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BS: The Mother of all BS threads

Rapparee 06 Feb 12 - 09:56 AM
Acme 06 Feb 12 - 10:00 AM
Little Hawk 06 Feb 12 - 11:16 AM
Rapparee 06 Feb 12 - 02:30 PM
gnu 06 Feb 12 - 02:37 PM
Rapparee 06 Feb 12 - 02:50 PM
gnu 06 Feb 12 - 04:03 PM
Amos 06 Feb 12 - 04:16 PM
Rapparee 06 Feb 12 - 06:55 PM
Eiseley 06 Feb 12 - 07:22 PM
Rapparee 06 Feb 12 - 07:32 PM
Amos 06 Feb 12 - 08:39 PM
gnu 06 Feb 12 - 10:00 PM
Little Hawk 06 Feb 12 - 10:02 PM
Rapparee 06 Feb 12 - 10:20 PM
Amos 06 Feb 12 - 11:44 PM
Little Hawk 07 Feb 12 - 08:22 AM
Amos 07 Feb 12 - 09:59 AM
Rapparee 07 Feb 12 - 10:06 AM
Little Hawk 07 Feb 12 - 10:09 AM
GUEST,Hokh Ptui 07 Feb 12 - 12:16 PM
Little Hawk 07 Feb 12 - 12:26 PM
Amos 07 Feb 12 - 03:15 PM
Rapparee 07 Feb 12 - 05:38 PM
Rapparee 07 Feb 12 - 11:34 PM
GUEST,Eiseley 07 Feb 12 - 11:55 PM
Acme 08 Feb 12 - 12:41 AM
Little Hawk 08 Feb 12 - 08:39 AM
Acme 08 Feb 12 - 10:44 AM
Rapparee 08 Feb 12 - 11:05 AM
Amos 08 Feb 12 - 12:19 PM
GUEST,999 08 Feb 12 - 01:06 PM
Rapparee 08 Feb 12 - 06:31 PM
Little Hawk 08 Feb 12 - 06:38 PM
gnu 08 Feb 12 - 07:55 PM
Rapparee 08 Feb 12 - 10:12 PM
Amos 08 Feb 12 - 10:33 PM
GUEST,999 08 Feb 12 - 10:45 PM
Rapparee 08 Feb 12 - 11:04 PM
Little Hawk 09 Feb 12 - 12:31 AM
Rapparee 09 Feb 12 - 09:38 AM
Amos 09 Feb 12 - 10:34 AM
GUEST,freds 09 Feb 12 - 12:30 PM
Little Hawk 09 Feb 12 - 12:32 PM
Amos 09 Feb 12 - 12:38 PM
GUEST,999 09 Feb 12 - 12:39 PM
gnu 09 Feb 12 - 02:02 PM
Rapparee 09 Feb 12 - 02:29 PM
Amos 09 Feb 12 - 02:58 PM
Amos 09 Feb 12 - 09:35 PM
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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Rapparee
Date: 06 Feb 12 - 09:56 AM

Nah, I'll let a gunsmith/machinist work on it. Sometimes it's best to know when to quit.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Acme
Date: 06 Feb 12 - 10:00 AM

You mean like before you've destroyed the gun and the screw is still spotlessly hanging on?


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Little Hawk
Date: 06 Feb 12 - 11:16 AM

Hey! A Newfie wouldn't quit now...he'd persevere until that gun was lying in pieces on the floor.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Rapparee
Date: 06 Feb 12 - 02:30 PM

Which is why I live in Idaho. To me, a Newfie is a big, big dog.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: gnu
Date: 06 Feb 12 - 02:37 PM

Oh yeah... gunsmith... definitely. BTW, how did the screwhead get mangled in the first place? >;-)

Don't shoot!


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Rapparee
Date: 06 Feb 12 - 02:50 PM

Well, I couldn't get it loose. And it's not bunged up too badly -- I know when to quit. If it don't come quietly after oil, WD40, Liquid Wrench, lighter fluid, and other such lubricants/dissolvers I ain't gonna try anything more -- time to get pro help.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: gnu
Date: 06 Feb 12 - 04:03 PM

How do you know it's rusted in? I mean, you can't see the threads, can you?Odd that a machine screw would get any rust in it if it was torqured properly in the first place. Even if it did, it would only go one thread deep, right? Just seems odd to me. But, then again, I am odd to many.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Amos
Date: 06 Feb 12 - 04:16 PM

KNowing when to quit is an art indeed, and it warms my heart to see Rapparee practicing up on it. I know there are great things ahead for him when he perfects his technique...


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Rapparee
Date: 06 Feb 12 - 06:55 PM

Brand new, gnu. I think it was torqued in, possibly with something like Loc-Tite, to prevent folks like me from messing with it. Or it might have been put in by one of them Brazilian Gorillas you here about. Rossi is part of Braztech, after all.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Eiseley
Date: 06 Feb 12 - 07:22 PM

Hello folks,
I found this wonderful letter written by E.B. White. Here is a transcription:

In 1951, E. B. White — the novelist responsible for, most notably, Charlotte's Web and Stuart Little — was accused by the ASPCA of not paying his dog tax and, as a result, "harboring" an unlicensed dog. He responded by way of the following delightful letter.

E. B. White with his dachshund, Minnie.

    12 April 1951

    The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
    York Avenue and East 92nd Street
    New York, 28, NY

    Dear Sirs:

    I have your letter, undated, saying that I am harboring an unlicensed dog in violation of the law. If by "harboring" you mean getting up two or three times every night to pull Minnie's blanket up over her, I am harboring a dog all right. The blanket keeps slipping off. I suppose you are wondering by now why I don't get her a sweater instead. That's a joke on you. She has a knitted sweater, but she doesn't like to wear it for sleeping; her legs are so short they work out of a sweater and her toenails get caught in the mesh, and this disturbs her rest. If Minnie doesn't get her rest, she feels it right away. I do myself, and of course with this night duty of mine, the way the blanket slips and all, I haven't had any real rest in years. Minnie is twelve.

