Codgerhood, Paranoia & Bobcats

   Written by on June 1, 2017 at 10:23 am
The stories in this column are true. Averett lives a dull life in rural Southside Virginia with his wife Management, two children and a rotating assortment of goats, dogs, cats, snakes and other local fauna.

The stories in this column are true. Averett lives a dull life in rural Southside Virginia with his wife Management, two children and a rotating assortment of goats, dogs, cats, snakes and other local fauna.

It appears I have achieved Codgerhood early.  Last week I wrote about chasing the cowbirds from Management’s bird feeders. From all reports, this is something Old Codgers do.  The Chief (my father) had it in for squirrels; some Codgers don’t like grackles, others don’t like blackbirds or sparrows or blue jays or crows. In my case, it’s the cowbirds.  Apparently once you reach some magic number of years you feel the necessity of operating discriminatory bird feeding stations.

This is something I don’t have to apologize for; it is simply a condition of old age, right up there with the liver spots, hairy ears, nose and eyebrows, and getting up six times a night.

On the other hand, some things don’t seem to change.  I grew up when seatbelts were optional on cars.  Wearing them was also optional.  All cars built in the past few decades have seat belts and shoulder harnesses, not to mention airbags and other safety stuff.  All of this is good and eventually I expect to adjust to it.

We have several cars with belts but most of my trucks were built prior to belts.  This means I do not always remember to fasten my belt.  It is a combination of old age, lack of youthful training and contrariness. Last week I remembered to fasten my belt. It is somewhat interesting that the sight of flashing blue lights results in an immediate speedometer check and as a reminder to check your belt.

Last week a man stopped by the office and said he needed to speak with a police officer. We didn’t have one in inventory but we try to be helpful so I called and requested one.  Before I could disconnect my phone, it rang again and it was an officer who said he would be at the office in five seconds.

Although I appreciate the prompt response, it does make me a little paranoid.  Am I being watched? Am I doing something wrong?  Am I being staked out?  Are there officers behind the bushes, hiding in the trees or across the street?

You have to remember it isn’t paranoid if they are really watching you. I think tomorrow morning when I step out on the porch and say, “G’ Morning World!” I’ll also add, “Good Morning, Officer.”  I usually expect the world to say, “Morning, Averett!” but if I hear two responses I’ll know I’m not paranoid.

I don’t think I have been doing anything illegal (with the exception of seatbelts, speed limits and an occasional stop sign) but at the rate our state and national leaders keep passing laws I could be legal this morning and be breaking the law before lunch without changing what I have been doing.  I’ll just have to trust the guys hiding in the bushes to keep me straight.

I have to admit I am a little concerned with our son.  A couple of weeks ago he rented a skid steer loader (also known as a Bobcat) to pile the brush in his back yard. There were several interesting factors. First, he has never operated a bobcat.  Also, he decided to save on the delivery charge by driving it home.  Somehow I was shanghaied into dropping him off and then following him so he didn’t get hit from behind.  He had so many cars behind him that it looked like he was leading a parade.

All in all, it was a successful day.  He got the yard cleared, the brush piled and the trash removed.  He didn’t turn it over, break it or hurt himself or anyone else or damage anything he didn’t intend to damage.

However, I am still concerned. How is he supposed to take over this column from me if he does everything right?  And more importantly, shouldn’t he have made arrangements to bring it to our house so I could pile some stuff?

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