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The Puckerbrush Irregular - Vol. 4-17

Brush Country Cowboy

At 4:14am this morning, the driveway alarm jangled me out of a deep sleep.  Vela Von and I snapped to and peeped out the window ’cause you just don’t rush out the door helter skelter at that hour if you are smart.  I could make out a vehicle with no lights slowly inching closer to my dark gate.  The motion detector light triggered and illuminated a non-oilpatch flavor older Dodge pickup with a mismatched right front fender.  As soon as the floodlight hit it, the headlights came on and the driver reversed back on to the highway and was gone.

You can game this a hunnert different ways as to how come and intent but the baseline is whomever was in that truck was up to no good.  The truck has been catalogued for future reference should the event repeat.


Marcie Girl showed up as scheduled Friday and I made my supply run to Pleasanton.  110 days since the last one and I think that sets a new record.  I filled the cart to overflowing at the HEB and had to quit before the list was done.  Literally, I could fit nothing else in the cart.  Since I do the perishables at the end of the run,   items like meat and dairy got shorted.  Instead of the chest freezer being chock full it is only moderately filled.  The bill was $365 which works out to less than $4/day  – not bad.

Go to the sidebar for a minute here — I follow a blog that infuriates me no end but it does give me perspective.  The full timing couple are immensely entitled, condescending,  judgemental, self-centered corporate refugee Yankees and there is no end to their snivelin’ and complainin’.  This is the same couple that broadly brushed the entire town of Dilley, TX as utterly backward and sorely lacking in anything remotely redeemable – according to them anyhow. When they were gate guarding, they had a sub come in while they took a few hours off and paid the poor soul $35 for a 7 hour stint on their gate!  Why?  Their reasoning was their day rate divided by 24 hours was $5.21/hr or somesuch. Why should these obviously superior folk pay more?  They also locked up their RV and forced the sub to work out of their vehicle.

Supply run goods – Cast iron seared top sirloin (rare) and baked potato. I prefer steak this way vs. grilled.

Gate guard etiquette for  sub pay is (and has been) $10/hr for as long as I have been doing this.  Look at it this way- a sub drives to your location (sometimes many miles) and sometimes they are not even permitted access to the RV ( I been there and done that and won’t be back) so you have to make it worth their while.  I pay $15/hr with a $75 minimum and have always vetted the sub to the point I allow them in the RV.  Marcie Girl put $105 cash dollars in her pocket yesterday and got to watch the new Wahlberg movie Patriot’s Day on the DVR (which is kickass BTW).  She was happy; I was happy and guess what?  When I call her again for a fill-in she will go out of her way to oblige.  That is how it works friends and neighbors.  Some folks are incapable of understanding that and never will.


The Dog Romp this Saturday AM started out in oppressive humidity.  I was sittin’ and drinking my coffee with the sweat just a-rollin’.  Vela Von got enough of ball chasin’ PDQ and retreated to the shade.  Then the wind turned to the north and the temp dropped 15 degrees in a half hour and the humidity dropped 30 points. It is supposed to be 49 degrees here in the pre-dawn hours tomorrow.  Sounds like a good day to do laundry with an eye out to the buzztails.  They will be in the road and around equipment seeking warmth so I will be watchin’ extra careful.

I killed 2 medium buzztails Easter evening within an hour of each other which is unusual.  A “medium” buzztail is about a 2 footer in my book while an average one is about 4 foot.  They say an immature rattlesnake is more deadly but it ain’t so.  Baby buzztails DO give me the willies because they are generally super aggressive and with only one or two rattles they are just not loud at all.  I am way leery of those little rascals more so than their bigger brothers.


Even mo’ snake bidness…

One of the first commands Vela Von learned was the ‘place’ command.  Place means to sit in a specific spot and stay there until released.  When I am outside  checkin’  vehicles, she is required to place on the porch.  She is learnin’ good unlike Tuco the Dog who always, always had to do a circuit of the vehicle smellin’ fenders and wheel wells;  never was able to break her of that.

When I take off my shoes of an evening,  Vela Von knows it is shower time and she is to place on the couch until I am done.  This hearkens back to her puppy days when she could chew up 7 things and pee in the floor twice during the time span of one shower.  Here lately she has started sneaking in to the bedroom and jumping up on the bed at some point during the shower.  She knows my night clothes are on the bed and I will head there as soon as the shower is over.   I go into the bedroom and shake my finger at her and chide her for being a sneaker dog. She will lay her ears back flat  and put her head down; acknowledging her transgression and remain so until I tell her it is OK.  The scenario repeats nightly with her sneakin’ into the bedroom earlier and earlier each successive evening.  Dogs is funny.

Tuesday night I was in the shower and heard her jump on the bed sneaker dog style. Almost immediately, she yelped several times like she was in pain  and went flyin’ back down the hallway and jumped up on the couch.  WTF???  My first thought was a buzztail in the bed and she had been bit.  I got out of the shower wearin’ nuthin but a frown………….*


10 or 11 years ago when BFF Cait was a newly minted Airman (ed. note: AirMAN -not airperson.  Don’t expect gender correction mentality or any type trans-whatever acceptance here. Your gender is what it says on your birth certificate and it always will be. Anything else is tomfool bullshit.  I will defend your right to be a ??-whatever to the hilt but DO NOT  force me to embrace and espouse your beliefs.  My rights are just as viable as yours. That means I do not care what your preferred pronoun is, m’kay Bucky? )  and stationed overseas at Lajes Field Azores Islands  she was so very, very, VERY fortunate to land in a shop with a wise and 100% committed NCO who mentored her.

