When oldest Gruntson informed us that he’d be spending spring break with a girl at her family ranch near Meeker, Colorado, my first thought wasn’t whether he was going to get somebody pregnant or even whether he’d end up in the hospital with acute alcohol poisoning. No, my first thought was that the bodybag might get delivered by helicopter when he got himself trampled, impaled or shot, and do you know how much it cost to deliver anything by helicopter??? It’s insane!
Then, it occurred to me that this might merely involve a lot of non-fatal suffering for him and plenty of laughs for us, so I was all for it. Sure enough, when he dropped by for dinner tonight after a long, painful week, we were not disappointed. There were tales of good things, like mutton busting, riding & learning to shoot lots of pistols and rifles he’d never even imagined before.
He had the presence of mind to borrow some cowboy boots before he went. But, of course, he hit the road with only a light jacket and no coat at all. He explained his reasoning on this, and it amounted to assuming that since it was “spring break,” the weather in March at 8000 feet in the middle of the Rockies must be comparable to, say, Cancun, Mexico. Seems legit.
He also imagined a nice guest room with leather furniture and antique lamps, but instead enjoyed a cot in the freezing laundry room that was only quiet enough to sleep between about midnight and 3am – this being a working ranch, after all. But aside from horses that tried, like usual, to cut him into 3 equal pieces by dragging him down barbed wire fences at 30 MPH, his biggest nemesis was the Ranch Mom. Heh. Nobody had warned him about this legendary creature of the American West.
But he found out. He tried to describe it: “She just spoke in a very strange and backward way, with a lot of indirection. It’s like she didn’t say anything directly. You had to figure it out. And everything seemed like a veiled insult. Or a threat.”
“Huh,” I said. “Say, this family didn’t happen to be scandinavian ranchers?” His eyes lit up: “Yeah! Their name was Swedish, I think. And she was blonde and looked really Nordic.”
“Say no more, Son. I’ll not be asking about the food, then.”
DISCLAIMER: The author takes no responsibility for racist interpretations of this article that assume that it is only meant to appeal to western German/Irish Catholic ranchers at the expense of Scandinavian Lutheran ones. This is a filthy lie and clearly fighting words. Any takers are encouraged to drop by the Grunt ranch workshop bar any time the Coors sign is lit and prepare to back up your lying claims or drink until it doesn’t matter.