Monday, July 10, 2006

Why I love Texas reason #573:

I was talking to a friend who has a house on a lake here in Texas where she goes on weekends and vacations. Things are more laid-back and loosey-goosey out that way, and in truth, one sees a lot more rough-around-the-edges folk in such places, but it's nice to get out of the big city to a place where things are a little more countrified and a little slower paced.

However, there are some assholey neighbors at the lake who are determined to be a fly in the ointment. One in particular is an older white-trash single lady (cigarette spit-dried and permanently dangling from the bottom lip) who has a pack of dogs she allows to run rough-shod all over the place. They run into the road and attack cars, and have tried to run into my friend's house. The leader of the pack is a pit bull with a gaping maw like the lid on a grand piano. People are scared of this, and have complained to the sheriff, and of course she's denied it was her dogs causing the uproar.

Last week, another neighbor was driving to his lake house on his motorcycle and the pit bull ran up and attacked him, causing him to wreck and break his leg. The sheriff, God bless him, told the guy next time to just haul off and shoot the rotten cur.

I call that a beautiful thing.

So, let's talk about ME for a while. Or someone who made me possible, anyhoo.

My mom and pop came over today after church and we grilled parmesan chicken (I'll give you the recipe I just made up - it's toe-curling) and we were all in the pool this afternoon, talking and laughing. I told my dad I'm going in a couple weeks up to Arkansas to see my grandpa (his dad, husband of the grandma I lost in April) who's been pretty feeble lately. He told me while I'm up there I need to get him to tell me about his granddad, my Great-Great Grandpa Harvey Smith.

Harvey fought in the American Civil War. Of course, he fought for the Confederacy, some of the time under the leadership of Major General Sterling Price.

Dad said all the officers rode horses, but there was this one crazed wild beast of a horse that no one could break, so Harvey asked them to let him have a crack at it. He broke the horse, but apparently was the only one who could ride the horse. When "charge!" was sounded, this horse would run like hell for the opposite side of the battlefield, leaving the other horses in the dust.

At last in one battle, the opposition shot the horse out from under Harvey and he was going to fall back to the foot soldiers, but he remembered he had a length of cloth for his wife tied to his saddle. Bullets whizzing around him, he fiddled with the knots and couldn't get the cloth free. Finally he decided it wasn't worth it and high-tailed it back to the line. He wasn't shot, but after the battle was over, he counted seven bullet holes in his clothing, and nary a scratch on his person.

Yeah, that sounds about par for the grit and tenacity of folks in my family. I'm sure I'll have more stories then. I could fill a book just about Grandpa alone, actually.


starbender said...

How nice to have more than one house! Just 2 have a place to escape 2 when U need 2 get away!

As far as the doggies go, pellet guns work miracles! Maybe the doggies would stay in thier OWN yard!

Tickersoid said...

The family stories sound great, I'd listen and I know Fewclewz would love 'em.

QChique said...

Ha ha! Sounds like our house near the lake in Dallas. Our neighborhood is quite nice but there is this one house which seems to originally have been a small older house but over the years it appears to have many extensions, rv's and treehouses added to it which is completely out of sinc with the rest of the neighborhood. Well they have a bunch of mangy dogs who like to run out and try to bite the tires of any car that comes by causing much distress to the people who try to avoid hitting the dogs. Well finally our neighbor who breeds prize bulldogs and is tired of his investments being attacked by these curs put up a bounty after the sheriff suggested he just shoot the dogs next time. Well damn it we've been trying for quite some time now to hit these things, but damn it if they aren't too wiley for everyone.

I loved the story about your grandfather!

phlegmfatale said...

leazwell - Yeah, that sure sounds like a bona fide Virginny joke. And hey - you've got to love a man who risks life and limb to get the crap home from the store for his wife!!!

nongirlfriend - God bless them, every one!

ben heller - That's a good saying for a reason - something not said lightly about who you'd trust to have your back in a tight spot. I've no doubt he'd dispatch a rabid pit bull toute-de-suite!

Starbender - it's a tiny little house humbly appointed, but it sure is lovely.
Sad to say, I think this dog is beyond rehabilitation, considering its owner needs to be put down too. The pellet gun or a shotgun full of rock salt, albeit entertaining, would merely be blowing out a candle in a blazing building.

tickersoid - we've got a million of them. I'll post more as they come in.

qchique - Isn't it weird when you see a structure all cobbled like that which people are obviously living in? Never property covered on the outside with brick or wood siding, black tar paper aging in raw exposure to the seasons? I think that's a marvel - that a place so uninsulated in the heat of Texas could be comfortable enough for some people to inhabit. It's weird. OH, and they always have those packs of desperate mangy dogs, don't they? Good luck on your quest for the bounty. Mabye a giant frog-gigging device? Or, poison the car tires they so dearly love to attack. It could be beautiful!
Glad you like the story, hon. Thanks for checking out my blog!

Dick said...

Great-Great Grandpa kicked some major ass. Ya gotta love the old school.
Just so ya know, not only would that lead Pitbull have been dead already, but I would have hand delivered the skin of the dog to that old woman.
Here's Kelly's new soaker.
Well within budget, and designed for two people.

Zelda said...

When I was robbed at gunpoint outside my house, the cop told me I could have shot them if I'd had a gun even if they were running away. I still wish I'd done it.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

You do descend from an amazing line of folks. I wonder how many bullet holes there woud have been in the shirt HAD he gotten the cloth untied.

Dick said...

I'm such a webtard.

LJ said...

A trade. Canada to Texas.
Some cities in Canada here have banned people from owning Pit Bulls entirely. (Imagine telling that to a Texan!)
BUT I hear, today on the radio, that some place in Texas is banning the game of Tag from schoolyards.
Which goes to prove that....
___________________your answer here.

I loved the story about your GG Grandfather. Was the horse a Yankee?
Must have been. But the bullets aimed at your ancestor must have been on his side. Again. The universe as Loki.

phlegmfatale said...

Dick - yeah, he totally kicked ass! Oh, and that link worked for me the first time - and I'm glad you sent me to that site - I'll probably be ordering our new tub from there, too. :o)

barbara - if he hadn't given up on the cloth, he might not have gotten his carcass home, either. Good man, though, for TRYING to get the shopping home to the Mrs.

lj - You know, hon, I'm totally ok with banning Pit Bulls - and I worry about the sort who choose a dog like that. Political correctness is getting its hooks in here, alas.