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Tales of a Hay Hauler: ‘From honey wagon to honey bee'

Brad Nelson Published on 05 June 2009

I have food on my mind more than usual lately. About two months ago I started “The FAT BOYS’ Club”. The upside is that my weight is down almost twenty pounds – to where it was when I should have started the club.

My feet don’t hurt as much and I can drive without the “Dunlop” disease cutting off circulation to my feet and legs. (You know, my belly dun’ lops over my belt.)

And having let that cat out of the bag, I expect to have about 40,000 people expecting me to fail my own battle of the bulge. Maybe a few will cheer me on? Anybody out there want to join the club?

This is your opportunity to become a charter member of The Fat Boys’ Club which is being formed as a deterrent to the future formation of a Society of Young Widows.

The only purpose of this club is to provide a masculine banter and challenge arena to help one another get rid of our love handles, pot bellies, fat butts, and the health problems that come with the above.

I invited my “skinny” son-in-law to join the club, as a “mentor.” He offered some helpful advice. One thing Mark mentioned was to check the calorie count and fat content of foods you are looking to purchase.

Often two brands of the same item will have a significant calorie difference. He pointed out that even a modest difference in calories will have a tremendous cumulative effect.

He went on that when the body is hungry it shifts into “starvation mode” and hoards body energy stored internal rather than burning it up. “When your body tells you that it’s hungry, eat something.

Not a lot, but eat something. Then the system proceeds to burn off stored energy (fat) even though what you ate has less energy than the body is burning off with your level of activity.”

Losing weight is just like putting gas or diesel in the pickup. You need to balance how much energy you bring on board with how much energy you burn up. I have some refrigerator door posters I can e-mail to you if anyone is interested. (“You are not hungry FAT BOY, you are just bored. Go find another way to entertain yourself.”)

A few years back I was standing in line at Spud’s convenience store here in Royal City. The fellow in front of me said to Debbie, the cashier, “My burrito just blew up in your microwave. What should I do?”

Debbie’s eyes rolled to the ceiling and before she could say anything, I popped off with, “Mister, from the last time this happened I would advise you to leave immediately, hold your head low, and run in a zigzag pattern until you are out of rifle range of the store.”

Many years earlier Lyle and I happened on a can of chili that had been in the truck for a long time. We looked at the brand of the product and realized that the company had changed the logo on that brand of chili at least five years before.

The can appeared sound; no rust or swelling or leaking. We discussed trying it out for a bit, and then sounder judgment took over. We sat the can on top of a fence post and from a safe distance upwind, blew it up with a rifle shot.

Did you know that you can blow up an egg in a microwave? One of my favorite foods from childhood is eggs poached in milk, or “dog eggs” (“pooched” eggs.) With the advent of the microwave the preparation became less tedious.

Instead of watching a pan of milk on the stove and hoping it did not scorch to the bottom of the pan or boil over, I just fill a ceramic cup half full of milk, crack open an egg and dump it in the milk, then set the cup in the microwave.

The trick is to bring the milk to the point of boiling and then open the door of the microwave to stop things for a bit. Then the heating can resume. I learned this technique after once heating the egg and milk to a full boil.

When I touched the egg with a fork to check for doneness, it blew up. I don’t know about you, but when I have something I’m working on blow up and I did not want it to blow up, I remember to take note of the cause and not do that again.

Among things to “not do again” was an experience related to me by a young man native to the town of Paul, Idaho. He and his friends came into possession of some “barley pop” (beer), and after they had removed the barley pop from the containers it came in, they found a loaded manure spreader that belonged to the father of one of the group. The spreader was mounted on a retired Army 6x6 truck. They drove it across the river to Burley, Idaho, found Main Street, and then found the correct levers to engage the spreader.

Three city blocks later, two things happened. They ran out of manure, and all the law enforcement in the whole Northwest appeared to haul them off to jail. My friend said that he sat in the pokey for three days before his father would even acknowledge that he knew who he was.

And then several more days before his dad posted his bail. He went on that they had to wash about a hundred cars, scrub three blocks of road, sidewalks, store fronts, and wash about a thousand store windows. He said that there was not enough beer and whiskey in the whole world to get him drunk enough to do something like that again, ever!

East and south of Mountain Home, Idaho we once encountered a wild bees’ nest in a haystack. The stack yard was beside the homestead on the ranch so we had lots of helpful advice as we dealt with the bees.

When we were close enough to the nest that we could load no more hay without moving the bees, I buttoned the collar button on my shirt, rolled down my shirtsleeves, put on some leather gloves, ran close to the nest, and pushed the three bales it was attached to off of the stack and onto the ground. Then I ran the other way. I only got stung about three times.

The young wife of one of the brothers voiced the opinion that it was just awful for all that honey to go to waste. Her father-in-law told her that if she wanted that honey to just jump right in there and gather it up.

We played dodge ‘em with the bees for the dozen or so bales it took to finish that load. When I delivered the load the dairyman asked, “Is this nice sweet hay?” I nodded and said, “Just like honey.” We were back again about a week later and the bees had found new digs. I have no idea if any of the honey was salvaged.  FG

Brad Nelson