An Appetite For The Holidays

by Calendar Hacksaw

I was down at Karen's the other morning, picking up my mail, and noticed a familiar thread permeating most of the holiday missives: folks want to know what ol' Calendar would like for Christmas this year.

Writes Winnifred from Upper North Loraine Heights, "Cal, you've given the community so much of yourself in 1998, how can we ever re-pay you?"

Or this, from Buford down at the East Fork Weaver Creek Ferry Crossing: "The holidays are upon us, and you're at the top of our list! Perhaps we can reward you with something more meaningful than money this time around!"

Touched as I am by this outpouring of seasonal generosity, I assure you it's not necessary. Like the other Fence Post contributors, I write only out of love. But that said, there are a few items I'd like this year, if it's not too much trouble.

First off, I could use a new generator. And please make it one of those real expensive Hondas this time around. The old flathead was good enough for the framing and construction phase of the Twisted Sisters Ranch, but proved much too noisy for the genteel cocktail life that followed. So an overhead valve engine is now called for, and it'll sure come in dang handy when the North American Power Grid falls on its collective electric butt, if you get my drift. In fact, I'm willing to sell whatever excess power I don't need, so get in line.

And that brings me to my next request: A Border Collie puppy, because what good is electricity without a dog to help you enjoy it? The Border Collie is reputed to be the world's smartest dog; make no mistake about it. I'd like to get her at six to eight weeks, so I can bring her up right, and I don't want any other dogs around while I'm doing it. A good Border Collie should be raised to think like a human. There are many good Border Collie breeders in Kern County, and I'm sure one of them would take great pride in referring to herself as "The Breeder to Calendar Hacksaw." Pick of the litter would be fine.

Seems like I read awhile back that for $25 you could have a sausage named after yourself at the Onyx Store. That sounds like a dang fine idea! "Calendar Hacksaw's Piute Mountain Clear-The-Room Sausage!" Man, I can taste it right now! What a treat that will be!

And how about some long-sleeved T-shirts? They can be pretty hard to find, at times, but the WearGuard (tm) catalog usually has 'em for $12 or so. On those cold days when a wool shirt is called for, it sure feels a lot better if there's plenty of cotton-polyester blend underneath! And they're darn nice to sleep in, too. Somehow, just having one of them isn't enough, and it's an extra plus if they have pockets.

Willie Nelson's new CD, "Teatro" has some fine licks and lyrics on it; stuff that makes the drive around Bear Mountain a little less arduous. Emmylou Harris singing back-up helps a lot, as it always does. Emmylou's got her own new CD and band, "Spyboy," and I wouldn't mind finding that in the stocking either.

I'd sure like to find a high-quality GPS receiver under the tree, but not too close to the puppy. The Global Positioning System satellites provide an invaluable service to lost souls like myself, helping us regain our bearings and go back the way we came. Not too long ago, a friend and I became disoriented while exploring a latticework of dirt roads out in the Mojave, and only his GPS receiver got us out of there alive. Heck, maybe Moody could find his way back to Oklahoma!

One other small favor: I've had my eye on a used sports car; a convertible. At my age, I think I'd look pretty cool driving around the Basin with the top down, honking at the girls. After all, we don't need four-wheel-drive all the time; only when the FEMA inspectors are in town.

A few other things, just to round out the list. I'd like to see the beautiful new Twin Oaks sign stay up at least a year before getting thumped by a carrot truck. I'd like to see some entrepreneur come to town and start a good business that would employ all the local folks who are dying to work without adding to the "morning madness" commute in Caliente Canyon. And I'd like to see someone with deep pockets and a sense of community come to the rescue of the Twin Oaks General Store, in one form or another, with Al or without him, and I'm sure he'd agree. But I guess ol' Calendar is asking for way too much.

So let's add it up. Seven grand for the car, $200 for the GPS receiver, fifteen bucks for the new Emmylou CD, $900 for the generator, $25 for sausage, maybe $36 for T-shirts, and a Border Collie (free, in return for breeder and product endorsement). That's $8,176.00, out the door. Not bad; a pretty good haul.

But so long as there's a single hungry kid running around Walker Basin, a wish list like this would represent "conspicuous consumption." At a generous $3 a meal, $8,176.00 translates into 2,725 dinners. That's a lot of chow, and it's worth chewing on this holiday season. In a rural and isolated geographic area like Walker Basin, everyone has a responsibility to make sure no one goes hungry; not even for a day. "Giving" is fine, so let's all do a lot more of it.

And we'll all sleep a little better knowing that ol' Cal's not out honking his horn at the hungry.

I think I'll keep the Border Collie, though.

Calendar Hacksaw's e-mail addresses are <> and <>, and he'd love to hear from other Basin families who have SAVED BIG BUCKS since making the switch from bathroom tissue to dryer lint.

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