Now she is charge of her own shop and has a cadre of fresh faced Airmen in her charge. We have discussed it many, many times that her most important overall job is not her specific MOS;  rather it is the mentoring of these young adults who are most likely living away from home for the first time. It can be a rough ol’ world ya know.  She calls them her ‘babies’.  These kids are not doin’ time in a college class, servin’ up a Starbucks or dishin’ out Happy Meals in the drive-thru. They are wearing the uniform of the US Military and as such, they need to By God buck up and honor and respect the tradition that comes with the Oath of Enlistment.  It is not a light mantle.

So what to do if the new meat is mostly millenial snowflake category?  She demands honesty, integrity and responsibility and everything that falls under that broad umbrella and it ain’t easy.  I told her the snake in the bed story and she decided to use it as a logistic exercise for the babies…….. a “what-if-now-think-outside-the-box scenario.”

She laid out the the scenario as I detailed above and challenged “What do you do next?”

The snake handling equipment on hand is:

  • a broom
  • assorted kitchen knives
  • a pair of boots
  • Glock 21 45 ACP**
  • 12ga pump shotgun with 00 buck**
  • Evil black  rifle Model M4**
  • Bond 2 shot derringer loaded with .410 shot**

The answers were ummmmmmmmm – interesting.  BTW, mine and Cait’s solution was to shoot the snake with the derringer and rush the dog to the vet.  On return, duct tape the gunshot hole and flip the mattress. 🙂  Mainest thing is get that damn snake first. Before pants, before dog, El Primero!  Could you imagine having a rattler loose and roaming inside your RV?  Christ on a cracker! Talk about bad juju!

So Cait sent me these responses:

Boston Baby: Get an empty trashcan, put it on top of the snake, wrap up the sheets around the trash can and carry it all outside, then take the dog to the doctor. (When I asked if she would kill the snake, she said- well yeah, I guess?)

Ohio Baby: Grab shotgun, shoot snake, take care of dog (One of the other babies said “You’re just gonna shoot your bed?” and he said, “yeah, it’s a f’n snake in your bed!”)

Arizona Baby:  Close the door, put the dog in the truck, go back in, find the snake (“what if you can’t find it?” “oh I’m gonna f’n find it”), shoo it out the door, then kill it with a shovel or stick you have lying close by, then take the dog to the vet.  (I searched the youtubes for any successful efforts to shoo a rattlesnake and came up empty.  Sorry Arizona Baby – EPIC fail. – Andy)

BFF Cait’s Better Half – Put on pants, put the dog in the truck away from the snake, get the snake in a bucket and take it outside and then shoot it.  Take the dog to the vet.

Grandson Hank the Tank:  Shoot the snake with the Glock 21 in the bed, take the dog to the vet, tell everyone you have snake blood in your bed.  (Winner Winner Chicken Dinner from an eight year old!  Forget trash cans, buckets, shoo-ing or silly pants – nobody but the dog is gonna see your winkie anyhow!  LOL!  Kill that snake deader ‘n’ 4 o’clock and right now!  13 rds of 45ACP is pretty major firepower so you get a sure kill with probably just one or two holes in the mattress.  Snake blood in the bed gets you huge creds when you re-tell the story during recess at school. Does an 8yo worry about being PC? Obviously not.  Bravo Hank! – Andy)

Additional comments are welcome.  What would you do?


*no snake nowhere.  I never did figure out the yelping. Maybe a dog panic attack?

** Pure fantasy as far as firearms being available. Gate guards are not allowed to have firearms on the gate. It is the RULE.

End Note: Yep. Stevie Nicks stuck in my brain so here is a different taste sans Fleetwood Mac.

“In a world of Kardashians, Thank God there is a Stevie.” –youtube comment
First up – Stevie from 1981

And then fast forward 25 years……………


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The Puckerbrush Irregular - Vol. 4-17, 9.9 out of 10 based on 18 ratings
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7 comments to The Puckerbrush Irregular – Vol. 4-17

  • Monte

    As a person who is around buzztails on occasion, I suppose my reaction to your shower/yelp scenario would be to leave said shower, check the dog for signs of a bite (swelling, blood, pain, etc…) all the while hoping for something better to have been the cause of the yelp. Then, if finding said bite, taking said broom, and using it to lift said clothes and shake them out as quickly as I could so I could get the dog to the vet. Not finding a bite, well, maybe I got a snake to deal with and maybe I don’t. I would figure to take a shovel and poke and prod around the room and see if anything made noise back, and if it did, the business end of the shovel would be employed post haste! Now you gonna have me stepping carefully around the house for a day or two….

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  • Tony

    1. Send dog to other room.
    2. Deploy -ahem- bowling equipment at hand to permanently evict the buzztail from the land of the living.
    3. Toss out snake using broom.
    4. Check dog for injury/bite.
    5. Don britches & boots, properly dispose of buzztail carcass.
    6. If dog is injured, finish dressing and transport to vet ASAP.
    7. If dog is uninjured, have coffee and allow blood pressure to normalize before getting on with the day.
    (Bond 2 shot derringer loaded with .410 shot sounds optimal; may just be my next such purchase.)

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    • Andy

      Bond actually makes one called the Snake Charmer… and there are some wicked shotshell combinations out there that have lead balls and copper discs and I don’t know what all. The .410 will also shoot 45LC.

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  • Vince

    Dog already di di mau’d. S & D snake. Check dog. Eat fkn snake. Simple.

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  • Mike


    Since you have an obvious appreciation for Stevie Nicks, which of course shows your continuing good taste, check out this isolated track of just her voice from the White Rabbit. It’s pretty awesome. It takes several seconds to start since they isolated only the vocal track. Enjoy!

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    • Mike

      OK, FYI, just went back to play it again and it takes thirty+ seconds to start the vocal!

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    • Andy

      Youtube is Grace Slick – not Stevie Nicks. Ms. Slick is also a fave of mine.

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