Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Deer Hunter's Tale

Out here deer hunting season is a big deal. Lots of folks hunt, they kill and dress a lot of deer, and brag about their exploits, what terrain they had to cross, etc. So get a load of this story. I'm sitting in a bar in Smithsburg, MD, and I overheard some folks next to me.

One of them went over to see his pal, who had just gotten back from hunting, and found him still wearing his camouflage suit, but covered with blood and cockle burrs, his face scratched up, etc. His pal told him what happened, which he said took around 20 minutes for the full version, but here's the gist of it.

The guy had shot a deer, which apparently went down, and then he climbed over a fence, leaving his hunting rifle leaning on the fence, and took out his knife, expecting to go in and finish it off. However, although he shot the animal, like a 6-point buck, in the chest, he didn't hit the heart. Still alive and enraged, the deer got back up and charged him. [details garbled here] Somehow he managed to divert the deer so its antlers got stuck in a tree. [maybe a low down one] Then wielding his knife, he came around the other side of the tree, and got on the deer's back, intending to slit its throat. Then the deer really went nuts and [missing some detail here] tried to throw him off, dragging or rolling him through thorns and burrs.

Somehow our hero managed to get free, presumably after wounding the animal enough that it couldn't get up and immediately come after him, went back to the fence, got his gun, and finished him off.

At this point I interjected, "That's the weirdest deer hunting story I've ever heard." They nodded, then went on swapping stories. If you ask me, that guy is lucky be alive.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

The Gravedigger's Tale

The Gravedigger's Tale

A few months back, out here in Hagerstown, I met a guy in a bar. We got to talking and he told me his current job was digging graves, which made sense because there are a good number of cemetaries around here, many dating back to the Civil War, which must be in need of such services.

Formerly he'd had a good life, as a building contractor in Washington DC, 65 miles south of here. He and his wife lived in a nice condo, which was fully paid for, in a great part of town. They had it made, except for one problem. She was an accountant, a CPA, and at one point she was indicted for embezzlement, I forget how much, and sentenced to 12 years in jail.

The prosecutors took their condo, and all other jointly owned assets, to cover fines and restitution, and told him if he contested it they'd come after him too, on the ground he must have known about her crimes. For the record he did not admit to having known or helped her. They are now divorced.

Since then things went downhill and he's been doing odd jobs. He'd been living in an especially dubious part of town, in some (I assume) flophouse on a weekly rental, but had just gotten himself into a better apartment, coincidentally above a funeral home, perhaps one of the ones he was working for. But he wasn't depressed, and seemed to be in good spirits.

So if your life has been taking a few strange turns, maybe this tale can provide some comfort that you can survive to have a beer and share your story. Be of good cheer!