Of porcupines and presidents
When I was a young lad growing up near the small, south-central Oregon town of Sprague River, Weyerhaeuser had a bounty on porcupines. Porcupines eat the tender, growing tops of ponderosa pine, destroying timber value. Fifty cents, cash on the barrel-head, for every porcupine delivered, and if you were good, you could turn one porcupine into five.
You see, you don’t just haul a whole porcupine to the receptionist at Weyerhaeuser Corporation. They only wanted the noses; little, round, dried, black chunks of porcupine leather with two holes. Trouble was — or perhaps not — the dark pads of a porcupine’s paws are particularly suited to this deception. Simply cut the pads off, take a rotary leather-punch twice to each, and Voila! Five noses.
The nice lady behind the counter didn’t seem to be an expert in authenticating dried porcupine noses. With a grimace she accepted the tan lunch-sack I smilingly proffered, carefully opened the top with dexterous fingertips, peered inside briefly and confirmed, “Okay, ten noses.” She never counted them again. Kinda took the fun out of it.
Still, it was two and a half frogskins per ‘pine, a neat trick and a financial bonanza for a 10-year-old in constant search of money for .22 shells, BBs, and of course, ice cold Nesbitt’s grape flavored soda. Now I cannot imagine my parents approving of this practice (theft and lying), so I can only conclude my skill as a hunter and as a liar convinced them.
Sorta reminds me of the Obama Administration: lying, deceit, the lawlessness of a child, and from the Treasury theft untold from generations unborn.
So the next time you see a smiling President Obama selling his incredible snake oil, remember: know what’s in that bag, ‘cause your children and grandchildren will be stuck holding it.