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BS: The Mother of all BS threads

Rapparee 04 May 10 - 05:17 PM
Amos 04 May 10 - 02:58 PM
Rapparee 04 May 10 - 02:56 PM
Amos 04 May 10 - 02:47 PM
Rapparee 04 May 10 - 02:26 PM
Amos 04 May 10 - 01:51 PM
GUEST,Eiseley 04 May 10 - 12:37 PM
Acme 04 May 10 - 12:19 PM
Amos 04 May 10 - 10:48 AM
Rapparee 04 May 10 - 10:46 AM
Amos 04 May 10 - 10:44 AM
Eiseley 04 May 10 - 10:44 AM
Rapparee 04 May 10 - 10:36 AM
Amos 04 May 10 - 10:02 AM
Rapparee 04 May 10 - 01:22 AM
Eiseley 03 May 10 - 11:35 PM
Amos 03 May 10 - 11:22 PM
Rapparee 03 May 10 - 10:07 PM
Rapparee 03 May 10 - 10:05 PM
Rapparee 03 May 10 - 10:01 PM
Amos 03 May 10 - 08:21 PM
Rapparee 03 May 10 - 07:29 PM
GUEST,Eiseley 03 May 10 - 07:22 PM
Rapparee 03 May 10 - 07:01 PM
Rapparee 03 May 10 - 06:48 PM
Amos 03 May 10 - 06:41 PM
Acme 03 May 10 - 06:38 PM
Rapparee 03 May 10 - 06:11 PM
GUEST,Eiseley 03 May 10 - 02:23 PM
Amos 03 May 10 - 12:55 PM
MMario 03 May 10 - 11:08 AM
Rapparee 03 May 10 - 10:57 AM
Amos 03 May 10 - 10:10 AM
Amos 02 May 10 - 10:10 PM
Rapparee 02 May 10 - 08:44 PM
Eiseley 02 May 10 - 06:36 PM
Rapparee 02 May 10 - 06:24 PM
Amos 02 May 10 - 04:52 PM
Rapparee 02 May 10 - 02:57 PM
Amos 02 May 10 - 02:31 PM
Acme 02 May 10 - 12:21 PM
Rapparee 02 May 10 - 11:53 AM
Amos 02 May 10 - 11:04 AM
Amos 02 May 10 - 12:04 AM
Rapparee 01 May 10 - 09:52 PM
Rapparee 01 May 10 - 09:48 PM
Eiseley 01 May 10 - 08:12 PM
Amos 01 May 10 - 07:05 PM
Rapparee 01 May 10 - 05:36 PM
Acme 01 May 10 - 04:37 PM
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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Rapparee
Date: 04 May 10 - 05:17 PM

Because I like to see folks wrecked upon the shoals. Then I can loot the wreck and rob the corpses.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Amos
Date: 04 May 10 - 02:58 PM

THen why have you been so slow at revealing your uncharted shallows?


A


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Rapparee
Date: 04 May 10 - 02:56 PM

Amos, I have depths which you wot not what of.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Amos
Date: 04 May 10 - 02:47 PM

Man, I see a hot collection heading for the NYTs list.

Nice work, Mister R.


A


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Rapparee
Date: 04 May 10 - 02:26 PM

Eiseley doesn't know the half of it.

        "I dunno," said Uncle Mathias. "I've seen a heap of strange things in my time. Some of 'em you might call magic, I guess. Some of 'em I'd just call unexplained -- might be an explanation comin' someday."
        We'd paused for rest in one of our rabbit hunts, those wonderful hunting trips when Uncle Mathias and I would roam the woods and fields for hours searching for the elusive rabbit. Mind you, we never shot one -- at least, Uncle Mathias never shot a rabbit when I was with him on these hikes. "If we was to shoot somethin'," he'd say, "they'd have to call it somethin' besides huntin'."
        I suppose that I'd started the conversation by asking Uncle Mathias what he thought about the current flying saucer craze. Saucers had been reported over several towns in our vicinity, and I wondered what Uncle Mathias thought about it all.
        "A heap of strange things, yes, I'd say. I ever tell you about the strangest thing I ever experienced?" Uncle said.
        I allowed that he had not. Even it he had told the story before, I would have allowed that he had not. No matter that you had heard the story before; Uncle Mathias' stories were like the stars: each time you beheld them they were different and wonderful.
        Uncle Mathias scrunched around, breaking his Parker double open and ejecting the shells. He leaned the shotgun up against the tree, poured a cup of coffee from the Thermos, filled and lit his pipe and in general made himself comfortable for a long stay.

