Where is On Star When You Need Them- Locked Out of My Truck in the Woods at Night

On Sunday afternoon at 3PM on November 13, 2011, I was sitting on the edge of my Lazy Boy biting my nails watching the New Orleans Saints and their largest rival; the Atlanta Falcons go into overtime. I had made my choice for the rest of the afternoon. Deer Hunting won out over going to church. I seem to have better contact with the good Lord in the woods than I do in church. So I thought. I think God has a sense of humor.

Finally the game ended and Drew Brees and the Saints were victorious. My bags and my guns were already packed in the Silverado. When I passed by the kitchen, I saw my truck keys on my LSU Lanyard lying on the kitchen counter. I saw myself in slow motion picking up the keys. I live out here in the woods you see, and I usually leave one set of keys in the ignition and one set in the consol. Well, I thought, one of my employees drove my truck, removed the keys, and put them on the counter.

Hey Jesus can you give me a ride back home

I've been out here in this world too long on my own
I won't bother you no more
If you can just get me in the door

I opened the Silverado door and there were my keys in the ignition. I saw myself in slow motion putting the spare keys on the floorboard. Then I started the diesel engine, and she purred to life like a cat. Then I set the GPS for previous destination, Stand. When I got to the hunting lease, I got out and unlocked the gate. Then I drove 1.7 miles on the dirt logging road to my stand.  I opened the truck door and surveyed the woods and collected my thoughts. Where am I? Old Timers was setting in again. Was I getting in the truck or was I getting out of the truck. One good thing about old timers, you can hide your own Easter eggs. Then I realized the door alarm was sounding because the keys were still in the ignition. The alarm was warning the local deer that I had arrived. I saw myself in slow motion removing the keys from the ignition and placing them on the dashboard. Then I opened the back door, retrieved my bag of snacks, transistor radio, 30:06 rifle, bullets, flash light, and coffee thermos bottle. What is the smartest thing in the world? A thermos bottle. It keeps hot things hot and cold things cold. How do it know? I saw myself in slow motion looking at the keys on the floor and on the dashboard and closing the door. I loaded my weapon, put my rifle sling over my right shoulder and closed the door. I turned and took 3 steps through the crackling oak leave carpet on the ground away from the Silverado, when the horn blowed. Instantly I reached in my pockets to see if I had a spare set of keys. Then I checked for my cell phone. I remembered that I had left it plugged into the charger by my computer on the kitchen table.

I decided to make the best of a bad situation. I calmly walked 30 yards through the woods, climbed into my box deer stand and enjoyed the peace and quiet of the woods until dark. I got a few prayers in as well, including “If it is your will, please open the truck door.”

When I returned to the Silverado, I shined the flashlight into the door window and tried the lock. Datgome- just what I expected- Still locked. I decided to break out the back glass rather than walk the mile and a half in the bear and coyote infested dark woods. At least all of the walking would be down a clearly marked logging road. But it was up one mountain and down another one. Then I remembered that I was wearing Doe in Heat. I remembered the bear that sniffed at me last year while I was up in the deer stand.

I opened the back camper shell door, rolled out the sliding bed, reached into my tool box, and took out a hammer. I stood with the hammer looking at the back truck door window for a long time, thinking how much a window cost to repair. I thought about shooting out the glass with my 30:06, but figured that it would either blow a hole in the side of the truck or break out both windows. I am a guy who drives the handicap cart through the warehouse that they call Walmart. I held the hammer out about ready to break the glass. Then I got concerned about glass shattering into my eyes. So I took out the large crowbar. I took a few practice swings remembering my baseball days and my Babe Ruth Swings. Then I swung the crowbar into the glass hoping it would smash into center field. The sound echoed through my hearing aids and made my ears ring. To my amazement the crowbar bounded off the window like it was made of steel. I gave up, turned and started walking through the night. Flashlight pointed to the ground to avoid stepping on one of the many rattle snakes as big as a log truck.

When I started out I was so young and so strong
I just let it roll off my back when things went wrong
Now it's starting to get to me
All of this inhumanity

I was struck by the feeling that I was really not afraid. I remembered a story my momma used to tell at the camp fires about one of my first deer hunting experiences when I was maybe 9 years old. I was sitting next to my momma on a logging road on the Mississippi River near Glascock Island. My grandfather Roddy White had made this road along with our hunting camp for his men to cut virgin timber. I had my very first gun, and it shot ping pong balls. A doe walked out and stood in the road. “Shoot him Momma.” She would not shoot the doe, so I did- right in the heart. The ping pong ball bounced off and the dead doe just up and ran away. It was a miracle. I jumped up and chased after the doe. Momma screamed, “Come back, Butch- There are lions, tigers, and bears out there!” I was not afraid then and I was not afraid on this particular night.

You wouldn't know it by looking at me now
But I was showing some promise once upon a time
But it's gone now
And it ain't coming back
My time's come and gone
It's as simple as that

My mind drifted as I walked in the darkness about our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Larry the Cable Guy says Get-R-Done and that he don’t know the difference between Iran and Iraq. How afraid are these guys? Everyone wants to blow them up. What is it about a person who would want to blow up another person’s legs off? What is it about a person who would want to put a thousand Jews in a gas chamber? What makes a person do this? What makes a man beat his wife and kill her? How on earth did it progress this far? And why did she not just get up and leave him. I know why and so do you if you care to admit it. Jesus is alive and well here in the 21 century and so is the Devil. The devil is just as alive now as he was in the year of 01 and he is not wearing cute little red costume with the horns. Get behind me Satin. He is alive to whisper in any ear that will take the time to listen. And Jesus said, “Behold I stand at the door.”

