Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Where's The Elk?
A few years ago, my wife at the time (may she rest in peace) and I took an Amtrak trip to Flagstaff, Arizona to see my Big Brother. He moved out there after he retired from the local steel mill. It was a good trip, and we were in no hurry. Good thing, as it took 26 hours to get there from where we lived. It was my first time on a long train trip, and I had enough strange stuff happen on the train that I could write a story about it. But that's for another time.
"What do you think, those signs are there for the hell of it?" he said. "There's more elk around here than you can shake a stick at."
"The proof is in the seein' and I ain't seen no damn elk!" I said as we passed yet another elk sign.
"All right, smart guy," said Big Brother. "You wanna see elk, I know a place where I guarantee you'll see elk. Every evening the elk come to feed just outside of town. I'll take you there tonight, just as it starts to get dark."
"Yeah. Sure!" I said.
"Just you wait. You'll see!" he said as he wagged a finger at me.
Segue to after supper when dusk was slowly starting to fall. "Get your ass in the van and take your camera!" he said, "And you'll see an elk!"
My wife and I got into the van. She sat in front and I rode in the back. We drove for a spell and came to a turnoff onto a dirt road. We went down it, and as we made the bend in the road Big Brother gently brought the van to a halt at the side of the road.
"Okay smart guy, where's the elk?" I said.
"SHHHHH! you'll scare him off!" he said in a whisper. "Their hearing is really good! Keep your mouth shut and look over there," he said as he pointed out the window. My eyes strained in the coming darkness, and then I saw it. "There it is! I see it!" I whispered. An elk as big as you please!
"Told you," said Big Brother. "If you move real slow and don't make any noise you might be able to get out of the van and take a picture of it."
I opened the door of the van and slowly slid out of the seat. I walked on the dirt and rocks of the road like it was egg shells so as not to make any noise. I circled around the back of the van and leaned up against the back of the van to steady my hand to take a picture. It was then I noticed the van was moving so slightly. I looked through the back window and saw Big Brother bouncing up and down in the seat. I crept up to his side window and looked in and saw that he was pointing at the elk and laughing. And so was my wife. I looked at the elk again, and it was standing as still as a statue. It took me a minute to soak it all in before I noticed something:
I've seen elk before, but doggone if this wasn't the first one I'd ever seen that had a SEAM going around the middle of it! Big Brother rolled down his window and couldn't control himself. "You dummy! BAW HAW HAW! You fell for it! I don't believe you really FELL FOR IT! You took the hook, line, sinker, pole, boat, anchor and half the lake! BAW HAW HAW!!!" I looked over at my wife. Her face was red and tears rolled down her cheeks as she tried to catch her breath between the giggles.
There was nothing left to do but get back in the van. Big Brother said, "Did you see the bear, wild boar, turkey and deer too? They're practice targets for bow hunters, bone-head!" Sure enough, I looked out the window and saw the other fake critters. They both finally quit laughing after what seemed to be a long time, and we went back to Big Brother's house.
That all happened a long time ago. I don't get a chance to see Big Bro much anymore, but I'll be darned if every time that I do, I get reminded of all the elk that are in Flagstaff, Arizona. I'd like to say that I'll never trust Big Brudder again, but after all these years of being duped I can't honestly say he won't 'get' me again.