Child Attacked By A Blood Thirsty Goose

gooseWhen my dad, Irvin Granger McDaniel was growing up the great depression was eating America’s lunch.   Jobs were impossible to find, especially for my Grandfather, who was an architect in Hot Springs, Arkansas.  Who builds stuff when the unemployment rate hits horrendous 25 percent? Nobody.

But my dad was a resource full kid in worn out dungarees and managed to find several job though he was only eight. Like lots of little boys at the time he sold magazines and delivered newspapers on his bike. The magazines were ten cents each and he delivered them door to door on his bike.

There was a great big fat lady, Mrs Hunter, who lived  on Whittington Avenue,  just three or four block from his house. She was a problem and very tough to collect from.  In fact, she owed my dad more than a dollar.  He was in trouble with his boss and his mom because that dollar was dinner for the family of six.

Mrs. Hunter also had a great big white goose that lived in her front yard and served as a watch-dog.  Dad hated that goose.Every time he tried to deliver his magazines or collect his ten cents it would attack him, running with it’s huge wings out stretched, honking and biting and hissing. The goose, when truly enraged was bigger than Dad’s bike and scared him so much he got mad and teared up every time he passed the house.

When Mrs. Hunter’s magazine tab hit $1.20, my grandmother looked my dad in the eye and with a baby girl on her hip said something like, “young man, don’t you come home without that dollar twenty, you understand me?”

“Yes ma’am”

“Irvin, we’re not gonna eat tonight if you don’t collect that money. You hear me?”

“Yes ma’am,”

Slowly and full of dread, he peddled off to  deliver all his papers and magazines. Then with absolute fear, he forced himself to turn his bike towards Mrs. Hunters house.  His saddle bags were empty, there was nothing left for him to do but collect his money.  He could hear the goose honking before he could actually see the little house. Irvin dropped his bike outside the front yard gate, picked up a long stick, took a deep breath then hopped the short fence and ran as fast as his short legs could manage. The goose was right behind him flapping mightily and biting his pants legs.

Once Irvin  made it to the front porch he knocked as hard as he could but kept his back pressed to the door so he could wack the pissed off goose every time it approached.

Mrs. Hunter opened the front door but not the screen.

“Yes Irvin?”

“Mrs. Hunter, I need that dollar twenty you owe for magazines.” He could smell liver and onions cooking.

“Irvin McDaniel, you know I don’t have a dollar twenty. You’ll just have to come back some other time.”

“No ma’am. I have to have that money. My momma said I can’t come home till you pay up. You have to pay me Mrs. Hunter.”

“Irvin McDaniel you better not be sassing me or I’ll let your father know in a heart beat.  You can’t tell adults what we will and won’t do. Your father should do something about that mouth of yours young man.”

He was still swatting the goose as he spoke, “Yes ma’am I just have to get the money today or we won’t have dinner. You have to pay me Mrs. Hunter.” As he spoke the goose lunged but he managed to kick it in the neck.

Mrs. Hunter never answered, she just slammed the door closed. Then the goose came in for the third attack. It had Irvin’s pants leg in it’s flashing orange bill. Suddenly rage swept through his seventy pound body, and Irvin McDaniel grabbed that goose by it’s long silky neck then twisted with both hands. …hard. The goose was silent, it’s wings stopped beating the air and without thinking Dad dragged the massive dead bird back to his bike, shoved it into his empty saddle bags and peddled. One of the foul’s great wings flopped outside the bag and dragged on the ground a little.

But Dad didn’t care. He’d taken care of the dinner plans for the family.






The “D” Word or Punching Depressed People In The Face

Once ever two months I have an epic battle with some sort of depression. I do believe it’s genetic. Generally, it’s pretty gross, but I get through the three days of mud slide brain activity by reminding myself it will end in a couple of days. It always does.

The stuff I get depressed about is absolutely legitimate. money, age, money, age, money, the cat has fleas, money, my kids are growing up, money, we haven’t been on a vacation in years and my car has over 200,000 miles. Wait, those are the same as money.

But last time as I rolled around in  my three days of self pity and Eeyore like gloom, I realized something remarkable. Almost all the words we use to describe depression and feelings related to depression, start with the letter “D”.

Down, Downtrodden,  Distraught, Disenchanted
Discouraged, Doomed Distressed, Desolate

Weird! Right?

Yes, I understand it has something to do with the “dis” prefix. Still, it’s a disproportionate number of “D” words. When you think of synonyms for happy they are all over the alphabet.

Thinking about  this strange list of words distracted me from my self-absorbed woe and I accidentally drove to my Taekwondo school instead of driving home. Once I was in the parking lot, I figured I might as well work out for an hour to burn of the Taco Bell I had for lunch. 

Of course, everyone knows, working out causes your body to release endorphins. For me, endophins act like Mike Tyson. In the first half of the first round my depression was on the ropes and then it was gone, on the matt, KOed.

So, next time you see me and I seem depressed, do me a favor. Don’t feel sorry for me, don’t offer to buy me a beer or listen to my problems, just tell me to go work out. You’ll be doing us all a favor.

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I Feel Like Crap, Maybe It’s The Weather

I feel like crap. My neighborhood has been torn up by storms and tornadoes, there’s a pile of wet socks next to the washing machine, my dog really stinks and I’ve got terrible windshield wipers so driving is treacherous. It hasn’t stopped raining, storming, blowing and tornadoing here, in Arkansas, in weeks, and I feel like crap. Maybe it’s the weather.

There’s actually not a lot of evidence linking depression and general funk to bad weather but damn, I’m in a bad mood and I really shouldn’t be. So, I have to blame it on something, might as well be the weather.

I feel so bad I can’t even recognize anything positive.  My husband snores, we have tiny tvs, no flat panel or HD, I have an ugly desk at work,  my ac doesn’t work in my car and I have funny looking feet.  What the hell.

I know I should work out, it always makes me feel better, but the Anytime Fitness parking lot had white caps. I needed a snorkel (I love that word) to cross the parking lot. Screw it. who wants to work out, that’s what I said, instead of working out. End result? I felt even worse.

There are plenty of article suggestion light therapy, yoga, exercise and a long vacation would make me feel better. All those things would probably work, but what the hell. I’m going to find a blanket and watch Ralph Machio on Dancing With the Stars. Maybe the sun will come out tomorrow.