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Monday, October 18, 2010

A new method of courtship bugling

I was helping a work crew in a mid-valley garage recently, where we were shifting some mechanical equipment around. The job was going well, when suddenly from outdoors we heard an unusual screech from one of the lifting machines. We went outside to see what the problem was and soon realized that it wasn’t the lift-gate at all, but rather an elk bugling from the adjacent woodlands and quite loud too.

Some friends pulled up for a short visit, and we mentioned the trumpeting elk. They shut down their idling engine, listened for some moments and soon heard the hearkening music; accentuated by aspens quaking in the foreground. We shared pleasant smiles and they shortly went on their way. A bit later, we needed to pick up more equipment, so we began to head out. Within a minute we heard the lively elk bugling again and I suggested to the friend riding in the advantageous shotgun position that he make preparations to shoot a photo.

As the bull elk continued calling, we cautiously pulled closer. Soon we were within thirty yards of the large mammal and our friend appeared ready with the phone-camera clutched in his wrist. However, as we braked to a quiet halt, I saw that I was mistaken: Our friend was not preparing to shoot a picture or video of the lively elk, but was rather involved with an intensive text message. At first I thought that he was jesting; surely it’s not every day you get treated to a majestic elk bugling in such close proximity.

The other two of us, softly cried to him and said, “Okay the joke is up, and you can take some photos of the elk now.” However, he continued with his rigorous personal text messaging. Then we wondered if perhaps we had it backwards. We knew that the friend riding shotgun is an outdoorsy type and perhaps for him fantastic elk bugling is a common occurrence. Still, the episode baffled the other two of us: We hoped the reason he ignored our pleas to capture the simple photo in the enchanted forest was that he was performing a little bugling of his own. If this is the case, we hope that his amour responded in kind to his new-age ritualistic test message. Maybe, for a first date they can share an unbridled nature walk together. If he times it right, he can impress her with our bugling elk.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

An unexpected bungee jump


After Lana cleaned up from tipping over the birdbath, I turned my attention back to the underground antenna project that part of our science class was working on. There was an improved incentive too; as a large mining concern had expressed interest in helping to fund the venture. After a few hours of medium progress, I stepped outdoors for some fresh air and saw that Lana’s pink Porsche was gone. I had told her that she could stay over, but would have to use the guest room, as I needed some splendid isolation to focus properly.

*

Lana probably took this the wrong way, in light of the recent conversation we had about our old feelings racing back toward each other. However, as always, work came first for me, and this newfangled communications project was promising. While outside, I noticed that the porch light wasn’t actually burned out, but that somebody had unscrewed it and tucked it into an old robin’s nest. That was odd enough, but then in the reflection of the obsidian mirror sundial, I saw some items scattered about, presumably from Lana’s satchel, when she took her midnight spill. Leaning over to pick them up, I found a map with Amy’s house circled in red. Why would Lana need that? Suddenly, the thought crossed my mind that I should have presented Amy a pendulum with a more robust rock, or better yet some nunchucks. I hastily tried to ring Amy, but it went straight to voicemail.

*

I meditated for a moment and tried to conjure up some remote viewing powers. What I could see didn’t look good, so I rushed the pantechnivan over to Amy’s. Lana’s pink Porsche was parked by Amy’s driveway at the end of a long set of skid marks. Through the upstairs bay window, the action appeared chaotic; however I could only see one shadow. Insistently, I rang the bell, and pounded on the front door, but to no avail. I circled the perimeter to find every door locked tight. Meanwhile, the clamor from upstairs continued unabated.

*

Returning to the van, I macgyvered what was there, affixing a rope ladder to the house from a bungee-cord web. As an early season frost set in, I clambered up the makeshift ladder, trying to gain a grasp on the gutter. It was too slick though and I slipped off the edge. The bungee cord caught me and there I was, stuck dangling from my ankle, bouncing in Amy’s courtyard. Right then a police car screamed in and shined his bubblegum lights all over the place. Then through the loudspeaker, a sturdy voice demanded, “Freeze up right there Max Rudolph! This is your sheriff, Wilt Fleming!”

*

About the author: Although the speed limit has been reduced to 15 or 20 in many Hailey neighborhoods, the last time Jim Banholzer received a traffic infraction was in 1985.