        "It was up in Alaska, when I was workin' at the mine up near Juneau -- the Treadwell it was. I was a tad then, 'cause I left school before I finished the eighth grade you know. Must have been in, oh, let's see -- 1917, I guess it was. I was 16 at the time.
        "Now I come up to Alaska on a freighter; worked my way up from Seattle the year before. Thought that I'd try gold minin' in the Yukon or somewheres -- I didn't know that the gold rush up there was pretty much over.
        "I'd crossed the White Pass from Skagway. Only I took the train instead of hoofin' it over the mountains like the original folks did. Dawson and the rest was pretty dead when I saw 'em, though if you had an imagination you could picture what they'd been like just a twenty years or so before.
        "Anyway, I was muckin' out in the Treadwell. It wasn't much pay, and the work was outrageously hard, but I'd been schooled in some hard times since I'd left town here some few years before, and I had muscles and stamina on me then that I don't have now that I'm an old man."
        At this I objected, and I think rightly so. Uncle Mathias could better my time at running any distance you cared to name, lift a three hundred pound granite tombstone onto a truck without a hoist (I'd seen him do it), and shoot straighter at a target five hundred yards away than anyone I knew of.
        He scoffed at my objections, and repeated that he was an
old man.
        "Anyway, this fella named Rowdy (I never knew any other name for him) and me were muckin' out at number 17 pithead. Somebody'd blast loose the face of the pithead, and we'd shovel the resultin' gravel into ore cars. Them ore cars would be taken to the crusher, and the whole process of extractin' the gold from the rock would start.
        "I guess, though, that it really started with us miners underground.
        "Anyway, Rowdy and me was muckin' out that day when there was these three knocks which seemed to come out of the face of the pithead. Ol' Rowdy, he looked at me and asked me what I thought I was up to. I told him that I was shovelin' rock, just like him.
        "Then we heard these three knocks again.
        "Ol' Rowdy, he turned pale. I could see it by the light of the carbide lamp on my cap. Rowdy just turned pale and then he started up the slope to the lift.
        "Well, we couldn't leave like that. We'd get docked, surein' heck. And the way the pay was set up, I wouldn't make anything if Rowdy left.
        "So I yelled at him, an' grabbed him, and asked him what he was doin'. He just shrugged off my hand and kept on goin'.
        "I clamped onto him hard, then. He whirled around and looked at me, and what was in his eyes I hope never to see again.
        "His eyes were kinda, you know, blank. He was lookin' right at me and not seein' me. What we called in the War the thousand yard stare, what guys who had seen too much had in their eyes.
        "Suddenly, his eyes focused on me.
        "'Mathias,' he said. "'Mathias, get out of here. Those knocks were warnings. There's something bad, real bad goin' to happen here, and if you don't clear out you could get killed.
        "'Pshaw!'" I said. "'Them noises were something hittin' on an ore car somewhere around here. Echoes do funny things down here, we both know.'"
        "'Mathias,'" he said, "'Come with me and get out. I ain't stayin' down here any longer.'"
        "Well, you just don't let your partner walk out like that. You depend on him and he depends on you down there. Your pay depends on his work, just like his depends on yours. Some ways, you're closer than if you were married.
        "I drew back to sock him and bring him to his senses, but he grabbed by arm and twisted it behind me. Just then, the pit boss ran up -- I guess we was kinda loud -- and separated Rowdy and me.
        "'All right,' he said, 'get your stuff and off we go. You're both finished here. You know the penalty for fightin' in the pit.'"
        "Rowdy started to say somethin', but clamped his mouth shut, picked up his stuff, gave me mine, and we walked off to the lift behind the pit boss.
        "The boss rang for the lift, none of us sayin' anything and the other muckers pretendin' that nothin' had happened, like people do when something unpleasant has occurred and they're just dyin' to know all about it.
        "We got into the lift and rode up to the next level. We got off to change and suddenly I was smacked down by blast of air smellin' of the sea.
        "Rowdy and the pit boss grabbed me and threw me into the lift car -- thank goodness it was there! -- and the pit boss rammed the control so hard I thought it would break off.   
        "Those lifts didn't move very fast, and we'd barely made the next level when we could see water climbin' up the shaft below us. We knew that the lift'd never get us out in time.
        "It's strange what you can do when you have to. The three of us left the lift stage and yanked open the damp door to the shaft. We scrambled up, runnin' as hard and as fast as we could, sometimes stumblin' and the other two helpin' you get up and keep runnin'. I don't remember bein' out of breath, all I remember about that climb out of Hell is bein' afraid that my carbide lamp would go out. That and thinkin' that I was goin' to get docked for the shovel and the other gear I'd left behind.
        "After most of an eternity we busted out the topside doorframe and into the clean air of Douglas Island. We ran about ten more steps and the three of us collapsed on the ground, just like somebody'd knocked the legs out from under us.
        "There was a lot of commotion up there. That blast of air had knocked the door off the frame, just pushed it out like a man had set off a powder charge behind it. It was near to shift change, and most of the next shift was there, millin' around, and the clerks and bosses from the office, and the whistles hootin' and alarm bells clangin' -- I wish I'd been in shape to enjoy the excitement.
        "A man in a suit came up to us and asked in an officious voice, 'What has happened? Has there been an explosion? Has there been a collapse?'
        "He was askin' the pit boss, who just looked up at him, and I noticed that he was black -- his face, all of his skin was just black, and I guessed then that I was too.
        "It was Rowdy who answered. 'Gastineau Channel's knocked in the head. Water's fillin' the works, if it ain't already.'"
        "That man turned pale, swallowed a couple of times, turned and ran off to report to his boss, I guess. There was a bunch of other shift miners around us, and they helped us up and gave us some water -- I didn't know I was thirsty, or how very good water could taste, 'til then.
        "Those miners were askin' us questions, but with their eyes. Everyone had friends down there.
        "We sat down, our heads between our legs, tryin' to get our thoughts in order. Pretty quick the Chief Engineer came up and started to question us. We told him what we knew, what had
happened as we saw it, and how we'd managed to get out.
        "'Knocks, huh?' he asked Rowdy.
        "'Yeh. You know what that means. I didn't have time to explain to the kid here or the pit boss. I hoped we get to the light and then I'd explain. Didn't have time for explainin' after the air hit us.
        "'First time I heard of them up here,' said the CE.
        "'First time for everythin',' said Rowdy.
        "The CE left us, then, and went off to plan what rescue efforts could be made. Pretty soon some of the other men handed us coffee in tin cups, coffee with whiskey in it.
        "We drank it, and then we were taken to the Company doctor, who pronounced us fit but exhausted. I thought the diagnosis was accurate.
        "We went back to the pay shack, where they were startin' the rescue efforts. We were asked to stick around, but that we wouldn't be goin' back down as part of the rescue team. We went into the back room and sacked out on the floor; I guess we were asleep inside of seconds.
        "Sleep's a great tonic, you know. We only slept maybe a couple of hours, but when we woke up it was like everything that had happened had happened a long time ago, or to somebody else and you had just read about it. It was when we went into the next room that everything that had happened came back to us.
        "They got almost everybody out okay except those other
fellas who had been workin' down on our level, right at the minehead. When the water came in, they went out. I heard later that some of their bodies floated out of the mine and were found as much as a year after the collapse.
        "Some of the boys who got out were in bad shape, both in their bodies and their minds. Some tried to go back down, down to get out their friends who had been workin' at the head. They had to tie some of them up and give 'em a shot to quiet them down.
        "Some of the boys were brought up pretty well broken up. There were broken arms and legs, some skull fractures, one or two broken backs when that blast of air had thrown them against the timberin'. Not all of them made it, and some others were crippled for life.
        "There weren't any pensions, then. You got hurt, you were out of luck. Some said you were better off if you got killed. They were probably right.
        "Anyway, the pit boss told his story, and then said that he had misunderstood what we were doin' -- that we were not fightin', but that we had been workin' to free a shovel that had gotten jammed from under the ore car.
        "The big boss looked like he didn't believe the story, but there was nobody to contradict it -- Rowdy and me would have had the pay due us docked for the tools we'd dropped if the fightin' charges had been brought. And after what Rowdy'd told the Chief
Engineer, the pit boss hadn't said anything much to us about fightin'.
        "So I got out okay, and so did Rowdy and the pit boss. The three of us got a bonus of five hundred dollars from the company, and it was sort of understood that the money was so that we wouldn't mention the knockin's. You see, the Ready Bullion hadn't collapsed and if the word of the knockin's got around it would have been hard to find miners to work it.
        "Miners are a superstitious lot, you see."
        Uncle Mathias stopped and emptied the dottle from his cold pipe. He refilled it and patiently coaxed it alight, using two matches as he always did.
        "And then what happened?" I asked.
        "I went back to the States. I'd had more than my fill of gold minin'. I had my pay, that five hundred in bonus money and a share of the subscription raised by local citizens, all in all I had a little over a thousand dollars. More than that, I was still alive. So I took the boat outside, and one of these days I'd like to go back up to Juneau -- I hear that it's a right pretty place now, and Alaska's a state and all these days.
        "I lost track of Rowdy; 'course, I never knew his right name so it's not surprisin'. The pit boss, man name of Olaf Hannsen, took the money he got and bought a bar in Haines -- told me that I had free drink, food and diggin's whenever I was there. Last I knew, he was still alive and still runnin' that bar. 'Course, that was twenty years back."
        I thought over what Uncle Mathias had just told me. It was
an exciting story, but I failed to see what relevance it had to unexplained things.
        "The knockings!" I exclaimed. "The knockings you heard, which warned you about the coming collapse! That must have been spooky."
        "Tosh! Those knockin's were caused by water pressure -- what the engineers call 'hydrostatic pressure'. 'Weren't nothing mysterious about them at all. Only superstitious fools would think otherwise.
        "No, when I said I had seen a strange thing, it had nothin' to do with the knockin's. What I saw was one of the bodies brought up out of the mine. A little fella, about five feet tall. Only his eyes were different from ours -- sort of slanted, but not like an oriental's. Slanted in his head, like his skull was different. He had a sort of silvery skin, and was wearin' a blue, one peice suit -- his boots were part of it. And he had six fingers -- two thumbs with four fingers between 'em -- on each hand.
        "He (I guess it was a he) was dead. Nobody knew where he came from, though some thought he'd been sucked into the mine when the head collapsed. Anyway, everybody was too full of grief for their friends and loved ones to give much thought to this critter. We buried him in the cemetery along with everyone else. Just put 'unidentified' on the death certificate.
        "It's gettin' too late in the day to hunt any more rabbits.
Pick up your truck and let's head on home."


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Amos
Date: 04 May 10 - 01:51 PM

Definootly. I have no idea why he has been hiding his light under a bushel all these years on MOAB, making do with drivel and stolen goods when he had such fine stuff right in his mental garage. Perhaps it is retirement that has made the difference. If so this gives me hope.


A


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: GUEST,Eiseley
Date: 04 May 10 - 12:37 PM

Well, they're not cataloged, but I have collected all that Rapaire has deigned to share. I can see a published collection in the future. I hope!!!!


