Teardrop Fiction

Things that don't fit anywhere else...

Teardrop Fiction

Postby Tumbleweed_Tex » Wed Jun 23, 2010 2:52 pm

DOG

Howdy neighbors, I’m Tex…and I live in a little teardrop trailer called the Club Foote, parked at the very way-back end of the Lucky Dozen Campground. I’m a semi-permanent resident, and Renee, the sweet lady what owns the place, lets me work off the rent at my own pace.

Other than Dog, I live alone. Dog is my...well...maybe I should say Dog is "a"...dog. He just showed up one day...110 pounds of black lab.

I knew from the beginning Dog was enough dog that someone would eventually come looking for him, so he and I spent two days just kinda staring at each other suspiciously. I didn't speak and he didn't wag, and for the most part, we just sorta put up with each other.

On the third day, when I caught him drinking out of a muddy rain puddle, we had our first conversation. I explained that if he was gonna hang out around the trailer, he couldn't be drinking out of a mud hole...leastways not in broad daylight. So, I set him a big bowl up under the trailer tongue…out of the way, where it wouldn’t get turned over. Then I commenced to teach him what few manners a cowboy could recall from his younger days.

That evening, I gave him a big chunk of ham, complete with bone, and he promptly thanked me by bruising my leg with his tail. It's like a hickory axe handle, weighs seventeen and a half pounds, and he wags it like he means it.

At the end of the third week, I accidentally let him inside the Foote, and he promptly laid claim to the entire right-hand side of the cabin. There goes the neighborhood. I mean…there's not much an old cowboy can do when he's tryin’ to rest sore cowboy parts on the queen mattress, and a hundred plus pounds of black mischief decides he just can't stand being left alone outside.

That's when me and Dog had our sixty-seventh conversation, wherein I explained that teardrop trailers are for cowboys, and occasionally, for cowboys and ladies, and dogs are neither expected nor invited. He didn't say much, just sat there and blinked his non-understanding, especially when I got to the part about his lack of doggie lavation.

Since no one ever came looking for him, I've concluded that Dog apparently has no felony rap sheet to speak of, so I've learned to overlook his daily class C misdemeanors. The chewed-up seven prong plug can be replaced if I ever decide to move, I really don't need that little knob on the tongue jack, and the tires probably need watering on a regular basis anyway…so they don’t dry rot.

As they say, dogs will be dogs...but during our evening conversation yesterday, he told me he was tired of Brookes and Dunn and Alison Krauss...and asked if I had any Snoop Dog CDs. I'm wonderin' if maybe he's been getting' a little too much fiber...

Tex
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Postby Tumbleweed_Tex » Wed Jun 23, 2010 2:55 pm

CAMPGROUND BLACKMAIL

Don't ask me how I ended up outside the trailer the other night in nothing but my hat and socks, because it only takes about 15 seconds to close and latch the galley hatch, and scurry back inside.

And secondly, don't ask me how a jet black Labrador retriever, when he can't decide if he wants to be inside or outside the TD, manages to bump, close, and lock the door at precisely the right moment, because the laws in Texas pertaining to dog-murder are obscure at best.

And lastly, don't ask me how, at exactly 10:06 pm (not 10:05 and not 10:07), a very attractive campground-owner-lady named Renee happened to walk up for an unannounced visit with her multi-D-cell-police-special-flashlight turned on.

(If you DO ask me any of these things, please don't say anything like “don’t sweat the small stuff, cowboy"...it's really not funny.)

As you might assume, the lady was all smiles, and it only took her a second to stroll on up and confront my naked, locked-out self, face to...um...face.

Evenin' cowboy...nice night...
Right nice, Ma'am...
Where you headed with that stick of firewood...
Nowhere…nowhere at all.
So…can I throw it back on the pile for you?
OH…NO MA’AM, thank you very much. I’ll just hang on to it.
So what's up?
Um…nothin'...not a thing, I assure you.

