Horses Are Prejudiced (And Other Interesting Things) - MMP

I did not know that horses were prejudiced. I am six beers into an impromptu cookout to which I was not invited when I discover this amazing fact. The person who is educating me is the uncle of a friend named Steve (the Uncle, not the friend. The friend is Beat Rice), and we’re standing near his fence looking at the horses that are grazing the pasture in front of us.

“You see,” he says, point at the four horses in front of us. “The brown ones pick on the brown one.”

“Indeed?” I reply, wonder what in the hell he’s talking about. Steve is significantly more beers into the whole mess than I am.

“Yes. See, the three darker colored ones pick on the lighter colored one. I haven’t decided whether they do it because he’s lighter brown or because he’s the only one that’s mine. If I find out they’re picking on him because he’s mine I’ll have horsemeat for the winter. Damn horses. I think I’m going to chop down a tree.”

Steve is full of this wisdom. He’s in his mid-forties, work worn and weatherworn, native to the Shenandoah Valley, and owner of 200 beautiful acres at the foothills of the Shenandoah. Welbywife and I are here by accident, were not really invited, and have our dogs with us, but Steve doesn’t really care. He’s a country boy and full of country hospitality.

All of this started innocently enough. The wife and I were to drive down to the farm meet Beat Rice, who was up to visit some of her family. Long story short, Beat Rice couldn’t give directions out of a paper bag and we didn’t get there until around 4. So we pull up and let the dogs out of the car, and I give Beat Rice a big old hug, and Steve says: “You need a beer. They’re in the cooler. You’re staying for dinner. Don’t tell me you’re not hungry. You’re eating.” And that was that. I cracked open a beer, as did the wife, and things went uphill from there.

Steve’s friend Steve is there. For the sake of clarity we’ll call the second Steve Bull. I don’t want you people confused. Steve’s other friend George is also there. We’ll call George George because his name isn’t Steve so there’s no reason to make it different. Dinner is a wonderful collection of farm-raised BBQ chicken, salad, and a rice concoction cooked up by George. The secret ingredient in the barbecue sauce is Jack Daniels. The secret ingredient in the salad dressing is also Jack Daniels. George and Jack Daniels apparently do a lot of cooking together.

George, in fact, did most of the cooking. Steve jokes that his first wife left for Lost Wages (She’s on vacation) and his second wife has been in town since then. There is good natured ribbing all through dinner, and the group of us retire to the front porch, where Steve puts on some bluegrass music and Bull pulls out a bottle of moonshine and George pulls out a joint of something grown nearby. The front porch of the house looks over all of Steve’s acreage. There is not a house or road in view, nothing but mountains and fields and beautiful trees accented by a perfect sunny day. We engage in the time honored country custom of sitting on the front porch and getting plastered. I learn the following interesting things:

Blue heelers don’t learn the first time when a horse kicks them in the head. Moonshine running is safer that dope running. Bull did both after Vietnam, and now does neither, but he’s full of thought on how it can be done properly. Bull and Steve went to the same high school, but didn’t know each other. They met when Bull came onto the farm to have sex with one of Steve’s cows. George sells real estate on Hawaii, and talks about how damn expensive it’s all getting. He’s going to sell his holdings next year and get a farm in the Shenandoah. He’s been selling out next year for almost twenty years. Hurricane Isabel (I think, it’s a little fuzzy) knocked over Steve’s favorite oak so now he’s going to cut down all of the trees around his house. George has always wanted to shave his legs and dress up like a woman to see what it felt like. He saunters up and down the porch like a woman to the guffaws of his friends. Between the rude jokes and George’s prancing neither I nor anyone else can catch a breath long enough to stop laughing. Bull has been joking all night about George being Steve’s other wife, and in a sense he’s right, because Steve and George have been bickering like an old married couple all night, but good naturedly, the kind of bickering that only childhood friends can do without scraping feelings raw.

It’s past midnight now. Beat Rice has passed out in the rocker, Steve and Bull decide to talk a walk down the road a piece, but only after Steve collects my keys and tells me that we’re staying the night. George is half awake and murmuring to Welbywife that he’s thinking of switching over to silk panties so that he won’t chafe. For her part, Welbywife is nodding solemnly and not understanding a word.

I slip down from the porch and walk to the fence. Before me the land is bathed in silver moonlight and the stars are winking in the sky. I see the horses in the pasture, three together, one off to the by itself, lonesome and quiet. In the distance I hear Steve and Bull laughing and laughing as they walk down the road.

