You slide into that stage where cussing is mandatory, “Git yer sorry @#%*! no-good bag of rumen contents in there! You think this is a home for pampered poop processors?

I’m gonna cull every @#%!* one of you if you don’t … Where’s that dog when I need him?”

Then the light dawns … yer good dog is already in the bed of the truck, guarding his territory.

Another time, I was trying to get one of my old farm trucks to start. It was a ’69 Chevy I had bought used. I remember it had a funny smell in the cab – it took me weeks to identify it.

It was only when I ran in to Oscar Van Oosten’s daughter and recognized the scent of a milking barn that I placed it.


Anyway, I called my daughter out to help me start the truck. I took off the air filter and had her lean under the hood and spray starter fluid (ether) into the top of the carburetor as I sat behind the steering wheel cranking the engine and pumping the gas pedal.

It would catch, then peter out. We switched positions, to no avail.

I hooked up the tow chain to the old Ford and had her pull me down the driveway, popping the clutch and banging on the chain. “Dang it!” I said, kicking the tire.

I raised the hood again and stared down at the malignant machine, holding an empty can of starter fluid. My daughter piped up, “You think it’s out of gas, Dad?”

Not until you spend all day digging and setting a nine-foot railroad tie in the corner of a four-acre field you just bought, then find out the next day that somebody moved the survey stake and your rock-solid post should actually be 14 feet to the southwest, do you realize you were just a little hasty. Maybe should have looked at the map a little closer.

My friend John was laying himself a nice sandstone floor on his mother-in-law’s veranda. He bought a new cement-cutting blade for his circular saw. “Doin’ it right!” he said to himself.

He started down a line on a piece four-and-a-half feet long. Then the blade tied up. He pushed and pushed, eventually cursing the @#%&!* sandstone, the veranda, the mother-in-law (quietly), the blade and the &^$#@ Chinese workers who made this worthless #@%&!!!! saw.

His wife heard the racket. She peeked out the screen door and listened to him curse and condemn the hardware store, the safety glasses and his sore leg. “Maybe,” she said, “It would cut a little easier if you took your knee off the cord!”   end mark