The guy who looked like a skinny Santa Claus was flirting with the waitress when the guy behind us shouted “So, when ya headed back to Afghanistan?” Skinny Santa’s eyes just about popped out of his head as he shushed the guy who’d asked. He dispensed flirting with the waitress, and walked straight over to the guy in the booth behind ours. He stood there quietly chatting with him as Ranger and I nonchalantly eaves-dropped on bits and pieces of the weirdest conversation. The guy looked to be older’n dirt, with a full grown chest – length beard as white as snow (with all the references to Santa, did I really need to explain that?). But the conversation was positively ridiculous. He talked about being specifically requested by US armed forces. He spoke of insurgents, weapons, bombs, APCs, RPGs, and the likes. It was all so unlikely that I started looking around for the movie cameras and Arnold Schwarzt – Shcwartzan – Shwartzaneg, Schwo, Shwarz … Tom Cruise, or maybe Ashton Cucher, Kutsh, Kitch, Ka … Alan Funt.
You see, Ranger and I usually (unless we’re having a howlin’ good time) go out to lunch on our weekly runabouts. We start at 8:30 a.m. and we go until we damn well feel like it. Sometimes we’re too far away from out usual haunts, or one of us has experienced a new place on a runabout with someone else. That’s when we break with tradition (Chinese buffet one week, and Burger Cafe the next), and go somewhere different. Well this was “somewhere different”, a roadside diner with a tasty selection on the menu. Actually, I suppose it was just a variation on the Burger Café we frequent in town, but it wasn’t the burger café in town, so … that’s different. Apparently, a Hollywood celebrity buys her bottled water at the small bottling plant right next to it. These are some of the little snippets of data that Ranger shares with me as we cruise and explore. He’s a font of these things really. Where he gets them all, I have no idea but you can always rely on them being correct. He hates passing on bad data just as much as I do.
Anyway, skinny Santa finished his chat and left to join Sylvester Stallone and Jason Statham in giving them godless sand-demon heathens a serious ass-wuppin’ !! We considered how he’d look in a turban and toga ensemble. Offset with a stylish, yet sensible pair of tan sandals, he could infiltrate their high tech caves and tents to give the good guys the tactical advantage. Truth be known, I oft time wonder exactly who the good guys are in those kinda situations. But, that’s politics and I’m as interested in that as I am in religion or sports.
Another time, we were heading to another different spot for lunch when a flash of reflected sunlight ahead and above us, caught my eye. We watched awhile, as a small plane made extremely tight circles off to the south-east. We surmised that since it was getting near corn harvesting season, the guys growing marijuana between the rows of corn would be hurrying to harvest before someone else did. The plane was likely circling above a few unfortunate losers who got spotted while harvesting. However, as we pulled up to the stop sign to make a right, there was a cop glaring down the road like he was waiting for something or someone. We thought he was waiting for a victim in some radar trick up the road. So, we made the turn and as we cruised toward the restaurant, I promptly forgot where I was going and damn-near drove right past it. Just as I came up to it, I remembered and made a rather high speed turn into the gravel parking lot, kicking up a cloud of dust in doing so. Since I needed room to decelerate a bit more, I spun the wheel the other way and circled around to slip smoothly into a parking spot right beside another, even bigger, truck than mine. Just as I stopped, two cop cruisers came racing down the highway with lights flashing and sirens wailing. Even to me, it looked for all the World like I’d pulled off the highway just in time to evade them. Apparently, it looked the same to the restaurant patrons as every window had a face plastered against it, all looking at us. The gas pump attendant grinned and said “Looks like you guys just made it eh ?”. I gave her the look of a frightened, yet desperate fugitive while lowering my head, and rubbing my brow to hide my face. Then I looked up and grinned back. I noticed her smile had faded in that few seconds, but it returned once she realized we were harmless. As we entered the restaurant, the patrons were still buzzing about the cruisers, and they were still watching us too. An elderly couple took one look at us and he said to her “Fergit dizzert Edna, we’re outa here !” and they left.