    In spite of what your inspector reported, she has a license. She is licensed in the State of Maine as an unspayed bitch, or what is more commonly called an "unspaded" bitch. She wears her metal license tag but I must say I don't particularly care for it, as it is in the shape of a hydrant, which seems to me a feeble gag, besides being pointless in the case of a female. It is hard to believe that any state in the Union would circulate a gag like that and make people pay money for it, but Maine is always thinking of something. Maine puts up roadside crosses along the highways to mark the spots where people have lost their lives in motor accidents, so the highways are beginning to take on the appearance of a cemetery, and motoring in Maine has become a solemn experience, when one thinks mostly about death. I was driving along a road near Kittery the other day thinking about death and all of a sudden I heard the spring peepers. That changed me right away and I suddenly thought about life. It was the nicest feeling.

    You asked about Minnie's name, sex, breed, and phone number. She doesn't answer the phone. She is a dachshund and can't reach it, but she wouldn't answer it even if she could, as she has no interest in outside calls. I did have a dachshund once, a male, who was interested in the telephone, and who got a great many calls, but Fred was an exceptional dog (his name was Fred) and I can't think of anything offhand that he wasn't interested in. The telephone was only one of a thousand things. He loved life — that is, he loved life if by "life" you mean "trouble," and of course the phone is almost synonymous with trouble. Minnie loves life, too, but her idea of life is a warm bed, preferably with an electric pad, and a friend in bed with her, and plenty of shut-eye, night and days. She's almost twelve. I guess I've already mentioned that. I got her from Dr. Clarence Little in 1939. He was using dachshunds in his cancer-research experiments (that was before Winchell was running the thing) and he had a couple of extra puppies, so I wheedled Minnie out of him. She later had puppies by her own father, at Dr. Little's request. What do you think about that for a scandal? I know what Fred thought about it. He was some put out.

    Sincerely yours,

    E. B. White


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Rapparee
Date: 06 Feb 12 - 07:32 PM

Harboring? In Maine? Perhaps at Bar Harbor? Which makes me wonder if a Bar Harbor is anything like a Bar Mitzvah or Passing The Bar. My wife passed Bars in Indiana and Ohio, much to the surprise of her friends who thought that she'd never pass a bar. Passing the Bar is not at all like Crossing the Bar, usually, although some law students think that they'll Cross the Bar before they Pass it.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Amos
Date: 06 Feb 12 - 08:39 PM

Folks in Maine do a lot of harboring, Rapp. They harbor from Portland and Bath to Boothbay and Seal and all points north, which is down East.

Anyway, do let me know how your practicing up in the art of quitting is coming along. I am excited for your future adventures once you start applying your new skills.


A


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: gnu
Date: 06 Feb 12 - 10:00 PM

Thanks for that Eiseley!


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Little Hawk
Date: 06 Feb 12 - 10:02 PM

LOL!!!!! That's a wonderful letter. A Dachshund classic!


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Rapparee
Date: 06 Feb 12 - 10:20 PM

I'm getting along       with it, A   .    's a li tle hard to ge sed to qui tin , but I th k I'm gettin h ha g of t. Star small and have simp   g als at fi t, you know, a d t ill e e sie s y u ge bet r at t.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Amos
Date: 06 Feb 12 - 11:44 PM

You're definitely on the right track, there, Rapparee!! I am proud of your progress. Soon you will be omitting whole sentences!!


A


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Little Hawk
Date: 07 Feb 12 - 08:22 AM

You mean like___________________________________________________ ?


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Amos
Date: 07 Feb 12 - 09:59 AM

Well, yes, when he gets really good that's exactly what he will sound like. And peace will reign in the halls of our Mom.


A


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Rapparee
Date: 07 Feb 12 - 10:06 AM

"    out, Amos! I l t he fus !"

' gett g be tter t t.

"B   grou d!   et ut f he !"

"   t dyn   te s wea g. e car   !"

"F    i t   h   !"


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Little Hawk
Date: 07 Feb 12 - 10:09 AM

Hey, Amos, go _______________________! And further __________ you can just ____________________ yourself, and if _____________ then ______________________ to the nines you ___________ @!


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: GUEST,Hokh Ptui
Date: 07 Feb 12 - 12:16 PM

I do not understand this. What I do not understand I must destroy. Please explain.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Little Hawk
Date: 07 Feb 12 - 12:26 PM

You must be very, very busy destroying things. Am I right?


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Amos
Date: 07 Feb 12 - 03:15 PM

Oh, just for the record in case someone DID use LocTite on your handsome shooter, Rapparee, be aware that LocTite liquefies at 400 degrees F.


A


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Rapparee
Date: 07 Feb 12 - 05:38 PM

Thanks, Amos. I                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    .


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Rapparee
Date: 07 Feb 12 - 11:34 PM

I learned tonight that Eiseley's off drugs and booze.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: GUEST,Eiseley
Date: 07 Feb 12 - 11:55 PM

I've just spent several hours monitoring the homework of my youngest son. It is a grueling process and almost enough to drive me to drink. I shudder to think what will happen when (if) he makes it to sixth grade.

Eiseley


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Acme
Date: 08 Feb 12 - 12:41 AM

Good to see you here, Eiseley! Cinnamon says hello - and she asks any of you who like pit bulls to ask if she can please sleep on the foot of the REAL bed again. I let her on the bed last night, a one time thing, with her dog pillow, and she thinks all of a sudden she should sleep there every night. Tonight I let her return to the front room with the other dogs and put her pillow on that futon and she lay there quietly breathing with that tiny little whine in every breath that they can manage even when they're not really out-loud whining. Do you know what I mean, LH? Can dachshunds do that? So I let her take her cushion back into my room, but she's on the floor (she's on a Persian rug, but she is on the floor).

