Saturday, January 26, 2013


For the past week the temperatures here in western Maine have been in the low-teens and single numbers during the day and below zero at night.   Having chosen to live partially off the grid, I must, during this cold weather, restock the wood pile by the back door each day and constantly feed the wood stove 24/7: stoking it every three to four hours during the day and getting up during the middle of the night to add wood. 

Small stove for a small cabin

After a week of slavery to the wood stove my pride at fire building (a manly survival skill) dulls.   This morning I got up at seven and found the fire had died, but there were some glowing embers still visible in the ash.  I went out to the back (below zero) mud room, gathered up a hand full of kindling and a couple of pieces of fire wood, and came back in to load the stove.   A piece of news paper crammed into the middle of the kindling failed to ignite the expected pyre; but being unperturbed I headed back to the mud room for the charcoal starter stored there since summer.   One big squeeze and SHAZAM:  a brilliant flash of light – a puff of smoke – the smell of diesel exhaust and the fire wood ignited.   Like prehistoric man discovering fire, I stood there very satisfied and about to close the stove door when I look around to find my wife staring at me. 

“What in the hell are you doing?   Are you trying to burn down the house?   What were you thinking…………..”

Now I have got to admit that this was not my finest moment.  Suddenly: Man – the inventor of fire – the slayer of wild beast – the vanquisher of the hoards - became: Man – the toad.

The only comment I could think of was: “Hey, it’s a good fire.”

In retrospect I probably could have set a better fire set and started it as usual, or used slightly less kerosene (which stills seems like a practical solution to me – and I am not sorry.)    

But actually it’s not my fault. 

Both men and women have 46 chromosomes: 22 pairs, plus an XX for the female and an XY for the male.  Now that damn Y - chromosome has caused more problems for my sex than beer, liquor and dope put together.  

As a high school boy with my first car I drove out to a country straight away and put the petal to the floor and held it there until the car couldn't go any faster: Y- chromosome.

Sitting on the back porch with my buds drinking beer – we were throwing the empties into the back yard then taking up our pistols and blowing away the interlopers: Y- chromosomes.

Building a ramp to jump a dirt bike without realizing the projected run off was in line with a big tree: Y – chromosome.

Running through the streets of Jacksonville, Florida bare-ass necked – screaming like a fool: Y-chromosome.   (I could do a blog on this one.)

Accidentally shooting my dog in the head with a 45cal. in the middle of the living room floor (and I loved that dog): Y- chromosome.  (won't blog that one.)

Breaking up a canoe on the Swift River during runoff (my buddy and I both in the freezing water, each dragging a half a canoe - him lamenting as we crawled up on the shore, "My wife is going to kill me." : Y – chromosomes.

I could go on and on: women, whiskey, cars, motorcycles, brawls; yet, somehow I made it past three score and ten without a Darwin Award.    

Now that I think about it, it was my wife’s fault.   Her XX is supposed to moderate my XY.   Knowing I was playing with fire she should have been watching me and expecting me to do something stupid.   The only reason our race has survived is that the XX of the species have always rained in the XY. 

“Don’t hit that mastodon in the ass with a rock Gronk.   If you do he will come into the cave and stomp us!”
“No, no - I can do this.” (Y – chromosome)
Gretchen says, “Look Gronk – my tits.”
Gronk drops the rock and comes back into the cave.

So here we are, in a nice warm cabin, with the wood stove pumping…

And my excuse is: Y – CHROMOSOME.

And if I am ever going to see those tits again I have to declare, like the men of the Possum Lodge on the Red Green Show:

I’m a man
But I can change
If I have to
I suppose.

the Ol’Buzzard  


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    the Ol'Buzzard


COMMENT: Ben Franklin said, "I imagine a man must have a good deal of vanity who believes, and a good deal of boldness who affirms, that all doctrines he holds are true, and all he rejects are false."