Sunday, November 28, 2004

A Little Jesusland here, too.

Okay, okay. Living in Clallam Bay isn't perfect. We've got our bit of Jesusland, here too. By that I mean, stubborn lame-brainedness, ignorance, prejudice and mysogyny. I mean, this IS part of America, after all. Leviticans we all have with us.

So, to get the party started, witness this conversation between a trio of testicles at the Breakwater Restaurant (and nothing against the Breakwater, by the way, which serves THE best Reuben sandwich this side of Manhattan. I mean, a pile of top-quality pastrami, and sauerkraut so mild and juicy even Dan will eat it -- and he hasn't eaten sauerkraut since he was poisoned by it as a kid a half century ago).

Anyway, these SoftandDangly guys were discussing what was a Slut, and what was a whore, and who could you call a whore? Did it depend on whether or not she was a prostitute. They all decided that a woman could be a whore without being a prostitute.

Isn't it great to see that the Ballocks are still having so much fun sitting in public defining what kind of sex life the Human Beings have? These are three adult males, with no female company, making rude remarks about females, loudly enough for all the females in the restaurant to hear.

And these are also the guys who use "gay" as an insult. Will they just buy a clue and go to bed with each other? They will probably find their resentment of females will just evaporate, if they'll just admit it and come out, to themselves, if no one else. Or maybe to everybody else, so they don't have to keep pretending they're hostile to the sex that gave them life. And maybe they should meet some gay people, so they find out that that's not how gay people act.

One of these guys, by the way, is a truck hunter. Means he runs up and down the roads and shoots at deer from his truck. I guess it's easier. Gay AND lazy. Not a combination you usually see. Most gay folks I know are the hard-workingest folks you want to see, and the cleanest. This guy is definitely the exception that tests the rule. Oh, boy, just what I want, to duck bullets while I'm trying to negotiate curves on the way to pick mushrooms.

He's probably like my gun-nut Testicle friends -- can't shoot straight. Like drug-dealers. The reason drive-bys are dangerous is because those guys can't aim.

Let's see. Forks. The local logging town. The guy down at the second-hand fishing shop who says, "I hate trees. It would be easier to get the elk if there were no trees."

Yeah, he's probably trying to torque me off. He should probably hang out with the Breakwater boys, if he gets off on pissing off women. And what's with not liking part of the machinery that produces the oxygen that keeps his lungs pumping?

OOH! I just sussed it -- these people never look quite human, do they? A little narrow between the eyes. Usually not quite clean. And don't care about oxygen or clean water. Well, what does that tell you? Does the word "alien" spring to mind? Is it possible we already have creatures from other planets living here?

Or maybe he doesn't need as much oxygen as those of us with the larger brains.

It has been said that "loggers are afraid of trees." This has been tossed around locally since the Forks library lost its trees because, or so it's been reported to me, "They were afraid the trees would fall on the library." Well, of COURSE, loggers are afraid of trees. They're afraid of them the same way Ahab was afraid of Moby Dick -- you really hate anything you've hurt, because way down inside you know it will come after you some day. And trees really can come after you -- especially if you top 'em wrong.

Let's face it, most of that logging money left town to send other people's families to college. You need to get a copy of the video Cuts to see the damage logging has done to people -- and done nothing to fix the damage. You just need to see the clear-cuts up here to know that they're ripping out everything they can get before controls or regulations are put on the rampant ravaging of the crop. The full logging trucks come whipping out fast like bandits -- literally.

Let's see. Local names for animals.

You know how in an actual Jesusland state (Kentucky) they call green peppers "mangoes?"

Well, here are the local (non-Makah) misnomers (so far):

"Civet cat." It's what they call the striped skunk. They insist it isn't a skunk. We don't have civet cats in Washington state. It's a skunk.

"Duck." Any water bird, including grebe. Though, if all you want to do is fish, whether or not a bird is a duck probably isn't important. Though I would be learning the habits of these water birds if I wanted to fish.

"Black bass." It's what they call the striped sea perch. I mean, they are absolutely adamant that embiotoca lateralis (as in is an "immature black bass." I guess their fathers tell 'em stuff like this, and it gets passed down.

THIS is a black sea bass: I know. I used to catch these things when I was a kid. Or at least my dad caught them. I would sit with my hook in the water a lot.

And they all hate that the Makah are being allowed to whale. They have no idea that once the Makah found out what the whaling commissions from Iceland and Japan were up to, they immediately cut out fraternizing with those people. All the Makah want is a whale or two a year, to eat, that they get from a canoe. The gripe is that the Makah still have whale in the Halibut Morgue in Neah Bay, and so don't need any more. I wonder how much elk, deer and salmon these gripers have in their freezers, regarldless of the regulations.

