Posted 10-11-2003 at 05:49:42
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That boy got another hog yesterday evening. What a nightmare. He comes up to the house at a dead run wanting me to open the safe so he can get the 30-30. I didn't hear exactly what he said, he and Fred were talking excitedly on the Nextel. I did hear something like...'buncha hogs...buncha hogs..'
This was maybe five o'clock. I reminded him not to run with the gun. Okay. He comes back a half hour later. Put the gun back in the safe.
"I need the keys to your truck so I can go get my hog."
"Cuz you're not driving my truck down in that swamp and getting it stuck back there, cuz that's where it'll stay until the tires rot off of it."
"It won't get stuck."
"Nope mean nope means nope means nope. Get it?"
"Okay I'll take the wagon."
This is the feed wagon he's talking about. A human propelled garden type wagon type thing with balloon tires. The four wheeler has a flat, the three wheeler won't start and Fred had the tractor key. He got in a snit because we got it stuck in the mud and took the key hostage.
"You're wasting your time, it won't roll in the grove. Too much sand."
"I know what I'm doing."
"Never mind," I said getting up, "we'll take the truck."
"No, you're right, it'll probably get stuck."
"Well make up my dang mind." I said sitting back down.
He was gone until after six so I went looking for him, met him halfway through the grove.
"It didn't work." He said
"Naw!" I said, feigning disbelief.
"Let's get the truck." He said.
"Well, I'm going with you." I insisted.
"Well, I'm driving." Chin all stuck out.
Danged if we didn't get stuck, after I told him......
"Stay to the left! Stay to the left Jake! Don't you see that dam bog!?"
"I know what I'm doing!"
You'd think by now he'd be too embarrassed to say stuff like that. Ten minutes later after spinning the tires uselessly I got out to push and got speckled all over with mud but we got out. Found the hog down by the swamp, about a hundred and fifty pound sow, solid black. I complimented him on the good clean kill. Then I saw my feed wagon. It was in five pieces.
"I don't.....I don't know what to say about that. You ruined my feed wagon."
"I can fix it, don't worry."
We loaded hog, and wagon (pieces) in the truck.
"Not to hurt your feelings or anything but I'm driving back."
"Fine." He headed for the passenger side.
"I gave you very clear directions to stay to the left and you...."
Had to pass between two trees. I would have felt uncomfortable driving a bicycle between them. Tight squeeze. I didn't remember passing through them on the way in. Jake assured me we did, but he's such a good driver that he never even had to slow down, he said. Well, two can play that game. Whip, through we went. Crunch. I stopped.
"You want me to go get your side view mirror and chunk it in the palmettos so Fred won't see it?"
I bit my lower lip.
"Might not be a bad idea, but he's bound to notice it's missing eventually."
"That could take days...or even weeks."
"Nah" I said, "just toss it in the back. I'll try to get it fixed before he notices it's gone.
We approached the bog where Jake got stuck and my confidence started to waiver. It was boggier than ever after we had already gotten stuck in it once. There was some solid looking ground to the right, where I had tried to direct him to drive earlier. It was mushy, but it was as of yet, unmolested by tires.
"Hang on boy, we are not getting stuck, that is a promise."
While still on relatively dry ground I hit the gas and we sailed on through, rooster tails galore. Next thing I know we were in one of the rows of the grove, good solid driving base. I must have blocked out the scary part because I don't remember getting there.
After we got back to the house we laughed about it like we always do. I tucked my side view mirror under the seat, noted the long scrape in the passenger door, so I parked with the passenger side facing the pasture but if I know Fred just right, by sunset tomorrow he'll be staring me down wanting to know what happened to my mirror. For the moment the nightmare is over for Jake. For me it's just beginning. Thank God it's just an old work truck.