She may be only a pit bull, but she wanted me to remind Rap that if he heats his gun to 400o to melt a screw loose that he might have a loose screw. Starting at about 390o wood starts breaking down, turns to charcoal (she read it on the Internet so it must be true). Leave the screw alone, or you'll turn your gun to charcoal.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Little Hawk
Date: 08 Feb 12 - 08:39 AM

Dachshunds DO do that, Stilly. They are experts at it. ;-)

They also never miss an opportunity to encroach a little further on previously unconquered territory, same as your dog.

If you allow a Dachshund to sleep on your bed, the Dachshund will align his or her back against yours and periodically PUSH!....resulting in you slowly moving out toward the edge of the bed. Within an hour or less you will be dangling at the very edge and in danger of falling on the floor, while the dog will be gloriously occuping the exact center of the mattress!

At that point you shove the little critter back where it belongs, causing much groaning and sighing from the aggrieved canine, who then settles down...a few minutes go by...and the dog stealthily begins to push you millimeter by millimeter over to the side of the bed again!

This battle continues all night long or until you bodily eject the dog from the bed. If you do, the dog complains for some time, finally sighs deeply, and goes off down the hall to the living room, muttering about the injustice of it all.

"click" "click" "click" "click" (the dwindling sound of his toenails going down the hall...)

"THUNK!" (he flops down on the living room rug)

"Uuuuuuuuuurghhhh!" (he utters one last wounded sigh)

And the silence of the night descends...


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Acme
Date: 08 Feb 12 - 10:44 AM

It's those clicking toenails I've learned to respond to - if I don't, if they get a nose in the bedroom door and I'm not at least sitting, they take liberties, like a jump on the bed, to see if I'll let them stay. Or a bounce off the bed to tell me it's time to let them out. Ooooof!

Eiseley, did you find the same thing I did regarding kids' homework - it doesn't look the same as when we were kids. It's almost unrecognizable. Makes me wonder what we were doing in school.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Rapparee
Date: 08 Feb 12 - 11:05 AM

Come the first couple full weeks of March and we'll be heading South towards the Four Corners area. We may pay a visit to this joint, home of the Vicktory dogs.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Amos
Date: 08 Feb 12 - 12:19 PM

AN old friend came by last night, whom I had not seen in over ten years, maybe twenty. His hair has faded to gray, and his face has lines it didn't once have, but his eyes and his laugh have continued as they were, flashing and bright, full of zest, an immortal fire against the ravaging cold of time. It was delightful to see him.

BBW has strike out on a new adventure. We bought a used autoharp and she is determined to learn it. An old Oscar Schmidt 12-button. We will make music together. Huzzah for that, I say!

Today I am up to my earlobes decoding a flurry of technical talk concerning the design for a new device to be used in connection with horizontal boring, which is not very boring. I love understanding above all things. Don't you?

I think BS is, paradoxically, a higher form of understanding made manifest; to genuinely create that which is not, you must see clearly that which is. Otherwise your BS is rootless, ungrounded, free-floating and irrelevant.


A


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: GUEST,999
Date: 08 Feb 12 - 01:06 PM

Refresh


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Rapparee
Date: 08 Feb 12 - 06:31 PM

Refresh.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Little Hawk
Date: 08 Feb 12 - 06:38 PM

Ahhhh!

So refreshing!


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: gnu
Date: 08 Feb 12 - 07:55 PM

Stop that. It's distracting.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Rapparee
Date: 08 Feb 12 - 10:12 PM

MOAB...the thread that refreshes!


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Amos
Date: 08 Feb 12 - 10:33 PM

You gentlemen need to raise your standards in Mom's house. We require fresh, thoughtful, inspired BS, not your ordinary run-of-the-forum kind of any old BS.


A


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: GUEST,999
Date: 08 Feb 12 - 10:45 PM

Sorry, I feel so ashamed.

Speaking of runs at the mill, did you catch the game on Saturday?


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Rapparee
Date: 08 Feb 12 - 11:04 PM