The Lord is my Sheppard.  He watches out for me. I have no ideal why, because I certainly have let him down many times.  Just turned my back on him and walked the other way, so many many times. Although I was in the military 13 years during the height of the Vietnam War, I never saw combat. Daddy, a Marine Corp Military Police in the South Pacific during World War 2,  always used to say, “War was like a turkey shoot, but you are the turkey.”

I was a little scared of the bear and my doe in heat. I remembered an old Jerry Clower story about the New Bull. “I just want him to know that I am a bull.” A buck snorted at me and I snorted back at him. The moon was almost full. I walked carefully through the night in my fluorescent tennis shoes. The woods were alive with the sounds of an orchestra of a million crickets and frogs. The stars were bright and twinkling. Twinkle twinkle little star. How I wonder where you are. I thought about the Crossett Ghost that I have seen so many times before.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I watched the sky for UFOs and flying saucers. My other brother Joe had seen some in the same area. I remembered the time back in 1972 when I was in the Air Force and saw the 3 flying saucers flying orbital maneuvers over Clinton Sherman, Oklahoma. I thought about flying saucers.

 

I saw the flickering lights of what appeared to be distant helicopters on maneuvers, and a few jets going from Monroe to Dallas. I saw the big and little dippers, Venus in Blue jeans, and the Milky Way Candy Bar.

 

Hey Jesus this world is just too troublesome for me
I try to fight off all these devils but I'm just too weak
When I'm out here walking all alone
I feel like taking my life but I won't
Too big a coward, can you give me a ride back home

Thanks to Johnny Cougar Mellencamp for the words and music playing in my head. I named my cat Johnny Cougar after him. Hey Jesus video


It was a good opportunity to pray. “Jesus get me out of here and I will give you everything I own.” When I first saw the distant street lights at the gate in front of Kenny Roger’s house trailer. “Jesus get me out of here and I will give you half of everything I own.” When I opened the gate and sat on Kenny Rogers porch. “Jesus good talking to you. Thanks for getting me out safely, talk to you tomorrow.”

Kenny is like most country folks, he is trustful. He leaves his keys in the ignition so he want loose them. But he is not that trustful. Most country folks keep a loaded double barrel next to the front door, just in case. His truck door was open, the keys were inside. I tried to blow the horn so he would know I was outside, but the horn would not blow. I did not need to blow the horn, because the dogs in the trailer had already sounded the alarm. I thought about staring his truck and driving home. Bur remembered what the good book says, “Do what Jesus would do.” Jesus would not have locked his keys in the truck. By now it was 9:30PM. The horn in his second truck did blow. No lights came on and I figured no one was home.

I shouldered my rifle and walked further down the road to his mother’s house. I knew she had 3 outside junk yard dogs because they had chased me down the road for the past 2 years. I walked fairly close to the dogs who were barking to raise heck. I stooped down to their level. I usually get bit by little bitty ankle biters. But I did not want to take a chance on these junk yard dogs. My preacher friend in Oklahoma had a junk yard dog and it made me get 12 stitches in my rather large rear end. I decided to walk back to Kenny Roger’s house and sit in a rocking chair on the front porch. I scoped out the 2 outside porch couches and decided that I could spend the night there. There was some Coors beer in an ice chest by the rocking chair. Surely he want miss just one.

I sat there drinking a cold beer listening to Kenny’s dogs having a conniption fit for about an hour when headlights came down the deserted logging road where Kenny calls home. He pulled into his driveway and recognized my Hank Williams JR silhouette by the light of the silvery moon. “How you doing, MR George?”, although he and I are about the same exact age. It is the southern family tradition.

I had planned on asking Kenny to drive me home. “Where you been?” I asked.

“Montgomery Alabama delivering a truckload of wrecked insurance cars.”

“Can I borrow you phone, I left mine plugged into the house charger on the kitchen table.”

“Where is your truck?”

“I locked my keys in the ignition down there at my stand.”

“Not again, MR George.”

“Yep.”

He stood leaning on the porch post and we talked for about an hour until my other Brother Joe Showed up with our common van.

The next morning around noon, Joe and I pulled up behind the locked Silverado. I took out my cell phone that was fully charged, punched in On Star, and asked them to open my truck. It took about 3 minutes. Where would the world be without On Star. The used Silverado came with On Star and I was glad I activated it. A lock smith charged Joe $200 to come out and unlock his truck and make a spare key. I enjoy using On Star. Sometimes when I am on a long trip, I call them up on my mirror phone just to talk to a live person. You never know what country they are in or how the weather is. Sometimes I set On Star and the GPS just to keep me awake on the road and not miss any turns. I remember once hunting till 9PM and trying to drive back to Baton Rouge to work. I made a right hand turn on Interstate 45 in Alexandria and did not realize that I had made a wrong turn until I saw the signs saying Welcome to Natchitoches. I had driven 80 miles in the opposite direction. Sometimes it seems like my life is headed the opposite direction. Does yours?

If you enjoyed this fish tale, then you will love my novel about my childhood fishing tales.

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