Life, Liberty, and….. Good Samaritans?

Published 2:51 pm Wednesday, December 30, 2015




Over the weekend I had the good fortune to be pulled out of a “bog” by my stepson, Nash Burton, and my good friend and advisor, Johnny Noble.
I put the word “bog” in quotation marks because, quite frankly, it was the least menacing bog I’ve encountered in forty years of driving.  In fact, it wasn’t menacing at all, which is the main reason I thought driving through it wouldn’t be a problem.
Which brings to mind the old idiom (currently out of fashion): It ain’t the dog in the fight, it’s the fight in the dog.
To make matters worse, I drove through the same spot the day before, after the two day monsoon now known as “Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, 2015.”  I didn’t have the slightest bit of trouble.  I even managed to negotiate it with Connie, my lovely and gracious wife, in the passenger seat predicting dire outcomes at any second.  How I love that woman.
So, on Saturday, when I decided to ride down and check my deer stand, I astounded myself by bogging my truck.  Undaunted, I got out and surveyed the damage.
“This can’t be that bad,” I said to myself.  “A couple of chains and a come-along ought to get me right out.”  That’s where things started to fall apart.
I didn’t have a couple of chains, but I did have a chain and a tow rope.  The best I could do for a come-along was a nylon load binder that would act as a winch.  However, I had used a similar load binder several years ago to rescue myself from a much bigger bog, so I was confident.
The other small hiccup occurred when it dawned on me that my shovel wasn’t in the back of the truck, where it belonged.  It was back at the barn where I had left it after digging a small channel to drain a horse stall.
Forty-five minutes later, I decided to walk home.  Let the truck spend the night in the bog and contemplate its obstinacy at its leisure.  I hoped it would be lonely, too.
I hadn’t gone too far when I realized that I was supposed to cook supper on the grill.  I mean, what good is global warming, or even a short warm spell, if you can’t grill out?  The charcoal was in the truck, though.
There’s something about walking a mile or so while carrying a ten pound bag of charcoal that’ll make you take stock of your life.  Know what I mean?
Connie, my lovely and gracious wife, called to see if I was okay and commiserated with me about being stuck.  Oh, no, she couldn’t drive her car down that muddy field road to pick me up, but she appreciated me letting her know I was okay.
Sunday afternoon, after church, Nash and I went down to try and pull my truck out.  When that didn’t work, I commissioned Johnny Noble to come over and lend a hand and a four-wheel drive.  That did the trick.
To their credit, they didn’t stop pulling until they had me on the grass, but I really could have driven myself out after the first forty yards or so.  I keep telling myself that.
After all the chains were unhooked, Johnny looked at me and said, “I don’t suppose that, after all this, you’re going to stay on the hard surface roads from now on?”
“Of course not,” I said.  “But I do promise to be more careful.”