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Monday, March 18 , 2019, 11:01 pm | Fair 55º


Capt. David Bacon: Teasing Rights For Life Is The Best

The pinnacle of mischievous fun in family life is having teasing rights on someone for life. We don’t get many opportunities so good that it warrants writing it in a diary of some sort, so it is available for life.

I have one like that for my first brother-in-law. While I don’t see him anymore (he and my sister divorced), if I do run across him, I guarantee the conversation wont be more than 10 minutes old before I quick-draw that memory and make him cringe once again.

This one is a hunting story. But first, it must be known that Norm (I’m going to call him Norm to protect the guilty and embarrassed) grew up with hard fists and quick reflexes.

He was a top street fighter in his high school. He was big, strong, quick, lifted weights, and he practiced hard to get to that point. He was tough and fearless.

A few years later when I went through the same school, I became a top street fighter, so he and I always had a friendly banter and we would spar frequently without ever really letting the blood and fur fly. I think we understood that we’d probably both lose that fight, if we let it get to that point.

Besides, we liked each other, and we fished and hunted together. I was sad to see the relationship between Norm and my sister deteriorate. After the divorce he moved away, and I haven’t seen him since.

Now that you have the background, here’s the story, from the early seventies:

Norm went hunting by himself deep in Los Padres National Forest. After walking a good mile from the small dirt road he was on, he found himself in trees and thick underbrush and decided this was a good place to hunt wild pigs.

Turns out it was indeed a good place because he spotted a fair number of them. They were small or medium size, so he ignored them, waiting for a big one. I’m not sure he knew the mid-size ones taste a lot better than the big ones.

He finally found what he was looking for, but it was more than he reckoned for. He heard thunderous thrashing and snorting coming his way. The underbrush was too thick to see much, but the sound kept getting closer, louder and scarier.

Finally, he could see the underbrush shaking violently and he could hear plants being ripped from their roots. It was coming upwind toward him, which means it knew he was there and didn’t like it one bit.

When that beast, still unseen, got within about 15 feet of him and sounding scarier by the second, Norm launched himself up into a tree and watched in wide-eyed astonishment as that giant tusker ripped and snorted his way underneath and away.

Big bad Norm waited until that critter was a good long way away before he came down and decided he’d hunt a much smaller pig.

We were young men and I won’t say how many beers it took to get Norm to tell me the whole unadulterated story, but I’m pretty sure I laughed for an hour. Then I told Norm, “You’d better die after I do, because if you go first, your tombstone is gonna read, ‘Treed by a pig!’”

Norm just glowered at me and said, “Not a problem, cuz right now, you’ve got about five seconds to live or prove you can run faster than I can chase!”

Ya know, this is the kind of story best told around a campfire late in the evening, right?

— Capt. David Bacon operates WaveWalker Charters and is president of SOFTIN Inc., a nonprofit organization providing seafaring opportunities for those in need. Visit softininc.blogspot.com to learn more about the organization and how you can help. Click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

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