Thursday, November 02, 2006

That's MY Bumper Sticker

Howdy, Wilbur here. If you've read anything I've said on this blog, you know I'll never be accused of being a Pollyanna or Little Miss Sunshine. I don't come across as one of them Glass-Half-Full people. Some folks 'round here think all I do from sunup to sundown is complain, but they've got me all wrong. Sure, I spout off about this or that, but the truth is, not much really gets my dander up. Here's a little tale about one such occasion.

Back in, oh, musta been the fall of '70 or '71, I'd been out huntin'. Deer season it was, and I'd bagged me a big boy. I'd be lyin' if I said I'd not seen a bigger buck--that one hangin' over Jed Smithson's fireplace for one--but I've never brought home better myself. Back then I was built a little more solid than I am today, but it still took me the better part of four hours to pack that buck back to my pickup. I almost drove off the road a couple times on my way back to town. My eyes kept pullin' up to the rear-view to stare at the trophy rack on that buck. Couldn't take my eyes off it. I decided to pull off the road a spell before I killed myself, so I steered into the lot out at Lakeside. Except this was twenty years before Bud Brankser bought it. Back then it was called Bear's Den Diner.

The Den was as quiet a place back then as it is these days. Run by a fella named Bill. The only other vehicle in the lot was one of them Vee-Dubya vans. Didn't see many like this one in our neck of the woods. Thing was painted bright yellow with a big black peace sign on the side. Had California plates. Big surprise.

Anyway, I go inside, grab a stool at the bar, and order black coffee. Don't worry, Bailey, it didn't compare to your brew. Half the time I hear someone talkin' to Bailey here it sounds more like they're speakin' in tongues than orderin' a cup of coffee. Back in the 70's coffee was just coffee. At some point since then coffee's gone and gotten itself complexified.

Where was I? Oh, so I'm sittin' there, drinkin' my coffee and I tell Bill about my buck. The fella drivin' the Peace Train out front is sittin' a few stools down from us, and when Bill stepped out to take a look at my buck, the fella slides over to the stool next to me and strikes up a conversation.

I don't think I'd ever talked to a hippy before that day. He was baby faced and had thick, frizzy blonde hair like that Garfunkle fella. Spoke all educated and polite, which I hadn't really expected. He'd dropped outta the University of San Francisco to travel. Live an adventure he said. Didn't have to worry about the draft on account of a bum foot or some such.

Once the pleasantries were out of the way, this fella starts tellin' me how huntin' is wrong, that I'm violatin' nature or some nonsense. I ask him if the deer that died for his buckskin jacket died of old age on a farm in Wisconsin. He asks me if I always treat out of state visitors so hostile. I says usually I just tell 'em "Welcome to Idaho. Now go home." And I made sure to call his hometown "Frisco." I hear folks from San Francisco hate hearin' that. To them it's "The City," like it's the only one on the planet. And they think we're big-headed.

By the time Bill came back in from admirin' my buck, the Frisco Kid is walkin' out the door. Ya know how sometimes you just get a funny sense about somethin'? I got it right then. I knew, knew for certain, that I'd see that fella again.

Well, a couple years later, folks start movin' into Idaho in record numbers. Back then we still had less than a million people callin' Idaho home, and a lot of us liked it that way. A bumper-sticker got real popular 'out then. It read like what I'd told that hippy: WELCOME TO IDAHO. NOW GO HOME. In fact, that sticker got so popular that they did an article in the Idaho Statesman on the fella that came up with it, had his picture in the paper and everything. Yep, that deer-lovin' fella from Frisco moved to Boise and made a small fortune off that run-in with me, he did.

I don't hold a grudge against that fella for gettin' rich off my words. Truth be told, a lot of things I say belong on bumper-stickers. Maybe I ought to make up a few bumper stickers of my own and see about selling 'em. You all got some ideas about any famous sayings of mine I ought to try first?

-- Wilbur

Posted by ~ Bailey Truitt @ 7:00 AM
A true Gump-like tale. Wonder how much of it I believe...
Posted by Anonymous elizabeth monty : 8:06 AM
Bumper sticker idea for you, Wilbur:

Wanna see my scar?
Posted by Anonymous r.j. hager : 9:08 AM
How about:

Who asked ya, pipsqueak?
Posted by Anonymous burt laroy : 10:38 AM
I vote for: "I need another pastry to sweeten me up."
Posted by Anonymous carla radling : 3:35 PM
I tried coming up with a saying about your scar, but no matter how I phrased it, it sounded perverse. Sorry, big guy.

Gee, I wonder what ever happened to the Frisco Kid? I tried a Google search, but it wouldn’t work. Hey, get Bailey to post a picture of that buck.
Posted by Blogger The Curmudgeon's Rant : 12:00 PM
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