Wednesday, July 23, 2008


Some things in life are like bumping into an electric fence.

My Dad was a horseshoer by trade. From time to time, I would go to work with him, mostly because he would get me a 20oz. Orange Crush soda and a King-sized Butterfinger bar.

There were only a few days each year when it was a “perfect” time to go to work with Dad because he worked outside. There was no air conditioning or heat in the pasture or barn or paddock where my dad worked. When you are 8 or 9 years old, it is BOR
ING to watch your dad work for 9 hours hammering nails into horses feet with only the occasional cat or dog to pet.

If I wanted an Orange Crush and a Butterfinger, I had to endure a little bit of boredom, so I would try to make the most of it by fiddly-fartin’ with anything that might make the day go by.

My Dad drove a pimped out pick up truck. It was a white, short bed, Toyota with a topper on the back. The sides of the topper opened like wings and inside were custom built wooden boxes that held a variety of horseshoes in different sizes and weights. In the back, was a coal burning forge and a heavy-ass anvil along with the other necessary tools needed to do the job. It was the blacksmith-mobile. Everything in my dad’s truck was covered in coal dust filth. However, the best thing my dad had in the back of his truck was a can of GO-JO, the waterless hand cleanser. That stuff was awesome after the Butterfinger melted and I had tried to drink the Orange Crush by sticking my tongue in the bottle dripping stickiness on my chin.

One day my dad had backed his truck up to a cement slab where he was going to get busy doin’ his job and I opened one of the side wings to get something to get busy fiddlin’ with. I don’t remember what I was rummaging for and it really doesn’t matter because as I backed up and ducked my head to shut the wing-window on the right side of the topper, I bumped my rear-end into the hot electric fence.

An electrified tingle buzzed through my body unexpectedly. I stood for a few seconds in shock as I realized what had just happened. It wasn’t fatal but it caught me off guard and gave me a greater respect for the almost invisible wires that looked so harmless.

There are moments in life when our own carelessness and disregard causes the jolt that we didn’t see coming. It leaves us stunned. It may not kill us but it is painful nonetheless.

1 comment:

Ang said...

Love the electric fence... i think i had a few run-ins with those as well... I used to get the butterfinger too... but i think the reason i liked going with Dad was cause I got paid 5 bucks to pull thte nails outta the shoes he took off the horse. SWEET!!!!!