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Archive for August, 2005

Today’s absolutely priceless blog is from Possum, a guest writer. Here he harkens back to a discussion we had earlier in the blog, in which was mentioned the Poppyism, “There’s no use in being a horse’s ass unless you can prove it.” Here he expertly examines the hidden gravity of the phrase:

While mowing the lawn last night, I had a chance to dwell on something that Kyle had shared with me. There is something about the sound of a Briggs & Stratton that brought on a new level of enlightenment. Let me share with you my newly found knowledge of this profound Poppy-ism: “There’s no use in being a horse’s ass if you can’t prove it.”

The beauty of this phrase is that one can easily call someone a horse’s ass and get away with it. The conundrum of being something and not being able to prove is so confusing that the horse’s ass never quite catches on. It has also occurred to me that this phrase is so flexible, it can be used in nearly any situation. I’ll borrow the triadic thought process from the philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel to describe how fully universal this phrase is.

Thesis Mode – Here we use the phrase to state the obvious as the facts present themselves.
Example: Ken does something really stupid. Then I say, “There’s no use in being a horse’s ass if you can’t prove it.”
Here sarcasm is used to express that Ken indeed has proved to be a horse’s ass by his actions.

Antithesis Mode – Here we use the phrase to negate the obvious as the facts present themselves.
Example: Kyle comes up with a creative solution to a problem. Then I say, “There’s no use in being a horse’s ass if you can’t prove it.”
Here sarcasm is used to express that Kyle is a horse’s ass because he has taken an action that seems to have disproved this fact.

Synthesis Mode – Here we use the phrase to point out a null case where no facts are present.
Example: I ask Lee, “What do you think about that?” Lee replies, “Hmmm”. Then I say, “There’s no use in being a horse’s ass if you can’t prove it.”
Here sarcasm is used to express that Lee, while taking an action, has done nothing to prove or disprove that he is a horse’s ass; but he is indeed a horse’s ass for riding the fence.

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Shoshone’s First Leading Lesson

Wow, what a lot of fun and work we had tonight! Karen started the first outside-the-barn leading lesson with Shoshone this evening. She was doing the well known rump-rope method, which resulted in a kicking, running, hissy fit (the horse was pissed too).

Once Shoshone’s fit was over, I took over and worked with her, direct halter. I know that’s not what you are supposed to do, but the lesson had to go on. If she disliked the rump rope that much, we would just have do it another way, because the lesson was going to happen one way or another. With the direct halter, once she realized she cannot shake me, we began to work together remarkably well. Okay, well, that’s quite laughable. I’m just psyching her out. She could toss my scrawny butt across the pasture if she only knew it.

It turns out she actually stands still very well for me, which was surprising to us. Through (a LOT of ) patience and perseverance, I motivated her to actually walk all the way around the barn with me, without having to give an inch at all, which we felt was excellent for her first real lesson. I know the direct halter is not the way you are supposed to do it, but my thinking is that the lessons need to be flexible. Find what works and use it.

I had really hoped that Karen would be the one giving the lessons. She is an infinitely more experienced horseman than I. But she told me she just isn’t strong enough and she thinks I’m more insightful. I suppose that as with all things, it will work best if we do it together.

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Poppy is sort of insane right now

Possum and I discuss Poppy’s dimensia:

Me: Did you talk to your folks last night?
Buford Possum: no
Me: They had a really weird visit with Poppy – possibly more bizarre than mine Saturday
Buford Possum: I’ll find them at some point
Me: Briefly (3rd hand), he thought Clara was my Great Grandmother, but remembered Henry. He asked Henry if he had brought the sticks that Poppy was going to use to make the barbcue with (in the hospital). The staff had him tied to a chair (restraints) and he wanted Henry to untie him. Henry had the good sense to look behind the chair and tell him there was a padlock on it and that he didn’t know the combination. Anyway, there was more, but you get the point
Me: When I went on Saturday, Poppy was completely naked and was ready to leave with me so we could go on a trip. He forgot he had a catheter.
Me: “But your mom was supposed to set it all up and send clothes for me. I was so looking forward to a good ride. It’ll be summer before you know it, then maybe we can go to the Smokies.” “Poppy, it is summer, it’s July.” “IT IS?!? I thought it was January. DAMN! Well I’ve been in the hospital ever since I moved up here and I’m looking forward to getting out and seeing GA and learning my way around.” I didn’t bother to mention he has lived here for years. Oh, and on the trip thing, I said the doctor wasn’t ready to let him go and he had the urine bag. “Well I’ll just carry this [bag] and we’ll slip on out of here, we don’t have to tell the doctor.” Now there’s some imagry for you. Me in my work uniform and a 100% naked 84 year old man walking to my car in the parking lot carrying his urine bag and making sure we don’t accidentally step on his cathoder hose…
Buford Possum: That sounds like a scene from a movie
Me: A retarded boy and his dillusional grandfather go on a trip. we could sell that. What would we call it?
Me: The ads could say, “You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll hurl…”
Buford Possum: It would have to be a Poppy-ism.
Buford Possum: And that would be the first and last line spoken in the movie
Me: “There’s no use in being a horse’s ass if you can’t prove it.” That’s one of my favorites
Buford Possum: The more I read that, the more I like it
Buford Possum: Thats better than anything Forrest Gump said
Me: Well Karen and Mom went to visit him this afternoon. He asked them to help him get out of the television. Aparently, he is no longer allowed to drive the tractor. He insisted his eyes were open even though they were not.
Me: The doctor asked him the year, he said, 2005 – Great! What month is it? “Monday.” Who is president? “We don’t have one anymore. No, that’s wrong, I’m sorry, it’s FDR.” 😦

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