Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Taper Ramble #4 Maytag


Jerry my buddy from High School had a problem. His parents had three boys but that wasn't enough to get all the work done around the small working ranch/farm his parents owned. To remedy this problem Jerry kind of adopted me as his brother so I could help out with his chores and still have time to actually have some fun in life. The truth is Jerry was admittedly lazy. He was the tallest person on our basketball team but he lacked hustle. He would meander to one end of the court to the other and stand near the basket. When they threw the ball to him he would lay it up and start to meander to the other end hoping that our team would steal the ball so he would only need to go half court. I have endless stories about our adventures but this one for what ever reason stands out today:


It was a cold crisp fall day. My buddy Jerry and I were hiking in to his uncles duck pond for some duck hunting. As we walked along the trail to the pond we started to parallel a small creek. The creek was about four feet wide and was flowing quickly down toward the pond. That's when I noticed the first big salmon that was trying to make it's way up stream. I immediately laid down my gear and went over to the creek to see if I could see more fish. The creek was packed with them! Hundreds of salmon in this narrow creek. I reached in and grabbed one and threw it up on the bank. I looked at Jerry and said we needed to find one bigger. Next thing we knew we were running up and down the creek chasing bigger and bigger fish. When we caught one that was bigger we would throw the other one back. That's when the MONSTER fish swam by. Jerry spotted it and started chasing it downstream. The fish was so big that only half its body was in the water. He was just about to grab it when it swam down a little lip in the creek that dropped about 8 inches. When Jerry stepped off the lip in hot pursuit of the fish he disappeared. Jerry was about 6'3" tall and he was gone, hip waders and all. It would probably have been bad enough just to totally immerse oneself in the cold water of the creek but Jerry unbeknown st to me was also getting a total body massage by about 15-20 salmon that were occupying the deep hole he had just stepped into. The look of terror on his face, and the primal scream that emitted from his throat when he surfaced prompted me to start laughing so hard I almost pissed my pants.


We didn't get any ducks that day. Apparently the sound of loud laughter and primal screams tends to scare them off the pond.

Bonus story:
Jerry (Skapti), his cousin Keith (Skeeter), and I had just finished bringing in the last load of hay bails from the field. We stacked the hay in a large pole barn that also had feeding stalls on one side for the cows. Since we were there and it was time to feed the cows we went ahead and threw some hay down for the cows. The cows would stick their heads into individual stalls and eat the hay. One of us got the brilliant idea that it would be fun to jump on the back of the cows when they were feeding and go for a little cow ride. Now you can't argue against a brilliant idea so the next thing we knew we were doing a countdown and all jumping on a cow at the same time. We learned five things very quickly: 1) When you jump on the back of a cow their head goes up quickly and bangs into the 4X6 beam that they have their head under. 2) When a cow bangs their head real hard they get pissed. 3) Cows have a turbo gear in reverse 4) Once free from the constrains of said feeding stall cows are related to Brahma bulls. 5) The landing surface in an area where cows feed and drink is littered with the byproducts of digestion.
We ate dinner in the barn and I've hated the smell of cow piss since then.


Jerry is now an employee of the United States Govt. working as a US Immigration Officer on the border. He tells me it's the perfect job for his lazy bones. But hey, he's happy and enjoying life!

14 comments:

Backofpack said...

The truth is, you've got a million of these stories, and you tell them well. I've heard most of them, but still chuckle when I hear them. I can think of a few more off the top of my head that you've yet to tell...and you haven't even gotten through high school yet!

Jack said...

Eric, you need to write a book, I'll be first in line to buy one!

Your cow story reminds me of my childhood growing up on a dairy farm. I have six brothers, so you can just imagine some of the ideas that we came up with to do - not unlike your experiences for sure :-)

Thomas said...

I think the bonus story is the most hilarious one so far!

~concrete angel~ said...

Best of luck this weekend...go show Horton you rock :)

I've run Marine Corps a few times...too crowded for me, but a lot of fun. I prefer less hectic marathons when I'm going for a fast time.

runliarun said...

Okay, so I know you are tapering, but where are all these stories gushing from? Intriguing reading :), though. I like especially the one about the deer. A meeting face to face with nature, with all the helplessness and potency of our position. No wonder the moment is "frozen in time."

Gretchen said...

Hee hee! I love the taper rambles! Clearly you would make a great pacer, keeping your runner awake and entertained all night with funny stories. I expect the requests for your pacing services to start floodding in soon...
Good luck this weekend, not that you need it because you are ready, but don't forget to have fun!

wendy said...

This is definitely my favorite so far - I was cracking up when you said you almost peed yourself. ;-) See, Eric, you were a born Ultra runner! You don't need depends, you need Jerry!

I'm still cracking up over the visual of you boys counting down to jump. I almost hate for the tapering to end!

olga said...

Gretchen, he WAS supposed to be my pacer, you know...until he jumped into racing. So much for fun, and we all know Rob is not going to tell me stories and I'll have to entertain him...
Less than 2 days?

Jon said...

Note to self: Be sure not to send jar of Cow Piss to Barnes household for Christmas.

Aren't you glad that most races don't cut through grazing fields for cattle? :-)

scott keeps running said...

Glad to see you've lived another day. :)

Enjoying these ramblings mucho. I'm getting excited seeing your countdown getting so low... :)

Sarah said...

Okay...forget my last comment about you being rational and level-headed.... ; ) : )

Best of luck at CCC! It's almost time! : )

Ryan said...

Great stories ya have here thx for sharing. Have a great weekend at CCC, enjoy the journey! Hut! Hut! Hut! HIKE!....GO LONG Eric, about 100 miles long! Best of luck this weekend!

Sarah Elaine said...

Great taper tale! I'll never look at an Immigration Officer in the same way again.

Now, I know you don't need luck this weekend... And since "break a leg" just doesn't seem a appropriate, all I'll say is have at 'er, buddy. You're gonna rock.

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