Friday, March 10, 2006


Ornery.....a revisit

Since visiting my Aunt early this week and spending 2 days cleaning out the house where so much of my early development started, not to mention all of my raucous nonsense, I felt the need to republish my tales of being Ornery...As God as my witness everything you are about to read is the gods honest truth, and also why I don't have any kids...I'm afraid. They always say "your kids will be worse than you were"

I don't think I could handle that. I know Bouby would go to jail for murder if our kids acted worse than me!

August 23, 2004-3:17 p.m.


adj. or•ner•i•er, or•ner•i•est

Mean-spirited, disagreeable, and contrary in disposition; cantankerous. stubborn: I can't do a thing with that ornery mule.

My earliest memory is about 1969, I think it was summer, My older brother and I were jumping off of a 8’ retaining wall onto a old couch, it seemed to be quite fun at the time, but for a 3 and 2 year old it was just a matter of time before the inevitable accident. I was doing just fine hitting the mark every time, but for some reason on the third or fourth jump I hesitated.

This I think was the first time divine guidance stepped in and made me try and see the error of my ways, not that I ever listened to that little voice but in every instance of stupidity I could look back and say “oh….Yeah, probably not the smartest thing to do”. But I get ahead of myself.

The forth jump off of the wall was a little traumatic. As I was standing on the edge of the wall looking down and anticipating the rush of childhood adrenaline, and the springiness of my landing on the old couch, I felt the hand of my brother tap me on the middle of my back just hard enough to make my heart jump out of my mouth and see for itself how far down the fall was going to be. I turned around to tell my fun loving brother to knock it off, when he did it again. With my feet together and my tiny upper body twisted around to look at him, my center of balance was non-existent, and all I could do was look surprised as I plummeted to the waiting couch below. However if this wasn’t a true story I would have landed on the couch and bounced safely to the waiting driveway, but since this is true, I missed the couch and landed with a satisfying crunch right next to it. Things get a little hazy at this point; a concussion can do that to a kid, not to mention the crack in my skull six inches long.

So as my terrified mother who was trying to corral the older one as well as keep me from coming completely unglued, sat in the ER, I got to meet my first real DR., one of several dozen I would meet by the time I was 35. I think that this man was partly responsible for my ornery-ness it was this man who played the first practical joke on me. The fine doctor asked me if I wanted to see what the inside of my head looked like; when I told him “sure that would be neat” he showed me a picture of a chimpanzee. Yeah, real funny.

End of part one please turn tape over for part 2......

August 24, 2004-11:30 a.m.

Ornery II

The next spring I was the recipient of a new pair of cowboy boots, they were the first pair of actual cowboy boots I remember owning. Dark brown uppers, fancy stitching, with a lighter brown lower, they even had a roping heel just like dads. Well to this day I am and early riser and hate to waste any sunlight, but since I was only 3 at the time no one expected that I would do what I did. Being the only early riser in the whole house it was really easy for me to get into quite a bit of trouble. That morning I got up and dressed myself and put on my new boots and started looking for people to show them to.

As I walked around the silent house it was painfully obvious that there was no one up yet to show my new boots too, and the only person I knew who was up at this time was my Grandma. So I put on my hat and started walking. I had and still have a real good sense of direction so I didn’t think anything of walking down to Grandmas taking the same route I remember Dad driving.

The only problem with this logic besides the obvious, was that we lived 3 miles from my Grandma and I had to cross a 4 lane interstate highway to get there. But being only 3 with a new pair of boots, I knew I had to get to Grandmas house right away. So I walked and walked and walked, made the right hand turn on to main street, cut over one more street and was knocking on Grandma’s door, a mere hour and ½ after I started my journey.

