, Papa came around the corner of the shed and saw what was happening. I had never seen the expression that came across his face before. It was a “what-in-this-world-are-you-doing-why-in-this-world-would-you-do-it-how-in-this-world-could-you-do-it” look.

   We went back inside the house. While my mom and grandma tried to get me out of my wet clothes, Papa started telling me how mad he was with me. He told me that I could never come to his house again. I couldn’t even come in his yard (we lived next door at the time). He told me he was going to put up signs that said, “No Trespassing, Scoot” (“Scoot” was my nickname back then). If I wanted to talk to Nana, I would just have to get her to come to my house or either stand at the edge of the yard and talk to her. Of course, in my semi-frozen condition, I thought he was serious.

   After a couple of days, I realized that he wasn’t mad anymore and started going back to his house, but I didn’t get anywhere near that minnow tank.

Retrospect in Green

   I have heard that a good way to clear your thoughts is to put them down on paper. Since my thoughts are mostly virtual, I will attempt to write them on virtual paper. This may or may not make sense, I just need to get them out there.

   I was faced with the revelation that Earth Day has come and gone and I did not celebrate it, how irresponsible of me. I must confess that I am not the “greenest” individual on the planet. The last time I hugged a tree was when I was climbing one as a kid. I slipped and nearly fell out of one and hugged it like my very life depended on it.

    Don’t get me wrong. I love trees. They are beautiful, they contribute to the welfare of the planet. I respect them for that. I admire their stateliness and always wave at them when they leave. (Get it? Trees? Leave…never mind.) They also provide habitat for squirrels and other animals.

   I try to be conscious about conserving water, too. I turn the water off when I’m brushing my teeth. I thought about going with just one bath per week but then I realized that there are other environmental factors at stake besides water.

   In short, I try my best to be a good citizen of the blue planet. But I am learning that there are others who are trying harder. As it turns out, McDonald’s (yes, the restaurant chain) is fast becoming a global pacesetter in environmental awareness and political correctness conservation efforts.

   Try this on for size. The next time you enter the Golden Arch Supper Club and order a Big Mac, you can eat in the peaceful assurance that the miniscule amount of ground beef that is mixed with soy product to form the two patties did not come from a cow that was raised in a pasture where there once was a rainforest. Neither will they feed you chicken that ate soybeans from fields that were formerly rainforest.

   In addition, they boast that their paper and cardboard products are from recycled material. I don’t know about you, but my earth sense just gets to feeling all warm and fuzzy to think that my lunch is wrapped in somebody else’s garbage.

   Now I have a couple of points that perhaps the brain trust at Mickey Dees might like to ponder. How many thousands of cubic yards of garbage is produced each year by those Happy Meal toys that tear up between your parking lot and the house?

   Another item to consider is cholesterol. Now I know that they are offering a more health-conscious menu lately, but is that because of genuine concern for providing a healthy environment or because they suddenly realized that customers who die from eating a heart-attack-on-a-bun can’t come back and buy lunch the next day? I think they realized that something must be done or else they would have to clear out a rainforest to make room for a new cemetary. I can’t help but wonder if “billions and billions served” is referring to burgers or grams of cholesterol.

   Then there is this whole thing of global warming. One hears so many conflicting reports  that one hardly knows what to believe (and that’s just from Al Gore). I was beginning to get concerned about this matter, but then I read this report and my fears are somewhat abated. It seems that major league baseball players hit considerably fewer home runs last month than they did in April of last year. The referenced report attributes this to the fact that the average temperature in baseball cities in April was over four degrees cooler than in the previous two years.  (Of course it could be because the hitters are finally getting off of the go-go juice.)

   So there you have it, my tribute to Earth Day. I’m going to go celebrate with a Big Mac, fries and shake.

Elvis Lives

   That’s right, you read it here. Elvis lives. I saw him with my own two eyes Saturday afternoon. I’ll bet you’ll never guess where, so let me tell you the story.

   As I mentioned in my Weekend Survey, I took the family to Lake Seminole State Park for some fun and relaxation. We left our house shortly after lunch and after stopping by my parent’s house to take them some strawberries, we went to the Wal-mart in Bainbridge, GA, to pick up some bratwursts and accompanying goodies.

   While we were doing our shopping, I heard the strains of “I Can’t Help Falling In Love With You” coming from the part of the store to where we were headed. As we passed the jewelry department, I saw a large banner advertising a karaoke contest. Sure enough, there was a short, somewhat chunky version of Elvis on stage singing to Marilyn Monroe. Elvis had on the ubiquitous white-sequined suit, unbuttoned in the front exposing his pasty white chest (it was whiter than the suit). His pompadour was bigger than he was.

   A few minutes later, we came back by and there was a preacher (?) on stage performing a marriage ceremony for Elvis and Marilyn. The cashier told me they were renewing their vows…dressed up in silly costumes…in Wal-mart. Isn’t that romantic?

   We continued on to the lake where we had a great time of fun and relaxation, all except for the four hours of non-stop jet skiing right in front of where I was trying to enjoy my Grisham novel. They were so loud that I could barely hear my Miles Davis CD.

   Pardon me for a ranting a little here. Why is that people on jet skis think that the whole world exists for watching them do stupid stunts and scream like maniacs? I began to recall a favorite episode of the Andy Griffith show in which Barney buys a motorcycle and begins to terrorize the citizens of Mayberry with it. Aunt Bee offered the solution of stringing a strand of barbed wire across the road. But, after I thought about it, I realized that probably wasn’t the Christian thing to do.

   Eventually they quit and I enjoyed fifteen minutes of blissful quiet before the mosquitoes came out and made me go home.

   All in all, it was a pretty fun day.