Okay, Amos. BS it is!        
-------------------------------------------

The old Emil Schletter place burned ten years before I was born. Emil and his wife Leona had both died in the fire, and the property was, in the phrase of the country at that time, "tied up in the lawyers."
        It was a marginal eighth section, and poor farming methods hadn't helped the productivity of the soil. All in all, no one was anxious to settle the ownership of the land and by the time I came along it was generally felt that either "the lawyers" now owned the old farm or that it belonged to some cousin in New York city who didn't care about it and only used it for a tax break --opinions differed.
        It didn't matter to my friends and me. The thrill of trespassing (if anyone cared about it) added to the zest of playing among the ruins of the old house and outbuildings. It became for us land to settle, war-torn towns to liberate from the Nazi hordes, the landscape of some distant planet, or a place to escape to when school, parents or life itself began to close around us.
        Marginal for the Schletters, unwanted by the legal owner, the weed-grown pastures and fields became for a group of growing children a playground unequaled anywhere.
        We smoked our first cigarettes there. We swam in the pond in summer and slid on the ice in winter. We hunted rabbits with our .22s during hunting season, and sharpened our marksmanship against the high clay creek bank year-round.
        I'm sure that the deputy sheriff who lived only a half mile away knew what went on. At that time and place he would have done nothing unless a complaint were filed, or if someone were injured. Otherwise, he (and our parents) knew where we were and (usually) what we were doing. I'm also sure that certain of the grown-ups -- especially my Uncle Mathias -- knew when we were doing what we were doing. It was Uncle Mathias, after all, who was waiting for me at the gate the day I started walking home, green and ill, after trying chewing tobacco for the first time.
        His advice on that occasion, offered as he walked beside me and I tried to keep up a conversation and keep down my breakfast, was simple: "If you chew tobacco," he said, "it's best not to swallow the juice."
        I was a newly-minted second lieutenant, under orders for Vietnam and home for a thirty day leave when I last visited the Schletter place. Of those with whom I had grown and played, two were dead and the others scattered. Visiting, walking along the barely discernible trails and poking among the ruins of the burned house and the tumbled barn was to relive for a moment the past.
        I would never see the place again, for the creek was to be dammed to create a man-made lake for flood control and recreation. When I would return, waterskiers and fishermen would play over where I had once played.
        In two days, I had to report to Travis Air Force Base.
        In three days, I would be at Tan Son Nhut.
        In a week, although I didn't know it then, I would be with the Americal Division at Chu Lai. In a month, I would be operating out of LZ Gator, leading patrols through forests of eternal twilight.
        Unsurprisingly, Uncle Mathias was waiting for me, sitting on a rock by the old milk shed.
        "Not much doin' out here today," he greeted me.
        "No," I agreed. "Not much doing."
        We waited there, he on the rock and I standing, for a few minutes, each knowing that the other was thinking of the future and neither knowing whether or not to speak of it.
        Finally, Uncle Mathias broke the unstrained silence.
        "Worried?"
        "Yes, I am. I suppose everyone going to war worries."
        "Scared?"
        "Yes." I said it flatly, a statement of fact.
        "Good. I'd be worried if you wasn't scared. Fact is, I'd do my damnedest to talk you into runnin' off to Canada if you wasn't scared. Ain't nothin' quite so disturbin' or downright dangerous as a fearless second looey."
        I couldn't resist asking: "Do you speak from experience?"
        "Fact is, I do. Back in '18, when I was a sergeant with the Big Red One in France, I had a second looey put in command of my platoon who was fearless. I was just a youngster myself, of course, and like all the others in my platoon and all the others of my age, I thought that I'd live forever. Other people got themselves killed -- I was too darn smart.
        "We was in the trenches -- near some God-forsaken village which had been shelled first by the Germans and then by the French and then by the British and over and over and over and now by the Americans until it looked like the walls of Jericho must have looked after Joshua finished up. Lieutenant Doaks -- that was his real name, Daniel Doaks -- called me into his dugout late one afternoon and told me that me and him were going to go out with a patrol that night. We were goin' to get some "filthy Huns" for prisoners -- those were his words, 'filthy Huns.'"
        "What happened?" I asked.
        "We left the trench about moonset. Lieutenant Doaks had told me that he wanted only 'fearless warriors' (that's what he said, too) on his first patrol. I was green then, but I did want some of the old salts along -- Narbeth, or Smith, or maybe Oltanger. Fact was though, none of the experienced people volunteered and I was too green to order them to go along. I know now why they didn't want to go, but back then I just put it down to funk.
        "Anyway, like I was sayin', we left the trench after moonset, which was about midnight or one a.m. We crawled out to the wire and passed through, closing the wire after we left. About fifty yards out into no man's land, we reached a shell crater which we had marked as an assembly point and the final jumpin' off place for our little raid.
        "Right away, the looey started to screw things up. First thing he did was that he had brought a telephone with us and unrolled the wire as we walked. Nobody did that sort of thing in those days, 'cause the phones were not at all like the ones you have now -- and radio was limited to Morse code with a telegraph key. Now, as we were sittin' in the shell hole tryin' to look like nothin' was out of place, the damned phone rang.
        "It was the Captain, and he should have known better. The looey took the call, and all I could hear was what was said at my end. The looey told the Captain that yes, we were in the shell hole, our first point, and that yes, we would be going in right quickly to get the prisoner, and no, nothing had gone wrong, and finally one of the boys whispered to me, 'Yes mother, I'll be home directly" and it was all I could do to keep from laughing.
        "After he hung up, he gathered us together and repeated our mission. Of course, by this time I figgered that the Germans not only knew that we were there, but had figured out who we were, what we was goin' to do, when we was goin' to do it, and probably knew the maiden names of our mothers to boot.
        "But the looey wasn't afraid! No sir! Not him! He was going to lead his men into battle with the Hun and save Western Civilization with this one raid.
        "Then the mortars hit.
        "We were about as safe as we could get right then, bein' on the reverse slope of the front wall of a pretty damned deep crater. But the looey, he jumped up, drew his .45, and shouted "Follow me!" at the top of his voice.
        "He jumped up on the lip of the shell hole and looked just like that statue at Fort Benning -- the one at the Infantry School.
        "Germans saw him up there and came close to cuttin' him in half with a machine gun. He fell back into the hole and died in my arms.
        "The brouhaha was gettin' wilder. The Germans had now brought in artillery fire, and flares, and me and the boys in the hole were seriously thinkin' about leavin' the party and goin' home. Problem was, there was a hundred and fifty feet to our wire, a short eternity to open the gate in the wire and maybe another seventy-five feet to our trench. Say maybe two hundred and fifty feet, it could be done in maybe eight minutes walkin' and that time includes openin' the gate in the wire.
        "Crawling, and every inch of the way seemin' to be already occupied by a piece of unfriendly steel or lead, it would take considerably longer. Maybe forever.
        "And the Germans, they weren't fools. There might be a patrol right now gettin' ready to come out and catch us instead of the other way around. They knew that nobody went out into no man's land alone; they knew we were there.
        "And I had the highest rank in that hole. Six other guys were depending on me to have the right answers. And I had never been in such a predicament before -- hell, I'd only come under fire in training, just like the others.
        "Two of the boys messed their pants. I didn't, but it took some control, let me tell you!
        "A fifty-nine shell lit real close to the right; it tore up the lip of our shell hole. I figgered that another wouldn't land there (don't believe that, 'cause it ain't so), so I carefully peeked out around the newly rearranged dirt.
        "Sure enough, there was a patrol of about twenty Germans at the German wire, about two hundred yards in front of us. And we couldn't back up, go forward, go sidewise, shit, or go blind.
        "I slithered back down into the hole and told the others what I'd seen.
        "They were unhappy with the news, you might say. I must admit that I'd had better myself in my time.
        "Then I banged my knee against the telephone the looey had dragged along.
        "I picked up the handset and rang the crank. I thought that the wire had probably been cut by the shelling, but it was just possible that I was wrong.
        "I was wrong. The Captain answered on the first ring.
        "He was glad to hear from us, and told me that they were being shelled. I told him that I knew that, and that we had been getting shelled for some time too.
