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BS: The Mother of all BS threads

Rapparee 10 Feb 12 - 09:08 AM
GUEST,Chongo Chimp 10 Feb 12 - 09:22 AM
Rapparee 10 Feb 12 - 01:48 PM
Rapparee 10 Feb 12 - 02:56 PM
Amos 10 Feb 12 - 04:45 PM
gnu 10 Feb 12 - 04:52 PM
Rapparee 10 Feb 12 - 08:57 PM
Acme 10 Feb 12 - 08:57 PM
Rapparee 10 Feb 12 - 09:05 PM
Rapparee 10 Feb 12 - 09:18 PM
Amos 11 Feb 12 - 02:24 AM
Amos 11 Feb 12 - 02:44 PM
gnu 11 Feb 12 - 03:29 PM
Rapparee 11 Feb 12 - 03:40 PM
Rapparee 11 Feb 12 - 03:42 PM
gnu 11 Feb 12 - 03:50 PM
Rapparee 11 Feb 12 - 06:21 PM
gnu 11 Feb 12 - 09:01 PM
Rapparee 11 Feb 12 - 09:35 PM
Acme 12 Feb 12 - 12:28 AM
Ebbie 12 Feb 12 - 02:43 AM
GUEST,Chongo Chimp 12 Feb 12 - 10:59 AM
Amos 12 Feb 12 - 11:39 AM
Little Hawk 12 Feb 12 - 12:02 PM
Rapparee 12 Feb 12 - 12:14 PM
Little Hawk 12 Feb 12 - 01:02 PM
Amos 12 Feb 12 - 01:17 PM
gnu 12 Feb 12 - 01:26 PM
gnu 12 Feb 12 - 01:31 PM
Rapparee 12 Feb 12 - 05:53 PM
gnu 12 Feb 12 - 06:39 PM
Rapparee 12 Feb 12 - 07:51 PM
Amos 12 Feb 12 - 08:03 PM
Rapparee 12 Feb 12 - 08:57 PM
Amos 12 Feb 12 - 10:10 PM
Rapparee 13 Feb 12 - 07:58 AM
Amos 13 Feb 12 - 10:19 AM
Eiseley 13 Feb 12 - 02:47 PM
Acme 13 Feb 12 - 03:11 PM
Amos 13 Feb 12 - 03:23 PM
Rapparee 13 Feb 12 - 04:36 PM
gnu 13 Feb 12 - 04:40 PM
Amos 13 Feb 12 - 05:13 PM
Rapparee 13 Feb 12 - 06:57 PM
gnu 13 Feb 12 - 07:08 PM
Rapparee 13 Feb 12 - 09:50 PM
Amos 14 Feb 12 - 09:16 AM
Acme 14 Feb 12 - 11:04 AM
gnu 14 Feb 12 - 02:29 PM
Rapparee 14 Feb 12 - 07:21 PM
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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Rapparee
Date: 10 Feb 12 - 09:08 AM

More, Amos? Or have you had enough and will concede my superiority in quality BS?
-------------------------------------        

