Barks of Larch

When you fall off the horse of life, git back on and ride like hell.

Monday, June 28, 2010

(A Bark of LARCH)
It was not a dark and rainy night in Northeast Arkansas, but a clear, humid day when a family oriented butcher shop discovered a marketing break through: Packaged Mother – In – Law.

Old line butcher retail and wholesale businesses after 200 years had almost became extinct as dinosaurs with chain grocery stores and WalMart competition. Mothers trusted the local butcher for fresh, healthy meat at low prices. Farmers relied on the local butcher to buy and slaughter their cattle, pigs, sheep and goats for their personal use and income. Of course, it was an accepted practice for tote, where the butcher took some of the farmers’ personal meat for his retail shelves. The butcher explained that there was about 55% waste in slaughtering animals to cover his tote poundage. The farmer got use to bringing in an 800 pound steer and carrying out three boxes of packaged meat that a four year old child could handle. When we farmers complained, the butcher rolled back his eyes in disgust with the meat cleaver in his hand, so we acquiesced.

For centuries of mankind, males were the dominant force in the tribes and villages. They had free use of females to prepare animals they killed, carry fire wood, fabricate shelters, frustration outlets for violence and sexual needs, and to raise the few children that survived for future slaves. But after several millions of years about the 20th century, women disrespectfully demanded rights – a concept that made Cro-Magnon and Neanderthal Man roll over in their graves. Women demanded voting rights (suffrage) and better working conditions, equal wages as men and sexual freedom for bi-partners. (I realize I’m treading on dangerous waters, but I have my airline tickets with false passport to Bangladesh in hand).

Well, men consented to voting rights but did not count them, working conditions in the garment industry and others improved somewhat, token management and supervisory positions were relented but the glass ceiling was strictly enforced as a code of manhood at all corporations, small or large. The first lap tops before electronics were women.

With this superficial evolution of women’s rights, the dreaded mother-in-law became more dominant in family life as an unwarranted harassment to beer drinking, womanizing, fun loving husbands. Presidents of countries, parliament and congressional officials, clerics, and prominent male leaders all were the standard bearers for male freedom and superiority. Rightly so. Albeit, the specter of a mother-in-law with constant nagging and devious coaching to their daughters became unbearable to red blooded men, wimps and girlie types excluded.

The salvation of man came unexpectedly in a family oriented butcher shop in a small Christian town in Northeast Arkansas. Coincidentally, Salem in New England about 400 years ago was foundered by Puritans with strict religious regulations. When youngsters did not like overbearing women, they called them Witches and the church leaders voted to burn them at the stake. So with that religious, God fearing precedent, the door was open for future action by men. In a recorded and fully documented event, a humble Geology instructor at a local college was side stepping the no-no word of evolution in his teachings in the strict community. Instead, he emphasized adapting to environmental changes as the basis for survival of the fittest for animal and plant species, including man. When fearful students mentioned Intelligent Design, he challenged them to visit airline and bus terminals in Dallas, Atlanta, and New York to observe the inconceivable inhabitants. Such an event also dispels the concept of evolution which has a connotation of improvement.

The Instructor had two large Nubian goats which he wanted to trade for a large sheep with a local, staff less sheepherder who had a large flock. The sheepherder picked up the goats, sold them at an auction sale, and retained the income for the sheep which he was feeding. Raising cattle for years and now sheep, the rancher had long time business relations with his butcher friend. When the sacrificial lamb reached 165 pounds, he delivered it to his butcher friend. As a long time resident, the butcher knew all the families and their squabbles. After imbibing in the nectar of the gods with a husband who was quite distraught with his mother-in-law, the butcher was enlightened by a message from space to switch the large sheep with the equally sized friend’s mother-in-law. Cannibalism, no way. An animal that devours members of its own species, like turkey, is a cannibal. But human cannibals eat their enemies for their courage and fierce spirit and, thus, are treated as healthy meat. A mother-in-law meets none of those qualifications. The butcher packaged the meat according to the buyer’s instructions who was notified it was ready to be picked up. Eagerly awaiting the promised lamb, the Geology instructor first cooked some chops. But they were very tough and did not taste like lamb, nor beef, nor pork. Now being a hunter, he’s eaten deer and wild pig but could still not savor this mystery meat. After cooking several pieces of the “lamb”, he decided to marinate the next piece in cheap red wine for three days as he had done with wild boar to soften it and eliminate the strong taste. Alas, his sharp knife could not cut the tough meat, nor could he relate the taste to known meats. As with most consumers, he was too shy to complain to the butcher or sheepherder as they would challenge his cooking and eating experiences.

The butcher and sheepherder were delighted with their success. No husband would ever complain about a missing mother-in-law and wives’ inquires were ignored as nagging women by police and all concerned. For the butcher, it was like a field of dreams, trucks were lined up for miles with local and out of state license plates delivering carcasses. Customers who ordered cattle, sheep and pig were given this mystery meat – an international taste sensation. This low priced meat has solved the world’s food shortage. Supply exceeds demand.

The butcher now has the first high rise butcher building, he had to open bank accounts all over Arkansas, his customer list represents countries from all over the world, and chain grocery stores are begging for supplies. Husbands around the world are smiling again for the first time in 200 years. Man has once again adapted to his environment for survival, and peace of mind.

@Copyright July 14, 2009 Don “LARCH” Loedding

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