        "He asked to talk to the looey, and I told him the looey was dead. He asked me if I was sure. I told him that I felt that being ripped up with machine gun bullets probably did that to a man. He told me that I'd better come back and that I'd better bring the looey's body with me.
        " I mentioned to him that we would probably be leavin' the shell hole soon, but that we'd be goin' the other direction due to the approaching German patrol.
        "Man was pretty excitable, for an officer. He asked me where the Germans were and how many there were and told me to tell him quick so that he could call in some artillery on them.
        "So I told him. And then he hung up or we were cut off, because the line went dead.
        "I slid back up the slope and peeked out again. The Germans were through the wire and about fifty feet inside no man's land. Soon, unless something was done, we were going to have visitors."
        Uncle Mathias stretched, and stood up. He filled his pipe, lit it, and blew a great cloud of smoke skyward.
        "Just then," he continued, "Our artillery arrived. Only it was targeted on where the Germans had been instead of where they were now. Just the same, it made them take cover.
        "But the thing was, the Germans had been in those trenches in that sector for a long, long time. They were veterans, and fine soldiers. They knew every gully and hummock like I know my backyard. They just started to move out of the impact zone of the artillery, and towards us.
        "Now, remember that during all of this the mortar, machine gun and artillery fire from the German lines was goin' on. They were out to get us, and they wanted us bad.
        "I knew then what a tennis ball feels like.
        "I tried calling the Captain again, but it was no go. The phone was damaged, or the line cut, or something.
        "There was nothin' else to do. I gathered the boys together and told them that we'd either have to fight or run, and that either way it was touch-and-go about makin' it.
        "We put what was left of the poor lieutentant on a gas-cape, what you'd call a poncho today, which somebody had along, and pushed him up the slope of the crater and dragged him toward our lines. We left the phone.
        "About twenty yards away was another, smaller, crater. We pulled in there and regrouped.
        "The seven of us were unhurt, but scared to our toenails.
        "Then I had an idea, and put it to the group that we were in a good position to ambush the German patrol who was out looking for us. They'd be coming pretty soon to the crater we'd just left, and from where we were now we'd have a good shot at them. Might even be able to take a prisoner or two back, which was the whole reason we were out there in the first place.
        "Three of the boys said that they felt that it would be just as well if they continued to mosey on home. I said that that was fine, but would they leave those of us remaining behind most of their spare ammunition and grenades, take the looey's body with them, and tell the Captain where we were and that we'd be late coming home and so not to leave the porchlight on.
        "They quietly left us, and Bill Reynolds, Alvin Sharp,
Fred Wood and me slowly pushed our '03s over the lip of the crater and into the direction we'd just come. For luck, we each put Mills bombs where we could get them quickly.
        "Then we waited. We knew that the Germans would come slowly, and that the shelling would probably lift just about the time they reached our old hole.
        "The shelling did lift, suddenly, and the silence was as scary as the falling shells.
        "A flare went off right over our old crater. It threw the whole thing into sharp light, just as if it were day. And it also showed a patrol of twenty Germans suddenly leap up and surround what was now an empty hole.
        "They tossed a grenade into the hole, and we started shooting and got at least half of them with our first volley. Sharp grabbed one of his Mills bombs, pulled the pin and threw it. He was a good pitcher, and it landed right where it would do the most good. They were hurt, no doubt of it, but they were good veteran troops, like I said, and they ducked down and began to return fire.
        "It was just a matter of time before the Germans in the trenches figured out who was who and started dropping things on us.
        "I signalled, and we each grabbed a Mills bomb, pulled the pins, and threw them together.
        "The four explosions sounded like one, they were so close together. We jumped up and charged, no command or anything, just that it was the right thing to do and the four of us were readin' each other's mind.
        "To tell it quickly, we took four of the Germans back with us to our lines -- one apiece. They were so rattled from what turned out to be our crazy charge that all the fight had gone out of them.
        "We left the other Germans, the dead and wounded, in the hole. We figured that their stretcher bearers or someone would come to help those who could be helped.
        "Captain was mighty proud of us when we got back. Apart from scratches and bruises, nobody except the lieutenant got hurt, which was a pure miracle considerin' the effort which had gone into trying to do just the opposite. Sharp and Reynolds and Wood and me each got a medal out of it. And a weeks' leave in Paris!"
        "Uncle Mathias," I said, "what medal did you win with this engagement? I have never before heard you speak of this." Uncle Mathias, you understand, was not above making a long story out of a short one.
        His eyes grew lonely, deep and very, very sad. I would see eyes like that later; we called it the "thousand meter stare." There is a photograph in which I have it.
        "Those who have been there seldom, if ever, talk about it," he said slowly. "Reynolds was killed; he took a large fragment of metal in the stomach. Wood lost both legs to a mine. Sharp, the best pitcher I ever saw, bled to death in the Argonne when a shell ripped both of his arms off -- and that was a blessing, because he'd been blinded by mustard gas just before. I was with each of them when they were wounded or died. I still write to Fred Wood, but I don't think that he'll be with us much longer, as his lungs are rotten.
        "I received, for my part in this minor engagement, the Medal of Honor. Each month, I receive from the government of the United States the sum of one hundred dollars. If you doubt the truth of this, you will find it easily checked at the public library or by reading the orders you will find in my sea chest at home." Uncle Mathias, who could speak as correctly as I, did not forego his regionalisms unless he was quite annoyed. And he was annoyed with me.
        I tried to apologize, to tell him that I had never doubted him. Orally falling all over myself, I tried to make amends for a slight I never intended to someone I loved.
        Suddenly, his face lit up in a huge grin. "Oh hell," he said. "If somebody told me the story I just told you, I'd think they was stretchin' it a little too!"
        "But I didn't walk out here today just to tell you stories. I got somethin' to give you and somethin' to tell you before you go to war.
        "When I came back from the war, everything was changed. Our old house was too small and the town was, well, like a tiny box. I had to leave again, only this time I wasn't forced to but was leavin' of my own free will. Went out and found Thecla, and came back after a while. When things had gotten bigger again.
        "That's what I wanted to tell you. When you come back, nothing will be like it was when you left. This place will be under water, and you'll find that everything is a whole lot smaller. Maybe you'll have to leave like I did, and if you do I'll square it with your mother for you. And one more thing: if you ever find that what you went through was more than you can take alone, I'll listen to you."
            Then he said, rather quickly, "What I didn't tell you just now was what I haven't told anyone else, except that Fred knows it, of course. It is this: when we charged those Germans, they were dead, wounded, or in shock. Except one. One grizzled old Sergeant, I guess he was, popped up in front of me and knocked my '03 away. I don't know how I did it, but I grabbed him, wrestled him to the ground and choked him to death with my bare hands.
        "And I still relive that, some nights.
        "If you need to talk, when you get back, to someone who's been there, well, I'm here. Your war'll be different from any of mine, but killin's the same. And that's what it is about, when you come down to it."
        Uncle Mathias sighed and stood up.
        "Uncle Mathias?" I asked. "How do you explain the monthly money to Aunt Thecla?"
        "I told her the truth -- that it's a pension.
        "Now here. I got a couple of presents for you. Keep 'em to yourself."
        He reached into his jacket pocket, took out a small automatic pistol, and handed it to me. "It's only a .32, but it'll do for a backup if you need one. This was mine, I carried it in Europe during the last world war."
        From inside his jacket he took a knife with a blackened metal handle and a double-edged, diamond-sectioned blade. "This was your father's. He got it during the war; it's called a Fairbairn-Sykes stilleto and it was issued to the British commandos and the OSS. He sent it along to me in the last package I ever got from him. He said to save it until he got home. Since he didn't make it back, I kinda thought that you should have it now. You might need it."
        I was very close to tears.
        "Now you listen," Uncle Mathias continued. "Both of these are mine. Your daddy gave me this knife, and your Aunt Thecla bought me the pistol when she found out I was in Europe the last time. She sent it over with a friend of ours, thought that it might be handy to have since I was at war again. So, you can have these two things as a loan. Use 'em, but you've got to bring them back.
        "Right now, if you will please put those items in your pocket or somewhere else out of sight, you and me can stroll over to the house and see if Thecla's still got some pie and coffee around."


