So, last Friday, we were invited to a real country get-together, known in these parts simply as a ‘yard fire’. Let it be known that most everyone ’round here has some kind of fire pit in their yard somewhere. For entertainment, simply throw some logs into the fire pit, ignite, and serve drinks. There ya go.
Anyway, I was so excited because we really never get to go out and do much of anything, especially with other adults, so I was all geared up for a great time. However, J wasn’t home yet, and I was slap starving to death, so I decided I’d venture out all alone (well, my daughter was with me), stop at Bertha’s and pick me up a fried steak sandwich and their awesome onion rings. Let me take just a sec here. Remember when Sonic made REAL onion rings? I mean, the hand battered kind…back in the days when Pickle-Os still graced their menu board. Anyway, Bertha’s makes these hand battered, delicious rings that remind me flavorwise of those tasty Sonic rings. Naturally, Bertha’s are even better because they’re big and thick. Anyhoo….so, we stopped off at Bertha’s, grabbed our food, and headed out.
Let me just say that it was now pitch black, and I had never been to this house before. AND it’s way off in the country. AND I get no cell phone service out there. AND I have a semi-flat front tire. AND I have NO gas. So much for being prepared. However, I decided that there’s nothing like a little pioneer spirit (The Donner Party, anyone???). So I plodded on. And on. And on. And I came to realize that I may not be in Kansas anymore.
My directions were to ‘go until the road turns to a dirt road’. Well, I did that. Unfortunately, I had taken a wrong turn and was in some God-forsaken, Deliverance-looking part of East Texas. No fences, no lights, no houses. No sound….except for the very faint first few chords of Dueling Banjos. Now starting to sweat a little, I called my friend*. Don’t ask me how I got any cell signal. It was a sheer miracle, believe me.
“Where are you?”, she asked.
“I don’t know, but I hear banjo music and I just passed a deer that threatened me with a box cutter.”
“Ok, what did you pass?’
“Well, besides a church about 2 hours ago, lots of grass, red dirt, and a house that looked like it was in the Texas Chainsaw Massacre.”
“Turn around and meet me at the church.”
She didn’t have to tell me twice. I zipped around somehow (looking in my rearview for toothless rednecks wielding banjos and shotguns and deer with box cutters) and hauled some major you-know-what. Sure, I shook my brains out on the graded dirt roads, but by then I didn’t care. I followed her truck as closely as I possibly could. When we got to her house, she exclaimed, “Wow, did you see that huge armadillo on the side of the bridge back there?” I told her if it wasn’t her tailights I didn’t see it. It could have been the second coming of Christ himself on the side of the road, and I assure you I would have never seen it.
Well, it turns out we had a great time (albeit having a near falling-in-the-fire experience), and we got to spend some time with some great people.
Here’s to yard fires!
*names have been omitted to protect the innocent