OK, that last part was bullsh!t, but I couldn’t resist. It just would’ve been funnier ‘n Hell if it had actually happened. Anyway, another guy comes in a few minutes later and he’s all wound about two cop cruisers that damn-near slammed into him as he tried to get on the highway. We figured they were all heading to the field where a hooch crop was being harvested. Ranger told me the following week that it was all about some guys who were speeding on the 401 with a load of drugs on board. I always figured the wise man only breaks one law at a time. If one of those laws being broken, is best done in a clandestine manner, then don’t take the 401 at 180 km/h you morons ! There ya go, Bushwhacker’s words of wisdom for the day. It’s good to have a purpose in Life.
One of the few times we had a trail lunch was on a particularly rugged piece of terrain someone with a terrific sense of humor at the County Office called a road. It was rough and tumble, steep and unguarded, rutted and unstable. And it had a million dollar view. By some stroke of good fortune I had the foresight to re-load my truck with survival essentials just the day before. My trail bag was freshened as well. It was getting late in the day and we were looking for a crescendo to end it on. I suggested we tackle the “view” road. We carefully left the pavement, and started the decline on loose rock and unstable sand. One of the things about doing this kind of driving is that you get to see things almost as well as walking. Also, since you’re going so slowly anyway, you might as well just stop and pee. One of my favourites on the “100 Reasons Why it’s Great to be a Guy” list is # 60 :
60) The World is your urinal.
Inspirational words to live by (see the entire list below – keep in mind this list is about 25 years old, but most still apply).
Anyway, we stopped to do so, and then it occurred to me I had a thermos with hot cider in it, granola bars, and a couple tangerines. I invited Ranger to lunch on the tailgate, and he formally accepted. It was a lovely lunch indeed. We sat on the tailgate, we wandered up and down the “road” taking in the view, we planned our next week’s outing. Then, just as we were finishing up, SOME A-HOLE DRIVES UP BEHIND US ! Seriously man, WTF ?! Who in their right frickin’ mind would use this road to actually go somewhere on ? It was barely walkable, and trying to evade the potholes might well send you over the side for a 70 foot drop and roll. Unbe – frickin’ – lievable !! We quickly tossed everything in the back of my truck and carefully worked our way down to where the pavement started again and let the jackass pass us.
The only other trail lunch (of sorts) we had, was Ranger’s 65 birthday celebration last Fall. I broke with a 40 year rule of never mixing booze and bushwhacking, by sneaking a 250 ml novelty bottle of champagne into a Conservation Area. It was about this time of year, so there was virtually no one there as it was too soon for skiers, and too late for most hikers. We sat down on a bench as the early Winter sun turned the mid- morning meadow into a glittering display of frost-diamonds. We chowed down on chocolate the Wife picked-up for him, and we washed it down with champagne. No one drove up behind us, and no one walked by.
Just Ranger and Bushwhacker, 2 Old Guys Walking.