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Little Hawk
Date: 09 Feb 12 - 12:31 AM

Beautifully told, Rap.

My Father had a couple of really lousy officers in the war who constantly sent men out on pointless night patrols in the same way, just to make themselves look like hot stuff and maybe get a promotion...and a lot of men got killed on those night patrols.

One of those officers ended up receiving a .303 round right through his binoculars while he was way back behind the line, watching his guys trade fire with the Germans. My father said everyone in the unit knew darned well it was one of his own soldiers who most likely fired that shot, but no one ever found out who it was that did it. He was sent off to hospital in critical condition, and not seen again by that unit.

The other one was a perfect son of a bitch who was utterly hated by the men he served under. He also caused many men to die uselessly. One day he ordered them to build a personal latreen (outhouse) for him after clearing a section of an old German minefield. They dug the hole and built the latreen. The first time he went in to use it he closed the door, presumably sat down on the seat and....BAM!!!

The latreen blew to smithereens and the explosion left a big crater in the ground. They found one boot with a foot in it about 50 yards away, and buried it with full honours, and that was the end of that guy.

My father said he had a pretty good idea of who would have done it, cos there was one guy in the unit who was an expert at rigging up bombs with pressure switches, and he had helped build the latreen. It was written off as an "accident", though...an unexploded German mine that had presumably been missed while clearing the area. They had a lot else to think about, after all, and no one missed the guy anyway.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Rapparee
Date: 09 Feb 12 - 09:38 AM

Well, Amos is after "Better BS"....


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Amos
Date: 09 Feb 12 - 10:34 AM

WEll, I liked that story almost as much as the first time, Rapparee.

Knowing that Vietname was not your thing, I had to wonder where it might have come from. But I allow as how it must be your own, as you're the only one ever posted it I think.

It's a fine story, I agree!


A


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: GUEST,freds
Date: 09 Feb 12 - 12:30 PM

This was a waste of DNA!


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Little Hawk
Date: 09 Feb 12 - 12:32 PM

Speak for yourself, outlander!


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Amos
Date: 09 Feb 12 - 12:38 PM

What, the freds took Rapparree? Good thing he got the second edition down to Mom's before they beamed him up.


A


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: GUEST,999
Date: 09 Feb 12 - 12:39 PM

43800


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: gnu
Date: 09 Feb 12 - 02:02 PM

My last post was not for 9.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Rapparee
Date: 09 Feb 12 - 02:29 PM

Alright, smart guy....