When she fumbled in her pocket, and came out holding her phone, I honestly thought she was gonna make a call...or send a text message...or download a ring tone...or something. Had I been just a tad quicker, I might have turned my head away. As it was, I didn't move a muscle until AFTER I heard that tell-tale little "click", making it all but impossible to digitally deny the incident. And all the while, Dog sat happily inside the trailer, nose pressed wetly against the window, wagging furiously, not realizing how easy it was gonna be for me to dispose of his body.

I'm getting the reputation around the Lucky Dozen of being a real helpful cowboy. In the last week, not only have I changed the oil in Renee’s car, I've fixed everything in her house that was broken, and cooked her supper four times. I've washed her windows, cleaned out her garage, and cut her grass…twice. You see, I get terribly energetic when she mentions posting photos here on the forum.

Today...heaven help me...I think we're going shoe shopping.

Tex
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Postby Rob » Wed Jun 23, 2010 3:54 pm

Tex--

If you stop writin' I just might put my cute golden-haired retriever in your Foote with that studly one you share the bed with. I think it might even be at night while you're trying to catch a wink or two. :lol: :applause: :applause:
Rob
:wine:

:peace:
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Postby Mightydog » Wed Jun 23, 2010 4:40 pm

Tex,

You stories are great with a cup of coffee in the morning. It makes me think that I'm not sitting in this cube but sitting outside the Foote with you and your pal.

Keep the stories coming.
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Postby Tumbleweed_Tex » Wed Jun 23, 2010 5:23 pm

CHICKEN GIZZARDS AND THE PROPER USE OF RUBBERS

When you're seven, the world has no discernable size, and the days of summer tend to blend themselves together into a long procession...like an endless, slow-moving train of multi-colored boxcars filled with the lessons of life. Pick a car...any car...and find yourself...

...sitting at my grandmother's table, curiously eying a more-than-ample serving of fried chicken gizzards. Not your average, barnyard variety fried chicken gizzards, mind you...but huge, hard, stomach-turning, PRIZE-WINNING fried chicken gizzards right out of the black-iron skillet of hot lard on Granny-Tex's stove. Nothing like a hot, hearty lunch for an aspiring young cowboy.

Trouble was, I wasn't about to eat those things...I knew it, and SHE knew it. Still, we had to keep up appearances, so I passed the time by arranging the little buggers in rows...three by three...two by five…while she, playing the role of advocate for all those starving children in Africa, dropped a fresh batch of salvation into the grease. It had the makings of a LONG lunch.

Suddenly remembering how, that very morning, Roy Rogers had explained that all good cowboys learn to impervize (whatever THAT meant), I gobbled down a half slice of bread, and carefully slipped two of the offending morsels into the pocket of my jeans. Chew, make "mmm-mmm" sounds, make sure she wasn't looking...not too fast, a few at a time.

Four slices of bread later, not only was my plate empty, but she was happy, and I was suitably fueled for an afternoon of summer cowboyin'. I didn't give much thought to the big greasy spot down the side of my jeans as I rode away, and luckily, she didn't seem to notice.

Since my trusty Daisy repeating BB rifle had once again been confiscated by the local Granny-Sheriff (for shooting empty fruit jars off the shelves on the back porch), my latest weapon of choice against an ever increasing number of outlaws was a good old-fashioned, homemade slingshot. And having recently acquired a new set of rubbers at the corner drugstore, PLUS, having discovered a limited supply of ammunition (marbles from the antique Chinese Checkers game on the top shelf in Granny's closet), I resumed my duties as defender of the ranch.

The bad guys seemed especially brave that day, and in a few short hours, my supply of small round bullets was all but exhausted. And as any cowboy will tell you...just as you run short on ammo...the biggest, meanest, ugliest outlaw this side of the Pecos will ride into town, and boldly assume a lookout on top of the old pitcher-pump beside the back porch. Cleverly disguised as a red-breasted robin, he didn't fool ME for an instant.

Sneaking closer, I reached for one last bullet I knew wasn't there, and my hand came out holding a cold, hard, greasy lump of Granny Tex's salvation. I weighed the possibilities and decided…why not? As Roy had said...a cowboy has to impervize.

To accurately use a home-made slingshot, one must learn to properly stretch the rubbers for maximum projectile velocity. Not enough stretch, and the shot falls short...too much stretch, and the aim is seriously affected. Steady cowboy...smooth and easy...don't jerk the shot...aim...now RELEASE.

