Trout Republic - The birthday boy


Now Ol’ Dutch has never been much for parties but this past weekend Miss Trixie saw fit to throw him a birthday bash at the local gathering spot, resplendent with decorations, cake and the ever popular root beer float for the kicker.
There is one thing about Trixie that all of you should know: she is never one to miss out on an opportunity to party no matter how silly the reason. So our friends came and packed out the hall in attendance of my blessed event and we had what can only be called a “bash.”
A birthday comes around only once a year and I suppose that’s a good thing otherwise we all would be over 100 years of age by now. One of my friends has decided to have a birthday week and celebrate for the entire seven days surrounding his arrival on planet Earth.
As for me, I draw my limit at three days of celebration. At my advanced age, that’s time enough to have things properly feted.
When you are younger, birthdays are rites of passage which mean you can do age-related things like get your first driver’s license, buy your first booze (legally,) graduate, go to college and get married.
While having reached a certain age gives a person permission to engage in all of these things, it does not necessarily guarantee that same person has the ability to keep sane while doing them.
A lot of people reach 21 years of age for example, and end up plastered at some party or bar and all kinds of bad things then happen to them in the ensuing hours following such celebrations.
I knew a man who just happened to share the same last name as me and once he reached the minimum age for a liberal consumption of kickapoo joy juice he would go on binges and wake up married some weeks later in a hotel room in Oklahoma. Last I had heard old Bob had been married nine times and was most certainly on the path to number ten as he had not given up his excessive ways with John Barleycorn, the British folk name for beer and whiskey.
Now, I must tell you a story about my ex father-in-law, Wag, who was the spitting image of old Walter Matthau. One time, we went to the Saloon Show at Branson, Missouri which featured “Carry Nation.” Now, you remember ol’ Carry Nation, the leader of the temperance movement who made headlines back in the day by smashing all the liquor she could fine with a hatchet.
Well, during the Branson show, “Carry Nation” with hatchet in hand is going through the audience and asking folks if they had succumbed to the evils of the devil drink. And, of course, all the audience stooges say, “No!” because they don’t want to incur her wrath.
Until she gets to Wag. She looks that teetotaler man over and says, “And, you, sir, do you know the dreaded John Barleycorn?”
And, Wag says calmly, “Yeah, I do.” The audience roars laughing.
Carry pushes on, “You know John Barleycorn?”
Wag looking as straight as an arrow says, “I told you I did. He’s the union representative for locomotive engineers nationwide.” And, yes, there really was a man named John Barleycorn. But, as far as the audience was concerned that day, they thought poor old Wag himself had partaken in his own share of John Barleycorn.
Ol’ Dutch isn’t much for drinking but for his birthday did receive an expensive bottle of the old loudmouth soup which may end up being used for medicinal purposes in case of Indian attack.  
No matter the actual presents received, a birthday is certainly something to be celebrated by one and all. One of the attendees to my bash noted that Ol’ Dutch must be loved a lot for so many people to show up for the party. As good as that may feel to my ego, I have noticed that free food and old people tend to go together.
So next time the blessed date rolls around for you, just remember to stock up on ice cream, cakes and root beer floats. You are sure to draw a crowd and will feel elated regardless of their reasons of attending. Just pretend it›s all for you and you will have the best birthday of all.

Kevin Kirkpatrick and his Yorkie, Cooper, fish, hunt, ATV or hike daily. His email is [email protected] Additional news can be found at www.troutrepublic.com or on Twitter at TroutRepublic.

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