Wow. That was great, welby.

As you can see, Mr. Lissar could not bear to pack up the computer in advance. Happy MMP!

Steve’s place sounds dreamy, and your story was great. The way you narrated it, I was able to picture the whole thing in my mind…

Great job, welby!

Ya done good pardner :slight_smile:

Great job, Welby! But I’m a bit confused. Not about the prejudiced horses cause horses aren’t Nature’s sharpest knife. In fact, lotsa horses are dumber than a box of hair. No, it’s the whole front porch thing. I mean, most folkses front porches face the road. So when you say you’re sitting there scopin out all the acreage but no road, does that mean the back porch faces the road? Or is there so much acreage that the road drops below the horizon? :eek: Man, that Steve dude must be richer than Midas! And if he’s that rich, couldn’t he afford to give you sumpin besides chicken for dinner? Like maybe, I dunno, squab or sumpin? I’m just sayin…

(Perplexed and kerflumped)

That was fantastic, Welby. I could just about smell the air and feel the breeze. That sounds like a great place and it sounds like you had a really great weekend.

My weekend was rather mundane, and although I did a bunch of laughing with some friends, it wasn’t like you described.

I did spend wa-a-a-a-y too much money at a couple of nurseries this weekend. The funny thing is, it was my friend was wanted to go buy plants and asked if I wanted to come along. “Sure,” says I. So, we go to the first nursery and wander around and I seem some plants I like, but we decide to go to another nursery down in the valley and check it out and come back to the first nursery if we don’t like the second nursery items any better. So we go to the second nursery and my friend had to practically pull me out of there. I spent 72.00 bucks there and she only spent $28.00. We go grab some lunch, stop at home depot to buy dirt, and head back to the first nursery where I spent another $42.00 dollars on a couple of shrubs and some ornamental grass, which as it turns out, does not really make it through the weather. Who’d a thunk grass wouldn’t make it?

Well, I need to take the daughter to school. I can’t believe I actually made it to an MMP this early!

Saturday was my goddaughter/neice’s 4th birthday party, so I went and had lots of fun playing with all the kids. I gave her a hula girl outfit for dress-up fun.

Sunday, I got up early and mowed the lawn, and decided to cut down a mess o’ dead tree branches. I also trimmed some un-dead limbs and branches that were hanging down too low. Now my front yard looks much nicer. I should have been one to go spend much moola at the nursery, taters. Maybe next Saturday. I have two hydrangia bushes that I need to plant…I just can’t decide where I want them. I’d hate to have to move them later on.

Also, since Sunday was a nice semi-cloudy/semi-sunny day, we rode the Harley up to Red Top Mountain State Park to check out the venue for DopeStock '04. I was craving dolmades so I made some for dinner (Greek stuffed grape leaves), and I fell asleep while watching “Along Came Polly.” Guess I’ll have to finish watching it sometime this week.

Well, I dunno that’s he’s richer than Midas, but I do know that he brings in a little bit of income from the moonshining. The farm itself has been in the family forever and a day, though it used to be much larger. The driveway, if you can call it that, comes into the house from a hill to the left rear of the place. So basically what you get is an unobstucted view of a large chunk of the valley. It’s the kind of place that the wife and I aspire to one day.

As for the chicken, it’s not like he picked up a box of KFC. When I say farm raised, I mean on his farm. Fresh chicken. Yum.

I’ve never had moonshine. That’s probably good.
Do I have any volunteers for packing the rest of the kitchen? Come on, guys!

crickets chirping
None of you are any fun. I spent my weekend packing and cleaning and at a barbeque cookoff and a craft show. I’m tired, but today is the last packing day and I have to get it finished before work at 5. I’m starting to rethink this “moving is fun!” thing.

They’re testing the fire alarm in our building all day. It sounds like this:


except louder. Like a really loud stove timer. The cats are under the bed. They’re not happy with us.

Well, **earthpuppy, ** the sad thing is, the plants and shrubs I purchased aren’t even going to make a dent in the space I need to fill up. I have a large garden space in my backyard. We spent $600.00 just for three trees last year; and now I need to fill in all the other space. I still have to do each side of the house too. So, while I can’t do it all at once, I’ll just have to do it a little at a time. Besides that, the so-called dirt that I must scratch in is nothing more than clay, rocks and boulders. So, I scratch at the dirt a little, pull some rocks out, scratch a little more, pull some rocks, and so on and so forth. It takes quite some time to actually dig a hole big enough to plant anything. It took me three days to plant my trees last year!