The people who bitch about it the most are the guys who stand right there and try to catch lingcod out of season. Whose ancesters let salmon rot at the canning piers -- by the TON. Whose relatives slaughtered those whales by the thousands -- and used the oil to lubricate sewing machines. Don't get me started on the bison genocide -- or the idiocy of replacing a large native meat-producer with an animal that has to be babied every step of the way. I mean, putting an African animal -- the cow -- into North Dakota? Where were their brains?

And food prejudice: I eat bullheads, if they're big enough. I'm told, "EWWW! They're bottom fish!" And this from people who buy beef in the supermarket. I mean, they'll eat an animal that eats cardboard, dead cats and dogs, dead sheep, and cannibalizes dead cattle -- and they won't eat a bullhead that's been devouring crabs, mussels and barnacles?

And yes, I do fish. But I fish my limit, and I only take what we can eat. And if I don't like it, I put it back.

Yeah. Now I'm getting spoiled. I like greenling, but striped perch aren't as good, so I put 'em back. Picky picky picky.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Sensory Overload

I was going to get a lot of work done yesterday. I mean, I had a lot of plans to get a mass done, coloring pages for (and ultimately for Oh, yes, virtue was breathing out at my pores.

But it was high tide, and sunny, and I thought I'd go down to my favorite trout hole on the river. It wouldn't take long, I was sure. And it didn't. Caught my limit -- two -- in about ten minutes. Nice cutthroats. Great! I could get right back to work.

Okay. That meant I could go back to work. But I get back and I'm in the middle of cleaning the fish when my Horse Friend calls.

"Wanna go riding? I'm taking the kids."

OOh. Well, uh -- that'll take about three hours. But -- it's excercise, right? And it's nice out, though now it's overcast and cold. So I'd better take advantage.

So we spend three hours dragging around trails not only LEADING extra horses but with KIDS on 'em, one couple being an autistic girl and the gelding who had bonded so fiercely with her he would try to run through you if you got between him and her, and thought EVERYTHING in the world, including yellow caution tape, was out to kill her.

I was leading the lazy white greenbroke mare, and the little boy who spent most of his time staring at the sky and NOT keeping her going, until she decided to trot and he hauled back so hard he nearly took my arm out of the socket with him.

When I got back, I remembered I'd promised to take the Neighbor Girl to cast, and she's officially a fisherman, cuz she got my hook in her thigh (she will never stand behind a caster again). We about froze our fingers off, so we went back to the house to drop off the fishing poles and hit some hot cocoa and raw ramen noodles (which is what we use for crackers).

And I should mention we'd invited a friend down for dinner that evening partly because we owe him for helping us haul left-over cedar ends from the saw mill, but mostly because he's a nice fun guy, and Dan and he have a load of fun talking. So I fired up the wood stove and got to cooking up dinner.

And fishergirl's mom came over to pick her up, because I'd overheated her cocoa and it was taking her a while to drink it. And F's mom stayed to chat and have some jug wine and smoke cheap cigarettes out on the porch with me.

And it turned into a party! Trout and home-grown taters and black-berry dumplings and jug wine and homemade pear ice cream. Stuffed ourselves silly.

'till the deputy's kid's miniature horse, Rex, took off down the road and F's mom and I went to the rescue in the dark and Chewie the giant malemute dog was found gently herding this tiny horse very little larger than she is back home (good Chewie!). Chris and I led Rex back, while he rubbed his head on my side. Rex only comes up to about my hip, and is just as sweet as sugar, and all furry for winter.

Nobody was home at the deputy's residence -- what's called The Lighthouse up here, even though it's just the old caretaker's house, the lighthouse itself being long gone, since they put in the buoy.

So we took the p0ny back to F's mom's house and had to call 911 so they could find the deputy, because the family had all gone to Forks and left the pony tethered right next to Bear Kill ridge, which wasn't a good idea because the bear had been coming down and snacking on the salmon coming up the river, and the cougars are always looking for McDeer's, and the little horse, Rex, is about the right size.

Anyway, Rex's owner's dad showed up and took the horse home, where he could be locked up safe. Sawmill guy and husband Dan had had a great time, talking away at the house without the womenfolks. And Fishergirl was all excited by the pony's visit. Chewie stayed right by Rex the whole time.

Ain't animals great?

And that's why I didn't get any work done yesterday.

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