We all took music lessons, of course. I learned to play the trumpet, Tony learned the trombone and Martha studied violin. Ted studied saxophone, trumpet and guitar -- more than any of the rest of us.
        Of course we all took piano lessons too.
        It was Ted's musical skills that prevented him from being bitten by the rattlesnake. And what with one thing and another it all led to . . . but let me start at the beginning.
        Snakes hibernate all winter, except for snow snakes, which estivate. But decent snakes hibernate and come out in the Spring. When they come out of their dens they're hungry and they look for food to regain their strength.
        Up to now I haven't said much about the regular snakes in the Boogie Swamp, but they were there. Garter snakes (which we called gardener snakes), black snakes, king snakes, water moccasins, milk snakes, hoop snakes, rat snakes, bamboo vipers, both rock and reticulated pythons, both king and spitting cobras, black mambas, fer-de-lances, coral snakes, anacondas, puff adders, asps and of course rattlesnakes.
        There were sidewinders, pygmy rattlers, massasauga rattlers, timber rattlers -- why, some days when you'd walk around in the Swamp it seemed that every stick you picked up turned out to be a snake!
        One day Tony picked up a copperhead to hit a piece of elm! That was exciting!
        As a rule snakes won't bother you if you leave them alone. And they do a lot of good for people! Really!
        But it was one morning in early Spring and the sun was up and starting to melt a light frost from the night before. It had been foggy and the trees wore a coat of rime so that they look like white jewel trees when the sun touched them.
        We set out, Tony and Martha and Ted and I, on a hike. We'd been inside all Winter (or so it seemed), so we hiked out and fooled around by Cedar Creek and by midafternoon we were on our way home, cutting through the Boogie Swamp.
        We took a break and sat on some rocks. I'd been whittling, and Ted picked up a stick and started to whittle also. As he whittled he whistled.
        He was whistling The Stars and Stripes Forever when and we heard the buzz of a rattlesnake right next to him!
        Ted started to whistle faster and faster, and as he whistled he whittled faster and faster. He whittled his stick into pieces, whittled the pieces into slivers and the slivers into sawdust. He whittled so fast that the sawdust started to smoke -- and none of the stuff he had whittled even touched the ground before it caught fire. We'd never seen anyone whittle that fast before!
        A piece of hot sawdust burned his hand and he said "Ouch!" and stopped whistling.
        When he stopped whistling, a big rattlesnake at least eight feet long crawled from beside him, coiled itself in front of him and looked at him.
        The snake's tongue kept going in and out, in and out, "smelling" Ted. Finally the snake started to rattle. Just a little, sort of tentatively and sort of jerky.
        Ted whistled a few bars of The Stars and Stripes Forever. He later said that he didn't know what else to do because there wasn't anything left to whittle.
        And you know, that old snake rattled right along with the music!
        Ted kept on whistling and made little motions for us to leave while the snake was rattling along with John Phillips Sousa.
        We quietly and carefully left and waited in the cemetery by Daddy's grave, our usual rendezvous. We hoped that he'd get away without getting bitten, but that if he did get bitten he'd get out of the Boogie Swamp before he got really sick or died. Otherwise we'd have to get him out.
        Finally, after what seemed like hours because it was, Ted appeared. He'd whistled just about every song he knew and had finally told the snake (who he'd named Rex) that he had to go. He said that the snake seemed to understand and even showed Ted a new shortcut out of the Swamp.
        After that afternoon Ted would whistle up Rex every time we'd go into the Swamp. They'd sit there whistling and rattling, and it got so that Ted would even sneak off by himself to see Rex.
        We never told anyone about this, not even Mom. How could you explain that your youngest brother played whistle in a duet with a giant rattlesnake?
        We asked Ted if he was going to put Rex in the theatre or in the movies and make a lot of money, but he said no, it was just in fun and besides it was Art. We said fine -- art, huh?
        Fall came and finally Rex went off to wherever he -- or maybe she -- hibernated. Ted missed his serpentine friend but got over it by Christmas.
        The next Spring Ted couldn't find Rex anywhere. He looked and whistled all over the Boogie Swamp, but there was no Rex to be found.
        Ted was really very disappointed, but he didn't let it stop him from doing other things.
        But it was a strange Summer, too. We didn't see ANY rattlers in the Swamp. None at all.
        School started and Autumn fell. Ted hadn't seen his slithery sidekick for a whole year.
        Then one day, when the leaves were red and gold and the sky was bright blue with white clouds and there was a hint of cool, we four were again hiking through the Swamp, returning from gathering hickory nuts along Cedar Creek.
        Ted was trudging along dejectedly, thinking, we knew, about Rex.
        We stopped for a minute and suddenly Ted's head snapped up and he looked off to the left and shouted "Rex!" and tore off through the bushes!
        Then we heard it too -- the faint sound of a rattlesnake shaking his rattles to the tune of The Stars and Stripes Forever.
        We followed the path Ted had cleared for us through the brambles and we found him sitting on a long rock, facing a good-sized depression.
        We sat on the rock next to Ted and saw that the depression was filled with rattlesnakes. There must have been seventy-five or eighty of them: long ones and short ones, fat and skinny, some with lots of rattles and some with just a few.
        And in front of them all was Rex.
        Rex coiled himself up and -- I swear that this is true! -- he bowed to Ted and made little bows to us.
        Then he turned back to the other rattlers and they formed rows and the rattling got quiet.
        Rex pumped his head a couple of times and the rattlers started rattling. It took a moment, but we realized that we were hearing The Washington Post March!
        When it was over we clapped and clapped and clapped. And it dawned on us that the reason that rattlesnakes were so scarce that Summer was because Rex had been teaching them the music he had learned from Ted!
        It was a grand concert! We heard Manhattan Beach and Hands Across the Sea and The Washington and Lee Swing and The Notre Dame Victory March and On Wisconsin and Fight Fiercely, Harvard and The Air Force Song and the Triumphal March from Aida and Home On the Range and Three Jolly Coachmen and They're Moving Father's Grave To Build a Sewer and Clementine and Bell Bottom Trousers and Anchors Aweigh and the largo from Dvorak's The New World Symphony and Eine Kleine Nachtmusik and Bach's famous Toccata and Fugue and at the end, of course, The Stars and Stripes Forever.
        Each of the snakes took a little bow after Rex motioned them up, just like a human conductor who was proud of his or her orchestra.
        We clapped so hard that they played Puff the Magic Dragon as an encore.
        Then they all bowed again and slithered away into a hole beneath another rock because it was getting dark and it was, after all, time to hibernate.
        Ted looked at his friend Rex and Rex looked at Ted and no one said anything. Then Rex left to join his fellows for the winter and we went home to a supper of fondue and flapjacks and fool and frittata and fillets and farl and fruitade to drink, and of course, fruit flambé for dessert.
        I don't know what ever happened to Rex and the All-Rattler Orchestra, but I heard some Mexican music that makes me think that maybe Rex taught maracas in Mexico. Ted may know, though.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: GUEST,Chongo Chimp
Date: 10 Feb 12 - 09:22 AM

You got him reelin', Rap, like a gorilla who's just taken a right cross, a left uppercut, a knee in the groin, and a clip of .45 cal in the gut. He knows he ain't got a chance. He is already pushin' up the celestial daisies. Ook! Ook! ;-D

- Chongo


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Rapparee
Date: 10 Feb 12 - 01:48 PM

So, Amos still hasn't capitulated to my greatness in BS!!! (By the way, Dixon, Illinois was the childhood home of Ronald Reagan.)

On May 14, 1832, a detachment of 275 militia under the command of Majors Isaiah Stillman and David Bailey, under orders from Illinois Governor Reynolds, were encamped near Old Man's Creek, not far from its confluence with the Rock River. The militia camp was located about three miles (5 km) east of the Rock River near present-day Stillman Valley, Illinois, and seven miles (11 km) south of the Sauk encampment. It is believed that the militia and its commanders were unaware of their proximity to Black Hawk's British Band.

Black Hawk, in conference with the local Potawatomi, learned of Stillman's presence and sent three emissaries to the militia camp under a flag of parley in order to negotiate a peace with the soldiers. The already suspicious soldiers took the three emissaries to their camp, and during the proceedings the militia became aware of several of Black Hawk's scouts in the surrounding hills, watching the proceedings. Once the scouts were spotted, soldiers shot at the three emissaries, killing one. The other two fled back toward their camp, located near the confluence of the Rock and Kishwaukee Rivers.

