A Fine Mess

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
Hunting Pheasants is not as easy as it would first appear. It takes years of dedicated practice. It helps if you spend time with an old codger who can teach you a thing or two about the bird, which we never did. You have to find just the right type of terrain with just the correct type and amount of vegetation and rainfall. It helps if all the astrology signs are aligned, but not required.

Submitted: February 05, 2015

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Submitted: February 05, 2015

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The time: Yesteryear.

Featuring Elmer Phudd and Big Daddy Phunk

“Is it daylight yet,” I asked, keeping my head inside the mummy bag.

“No” said Big Daddy Phunk (Melvin Phunkle).

Big Daddy Phunk was at the time in his late 20's with a full head of black, long hair with uncombed black beard. Big, 6-3, 250 lbs, Portly, (stomach overhangs belt) friendly. He is shaped like a pear. Wide in the middle/bottom. Wears odd suspenders most of the time. Enjoys more than his share of adult drinks. Some would say he drinks to excess.

“You still have your head covered,” I said.

I was single, in my late 20's with a full head of black hair and short beard, neatly trimmed at all times, 6 ft, 200 lbs. Hair, fashionably cut, started turning premature gray. Have a touch of arthritis in the form of stiff fingers on cold mornings. Athletic, friendly. Wore western boots and belt with a big buckle at all times. Rarely drank.

We had consumed a couple of brews on the trip and we had pulled the car into a wayside rest area and slept in Big Daddy's Ford for a couple of hours. Big Daddy in front, me in the back seat.

We both wore or at least had with us gear appropriate for field hunting.

“How do you know.”

“I can tell by the sound of your voice. Now poke your head out an’ see.”

“Where are we?” Said Big Daddy as he poked his head out and looked around. “Looks like frost on the ground.”

We soon discovered we were parked in a rest stop and the frost Big Daddy saw was the Dirty white concrete pad. It was not cold enough to create actual frost.

It was early October and we were in Nebraska to hunt Pheasants.

[“The word pheasant is derived from the ancient town of Phasis, the predecessor of the modern port city of Poti in Western Georgia.

It is a well-known gamebird, among those of more than regional importance perhaps the most widespread and ancient one in the whole world. The common pheasant is one of the world's most hunted birds; it has been introduced for that purpose to many regions, and is also common on game farms where it is commercially bred. Ring-necked pheasants in particular are commonly bred and were introduced to many parts of the world; the game farm stock, though no distinct breeds have been developed yet, can be considered semi-domesticated. The ring-necked pheasant is the state bird of South Dakota, one of only three U.S. state birds that is not a species native to the United States.”] (From Wikipedia)

Actually we were there to see our friend Pat M. but why waste all our time visiting her? It was hunting season. Specifically pheasant hunting season. We thought we should go early enough to bag a couple of birds and still have time to visit Pat. Big Daddy had phoned her a couple of days earlier. She said to come on down for the weekend but because she had bought new furniture, her Mother and other friends would be there so we were to be on our best behavior. As if we were anything else.

Hunting Pheasants is not as easy as it would first appear. It takes years of dedicated practice. It helps if you spend time with an old codger who can teach you a thing or two about the bird, which we never did. You have to find just the right type of terrain with just the correct type and amount of vegetation and rainfall. It helps if all the astrology signs are aligned, but not required.

Hunting on public land is best but if you need to hunt on private land, getting permission is very important. We use the old trapper method.

“See that fence line over there?” Big Daddy might say.

“Yea. And the corn field.” I say. “Do we need the farmers permission?”

“Naaa. Its public land.”

1/2 hour later.

“Boy, you’re lucky that farmer liked your old single-shot 20ga shotgun. Not a bad price for just calling off his dog. You can get a new auto 12ga later. The good news is his dog liked you. A lot. I didn’t think he was going to let go of your pants leg. Lucky thing he finally let go when you jumped the fence. He only tore the one pants leg. The skin will grow back in a week or two after the holes made by his teeth heal. Anyway, you can get a new shotgun after our visit with Pat” Said I. “By the way, I didn’t know you could jump that far or that high. That was a real feat for a man your size.”

“He ought to put them PRIVATE PROPERTY signs out where we could see ‘em, " said Big Daddy, glancing at me with a scowl and stroking his beard as we drove away. “Fifty feet apart is too far. Besides, who would have thought we would run across a rogue farmer that planted his crops on public land.”

“Yeah. If you hadn’t tripped over one of the PRIVATE PROPERTY signs we never would’ve seen ‘em at all. But lets not waste the rest of the day. The best time of the day for pheasants is in the early morning. Now that we missed that, what say we stop for a Brew and then go see Pat.”

Pat is a friend of ours that we met while working at the same company in Omaha, Ne. Single, 5ft 5in tall, Blonde, with curves in all the right places. I think she was about our age. Too bad she did not find either one of us attractive. She had a party one night and invited us to it. She has regretted it every since.

We stopped for a Brew at a local gin mill which was across from Pat’s apartment building complex. We figured we could have a couple of brews and then walk over to her apartment. Things did get a little fuzzy but I think we spend about a week’s wages during the couple of hours we were in there. We played pool awhile but decided to leave when I fell off a bar stool while taking a sip of old crow.

Turned out, Pats apartment was half a floor up, with a balcony. She must have been looking out the windows as she spotted us walking up to her building. She opened the sliding door and hollered at us to go around to the other side and she would come down and let us in. The entrances was kept locked at all times. Secure, 3 story building.

“You’re only on the second floor,” said Big Daddy to Pat. “We’ll just climb up.” Which we did.

“You two better be quiet and on your best behavior. My mother and her friends are here. I don’t want them to know what mad, insane people I have for friends,” said Pat, now red in the face, as we started to climb up onto the balcony.

When we finally got into her apartment, her Mother and friends appeared to be shocked at two guys climbing onto the balcony. Two dirty Bums, unshaven, wearing soiled and torn clothes; some bloody marks from the days encounter with the farmer and inebriated to boot. They took one look at us, grabbed their coats and left muttering about the type of friends Pat had.

Pat was short tempered with us but she showed us around the apartment, telling us not to spill anything on her new white furniture.

“OK” said Big Daddy with a smile, throwing down the charm, “mix us a drink.”

After receiving the drink, Big Daddy sat on the couch and promptly spilled the drink on the new white couch! This did not go over very well with Pat. We talked her out of calling the cops and she let us stay awhile and have a few more Brews. We decided it was time to go when Big Daddy spilled a drink into the cat box, retrieved it and made a drink without washing out the glass.

All in all it was a great weekend. Although I don’t think Pat enjoyed it as much as we did. As we left, I heard her mutter something about a “cold day”. It was the last time we were ever invited to Pat’s place. Don’t know why.

Turned out to be just another mess Big Daddy got me into.


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