The look on my Grandma’s face was one of surprise, but all I could say was “ Grandma can I have a drink of water I sure am thirsty” She bustled me into the house and got me a drink, where she asked how I got there and I just replied “ The same way my daddy comes” and then I added “Do you like my new boots?” She said that they were fine boots and looked good on me. Well she thought that Dad just dropped me off, and was letting me walk a little way before he showed up. After a few minutes she asked my where my daddy was, and I told her “still in bed I think” and immediately asked if I could get some pancakes. She said of course and I hopped down from the bench and went it to turn on the TV. Grandma called up to the house and woke up my Dad and asked him “ Do you know where Mike is?” and he respond sleepily “in bed?” it was then she informed him that I was not in bed nor had I been there for some time and that I was alright but that I walked down to show her my new boots.

Needless to say he wasn’t real thrilled with my little journey but as usual, ecstatic that my adventure ended on a happy one and not a tragic one.

As a kid growing up in the semi-west, which I think is a better way to say Kansas, cause it was really part of the wild west, and yet no one really acknowledges that it is in the mid-west, so as I was saying the semi-west in the early 70’s and all the way through the 80’s was a great time to be a kid. There were no worries about strangers abducting you, the only drug addicts were in the cities, and the African proverb “it takes a whole village to raise a child” was very much alive and well. Our parents gave permission to just about anyone to “kick our asses up between our shoulder blades” if we got out of line. Now you might think that this is an exaggeration however I can assure you that it is not! For instance, dad owned and operated a livestock auction in Concordia Kansas, and we spent many an hour playing at the sale barn. However since the parents couldn’t keep us in their sight all the time we spent most of the summers and all of the weekends causing trouble for anyone who wasn’t paying attention to us. The local vet that Dad hired to test all of the animals, was a real good friend of us boys, Doc Gale was a big man almost 6 feet tall and was probably one of the most laid back easy going adults I ever knew. As a matter of fact it was Doc Gale who taught me to squish my hamburger. Since he was so personal, and liked kids we ate lunch together quite a bit, and I would watch him put together his daily hamburger, by adding ketchup and mustard and onion, pickles, and lettuce, he would then proceed to take this tall sandwich and make it small by placing his giant palm on it and slowly pressing down until it was small. I loved watching the transformation, huge burger…..flat and manageable burger, it was so cool I felt the need to emulate him and I guess the café ladies thought it was pretty cute because just as soon as I learned that’s how Doc ate his meal, they would all stand around and watch me do the exact same thing to my burger.

One afternoon while Doc was busy I got the opportunity to eat with my Dad, the first time in a long time, and when he saw me do that to my food, he was at first a little peeved, he kind of asked me “where in the hell did you learn that?”. Well I was only around four at this time and still wasn’t real tuned in on the old mans tones of voice and I just smiled and said “ That’s the way Doc Gale eats his”.

Dad then just tiled his head back and let loose with a tremendous bark of laughter followed by a lengthy belly laugh. I just sat there kind of confused, and then started laughing with him, I didn’t get the joke but his laugh is contagious. To this day I still smash my burgers.

October 23, 2004-9:28 a.m.

Ornery Part Trey,

I have written before stating that as children my older brother and my self were rotten kids. And I mean ROT-TEN! The next story as unbelieviable as it may seem actually happened. The names have only been altered because I burned a lot of brain cells and memory in the 80’s with recreational drug usage. Which is completely different then the reason I take drugs today.

The year was 1973 I was 6 my older brother Thom was 7. We were known through the whole tri-county area as the worst kids to baby sit ever, there were bawling teenagers, angry mothers and of course sore asses, (we got spanked on a regular basis, NOT that we didn’t deserve it, we did, but I digress). One of our favorite past times was messing with the mailman, to the point that he almost stopped delivering the mail to our house.

We would put stuff in the mail box. What can I say we were little kids, but we were smart little kids! We tipped it over once and filled it to the rim with gravel, and when he opened the box 5 lbs of gravel poured into his car. (See we lived in a very very very small community, I think when we lived there, there were 12-13 other families/old people, that lived out in the middle of no-where Kansas, so our mail was delivered by a “rural mail carrier” who was paid gas and mileage to drive his own car to deliver the mail.) See basically harmless stuff, but a lot of what we put in the box diddn’t really want to go in the box.