I am waiting for the music instrument store to open so that I can take my daughter’s clarinet in for repair. She’s having some problems with it; and of course, I was unaware of this until yesterday, when the shop was closed. She also has a test in band so she NEEDS her instrument by tomorrow. :rolleyes: I hope the shop can get the instrument repaired today, or least give me a loaner until the clarinet is repaired. After that I will have to go in to work. :frowning:

I need a vacation. I am sorely tempted to just take the whole day off!

Thanks for clearing that up, Welby. I’d say Steve is REALLY “richer” than Midas, wouldn’t you? :slight_smile: Sounds like a really cool home place to me.

I only have a piddlin straight-from-the-street driveway. Well, I guess it’s okay since it’s wide and long enough for a bunch o cars should Casa Anachi host a soiree or sumpin.

As for farm-raised chickens, they’d be lots better than what I buy at the supermart seein’ as they only eat whatever they can run fast 'nuff to catch and don’t have no nasty injected carcinogens and whatnot.

And speakin’ of KFC chicken and the like, I had some Buffler wings from Domino’s on Friday nite that left me feeling all carcinogen injected so I think I’m really done with those for a while. :stuck_out_tongue:

Obligatory congrats and wows to welby.

I just found out that I had Friday off! Too bad I spent the day working. Actually, nobody realized that Friday was a National Day of Mourning (and by nobody, I mean nobody in a position of authority in our organization) until Friday, so on Friday a message was sent out that the day was a day off. So you had to come to work to know that you had the day off work. Makes perfect sense. I didn’t come into work on Friday because I was off learning how to be an effective negotiator. If I had known it was a day off, I could have not learned how to be an effective negotiator and gone to the zoo, because that’s where I went to be taught to be an effective negotiator. Of course, had I known it was a day off, I wouldn’t have driven all the way to the zoo to learn how to be an effective negotiator, except that it was already paid for and I really wanted to go anyway, so I would have gone even if I had known it was a day off. With pay. That’s an important point. A day off is one thing, a day off with pay is another.

Don’t worry, though, I’ll still get a day off with pay. I’ll get comp time and that means that I’ll be able to take a day off (with pay) any day I want and I won’t have to get up in time to get to work in order to know I have the day off.

And I’ve learned how to be an effective negotiator.

I could have said the same thing Satuday. Never had it. It’s a good thing for the most part. Gosh, the hangover is still with me.

If you live somewhere sensible, like Fairfax, for example, I’d have sent the wife over to help you pack. She loves that kind of thing. But noooo, you have to live up in the frosty northlands.

I would like a sip of moonshine. Just a teeny sip, 'cause I don’t like the hard stuff much, plus I’m a very cheap drunk so a small sip seems wise. Also, Beat Rice?

When we lived out in the desert our front porch was actually our back porch. The front had no porch and nobody used it to come into the house anyway, because it faced away from the parking area. Of the two doors, one had you entering through the dining room, the other through the bathroom. What I mean is, the guy who built the house was odd, and this is the opinion of someone whose father’s cousin lives in a tree house (and probably lives off of selling what welby’s friends were smoking).

So basically you were supposed to drive all the way up to the house, park, walk away from a perfectly good porch and back door to the back of the house which was really the front. Then you would knock on the door and wait because we were all out on the back porch wondering where the person we’d heard drive up had gone to. But that was okay because our dog Lady would keep you company and maybe let you play with her pet chicken, which she liked to carry around by the neck. The chicken didn’t mind too much. Better than being dinner I guess.

This weekend I didn’t do much besides clean and read and wait for monday so that I could run errands. The good news is that on friday when I drove to San Diego to the doctor’s, my car did not explode. Also, I’m fine, just a check up. Tomorrow the cats go to the vet for their check ups. I like going to the vet because there’s this one really big fat cat that sits on their printer, practically covering it, and he lets me pet him. His ears are huuuge and thick like shoe leather.

In other words, good job welby!