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Acme
Date: 04 May 10 - 12:19 PM

Rap, you'd better start another thread and park your stories over there also so they don't get lost here in MOM's house. I haven't had time to read them this week and I'm going to have to wade back through to find the first when I do get time. Or maybe Eiseley is collecting and cataloging them, like an efficient library person? :)


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Amos
Date: 04 May 10 - 10:48 AM

Idagator is a sports drink, isn't it?


A


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Rapparee
Date: 04 May 10 - 10:46 AM

...the overseer, the quarters....


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Amos
Date: 04 May 10 - 10:44 AM

Ah, I yearn for my balmy childhood days in Alamba, I do. The sunshine, the myrtle and honeysuckle, the banjo music, the smell of fresh mown tobacco...


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Eiseley
Date: 04 May 10 - 10:44 AM

Will and I saw an Idagator as we were going up to school one day. It was buried up to its eyes in the trail dust, but as it saw us coming it shivered a few times down its spine and started to come after us. We barely made it up the hill to safety. They're more dangerous here because they can climb trees.

You just THINK it was a windstorm that broke the branch off your tree that time, Rapaire.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Rapparee
Date: 04 May 10 - 10:36 AM

Amos, alligators are found in Alamba, so obviously illigators were found in Illinois. QED.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Amos
Date: 04 May 10 - 10:02 AM

Bravo!! Long live the Illigators!! Whoops. Too late....


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Rapparee
Date: 04 May 10 - 01:22 AM

Just for Eiseley:

The Glorious Fourth had come and gone, floated away on a full day of rain. Some people ? our Uncles and Aunts and cousins ? came over, but nobody stayed long. It was too wet to even shoot the city's fireworks off, and the big display was postponed for a week.

        The fifth was hot and steamy, and by the seventh everyone said that the Dog Day were upon us even though they usually didn't arrive until August.

        Martha asked what Dog Days were and Tony told her that was when dogs got hydrophobia and went mad. Ted asked what they were mad about, and I explained that they were mad because they had rabies. Tony said that they didn't have rabies, they had hydrophobia, and I said that they had rabies and the "hydrophobia" was the only big word Tony knew and that was why he said that the dogs had hydrophobia. Tony said that he knew lots of big words, like "haphephobia" and "fusee" and "trinitrotoulene" and "dekastere" and "chalcedony" and I said that "fusee" wasn't a very big word and Tony said that it was, and Mom said to stop arguing this minute.

        So we stopped arguing and started fighting, and Mom told us to get out of the house and go outside and play or something.

        So we decided to go to Cedar Creek.

        We had Martha fill the canteens and make some sandwiches because Mom hadn't thrown her out to play. Of course, she charged us and when we paid her she stuck her tongue out and said that Dog Days were called that because Sirius, the Dog Star, was high in sky at that time and we weren't as smart as we thought.

        Ted threw an old tomato at her and he got thrown out for the rest of the day, too. (He missed.)
        
        So the three of us trekked off to find whatever adventure might await us at Cedar Creek.

        There wasn't much, to tell the truth. The remains of the old Civil War ironclad were still rusting away, just as they always had as long as we knew. We fished for a while, but only caught a couple of small five-pounders, which we threw back as they were too small to keep.

        It kept getting hotter and muggier. Finally, Tony announced that he was going swimming.

        "It's a long way to the pool in South Park, even though it's a good idea," said Ted.
        
        "I shan't trouble your nascent mind with the whereabouts of proposed natatorial exercise," replied Tony, "except to say that the present venue will suffice."

        "What? What'd he say?" Ted asked me.

        "He said that he's gonna swim here and that your mind is underdeveloped," I replied.

        "Well put, old bean," Tony said. He was starting to annoy me, and Ted didn't understand at all. And with that Tony started to take off his clothes. At our quizzical looks, he said, "One cannot dampen one's vestments, now, can one?" Then he jumped into Cedar Creek without even any clothes on at all!

        Tony swam around, diving at times and coming up nearby and splashing us with water. He was having a great time and urging us to join him. And truthfully, it did look refreshing.

        Ted and I had just about made up our minds to join him when it happened. We probably saw it about the same time ? several pairs of eyes sticking up above the water, moving slowly and deliberately toward Tony.

        Ted and I lookd at each other. We knew what they were, and Tony was in deadly danger. And when he came to the surface again we shouted the words of warning:

        "TONY!! TO THE ISLAND!!
        ILLIGATORS!!!!"

        To his credit, he believed us. He looked like a motorboat as he swam to the little island, which was closer than either shore.

        He made it, too, and was about four feet up the island's only sapling by the time the first illigator waddled ashore.

        There were eight of them ? brownish-green relatives of the alligator which were, except for snapping turtles and water moccasins, Illinois's most dangerous aquatic reptile. There were each no less than nine feet long, and each seemed to have a dozen rows of long, sharp, pointed, yellow TEETH. They gathered around the foot of Tony's tree and sort of snapped upwards at him. The sounds of their jaws and teeth closing together was frightening to hear.

        By this time, Tony was at the very top of the tree, about twenty-five feet up. The tree was wobbling a little from side to side from his weight.

        "Assistance! Expeditious assistance! Succor!" Tony shouted.

        "I'd say he was a sucker," Ted observed.

        "Tony!" I yelled. "You want help? Is that what you're trying to say?"

        "In sooth!" he replied.

        "Okay, hang on!" I cried. "We'll go get help."

        "Don't get help! Help me!" he yelled.

        "I'll go get Mom and Martha!" I shouted.
        
        "I'll go get the nuns from the convent!" Ted shouted.

        "I'm en deshabille! I mean, I'm bare!" shouted Tony.

        Ted and I were rolling on the ground laughing.   Finally, I gasped out, "Yeah! We couldn't help but notice!"

        Ted gasped out, "Let's get the game warden 'cause there's a bare in that tree!" and he started to laugh again.

        "Your ends are in view if I get out of here," Tony threatened.

        "No, your end's in view," Ted and I replied and laughed some more.

        Tony was upset. We could tell.

        Finally, I said, "I know how you can get away and be safe."

        Tony: "How?"

        Me: "Well, if you're really, really fast you might slide down the tree and outrace the illigators to this shore."

        Tony: "That's a REALLY stupid idea."

        "Just a thought. Besides, the poor illigators look hungry. But since you don't want us to go for help and you're too slow to beat the illigators, why not go by air?" I asked.

        "Ted!" Tony hollered. "Mike's gone crazy! Watch yourself!"

        "No," I responded, "Shift your weight back and forth at the top of the tree just like pumping up a swing. When it's going really good, let go and you'll fly over here. You might break your arm or something, but the illigators DO look both hungry AND patient."

        "Well," Tony decided, "I'll try it. Maybe I'll land in some nice soft mud. Fetch my clothes and watch where I land, okay?"

        Tony started pumping. Slowly, slowly the tree started to respond. Back and forth, forth and back, and for Tony, up and down, too. The illigators got more and more excited as the bending tree brought Tony's heels and feet and legs and other parts closer and closer to their ready jaws. Back and forth, back and forth ? and then, just at the point where the illigators could nip his heels on the next go, Tony released the tree and took flight!

        In the history of flight there have been many great moments. From the legends of Daedelus to the first tentative flight of the Wright brothers, to the exploits of Beloit, von Richtofen, Doolittle, Lindbergh, and Earhart ? to the heroics of Colin Campbell, of Alan Shephard, and Yuri Gargarin, of Christy McAuliffe and of thousands of other aviators, deeds great and small have been writ on the pages of the sky. Tony's flight, done arms and legs akimbo, cannot be said to be among them.

        To his credit, let it be said that he neither screamed nor broke anything.

        Ted and I dashed after him, carrying his clothes. Tony had gone MUCH further than we had thought that he would. We were concerned because we didn't know then that he hadn't broken anything, and we thought that he might need help.

