September has been a weird month and it’s only half over. And full of stories.
i’ve been traveling quite a bit, which gives me ample time during many modes of transportation to be alone with my thoughts.
And without my laptop.
So, when brilliance comes my way (and when i say “brilliance”, i mean odd snippets of ideas brought on by too much caffeine and travel anxieties and not enough sleepy time) i have only my phone to record them.
These “recordings” consist of strange, half-finished sentences and audio files that seemed like life-changing, mind-blowing epiphanies at the time, but turn out to be more like mind-baffling, sleep-deprived hallucinations upon review later.
However, SOME snippets, are actually more believable than the actual events they reference.
“Badger in a Hot Tin Box”
This little nugget came from a visit to my parents’ ranch in Oregon.
Dad isn’t a big talker, but for some reason, he turned into Mr. Rogers and the Neighborhood of Make-Believe this trip and told me stories that, even without hand puppets, were too awesomely weird to be true. Yet, he swears they are and during the drive from the airport, he told me this one.
“Badger in a Hot Tin Box”
“Did I ever tell you about the time Joe put a badger in a metal suitcase? I didn’t? Well, I wasn’t there, but Joe tells me this is how it went.
You see, Ol’ Joe, he was a rock crusher. He had a rock crushing business and he went all over the place crushing rocks. Wherever the job was – he was there. And one time, he got a job up near….let’s see….Burns? Prineville? Baker City? One of those places…Anyway, it was really way out, and he and his buddy Jim had a whole crew out there. Middle of nowhere – not much to do ‘cept crush rocks.
And one day, Joe and Jim finished crushing rocks and settled down in some chairs there at camp to drink a couple beers and along came this badger! Just wandered into camp. Well, there’s not much excitement crushing rocks in the middle of nowhere – not much to do – and so Ol’ Joe, he saw that badger and he got an idea.
He talked his buddy Jim into it and they set up a trap and caught the badger. Then, Ol’ Joe, or Jim, I can’t remember who, happened to have a metal suitcase. You know those metal suitcases they had back then? No? Well, I don’t know exactly what it looked like but it was metal and the two of them wrestled the badger into the suitcase and latched it shut.
Then they took their chairs and their beer and that badger in a suitcase, and walked out to the highway. They set the metal suitcase upright on the side of the highway, pulled their chairs back a-ways, opened up a couple of beers and sat down to watch the show.
Well, I don’t know how long it took, but the first car that come along drove right past the suitcase and then put on the brakes and came to a stop. It was a car full of young guys and one of them jumped out and ran back to the suitcase. He looked down at it, looked around to make sure nobody was around, and then he grabbed the suitcase and ran back to the car. He jumped backed in to the car with the suitcase and he and his buddies took off.
Well, as Ol’ Joe tells it, they didn’t get 100 feet before the car screeched to a stop right there in the middle of the road and all the doors flew open and those guys came bailing out of that car runnin’ and hollerin’ and wavin’ their arms around! Ha ha! Can you imagine it? A badger loose in the car! Ooh boy!”
And honestly? No. No, i can’t.
This story brings up so many questions for me.
How did they trap the badger back at camp? And how on earth did they get it in the metal suitcase?
Who has metal suitcases in the middle of nowhere? For that matter…who has metal suitcases?
If they are out in the middle of nowhere crushing rock…why is there a highway? How far did they have to walk?
What happened to the badger?
Are there even badgers in Oregon?
But at this point, Dad is laughing so hard he’s crying and i can’t help but laugh too, and for the rest of the drive, we laugh together and it’s the best homecoming ever.
Maybe, logic isn’t a necessary part to a good story.