Mini-cowboys are not aviation engineers, but oddly enough, there is something aerodynamically sound about a fried chicken gizzard. It flew like an arrow, and I only missed the outlaw by an inch or two. But in the background, the kitchen window was a much larger target, and target size all but negates any slight error in a young cowboy's aim.

The smooth glass was no match for the force of the new rubbers, nor was the old, dented coffee pot on the back burner of the stove, which exploded in a dark, liquefied, mushroom-shaped cloud. The gizzard itself, not being suitably designed for such speed and impact, fragmented prematurely...the pieces splattering harmlessly across the feed store calendar taped to the kitchen wall.

That night...you guessed it...jail food. And there's only one thing worse than a fried chicken gizzard...and that's two dozen cold, leftover, fried chicken gizzards. If you can keep em down, they're filling enough. But the bad part is, they chew like...new rubber.

Tex
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Postby asianflava » Wed Jun 23, 2010 5:39 pm

Love the stories! I got locked out of my trailer when a box slid over and hit the lock. Luckily I have 2 doors, and after digging my way thru the boxes, I was able to unlock the other door.

BTW: I was fully clothed.
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Postby Cliffmeister2000 » Wed Jun 23, 2010 9:07 pm

I love them! All 3! :applause: :applause: Are there others? :thinking:
God Bless

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Postby Tumbleweed_Tex » Thu Jun 24, 2010 7:16 am

A GOOD BUZZ

Back during the early part of the summer, my campground neighbor and (arguably) best friend, Bubba-Ray, started in talking' about fly fishing'. And as fate would have it, about that time I saw on TV one of those motivational shows about staying young, experiencin' new experiences, broadening horizons...just doin' it...and so forth.

So the more I thought about this fly fishing stuff, and the more Bubba-Ray and I talked about it, the more like a good idea it sounded. So one day, as I was doing my daily reading in the one place where cowboys is most likely to read, I thumbed through the Cabela's catalog and filled out an order form for a fly rod and reel. (free shipping on all orders over $300)

I didn't mention it, and since the package arrived on the same day Bubba-Ray was scheduled for his third court appearance, I figured I'd ease on down to the creek alone, catch a few sun-perch, and impress him (once he got out) with my fly-fishing expertise. Until, that is, I realized I didn’t have any bait. But…since I'd seen a few outdoor shows on the sport, and I knew what those little fly-bait thingys looked like in general, I figured I’d try my hand at fly-tyin’.

I scrounged around in the tackle box and found a 3-0 worm hook. Then I scouted Renee’s chicken coop until I spotted a couple of pin feathers off the big yellow rooster. I poked the hook in my hand a few times tying the little knots, but in about an hour, I had what appeared to be a large but respectable fly, which I aptly named the Yardbird Ultimate Monster Magnet - Yellow. (YUMMY for short)

The little creek which meanders through the Lucky Dozen is kinda fished-out up here close to the campground, so I hiked upstream to a secluded and secretive "honey-hole" I knew about. I made Dog stay behind so as not to spook the lunkers. He listens real well, and followed at a respectable distance.

OK, so casting a fly looks like a piece of cake on TV, but in reality, it's like trying to throw a marshmallow into a sixty mile-per-hour gale. Even my one-of-a-kind YUMMY fly was just too light to keep the slack out of the line, and somehow, it kept getting wrapped around two or three body parts, all at the same time.

Finally, after many dozen bird nest knot untyings, I managed to get some rhythm and about 20 feet of line whizzing through the air over my head. Each time, on the backstroke, I let out a few more feet of slack, hoping for the perfect cast.
Alas, on the very last backstroke before I intended to settle the fly up against the end of the old submerged log, I felt a familiar sensation come through the rod, as the bait snagged a tree limb and all motion stopped. Frustrated, I gave a couple a hearty yanks, glanced behind me, and forgot about fishing for the rest of the day.

Little known fact about hornets...they can't swim...but they have a lot of patience. Little known fact about cowboys...they can swim a long-long way underwater...but they can't hold their breath nearly long enough.