        Help he did indeed need! But we couldn't give him any right then, for his plight was desperate in the extreme!

        It was also amazingly funny. Tony, you see, completely unclothed as he was, had finished his airborne antics in the exact center of a large, dense, stand of blackberry bushes!

        True, we could rescue him. And eventually we would. But at that time a troop of Girl Scouts were picking blackberries from Tony's stand.

        You would have thought they would have noticed when a bare boy landed in the middle of the blackberry patch, but they didn't seem to. It was a good thing, we thought, that Tony hadn't yelled something.

        Ted and I stopped on a small rise about a hundred yards away to watch the ensuing spectacle. We were, to say the least, hypnotized by the unfolding drama ? and torn between laughing quietly and laughing out loud.

        Quickly the Girl Scouts picked, working closer and closer to the center and a very revealing discovery.

        I glanced down and then looked again. "Ted!" I whispered. "Ted! Tony's clothes are gone!"

        "Clothes? He's gonna need clothes in about three minutes," Ted chortled.

        "PSSSSSSSSSST!" came from behind us. "PSSSSSSSSSST!"

        We looked back and there was Tony.

        We knew it was Tony, because only someone who'd tangled with a blackberry patch could look like that.

        He was scratched all over. In addition, he had spots all over his body where blackberries had been crushed when he fell. True, he now had on most of the clothes he'd quietly taken from my side, but there wasn't any place we could see that wasn't either spotted or scratched or, most probably, both.

        "Oh, darn! I mean, how are you? You got away, I see," Ted exclaimed.

        "Crawled between Girl Scouts. Out of bushes. Let's go home," Tony said, and he tied his last shoelace and stood up. He took a step and fell face down into some mud, as he had inadvertently tied his shoelaces together. Again.

        He got up, wiped the mud from his eyes, and we all started home. As we passed the Girl Scouts they looked at us and made some comments about Tony's condition. I told them about the illigators and said that they should be careful because one had chased Tony and he had only escaped by hiding in some blackberry bushes. All of which was, of course, true, but sort of slanted.

        We got home in time for Tony to clean up before a supper, and really enjoyed a repast of anchovies, avocados, aubergine aspic, and asparagus. There was ambrosia to drink, and BOTH auf lauf and snitz kloes for dessert. It was a good ending to a good day, except for Tony, who spent the next two week covered with calomine lotion. You see, there had also been poison ivy in among the blackberries.

        




Note: The very last illigator died on April 17, 1969, at 7:32 p.m. Being mostly teeth and appetite they ate 'most anything, including each other. The last one, which had been kept in the Quincy Zoological Gardens, started biting its toenails and couldn't stop.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Eiseley
Date: 03 May 10 - 11:35 PM

Those are wonderful, Rapaire! Remember, the titles and subtitles are worth reading also. Do the one about the Illigators, please, please!

Eiseley


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Amos
Date: 03 May 10 - 11:22 PM

Well l swan...you are a piece of work, Rapaire. I am just hornswoggled at this fine BS you are putting out.

Actually, I don't swan, but I know someone who does. But it sounds good when one is up a gum stump.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Rapparee
Date: 03 May 10 - 10:07 PM

Amos wanted some quality BS....


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Rapparee
Date: 03 May 10 - 10:05 PM

        Before he died, our Dad was an actor. He acted with the Quincy Little Theatre, just like Ted does sometimes and Tony and I have.
        Ted's acted in a lot of plays: Antigone, Hamlet, . . . Red Ryder, The Death and Life of Sneaky Fitch and lots and lots more. He's even won awards for acting!
        What is generally unknown or forgotten is that Tony and I, skulking around in the Boogie Swamp, started Ted down the path to ☆ stardom ☆ and association with theatre greats*.
        A long time ago, even before Ted was in Golden Fleecing and we played in Androcles and the Lion together, Tony and I were eating lunch in the Swamp. We'd finished our peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and small bottles of milk and were gathering our stuff for a hard afternoon of fishing.
        Suddenly, from the direction of the railroad tracks, we heard a lady crying "Save me! Oh, save me! Is there no hero to answer my cry for help?"
        Then a man with a nasty, oily voice said, "Quiet, my beauty! Your hero (he said this with a sneer) is in prison, where my false evidence put him!"
        "Then alas! all is lost! But I will never succumb to your foul desires and marry you!"
                *Like Leonard Slye and Robert T. Hope and Junius Booth and Sarah Bernhardt and the Duke of Bilgewater.         Tony and I were sneaking closer during this exchange, and when we peeked through the bushes we saw a man in a cape and top hat trying a beautiful lady to the railroad tracks!
        "She'll be killed if a train runs over her," observed Tony.
        We grabbed big, thick tree branches for clubs and yelling "We'll save you" ran out to club the bad guy and untie the lady.
        We got only halfway there when a bunch of people grabbed us, took away the clubs and held us tight!
        The man in the hat came over to us looking annoyed. He turned to another person who we couldn't see because the person was behind us and said, "HOW can we rehearse in conditions like THIS?"
        "Jeffrey, Jeffrey," a lady behind us replied, "They're only children! And besides, you wanted to feel the part by tying Rosalee to an active, real, railroad track! Now everyone, take it from 'Save me! Oh, save me!' and you kids come here, sit down, and shut up."
        Tony and I came, sat, and shut up next to the lady who had been talking.
        I whispered to Tony, "I see. It's only a play and they're practicing. Boy, were we fooled, huh?"
        And Tony whispered back, "You were fooled, not me! I just went along with you to see what you'd do!"
        "Shhhhhhhhh!" said the lady.
        And we watched the beautiful lady get tied to the tracks and the villain (that's what they call the bad guy in the theatre) watch and wait for a train to run over the lady (who is called a heroine) or for her to agree to marry him.
        We saw the good guy (or hero), who had been freed from jail, rescue the heroine and clobber the villain, who was taken away by actors pretending to be police.
        It was good, and even though we hadn't seen the whole play we clapped and clapped.
        But the lady with whom we were sitting (who we learned was called the Director) didn't seem to think it was any good at all, and made the actors do it over and over and over.
        At one point we mentioned to her that a train was, really, about due and the heroine might get hurt for real. She told us that they'd made arrangements with the railroad and no trains would be using the tracks that afternoon.
        Finally she said, "Okay, everybody. I've still got problems with this scene, but tomorrow's final tech rehearsal, Wednesday's first dress and blocking, Thursday's final dress and we open Friday."
        Suddenly a man ran up and handed her a note. She read it and said, "Darn! Miranda's sick -- she's in the hospital. We don't have anyone to play her. It's only one line and some blocking (which is what theatre people call moving around on stage, you know) but it's a crucial role. Anyone know who we can get?"
        All of the actors and actresses thought and thought but no one answered.
        Then Tony said to her, "Maybe my Mom will do it, if its not a hard part. Mom can do almost anything, and besides my Dad used to act in the Little Theatre."
        The lady looked surprised and asked us our names. When she found out who we were she said our Dad had been a good actor and she'd call our Mom about the part.
        The Director told us that Miranda, the name of the lady in the play, was the heroine's mother. All Miranda had to do was come in at a certain time and say, "You'll not have her while there is breath in my ancient body!" The villain would then shoot Miranda, who would fall dead on the stage.
        Tony observed that we certainly didn't want Mom killed! But the Director told him that it wasn't a real gun, but a fake gun used on stage, so Tony and I agreed to tell Mom.
        To our surprise, Mom like the idea of being in a play and she talked to the Director and agreed to do it if we kids could come see the play on opening night for free.
        The Director agreed, and even gave us seats in the "boxes" above and close to the stage.
        For the next few days we were excited! We talked about plays and played plays. We probably tied Martha to pretend railroad tracks twenty times a day.
        One day we forgot to untie her in time for supper and when we finally did she just lay there. When we asked her what was wrong she said she'd been run over by a pretend train and we were some pretend heroes! Ted started to shovel dirt on her and she jumped up and yelled and ran to Mom. Mom got mad at Ted, but Ted explained that if she had been run over by a train she was dead, so he was burying her.
        Finally, Friday came.
        We talked theatre all day, and late in the afternoon we got dressed for the play. We boys wore white shirts and ties and Martha put on her best dress.
        Mom had gone to the theatre early because she had to get into her costume. We four walked to the theatre and were shown to our box by an usher (who is the person who shows you where your seats are).
        We were early, so we watched as the seats filled with the audience. Tony wanted some popcorn, but there wasn't any for sale. But we each got a lemonade and drank that.
        The theatre was beautiful. It was the old Orpheum, and there were golden lights and if you looked at the highest ceiling it looked like stars and moving clouds. The seats were red velvet and the part you sat on folded up. Our box was only about a meter above the stage, so we'd be able to see and hear very well.
        The play was called Caviar For The General, or, The Revenger's Tragedy. We thought that it was a funny name for a play.
        The people in the audience were all grown up, and when they saw us in our box they pointed. So we sat up real straight and behaved ourselves. After all, we did have very good seats.
        Finally, the lights dimmed, the music started, and the play began!
        It was a really great play, about a poor family and a railroad owner (the villain) who wanted the family's farm for his railroad. When he found out about the beautiful daughter he wanted to marry her, even though she was in love with Jack, the poor but honest hero.
        Finally the villain had Jack sent to prison by making up some things he said that Jack had done.
        Ted was watching with great interest. Sometimes he'd whisper to us things like, "Boy! He's a bad man!" and "I'd like to punch him for that." He didn't like the villain at all.
        The Mom came out wearing a dress we'd never seen before. The villain had been trying to carry the heroine off to marry him and Mom grabbed her and said, "You'll not have her while there is breath in my ancient body." And the villain pulled out a pistol and shot her and Mom fell into a heap on the stage floor.
        The villain turned to the audience and, still holding the smoking revolver, sneered.
        Ted yelled, "You skunk! You shot my mother!" and leapt onto the stage.
        He grabbed a chair and hit the villain over the head with it.
        Now, the chairs used in fights on the stage or in the movies are specially made. They break apart very easily: this looks really good and nobody is really hurt.
        The chair Ted used wasn't one of these, and the villain fell to the stage, out cold.
Then Ted picked up the villain's gun and shot him five times!
        "That'll teach you!" said Ted.
        "Put the gun down. It's not real," Mom said to Ted.
        "Mom!" yelled Ted. "You're okay! Are you hurt? I've really fixed this snake good!"
        "You've also fixed the play," murmured Mom.
        Well! You can only imagine the audience. People were fainting and yelling and screaming and laughing and Mom was mortified!
        Finally a doctor came on stage and checked the villain. Except for a cut on his head and being knocked out he was all right. Ted surrendered the pistol and walked up to the front of the stage.
        He said very loudly to the audience that he was sorry he'd ruined the play, but he'd never seen a play before and he thought that Mom had really be shot and all.
        It was no use. The theatre had to give everyone back their money and Mom never acted again. She was afraid that the next time the villain might have a sword.
        The next summer she sent Ted to Children's Theatre to learn about acting and things, and when Ted finally got into college he earned a Bachelor's degree in theatre and he even toured around the country with a theatrical group.
        But after the theatre that night we had a light supper of mock turtle soup, mock steak, mock chicken legs, mock bisque and mock angel food. We had powdered orange juice to drink.
        We never did get to see the heroine tied to the railroad tracks on stage.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Rapparee
Date: 03 May 10 - 10:01 PM