------------------------------------------------

        Well, it all started with Tony's idea to make a lot of money and it ended with (among other things) a drought, a tornado and Cedar Creek becoming shallow.
        Tony's idea did not cause the tornado, the drought, the shallowing and the other stuff. Ted and I didn't think much of Tony's ride on the tornado, either, but we certainly weren't going to stop him since we'd bet him a dollar he couldn't do it at all. We lost the bet, but Tony had to walk five miles to collect so it worked out even.
        Anyway, Tony thought we needed to make some money and he was right. It seemed unlikely that we'd recover any of the river pirates' treasure (even though we knew were it was) or any other treasure we decided that we'd probably have to work.
        We applied for jobs as roustabouts, trenchermen, steeplejacks, printer's devils, gandy dancers, bindlestiffs and waddies but everybody said we were either too young or didn't have enough experience. Ted applied for a job as a cellar master but couldn't make anyone believe he was over twenty-one.
        So we were left without any money.
        Oh sure, we rode our bikes out and picked strawberries, but it takes a lot of picking to make any money when the pay is seven cents a quart, tops.
        We thought about selling something, but Mom said that we didn't even own the wall we had our backs to.
        Then, out of the blue, Tony had a great idea.
        A lot of building was going on, and people were digging a lot of holes. We couldn't dig a basement, but Tony reasoned that we could dig post holes for fence posts and such like. Farmers would want them even if no one else did.
        Boy, did we think that that was a stupid idea! Then Tony explained.
        His idea was to sell holes door-to-door. We'd dig the holes now, in late Summer, when they weren't needed. We could take our time a do a really good job, and we'd make them really deep too. We'd cover the holes during the Winter, and Tony said that the cold would "cure" the holes (he didn't say what he meant by "cure" and the holes wouldn't be sick, but we humored him).
        Then, next Spring when people started putting up fences and things again we'd take orders for holes of different depths. Then we'd go to the holes we'd dug earlier, pull them up and cut off whatever length was needed. All the buyer had to do then was to pay us, dig a place for the hole and install the fence post or whatever. If you were careful you could probably drive short holes into the ground with a hammer.
        The idea was beautiful in its simplicity! And most importantly everybody needed holes and nobody else was selling them ready-made and pre-cut!
        Mom said that we positively could not dig up the back yard. That was okay, because we lived on what was called "filled land," which means that it used to be a dump. We'd dug deep holes before in the back yard and we'd dug up everything from old bottles to the roof of a Model T Ford car.
        We told Mom that we'd already decided to dig our hole yard in the Boogie Swamp. We could dig quality holes there and still keep it secret from people who might want to steal our idea or our holes.
        All during the rest of the late Summer and through the Fall we were digging holes in the Swamp whenever we could get there. We dug holes -- really deep holes -- just the right size for fenceposts. We dug lots and lots of these holes. Some of them got water in them if we dug too deeply, and one of them filled up with oil.
        We used the oil to lubricate the sides of the holes so that they would slide out easier when we sold them. We couldn't do anything about the holes with water so we just said we struck a "wet hole" and dug again somewhere else.
        We measured how deep the holes we dug were, and by the time Winter came we had dug over 250 miles of excellent, prime quality holes in the Swamp. We covered them with boards and rocks and left them to "cure" over the Winter.
        Even Christmas seemed dull as we waited for Spring, when we'd make our fortunes.
        Just after New Year's the temperature dropped. The people on television said that it was fifty-two feet below zero: the stuff in the thermometer had dropped out of the bottom and stopped fifty-two feet below.
        It stayed that way for a month.
        And there wasn't any snow. In fact, there hadn't been any snow or rain since August 5th.
        It was so cold and so dry that when farmers milked their cows the milk in the pails froze and then had all of the water sucked out of it by the dry air so that all that was left was a white powder. Later on somebody found out how to do this on purpose, called it "freeze-drying" and made lots of money, but then we found it to be only a nuisance.
        We were worried about our holes, because fifty-two feet below zero was probably too cold for them to "cure" correctly. A quick trip out to the Swamp showed that we were right to be concerned.
        Some of the holes hadn't been covered as well as others. These had frozen and shrunk in size from the dryness -- and the contents, being bigger, had squirted upward. There were long, slender holes sticking way up in the air from these. Oiling had only made it easier for them to expand upwards, like ice in a too-full container.
        Tony thought that these were a loss, but I solved the problem. We got some saws and cut the extruded holes off even with the ground. In the Spring we put a pulley and rope on top and sold them as flagpoles. We didn't make a lot of money from these, but Tony kept one around for a long time -- after it broke he put it inside of some pipe and he still has it in front of his house.
         Spring came, but without rain. Everyone said that there was a drought, and after a while the ground started to sink in places where people had pumped water out of it.
        Some of these sinkholes were big enough to swallow a dog, some a cow, some a car, and one or two a whole house! Ted's only comment when we saw sinkhole pictures in the newspaper was to ask, "I wonder where the dirt goes?"
        It was a good question, too, because we'd dug enough holes to know that it had to go somewhere.
        We shortly discovered that the dirt went into our holes in the Swamp. Only it wasn't just dirt. There was rock dust and sand in it too.
        Actually, we discovered this in a rather dramatic way. We went to Swamp to get a hole to fill our first order and saw that there was a cone of dirt and stuff over each of our holes, and more was being added to the piles every minute. It looked like a lot of little volcanoes, only the piles weren't little. Some of them, in fact, were quite large and must have had several tons of dirt in them.
        Ted wondered why all the dirt and stuff was coming up out of our holes and not up in people's basements and things. Tony explained that our holes only had holes in them, but things like basements and sewers were full of basements and sewers.
        It was obvious that we weren't going to make any money at all selling these holes. So we say down and watched the dirt volcanoes and remembered Ted's observation about the sinkholes: the dirt had to go somewhere.
