Another Bad Compass Reading!

by Calendar Hacksaw

By the time I'd reached the age of ten, my dad had taught me one of life's most important lessons; that washin' dishes is a man's job.

Now, before all you mighty fine-lookin' Walker Basin women go waggin' this column in your old man's face, you'd best read the next sentence.

The reason washin' dishes is a man's job is because most women just ain't too good at it.

You see, washin' dishes requires certain traits which are more often found in menfolk than in women: attention to detail, organization, rote memory, multi-tasking, and general laziness, just to name a few.

I prefer to do the job "mountain style." Let ol' Calendar lay it out for you, fellas:

First, you gotta put the dirty dishes on the right end of the picnic table. Next comes the basin of hot, soapy water. To the left of that is the rinse water, as close to boilin' as you can stand it. The dryin' rack is at the left end of the table, next to the ashtray and beer bottle, and right above the spitoon.

What you do next is position yourself in front of the soapy water so you're facing the campfire and your dinner guests, put your left foot up on the bench seat, lean over and rest the left arm and elbow on your thigh, and you're ready to begin. You'll notice that your left arm leaning on your left leg will support your upper body weight and serve as a pivot-point, allowing you to hold each dirty dish and utinsel in your left hand while scrubbin' it down, then transferring it to the rinse tub and then to the rack, after which the same hand continues on to the ashtray and the beer bottle while you let loose with a good "ptooey!" in the general direction of the spitcan. Each piece should then be towel-dried, without further touching by human hands.

This entire process is scientifically sound, and documented in many medical journals. The truth be told, I'm using this exact same method right now as I rough out this column. In this manner, you're still able to play a part in the social intercourse as your guests enjoy aperitifs--"ptooey!"-- while you remain on the alert and in the best position to draw down should anyone say anything disrespectful about Al or Wayne or Rick.

So, you see, this is serious business, and if ol' Calendar was President, Sherry, there wouldn't be any more automatic dishwashing machines, and only real men would do the dishes.

Not to change the subject too abruptly, but Lady Diana's big mistake, in my opinion, was not spending more time in Walker Basin and the Piutes. She would have fit in here real well, I think. After all, she was divorced, charitable, loved children and horses, and had an affair with her riding instructor. What other requirements are there?

Lady Di wouldn't have had any problem with papparazi in Walker Basin; the local community would've seen to that. Your basic scumbag papparazi is easier to spot than bicyclists on a Saturday morning. With only two paved roads in and out, and a resident population more heavily armed than the Contra Rebels, the flashbulb folk would have known they weren't welcome here. Heck, Diana could have downed a few pints at the Dinner Bell on a Saturday night, then walked back to her bunk at the Twin Oaks Ranch, and never been hassled by anything greater than an obligatory wave from a passing motorist. She might even have become Queen of Team Penning, or a least a Princess. The general rule in Walker Basin is: You can be famous if you want, but please do it somewhere else, or at least keep it a secret.

Not that Walker Basin is any stranger to the rich and famous. On the contrary, many notable folks come here deliberately to escape the crush of fans and the media. And this is the best place to do it. I honestly think that one day Merle Haggard will just happen to stop by the Twisted Sisters Ranch while I'm sittin' outside enjoyin' a cold one. I'll say "Hi, Merle; I'm Calendar," and we'll sit down and commence to talk a spell. Not about him, or me, but about the mountains and Bakersfield and the Basin and such. Later on, I'll invite him to hang around for a good tri-tip dinner, and he'll gladly oblige.

But even enjoyable evenings like that must come to an end, and all too soon Merle will stand up and say, "Well, thanks a great deal for everything, Calendar, but I best be mosyin' along now."

And as he turns and heads for his truck he'll hear me say, "Not so fast there, cowboy! Who the hell do you think's gonna wash these dang dishes?"


Calendar Hacksaw's e-mail address is <> and he'd love to hear from you. He could have written an entire column about washin' dishes, but decided not to.

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