Our “Coup de Grace” was the time a beautiful black cat, a stray, wandered into our neck of the woods. We spent the morning stalking it and finally catching it and then after we were done petting it we decided it would be a fantastic idea to introduce it to our mailman. So we put the cat in the box. Now our mail didn’t arrive until around three in the afternoon, and it was around 10 in the morning when we put ol’ blackie in the box. We spent the next 5 hours playing and eating lunch and receiving ass whippings (we were bad no matter what!) so when it was almost time for the mailman to arrive we went out and hid in the ditch waiting. OOHH MY GOD!!! When he opened the box, there was only a tiny crack of light that appeared when the cat jumped! He hit that door with the forced of a coil spring! The look on the mailman’s face went from confusion, to shock to outright fear, as that fucking cat sprang right in his lap. I swear he almost shit himself! We spent the last 30 1 years still laughing about that!

But I was talking about babysitters.

To us as little kids too smart for our own good, babysitters were a constant source of humor, fun and just once torture. Yes I said torture, well not like in “the Passion of the Christ” kind of torture, more like sibling torture. Ok I’ll start from the beginning. “Babs” was our babysitter/victim for the evening, and she was sort of new to the Walker Boys, so we spent the better part of the evening just being pests. But then she started sining this little ditty…now remember this was in the middle of Kansas, in the early 70’s before MTV, cable TV, HBO, or even telecommunication conglomerates, so there was a very stiff religious background as well as a respect and fear your parents thing, we didn’t swear, or steal, or talk back, and if we were in the same room as the adults we were to be seen and not heard, (as it should be) and the only time we wanted our parents anywhere near us was when we were bleeding or stuck in the well ( that never happened, just a Lassie reference!) So it was a different time and we were like 6 and 7 years old, Sooooo anyway she was singing this ditty…”Mcdonald’s is the kind of place where they feed you rattle snakes, stuff hamburgers up your nose, put French fries between your toes, last time I went there……duh duh duh dah.” Babs wouldn’t finish the last line. No matter how many times we badgered her she wouldn’t tell us a thing. So we finally gave up on her.

Well that’s what we let her think. We waited almost 15 mins. Before we told her we wanted to play a new game, cowboys and Indians. We were to be the Indians, and she was our captured cowboy. This is where she made her mistake, she agreed to be the cowboy. So we quickly got out ALL of Dad’s belts and before she knew what had happened she was securely tied down to the chair as our captive. We proceeded to make the lie a little more believable by whooping and hollering like indiands and running around the chair. Babs actually got into it for a second and was begging for her cowboy life.

This in when we put the screws to her. We stopped hollering and just stood there grinning! When she noticed that we were just standing there she got kinda quiet and had a concerned look on her face. That’s when we decided to ask her to please finish the song.

Babs turned as white as a ghost and started struggling against the belts. She demanded to be let loose and we turned a deaf ear to her pleas, we had to find out the answer by any means necessary. So we started tickling her. And we only let up when she said she would tell us the answer. It took almost 15 mins of tickling, and 1 pair of soaking wet pants. We didn’t have much control over our torture techniques at such a young age and we couldn’t tell screams of panic from screams of forced laughter. So there we were with the anticlimactic ending to our song…”and the last time I went there they stole my underwear” Yeah I know stupid right? Anyway it was then we found ourselves in a major panic.

We had tickled our babysitter until she wet her pants, while tied to a chair. We also knew for a fact that if we untied her she would probably beat the shit out of us and we would deserve every minute of it. So we did all that we cared to do at that time. We went to bed.

Looking back on this whole evening I’m guessing we should have just untied the babysitter. Because when Mom and Dad got home and found our babysitter tied to a chair sitting in her own urine, and mad and crying, they went right by angry made a left at pissed off and wound up with a full head of steam standing right in the middle of rage! I will never forget the shock of being jerked out of bed and brought down to stand in front of the babysitter our feet never once touching the floor and not only being told to apologize, but also to get to see her face as the parents gave us the spanking of our lives.

My ass still hurts.

I hope that you with children will understand that they are times when kids just need to be kids.

*dedicated to all who were a witness to my buffoonery*

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