Even when my paternal grandpapa was busted for moonshining during Prohibition it wasn't an illegal act. He just didn't pay off the right people; if he had it wouldn't have been illegal. Likewise for my 3-g uncle who lead slave out of The South and into the free state of Illinois, then over to Missouri where he resold them -- funny thing about him was that after he popped into his sister's place one night nobody ever heard from him again (something about some people, including the local sheriff, looking for him).


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Amos
Date: 03 May 10 - 08:21 PM

Aw shucks, and here I thought he had gotten over that reality-distortion thing when he retired. Guess it takes a while to spin down...



A


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Rapparee
Date: 03 May 10 - 07:29 PM

MY family (of course, I can only speak for those out to 32nd cousins) never has done or will do anything illegal.

Hmph! The very idea!


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: GUEST,Eiseley
Date: 03 May 10 - 07:22 PM

Did you also write a poem about the first deer he shot illegally?


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Rapparee
Date: 03 May 10 - 07:01 PM

And now, Amos, a little poem I wrote to celebrate the first deer my nephew John shot (he was hunting, legally).

                     John's Deer

                It was mid-November of ninety-two --
                Deer season, opening day --
                John was sitting on a southern slope
                With Ralph fifty yards away.

                Ralph's my brother's oldest
                And John is squeezed between
                Ralph and niece Elizabeth --
                Someday John may be fourteen.

                Yes, Ralph's John's older brother.
                And I wasn't there to see
                When John dropped his first buck deer,
                But Ralph told it all to me.

                "Dawn broke nice and quiet
                It barely brushed the sky with pink
                We'd been on stand for half an hour
                Or thereabouts, I think.

                "Suddenly shots were all around!
                It sounded like a heckuva fight!
                But when I poked my head up I found
                They were fifty yards to the right.

                "Those shots just kept on coming
                But when I looked around I saw
                John putting shot after quickly aimed shot
                Downhill, into the draw!

                "And then he tossed away his weapon,
                And in the early morning light
                John lit the fuse and tossed downhill
                A stick of dynamite!

                "It exploded and I started toward him.
                He was yelling to beat the band!
                And then suddenly he jumped off of the ridge
                Clutching a knife in his right hand.         

                "When I got to the ridge I saw him
                Crouching in the blasted wood,
                Stabbing and cutting a little spike buck --
                John saw me, waved, and stood.

                "'I got him, Ralph!' he hollered,
                But I think he's still alive!'
                And over the cliff John tossed that very dead deer
                In a two hundred fifty foot dive.

                "When we finally got down to him
                That buck was as dead as dead could be.
                He carried a rack of two or three points,
                But John swore thirty-three!

                "To get that deer out of the creek
                Was a job and a half, I'd say!
                It took us all day and half the night
                And my back still aches today.

                "We stuck two four wheel drive pickups
                Broke a winch and an ATV.
                Finally Dad brought in a D-9 Cat
                And moved the hills away.
        
                "We had to build a road to that old deer
                We built three bridges and filled in two bogs,
                Leveled mountains and drilled four tunnels
                And lumbered out five thousand logs.

                "We butchered at last that old deer up
                (John wanted to mount the head)
                We got seven pounds of meat from it,
                And eighty pounds of lead."

                Now, I don't believe Ralph for a minute!
                He stretches the truth some, you know --
                'Cause I've seen John's venisonburger,
                And the bullet holes hardly show!


I don't want to hear no criticism of my potery no more, ya hear?


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Rapparee
Date: 03 May 10 - 06:48 PM

There are more, Amos. There are MANY more, BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Amos
Date: 03 May 10 - 06:41 PM

Dang, what a treat. I am tempted to take back all the uncharitable things I have said about Rapaire, except I've lost track of them. But I'll take back the last three, anyway.

Good stuff. Obviously retirement suits you!!


A


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Acme
Date: 03 May 10 - 06:38 PM

Someone have MOM move into the house. It's thundering out there! Geez, Louise, you'd let her get hit by lightening if I wasn't watching you.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Rapparee
Date: 03 May 10 - 06:11 PM

Here ya go, Eiseley. (These are true, unvarnished tales from my misspent youth.)

