24 May 2009

Crap that I have owned for years.

I call these things “Tie-Me-Downs,” not because I have any special attachment to sado-masochism, but rather because I have never learned the proper name. They are the stretchy cords with the hooks on the end, and they come in all different sizes.

Tie-Me-Downs are an amazing invention. It does not matter what the job is that you have for them. It does not matter what size Tie-Me-Downs you own. They are always, always either too short or too long. And here is the really miraculous aspect of the product. If you find that your Tie-Me-Down is too long for the particular job at hand, then just do a double wind. Suddenly and like magic, it will be too short.

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For the second straight week, Oatmeal Creme Pies have been voted the favorite dessert among the residents of Site No. 4 at the Armadillo Farm.

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We have had to undertake a repair job on my black dress boots. They are made of reptile skin of some sort. My recollection is that it was held out to be python when I purchased them, but that purchase took place more than 15 years ago. My recollection is hazy. Anyway, there are clearly scales on these boots.

They suffered a laceration recently, and a strip of the reptile skin was hanging loose. I consulted with CBS about this when he was still with me. He recommended a new miracle product called Shoe Goo. Apparently, there are different varieties of this Goo stuff for various tasks. I had never heard of it. So off to Walmart I went. I have been in Walmarts more times over the last month than I have been in Walmarts during the entire previous ten years of my life combined. That is how low I have fallen.

I have now glued this strip of reptile skin down with the Shoe Goo. The picture above portrays my dress boots with the Shoe Goo in the process of curing. The label indicates that it may not reach its maximum strength until it has cured for 72 hours.

Now here is the puzzling aspect of this deal. That job required only a teeny, tiny little dab of Shoe Goo. I have this huge, nearly untapped tube of Shoe Goo left. What the fuck do I do with it?

I am thinking that perhaps I could open a little shoe and boot repair shop down in Luckenbach right next to Tony's Hat Shop. Other than perhaps a couple of cheap plastic clamps, the only tools or supplies that I am going to need is this Shoe Goo according to the label on the tube.

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This is my friend Bill at the only place that I have ever seen him, in the General Store at Luckenbach. Bill is delightful to visit with. We do not chat in Texas. Tax and spend liberals chat. In Texas we either visit or pass the time of day. Bill is masterful at both visiting and passing the time of day. The phrase “chewing the fat” might be laying it on a little thick. Someone using the phrase “chewing the fat” might be a Yankee pretender.

Bill is a very big man, as are a disproportionate number of Texas males. I look like a midget next to him, but as many of you know, I love midgets. Bill and his pal James, now deceased, used to be the main gun bartenders at Luckenbach. They would close her down at 2:00 a.m. and have it cleaned up all by themselves by 6:00 a.m.

Bill was bar tending during Willie Nelson's last concert in Luckenbach ten years ago, 1999. It was an outdoor affair. Bill, James, and Luckenbach generally, were totally unprepared for what occurred. Out of the blue more than 18,000 people showed up. I cannot do justice to Bill's colorful description of the mess that ensued. It involved desperate efforts to resupply the beer so that a riot did not break out. They could not get beer hauled in fast enough. The port-a-johns were over tasked with results that you do not want to hear about. Bill and James were damned near killed in the fracas.

Bill allows as how Willie Nelson had simply outgrown Luckenbach by 1999.

Bill is on crutches right now with a game leg that seems as if it is never going to heal. He stands with great effort. This morning, Sunday morning, he was wearing a cheap, off brand pair of jeans that he did not care for at all. Every once in a while he would slowly stand, shift around a little, and sit back down. After doing this two or three times he explained to me, “These jeans are like a cheap hotel. No ballroom.”

See that outfit I have on? That is what I was wearing this morning. You are not going to believe this. I was sitting at the bar drinking my free coffee in the General Store at about 10:30 a.m. visiting with Bill. A tourist lady asked if she could have her picture taken with me. Her husband took the picture. I am serious. This happened.

This is the first time a husband has taken my picture while I was with his wife, although I understand this sort of thing goes on quite commonly nowadays.

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My folks have never even heard of the “Two Year Rule.” Believe me, there is shit at the farm that is in exactly the same place where it was set down 40 years ago. Sometimes that works out though.

Before I took off, I was digging around through old camping equipment and the like to see if there was anything at all that was still serviceable and that might be of use. I came upon these items. Army folks would call this a “mess kit.” There is also a set of silverware—knife, fork, spoon—that locks together for ease of carrying. All those pieces of the mess kit fit together like nesting dolls so that when it is all fastened up, it is one neat little package.

These items were purchased for me as a present by my Aunt Hazel when I was a Cub Scout and was eight or nine years old. They have never been used before. They are being used now. They are my only flatware and silverware, and they are all I need. I am thankful to her for them.

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Lisa, the photo of the new pair of Wrangler jeans is now up back there in the applicable entry.


spike said...

Steve, as you well know I grew up on a farm in rural Springville Ia. To supplement our farm income, my father also hauled loads of grain by truck for neighboring farmers. He would cover the loads of grain with a tarp or canvas (to keep the grain from blowing out during transport and Mother Nature's elements). To keep the tarp in place he would use, what you call "Tie-Me-Downs"......Tarp Straps. Now wheather this is useful info.....I don't know, but it gave me a chance to talk about the good old farm days!

Steve said...

Yes! Yes! But those you are talking about were made out of stretchy rubber with hooks on the ends, weren't they, Spike?

Lynn said...

They're bungee cords in my vocabulary. For some reason "tie-me-downs" has me humming a song about a kangaroo...

spike said...

We used both the stretchy rubber kind and later in life the bungee cord kind. So hell, I think it's all good.

Steve said...

THANK YOU, LYNN! "Bungee cords" they are. I have heard that before. Why couldn't I remember it?