Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Farm Truck

Trucks are an amazing species of automobile

With a variety of sizes, shapes and number of wheels.

The one I favor, we’ve all seen

Is the slightly worn farmer’s machine.

Now some trucks are impeccable, not a speck of dust to be found.

Some trucks are fixed up for show and racing, not for driving around.

The farmer’s truck, however, is unmatched in the ring.

With custom features, amazing paint and questionable dings.

The inside will most likely have spit cups, feed sacks, & old hay string.

On the dash will be a set of fencing pliers, some Chewing tobacco, & a John Deere O Ring.

In the back window is a cattle prod, a lasso & an old 410

Behind the seat there is a chainsaw blade and a latch off the old chicken pen.

Now the back of the truck stirs a different emotion

The smell and looks shows the truck’s undying devotion.

Old cow feed has fermented in the corners.

There is a shovel, a chain and a set of dehorners.

Hydraulic oil, herbicide, diesel fuel & what looks like a wooly bear,

Have sloshed together to form the EPA’s worst nightmare.

There is a gooseneck ball welded to the bed,

That has been pasted down for generations that he found in his shed.

Now the truck is most likely a couple different color shades,

Because of paint, mud, 1/2” of Dust and other decay.

Now this truck may rattle and shake a bit,

But crossing the ditches has been hell on the muffler kit.

The truck is a regular at the feed store and coffee shop,

Most likely a dog rides in it when they are checking crops.

Now you may wonder why anyone would drive that,

But it takes a certain kind with a certain cowboy hat.

The kind that goes out into the rainy night

to pull a calf with only the beams of his head lights.

That ole truck is in charge of moving a lot of stuff across this ole course,

Like a neighbor’s broken down car or a grandson’s new horse.

That truck has stopped on the road to jump off a stranger’s car,

And on cattle working days, has become an eating bar.

Never judge a man by the looks of his ole truck,

You might need a ride one day, when you run out of luck.

