"Carry Your Baggage, Ma'am?"

by Calendar Hacksaw

There has been, of late, a great deal of talk about "sexual tension" in Walker Basin, for reasons not readily apparent, and my editors wisely asked me to look into this phenomenon and report back.

Truth be known, they threatened to fire me if I didnít come up with some valid answers. So I wasted no time in launching an exhaustive study which led to the scientifically sound conclusions contained herein, which is the kind of language serious researchers like to use.

Iíll have to admit that I conducted no face-to-face interviews as part of my research, because science is often tainted by personal opinion, and Iím not very comfortable talking about sex in public (though Iím a strong advocate). Canít you just picture me sitting at the bar down at Sand Canyon on a rollicking Saturday night, turning to the cowgirl sittiní next to me, and blurting out, "Gettiní any?"

So I confined my probe to reading graffiti on the public restroom walls, peering into parked cars at the dump, drinking beer and watching drunken range cattle.

What I learned is this: Itís been an unusually mild summer with very few 100-degree days; local singles fear the coming winter will be long and severely cold. As a result, those without interpersonal "affiliations" are rushing to form unions before the dreaded chill sets in, knowing that two sleeping bags zipped together is usually warmer than one. Not only do I have personal knowledge of this truth, I highly recommend it.

But relationships can be prickly things, like cactus on a waterslide, if you will, and I think Iím in a good position to give the young men and women of Walker Basin a few words of advice. So, if your parents are out of the room, letís have a frank talk about "baggage."

The "baggage" Iím speaking of has nothing to do with the outstanding physical appearance of that "trophy" you met at the dance hall last evening, spent all night talking to, fell madly in love with, and immediately started making plans to share a double-wide. No. "Baggage" is all the stuff you didnít see, that comes as part of the deal; the stuff you begin finding out about the following morning; stuff she or he would have never mentioned the night before. So, here are olí Calendarís tips for ferreting out unwanted baggage.

  1. Ask to see her shoe collection. How many pairs does she own? Does she have good boots? How many? Work, hiking or riding? Turn Ďem over and look at the soles. Have they ever been worn? Outdoors? More than once?
  2. Examine his collection of compact discs. This will tell you all you need to know about his taste in music and what he considers "romantic." In particular, Iíd be on the lookout for polka music, yodeling competitions, or anything by Hanson.
  3. Take a good, hard look at her hardware; hand tools and power tools. Is it contractor-grade stuff? How about her chain saw? And itís a good idea to get a professional appraisal of her utilities, too. Is her well deep enough? Can her leach line handle the additional load, or did she selfishly build it with only herself in mind?
  4. Take a peek inside the cab of her truck. Is the dashboard littered with a collection of Beanie Babies? Never pair up with anyone who collects anything. Collections are the epitome of baggage; they grow exponentially, and in no time at all youíll have to move to a bigger trailer; one of those 23-footers with windows and a sink.
  5. Itís been said that a guy is always looking for someone just like his mother. That may be true, and Iíd recommend that you take a good look at olí "mom" to see how well you measure up. On the other side of that equation, girls tend to unwittingly pair up with the modern day equivalents of their fathers-in-law. Which raises some tough questions, like, "Did he have a father, andóif soówhere is he?" It might be worth your while to track down the olí deadbeat and find out why he abandoned his son; after all, he may have had good reason, in spite of what the District Attorney keeps saying on TV. Itís been said that history wouldnít have to repeat itself so often if weíd just listen a little better the first time around.
  6. Before she wakes up and discovers youíre still there, take a quick inventory of her Servel. What kind of food is she attempting to preserve in there? Is there any red meat? Decent sausage? Beer? Or is it little more than a holding pen for tofu and bean sprouts? You can pretty much view the icebox as a harbinger of what your diet for the winter is gonna look like, because believe me, itís dead on.
  7. Itís a good idea to take a tour of the olí medicine cabinet, too. Never know what youíll find in there! But itíll give you a dang good idea of what kind of medical baggage heís carrying through life. If I was a woman, Iíd be suspicious of any guy who ordered the "Stainless Steel, Personalized Nostril and Ear Hair Trimmer" from Parade Magazine or the Miles Kimball catalog, even though mine works pretty good.
  8. Is the zipper on her sleeping bag compatible with yours, or will you have to invest in two new ones? If her mattress is old and sagging, will both bodies fall toward the middle, making it impossible to get out of bed in the morning? Is this a problem?
  9. Does he keep his property deeds in a safe deposit box? If so, look around for title to anything up in the Piutes. Does he disappear most weekends with a haggard bunch of old relics who call themselves "framers" and "cabinet makers?" Do they always have to stop off at Costco the night before to stock up on 30-packs of nails and screws?

Hiring an experienced "matchmaker" can be a worthwhile investment. Regardless of whether youíre male or female, Iíd recommend the likes of Wayne Moody, Lawrence Snow, Rick Zanutto or Al St. John. For about $25, any of these fellas will point you in the right direction. Youíll notice thereís no women on the list, and for good reason. Female matchmakers play favorites and have hidden agendas; thatís where the phrase "But she has a great personality!" came from. A male matchmaker would never stoop so low.

Having concluded my assigned task, Iím left with just one question: Whatís with all the action down at the dump?

Calendar Hacksaw hangs out at http://www.calendarhacksaw.com, and he might also raise a flag if thereís any indication that she owns a metal detector, especially if sheís only lookiní for gold.

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