    It was all the fault of someone in China, of course. We never knew who, of course, and neither does anyone else. But because someone in China found that the crystals found under manure piles could, when mixed with sulphur and charcoal, make a big FOOF! when lit Tony, Ted and I nearly sank a barge, burned up a city park and frightened a herd of cows so badly that they gave sour cream for a week.
        We didn't mean to do any of it. Nobody knew we almost sank the barge and burned up Pesthouse Park. And the sour cream sold well, so the farmer actually made money. Mom was upset about Ted's pants and Tony's shirt and my socks -- they were our old clothes after all -- but the way she carried on would have led you to think that we'd deliberately set ourselves on fire.
        Anyway, by October of 1957 the Navy had tried to launch the Vanguard satellite. It had exploded on the launch pad, and the Soviets had promptly launched Sputnik I. Suddenly the schools and the government and everyone in the U. S. knew we had to learn to put up satellites and launch rockets, and that we had to do so fast. It was the beginning of what would be called the Space Race.
        The Army used a Redstone missile to launch Explorer I and the Soviets orbited Laika, a dog, in Sputnik II and before you knew it we'd launched a chimpanzee

named Ham and Telstar and Allen Shepherd and John Glenn and the Soviets had launched Yuri Gagurin and less than twelve years after Sputnik I was orbited Neil Armstrong walked on the Moon.
        It was an exciting time! Sometimes it seemed as if rockets were being launched everywhere -- from Cape Canaveral and Vandenberg Air Force Base and White Sands and Wallops Island, Virginia.
        Naturally, my brothers and I wanted to launch a rocket too. Or better, several rockets, preparatory to launching a big one to put a satellite into orbit.
        We knew that it wouldn't be easy, either. After all, it would require ballistics, aeronautical engineering, fuel technology, chemistry, aerospace medicine (Tony and I planning a manned launch, but we hadn't told Ted yet), ceramic engineering, life support systems, electrical engineering, calculus, several types of geometry and even stuff we couldn't think of right off hand.
        We spent the Winter studying rocketry from books at the Public Library. Our first design used a plasma-pulse engine. It was powered by a semi-toridal fusion reactor fueled with monatomic hydrogen. It was a great design, and only required breakthroughs in atomic chemistry, plasma physics and fusion theory. Mom agreed that it was a great design but suggested that we design something a little easier for our first rocket. She also suggested that we study rocketry less from science fiction and more from science.
        So we went back to the books, and they were hard ones this time! Then, one day in early Spring, we found the recipe for caramel candy and our search for a fuel
was over.
        It was in a book on amateur rocketry -- something that we didn't even know existed anymore. Naturally we knew about the work of Robert Goddard and Willy Ley and all of the early amateur pioneers. But governments seemed to have made rocketry professional -- and yet here as a new book on amateur rocketry.
        We checked the book out and nearly memorized it.
        Caramel candy was easy to make, too. All you had to do was mix sugar and potassium nitrate or potassium chlorate together and pour the gooey result into a rocket body.
        There were certain problems, of course. The mixture had to be melted at an exact temperature -- too cold and it wouldn't melt and too hot and it would ignite.
        Sugar was easy to get, since you could buy lots of it at the grocery store. But we were stumped by the potassium compounds. After all, if a twelve year old walked into the drugstore and asked for, say, ten kilograms of potassium chlorate, the druggist might ask questions.
        And we knew what the questions would be. They would be on the order of "What do you kids want with potassium chlorate? Don't you know that it can be made to explode? Maybe you should talk to the police. . . ."
        Tony decided to make our own potassium nitrate. He looked it up, and while we couldn't believe what it was made from he swore it was true. So we started to collect the raw materials (and boy! were they raw!).
        Then I made the discovery that we could buy potassium nitrate under its old name, saltpeter. It was used by some people when they made pickles.
        Really. Pickles. The kind you eat.
        We bought five kilograms of saltpeter.
        Each.
        We also bought five kilograms of sugar, and we were ready to make rocket fuel.
        An electric skillet would have been ideal, since you could control the melting temperature of the mixture. But we didn't have one, and Mom said that we absolutely positively could NOT use the kitchen stove OR her skillets.
        She became especially adamant after we touched off a pile of the mixture in the yard as a test.
        Sure, we tried. We tried using Vaseline as a binder, but it made the fuel wet and it wouldn't burn. And if we loaded it as a dry mixture it would simply fall out of the rocket. We'd have to find a way to melt it and pour it in, as the book said.
        We also needed a private place, away from houses, to launch the rockets. Having a lot of water around would be very desirable, too.
        So early one Saturday morning we took our chemicals and a big old iron skillet we found in an old garage and three long tubes of heavy cardboard and a slide rule and some batteries and some wire and a switch and a bunch of other stuff and set off for the Boogie Swamp.
        We built a campfire and let it die down to a nice bed of embers before we started melting saltpeter and sugar together. We weren't sure that we could melt the mixture without mishap, but things went very, very smoothly. By noon we had filled all three rocket bodies and had even managed a star-shaped burn channel, just as the book recommended.
        Parachutes to retrieve the rockets had proved an insurmountable problem, so we used instead paper bags filled with the contents of fireworks. We figured that even if we couldn't reuse the rockets we could at least get an idea of how high they flew.
        After the payloads were in place we attached fins made of light aluminum and by one o'clock the three rockets were ready for flight.
        Liftoff was set for 1400 (naturally, we didn't use a.m. and p.m., because it wouldn't have been scientific).
        So we ate lunch and at 1400 we set the rockets (which we had named the Rocket Space Vehicle Probe, or RSVP, 1, 2 and 3) around the base of an old windmill. We put the extra saltpeter and sugar mixture in the middle of the launch area.
        The ignition wires were connected and we moved back about a hundred feet. Tony did the countdown.
        ". . . six . . . five . . ah . . three . . . ."
        "You forgot four," accused Ted.
        "Oh, yeah. Uh, . . . six . . . five . . . FOUR . . . two . . . ."
        "Now you forgot three," I said.
        "Alright, wise guy. You do the countdown!" Tony said.
        "SIX! FIVE! FOUR! THREE! TWO! ONE! BRENNSCHUSS!" I shouted.
        "Huh?" queried Ted, who was at the switch.
        "Brennschuss. It's German. Means 'burn time'," I explained.
        "Oh. What should I do?"
        "Close the switch, dummy!" I replied, and he did.
        RSVP 1 burped a little gust of smoke and sat there. Ted, Tony and I got up and walked over to see what was wrong.
        We were perhaps ten feet away when the wind blew the rocket over onto the pile of chemicals. RSVP 1 was now pointed up and to the west.
        THEN the fuel really ignited and the rocket blasted off.
        It also ignited the rest of the caramel candy mixture and the other two rockets, Ted's pants, Tony's shirt and my socks. Boy, was it spectacular!
        We watched awestruck as RSVP 1 vanished in the direction of the river, gracefully clearing trees and brush with ease.
        We watched horrified as RSVP 2 rose and, just above a barge full of gasoline traveling down Cedar Creek, ignited its payload of pyrotechnics.
        We watched proudly as RSVP 3 rose gracefully in the air and vanished from view as it passed through a cloud.
        "Wow!" we said together. "They worked!"
        "Sure glad we tripped and fell into this old pool of water when they fired," said
Tony.
        "Yeah! Sure glad we tripped and fell into this old, STINKY, SLIMY, MUDDY, ALGAE-COVERED old pool of water," said Ted.
        "Yeah," I said, "'Cause if we hadn't you'd have burned up both legs of your pants and Tony wouldn't even have his shirt collar left and I'd have more than burn holes in my socks."
        "I wonder where they fell?" Ted asked quietly.
        We had seen what RSVP 2 had done when it had ignited its payload over the barge full of gasoline. The crew had run around with fire extinguishers in case a fire started and the Captain looked right at us and the big cloud of smoke which was slowly dissipating.
        And we decided right then that we'd be better off at home, as we suspected that the sheriff would be along shortly.
        Mom, Grandma and Martha weren't at home when we got there, for which we were grateful. We sort of figured that there would be enough fuss when Mom saw our clothes.
        When they finally did get home we had showered and changed clothes and were watching the news. It seemed that a farmer north of town had reported that a flying saucer had attacked his cows with a ray gun that shot colored sparks.
        Tony, Ted and I knew where RSVP 3 had landed.
        Mom, Grandma and Martha had been visiting our cousin at the Girl Scout
Camporee in Pesthouse Park. They told us that someone had gotten careless with fireworks and a skyrocket had landed right in the middle of the council fire. It had scattered burning wood around, and the grass in the camping area had caught fire. Fortunately, the Girls Scouts had put it out before any more damage had been done.
        We didn't say so, but we were pretty sure that we knew where RSVP 1 had landed.
        Just then the television news reported the attack on a gasoline barge on Cedar Creek by a skyrocket. The sheriff had found where the rocket was launched and arrests were expected any moment.
        Mom looked at Tony, Ted and I. She shook her head and went to make supper.
        Arrests were never made, but interest in the case revived a few days later when Mom found our clothes in the laundry. We found it very necessary to curtail our rocketry experiments after that, even though we didn't find her remarks very helpful.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: GUEST,Eiseley
Date: 03 May 10 - 02:23 PM