100 Reasons Why it’s Great to be a Guy
1. Phone conversations are over in 30 seconds flat.
2. Movie nudity is virtually always female.
3. You know stuff about tanks.
4. A five-day vacation requires only one suitcase.
5. Monday Night Football.
6. You don’t have to monitor your friends’ sex lives.
7. Your bathroom lines are 80% shorter.
8. You can open all your own jars.
9. Old friends don’t give you crap if you’ve lost or gained weight.
10. Dry cleaners and haircutters don’t rob you blind.
11. When clicking through the channels, you don’t have to stall on every shot of someone crying.
12. Your ass is never a factor in a job interview.
13. All your orgasms are real.
14. A beer gut does not make you invisible to the opposite sex.
15. Guys in hockey masks don’t attack you.
16. You don’t have to lug a bag of useful stuff around everywhere you go.
17. You understand why Stripes is funny.
18. You can go to the bathroom without a support group.
19. Your last name stays put.
20. You can leave a hotel bed unmade.
21. When your work is criticized, you don’t have to panic that everyone secretly hates you.
22. You can kill your own food.
23. The garage is all yours.
24. You get extra credit for the slightest act of thoughtfulness.
25. You see the humor in “Terms of Endearment.”
26. Nobody secretly wonders if you swallow.
27. You never have to clean the toilet.
28. You can be showered and ready in 10 minutes.
29. Sex means never having to worry about your reputation.
30. Wedding plans take care of themselves.
31. If someone forgets to invite you to something, he or she can still be your friend.
32. Your underwear is $10 for a three pack.
33. The National College Cheerleading Championship.
34. None of your co-workers have the power to make you cry.
35. You don’t have to shave below your neck.
36. You don’t have to curl up next to a hairy ass every night.
37. If you’re 34 and single, nobody notices.
38. You can write your name in the snow.
39. You can get into a non-trivial pissing contest.
40. Everything on your face stays its original color.
41. Chocolate is just another snack.
42. You can be president.
43. You can quietly enjoy a car ride from the passenger seat.
44. Flowers fix everything.
45. You never have to worry about other people’s feelings.
46. You get to think about sex 90% of your waking hours.
47. You can wear a white shirt to a water park.
48. Three pair of shoes are more than enough.
49. You can eat a banana in a hardware store.
50. You can say anything and not worry about what people think.
51. Foreplay is optional.
52. Michael Bolton doesn’t live in your universe.
53. Nobody stops telling a good dirty joke when you walk into the room.
54. You can whip your shirt off on a hot day.
55. You don’t have to clean your apartment if the meter reader is coming by.
56. You never feel compelled to stop a pal from getting laid.
57. Car mechanics tell you the truth.
58. You don’t give a rat’s ass if someone notices your new haircut.
59. You can watch a game in silence with your buddy for hours without even thinking ‘he must be mad at me.’
60. The world is your urinal.
61. You never misconstrue innocuous statements to mean your lover is about to leave you.
62. You get to jump up and slap stuff.
63. Hot wax never comes near your pubic area.
64. One mood, all the time.
65. You can admire Clint Eastwood without starving yourself to look like him.
66. You never have to drive to another gas station because the one you just pulled into is just too skeevy.
67. You know at least 20 ways to open a beer bottle.
68. You can sit with your knees apart no matter what you’re wearing.
69. Same work… more pay.
70. Gray hair and wrinkles add character.
71. You don’t have to leave the room to make an emergency crotch adjustment.
72. Wedding dress $2,000; Tux rental $100.
73. You don’t care if someone is talking about you behind your back.
74. With 400 million sperm per shot, you could double the earth’s population in 15 tries… at least in theory.
75. You don’t mooch off other’s desserts.
76. If you retain water, it’s in a canteen.
77. The remote is yours and yours alone.
78. People never glance at your chest when you’re talking to them.
79. ESPN’s sport center.
80. You can drop by to see a friend without bringing a little gift.
81. Bachelor parties whomp ass over bridal showers.
82. You have a normal and healthy relationship with your mother.
83. You can buy condoms without the shopkeeper imagining you naked.
84. You needn’t pretend you’re “freshening up” to go to the bathroom.
85. If you don’t call your buddy when you say you will, he won’t tell your friends you’ve changed.
86. Someday you’ll be a dirty ol’ man.
87. You can rationalize any behavior with the handy phrase, “F*@# It!”
88. If another guy shows up at the party in the same outfit, you might become lifelong buddies.
89. Princess Di’s death was almost just another obituary.
90. The occasional well-rendered belch is practically expected.
91. You never have to miss a sexual opportunity because you’re not in the mood.
92. You think the idea of punting a small dog or cat is funny.
93. If something mechanical doesn’t work, you can bash it with a hammer and throw it across the room.
94. New shoes don’t cut, blister, or mangle your feet.
95. Porn movies are designed with your mind in mind.
96. You don’t have to remember everyone’s birthdays and anniversaries.
97. Not liking a person does not preclude having great sex with them.
98. Your pals can be trusted never to trap you with, “So… notice anything different?”
100. There is always a game on somewhere.