Saturday, September 06, 2008

The Crane Flys at Dawn

Over the years I've had so many things happen, and tales to tell that I kinda forget some of them. A couple weeks back, I went on a finchin' trip with the ol' college gang and while the french toast was being cooked in the open air... I remembered a tale and they all got a kick out of it, so the least I can do is to share it here.

It was during the summer and we were camping out, moving our cattle up to the high country as we usually did. As romantic as it sounds, it consisted of getting up at 4:30 or so in the pitch black from less than stellar sleeping conditions (read tent on gravel) and usually went downhill from there.

Believe it or not, even though it was usually the first week of August the usual morning temperature was probably around 40 or so, but the big cast iron grill on top of the open fire made it tolerable as we huddled around taking in the smoke.

Like I say, it was blacker than a... erm... it was pretty dark out, and the only lights were the various lanterns and the cooking fire. As a result, every flying critter within two miles always swarmed them.

I was about 12 or 13 and was one of the first to make my way to the fire that particular morning, found a good solid chunk of wood and sat down as one of the older guys started frying the pancakes up. I always liked the rodeer pancakes because they were always made with bisquick, and all I got at home was the homemade kind. Well, that and those cooked on the big cast iron griddle were always about a foot across, so two made for a meal.

As I was sitting there watching things... I couldn't help noticing a huge bug buzzing around the fire. It was a crane fly and it just couldn't help but buzz the griddle. It was just about this time that the pancakes needed to be turned over and the cook grabbed the big spatula and flipped the first one over. Somebody said something and he proceeded to turn his head and answer the question while simultaneously scooping up the other pancake and flipping it over. He wasn't paying attention... but I was.

It was right about then that the crane fly decided he just couldn't stand to stay out of the way and flew directly into the path of the gooey side of the pancake as it made its way downward toward the griddle.


As if by magic... the crane fly was no longer to be seen. I thought for an instant he'd gotten away... but I knew better. So my only other option was to keep track of which pancake it was, and I did that with a watchman's eye.

The breakfast time conversation continued to flow and the eggs started to sizzle in their pan, but my eyes never left the pancake. Right about then, ol Mike scoops the two pancakes up, stacks them on top of each other and looks right at me and says, "Get your plate."

"No... no. That's ok. I'm good. Go ahead and give those to somebody else, I can wait."

"Nope. These are yours." and he slides them off onto my plate. I swallowed a bit as I looked down at the pancakes, but what was I to do at that point? Shoot... I was a 12 year old kid and I didn't want to be rude to the cook, nor waste food, so I was in a quandry. But wait! There was still the chance that I was mistaken! Perhaps the crane fly had indeed flown away and I just had two good pancakes.

With that hope in mind, I turned the pancakes over and... and...

Yup. There he was... splayed out like a cartoon character slappin' up against a windshield. So I did the only thing left for me to do... turned my head in that "well crap" kinda motion and grabbed my fork and knife.

With a surgeon's precision, I cut away the portion that contained the crane fly, and put butter and syrup on the rest. Mmmmmm, mmmmm... good stuff Maynard.


Today's mystery lyric: (Remember the rules folks, no online searching of the lyrics, if you don't know it, you don't have the answer!)

A thousand miles seems pretty far
but they've got planes and trains and cars
I'd walk to you if I had no other way

Answer to last lyric: Sleep by Savatage


Blogger wa11z said...

Good story. You should have eaten it, just to see what it tasted like!

9/07/2008 7:46 AM  
Blogger fermicat said...

You didn't eat it? Hmmmmmmm.

If that bug had ended up on someone else's plate, would you have told them it was there? If so, would you tell them before or after they ate it? :ewink:

9/07/2008 8:51 AM  
Blogger LL said...

Sorry Wa11z... not enough meat there for me to eat.

fermi - Sometimes ignorance is bliss, and that would'a been one of those times. :innocent:

9/07/2008 10:19 AM  
Blogger BC said...

Which is why I always did my own cooking. When I was a kid, those camping trips meant one thing...You eat what you hunt or catch. Or all those soup packets in the back pack. ;o)

9/07/2008 1:44 PM  
Blogger JennyLu said...

I bet you ate it.

9/07/2008 6:33 PM  
Blogger Sunshine said...

Song: Hey there Delilah, or whatever it's called.

9/07/2008 7:39 PM  
Blogger The W.O.W. factor said...

Hey LL!! Are you connected to my computer?? Going thru my history for the last week?? I think I have a Crane Fly problem in my yard!!!!
Hoping to get resolved this week!
Snoopy you! Shame on you ...wagging index finger

~~I do have a sentimental side ya know...I absolutely LOVE the story! I've been in that same place! I could smell the pine trees and bacon cooking! (NO not the crane fly!)
So here's to you ~ LL !!
(now, let's talk about 'giving it away- for free...LL-ie! Whatcha doin' that for!)

