Heard a couple of humorous, true aggie stories this week. The first happened decades ago when one of my neighbors wuz farming/ranching with his dad. The enterprise wuz running a good sized sheep flock at the time mainly to keep the grass and weeds chomped down around the homestead and the farmstead lots and fence lines.
As it turned out, one of the rams in the flock turned out to have a nasty streak in his demeanor and, if you didn’t keep both eyes on him, that ram would happily run you over.
Well, one day the senior member of the family wuz out amongst the sheep and his attention on the ram flagged. So, predictably, at the very least opportune moment while he wuz bent over, the ram decided to take his best shot.
Wham! He literally rammed his senior owner butt over tea kettle. But, neither the impact nor the landing wuz the worst part of the “attack.” The worst part is that the senior owner had a bunch of phosphorus matches in his pocket and the impact of the ram collision ignited one match and that match proceeded to ignite the rest of the matches in his pocket.
Needless to say, a very quick al fresco disrobing ensued and no one ended up seriously hurt — except for senior’s feelings.
I didn’t hear what happened to the wayward ram after that episode. But, I know what would have happened to him if he’d been mine.
The second true story happened back in the 1980s. My friend, C. Faren Wyde, and his lovely wife had purchased a new glass-top cook stove and oven for their remodeled kitchen. The job of picking up their new stove and installing it fell to Faren.
So, he drove into Emporia with his flatbed truck to pick up the new stove and some other farm supplies. The stove, as all new ones are, wuz tightly packaged in a cardboard container.
Faren got the stove loaded on the flatbed and realized that he had no tie-down straps. But, he decided that he didn’t need to tie the stove down if he drove home carefully. So, he centered the packaged stove behind the cab and headed home.
Alas, Faren’s mind wandered and the stove slowly jiggled its way to the back on the flatbed. Faren glimpsed it fall off the back on the flatbed and watched in his rearview mirror as his new cook stove tumbled end over end down the middle of busily-traveled Highway 50.
Faren slammed on his brakes and returned to find his new stove still in its badly scarred cardboard container. He said he wuz so pumped up with adrenaline that he reloaded the stove all by himself.
As he limped home with his treasure, he just knew the new stove would be damaged beyond repair. He said he even thought seriously about simply pushing the stove and container onto the family scrap iron heap.
But, curiosity got the best of him and he decided to unpack the stove just to see how badly damaged it wuz. Much to his surprise, the glass top wuz unbroken. There wuz a tiny ding in a place no one would notice and one side of the stove had a minor-league dent.
He plugged it in and discovered that everything still worked — even the clock. So, Faren decided to make lemonade out of his lemon. He installed the stove in its spot in the kitchen. You couldn’t see the side-dent nor the tiny ding. And, when his lovely wife came home, he said nary a word about his accident with the stove.
Faren said it wuzn’t until weeks later that his conscience got the best of him and he made a belated confession. All wuz well and the stove worked for years until it needed to be replaced.
My New Mexico friend, Albie Kirky, and his son visited last week for their annual fall fishing trip. The cool weather and the new flood waters had woken up the fish and we ended up with lots of fillets for the Kirkys to take home..
The best day wuz at a watershed lake that the owner, my friend Phillip Stringer, said needed to have 500 pounds of fish taken from it annually to keep it in good fish population balance.
The bass and crappie were biting like mad and Phil told us to keep throwing them in the fish baskets.
Well, folks, when we finally started filleting the fish, Phil weighed the day’s catch. We caught 87 pounds of bass and crappie. Numerous bass were in the 3-4 pound range and the crappie were a foot to 14-inches long. We left Phil with all the fillets he wanted. When we left, Phil said, “I’m still sure we’re short of 500 pounds caught out of the lake this year. So. come back.” I will if the fall weather holds.
Got a couple of oldster quotes to end this column with. A few weeks ago at our weekly Old Boar’s Breakfast Club, one member of our informal group said his uncle used to reply, when asked about how he wuz feeling, “Well, I woke up this morning pretty sure I had a bunch of aches and pains, but my mind is so bad that I won’t know for sure until tomorrow.”
And, here’s a Miloism: “Getting old is like a game of hide and seek. You get up each morning and try to find the body part that hurts more or works worse than yesterday. Have a good ‘un.