Sunday, August 29, 2010

Windy Weather

The other day a storm came up out of the west, blowing eastward. It was so strong that it delayed sunset by four hours, and blew most of the knotholes out of my house.

I found them later all over the barn. I'll leave the knotholes there for now because they help keep the barn cool, but come winter I'm going to have to knock them out again and store them somewhere.

copyright ©2010 Laurie J. Anderson, all rights reserved.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Advice for Bachelors

squirrelWhat not to serve a guest, no matter how quick and easy it may seem at the time:

- sardine and rhubarb stew
- hard-boiled figs
- fried whiskey
- fallen squirrels
- iced pinto beans
- poached bread
- ground chicory pie
- "found" possum
- Grits a la Mode
- spaghetti cooked in the same water you boiled the coffee
- mashed okra
- macaroni and lard

It is however, perfectly acceptable to serve any of the above to relatives you don't wish to see for a while.

copyright ©2010 Laurie J. Anderson, all rights reserved.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

A Mosquito Problem

mosquitoesAbout a year ago I had the misfortune to get lost in the Atchafalaya swamp in Louisiana. Mosquitoes were everywhere. I wore my coat, despite the heat, to keep from getting bitten. Unbeknownst to me, however, the bottle of Wizard Water© that I kept in the top pocket was leaking.

The mosquitoes were ravenous. They tried to reach me through the wool coat. Suddenly I felt a strong breeze. I looked up. There, hovering overhead, was a swarm of the largest mosquitoes I had ever seen. I felt the damp pocket and realized the insects had absorbed the elixir while probing the coat.

I turned heel and ran as fast as I could. A fishing shack lay ahead, but even closer lay a dory pulled up onto high ground. I dove under the little boat just in time. The mosquitoes followed close on, hitting the hull so hard that their stingers drilled straight through the wood.

When I saw the pointed beaks appear inside the boat, I did not wait. Quickly, I turned each proboscis back against the wood so the insect could not remove it. Soon the underside of the boat looked like a carpentry project full of bent nails.

My troubles were not over, though. The boat began to rise. I hauled myself under the cross thwarts and hung on. The mosquitoes, their beaks stuck in the hull, lifted the upside-down dory into the air. They carried it above the shack, then above the trees.

I was worried at first, but the increased elevation enabled me to get my bearings. New Orleans lay to the east. Even better, by carefully swinging an arm or a leg, I discovered that I could direct the still-hungry insects to fly where I wished. We headed toward the city. We might have flown all the way there, but a strong gust of wind dislodged me and I fell into Lake Pontchartrain. I managed to swim safely ashore and walked to the French Quarter. The boat flew out of sight.

Since then, I always check the corks that seal my bottles. If you bought a bottle from me before this year, you should, too.


NOTE: Mrs. Doc knows that the passive voice is considered bad form, but Doc doesn't reform easily.

copyright ©2010 Laurie J. Anderson, all rights reserved.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Danger in the Swamp

I once took a shortcut through the Okefenokee Swamp that was almost the death of me. I was on my way to Tebeauvilee, where my wagon was being repaired, and despite warnings from locals I thought the route would save me some time. I was not worried since I was wearing a good pair of buffalo hide boots and carrying a bottle of Wizard Water© in my back pocket. As I waded through the murky water, though, snakes repeatedly lashed out at my legs. I could feel the impact as they struck the boots. The leather was so thick though, that their fangs just stuck fast. Before long there were a couple dozen snakes attached to my boots, their tails lashing wildly in the water.

All that ruckus attracted the attention of a bull alligator. Bull alligators are the largest type of meat-eating water lizard. This one was about twice the length of my wagon and at least as wide. He likely took the splashing as a sign of a drowning animal. I noticed him slide off a log and head in my direction. I knew there was no way I could outrun him.

I reached a shallow spot where my boots were exposed to air and pulled the bottle of Wizard Water© out of my back pocket. Quickly I tapped a few drops onto the backs of the snakes and waited a couple seconds. The alligator was coming up fast. The snakes grew faster though. They expanded so much there was hardly room for one body against the next, but the heads were still stuck fast in the boots and the tails writhed like Medusa's wig.

The alligator lunged at me. He had not counted on the action of the enlarged tails, however. Whap! Whap! Whap! Several dozen snakes whipped across his snout with force of snapping bridge cables. He was knocked back a few feet. He came at me again, and was again knocked back. He would not give up. Again and again he lunged, more times than I could count. Finally the beast lost consciousness and the snakes beat him to death.

I managed to drag the body to a dry hillock. There I skinned it. I took the hide with me to Tebeauvilee, where I had it turned into a fine pair of boots to replace the snake-bitten pair.

The alligator hide boots proved even better than the buffalo hide boots. For one thing, they were waterproof. For another, considering their previous owner's single-mindedness, I'd have to say that they were at least twice as thick.

As for the old boots, I tried cutting off the snake bodies from that pair, but they just kept growing back. I finally sold them to a lawyer running for political office, who used them as an example of the wily ways of his opponents. He lost that election, but the boots were such an attention-getter that he used them for three more election campaigns.

One thing you can count on in this world: the persistence of reptiles and politicians.

copyright ©2010 Laurie J. Anderson, all rights reserved.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Medical Knowledge

There are literally thousands of miles of blood veins and arteries in your body. This is why people get "tired blood."

Wizard Water© can help "tired blood," because it speeds up the process by which blood travels through the body without wearing it out. Combustion, however, is possible.

I knew a farmer who fed half a bottle of my elixir to his best dairy cow when her milk production slowed. The cow began to produce milk nonstop. The milk grew warmer and warmer, and he soon realized the cow was producing cream. Elated, he continued milking her.

Things might have been alright had her condition stabilized, but the cream grew thicker. Finally the cow ceased producing anything at all, though its udders were quite distended. In a panic, the farmer ran to fetch a veterinarian. This action probably saved his life. Upon his return, he and the animal expert found bits of Bessie splattered all over the stall, along with prodigious amounts of a thick white substance. The veterinarian tested the latter and determined it to be a mixture of yoghurt and cottage cheese. This greatly puzzled the college-educated doctor. "I can't explain it. There is no precedent for this in any of my textbooks," he told the farmer.

When the farmer found me, I was able to explain it easily. "The heat caused by speeding up the poor beast's constitution created a product she was not equipped to emit," I told him. "She burst apart. Next time, follow directions."

I don't believe in reading a lot of medical texts. Practical experience is the best teacher. (Besides, I know of too many horses who make far more money than I do, without ever having learned to read.)

copyright ©2010 Laurie J. Anderson, all rights reserved.