On the KKK and Bolt Cutters

Just got back from a week in the mountains of Idaho.

And when I say mountains of Idaho, I mean full-fledged, my-neighbors-use-KKK-hats-as-front-yard-decor Idaho mountains.

There was another neighbor–an earthy-looking fellow without a shirt but bundled up in a ragged flannel jacket–who helped us out with… an accessibility problem… shall we say.  We had a key that wouldn’t turn, a van full of children and camping supplies, a rickety bridge and some dicey roads still to cross, and it was getting dark.

So we walk back down the road to where we’d seen this guy attempting to drive a four-wheeler into the bed of his pickup, and ask him if he has any WD-40.

“Nope.” He spits in the dirt. “I got sompin’ better though.”

He grabs an empty beer can, tears the top half of it off, and opens his hood. We make small talk about the proliferation of “FOR SALE” signs we’ve noticed this year. “Yeah,” he mutters from somewhere in the depths of his engine. “The banks are takin’ lotsa things.”  In a few moments, he emerges with the ragged-edged half-can, now full of a sort of black, gritty looking substance, and saunters up the hill. He bends over the lock and pours the liquid into the hole. “Try that.”

When the key still won’t turn, he scratches his head and glances sideways at us. “I got some bolt cutters, back at the house.”

A few minutes later, he returns, bolt cutters at the ready. They have seen better days, though, and aren’t up to the task. They fall apart in his expert hands.

Never fear, though. A man of this caliber is never without a second set. He goes back and retrieves those, works his magic, and we are on our merry (possibly slightly illegal) way.

Seven days, no electricity, kids washing their hair in the creek, running on pine needle trails instead of a treadmill and reading at least one novel, sometimes two a day. It was paradise.

Where did I go wrong?

I think it was deciding to live in civilization, maybe.

Up there, internet and cell phone service are things of myth, but I didn’t miss them and I didn’t feel out of place. Give me a wood stove and a flashlight, and I’ll be fine. Seriously. And considering the state of my finances, the prospect is looking better and better.  I probably won’t go in for the KKK hoods fluttering in my front yard, or the beer cans out back, but I could go for the au naturel approach to yard work–let the forest take over and the wildlife move in.

And I’m definitely looking into getting my own set of bolt cutters.

9 responses to “On the KKK and Bolt Cutters

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