Satirical snapshots bringing you whimsy on a wednesday (still from across the pond )
Art has the power to transform
“Jules! We have an adventure for you! “
“Yes! You’re going to love it!”
“I am? Ooh, let’s roll! Where are you taking me?”
“Art, you say? Oh, how fabulous what with me being an Art Philosopher and all! Let me put on my pretty shoes and put a notebook and camera in my bag!”
“You might want to bring jeans too and….boots.”
“Duh, like I’d never bring my bewwwts…”
Princess in the Castell
Hours later after having been deposited with a relative stranger in a giant pick up truck but going along with it anyway, I arrived in the middle of nowhere. AKA Castell. The General Store, it was called. One might think that meant a nice little shop where one might purchase art, but no. Au contraire, my lovelies. This was a rustic shop come bar come hang out for a bunch of hardcore men arriving for the start of “Deer Season.” Hmmm.
Call me Bambi.
So, there I was, right in the middle of camp deerstalker and artful pursuant. Piles of men standing around with several thousand guns, many beers and more arriving by the truck load with hearty cheer. Hardly any women. No. And especially not “Out Of Your Depth, English birds”
It only took a matter of seconds for me to feel like the startled deer and I wondered if they might change my name to Bambi.
“You’re not from round here, are you honey?”
“Um, nope. Not usually.”
“What you doing here in the middle of podunk (I don’t know what that word means but that’s what they said) bumfuck nowhere?”
“Feeling like an extra in ‘The Running Man’ film right about now.”
“Get the lil’ lady a tequila. You can drink tequila, can’t ya darlin?”
“I guess I could give it a shot.”
“You know what tequila means, huh? It means tequila’ll your clothes off!”
What a colossal mistake, trying to fluster the British chick. Well. I wasn’t going to be having ANY of that. This was the moment. Do or die. I either ran off into those Texas country hills being followed by a buggy and a lethal crossbow or showed them my mettle. I took twenty dollars out of my purse. “I’m betting I can see more shooters than you, tough guy. Bred on mead, me.”
“Oh, a feisty lil’ missy, eh? Then drink it up, pumpkin.”
And so it went.
One tequila, two tequila three tequila, FLOOR!
But not for me, naturally. I drank them under the table and skillfully became one of the “The Lads” and fondly referred to as “Isn’t she a sweetheart.” Phew.
I got away with being inaugurated in the local creek which was threatened several times over but got conned into eating (what I was told was catfish) a rather large frog’s leg. Thanks.
To the Ranch!
After several hours of insanity at “The Store” I left with my head held high, if not a little hazy to the place where I was staying. Some ranch in the middle of flippin’ nowhere in 350 acres of…..well….grass and a campfire.
Here, I met some more new friends who also saw the need to test the girlie. On the table lay a couple of guns and a hundred yards down the field, a target.
“Let’s see your shooting skills, missy!” said ranch owner. “See if you’re fit to come out hunting tomorrow.”
“Like hell!” said another. “Miss Jules has to be up at 5 am brewing the coffee ready for us boys and then preparing the meat when we bring it home!”
“In your dreams, pal. I’m a city bird. I’m not going to hunt anything. I buy my meat in nice little prepared packets from Sainsbury’s and I’m not getting up at 5 am”
Regardless of the fact I’d been drinking, the ranch owner passed me his “Golden Boy” and made me shoot the target in the dark until all rounds were gone with a series of commands, “Crank it up, girl, and again and again and again!” Not content with this I had to follow on with .38 Snub nose.
Thankfully, nobody died. I don’t know how.
Fun and frolicks at the Rancho de Bonkers.
Sleep? What’s that?
4.30 am, I got to bed. I had to walk in the pitch black through critters, oh and apparently a cougar that was on the loose that nobody had managed to shoot yet. I got shown to my pull out, couch bed in the ranch house living room as the hunters around me bunked up in other bedrooms. One hour later and to my utter shock and horror, random guys began to just walk in the house ( right past my bed) shouting for the deer hunters to be up and at it. This experience was so far removed from Girl Guide camp I can’t begin to tell you.
“Jules, you getting your ass up outta bed?”
“No. No and NO.””
Do you know what they gave me to drink in the morning? Coffee with Baileys Irish cream. Apparently this is tradition. I spat it out. Insanity.
An everyday patio table…Tootsie Rolls a must.
“Come on pumpkin (my new moniker) lets show you a deer shooting house.”
“Up you go, pumpkin.”
I sat in my room with a view listening to the sounds of gunshots being fired everywhere, praying to God that I wouldn’t be found by a stray bullet.
After the hunters came back it was brisket BBQ, beers and football.
This is not a lie….
And….swinging chicken smoking in a can in the trees. Like you do.
What is this? Indeed, you may ponder as did I. This, my friends, stops flies. What? Oh yes. A penny in a zipped bag of water hanging from the ceiling keeps insects away. Whatever. Apparently it should have seven pennies in but they couldn’t be bothered with that.
And this is all you need to know. Nothing ever happens here. In fact, did I really end up spending my weekend at a Hunting Camp or was it all a crazy dream? I think it’s best if I file this one under “Absolutely nothing happened.” Safety in denial.