I recently wrote about some of the adventures, or misadventures if you will of my Dad. Yesterday he came in and shared a story that was just too good not to write about it. Trust me I don’t make this stuff up. So here goes….
Last year Dad decided that he wanted the school to purchase bleachers for the High School band to sit in during football games. They currently sit in the crowded bleachers with fans. The school agreed to buy bleachers from the local community college, but Dad would have to arrange to have them picked up. This is no simple task. It required man power and a gooseneck trailer. They are heavy! With school starting this week and football games following shortly, my Dad enlisted the help of his best friend William and his brother, my Uncle Mike. They loaded half of the bleachers, leaving the other half for another day. Have I ever mentioned that my Dad is slightly impatient? Ok, well make that slightly more than slightly. He couldn’t wait for William and Uncle Mike to come back to help so he enlisted my brother in law Zach, the assistant Band Director, to load bleachers.
My Dad teaches in the country. A place loving referred to as “Snake Country.” It’s the perfect mix of dry and wet making the perfect accommodations for both rattlesnakes and moccasins alike. Most people wear snake boots when roaming the woods. So Dad told Zach to dress accordingly to pick up the bleachers that had sat vacant. The grass was about waist deep and it was HOT! Like middle of summer in Mississippi hot, because guess what it was!
On the way to the site, Dad tells Zach of all the perils that could be lurking in the grass. He explains that the bleachers are heavy and Zach could lose a finger if not careful, something really important to a guitar musician. “If you see me run son, don’t run towards me to help. I’m running from something so you just haul it the other way.” Zach was now throughly anxious about walking through what my Dad described as a landmine of danger. They made their way towards the bleachers, Zach hot and on edge, Dad cautious and alert. Dad began giving instructions on taking the bleachers apart. They got ready to lift one section when POW! My dad puts his hand right on top of a red wasp nest. The angry homeowners in an effort to protect themselves stung him five times, three times on his right hand and two on his left. Dad began waving his hands around in an attempt to ward off the attack. He and Zach ran to the car and promptly drove to Walmart for a can of wasp spray. Once the wasps were dispatched, they returned to the task at hand. 1, 2, 3, LIFT and with one hiss, the cottonmouth moccasin, who also called the bleachers home, let everyone know he was most unpleased about being disturbed. The moccasin began slithering quickly towards Dad with his mouth open, the unmistakeable white and triangular head revealing his deadly intentions. The nearly 3ft long snake made it clear he meant business and Dad yelled “SNAKE!” Zach, dropped his half of the bleachers and began running in the opposite direction. He got about 3 feet away when he heard the unmistakable warning rattle of an Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake. He froze and before him in the brush was the rattler. He turned to run back towards the bleachers. By this time the moccasin had decided he’d rather hide than fight. A local guy who’d been mowing the field, seeing Dad and Zach running, waving and yelling decided he’d better see what all the fuss was about. He made his way over. “What ya’ll doin’ out here fellers?” he asked. Dad explained the purpose of their adventure. Zach now excruciatingly hot voiced his great displeasure of being in the snake infested field. “I don’t want to be here” he announced to everyone as he wringed the sweat out of his shirt. Dad recounted the story of the wasps and snakes to the man. “Well sounds like you boys have had an exciting day, but what in the world else did ya’ll get into ’cause ya’ll stink to high heaven!” It was at this time my Dad noticed something fury just in the place where Zach had dropped the bleachers as he had escaped the snake. A small brown and white skunk had also made his home beneath the bleachers and had met his end when the bleachers crushed him. In a final blow, he had sprayed everything nearby, including my Dad and Zach.
That night as my Dad narrated the story to the me, I was thankful for the horrible head cold I currently have. He had run everyone else out of the living room with the stench of skunk. “Well, I guess I’ll go get a bath and we’ll try again with those bleachers tomorrow.”
The Misadventures of the Musical Mechanic……..