9/07/2008 9:40 PM  
Blogger Tink said...

Mmm, extra protein.

9/08/2008 7:03 AM  
Blogger Knight said...

You should have slipped the buggy part onto the cook's plate. Mmmmm!

9/08/2008 8:38 AM  
Blogger Kathleen said...

LOL. It's nice to know you rough and tumble guys have standards and won't eat bugs.

Until the poor person eating that pancake came across the fly. You don't think they would have eaten the whole thing w/o seeing it, do you?

9/08/2008 8:58 AM  
Blogger Beth said...

Hey There Delilah, Plain White Tees and I didn't look at the comments either. My daughter has this CD and my husband plays this tune.

I loved this story. So hilarious and now I just want pancakes, crane fly free, of course. They must be so delicious over an open fire. I've never tried making pancakes when I camped. I was always afraid they wouldn't work out or something. Gosh, I love cast iron too. And the great outdoors. :o)

9/08/2008 1:02 PM  
Blogger tiff said...

What a good boy you were.

9/08/2008 1:58 PM  
Blogger NYPinTA said...

Of course you were going to get the first batch, staring at them like you were... like some Oliver Twist wanting more.

9/08/2008 9:11 PM  
Blogger Train Wreck said...

LOL!! THat was a great story! Porr little fella! Hmmm we have similar insects here, everyone call them mosquito killers? I personally have never seen them kill a mosquito? They sure look like your "Crane Fly" minus the batter! Worth the wait, this story!

9/08/2008 11:08 PM  
Blogger Train Wreck said...

Thanks for the advice on the bad call!! I actually did tell him he should have hit him. Other than getting kicked off the team for the rest of the season. THere is nothing worse than a poor sport!
Oh and that's not me on the top photo! It was just a random unsuspecting,spectator at my mercy! See I stalk adults to. Especially COwboys! Look over your shoulder!
Besides, my "fists" would have been doing all the talking! I don't need shoes for that!

9/12/2008 11:30 AM  
Blogger magnetbabe said...

Ha ha! What a story! I never knew "crane flies" where what those crazy things are called.

9/12/2008 6:49 PM  
Blogger The W.O.W. factor said...

Huh? where do I find your 'wallpaper' title?
Hard work often pays off after time, but laziness always pays off now. I LOVE THIS! I live it!

9/12/2008 11:07 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

Hey, I just came back to tell you I saw Delilah on television, the one the lead singer write about ... and he didn't date her or anything. Just met her one time and told her he'd write a song for her ... and did. The rest is history. Sadly, she has a boyfriend. :(

9/15/2008 6:16 AM  
Blogger LL said...

Well... I'm sufficiently intoxicat*hic*... intoxica*hic*... drunkly enough to post a reply to you, my minions.

BC - there was no time for huntin' or finchin' where were at, you pack it in and enjoy what you've got.

JennyLu - I see you've coopted my little nickname... eh? And no... I didn't partake of the fried fly goodness.

Sunny - Yup, with an answer like that (Whatever it's called), you've pretty well identified the song. ;)

WOWie - Your history? I uh... erm... :innocent: As for the rest, well... see? That's how I knew you "got it" way back when. We've shared the same experiences, although not exactly at the same time. But kindred spirits will always find each other. As for giving it away, well... I've got to give it away, who would buy this kinda crap? :ewink:

Tink - Damn faeries... always looking at the practical side of things... ;P

Knight - the cook always eats last, so that means it would'a been a loooooong wait.

Kath - there's a great many things I won't eat anymore. And yes... the crane fly was face down. Nobody would have even paid attention.

Beth - I'll respond to both of your comments here. You are correct. Plain White Tees it is. You are third with the right answer though. I won't hold that against you. Pancakes griddled over an open fire probably don't taste all that different. It was just the fact that they were made from Bisquick that made them stand out.

I've never seen Delilah, but read the wiki on the song and so I knew the backstory.

Tiff - I'm still a good boy. :ewink:

P - Hmmmmm... I never thought about that. Damn. I'm the cause of my own injury!

TW - yeah... everybody says they eat mosquitos, but I don't believe it... If that were the case, there'd be a lot of fat crane flies around these parts!

Dr. Babe - I'm glad your edumication hasn't stopped. ;)

9/15/2008 8:46 PM  
Blogger The W.O.W. factor said...

LOL,Ok...LL! Now, on my post say ..."only you"...~so are you saying only "I" would be stupid enough to think
".....a treat of sorts to get out in the barnyard, get a new kind of dirty!" or that only "I" would think to place a pile of manure on my post?!! ;)
And your story? it? ME! I love those kinds of tales..because they are REAL! *

9/16/2008 10:13 PM  

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