Monday, February 21, 2011

The Arkansas Vet

I had two Team Roping buddies that loved this story. I have been thinking about them a lot lately and I wanted to pass this story along. This is for Daniel "Strait" Smith & Daniel Clemmons.
I was down in Southwestern Arkansas at a college rodeo. When your Team Roping in college rodeo, you get two runs with two different partners. My first partner missed, however my second partner did not fail me. We had a fast enough run to make it to the short go on Saturday night.
Now on Friday night of every college rodeo, there is a knock down, drag out party somewhere. In this case, the county in Arkansas we were in was dry, so this meant we were going to have to go into Louisiana. While we were getting ready to go I noticed my horse, Ole Roper, didn't appear to be feeling 100%. I fetched him up some feed, but he was not interested. This was bad! Roper never missed an opportunity to fatten himself up!
Plans for the Louisiana party had to be put on hold. The partner who couldn't hit the broad side of the barn that weekend, didn't even offer to help me. The last I saw of him that night, was tail lights on a dually, headed south.
I did find my other partner and between the both of us we found a phone number of a local vet. Now to this medical expert's defense, it was Friday night around 10 o'clock when I called.
"Hello. This is Dr. John." he said in a slurred voice.
"Yeah. My name is Matt Carroll. I'm down here for the college rodeo. Sorry it's so late, but we just finished up the performance round." I responded in a rush.
"No worries. What can I help ya' with?" he said.
"Well I got a 9 year old Quarter Horse here. He ain't acting right. Almost colicy...but not." I said as if I could diagnose.
"Sounds bad. I'll be there in a few minutes. I'm just up the road." CLICK as he hung up the phone.
A little confused, but feeling a little more comforted, I went back to my horse and roping partner. I told him that the vet was on the way. Thirty minutes later, my partner and myself were brushing Roper down. The sound that caught our attention first could be compared to a bucket of horse shoes being thrown down a flight of stairs. Coming into the arena parking lot, was a rust brown pickup, with a loosely attached vet box on the back. The truck had on the flashers, but only had one head light. At some point, the decal on the side that I assume said Really Good Vet Service, had fallen off, leaving the paint an off color from the already off colored truck.
He came to a sliding stop beside our trailer. Despite the dust catching up to the truck, we could see the older gentleman finishing off what we first thought was coffee.
He hopped out of the truck with his empty travel coffee mug and said "Evening fellers!" as he made his way towards the back of the truck. He pulled up the lever on the tailgate with one hand, and banged on the broken latch with the other. The tailgate fell open with a thud. He reached into his aging vet box and pulled out a stethoscope, a bottle of Long Island Ice Tea Mix, a thermometer, a bottle of Sweet and Sour, some injectable cattle wormer, and some Coca Cola.
"You boys win any money today?" He asked as he mixed himself a Long Island Ice Tea.
"Well we made the short go, so maybe we will win some tomorrow."
He grabbed the thermometer and stethoscope and proceeded to check out Roper.
"Did he eat good today?" he asked.
"Yes sir. Just like normal."
"Well we'll go ahead and give him a shot to make his guts relax and I'll go ahead and give him some mineral oil to help lubricate his insides." he said.
He proceeded to pour gallons of mineral down poor Roper's throat, only to follow by one of the
most violent pricks of a needle you've ever seen.
"When's the last time you wormed em'?" he inquired.
"Well. I guess a couple months ago. He is probably coming due for another round."
To my amazement, he went back to his truck. He finished off his drink, grabbed up the injectable cattle wormer, drew up a syringe full, and slammed Roper on the other side of the neck.
"Welp, that right there ought to cover it." he said as he rubbed Roper's head and looked into his eyes.
"Hold it a second boys. When's the last time this horse slept?" he asked.
"I guess it was last night."
"Well, did he sleep right here or did you let him lay down?"
"Well he was tied right there last night, if that's what your asking."
He seemed to smile in the most evil, drunk way.
"TURN EM' LOOSE!" He remarked.
I stared at him for a second, then spoke up "Come Again?"
This time he was nearly in a yell " R----E----M! TURN EM' LOOSE!"
I thought this must be some terrible disease that he has discovered, and it must be remarkably dangerous. That is why we must turn him loose...right?
The ole vet, tired of waiting, reached over and unsnapped Roper's halter. I was a little worried, but to my amazement Roper walked about three feet, and laid down. He immediately went to sleep.
The vet started walking back to his truck. He opened the creaky door, sat down and spelled out loud again "R----E----M! Rapid Eye Movement! Your ole' horse needed to sleep! HA! Ain't as bad as you thought?" he spoke rhetorically as he wrote out a bill.
Now that weekend we did win some money. Around $300. However when that ole vet handed me the bill for $296 for cattle wormer, 3 gallons of mineral oil, emergency calls, etc.
I looked him dead in the eye and said "ALL THIS TO TELL ME MY HORSE WAS SLEEPY?!?!"
What a weekend!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Valentine's Edition

It takes a special kind of person to tolerate a country boy.
The hunting, the friends, and all the toys.
Our wives stay at home while we are on the pursuit,
if we take them off, they put up with our muddy boots.
They don't say anything when the guys drop by,
and they even fix our favorite fruit pies.
A Country Gal is an amazing combination
of etiquette, gardening and education.
A mixture of laughter, motor oil and her daddy's tobaccer'
of saddle soap and rocking chair shellacer.
A Country Girl can ride a horse,
operate a tractor and still be an attractive force.
We men of rural descent
should truly appreciate what God has sent.
So on this Valentines I must express
my love for my woman in the sundress.
The woman who washes my dirty ole socks,
and loves me even after whiskey on the rocks.
I love you more and more each day,
and hope you have had a Great Valentine's Day.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The World's Biggest Catfish

I want to be able to tell the stories that have been told to me. I do this in hopes that they will never be forgotten, and neither will the folks who told them. The following is a story told by my Uncle. He was a professional story spinner, fisherman, hunter, trader, etc. His name was Louie Smith and he was from the blip on the Map called Crump, TN.

We were drifting down the Tennessee River, fishing for the ever so popular catfish. Though the day had produced a few small catfish, it seemed to be dragging. I asked “Uncle Louie, reckon the fish are bigger up near the dam?” To which he responded “Yep. But the boilers under the dam make it too dangerous for us to fish.”