The scouts fled but were pursued by the disorganized militia and several were killed. The surviving scouts arrived at Black Hawk's camp ahead of the militia and reported the events. At the camp, the warriors then set up a skirmish line in order to fend off the pending militia attack.[8] The militia soldiers, intent on pursuing the scouts, chased them back toward the main force of Black Hawk's warriors and their skirmish line. Black Hawk and his force concealed themselves and ambushed the pursuers. The soldiers, believing that thousands of Sauk and Fox were chasing them, panicked and fled back to the main force camped at Dixon's Ferry. Stillman's exact whereabouts are unknown during this point in the battle, a later newspaper account written by him did not mention his location and noted his only order was to retreat. Stillman's account, published in the Missouri Republican, has been called fanciful.
                                          
Twelve of Stillman's militia were killed in the melee. A band of volunteers under the leadership of Captain John Giles Adams made a stand on a hill south of the main militia camp. The men fought by moonlight as the main body of the militia fled back to Dixon. The entire 12-man detachment, including Adams, was killed in the fight. It has also been asserted that Adams may have, in fact, been killed by his own men as he futilely attempted to muster them to battle. The number of Sauk and Fox killed in the engagement is largely unknown; the militia party that was sent to locate the "missing" 53 militia men found no dead Sauk. Black Hawk is quoted as saying at least three and maybe as many as five of his warriors were killed.


                         --Wikipedia (emphasis added)
------------------
Stillman's Run
(A Ballad Of The Militia)

Were you there at the fight at Stillman's Run?
Were you there for the flight at Stillman's Run?
When our brave militia boys
The pride of Illinois
Took on Blackhawk and his band at Stillman's Run?

Were you there at the front at Stillman's Run?
Did you fire off your gun at Stillman's Run?
Was your poor scalp spared
When the savages appeared
Were you there for the fight at Stillman's Run?

When will the glory fade of Stillman's Run?
When will history pull its shade on Stillman's Run?
When Blackhawk and his boys
Taught the pride of Illinois
How fast they all could run at Stillman's Run.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Rapparee
Date: 10 Feb 12 - 02:56 PM

Amos is afraid to come out and admit my superiority.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Amos
Date: 10 Feb 12 - 04:45 PM

Your notion that there is such a thing as capitualtion is a twisted and perverse one, good Rapp. When you write honestly, I admire your undeniable talent. When you don't, I chide you for it. Your qualities are absolute and impeccably your own, and no one need seek to best them or fear being bested by them. It is not that sort of a game at all, you know.

I suggest not taking your playbook pages from demented simians or their keepers.


A


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: gnu
Date: 10 Feb 12 - 04:52 PM

Ooooo... fighten words?

Good stuff, Rap.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Rapparee
Date: 10 Feb 12 - 08:57 PM

EVERYTHING that I have posted since the post of 11:04 p.m., February 8, 2012 has been written by me unless properly attributed. Everything. In fact, on the originals I asserted copyright to prevent Certain Types Of People from getting any ideas.
----------------------

