Monday, April 11, 2022

Born too Late


Dad and me with my first bobcat and soon afterward, a new pair of shoes

         Bought some fishing line at Walmart the other day and took it up to that place where they have computers which you are suppose to operate on your own so they can hire fewer people.  I ask a lady if she would help me run one so I could pay for the fishing line and get a receipt letting me know the price was the same at the counter as it is was where I found it.  (Walmart make a lot of money from people who don’t look at receipts.)  I told her I don’t fiddle with computers and she laughed at me, saying that her grandkids were computer experts and they weren’t twelve years old. That kind of hit me wrong.  I don’t take well to being made light of, though it happens often.  Nobody needs to tell me I was born 100 years later than I was s’pose to be.

         I said “Yes ma’m, I have folks working for me that are computer-wise enough to help me publish my books and magazines and I pay them well for what they know.”

         “But I am going to go home and list all the things I know and can do that you and your grandkids and none of the computer experts I know can do either,” I told her, “ and I will bring them back to show you tomorrow, because it will take me all night to make that list!”

          What I didn’t tell her is that at a certain point in time, the computers are going to be gone and forgotten while people left alive try to survive.  She and I will be long-gone then as will many, many cities all over the world, and millions of people with them.I truly believe many or most of those cities will be abandoned, some reduced to smouldering ashes.  Wow, now I sound like a madman, right?  But we all know better than believe what I foresee. I was the guy who said that rap music was going nowhere!  There is no chance that those weapons of mass destruction will be used someday.  No idiot with nuclear weapons would ever use nuclear weapons, right.  Of course not. Russia and North Korea and Iran and China will straighten up soon.  They surely don’t hate us enough to use biological weapons or nuclear bombs.

         No surviving humans will ever have to flee into whatever wilderness can be found.  The United States will always be here, UNITED, like we are now, using our diversity to create utopia!  And there will be no reason to know how to use a crosscut saw or an axe. I can’t wait to ask that Walmart lady if her grandkids can do that.  I was using an axe to split firewood when I was 13! That will be first on my list, followed by, ‘catch, skin and tan a raccoon pelt without a gun or steel trap, and make foot wear out of those pelts.  I know how to do things like that.  Grandpa and Dad taught me some useless things I guess.


         I also know how to build a cabin to live in with only things that don’t have cords or motors,  and how to heat it and have windows in it you can see out of.  I know how to have a nice garden this summer without one store-bought seed or plant. I know where pure cold water flows out of the ground in dozens of places.  I know how to utilize a bunch of wild foods, from fruit and berries to mushrooms, green plants, even medicinal teas and tubers.

         I know how to make a powerful bow, and arrows, strong enough to kill turkeys and deer.  I know a hundred different caves I could survive in without even building a fire, when it’s 10 below zero outside.  But if I want a fire and have no matches, I know how to make one.  Right now, I can make a fire in a pouring rain if needed.  BUT- I don’t know a darn thing about computers.

         I have two grandkids in college that own those little boxes they operate with their thumbs and can do great things with a computer.  Smarter kids than I ever was…  as long as the boxes men need are working.   And really, what could ever make those boxes irrelevant in our lives again? What could make them ever stop working?


         The idea that what my grandpa taught me on the ridges and the rivers of the Ozarks… when my thumbs were most useful in whittling out triggers for a deadfall, could ever be important in survival—that is silliness.  Too bad kids back in the days of my youth didn’t have smart phones.  Wouldn’t we all have been so much happier, here in the Ozarks?


         Well please forgive me for this screwball column.  It is useless to write about something which can’t be changed, like complaining about the heat.  What will be will be.  Why didn’t God do something about that when he created everything.  After reading this you might think I am about half looney but I am not.  I am going to stop making this list for that lady and go down to the river and go fishing.  I think this was the afternoon I was suppose to meet Abe Lincoln on that gravel bar and roast hot dogs, like I did that time with ‘what’s his name’…that guy that flew the kite in the thunderstorm!

         You older geezers out there, send me your list.  Write it out with a pencil and paper… take it to somebody with a computer and email it to me  or if you want it to get here in about two weeks, just mail it to me at Box22, Bolivar, mo. 65613.  Them post office folks don’t have computers I guess.

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