Saturday, October 14, 2017

Praying for Death or a Big Buck, Whichever Comes First

Deer season for our Texas lease had just started 2 weeks back.  After 9 long months, hunting season was finally here.  I was stoked.  The annual rite had begun.  The car restoration project, already embarrassingly behind schedule, would simply wait.

It was supposed to be magic in the woods.  Quiet.  Solitude.  Peace.  Anticipation.  High-powered firearms.  Instead, I was slowing dying.

I had recently discovered certain protein/energy bars made by Larabar.  According to their website and marketing stuff:
LÄRABAR®, the Original Fruit & Nut Bar™, is a delicious gluten free blend of unsweetened fruits, nuts, and spices. Made from whole food, each indulgent flavor contains no more than 9 ingredients - minimally processed, and as close to their natural state as possible.
Sounds great!  Quick, healthy, no preservatives or other additives.  My preferred sort of snack when I do not have time to eat or don't want a full meal.  I usually have a handful of bars like this in my desk at work or in my hunting pack.

LÄRABAR has 21 different flavors of bars.  Some are more traditional but others have names like "Apple Pie", "Peanut Butter and Jelly" or "Pecan Pie" (my personal favorite).  All are excellent.

Being a rebel, I branched out when purchasing additional bars for hunting season.  "Peanut Butter and Jelly" or "Pecan Pie"  are great but I decided to try some of the others such as "Coconut Creme Pie" and "Key Lime Pie".  I had not had lunch the day of purchase and ate one of these new flavors in the car.  Later, more on a whim and out of curiosity, I tried another.  Again, delicious.  Driving out to the lease at 4:45 in the morning, I downed another.  "Dang these are good and filling" the non-reading idiot said to himself.

Unknown to me at the time, LÄRABAR is run by an army of hairy-legged sadists wishing to undermine the fabric of society, one unsuspecting fruit-and-nut-bar-loving person at a time.

APPARENTLY, LÄRABAR intentionally puts cashews in many of their bars which have NO BUSINESS HAVING CASHEWS as an ingredient.  Sure, you'd expect to find cashews in their "Cashew Cookie" bar but "Coconut Creme Pie" or "Key Lime Pie"???  That is just sick on so many level.  

"Cashews?" you might ask, "What's the big deal?".  Well, cashews, Anacardium occidentale (Latin for "evil plant which causes a maddening, throw yourself off a cliff itch") are in the same family as poison ivy and poison sumac (and mangoes). 

I have world-class reactions to poison ivy.  70% of the population has some sort of reaction.  I'm friends with a guy in the lucky 30%.  I've seen him cut through poison ivy with a chainsaw while I stood 100 yards upwind, peeing down my leg with fear of the aerosolized cloud-of-death.  I had such a severe case on my right hand once that when I made a tight fist, the already bubbled up, cobblestone blisters would simply ooze, dripping off the back side of my hand into the sink.  

Cashews, for me, cause more of a chemical burn-type, itchy raw reaction on my mucosal tissues.  And by mucosal tissue, I mean ALL mucosal tissue, from stem to stern, top to bottom, mouth to anus, pie-hole to bung-hole.

So, now that we have the background, let me set the stage.....  There I was, 3 cashew-infused "health bars" under my belt, sitting in a deer blind, on my butt, on a really uncomfortable chair, with a rear-end which feels like it would better belong on a red-butted baboon.... for 3+ hours.  The mosquito bites were a welcome distraction from the insanity-inducing burning itch coming from both of my main orifices.  I thought of stripping and sliding down a live oak branch since no barbed-wire wrapped dowel rods were available for scratching purposes.  

Of course, I've had to stop the expected legal action since the labels list cashews not only clearly but in bold as well.  ;-(


A Man in the Woods, slowly on the road to recovery

Friday, September 15, 2017

Just when you thought it was safe to take a leak by a lagoon

Below is an article as reported 9/14/2014 by The Sun into which I felt compelled to insert brilliant commentary!

In spite of the sarcasm, this is actually quite sad.  Being eaten alive is one of the few fears I have and the reason I try to carry a side arm at all times!

Reporter for prestigious newspaper eaten by crocodile while relieving himself in lagoon

Below is the article as reported 9/14/2014 by The Sun followed by brilliant commentary!


A Financial Times journalist was killed by a crocodile while washing his hands at a lagoon in Sri Lanka during a holiday with pals.

Paul McClean, 25, an Oxford University graduate, is understood to have wandered away from his group of friends to find a toilet when he was attacked.

The British victim is believed to have been dragged under water at a lagoon called Crocodile Rock near a popular surf spot after being ambushed by the reptile.

AMitW - I'm no Sherlock Holmes but the fact the area was called CROCODILE ROCK should have provided a fairly decent clue that this is not a good place to relieve oneself!

McClean graduated from Oxford with a First class honors degree in French in 2015 before joining the Financial Times later that year.

AMitW - I'm thinking a concentration in Herpetology would have been useful too!

He had covered Brexit and the European Union for the newspaper and had recently returned to London after living in Brussels for a couple of months.

The lagoon, known to be crawling with crocodiles, is yards away from popular surf spot Elephant Rock near Arugam Bay on the southeast coast.
AMitW - Crocodile Rock and Elephant Rock?  Sri Lankans are apparently an awfully creative bunch at naming places.

"Hey buddy, can you tell me how to get to the Dambulla cave temple?"

"Sure, travel past Bird Rock, take a left at Dog Rock and and then veer right at Mexican Jumping Spider Rock.  You can't miss it"

Sri Lankan police and the army are said to be searching the shore surrounding the area.

Locals claimed the victim had been staying at the East Beach Surf Resort - located just minutes away from the surfing area he went missing from.

Fawas Lafeer, owner of Safa Surf School, located up the coast from where the incident happened, said: “A local fisherman witnessed a man being dragged into a river, set back from the beach, by a crocodile. The fisherman was on the opposite side of the river and downstream of the incident location."

He added:“This is the first known crocodile attack in Sri Lanka. Both tourists and locals surf at Elephant Rock, which is a beautiful secluded beach and very safe.

“Crocodiles in Sri Lanka live only in the fresh, back waters of the jungle. It is almost unheard of for them to come close to the beach. The salt water actually turns them blind.

“Local search and rescue teams are working alongside the police and British Embassy in attempt to locate the man's body."

Meanwhile, a Scottish tourist, who wishes to remain anonymous, said: “A British tourist was at a surf spot called Elephant rock.

"There's a lagoon right next to the sea. He went to the toilet next to the lagoon and was grabbed by a crocodile.

“There are lots in the lagoon. People last saw his arms in the air in the water and then was grabbed under. I was there but didn’t see it happen though. Horrible."


A Man who Carefully Relieves Himself in the Woods