        Thanksgivings were without exception a time for family gatherings as I was growing up, a time when relatives would gather at a previously selected home and share the food, chores and general living of the day. Some cousins would only appear on Thanksgiving, or to a lesser extent Christmas, and one could receive the impression that they were kept in the closet between holidays.
        But Sundays were lesser holidays too, and Uncle Phil and Aunt Rose, neighbors Vern and Leona, and Mother and me would often share Sunday dinner with Uncle Mathias and Aunt Thecla. We would usually go over immediately after church and while Mother and Aunt Thecla would work to prepare dinner, me and Uncle Mathias would "get out of the kitchen" and do something else -- usually out of doors.
        I was twelve on the Fall Sunday when Uncle Mathias gave me a rifle. I suppose now that he had discussed it with my Mother beforehand, but at the time I could only gape -- something I still do when I take it down and realize what I was given on that cool, sunny day over a half century ago.
        Uncle told me shortly after Mother and I had arrived that we would be going hunting that day. We had often done so before: I would be the "dog" and flush rabbits for Uncle Mathias to miss.
        But rather than taking his shotgun, on this day he brought from his den a flintlock rifle, a leather shoulder bag and a powder horn.
        I recognized the gear; I had seen Walt Disney's Davy Crockett on television. I rather expected him to have a coonskin cap, for
it seemed to me that a flintlock wouldn't work right without one. But Uncle Mathias put his "huntin' hat," an old brown felt, on his head and his "huntin' jacket" on his body. He stuck a couple of sandwiches in his pockets, told me to get the canteen of water, and what was I waitin' for, didn't I want to go huntin'?
        We walked a quarter mile or so down the road from his house, and turned into the pasture of the old Schletter farm. Uncle slid the strange rifle under the barbed wire fence, climbed through and held the wire for me. A short distance further and we reached a high clay bank, cut by the creek over time.
        Uncle stopped and told me that it was necessary to "dry the pan" before we began in earnest. I was still so taken aback with the archaic weapon that he could have as well told me that he had to "energize the globbermet" before his death ray would work.
        He took a ramrod from under the barrel and ran it down the barrel, and then took it out and compared it to the length of the barrel -- since Davy Crockett never did such a thing, I had no idea why he did this. Then he flipped part of the flintlock up, took something like a tiny powder horn from his pouch, poured powder (I guessed that it was powder) into the flintlock, pushed the flintlock down, pulled the other part of the flintlock back and pulled the trigger.
        There were sparks and a flash from the flintlock. There was no great blast of smoke and flame from the barrel and I was disappointed.
        Uncle Mathias looked at my face and could read my
disappointment there.
        "Here," he said. "Let's load her up and try her out with a load in her. You watch me, and I'll explain to you what I'm doin' and why."
        And then he explained to me about measuring the barrel with the ramrod to insure that the weapon wasn't loaded, about loading from a measure and not from the horn ("Davy Crockett would have been called 'Hooks' if he did it the way they do it on television, so you forget that stuff and listen to me"), about patching and placing the ball with the sprue upright, about the use of the ballstarter and the ramrod, about priming and cocking and firing and he even mentioned the need to dress the flint from time to time.
        And when he fired the old gun this time, aiming at a can I placed against the bank across the creek, there was a most satisfying crash and flash from both the lock (as I had learned to call it) and the barrel.
        The tin can had a hole in it, right through the circle in the middle of the label. And I was in love with a rifle.
        "You can try it later," Uncle Mathias said. "But before you do, you'll have to pass a test."
        "You just told me all about it," I said. And because I wanted so badly to fire the rifle -- or even to hold it -- I added, "I remember what you told me. Just ask me anything."
        "What do you do for a misfire?" asked Uncle Mathias. "How do you pull a ball? What's the difference between two F and three F? How do you read a patch? What's a possibles bag? What's a jag for, and how's it different from a worm?"
        I, of course, failed the test.
        "Look," said Uncle. "Just because I told you how this old gal is loaded and fired, why, that's only the top of it. You got a lot of growin' and knowin' to do. But you sit down here, and listen to me while we eat some lunch." And he took out our sandwiches, sat under a tree and laid the rifle across his lap. I sat facing him.
        We ate in silence, as he prefered when we were hunting. After we ate, he filled and lit his pipe and relaxed against the tree trunk behind him.
        "I never thought much of this old rifle," he began. "Not 'til the Depression.
        "I got it from my Father, who got it from his. This rifle was made in Pennsylvania a long time ago, and it came out here when my Grandfather came out here as a young man. This rifle wasn't new then, but of course it was a lot younger than it is now. You're Great-Grandfather got it from a gent in Tennessee who had put it up as a bet in a card game.
        "It's not new, but it is in real good shape. I hope I'm in that good of shape when I'm as old as this rifle -- it was 162 years old last year, you can see the date it was made here by the tang.
        "Anyway, like I was sayin', I got this from my brother -- your Grandfather. It had been in the family, and I wanted somethin' to hunt with and so he gave it to me to shut me up. I used it for a few years, and when I left home on my wanderings, I left it behind and your Grandmother took care of it for me while I was gone.
        "What did I want with an old flintlock anyway? It was okay to fiddle around with when I was a kid, but I was a man when I left home, I was nearly sixteen years old! I was goin' to make a bunch of money up in the Yukon and I'd buy me a really good gun then!
        "'Course, I left Juneau with about a thousand dollars, a lot in them days, but somehow I never really got rich. I learned a lot in the meantime, though.
        "I came back and married Thecla and bought this farm and settled down to raise my kids. 'Bout the time the first one came along, we were in the War in Europe and I marched off to fight the Hun. I carried the best rifle of the time in that war, and I did my part and was glad to come home when it was over.
        "Thecla and me had four kids by the time the Depression hit in 1929.
        "Things got real bad around here real fast. I'd had a job at the mill in town, 'cause the farm didn't pay enough. We'd raise vegetables and a few chickens, but I couldn't make the farm pay -- it was just a tad too small for that, but it was a good place to raise the kids.
        "But like I say, things got bad fast. Early in 1930 the mill closed, 'cause Mr. Miller, who owned it, had borrowed too much money to expand it in 1928. And there was nothin' else around here that was hirin' people. Even when some people got hired the pay was poor, but it was better than nothin'.        
        "Nowdays, you have unemployment and other kinds of help. Back then, you were on your own.
        "Thecla don't like to talk about those times. She'd bake bread and stretch the flour somehow. We couldn't afford butter and we sure didn't have a cow, so we'd spread lard on the bread instead. Meat'd be a chicken we'd kill, but that was only for special occasions since a dead chicken couldn't lay eggs. And there were six mouths to feed and sometimes we'd even try to help out them what was even worse off than we were.
        "I had two rifles and my shotgun then. Only I couldn't afford the shells -- shoes for the kids came first.
        "Then I thought of this old friend. I had all of the stuff for her from the old days, and I traded a live layin' hen to Old Man Hawkes down at the store for two pounds of powder. I melted down some old lead I had in the barn and molded it into bullets, cut some patches, made some patch grease and I was on my way.
        "I started walkin' along the old C B and Q right-of-way. There was two reasons for this: first off, I could nail a rabbit or a squirrel along there, and second, I could collect what coal fell off the tenders and take it home for the furnace.
