Practice What Is Just
Base Your Knowledge On Learning
Think As A Mortal
On Reaching The End, Be Without Sorrow
I was on my way to town to meet a girl at a dance, I was excited. It was a New Year’s Eve Dance, I had on a suit and my cowboy boots. The dance was in Dawson Creek and I had to drive over a hundred miles one way, but I was so excited I didn’t care. There was a Chinook blowing warm air currents from the Pacific and temperatures were rising pretty fast. That meant the road was going to be good during the day, but after dark, with all the snow melt turning to glare ice, the roads were going to be treacherous. I wasn’t worried, I’d probably sleep on someone’s couch rather than drive back if the roads were iced up.
I drove through Fort St John and along the highway I looked at some coyote snares I had set in some barb wire fencing for a sheep farmer who wanted to me to thin out his coyotes before lambing started. Sure enough, I had a big male hung up on the fence. These Northern Coyotes die hard and he had put up an extra good fight before giving up the ghost. I pulled off the Alaska Highway and walked through the knee deep snow in my cowboy boots and suit, picked up the coyote and threw him in the back of the truck.
It was turning into a good day, with any luck the coyote would bring $60.00 and this was in the day when a man worked all week for $120.00 or less a week at a saw mill.
The day kept warming up and by the time I drove through Taylor just North of the Peace River Bridge, I realized that it was so warm the hair might ‘slip’ or fall out if I didn’t skin the coyote right away. I stopped at one of the taverns and it sounded like the patrons were busy getting snot slinging drunk before dark. I laughed and skinned the coyote in the parking lot and went inside to wash my hands. Some regular rowdies were in the place and I got several greetings and offers for a beer. I refused, I was just 15, I really wasn’t supposed to drink in bars, and told everyone that I was headed into town for a dance. That was a mistake, because then they had to tease me about the suit and the girl.
There is always one guy who has to take good natured kidding to the point of being profane and vulgar: Jerome Pettis was the worst. He did his best to embarrass me and to insult the girl he didn’t know. He was big and twice as old as me at the time, but I was being pushed to the point of wanting to hit him really hard. I’d heard him speaking about native women and calling them ‘squaws’ several times before, then boasting of his sexual prowess and conquests with native women. His obnoxious, boorish behavior made me mad then and he was making me mad now.
He was a welder that always drove around with a truck and welder but never seemed to be working, nor did I ever ever see him with the women he liked to boast about. I think the main thing he did was mooch off his mother and drink beer. I decided to ignore his rude sexist and racial comments and worry about Jerome another day. I said my goodbyes and left the bar. As soon as I walked outside into the last of our three hours of daylight, I figured out what to do with the coyote carcase.
I pulled an eight foot length of expensive nylon rope out from behind the seat and tied a bowline around the coyotes neck like someone would do to make a collar and leash out of a length of rope. I then tied the other end around Jerome’s trailer hitch and threw the carcase under his welding truck. I chuckled a few times and left the scene of the crime.
I forgot all about Jerome and the coyote and went on to have a wonderful time dancing with the pretty girl who had asked me to go to the dance with her. We won a swing dance contest and I had her home before twelve. Her parents said I could sleep in the living room on the couch and after a hearty breakfast, I drove home a very happy young man.
A few days later, I stopped at the post office for the mail and the postmaster said, “Did you hear about the dog being dragged to death?”
Now I love dogs, but I hate gossip. I couldn’t resist, “What do you mean?”
“Jerome dragged his dog from Fort St John to Dawson Creek, the RCMP pulled him over in Dawson Creek and when Jerome saw the dog without a hair on its body, he realized his mother must have tied his dog to his truck so that he would take it with him and he dragged his own dog to death! He broke down crying and the RCMP boys drove him outside of town to bury the dog, because he was so emotional. They helped him dig a grave and afterwards he went for one of their pistols because he wanted to kill himself! They ended up taking him to the loony bin and he is still in there.”
With almost real compassion, I asked, “When did this all happen?”
“New Years’ Eve, it is just a terrible tragedy.”
I realized the enormity of the situation when he mentioned New Year’s Eve. “Yes, what an awful story!”
“You don’t know the half of it!”
“What do you mean?”
