Friday, December 2, 2011

The View From Space

Ever wonder whether there is indeed life "out there"? And by "out there" I mean, of course, the Dakotas. I kid - of course. I reside each day in sufficiently deep hot water without making all 41 people who reside in those two states sore at me. Besides, North Dakota gave us Roger Maris. Tough not to love a place that produced the low-key half of the "M n' M Boys". South Dakota gave us the Battle of Little Big Horn. Tough not to love any place that effectively put the kibosh on American military leaders being seen in public with facial hair that would have made Rollie Fingers proud.

If one was looking down from space at one point or another during the period of the past seven days, one would have seen some pretty wild stuff. For instance, right around the corner in bucolic Rahway, New Jersey the good people at RWJUH had an unexpected visitor to the hospital's emergency room. A flying squirrel entered the facility somehow. Upon being told that the E/R could not treat him without proper proof of insurance, he screamed "OBAMA CARE! ROMNEY CARE! I DON'T CARE" to the top of his little varmint lungs and started flying all over the Emergency Department, much to the delight no doubt of all of the patients in the waiting room seeking medical assistance secondary to accidental overdoses of hallucinogenics.

After several minutes, the firefighters who were called to the scene to apprehend this little rat with wings did just that. In order to ensure that this new TV reality series has a longer life expectancy than Charlie's Angels or The Playboy Club, upon catching the flying squirrel the firefighters took him out into the woods and released him back into the wild.

Now that he has been freed, Rahway's wayward squirrel would be well-advised to steer clear of Utah. Lots of beautiful scenery and historically expansive views on polygamy to be sure but a very dangerous place to be a wild animal. Or a water fowl apparently. You need to fear not only the intrepid bipeds who pursue you but their canine companions as well. In at least one case, the latter has proven to be a more worrisome adversary than the former.

While duck hunting with two of his human friends, a dog decided not to wait until one of his companions had finished placing all of their decoy ducks in a row before engaging a target. Apparently the trio was hunting from a canoe and when one of the men got up and out of the boat in order to place duck decoys, he left his 12-gauge shotgun in the canoe. In hindsight (pun most assuredly intended) not such a great idea:

A Utah bird hunter was shot in the buttocks after his dog stepped on a shotgun laid across the bow of a boat.

Box Elder County Sheriff's Deputy Kevin Potter says the 46-year-old Brigham City man was duck hunting with a friend when he climbed out of the boat to move decoys.

Potter says the man left his 12-gauge shotgun in the boat and the dog stepped on it, causing it to fire. It wasn't clear whether the safety on the gun was on at the time.

Potter says the man was hit from about 10 feet away with 27 pellets of birdshot. He says the man wasn't seriously injured, in part because he was wearing waders. The man was treated at a nearby hospital.


If there is one thing to be learned from this story it is that one should adhere to the teachings of Lyle Lovett. A pony + a boat = a lifetime of contentment. A dog + a boat = an assful of birdshot.

Or to put it another way, a bird in hand might be worth two in the bush. But a bird in the water with a dog in a canoe is worth twenty-seven in the caboose.

-AK

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