I don’t enjoy conflict. Unless you do, then that’s fine. Let’s do that. But my druthers have me approach every situation assuming everybody can get along. Quaint, I know. It’s pretty much useless as an approach to life because, as the boxer and philosopher Mike Tyson once pointed out, “Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.” Recently I got punched in the mouth. And once in the face. Made me think about a few things.

First punch I absorbed with my face was on the tailgate of my ’92 Dodge Ram truck. It’s red. Kind of biggish. I call it, “Clifford the Big Red Dodge.” I was wrestling an old kitchen range into the back of Clifford and it wasn’t going well. Gravity was happening and the tailgate is tall and I had ramps and whatever but then I yanked on the handle of this old stove and, pow, the handle quit being a handle and the force I was forcing transferred right into my face. Backfist. Did not see that coming. And it did not feel awesome. Bloody nose, both nostrils, saw stars, the whole deal. First fight I’ve been in since 7th grade and I got beat up by a self-cleaning oven.

Fast-forward. Couple weeks ago I’m out shooting arrows, getting ready for archery hunting season. Every year I find some little thing on my bow to mess with right before opening day, which throws everything off and requires frantic fixing. I know better, but somehow can’t resist. This time I noticed wear on my D loop, which is a little knot on the string of a compound bow that shoulders the weight of all the poundage that miraculously disappears once the cams on the bow turn over and mechanical advantage becomes your friend. Unless you tie a not so perfect knot and, whilst pulling all that poundage, the knot slips like the handle of an old kitchen range and its freedom translates into punching yourself in the face. Again. Not great. This time I only got a slightly bloody lip, watery eyes and just one bloody nostril, so I pretty much won that round.

What did I learn from these two attacks by inanimate objects? Not a lot. Although I now tie fairly spectacular D loops, if I do say so myself, having done a deep dive on that specific art after the unfortunate face-punching incident. I guess I learned that sometimes you make a change but it just doesn’t work out and you end up punching yourself in the face. Like, oh, I don’t know. I can’t think of a specific example. But from here on out I plan to make archery less embarrassing and hazardous again and tie better D loops.

The update on the ransom offer to buy back Frank’s guitar, which was stolen from Summer Fishtrap this year, is a non-update. Never did hear from the scoundrel who ripped off the Dreadnought. Sigh. Too bad. Midlo and I picked out trenchcoats for the exchange and had unmarked bills packed in a suitcase from Soroptomist and everything.

Been out of doors a fair piece lately, doing spawning ground surveys for work and prowling around the woods with Mike Baird looking for elk with my new D loop. Coolest thing I’ve stumbled upon was seeing an eagle land in some tall grass. Then a bunch of young wild turkeys burst out of the grass and here comes Mom — just pops up out of the grass and flies straight for the eagle and this turkey mama is not fooling around. To my surprise, it worked. The eagle didn’t think long at all before skedaddling out of there. If there’s any justice in this world, that turkey will be getting a World’s Best Mom coffee cup for her efforts. I never would have picked the wild turkey in a fight against an eagle. But then I never would have guessed I could get beat up by a loose stove handle or a piece of string. This world is just full of surprises.

Jon Rombach is a local columnist for the Chieftain.

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