This morning I met our retired show jumper Gabe, the card shark, taking his breakfast in front of Fortuna’s widescreen TV. Gabe spends most of his time online reading the Wall Street Journal and studying cribbage Cliffs Notes. Hence, gazing at the Weather Channel signaled a major departure.
“You do know that we horses are at great risk living here in Minnesota, don’t you?” Gabe declared to anyone within earshot. I attempted a hasty exit from the room, but was not so lucky.
“Um, no I’ve never heard that,” I croaked. Reckless risk-taking was not one of my normal pastimes. Frankly, I’m a bit of a Pollyanna. He definitely caught me off guard.
“Don’t they call this flyover frump country?” I asked. “Isn’t this the place that inspired Frances McDormand to win an Oscar for her hubby’s movie Fargo? You know, friendly, forthcoming, safe from big city skullduggery?”
“No, it isn’t that,” retorted Gabe. I could see that he was about to work himself into a snit, though he usually saved that kind of drama for high stakes card games.
Well, for Pete’s sake, I moved here from Oklahoma because they told me Minnesota was safe and sociable. Even the Landlord reported that a guy didn’t even need to lock up his cribbage board or Cowboy Magic shampoo around here. I was having trouble seeing any risk involved with Up North living.
“It’s the weather,” grumbled Gabe.
“No kidding,” I murmured under my breath.
“Not our weather,” he rejoined. “We’ve all adapted to freezing our nether parts from November through June. It’s the rest of the country I’m worried about. Recent news reports suggest that too many folks don’t know the difference between a SnowDogg Plow and a golf cart. It appears that they keep salt on hand to top off their margaritas rather than their motorways. How the heck do they expect to get along in Atlanta if they don’t even own a pair of long johns?”
My goodness, maybe Gabe was on to something. Climate mishmash has delivered everything from earthquakes to ice storms all over the place. And then there was the Kentucky sinkhole that swallowed a lovely Corvette collection from the National Corvette Museum. Even the underground climate must be out of control.
“So, Gabe, what does all this have to do with risky living up here in dairy farm country?” I queried, still at a loss over his logic.
“They’re all going to move here, that’s what,” he declared. “And you and I are going to end up operating an equine limo service for every real estate agent in our region.”
Oh boy, no more TV for him. I could see it was time to get Gabe back online playing Five Card Draw with his Las Vegas chum, Harry the Horse.