Verrry interresting story, Welby! What with all the substances being poured, inhaled or otherwise ingested, though, I’m sort of surprised a MMP arrived on schedule at all! :wink:

My weekend consisted of the acquision of Deck Boxes. I have need of two. Not that I have a deck. Yet. Right now they are to serve as toy boxes; at some point in the future they will assumed their predestined roles. But what made it such an interesting adventure was A) It poured down the rain most of Saturday, B) We had to traipse all over town to find the blasted things, and C) although we only want two, we now have three of the aforementioned deck boxes. That’s because we found one (1) at Target and then a veritable trove of them at the second Home Depot we visited the pouring rain. Why not buy one (1) at Home Depot? Well, I’m glad you asked. The Target Box had a brown lid. (And was the very last deck box AT Target, I might add.) All the boxes at HD had green lids. There we were, face with a dilemma: would, in the future, when the deck boxes became deck boxes instead of toy boxes in two separate bedrooms, would we like them to match? Or would one green and one brown be OK? My answer was, I have no idea. I don’t envision them ever sitting side-by-side, but HEY the house where I’m envisioning them doesn’t even exist yet, so who knows.

My solution to the Great Deck Box Dilemma of 2004 was to say, “well, I can’t envision us ever wishing that we had purchased two (2) mismatched deck boxes, so I’m going to say, ‘take the brown one back to Target’ and buy two new green-lidded ones.’”

Of course by the time said purchases were completed, we were drenched and exhausted and still had to more stops two make for non-deck-box purchases. So, my van is loaded to the tippy top, here on Monday, with three deck boxes, one to be returned, two to join the family unit.

In other news: I have borne children in the past, yessir I am a Mom of Experience. But I don’t recall being pummeled as vigorously as I am with this little tornado I’ve got in the oven. Whew!

-Ellen (getting rather large)

My weekend wasn’t as relaxing or as drunk as welby’s, but my sweetie and I made some good decisions. We picked out our our cabinet style, we decided to put a bigger window in the kitchen, we finalized (I think) the layout, we picked out the flooring and carpet, and we found a run that we’d love to put in the dining room. Of course, since we don’t get the house for 2 more months, all of the above may change.

Oh, and we saw Shrek 2. I wasn’t impressed.

That’s all I got.

When I was growing up in The Edge of Nowhere, TX we always knew that someone was A) lost or B) trying to sell something when there was a knock at our front door. Anyone who knew us was fully aware that the front door was only opened during The Big Cleaning [sup]TM[/sup] to air out the house. Everyone else just knocked at the back door and let themselves into the kitchen.

Strawberry (who misses living in the country)

I’m just popping in to say that I posted this morning, but the hamsters ate it. No, I can’t re-create it; you don’t honestly expect me to remember that far back, do you? But I do remember it was extremely clever and witty. You would have laughed. Really. :wink:

Anyway, good job on the MMP, Welby.

The landlord came by this weekend, so we all had to get up early on Sat. and get the house more or less “company ready”. I hate getting up early on Sat. That’s one of the reasons I stopped going to church; so I didn’t have to get up on Sat. (That’s right: I’m risking my eternal soul for a lie-in. You gotta have priorities.) And to have to get up early to clean is just adding insult to injury, if you ask me.

Anyway, the good news is, we don’t have to move the end of July like we thought, which gives us time to find a better place(s). (He wants to sell the house, but decided to wait until next year).

So, one crisis averted, if only temporarily. On to the next!

Anybody looking to sell a car? (Not you, Scout! :wink: )

Well, I lived in town and nobody used our front door either. But they also didn’t use the back door.

No, we were not social lepers who never received visitors. We were a family of girls who had boyfriends or boys that wanted to be boyfriends and girl friends that wanted to be where the boys were so that the boys that didn’t get to be my sisters’ boyfriends could be their boyfriends and they all came over to our house all the time. And my Mom had friends, too, who came over to visit.

So how did they come to visit if they didn’t use the front door and they didn’t used the back door? Silly, we had a side door. Yep. I guess living in a town is halfway between the country (back door) and the city (front door) so we got to have a door halfway around the house. To this day, that is the door that is used most often in that house (which I could refer to as my house because my Mom still lives there and I stay there when I visit her (after coming in the side door) but I have my own house now so I guess that’s my house and the other house, that used to be my house (but just because I lived there, not because I owned it) is my Mother’s house, but no matter how many houses I ever own, wherever Mom is will always be home).

The front door faces a busy street. The side door faces a not busy street. The back door faces the back yard. The other side of the house, the side without a door, faces the house next door. They use their front door.

My house has a front door and a door on the side, but I call that one the back door because it leads out the the patio and the back yard. And the garage. It’s my house, so I could call it anything I wanted, I suppose. Except Veronica. Doors are never called Veronica.

Am I the only person who saw this and went “whawhaWHAT???”

Please explain this further. Just how did they meet?

P.S. Good MMP.
P.P.S. I love blue heelers.