Copyright 2016 – Stephen Redgwell
Minions Opinions is published every Monday in the Stumpville Nugget. This week, the ramblings of local farmer Bert Ladouceur. – J. Suggs Biffy
By Bert Ladouceur
You may not think much of Earth Hour now, but in a few years you’ll be burnin’ tires in the backyard, just like the rest of us.
I’ll never forget my first tire fire. I was goin’ to school in Kapuskasing and we scoured the roads and highway for bits of rubber that blew off of 18 wheelers. It was best to soak ’em down with a little diesel or naphtha to get the fire started real good. What a hoot! Mind you, we only did this on good weather days. When it rained, it’s was harder to light ’em up.
I still like to burn them, but worry about the environment these days, so I only burn the ones that are well used and have no tread left. Oh, and we don’t bother walkin’ the road no more. Now, we get them outta the back of the gas station. We grab any old oil too. It ain’t illegal. I know, ’cause the owner don’t seem to care about us takin’ all that stuff…
I even got a friend of mine recyclin’ now. He used to dump varsol and used engine oil on the ground in his yard. Obviously, he wasn’t usin’ his head, so I showed him the error of his ways. It was spilllin’ where we piled the 24s of Northern Ale. The ground was soaked, and the bottoms of the beer cases would fall out. Besides, Nelford (my buddy) was pilin’ it too close to where we always have our big bonfires anyway. Nobody likes warm beer. So now, it’s stacked closer to the shed, where we keep the fire starter. We use Styrofoam that we get free from the mill, doused with gas or waste oil. Great, eh?
Despite our best efforts to recycle everything, we still end end with more than we can burn. I’ll bet you’re wonderin’ what exactly we do with all that extra used oil. We just wait for huntin’ season and dump it in the backs of pickups from down south. Them moose hunters from Toronto are easy to spot. They are the guys with new camo jackets, fancy boots and shiny, gold triggered, pretty boy Browning guns. You must of seem ’em. They drive big, polished 4x4s that have the funny lookin’, meterosexual tires on ’em.
I can hear them guys talkin’ now.
“Oooh, don’t scratch the paint!”
“Hey, try to drive AROUND the mud puddles!”
“Slow down! You’ll spill my latte!”
Them boys sure love chrome and bring up lots of useless stuff. My buddy used to say that the city was the best place to buy a used 4×4. It was never put in 4WD, never taken off road or bounced around.
Anyhow, when them city types go home, they take all the oil. That’s how we recycle. We send it back where it come from. If any leaks outta the back, it only drips onto the road. Like my neighbour Bill says, “That’s best because it stays out of the ground!”
For us, Earth Hour is the time you spend passed out drunk beside the bonfire. A little cat nap never hurt anybody.
And speakin’ about drivin’ home, I’ll never forget the year that three of my dairy cows went missin’. The cops found ’em, but it took a few days. Actually, the culprit was pulled over at the highway weigh scales, when the police and conservation officers were doin’ a roadside check. That fellow was all proud of himself. He thought he shot a moose. It turned out that he had a badly gutted Holstein on the trailer behind his Malibu. The conservation officer had tears of laughter streamin’ down his face.
It was a dilemma for all of five minutes. See, that hunter didn’t break any game laws. It’s not illegal to shoot a cow – unless it’s not yours of course. That’s how Johnny Law got involved. The cop arrested him for theft, destruction of private property and bein’ stupid.
Now, I spray paint my cows fluorescent green before huntin’ season.
One last thing. I just wanted to tell everybody that we’re ready for tourist season. The guys have been workin’ overtime fillin’ plastic bottles full of lanolin and creosote for to sell durin’ the black fly season. We get the creosote from scrapin’ old railroad ties. Another one of our local recyclin’ efforts. No point wastin’ stuff.
DON’T BUG ME (that’s what we call it) is very popular. It’s marketed as a local remedy to chase bugs away. We don’t bother with it ourselves though. Al Perks says that it’s toxic, so we’re better off sellin’ it to people from out of town. That’s what his wife Wendy Lou says anyway. It smells nice though. I guess that’s the big draw.
It’s certainly better than what we used to sell. It was diesel in a can. Some of the old timers will remember BONG! from their huntin’ trips before 2002. Those were the daze!