        "No, I didn't have a huntin' license and I shot rabbits and squirrels out of season. And I'm sorry I did it, because not only did I break the law but I believe now and I believed then that we'll only have any sort of game to hunt if we conserve what we have. But I had hungry kids, too, and I felt very close to that Indian prayer that apologies to the soul of the slain animals and explains that the animals were only killed to feed hungry people.
        "Then and today, I think that the person who shoots an animal only for the head -- the kind of person who shot that deer last Fall on Phil's place and took the head and left the meat to rot, you remember -- is something which ain't either human or animal, but some kind of other thing that should be squashed.
        "But I knew I was doin' wrong, and I took the responsibility for it. And when the Game Warden finally caught me, he put me to work paintin' park benches in town as a punishment. He knew I was only shootin' what I needed to feed the kids, and he never took me into Court. 'Course, it would have been different if I was shootin' deer, or sellin' what I shot or somethin'.
        "Thecla and me made it through '30 and '31, but '32 wasn't any better and didn't look like things were goin' to get that way, either.
        "Then one day, I was out walkin' along the tracks like usual, hunting for coal and rabbits, when a handcar came lickety-split around the bend and started brakin' as soon as it saw me.
        "Now, I knew I was trespassin' on the railroad's right-of-way, but I never thought anything of it, and the railroad workers had even got to know me and sometimes a shovelful of coal would miss the firebox right when the engine was near me. Why, some of the railroad workers were my neighbors!
        "But Old Discher was the Supervisor for the railroad here back then, and he was a hard man. When that handcar started
slowin' down, I saw that one of the people on it was Discher and I took off for the woods. Poachin' rabbits was one thing, but Discher would send me to jail for thirty days for trespassin', and then what would Thecla and the kids do?
        "I chose the wrong place to run into the woods, 'cause there was a creek borderin' the track -- and the creek was at the bottom of a fifty-foot gorge. I just dropped into the bushes and hoped that I wouldn't be seen.
        "Well, Discher knew right where I was.
        "'Come on outl,' says he. 'I want to talk to you.'
        "I lay still. I had a good idea what he wanted to talk to me about.
        "'If you do not come out, and put your gun on the ground, I will send these two railroad policemen with me to get you,' he said.
        "I stood up and put the gun on the ground, thinkin' that this was a heck of way to end up a day that had started out pretty well.
        "'Oh, come here,' said Discher. 'I feel no need to continue shouting.'
        "I walked over to where he and the other two guys were.
        "'I am told that you have been walking along this section of track for quite some time. I assume that you are picking up coal spills from the trains?'
        "I admitted as much.
        "'And you also shoot small game along the railroad right-of-way, even if it is out of season?'
        "Again I had to agree.
        "'Would you say that you are quite familiar with the tracks in this ten mile section, and with the roadbed in this section in general?'
        "I told him that I had been walking along it for a couple of years and that I had lived around here for more'n ten years, so that I felt I knew the area pretty well.
        "'Well,' he said then, 'Would you like the position of track walker for this section? The pay is twelve dollars per week, and you must furnish the kerosene for your lantern. You will be expected to replace spikes which have worked loose in the ties, and perform such simple maintenance tasks as that. More complex problems you will report. I warn you, you will be expected to work every day of the year, and you will be on call twenty-four hours each day. We will expect ten hours work each day from you and you will be supervised to insure that the railroad is getting its money's worth. As long as you perform your assigned tasks, you may also pick up coal and do what you have been doing. Are you interested?'
        "I just couldn't say anything. I thought I was goin' to jail, and instead I was offered a job. A job! I'd been more or less out of work for two years and this man was offering me a job!         "'Come, come! If you aren't interested in my offer, say so! I can find others for the position, I should think,' said Discher.
        "I told him that yes, I was interested and that I would report to the railroad offices the next day at seven in the morning, since I heard that that was the startin' time.
        "'Very good. I'll see you then.' And he got on the handcar and away he and the two railroad dicks went.
        "I sat down on the side of the roadbed and just shook my head. Then I stood up and started back home.
        "Thecla was surprised to see me back so early and thought that I was sick. Well, in a way I was, I guess -- sick with happiness. When I told her what had happened, she didn't believe it at first and then forgave me for not bringin' home anything for the stewpot. We ate a chicken that night to celebrate and I started doin' what I had been doin' the next day, but gettin' paid for it too.
        "I worked for the railroad until I enlisted in the Navy in 1941. Mr. Discher got to be a good friend of mine, and he told me later on that he'd heard about me from the train crews and after he had looked into my situation he'd decided to do something for me if he could. When I quit the railroad, Discher had retired and I was a foreman.
        "But that's how I came to realize how much this old rifle meant to me, when I had to use it to put meat on the table for the family. Now, men and women in our family have been good shots for years, good gun handlers and responsible citizens. I'll tell you what I'm goin' to do. You go down to the library in town and study up on shootin', and more important, shootin' black powder guns and flintlocks specifically. If they don't have nothin' on it, tell me. When you've studied up on it, I'll quiz you, and then I'll teach you some more. When you have the book learnin', I'll let you shoot. And when you can put five balls in a row in a three inch circle at one hundred feet, I'll pass this rifle on to you like my Father passed it on to me. Is it a deal?"
        I was so surprised with the offer that I could only stare. I quickly agreed to his terms, and Uncle Mathias looked at his watch and allowed that there was no more time for hunting that day, and only barely enough to get back in time for dinner.
        It took seven months before I fired the rifle, before I had the "book learnin'" to Uncle Mathias' satisfaction. It was another six months before I could meet his accuracy standards and the beautiful old rifle became mine, lock, stock and barrel.
        I own several guns, including two other muzzleloaders. But when I take the Old Lady down and rest my cheek against her stock for a moment I can feel the presence of Uncle Mathias, and of those who held and used her before him. It gives me a feeling for history, a personal place in the flow of Time. I've looked into her past, and now know what the crossed arrow and tomahawk mark means; I've tried to trace her wanderings during the years, and found a very distinct possibility that she was fired from a cotton bale rest outside of New Orleans one day in 1814. Her rifling has never been refreshed, as far as I can tell, and yet she will send a ball as true as what she must have when she was first "shot in."
        Once, as a teenager, I was shooting her when my Mother came to pick me up and take me home. In the way of the cocky kid I was, I suggested that my Mother take a shot with the Old Lady. My mother proceeded to swab, dry, load, prime and fire -- and shot in two a stick one inch square 75 yards away which I had been firing at for over two hours.
        Her only comment, later, was that she had had some lessons from Uncle Matthias "before you were born. Now take out the garbage."
        The Old Lady connects me with my Mother, too. I feel that I stand at the end of a long line of people who have entrusted the
Old Lady to me.   And it is a trust, not an ownership. I cannot sell the Old Lady; I can only pass on the trust. Someday I shall.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Acme
Date: 10 Feb 12 - 08:57 PM

