Monday, February 27, 2006

Of Pioneers and Snarls

The trouble with being a hardy pioneer on the savage edge of the American Frontier was that every time your pigs screamed in the night you were obligated to go out to see what was bothering them... and more times than not, whatever it was had claws.

You'd walk out on the porch and then turn to face your wife.
"How old is our eldest son?" You'd ask, shivering a bit at the mortal chill that just blew up on the wings of a fanged snarl.
"He's six." She'd reply.
"Never too young to become a man." You'd mumble under your breath.
"What?!!!" Your wife would demand.
"Nothing." You'd sigh. "Hand me my rifle please."
"Powder and lead costs money." She'd say and hand you your pitchfork instead. You'd stare at the pitchfork with much dismay.
"A pitchfork?!!!" You'd exclaim. "But listen to that snarl. Do you have any idea what that snarl is saying?"
"Well go on and tell me, you're planning to anyway." Your wife would reply.

"Damn right I'll tell you--that snarl, that particular snarl, just happens to be saying:
'Hello, I'm a slavering beast that is easily two and a half to three times too large, quick and fierce to be dispatched with anything short of a goddamn cannon. A rifle might give me pause, but I am definitely eating the face off any man who comes at me with a spindly pitchfork.'"

"You can tell all that from just a snarl?"

"Hell yeah I can woman! Shit, you stand out here in butt-flap pajamas with nothing between you and a snarling death but a pitchfork and the balls the good lord dangled and then tell me you wouldn't want a rifle."

"Tell you what." Your wife would say with a calm that means she's about to be fair and just. (Even though that's a savage lie if ever there was.) "How 'bout we stop buying a six-pack of ale every night of the week and twice on Friday? That should probably leave us just enough money for powder and lead to shoot at every single creature that happens to snarl in the night."

"Well, hold on a minute now."

"No, no Dear, give me back the pitchfork and let me fetch your rifle. You go down and shoot whatever that is and when you get back I'll have a nice pot of willow bark tea waiting."


And moments later you'd be trudging down to the livestock pens, scratching your butt through the open flap on your pajamas, grumbling at your pitchfork and hoping like hell it's not a grizzly bear tonight.


At 6:49 AM, Blogger Helga von porno said...

Is this the kind of life you intend to inflict on me Mr Flint?

At 2:22 PM, Blogger OldHorsetailSnake said...

Would a grizzly come between a man and his ale? If the wife says so, yes.

On the other hand, maybe you could sneak up on him while he's feeding on the 6-year-old....

At 4:02 PM, Anonymous Mr. Scoop said...

Ah, the frontier days. When a man could live secure in the knowledge that the Constable would instinctively understand that occasionally, wives fell on pitchforks for no apparent reason at all.

And that finishing them off with an ale tankard to the cerebellum was the only merciful and Christian thing to do.

At 5:36 PM, Blogger Lightning Bug's Butt said...

Why not sell the wife and have both ammo and the beer? What's a healthy cooter fetch in the wild Frontier?

At 8:09 PM, Blogger Trevor Record said...

Luckily, the space pioneers will all have deadly plasma rays powered by their own hardiness.

No so luckily, the snarls they hear in the night will be from abominations far more dangerous than a wolf or bear.

At 6:23 AM, Blogger Noir Muse said...

I love it! This was a lovely way to start the morning Mr. Latigo. I think I love it most because I identify with the wife so very well. By the way, and my husband will agree, I am always fair and just. (and the winner as well, whatever the outcome)

At 9:17 AM, Blogger The artist said...

Damn woman, trying to take away his beer and his guns, what the hell is wrong with her?

I hear that pickaxes work really good when you have to dismantle an upright piano.

That gives me an idea.

Coming soon to the FOUK.


At 9:35 AM, Blogger Blog ho said...

this happened to me, last week.

At 12:57 PM, Blogger Gil The Carnie said...

Yarn' me another tale paw.

At 3:18 PM, Blogger Cad Grublygold said...

Now I’m tempted to broadcast a snarl at someone’s house to see what sort of modern day scenario plays out. I bet however that it would be much the same.

At 12:37 AM, Blogger Latigo Flint said...

Probably Helga Von Porno, probably.

You have a savage streak Old Hoss, no doubt about it. I adore that about you of course.

The magnificent Mr. Scoop!!! Hello sir. Weren't those just the days though? What the hell are poor anachronistic louts to do these days?

Well LBB, drape her neck with enough bead necklaces and you could usually get a pretty penny from the Natives.

Well noted Trevor Record, well noted indeed. Life has always been, still is, and shall always be unspeakably savage.

Noir Muse, you are one of the main reasons I write. (I mean that in the most platonic of ways of course.) Naturally I'm tickled to hear you loved it.

Pickaxes are good at dismantling anything Artist, including but not limited to upright pianos, furniture, annoying transients, automobiles and pandas.

Right down to the butt-flap pajamas Ho? (I'm betting yes.)

Hey there Gil, you jes fetch up Latty's rocky-chair and a jug of corn whiskey, and I'll see whats I kin muster.

Very good you sharp, sweet Grublygold--I think you're probably right.


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