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Unca Walt
October 21st, 2010, 07:23 PM
The Magnificent Triple Cross







As the Fabled PC bid Your Humble Obedient &tc. a teary goodbye, wishing me well in my quest for nailing the Great Stag Of The Forest (for deer season was finally upon us!), a wonderfully complex plan was coming into fruition.

It takes a devious mind to concoct a fairly effective practical joke. And it takes a double-devious mind to concoct a twin-leveled practical joke.

Pish, pshaw. I hereby lay valid claim to world-class ranking in this area… for Your Humble Obedient &tc. can now relate the successful conclusion of a unique triple-leveled practical joke.

This is what happened: My evil-visaged companion Charlie had invited a third person to join us in his luxurious new motor home for our deer hunting trip. Art is a cheerful, bonhomie sort of guy whose major fault seems to be that he puts way too many ribbon markers on the trees so that he doesn’t get lost in the woods of Outer Georgia.

He has one other fault as well. He tends to trust people with open, honest, friendly “fool’s faces” (i.e., myself). Art is a member of our Hunt Club, and he would go up to the middle of Georgia each year to the Greenville area near Alabama, there to check into a lonely, miserable motel so he could go hunting each day.

The drawback to this, Gentle Reader, was that for Art, there was no campfire camaraderie, no companionship. If one rises in the early morning starry darkness, wanders out to some creepy place deep in the Georgia woods to sit there for three and a half cold hours, then wander out of said woods to come back to a lonely motel room… Well, you can readily see that it does not seem to maximize the pleasure of the vacation time consumed.

So when Charlie’s beak hove into view to offer a berth in his sybaritic land yacht, Art accepted with alacrity. Here was all he needed. For Charlie owns a Runnamucka of gargantuan proportions and Edwardian appointments. Art was given his own double bed, chest of drawers, and closet with full-length mirror. He would have the incredibly rare opportunity of listening to Your Humble Obedient &tc. expound on all subjects with papal humility. I heard him tell Charlie that he was willing to “put up with it” for the other benefits.

All was perfect until the first night. While Charlie slept in the master suite at the other end of the Runnamucka, Art and Your Humble Obedient &tc. bedded down in proximate vicinity up front.

Art snores. Like a calliope having a fit. Like Krakatoa.

I spent that first night plotting. I knew we were too far from the coast for me to have him Shanghied onto a tramp freighter by a gang of smugglers, so I hit on the next best thing.

I pulled Charlie aside early the next morning to ask if there were any canned black beans in the voluminous larder. To my unbounded joy, he affirmed that such were available.

So I gave Charlie Phase One of my diabolical plan.

“Charlie, I’m gonna put some black beans in a plastic baggie, and walk ahead of you and Art tomorrow. I will dump them out on the ground, and “discover” them. I’ll tell Art that you can tell the size and age of a deer by eating some of their droppings, and demonstrate by taking a handful and chewing them up. Then I’ll push some on Art to get him to try them.”

Charlie snorked with pleasure.

“I can just see you running after him with a handful of beans, and him backing away, thinking you are nuts. It’s a great joke. I’ll back you up.”

So I then snuck off and gave Art Phase Two of my diabolical plan.

“Art, Charlie thinks I’m gonna play a practical joke on you.” And I explained the plan. We agreed that Art would turn the tables by becoming convinced by my blandishments, and to Charlie’s amazement, Art would take a handful of the erstwhile “droppings”, and eat them.

Art snorked with pleasure.

The following morning after hunting time, while heading back to the motor home, I got ahead of the other two, and dumped out the can of black beans onto the leafy forest floor.

“Hey, guys, lookit here!” I called their attention to the pile. I motioned to Art. “Art, you can tell all about a deer by the taste of the droppings… Watch.” I scooped up a dozen beans and chewed them up thoughtfully.

“Hmmm. This is about a six-to-eight pointer, about four years old.” Charlie and Art were giving each other slantendicular checkouts.

It was time to strike.

“You’re gonna have to learn this sooner or later, Art, so take a few and try them so’s you’ll know the taste of an eight pointer.

With rather transparent acting, Art feigned surprise and hesitation, but with a little cajoling, a few minutes later grabbed a handful of the beans, chewed them up and swallowed.

He stood there with a triumphant grin, ready to enjoy the look of astonishment on Charlie’s face.

Well, the astonishment was there on Charlie’s face, all right. His jaw was down around his navel, and he had a look of utter disbelief.

Art was delighted. For three more seconds.

Then, Phase Three of Your Humble Obedient &tc.’s maniacal plan clicked into motion as Charlie reached into his pants pocket, and took out his wallet.

With masterful air of amazement, Charlie took a $50 bill from his wallet and handed it to me, saying, “Incredible, Walt! Incredible! That is the fourth Club member in a row that you got to eat a mixture of black beans and deer droppings!”

garza
October 21st, 2010, 08:42 PM
You are evil. And a superb writer. Wish I could have been there. Good story well told.

Olly Buckle
October 21st, 2010, 08:42 PM
Your Humble Obedient &tc
evil-visaged
maximize the pleasure of the vacation time consumed.
sybaritic land yacht,
bedded down in proximate vicinity
This sort of florid verbosity is great fun to write, readers do appreciate it when it turns up occasionally, I think you have overdone it a bit.

Good story, but I am not quite clear why it will stop him snoring?

Unca Walt
October 21st, 2010, 10:36 PM
Your Humble Obedient &tc
evil-visaged
maximize the pleasure of the vacation time consumed.
sybaritic land yacht,
bedded down in proximate vicinity
This sort of florid verbosity is great fun to write, readers do appreciate it when it turns up occasionally, I think you have overdone it a bit.

Good story, but I am not quite clear why it will stop him snoring?

It was not to stop him from snoring, but to get some revenge. :grin:

I will post a couple more of these, if you guys won't get torches and rakes. You will find the pleonasm <-- did I just use that word? is part of the schtick.

The stories invariably include at least a passing mention of my wife of this last half-century (AKA: the Fabled PC). The personal ID, to wit: Your Humble Obdn't &tc is a running thread.

Next one is a pretty complete change of venue...

The Backward OX
October 22nd, 2010, 12:26 AM
I come from the land of Nit.

I think you may find the accepted archaic abbreviation for 'etcetera' was '&c' not '&tc'.

The Backward OX
October 22nd, 2010, 12:31 AM
Oh, and it’s shanghaied - note the second ‘a’, and no capital. Trust me.

garza
October 22nd, 2010, 12:47 AM
Keep on truckin' and ignore the pickers of nit. Well, don't ignore them. Just don't let them spoil your day. I am not from the land of nit. I am from the land of 'That's what copy editors are for'.

Unca Walt
October 22nd, 2010, 01:18 AM
I come from the land of Nit.

I think you may find the accepted archaic abbreviation for 'etcetera' was '&c' not '&tc'.

The reference &tc is a humorous and sneaky callback to Horatio Hornblower. The &tc was used by C.S. Forester and picked up by Your Humble Obdn't &tc. as a sort of identifier used in several dozen published magazine humor articles.

I "may" find the accepted abbreviation <-- why is that such a long word? is truly otherwise, but what you see it sure as heck is mine now. :)

I gots more. You will find patois and poor English, as well as the use of Victorian English. Hope ya likes it.

Unca Walt
October 22nd, 2010, 01:21 AM
Oh, and it’s shanghaied - note the second ‘a’, and no capital. Trust me.

I am also aware "lookit" ain't legit. Roll with it. Whut we's lookin' fer is the story in context.

To be fair, you are right alla way down the line. On the flip side, I lived three years in Shanghai, so I is purty sure I knows the spleleing. ;)