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Location: DownByTheRiver, Central Iowa, United States

Husband of the world's most wonderful wife, father of the world's four most brilliant children, grandfather to the world's eight most beautiful granddaughters and two handsomest grandsons

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Juan and Pablo and the "Kicker"

In response to numerous (at least two) requests, The RRR tells another true story from the adventures of Juan and Pablo, The Gringo Brothers.

Before I begin, I must give some nomenclature background or my Asian readers will be hopelessly lost. In the southern USA is a rural white culture totally different from the rest of the country. It has been treated humorously in such TV shows as The Beverly Hillbillies, Hee Haw, and The Dukes of Hazard. One of the favorite euphemisms for white, southern rural people, especially men, is S*** Kicker, or to be more gentle Crap Kicker or more literal, Manure Kicker. The idea being of a young male hick wandering about a pasture kicking over piles of cow manure. It started as an insult and became a point of perverse pride. As any radio station west of the Mississippi in the U.S. must start their call letters with "K", rural country music stations often have names such as. "KICK", "KIKK", or "KIKR", etc. Each station has a fiercely loyal listener base who often identify themselves with bumper stickers on their cars or pickups (almost always pickups) that proudly proclaim which station they listen to. These bumper stickers are called "Kicker Stickers". You must know all this to understand the story.

It was late in 1972. Juan and his very pregnant wife were living in a travel trailer out in the woods by the Leon River in central Texas. Pablo, who had just broken up with his fiance' up in Iowa had moved in with them. The brothers were one day wandering the woods looking for Armadillos to shoot for the 25 cent bounty offered by the landowner. It is a measure of their poverty that this is how they spent their spare time. Juan had a .22 caliber Iver Johnson revolver to shoot the destructive little beasts with. Each bullet cost 1 and 1/2 cents which left a clear profit of 23 and 1/2 cents for each Armadillo, not to mention they got to keep the meat to barbecue. (The RRR can provide recipes upon request). They had had no luck this day and as they crossed a clearing a local man came out of the brush and confronted them. He was in his twenties and wearing a cowboy hat, faded Western shirt, faded jeans and, naturally, scuffed, down at the heels cowboy boots. He was also carrying a short, double barrelled shotgun.

He let it casually wander towards the Gringo Brothers...

"Whatcha all doin'?" he asked.

They told him they were hunting Armadillos for the bounty, as was he. He made some general sneering comments about Yankees. Neither brother liked the way he kept waving the sawed-off shotgun about.

"What's that you have there?" asked Pablo. The cowboy gave an evil grin...

"This here is my n*****-getter..... and it works for Yankees... too."

It would be a toss up whether the Gringo brothers were more angered by the racist comment or the implied threat to themselves, but regardless, Juan put his hand on the butt of his revolver. The shotgun turned toward him and steadied. Pablo, unknown to the cowboy, was carrying a Mexican bowie knife. They are different from American bowies in that they have a hook on the end of the handle so when carried between the shoulder blades under a shirt they can be whipped out quickly with one hand. A casual scratching of the back of the neck or adjustment of a cowboy hat puts the weapon within easy reach.

In a flash Pablo held the blade inches from the man's throat.

"Waal" Pablo said in his best southern drawl... "This here is my Kicker Sticker".

The man with the gun was in a difficult position. With the shotgun steadied on Juan he was helpless against the nickle plated blade that glittered by his throat. If he turned toward Pablo, Juan would be able to draw and fire before he could regain his aim. He let the shotgun down to dangle by his side and swallowed quickly. The brothers watched as he faded back into the brush, then rapidly left and went back to the trailer. The 25 cents suddenly didn't seem so important.

There it is friends... it really, really happened.


Blogger Eutychus said...

Yes, dear readers,
It is possible to "bring a knife to a gunfight" and walk away.
Boy do I wish I were still 19 and immortal!
The armadillos aren't bad bbq IF you're hungry enough AND you have a big enough bottle of bbq sauce!
Many more tales could be told of adventures along the Leon.

11:15 AM  

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