There’s nothing like a heavy subject to darken a beautiful day. Therefore, I was trying to recall something humourous to write about when my wife turned on the television. The program that was being broadcast wasn’t intended to be funny, but that is how I perceived it.
It was a comedy in the sense that the particular episode I watched was rather lame as a cowboy and his woman were on a highway in the mountains with a horse trailer in tow. Unfortunately, the truck ran out of gas. It happens all the time – right?
The couple appeared to be an item, but seemed to be struggling in their relationship. The driver, Grandpa Jack, was preparing to walk to the nearest house when his passenger insisted (she was emphatic) that she was going with him so a lonely death by starvation would be avoided. I really think she couldn’t last a day without having someone to listen to. She also insisted the horse in the trailer could not remain there in their absence, so they took it with them.
Unfortunately, they did not have cell phone service or a GPS and did not want to ride the horse for some reason that I did not understand. Instead of sticking to the highway, Jack decided to take an overland shortcut that was well off the beaten path.
I have to admit that I have taken a few shortcuts over the years while leading a family hike, but I usually know approximately where the new route will intersect with a road or landmark. On such occasions, I have noticed the patience of other family members quickly diminishes, as does their sense of humour and overall attitude.
Getting back to the television show, the unfortunate couple got lost in the bush which must have been terribly embarrassing for the seasoned cowboy. At this point I was thinking, at least the horse would have enough smarts to find its way back to the truck, so perhaps they should put it in the lead and follow behind. However, it is a good thing they did not take such action because the show would have ended way too early.
Since the pair were lost and it was getting dark, Jack built a large lean-to with materials that came from somewhere – perhaps he always carries a tarp under his jacket in case his shortcuts don’t work out. Being a gentlemen, he told the woman she could sleep in the shelter (which was easily large enough for two people) and he would snuggle up to the fire. That’s a nice idea, but it’s not romantic and who wants to be the only person stoking the fire – all night long? The way I see it, since the gal insisted she was not staying behind, she darn well better take her shift and look after the fire, so her counterpart could sleep. She did not set a good example for younger, more impressionable women and I am tempted to write to the producer and tell him that.
It was truly unfortunate that nightfall was accompanied by rain and then a storm, so the woman let the cowpoke sleep in his shelter. Wouldn’t you know it, the storm intensified and then the horse spooked. It broke free of its tether and took off in the darkness.
The morning dawned and the pair discovered the animal was missing – misfortune had struck again. They mounted a search and found the horse trapped in a shallow ravine (it was actually just a large hole) that had its perimeter covered in deadfall. Both the man and woman climbed out of the depression with three big steps, but the poor horse couldn’t make the grade, perhaps because it was cold since it did not have a fire or companion to snuggle all night long. The animal finally made it out after a search party arrived on scene and used a power saw to buck up fallen trees and clear a path. I am sure the couple that was lost were famished by this time, but thankfully they didn’t talk about it since the horse was within earshot and who knows what may have happened?
Looking back at the plot, it is very clear the horse was in charge the whole time. It must have exercised some serious mind control over the other its handlers because the animal was not ridden once in the entire show. Furthermore, it did not have to exert itself to climb out of ravine and was escorted back to the horse trailer like a celebrity. The show was written around the horse and perhaps that is because the actors did not know how to ride the animal. It’s more likely they were not paid to climb onto its back because that would involve danger pay which would put the show way over budget. As all television viewers know, creating a rainstorm in a forest is expensive – especially at night – and that likely put the production budget in the red, so shelling out extra cash for danger pay was simply out of the question.
I watched the program one other time and that episode seemed more realistic. In any case, the program was entertaining and made me chuckle. It served its purpose and took my mind off our garden and other pressures I face. Being back home, I now have to consider difficult issues such as watering the lawn when rain is in the forecast. I face other tough decisions such as should I turn on the television at night because it is dominated by US politics these days.
Do I really want to listen to adults call each other names? Listening to commentators analyze and expound on name-calling is ridiculous. Here’s a hint to producers of news broadcasts: provide a brief weekly summary of US politics, and expect to be entertained when Americans elect a buffoon.