Sundays With George Thatcher, Our Resident Bad-Ass In Raiderland: Skeeters, Explosions And Money – A Love Story!

A Match Made in the Tool Shed


Arguably the most notorious pest of the North County, the mosquito continues to make life miserable for hunters, campers, fisherfolk, as anyone who has venture forth into a swarm of these critters. They appear to be any times larger than our local varieties, perhaps because they get so many opportunities to drink their fill. They have often been seen chasing woodland birds, and when they are successful bringing one to the ground, they attack without mercy. While a hundred or so females engage in sucking the blood of the hapless creature, a lone male will manage to position himself strategically so that he can actually hump the poor thing. But don’t take my word for it. Look it up in the Lake Wobegon Almanac, source of informed and flawless lore on all things Minnesotan.


To combat the voracious mosquito, man has developed a number of remedies, among them Deet, Off and any number of local cures, including Citronella. But a friend of mine swears that his fishing buddy has discovered the ultimate weapon: matches. Before he ventures off into the woods or lakes, he eats the heads off “a number” (not specified) of wooden kitchen matches. He says that the little guys made of cardboard are also effective, but you’d have to eat so many more of them that it might cause digestive issues. Besides, he can always save the wooden stems for toothpicks. This doughty outdoorsman, who has never been known to tell Paul Bunyan stories, swears by this remedy, which he avers has never failed him. He likes to show off his hunting jacket which, amazingly, is devoid of mosquito-initiated puncture holes!


Could there possibly be a downside to this miraculous gift to outdoorsmen everywhere? Are there any side effects? Well, his wife says that the odor of sulphur around the house is beginning to make her think that the place is infested with diabolical entities. Yes, there doesn’t seem to be a mosquito left in the county, all the domestic cats and dogs seem to have disappeared as well. The other day, after our guy had completed his morning constitutional, he lowered the lid of the porcelain convenience and hit the flusher. Spontaneous combustion instantly occurred, and the lid and seat were blown thru the ceiling, never to be seen again. Never to overlook an opportunity, our guy – we’ll call him Sven – began to tinker with a way to compress this volatile methane-like gas and bottle it for commercial use. He was making good progress, he swears, until his wife banished him to the shed. “I could tolerate your skunks and your bear crap, but this is my home and you’ll not have it condemned by the health department.” With that, Sven took up residence in the tool shed and continued with his experiments.

He invested in at least three compressors, the first two of which suffered a similar fate as the toilet lid. Meanwhile, he was visited by two DEA agents, who were checking on Sven’s exorbitant purchases of matches. He had bought up every match in the county, which aroused suspicions that someone was making a bomb. Sven began to explain the nature of his project, but as he warmed to the topic he became excited and issued forth an inadvertent belch. When the agents awoke, they were back in their car, just crossing the county line and never to be seen again outside the Big City.


Sven, now unhampered by nagging wives or suspicious gummint men, continued his important work until he had perfected the ideal bottled fuel: no odor, and even inert so that it wouldn’t cause unintended consequences. He’s applied for a patent, but his new-found friends are cautioning him about letting the gummint in on his bidness. They reasoned that this miracle product could turn the slowest moonshine-running car into an Indy contender. More than that, it could provide the perfect fuel for their stills: odorless, smokeless, no longer detectable by revenuers or their hounds. Life had just become a dream come true, and all he had to do was sit back and rake in the profits.


Except for one detail. During his two years of experimentation he had managed to corner the market on wooden matches, and he was in danger of having to close down the business. Enter his long- forgotten wife. “Now that yer not stinkin’ up the place no more, why don’t you come back and live in the house agin? I have some friends who’d like to meet you.” Ready for a reconciliation at long last, Sven accompanied Hilda back home, where three odd-looking characters were sitting around smoking. Not cigarettes, mind you, but really smoking. It was coming out their ears and nose, and their hair seemed to be a little singed as well. They were dressed in strange- looking red suits and seemed somewhat uncomfortable sitting in those straight-backed chairs. They kept wanting to cram something that could’ve been tail into the back of their suits.


To make this a story that really ends, I’ll close by sharing with you that Sven and Hilda literally made a bargain with you-know-who. They agreed to buy up all the surplus sulfur in Hades, which everyone agreed was an unlimited supply. All it cost them was their souls, but they arranged tor unlimited hunting privileges in the next dimension. They’re now looking into replacing natural gas and aircraft fuel with their miracle fuel. The three nether-world gentlemen have taken up residence in Austin – a natural venue for them. They serve on the board of directors and have applied for U.S. citizenship. There are rumors that Sven’s humble discovery may prove to have unlimited life-extending properties. He’s now dating a 20-year old beauty queen and Hilda is trying to sue for community property.


Was that a happy ending, or what?

George Thatcher July 2022

George is an American Bad Ass. He grew up in Jersey, flew B-52s in Vietnam, taught English, Spanish and other languages to children around the world, makes his own salsa, has been known to enjoy a beer or two and has called Lubbock home for a few years, just to entertain the locals. Welcome to Raiderland, Major. We are going to feature some of his writings going forward. Some new, some old. Some rhyme, some don’t. When it comes to George, there’s no box. So… enjoy our friend and enjoy his writings! – Hyatt

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