Shootin’ the Breeze
The following is a Halloween story.
It was a dark and stormy night as I rode home from our
county ABATE meeting. The meeting had seemed to go on
forever, and my butt was sore as hell from the cheap
barstool I'd been sitting on. We spent way too much time
talkin' about dumb stuff and all I could think about was
gettin' home, takin' a hot shower and kickin' back.
The country road I was ridin' on was way out in the
boonies, and tho I had my bright light on I rode carefully,
half expecting a deer to jump out of the surrounding woods.
I've twisted a fender or two before on deer and wasn't eager
to do it again! Once a big old buck actually poked me with
his antlers when I hit him. Scared the hell outta me!
To my right I noticed movement in the underbrush and when
I turned to look I almost jumped off the bike! It was the
biggest damned dog I'd ever seen, and he was runnin' along
beside me just a snarlin' and a droolin'!
I cranked my throttle and sped away leavin' the beast
behind, but after a few moments the bike stalled and the
lights went out. I coasted to a stop cursing and pushing the
start button, not hearin' a sound 'cept my own voice and my
heart slammin' in my chest.
I immediately threw down the kickstand, jumped off the
bike and began diggin' thru the saddlebags to find anything
resembling a weapon.
The moon was just bright enough to see the road, but the
surrounding woods were black and I remembered the nearest
house was too far away to run to. My hand felt a big box
wrench I use for my axle nuts as I whipped it out of the bag
and turned. There in the road in the distance stood the dog
silently watching me with glowing red eyes.
"GET OUTTA HERE! GO! SCAT!"
"Are you on high on
"NO! YER NOT GONNA BELIEVE
"Are you on any psychiatric
"DAVE THAT'S NOT EVEN FUNNY!!
I WAS ATTACKED!!!!"
"Calm down! Ya don't gotta
yell." When I showed him my wrist he finally let me in
the cruiser, as long as I sat in the back seat. Been there
and done that. Wasn't too eager to open the doors anyway
once I was in.
After I laid it all out for him he
finally pulled out his weapon again, got out and shined his
flashlight all around the area. "Ya want me to call a
tow for yer bike?"
"Ain'tcha gonna call this
"Bummer, if I report a
wolfpack in this county I'd be lookin' for a new job. Now,
you gonna try yer bike again or do ya want a
I went to the scoot and wouldn't
ya know she started right up!? I walked back to Dave and
told him I wasn't movin' unless he followed close. I felt
like a jerk, but there's times pride don't mean squat.
Dave actually followed me all the
way home that night. In my drive he asked me how I'd been
and asked if I shouldn't talk to someone. "Talk to
someone about what? I quit seein' things that weren't there
long ago. STOP LAUGHIN!"
"Well, at least get those
bite marks checked out. Ya might need a rabies
As he pulled away I realized that
maybe he was right. Maybe it all was just some kind of
warped flashback. Maybe it was just a bunch of dogs. Of all
the good things I coulda tripped out on I had to pick a
snarling pack of wolves! What the hell would Timothy Leary
have to say about that? The only other possibility was that
it was a wolf that somebody owned and he got loose, gathered
some strays and formed a pack. I've heard that's happened
before, but not around here. When I used to work at an
arsenal packs of wild dogs were said to roam in the woods
inside the fence 'cause it was a huge hunk of undisturbed
gov't land. But I ain't never heard of any wolves! That was
all a few years ago, but whenever I ride down that road [and
it took me a while to do that!], I can't help but look in
those damned woods.
Happy Howlloween [yuk yuk],
[TOP OF PAGE]
He just stood there
starin' at me with his head lowered as he lowly growled.
As my eyes adjusted to the dark I
could see him clearer. This wasn't just a dog. I ain't never
seen a wolf outside a zoo and on TV, but this sure looked
like one. And a big one! It sure wasn't any damned German
Shepard! He took a few slinky steps toward me, but when I
raised the wrench he stopped.
"This is Ohio for
chrisakes! There ain't no wolves in Ohio! At least not
around here! GET THE HELL OUTTA HERE!!" Under other
circumstances bitchin' at a wolf might seem kinda weird, but
at the time I was kinda weirded out already.
What happened next is even
weirder. The big bastard sat back on his haunches, raised
his snout to the moon and let out a long howl. Almost
instantly I heard the voices of a whole bunch of 'em
returning his call. A wolfpack!!
In the distance I watched a few of
'em cross the road as they surrounded me. All I could think
of was how surreal this all was. This isn't happening! THIS
CAN"T BE HAPPENING!!! I started laughing hysterically
as I turned in a circle holdin' that damned wrench. I
figured that if I was lucky I might get a few good smacks in
before they brought me down and started tearing at my
The leader lunged at me and
grabbed my wrist as I slapped him with the wrench. Warm
blood gushed from the holes his fangs left in my arm as I
tore myself free. This only excited the others as they
nipped at my legs and danced around me barking and
From the direction I came I saw
headlights. 'YES! YES YES YES!!!!' I thought as the car drew
nearer and the wolfpack ran off.
"BUMMER! What the hell are
you doin'?" It was Deputy Dave, a county sheriff I have
the good fortune to know. He's done me good in the past, but
I kinda surprised him when I ran to the cruiser wavin' that
wrench and screamin' at the top of my lungs, "LET ME
IN! LET ME IN!!!" "HOLD IT! FREEZE!! PUT DOWN YOUR
I was so glad to see him I started
laughing, [I was pretty goofy by this time] as he kneeled
behind his open door and pulled out his service piece.
"BUMMER!! I MEAN IT!
FREEZE!!" I told my self once that I will never be shot
again and I meant it! I realized he was serious, so I
stopped, dropped the wrench and smiled as I yelled,
"BOY AM I GLAD TO SEE YOU!"