Thank you, thank you, thank you, Rapaire! The boys will be so happy when I tell them I have a new Swamp story to read to them tonight!

Happy day!

Eiseley


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Amos
Date: 03 May 10 - 12:55 PM

YEah, the last remnant of the last Mississippi fur shark was all the squids had left, and they didn't know where they would get any more. Dad Squid reckoned they should move out, maybe head to the depths of the Atlantic. Mom Squid looked at the remaining hauch of the shark and said, "I dunno, Dad. It's a pretty fur piece...".

ANyway, Mike, that was just excellent, a fine tale and well told.


A


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: MMario
Date: 03 May 10 - 11:08 AM

This explains your rapport with the Squid over at the Tavern....the two of you have a long history.


I always thought the demise of the Mississippi Squid was due to the extinction of the riparian fur sharks; one of their major foods.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Rapparee
Date: 03 May 10 - 10:57 AM

All right then, Sir Amos!

        You'd see them sometimes when you'd go fishing, usually in the Spring but, sometimes, in mid-Fall. Thousands of them in the river, fighting to find the mouth of the creek at the headwaters of which they were born.

        Their colors ? bright gray and brilliant red and deep green and what even looked like a flash of blue ? would dazzle you on a sunny day as they leapt from the water, trying to get to their spawning grounds.

        Most wouldn't make it. They'd be eaten by the bears which gathered along the creek banks or be taken by eagles or, for many, exhaust themselves trying to make the spawning grounds and die in the attempt.

        Those that did make it would spawn and then try to run the gauntlet again to make it to open water -- some few made it, but most didn't. They left their egg stalks cemented to stones on the bottom of the creeks, and one person said that these deposits of eggs looked like gardens of flowers.

        Eventually the eggs would hatch and the squid larva would fight their way to the river, only to repeat the cycle some years later. It had been going on for thousands of years, this spawning of Architeuthis Mississipiensis gigans, the giant squid of the Mississippi, which everyone simply called "big squid."

        Boaters didn't like them. During spawning season or when a school of squid would appear on the surface there would be so many squid that boats couldn't run their motors without damaging the propellers. Fisherfolk didn't like them because they couldn't be eaten ? it was said that they tasted like ammonia ? although a few were used for bait. Barge operators didn't like them because it was said that REALLY big ones attacked barges at night, which really scared the crews even though no one was ever hurt.

        Gradually the numbers of squid declined. Some people said it was because of pollution, but most said that it was because the squid migrated elsewhere. Dam workers reported giant schools of squid moving downstream, and the New Orleans newspapers said that "immense numbers of squid" had passed the city on the way to the Gulf of Mexico.

        So the next year they were missing from Cedar Creek, just as they were missing from all of the creeks around town. And we missed seeing them. Like nearly everyone in town, we liked watching the squid as they made their journey upstream. Even people like boaters liked to watch the shoals of squid, their bodies turning pretty colors and their tentacles waving in the air.

        And of course that was the year the Walt Disney released the movie 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, which had a great scene in it about a fight with a giant squid. The same sort of squid that used to be around town in such great numbers was in a movie. A squid was a movie star, and all of them had left. Like all of the kids in town we were really disappointed that they were gone, but we thought that maybe the squid in the movie could have been one of ours.

        Then the movie came out and we found out that the squid was a bad guy that tried to sink the submarine. Nobody liked that. We knew that squid were pretty fish which didn't hurt anything except maybe barges at night, and even that wasn't proven. So after the first couple of days the movie closed because nobody went to see it.

        We hiked out to the Swamp the weekend after the movie closed. We were hoping to get some early dewberries so that Mom could make a dewberry pie for Sunday dinner. Naturally, we talked about the movie as we walked, our dewberry buckets in our hands. We each had two buckets, and in one of them was our lunch. Of course, we'd made jokes about which one was to be our "lunch bucket" before we'd left, and finally Mom had had enough and told us to go get the dewberries and, because we'd forgotten them, had tossed our lunches to us.

        But we talked about the movie and the submarine in it and about things under the sea and about the squid and how it had attacked the submarine and about how there weren't any squid around any more. Tony agreed with those who thought that the squid had left because of pollution and Ted thought that they had left because it was time for them to migrate and Martha thought that they'd left because they were angry about being made a bad guy in the movie and I thought that it might have been because of all of these reasons or maybe just because they wanted to move somewhere else for a while..

        Eventually we reached the Swamp. It was pretty much as we'd left it the weekend before: quicksand pools, dead trees, live trees, bushes, shrubs, logs, illigators, Spanish moss, muck, mud, dry land, flowers, lizards, musk ox, and all. Swamps don't change much if you leave them alone, and we liked that.

        Remembering the old saying that you should never ever pick dewberries on an empty stomach, we ate lunch and then set out for the dewberry patches. There were lots and lots of early dewberries, but you had to be careful because they grew next to quicksand pools and you could slip in pretty easily. Falling in a deep pool of quicksand -- and all of them were really, really deep -- could be a major annoyance.

        All of our left-hand buckets were filled and we'd just started on the right-hand buckets when Martha said, "What's that?" and pointed to the quicksand pool.

        "It's a big blue eye watching us," I replied. "Nothing to be alarmed about. Probably happens all the time, only you don't notice it."

        "Why would it be watching us?" asked Ted.

        "Maybe it's part of Santa Claus's surveillance system," opined Tony.

        "Maybe it's the Eye of the Swamp, watching to make sure we don't do anything bad," opine Ted.

        "Maybe it's a really, really big squid and it's going to try to capture and eat us," opined Martha.
        
        "Don't be silly," I replied. "All of the squid have left. And besides, there aren't any squid in quicksand poo....aaaawk!" And a great big tentacle wrapped itself around me and started slowly dragging me towards the quicksand.
        
        Quick as half a wink, Martha and Tony grabbed my feet and stopped my slide towards the quicksand.

        "What's a 'quicksand poo...aaawk'?" asked Ted.

        "You stupid stupid!" I exclaimed. "Help Tony and Martha hold me!"

        "Stupid! You called me stupid!" exclaimed Ted. "I've got the highest reading level in my class! So there!"

        "If you don't help us, Mike'll be dragged into that mouth," said Tony. And I looked and sure enough, there was a beak-like mouth in the quicksand, opening and closing with really nasty sounding clicks.

        "Maybe I'll tickle you, instead," said Ted. "That'd show Mike for calling me stupid."

        And he sat down on the ground with a thump.

        And another tentacle flashed out of the water and started to drag him to the quicksand!