“They called his mother and told her he was in the loony bin, which is just a special room at the hospital and that he had killed their dog and she said the dog was home with her.”
“What? How did that happen?”
“Seems someone else tied their dog to his truck at the tavern to go inside and drink and Jerome didn’t notice the dog tied to his truck when he left the tavern. Now, they are trying to figure out whose dog it was!”
“You mean, he buried someone else’s dog!”
“Looks like it. There’s a big investigation going on and Jerome is still sitting in the loony bin, because he feels so bad about killing someone’s dog.”
I put my elbow on the mail counter and rested my head in my hand and shook my head back and forth thinking of Oedipus Rex and his problems with mistaken identities and trying not to laugh. “This is one of the worst tragedies I have ever heard of, will he be all right?”
“Well Jerome had problems before he dragged the dog to death: he drank too much, his mother spoiled him as a child, and he couldn’t work without telling his boss that he knew more than anyone else and the job wasn’t going right; consequently, no one in the oil patch will hire him unless everyone else is off working.”
“Sounds like you know a lot about Jerome.”
“Well he gets arrested drunk on a regular basis. He likes to fight smaller guys, who don’t stand a chance against him, kinda cowardly if you ask me.”
I told the postman that I hoped Jerome got better and used the incident to straighten out his life.
His reply was, “Jerome will never straighten out. He can’t change, it’s too late for him.”
I said my goodbye and walked outside to get away before I busted out laughing.
The postman was right about Jerome, he had humility for a few weeks, after he was released from the loony bin, but he was back to his old tricks and living in his self-created Hell on earth. Years later Jerome was still dragging a dead coyote behind his truck and was oblivious to how it looked to the rest of the world.
Thus Jerome and the Democrats in their refusal to see the obvious are just as blind as Oedipus after he stabbed his eyes with the gold pins from the garment of the suicide Jocasta, who was both his mother and his wife, and after he had learned that it was he who had killed his own father years earlier during an early case of road rage: realizing the tragedy, he walked off the stage into history muttering, “men are only fortunate in their death”.
This is another maxim or proverb from the Seven Sages of Delphi, it probably refers to men who refuse to lead an honorable life. The 150 plus Maxims of Ancient Greece served as a guide for people and were carried around the known world carved into marble tablets by learned men who served as teachers. This was over a hundred years before the Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle succession. Although the proverbs are ancient, they could serve Jerome and the Democrats well at this time. The Democrats all were dragging a multitude of dead coyotes behind their trucks on the road to perdition leading up to the 2010 midterms and they paid dearly for their dishonor, except in California and New York where dishonor is still rewarded. Of course Republicans will be well served to read the Maxims of Ancient Greece for written there are the keys to leading an honorable life and success in politics. The Democrats have decided that their failure was the fault of the citizenry for failing to recognize the omnipotence of the Democrat wisdom being charted by President Obama and for their failure of being able to explain the benefits of their policies to a dumbed down public; this type of hubris portends tragedy for Democrats; they assume that we the public are both blind and stupid and that we should learn to trust those to whom we refuse to listen.
Now, the Democrats continue on with their dedication to President Obama and his myth, while he prepares them for a blood bath in 2011 as well as for his own political demise. It is they who have have created their won blindness, if they would have learned and altered their course they might enjoy great success in the next election, but like Oedipus, they were blind to the prophesies and signs that portend disaster, for Oedipus the realization of the tragedy was so great he blinded himself for in life, he was unwilling to see with his eyes, so apparently he decided they were of no use to him. Such is the blindness of those who refuse to see the inevitable disaster on the horizon.
Epilogue: The Seven Sages of ancient Greece were Thales, Pittacos, Bias, Solon, Clevoulos, and Periandros. Much of modern wisdom and the wisdom of the ages is from their advice to the men of antiquity, advice that is still pertinent in the present day and age. Ignoring their wisdom is to tempt fate and possibly condemn yourself to dishonor, misery, and failure. Supposedly these three Maxims were carved into the columns of Apollo’s Temple in Delphi:
Nothing in Excess
Make A Pledge And Mischief Is Nigh
They are generally attributed to the Seven Sages, but they may have been older accepted words of wisdom, we will never know for sure; although, the wisdom applies as well or better than it did 2600 years ago.