Tuesday, July 31, 2012

You Might Be a Redneck If . . .

you have a story like this one.

Every summer my brother and I would go visit our grandmother for about a week or so.  One of the highlights of the week would be when we would go visit Aunt Ruthie and her husband, H.B. (whom we called Papa).  There were always adventures waiting for us at their place.  Aunt Ruthie's 'fridge was stocked with all sorts of sodas in glass bottles.  Papa taught us to ride a four wheeler.  He let us roam around in his welding shop and showed up how to pick up metal rods with this long magnet.  (Later we realized that he showed us how to do that so that we could clean up his shop.)  One of the biggest thrills, though, was that Papa would cuss in front of us!  No f-bombs.  Good ole boys have their standards.  But we got plenty of all of the other stuff.  It was heaven!

Aunt Ruthie and Papa owned a small patch of land.  I honestly don't know if they ever grew anything or bred any animals on that land, but I do know that over the years they kept various livestock there - mainly, I think, for the exemptions.  I remember an Appaloosa horse at one time.  I remember lots of kittens and a few dogs.  There was also the obligatory oil pumper.  And there were the goats. I remember the goats.

For some reason Papa bought a small herd of goats - I have no idea how many in truth.  I remember 15 - 20.  I was so excited to go pet them.  But these weren't normal goats - they were stiff-legged goats.  Go on.  Read about them in the link.  So that day my brother and I spent most of the day clapping, yelling and making some sort of sudden noise trying to get the goats to "faint".  It didn't work so well for us.  The goats were skittish (rightly so) and kept their distance.  Every once in a while we could get close enough to cause a spell, but mostly we came up short.

At some point the heat and our thirst drove us inside.  Aunt Ruthie asked if we had fun out there with the goats.  Then she told us a story about Papa and the goats.

Not long after he got the goats, Papa decided to play a joke on a friend of his.  He invited this friend over for some target practice.  (Yeah, you see where this is going.)  So they loaded up and started out across the field in back of the house.  Papa made sure to point out his new goats to his friend.  Then he proceeded to tell his friend that these goats are extremely valuable and he's planning on breeding them and making a fortune.  Papa was pretty persuasive so I'm sure this guy was wondering how he could get in on this goat plan.  They got to the makeshift range (well away from the goats) and Papa set up the shot.  Then he turned to his friend and offered him the first shot.  So his friend took his aim and fired his rifle.  Mind you, he's aiming 90º to 180º away from the goats.  Ten goats fell over.  Papa roared, "G*dd*mm*t!  What the hell have you done to my goats?  Do you know how much those d*mn things are worth?"  The guy shrunk back and stammered.  About this time, most of the goats got up and carried on about their business.  Papa bent down and clutched his knees in laughter.

I think it's a miracle that Papa wasn't shot that day.

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