I had Christmas lunch with Dickey the Peap last week. We have conducted this meeting for the past 4 years or so as a method to both celebrate the Christmas Season and a chance to get lit up on a weekday afternoon (which neither of us do on a regular basis). As I had duties pending back at Dilbertland on the day in question, I was not able to celebrate quite as hardily as I had hoped . Additionally, the little miser was under close orders to control himself as a similar outing earlier this fall resulted in both parties experiencing some faint memory lapses in regard to particular incidents on the afternoon in question, so, restraint was evident on both sides of the table. (Ladies and Gentlemen of the Jury: I submit this key fact will be instrumental in your determination of authenticity at the conclusion of this posting). For the record: Dickey DID buy lunch. There. It's official and a matter of public record. I don't want to hear any whining or face any smarmy comments. The short-armed one paid. Reluctantly. Slowly. Hesitatingly. Something about having extra funds after a relative/close friend hired Dickey to do some home remodel work. And as everyone knows: Friends and family pay double.
As we were trading stories and insults, we reminisced about earlier experiences in our lifetimes. Dickey was describing an earlier camping trip he took as a teenager with another friend of his. Backpacking deep into the woods with nothing but a few staples, a backpack, and their wits, survival would be a test. During the course of their adventure and returning to camp from a successful fishing trip, young Dickey happened upon a young, male deer that had wandered into their camp. Our boy now decides that some venison stew sounds mighty appealing and that in order to have a tasty stew of this type, you need one particular key ingredient: venison. Armed with only a .22 rifle and without any hesitation, ol' Dickey Crockett drew the weapon, drops his pouch of $20 gold pieces to the ground as their sheer weight would affect his aim, flipped the tail on his 'coonskincap to the back of his head, draws a bead on poor defenseless Bambi, and blasts away. (At this point in the recitation, I ask you, the reluctant reader, to pause for one moment and envision a deer in your mind in a geometric fashion. A deer is basically a rectangle supported by four spindly sticks. You would be hard pressed to hit anything but the big rectangle if you were to aim and fire at this shape.) The resultant outcome is that old Deadeye shot the deer squarely--in the leg. Bambi is now hopping around, bewildered, disoriented, and pissed off. Young Fudd eventually stalks the wounded beast and finishes off the animal. At this point, he realizes that he has a quandary: What do you do now? Fortunately, Dickey's camping partner has some experience with field dressing an animal killed under such circumstances. The intestines of the animal can be easily stripped by exiting through the anal area of the beast. Great care must be made not to puncture the intestine so as not to ruin the meat. With that in mind, the hunting companion began to expertly make the cuts necessary to avoid any contamination. Logistics, however, required an extra set of hands in order to complete the task. Based on the information you, the gentle reader, have surmised to this point I will leave to you to determine the level of participation and area of the animal that involved the assistance of the Frugal One.
In the end (pun unintended), it seems to me that any future re-telling of this story would emphasize the appreciation for the freshness of the meat, the thrill of the sighting, or the luck in encountering an animal under these circumstances. Instead, I have a feeling that this milestone serves only as the foundation for the name from which Dickey was previously known: Groper.