        "Well," Tony said, "at this rate the whole county will soon be here in the Boogie Swamp." And he lapsed back into despondency.
        "We could have gone fishing. We could have played ball. We could have done our homework and gotten good grades. But no, we had to dig a bunch of holes!" I exclaimed.
        "It's getting windy," observed Ted.
        "It's getting windy and dark," I observed.
        "Great!" said Tony. "Now it's gonna rain and we'll be poor and wet!"
        "We need rain," said Ted. "The creek's only about twenty feet deep."
        And we heard a noise and looked up at the sky and there was a TORNADO coming!
        "Okay. I understand now. We're gonna be poor, wet and dead," said Ted.
        "Yeah," I agreed.
        "I'm going to ride it," Tony said calmly.
        Ted and I looked at each other and we both said, "It's his mind. Snapped. And he's so young, but not at all handsome."
        "Doggone it!" said Tony, "I read that Pecos Bill threw a saddle on a tornado and rode it. I'm gonna ride this one bareback! Give me the rope."
        And he tied a loop in the rope we'd brought to pull up the holes and made a lariat.
        Ted told him that he couldn't possibly ride a tornado, and that even if he did get on it he'd get hurt.
        Tony ignored him, stood up and twirled his lariat. He made the loop bigger and bigger, just as if he knew what he was doing.
        Just as the tornado got close to us, Ted shouted, "I'll bet you a dollar you can't do it!"
        "Me, too!" I agreed.
        "Done!" said Tony and he lassoed the tornado!
        Well. You've never, never, NEVER EVER seen or heard such a ruckus! Tony somehow pulled the tornado down close to ground and he jumped onto it. He used the lariat like reins and he looked just like a wild bronco rider in the rodeo!
        The tornado did not like being ridden. It tried every trick it could to toss Tony off. It sunfished, and arched its back and even tried to roll over onto Tony. Once it tried to scrape him off against some trees. It was all over the Swamp, bucking and rearing and knocking down trees and Tony still rode it and he yelled "Powder River, let 'er buck!" just like cowboys do.
        It was pretty darned exciting to watch, too, and Ted and I cheered and yelled and shouted.
        Suddenly the tornado sucked up all of the piles of dirt and all of the dirt around the holes and dashed off to the East, Tony, dirt and all!
        Then the whole kit and caboodle disappeared over the eastern horizon.
        Ted and I were in shock.
        "I didn't think he could do it," said Ted.
        "I didn't think he'd be stupid enough to try it," I said.
        "I hope that he doesn't get hurt too badly," Ted said.
        "I don't HAVE a dollar," I said.
        And as we watched, way far away to the East we saw some rain fall.
        "We can't go home without him," Ted observed. "Mom would be put out."
        "Well, we certainly can't call the police," I replied. "What'll we say -- my brother's missing because he was dumb enough to rope and ride a tornado?"
        "What'll we do?" asked Ted.
        "Let's eat lunch," I replied. And we did.
        After lunch we poked around the hole yard, but the tornado had filled up all the holes and packed them solid. We were definitely out of the hole business.
        It got later and later and we still didn't know what to do about Tony. Then, just before we would absolutely, positively have to leave and tell Mom that Tony was somewhere out East, Tony limped into the Swamp.
        About the only thing you could say was that he did have both shoes. His shirt was ripped up, his pants were shredded -- he even had chunks of his hair missing. He was soaking wet, but his socks were gone.
        He was quite a sight, and we said exactly that. He replied that he was also a gigantic walking, talking bruise and that we each owed him a dollar.
        Of course, we asked about his ride. And, of course, he told us. He talked for a long time, so I'm only going to tell the essence of what he said.
        Tony felt as if he may have made a mistake the minute he climbed onto the tornado. At first, the rotation of the tornado made it feel as if one pants leg was being pulled down while the other was being pulled up. But that feeling lasted only a split split second, or until the tornado realized that someone was aboard for a ride.
        Tony said that it was honestly the VERY WORST ride he'd ever been on. It was even worse than the time he took a dare to roll downhill in a barrel of rocks.
        The ride was so ROTTEN, so BAD that Tony was afraid to let go. And when the tornado sucked up the cones of dirt and stuff, Tony said that his body learned that the words "pain" and "bruises" had meanings he'd never considered before -- none of them good.
        He also thought that at some point he started to spin at about a billion R.P.M.
        But Tony rode the tornado (what else could he do?) and pretty soon the tornado realized that it couldn't shake Tony off. So it changed into a cloud and rained itself out of existence.
        Tony and all of the dirt and stuff were dumped KERSPLASH into Cedar Creek, just above the falls.
        He struggled to shore, wet and -- well, he said "sore" only mildly hinted at his pain. But he'd ridden a tornado, and he'd even done Pecos Bill one better by riding it bareback!
        The dirt blocked the creek, and then with a sudden rush it was washed downstream. Tony watched it build up at the bottom of the falls and make the creek bed level. What wasn't used there eventually spread all along the length of the creek. The rock dust acted like cement, and it filled up Cedar Creek so that it became as shallow as it is today and only reflecting a shadow of the inky depths it once had.
        As we plodded home Ted said that it was a good thing that we hadn't borrowed any money or we'd really be in the hole. Tony told me to sock him for that, but I was too tired and Tony was too sore.
        We eventually made $7.35 on the flagpoles, and we gave it all to Mom. We got to keep the boxtops and trading stamps though.
        A couple of weeks later the drought broke. All of the sinkholes filled up with water and became puddles if they were small and ponds if they were big.
        Tony has never ridden a tornado again, and we haven't been able to talk him into it. He says that it would make him too dizzy.
        Ted and I saved and saved and finally paid our bets, too.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Amos
Date: 09 Feb 12 - 02:58 PM

Well, that there is pure-dee delicious BS, Rapparee, and in such generous servings, too! I swan, it is among the most vivacious BS ever graced the dusty corners of Mom's place.


Thanks for the great job!



A


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Amos
Date: 09 Feb 12 - 09:35 PM

Mom, I am most proud of myself, because even BBW coiuld not get that hard drive to copy to back up correctly and be available. But I rolled up my old UNIX sleeves and persuaded it I was a superuser and issued some "sudo chmod -RHL a=rwx" commands in the right places and now all the hooorrible difficulty is over. Yay!!!!


A


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