Wow! Someone is putting in some long writing hours on a Friday evening!

Went down to city hall for the annual garden club spaghetti supper. Big fat soft spaghetti, hamburger sauce, the works. Salad, bread, dessert. I got my carbs for the next couple of days all in one shot. (My next door neighbor gives me tickets every year - I fix her computer every so often so this is a nice little perk).


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Rapparee
Date: 10 Feb 12 - 09:05 PM

I suspect that Chongo cannot read or write, although if put in a room with a typewriter and HUGE roll of paper he might if given enough time write everything that's ever been written.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Rapparee
Date: 10 Feb 12 - 09:18 PM

Nah, I wrote this stuff long ago. There's a lot of it.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Amos
Date: 11 Feb 12 - 02:24 AM

It's top drawer, Rapp. Much better than your normal quotidian material. I swan.

Thanks for that great story.


A


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Amos
Date: 11 Feb 12 - 02:44 PM

Let us don our finest frappery
Bind up our loins with nappery
ANd get silly-slappery
To celebrate our Rapparee!!

Happy Birthday, Big Guy.


A


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: gnu
Date: 11 Feb 12 - 03:29 PM

Happies Rappy!


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Rapparee
Date: 11 Feb 12 - 03:40 PM

Thank you, Amos. At least someone remembered. Now I'll go back into the cinder and ashes in the corner and curl up and let the tears flow. Forgotten by all but Amos, hungry and alone, the cold cruel wind of winter blowing through the chinks in my log cabin's walls, my poor old horse unfed and ungroomed in the barn because the snow drifts prevent me from getting there, the fire dying low on the hearth and no more firewood, the last crust of damp moldy bread scrounged from a mouse hole carefully laid upon a scrap of paper as my birthday feast, my boots already eaten so that the hard frost on the floor tears bits of skin away when I walk, the chimney blocked with snow so that the smoke from the dying fire hides the roofbeams in its roils...I'll take a drink from last dregs from the barrel of filthy water and cry myself to a sleep from which, perchance, I might never awaken in this vale of tears but instead wake to a glorious golden land beyond Bifrost where the flagons of mead and rich, steaming heroes' joints burden the table around which the companions of my youth feast and wench.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Rapparee
Date: 11 Feb 12 - 03:42 PM

Except for the few who don't prefer wenches.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: gnu
Date: 11 Feb 12 - 03:50 PM

I got me a wench fer sale eh? 8 tousand pound wench le. It's a Warn but it ain't worn out no le. Dat wench haul dat truck straight up a tree goddamn. Yer Birtday? Good price for you. Lemmie know eh?


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Rapparee
Date: 11 Feb 12 - 06:21 PM

I need me a 12 tousand pound wench, gnu, me. I move railroad car to out back but it uphill.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: gnu
Date: 11 Feb 12 - 09:01 PM

No problem. Haul it twice.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Rapparee
Date: 11 Feb 12 - 09:35 PM

gnu, just for you I was looking through the Single Action Shooting Society's rules. This is the group that does "cowboy action shooting" and I know that you're interested in doing that. But you got a problem, which I've emphasized here:

Ammunition required for reloads during the course of any stage must be carried on the shooter's person in a bandoleer, cartridge/shotshell belt loop, pouch, holster, or pocket or be safely staged as required by stage instructions. Leather belt slide ammo loops are acceptable; however, shotgun shell slides may not be worn over shotgun loops on an ammo belt. Shotgun loops must be in a single row. Rifle and revolver ammunition may not be carried in a shotshell loop. No ammunition may be carried in the mouth, ears, nose, cleavage, or any other bodily orifice.

It's just so...so...not cowboy to see someone reloading from a bodily orifice, I guess. I mean, what would Roy or Gene or Hopalong or Tom say?


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Acme
Date: 12 Feb 12 - 12:28 AM

I think the freds pooped a bit earlier - it landed by the boatload on mudcat this afternoon. Been bailing like mad. This message buried in MOAB probably won't reach the perpetrator. Capt. M had to stop the engines briefly, set up the shields. All underway again now.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Ebbie
Date: 12 Feb 12 - 02:43 AM

43825

Never thought I would write that number.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: GUEST,Chongo Chimp
Date: 12 Feb 12 - 10:59 AM

I got more important things to do than write reams of useless chatter about stuff that don't matter, Rap. I got cases to solve, classy dames to entertain, witnesses to question, friends to discuss life with over a drink or two...I got real WORK to do, buddy. I'm guessin' that REAL work is a subject you got only a sorta vague familiarity with these days. Am I right?

- Chongo


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Amos
Date: 12 Feb 12 - 11:39 AM

AN imaginary crittur
DOin' an Imaginary job
He 's some kinda awful
Imaginary slob!
Imaginary tirades
At an imaginary jerk
And he brags all day about
Imaginary work

Tell me how long
Do I have to wait?
Can I wake up now?
Or must I hesitate?


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

Amos, I have to tell you that I've already written this giant song which was trigged by your previous "imaginary" poem lines. It's called "Imaginary", and I love it. It's going to be an important song in my repertoire, and I have you to thank for it.

I guess we'll have to share the credits on that one.