        As he passed me, I grabbed his legs. Now I was holding onto Ted's legs while Martha and Tony were holding onto my legs, and all the while tentacles were drawing Ted and I toward Our Fate (if Tony or Martha let go).

        Just then, there was a great big jerk towards the quicksand and my legs were pulled from Tony and Martha's grips! Ted and I flew towards the Horror In The Quicksand!

        And just before Ted's head touched the quicksand, I managed to hook my right leg around a nice, big tree trunk! With another jerk, we stopped.

        Did you ever wonder what the rope feels like during a tug-of-war? Ted and I know from first-hand experience.

        For what seemed like hours we were pulled and jerked and tossed toward the quicksand. And for what seemed like centuries I hung onto that tree with my right leg.

        Tony and Martha got up and got some big sticks and started beating on the tentacles which held Ted and me.   They were forced back when other tentacles came out of the water and nearly caught them.

        "Oh no!" cried Tony. "Whatever shall we do?"

        "Oh no!" cried Martha. "Our brothers who just ate lunch with us are going to be lunch!"

        "I could let go of Ted's ankles," I said.

        "Oh no! Don't do that! I don't want to be et!" cried Ted.

        "I'm getting a cramp in the ankle that's holding us to the tree," I said.

        With that bit of news Tony and Martha jumped up and ran into the brush. They were back in just a couple of seconds, dragging a long length of grapevine. With that they proceeded to lash my leg to the tree, which let me relax my ankle just a little bit.

        Still, the thing was pulling and jerking us, trying to pull us free of the tree, and all of us knew that it might succeed. The grapevines would snap, I wouldn't be able to snag the tree again with my ankle, and then -- sluuuuuurrrrpppp! Chomp, chomp, chomp!

        "It seems to be awfully hungry," Ted panted. "I wish it could find something else to eat."

        And with that, Martha reached into one of the buckets, pulled out a handful of dewberries, and flung them right into the mouth in the quicksand! A couple sort of spattered to the side of the mouth, but a big, ugly tongue came out and licked them inside.

        With that, Tony too started throwing dewberries at the mouth. Both he and Martha missed much of the time, but that tongue would lick up the splattered dewberries. In fact, the tongue got to catching the dewberries while they were still in the air!

        All of this would have been as interesting as heck if Ted and I weren't still being pulled mouthward.

        And then, just as Martha and Tony were throwing the last of the dewberries into the mouth, the tentacles let us go!

        Ted and I flew backwards towards the tree I was tied to. I hit the tree first and then he landed on me.

        The eye and the mouth and the tentacles disappeared into the quicksand. A minute later there was a big bubble that came to the surface and broke with an "UUURPPP!" sound. Then smaller bubbles trailed off towards the other side of the quicksand pool and finally disappeared.

        "Well, that settled the left hand dewberries," I observed. "And we're going to have to pick quick if we're going to take home any at all."

        Ted got up and walked over to the buckets. I got up to follow him and fell down. Tony came over and untied the grapevine that had still tied my foot to the tree.

        "Wow! That was exciting!" I said.

        "Falling down often is," replied Tony.

        "No, no. The fight with whatever that was," I replied to his reply. "I think that must have been a big Big Squid. And I thought that they were all gone, too."

        "Well, whatever it was, it's gone now. And I don't think that I want to go over to the other side of the quicksand pool. But, maybe, hmmmm....I bet that there's a tunnel or something that connects this quicksand pool to another one and so on until you get to the river. I bet that's where whatever it was went, too. To the river," said Tony, in his longest statement thus far that day.

        "Here, Mike," said Ted. "I filled your buckets with dewberries because you saved me from being et." And he handed me two buckets full of dewberries!

        We quickly filled all of the buckets with dewberries again, and then we walked home. I had to walk with one foot in the gutter for quite a ways, but eventually my right leg returned to the same length as my left leg. Ted's legs never did return to the same length, and we had to sew strips of cloth around the bottom of his pants legs so that they'd be long enough to cover the tops of his socks (and no matter what he says, we didn't use lace ruffles).

        Mom was happy to see all of the dewberries we picked, and the next day we had dewberry pie. She also made a bunch of dewberry jam and jelly for the Winter. But that night we had carrots and caviar and croutons and crackers for dinner, and when Mom brought the calamari to the table Ted yelled, "PAYBACK!" and ate it all. Mom just looked at him and sighed, and got the cake for dessert.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Amos
Date: 03 May 10 - 10:10 AM

Actually you should take on more of the responsibility for keeping Mom alivew and well with well-crafted, original BS, as you will have more time on your hands.

Unless you keep it somewhere else...

A


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Amos
Date: 02 May 10 - 10:10 PM

Half-done is always well-begun, I think!! Can't wait!!


NEver mind the snide remarks, Rapaire--you're retired now.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Rapparee
Date: 02 May 10 - 08:44 PM

Shouldn't that be "Almost Half-Baked Amos"???


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Eiseley
Date: 02 May 10 - 06:36 PM

Almost halfway done, Amos!
Eiseley


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Rapparee
Date: 02 May 10 - 06:24 PM

Maui is pretty far West, they play
cowboy polo there, as well as in Montana and througout The West (excluding California, some of which ain't West).


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Amos
Date: 02 May 10 - 04:52 PM

You'd probably spend more time putting your attention on pocket pool. Pasture pol is a new expression for me. Very droll.


A


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Rapparee
Date: 02 May 10 - 02:57 PM

If the wind's blowing over the course it could add a whole new dimension to pasture pool.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Amos
Date: 02 May 10 - 02:31 PM

That would be an interesting trip indeed, for a man of so many fine acheivements...


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Acme
Date: 02 May 10 - 12:21 PM

I have an idea for Rap: http://bit.ly/99ZBc8. Just a suggestion, mind you, but think of the rope you can weave, the paper you can make, the smoke you can inhale. . . all on the edge of the golf course.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Rapparee
Date: 02 May 10 - 11:53 AM

I dunno who or what the wimmen hanged. I just had to help clean up the aftermath.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Amos
Date: 02 May 10 - 11:04 AM

So was there a big political hoohah about replacing the unforgettable Whoosis?


A


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Amos
Date: 02 May 10 - 12:04 AM

I guess the sidearms meant more to you than you wuz lettin' on, Sir R.


A


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Rapparee
Date: 01 May 10 - 09:52 PM

Amos, I apologize for complaining about you taking my much-loved palindrome. I was out of order and I realize it. Eiseley, you may have the primes.

Dibs on all the irrational and imaginary numbers!!!!!


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Rapparee
Date: 01 May 10 - 09:48 PM

I have a bottle of the Real Stuff in the fridge, should you care to sample it....

Well, some of us men cleaned up after Thursday's hangin'. That was the women that did the hangin', weren't no men involved in it. We just get to clean up afterward. Fortunately it wasn't too messy this time. Not at all like when they did Blackjack Ketchum down in New Mexico a while back.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Eiseley
Date: 01 May 10 - 08:12 PM

Rapaire forgot to mention that he only gave me the empty package. It had a pretty picture on the front he wanted me to frame for him.

The problem with Rapaire retiring is that now when I hear or read something especially funny I have to run all the way across town to share the joke---instead of just running upstairs.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Amos
Date: 01 May 10 - 07:05 PM

I don't thik feeding her Mormon brew was what I had in mind...


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Rapparee
Date: 01 May 10 - 05:36 PM

I don't do that. I'm thinking about setting up a speaker system and, as they start to drive, going "Hyuck, hyuck, hyuck!" or giving a loud burp or other rude noise. Small hidden speakers, of course, on my property.

Eiseley just left, taking a six-pack of Polygamy Porter ("Bring Some Home To The Wives") with her.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
From: Acme
Date: 01 May 10 - 04:37 PM

We need to find something for Rapaire to do. Other than throwing rocks at the golfers as they pass by his back fence.


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