I am standing at a gas pump, feeding my ever hungry car, when a monstrous stereotype pulls up next to me. It is an enormous F350 extended cab, dually pickup decked out in every kind of custom chrome polish it is possible to imagine - plus a few. It sports Jersey plates, NRA stickers, decals of naked women and deer skulls; a full gun rack and it is towing an equally bedecked trailer loaded with the biggest 4-wheeler I have ever seen. It too is trimmed to the nines; flaunting a custom, camouflage paint job with deer skulls interwoven amongst the mossy oak pattern - along with large, polished-chrome Playboy Bunnies on every wheel and four, four! sets of chrome testicles hanging from it's undercarriage.
Out of this monstrous absurdity climbs a disheveled, dirty man wearing that bizarre combination of blaze orange and camouflage. He is reeking of booze, deer lure and extreme testosterone poisoning. As he turns away from me, my astonished eyes are gifted with the unavoidable sight of a butt crack so blatant that it can only be partially obscured by the enormous revolver, whose weight at his hip is causing this exposure of geologic proportions. I can clearly see that the gun is not only fully loaded, but that the hammer is cocked, ready to fire.
As he turns towards the store, he reaches to salvage his failing garments with a firm upward hoist of his belt. While succeeding in obscuring a portion of the unfortunate geology, this prodigious hoicking also succeeds in dislodging the loaded, cocked, unsecured cannon at his side and it clatters to the pavement. The fact that it didn't go off can only be attributed to clear evidence that God does indeed favor fools.
I decide that my car has had enough to eat and that I would forego the cup of coffee I had been contemplating. Sometimes, retreat really is the best option.
For those who wondered, the donkeys and I have not gone out walking for the past three days. Saturday was opening day of rifle season and there is not enough orange in the world for the first few days of rifle season. It will be very bad again Thanksgiving weekend. For the rest of the time, we should be OK. I hope.
I do have an orange vest for myself as well as all of the critters. We are a very hard troupe to miss when we go trooping through the woods. We also only go out on a trail where there are not supposed to be any hunters (although there always are). I don't make the donkeys wear their orange in their field, but I do limit how far from the barn they can go. I keep them close to the house during gun season, exercise be dammed.
And if any of you might be wondering, with my penchant for making up donkey conversations, that this too might be a bit of colorful fiction - sadly it's not. My imagination is just not that good.
I am not fond of hunting season.