It sounds like a Dylan song of '65 or '66, one of the really long ones a la "Desolation Row" or "Stuck Inside of Mobile With the Memphis Blues Again". It's all social satire about the weird head trips people get into whilst they're avoiding dealing with what I would term real life...


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Rapparee
Date: 12 Feb 12 - 12:14 PM

My Dear Mr. Chongo,

Unlike you, I've crawled through mud, stone and sand while machine gun bullets cracked overhead. Unlike you, I made and set gravestones which sometimes weighed a ton or more and I did this in hot weather and cold, in both 100% humidity and snow. I have moved the contents of entire buildings from one to another. I've poured concrete foundations and I've hunted wild game so there would be food on the table. I've repaired leaking roofs and crossed rapids by swinging along, chimp style on a rope, while carried a hundred pound pack. I've laid bricks and worked on railroads. And I've put up with idiots who think I've never done "real work."

As I understand your life you sit on your butt in an office lit only by a fly-specked light bulb, fanning yourself with a fan from the local undertaker's parlor, swilling cheap whiskey and waiting for a client to stroll through the door and realize that they didn't wander into the wrong office after all. This client will, of course, be gorgeous, with scarlet lips, long blonde hair, and leg that would set any normal male panting if all of this client was a woman. Your client ("Call me Lancette, please") will tell you some tale of how his boyfriend is "stepping out" on him and that he wants proof for a divorce. If a client doesn't come looking for you you'll put your "Genuine Army 45" water pistol in your "Genuine Detective" plastic shoulder holster and head to the closest sleaze joint and try to cadge some cheap drinks from the bartender. The bouncer will toss you so far out that you'll have to ask a cop for directions back, and after accosting and being slapped by several women you'll go back to your cold-water, roach-infested, bathroom-down-the-hall, no-cooking-in-the-rooms apartment instead of being picked up by the police and put into the slammer again for being a general nuisance. After picking off your fleas you'll hit the hay and think until you go to sleep of the cruel joke you played on your sister and mother, repenting nothing. And when the sun peeks around the wad of newspaper shoved into the hole in your window you'll awaken and start the whole weary process again, and again, and again until one day your wasted, mange-bald body is found laying dead in bed with your hand where it was searching to prove to yourself that you really were once male.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Little Hawk
Date: 12 Feb 12 - 01:02 PM

LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Omigod.

I would pay a lot to be a fly on the wall and watch Chongo's face when he reads that.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Amos
Date: 12 Feb 12 - 01:17 PM

That shouldn't be hard for you, man. It's your imagination, after all!


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: gnu
Date: 12 Feb 12 - 01:26 PM

The plows don't hit the major roads here until there is 100m of snow down and it started at 4PM after raining all day. The temp dropped fast and the initial accumulation was slow so there was no way to stop the buildup of ice-like-sheet packed snow on accounta ya don't put salt down in a storm.

So, after close to a foot of that white crap fell and was cleared, the salt trucks hit the major roads. Well, salt ain't gonna do any good at -fuckit'scold degrees in the dark hours. Ya gotta get traffic on it to work the salt in and not much goes on round here until the stores open at 10AM.

At noon, I drove about 6km round trip one of the busiest roads in town. I drove at 30 to 40kph, depending on traffic and what I could see on the road... the odd bare stretch and mostly slippery stuff. At 500m, the guy behind me decides that's two slow and changes lanes to get around me. Not just one lane. Two and a half lanes. That's where his ass end and the pickup truck's front end met.

At 1.5km, buddy is trying to turn left in a front wheel drive car. He accelerated okay for about 1.5m whereupon he lost traction on the slippery stuff between the lanes. The idiot in the 4X4 coming the other way was driving too fast and slammed on his breaks and I didn't look back. Didn't have to... I heard it.

At almost 3km, buddy that is about to come onto the major road doesn't, even though his light has turned green, on accounta he knew that the idiot driving too fast on the major road wasn't gonna get stopped... when he did get stopped he decided it was better to keep going than block the guy with the green light.

300m from my street, I was making a right hand turn from a parking lot. Big Dodge 4X4 was going too fast to make the parking lot entrance. He was on slush on top of frozen snow and ice. But he started to turn and put on his brakes. Now, ABS are good if ya know how ta use em. But, all I could see was the fuckin Ram on the hood at about shoulder level to ME comin straight for my left wheel. He took his foot off the brakes, turned the wheel, nailed the gas and managed to swing the arse end enough to just clear my front end. Of course, then he was in a skid and those 20" rear tires were throwin snow. Thank goodness there was no opposing traffin on accounta that big Dodge pushed a little car in the inside lane into the opposing laneS broadside.

I am home for the rest of the day.

How can they drive in this part of the world and not know that slush, snow and ice are slippery?


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: gnu
Date: 12 Feb 12 - 01:31 PM

... until there is 100mm of snow...

100m is a tad too much.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Rapparee
Date: 12 Feb 12 - 05:53 PM

Many, many years ago in a galaxy far away I spent 28 YEARS driving in snow belts around the Great Damned Lakes. I learned:

1. You accelerate until you feels the wheels start to slide and then back off. That's your safe speed.

2. Four wheel or all wheel drive means you skid with all four wheels instead of two.

3. Sometimes you just stay home and if you're uncomfortable driving in the stuff, turn around and go back home.

4. Have good tires on your vehicle and maintain them.

5. "Every dog has its day and every fool has his ditch -- you can only hope he doesn't take someone else with him and that he hasn't reproduced."

6. Drive like you wish others would.

7. People will ALWAYS forget from one snowfall to the next how to drive on slippery, snowy, and icy roads.


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

My old man, when teaching me to drive, said, "The slower you are going when you hit something, the less it costs."