Seeing my obvious disappointment he spoke up, “I use to fish up there all the time. As a matter of fact, that is where I caught one of the biggest fish ever caught in Pickwick. You see right after that dam was built, it didn’t have any guard rails. It was just open road and you had to stay off the edges. Somebody pushed an old Plymouth car off of it one day, just to watch it sink. Well I was fishing down there when it happened. I was a much younger man, and I knew that wherever that car came to rest on the bottom, would be a good hiding place for big catfish in the future.”

“Wait” I interrupted “Who pushes a perfectly good car off a bridge?” He thought for a minute. “Well, it wasn’t running. Didn’t have a motor or transmission, just an ole’ scrapper.”

“Oh. Ok” I responded.

“Well a few years later, I was around the dam fishing. I remembered that ole Plymouth car. I drove my boat to where I thought it had came to rest and went to fishing.” He continued. “As I bumped bottom, I was feeling for that car. Now right there, in that area, it is probably sixty or seventy foot deep. So it was hard to find, but I found it. I bumped my bait up the side of the car, around the front, and back down the other side. Didn’t get one bite. But then I brought er’ back around to the driver’s side and raised it up about window height. Sure enough WAM! Big un’ done latched on! Not much fight, just laid there. He had to weigh at least 150 pounds.”

“WOW!” I said in amazement. “How did you get him in the boat? Did you eat him? Do you have a picture?”

Louie started to laugh, knowing I had taken the bait. “Well” he said as he leaned back in the boat “I couldn’t get him in. You see about the time I set the hook, the ole’ fish just eased back in the car and rolled the window up.”

Probably one of my favorite stories of my Uncle Louie.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Accidents do happen

I want to take time to tell some stories that have been told to me by friends and families. I will change the names to protect the innocent.

In a duck blind, a lot of things get shot, especially the bull. Stories are told, jokes are made and the coffee thermos is passed around. An older fellow, we will call John, has spent a lot of time listening and laughing. He is a big man, who always wears overalls. He smokes unfiltered Marlboro Reds, and drinks only the finest Budweiser beer. In his prime, he probably was one of the toughest men around, and still is today. He has duck hunted most of his life.

Upon someone making a comment about the frigid temperature, John remarked “You don’t know nothing about being cold.” as he took a pull off his cowboy killer cigarette. “Once I was guiding a hunting group up near Big Sandy. It was going to be an all day affair. We brought all the food, all the drinks and all the essentials for a duck blind, or at least we thought. I was sitting next to some young guys, discussing politics and wives, and suddenly felt the urge to go to the bathroom. After a quick rummage through every blind bag we brought, I discovered we had no toilet paper. Now leaves and such were out of the question. The blind was built on a sandy beach, with cane for brush. This left me with two options. Hold it and wait, or drive the boat 20 minutes back to the truck. As I was thinking on this, a group of pintails buzzed the blind. Hold it became the only option. Time passed and I guess I forgot. But as lunch drew near, and conversation ensued, I felt the urge to pass a little gas. As I reared back and prepared to demonstrate the proper technique, I realized this was no fart. It was too late. I had already messed up. Everyone in the blind was hooping and laughing and holding their noses. I smelled terrible, and had nothing to assist in the cleanup effort. No one in the blind would drive the boat back to the truck and drop me off because I smelled so bad. So with ice on the water, I came out of my waders, and stripped down to only what the Lord had given me, and washed myself in the river. The temperature was around 19 degrees.”

The lesson from John’s story is either always be prepared or always carry toilet paper!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Duck Hunting Lesson

I have learned several things from duck hunting. Life lessons if you will. One of the first, and most significant, is that if you don’t shoot on a group of ducks, you are probably going to wish you had. Now we can compare this to life all day. Opportunities not taken, chances missed, women we should have asked out, and men you should have smiled at. Now let me get deeper in it. If you have a blind full of hunters, and at least one of them shoots at a group of ducks, whether a duck falls or not, they shot and those ducks are gone and so is the opportunity. Yes they may have gotten closer, yes they may have swung differently, but the point is the chance is there and you didn’t take it. Let this be a lesson learned. Let this be lesson #1.

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