Oh…and little known fact about dogs...they can't talk...but I swear they can laugh.

Tex
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Postby Ratkity » Thu Jun 24, 2010 9:05 am

w00t! I wanna hear more!!

Hugs,
Ratkity :)
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Postby Tumbleweed_Tex » Thu Jun 24, 2010 9:27 am

POP ROCKETS

I was not a bad kid, and as little cowboys go, certainly not a terror. I was merely curious, inventive, creative, and imaginative...so I got in trouble a lot.

Today they're called pop rockets, but back then, we called them bottle rockets, and you got a dozen for a quarter. They look like a fire cracker glued to the end of a little stick about twelve inches long. Supposedly, you place a (real glass) soda bottle on the ground, place the stick in the bottle with the firecracker part pointed skyward, and light the fuse. The thing will roar off the launch pad, travel a couple of hundred feet into the heavens, then explode in a shower of sparks.

(We always wondered exactly where those things were made, because the only discernable writing on the package was the warning label: LIGHTING INDOORS WILL PRODUCE YOU STARTLING RESULTS AND EXTREMELY. PLEASE DO NOT.)

For a ten-year old, making a rocket launcher isn't...um...rocket science. Simply find an old piece of pipe about four feet long, and lay it over your shoulder. Slip the rocket in the end of the pipe, light the fuse, aim, and ZOOOOOOM. Surprisingly, the launcher was reasonably accurate too...we could actually hit each other from 50 yards away about one out of ten times, and the other nine times were close enough to make things interesting.

Functionality aside, the real beauty of the launcher design lay in it's adaptability...any time Momma-Tex came outside, we quickly jabbed the butt end of the pipe into the ground, and shot the rocket upwards like the little angels we were.

One night, I was holed up behind the old dead washing machine in the back yard, fending off an attack by a gang of ruthless, cutthroat outlaws (consisting of my sidekick Rodney Wayne Nelson, whom I always made play the bad guy, and whom, perhaps subsequently, became a real-life convicted felon in later years).

The battle was fierce, and his shots kept hitting the side of the old appliance and exploding with a deep metallic ring. When the ringing in my ears became constant, I decided to retreat inside the house and take care of some business in the little cowboy's room. I made a mad dash for the back door, flung it open, and ducked inside...just as a bottle rocket whizzed past my right ear.

The fizzing projectile glanced off the rounded front of the 1948 Frigidaire (R2D2 style) refrigerator, which changed its course just enough that it missed the big, green-glass vase of plastic flowers on the table. The new heading took it directly into the door frame dividing the kitchen from the living room, and slowed its velocity significantly.

On a slightly upwards trajectory now, the sputtering rocket passed directly over the sofa, (nicking the TV Guide in Momma-Tex’s hand), dinged off Perry Mason's nose on the black and white TV, and nudged the rabbit ear antenna off it's perch above the courtroom.

Then, due to forces unknown, the blazing arrow turned upwards, passing Jesus and the Twelve in mid-meal, and exploded right against the ceiling, knocking down two white ceiling tiles and leaving the room filled with smoke, dust, and ringing silence.

Like I said, I got in trouble a lot. Rodney Wayne was nowhere to be found, and I didn't see him for more than a week afterwards...just about the time I was able to sit in the saddle again without wincing.

Tex
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Postby Creamcracker » Thu Jun 24, 2010 9:35 am

Since your profile lists your occupation as "Writer"....have these been published anywhere?
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Postby Tumbleweed_Tex » Thu Jun 24, 2010 9:41 am

I am a Technical Writer. None of my fiction has ever been published anywhere.
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Postby madjack » Thu Jun 24, 2010 9:54 am

...until now ;) ...if these are original, you have missed a calling...these stories are as entertaining as any I have read in good long while :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
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Postby parnold » Thu Jun 24, 2010 10:05 am

Just want to add that I too am enjoying your cowboy tales!

:thumbsup:
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Postby Steve_Cox » Thu Jun 24, 2010 10:23 am

Anyone ever tell you how much you look like Sam Elliot? :lol:

:thumbsup: on the cowboy vignettes
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