Saturday, 19 September 2009

April Love

This week's sentence was suggested by Katie and is from a short story called 'Dall', from the book Cowboys Are My Weakness by Pam Houston:
“I don't shoot animals and I hate cold weather, so maybe I had no business following Boone to the Alaska Range for a season of Dall sheep hunting.”

April Love

I don't shoot animals and I hate cold weather, so maybe I had no business following Boone to the Alaska Range for a season of Dall sheep hunting.

He'd badgered me for years to go with him until I had no excuses left.
Besides, what's a guy to do when he retires? Sit indoors with the wife? Janelle hates me getting under her feet.

"What's so exciting about shooting sheep?" I’d asked. "The ones around here are so dumb you could walk up and throttle them."
We sat in Boone's den, gazing at all his trophies. I wondered just how many rams' horns a guy needs. Dozens, if Boone was any guide.

"Ah, but these are wild sheep! Mountain sheep!" He had been depressingly enthusiastic. "They live on inaccessible crags and have fantastic eyesight; they can spot us from miles off so stalking them is nailbiting stuff!"

I had reminded him of this fact when our 4x4 got stuck in a herd of the creatures wandering lazily across the road near the lodge.
"Shall I git ma gun?" I joked.
"No, but you can get your fat butt out there and shoo these buggers off the road."

The lodge I liked.
Great food, plenty of beer, warm beds and a roaring log fire.

The first day's ride out to base camp had been glorious: pristine blue skies, glittering lakes, the lodge's friendly horses meandering through truly breathtaking mountain scenery. I had to confess to Boone that my own idea of hunting poon down in CancĂșn was probably not in the same league.

But then the weather turned and there I was, camped out with a dozen other crotchety old fools, visibility down to ten yards, horizontal sleet and a gusting gale that made peeing a real treat.

"Danny, what on earth possessed your parents to name you Daniel?"

"They knew I'd grow up to be a great backwoodsman and tracker just like my namesake."

"But you're a retired water-cooler salesman from Minneapolis. I'm pretty certain Daniel didn't drive a 4x4 with GPS or go hunting decked out in Gore-tex. Shouldn't we be wearing buckskins with dead raccoons on our heads?"

"That was Davy Crockett."

"Maybe they should have named you Davy, or something less likely to give my fat butt frostbite."

He chuckled. "You mean Pat? Jeez! Though did you know Pat's descended from Daniel himself?"

"Yeah, Danny, but you ain't!"

"What was it he sang?"

"Who? Pat or Daniel?"


Suddenly the sound of crooning drifted across the campsite:
"April love is for the very young
Every star's a wishing star …"

"Hey Danny!" from another tent. "This ain't Brokeback fuckin' Mountain!"
And then we were all of us singing and laughing our asses off and the beer went round and the next morning the weather broke and you could see forever.

We're in our fifth season now.
Every August I head north to where the company is just grand and the scenery the closest I'll ever get to Heaven.


Vanda said...

Awesome, funny, as always.

dive said...

Thank you, Vanda. I tried not to write yet another pulp trash crime story and ended up with a bromance. Eww! How did that happen? Hee hee.

Vanda said...

Oh I dunno, that quote was screaming bromance at me right from the start.

Interestingly, I have a set of found photos - of the square color kind - of hunters and their kills. One of them may even be dall sheep. I'll get around posting them soon.

dive said...

Yay! I love your Square America photos. I'll look forward to seeing the carnage.

savannah said...

perfect! the MITM and his 3 sons are heading off (in october) to idaho for their semi annual pheasant hunt. the conversation rings very true, sugar! ;~D xoxoxo

Katherine Mercurio Gotthardt said...

"But you're a retired water-cooler salesman from Minneapolis." I love it!!!

And this is the first time I've seen the term "bromance." Heee hee! Great!

dive said...

Savannah: Yay for roast pheasant! We get a lot of that around here. I do hope the boys bring you back some nice ones.

Katherine: Bromance is one of those hateful terms such as staycation that set my teeth on edge. But when I read what I'd written there was no denying it: I'd produced a full-on bromance. Blech!

As for the water-cooler line; I was trying to think of the least likely guy to go on a macho hunting trip when our water-cooler maintenance man wandered through the office. Boone's job was chosen by fate.

Katherine Mercurio Gotthardt said...

HAHAHHAHA! Don't you just love how ideas come to writers??? AWESOME!

dive said...

Ah, those muses move in mysterious ways.

MmeBenaut said...

Lamb stew came to mind; would have warmed the cockles of ye heart dear. Interesting dialogue too. A lovely tale from a difficult paragraph.

dive said...

Mmmm … Lamb stew! Yummy! I'd imagine those mountain sheep are pretty tough and chewy though.

Todd said...

I actually just caught up to read this one; very funny stuff and nigh season appropriate as we reach those cooler months!

Lamb stew ... that reminds me that we're getting into soup-making-weather! Where's ma' stew-pot?

dive said...

Mmmmm … Soup.
I'm a sucker for comfort food.