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Rapparee
Date: 12 Feb 12 - 07:51 PM

I always that it was, "If you can't stop, hit something cheap."


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Amos
Date: 12 Feb 12 - 08:03 PM

First important snowfall was an annual drill at our house in Connecticut, growing up. We were near the bottom end of a winding, hilly two-laner going up to Ridgefield, and every year on the first snow, those who forgot what "snow" meant would end up in our living room, sipping some restorative sherry and waiting for the tow truck or the husband or whatever to come get them out of the ditch. Never failed. Some years we would get six or eight at once sitting around the fire. Very pleasant to those of us who were snug at home.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Rapparee
Date: 12 Feb 12 - 08:57 PM

I prefer snow that gently but insistently falls, covering the ugliness of Winter whilst I sit by a quiet fire with a good book and some good brandy, lost in some other time or place. Perhaps I'm with Tars Tarkas and John Carter, or learning of the Vigilantes, or traveling through the slums of 19th Century London, or chatting with the Grey Lensman or Sir Isaac Newton, or trying to understand the nature of Time until I have indeed out-watched The Bear.


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

I am impressed with the flowers that bloom in winter's frozen hour
In the soul of angry men, locked in by cold.
Somehow their inner fires are turned up by it
And they let out beauty like breath on frozen air.
Would all their days could be so wintry
And all their breaths so fair!

A


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Rapparee
Date: 13 Feb 12 - 07:58 AM

Yeah, well, Pat's home and I have to drive her 100 miles round trip to see an eye surgeon today. (Nothing serious.)


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Amos
Date: 13 Feb 12 - 10:19 AM

Yeah, well, I don't. But I do have to go to work.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Eiseley
Date: 13 Feb 12 - 02:47 PM

At least you have a nice new car to drive in!

Eiseley


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Acme
Date: 13 Feb 12 - 03:11 PM

New car? Lucky you! I have a 12-year-old pickup. Low miles still, relatively, but to the point where some months the repairs might be better spent as payments on a new vehicle.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Amos
Date: 13 Feb 12 - 03:23 PM

Well it is a new car, but its the same new car I've been driving since 2008 or so. ANd it had ten K on it when I bought it.

But I really like it. A RAV4 LE V6, as much power as I need but still gets 20 miles to the gallon freeway. With a tailwind.


A


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Rapparee
Date: 13 Feb 12 - 04:36 PM

C'mon out. We'll have a race. Your ravin' 4 agin my Subaru Forester. I ain't had it up to the 150 mph that's listed on the speed-o-meter yet.

Well, the folks in IF screwed up and Pat's surgery is now tomorrow morning at 7:00 ("be here by 6"). We're going to go up and spend the night 'cause we ain't no fools. Getting the EKG they wanted last night was a breeze at our local horsepithall, and then this...farce...this morning. Then it looks like Friday she has to have an extraction as a start on an implant for a failed root canal.

I may or may not check in until later tomorrow.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: gnu
Date: 13 Feb 12 - 04:40 PM

"a failed root canal" on top? Oh, now THAT just sucks!


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Amos
Date: 13 Feb 12 - 05:13 PM

Wel, I am all in favor of those permannet grinders. Once the angst is over they are puredee Gawdsend to us carnivorous types who drank too much bilgewater in our younger years.


A


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Rapparee
Date: 13 Feb 12 - 06:57 PM

Apparently they're going to do the whole dental implant thing at once. Tooth out, implant and new thing in. At least that's the impression I get from the litterachure they gave her.

Turns out the tooth with the root canal was cracked and probably cracked last year when they did the rc. It didn't show up on the x-rays today OR a year ago, but it's found by a probe. Awkward place for a crack, apparently, not one you'd look for a crack. BUT the orthodontist refunded here half the cost of the root canal because it failed.

Money is always nice. Unexpected money is even better.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: gnu
Date: 13 Feb 12 - 07:08 PM

"half the cost of the root canal" That is unacceptable. They messed up... they pay. Of course, one does not wanna piss off a dentist.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Rapparee
Date: 13 Feb 12 - 09:50 PM

Better half than none. And this dentist is actually a pretty nice guy, for a dentist. No "America: Love It Or Get Your Ass Out" or "Gun Control Means Using Both Hands" bumper stickers or anything. Not ever a simple "Bush/Cheney." I don't know what's happening to the dental profession.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Amos
Date: 14 Feb 12 - 09:16 AM

I think he did the process in good faith. Anyway, nmy dentist is one-quarter Mexican and when you mention Bush she just laughs and shakes her haead in sad wonderment.

My implant dentist in Mexico is her cousin, and he just laughs. They are very polite. But you know they wonder about the gringos.


A


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Acme
Date: 14 Feb 12 - 11:04 AM

I have a half tooth/half porcelain half-crown on one molar in back. It was a cracked tooth that hadn't gotten to the point where a root canal was needed. Give Pat a big hug for us, Rap, when she's conscious so she knows it is from the rest of us. :)


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: gnu
Date: 14 Feb 12 - 02:29 PM

I cracked the two lower molars next to the back molars the same way... pork shoulder picnic chops had little pieces of bone in the meat. Don't buy em anymore.

Apparently, I am one of the lucky ones that have four roots in these and very lucky to have such large and deep roots. It was excruciating. Drill, inject, drill, inject... 8 times with some of them. $1800 a crack. But, Mexico is a fair drive from here.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Rapparee
Date: 14 Feb 12 - 07:21 PM

Well, the old saying is "The closer the bone the more tender the meat." Should have been the tenderest meat you ever et, 'cause it cost you enough. Shucks, for that kinda money you coulda flown to Paris or Halifax or somewhere and had a GOOD meal.


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