Sunday, January 14, 2007

A Couple of Rough, Tough, Men of the West

It's about a half an hour before dawn this morning. I'm in my kitchen looking out at the solid frosting from there to the barn. I'm thinking about the trip into the hills I have planned with The God of all Ropers. It sounded like such a good idea. Something interesting to break out of an emotional sinkhole. I cowboy up and go out to the barn. The breath of the horses is coming in thick clouds. The thermometer on the side of the barn says 28°. Now I know that some of you back in the midwest and the northeast have been under the grip of the icestorms and other harsh weather. I know that 28° and clear probably sounds pretty damned good to you right now. But, in my defense, these plans were made when the highs were hitting the top of the 60's and the lows weren't dipping past 45. The God of all Ropers pulls his rig into the yard. He's bundled up like Nanook of the fucking North. I ask "How're your critters holding up in this cold snap?" He says "Fine." I'm figuring crap. Got us a he man here to deal with. "Want some coffee?" "Had some back at the house, but if you're offering."

We go into the nice, cozy, warm house where there's a fire going, blazing and snapping merrily away.

Me: "We really weren't expecting it to be this cold. Think it might be raining by tonight?"

Him: "Weathergirl said no."

Me: "She's a lying bitch most of the time."

Me: "Here's your coffee. Just describe again the lay of the land around this mine."

He does just that. Giving a pretty good account of the landmarks and the elevation. The fact that there's a natural water tank and a spring right near the mouth of the mine.

Me: "Can you be a little more specific about the opening? Were there any timbers framing it? Were there any metal tools lying about?"

Him: "Why do you ask that?"

Me: "Because it doesn't sound like a white man's mine, that's all. If it's an Indian site we can't go in. We have to map it out and notify the BLM, the Tohono O'odam elders, and ASU so they can all check it out. We don't want to be kicking up dust and disturbing history ya know."

Him: "Hadn't thought about that."

Me: "It's just damned cold. I know you're the God of all Ropers and stuff. I don't think there's anyone going to be talking shit about us if we pass on this little trip. Did you see that movie Brokeback Mountain? Those boys went camping out in the cold and it flat ruined both of their lives."

Him: "Goddamn it, I just blew coffee out of my nose."

Me: "Tell you what. There's football on all day. Call your wife and daughter. Tell them when they're up and about to come on over. We'll make a day of it. Your girl can play the big old grand piano to her heart's content. We can ride around the ring if we have to ride at all. We can keep a fire going and I'll make up a big batch of chili and cornbread."

Him: "I know one of the guys plays line for the Patriots. He's a big cutting horse guy. I'd kinda like to watch that game."

Me: "I'll take the Chargers straight across for $200."

Him: "Done."

Him: "Shit. Now comes the hard part."

Me: "Do what?"

Him: "Before I left my wife said it was too damned cold to be riding out in the hills. She said we were being stubborn and stupid, and more interested in not wimping out in front of the other guy than in our own comfort and safety."

Me: "I just wimped out. Blame me."

Him: "I still have to tell her she was right about the too cold part though."

Me: "You're tough, you can take it. Tell her about the chili and the cornbread. She'll understand that."

Him: "Where's the phone?"



Anonymous Anonymous said...

that is a funny story but you owe him 2 bills. Sandy Waygo lost by 3

yo soy Horsedooty!

7:14 PM  
Blogger Deborah Newell said...

Well, being an Ordinary Chick as opposed to a Rough, Tough Man of the West, I have to say that were I faced with bitter cold weather and uncertain findings on the ride ahead versus a crackling fire, hot coffee, good company, and delicious food....well, for me it would've been a no brainer.

7:24 AM  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

fortunately we were able to disengage our brains enough to accomplish the no brainer. we had a lovely time. i was even an almost gracious loser on my bet. almost gracious.

8:08 AM  

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