A Day In The Life, with Madness

by Ken Carpenter

I woke up the other morning, patted the four furry heads bouncing around me on the way to the kitchen, listened to them moan in anticipation while they watched me prepare the coffee in a maddeningly slow manner, let them lead me out for the newspaper and then came back and plopped on the couch. Ho hum.
Just another boring start to another nondescript day? Not on your life! The first full day of March Madness was going to start in only three hours, and I don’t work anymore! Yahootie tacootie fashootie!
Ok, I’ll try to calm down and tell my sad tale.
A couple of weeks ago I wrote a story about the month of March and totally forgot to mention March Madness. That was a cardinal sin to any fan of the yearly men’s NCAA basketball tournament, and I am one of them. As penance, I gave myself 40 lashes with a dry noodle.
Hey, don’t mock me, that noodle was HARD!
Anyway, the week after the March story I did one on rabbits and foolishly promised at the end of it that I would do another one on the long eared fur balls this week. I have two words for you: Bugs Bunny.
Bugs is the most famous wabbit who ever lived, possibly even bigger than the Easter Bunny.
Oh yeah, they aren’t really alive. Forget it then.
I was born in The Year of the Rabbit according to the Chinese Zodiac. The very first line I read in my research of the subject said “Timid and attractive, Rabbits of the Chinese Zodiac tend to act more like bunnies, whether they like it or not!”
Ears dangling with mortification, I stumbled to the kitchen to rummage in the fridge for a carrot. I tried not to cringe when I discovered a fierce little gator face peering at me from the peel. Fate can be very unkind.
One of the Rabbits four lucky colors is pink and Rabbits are considered to be very sweet. Sweet is just tasty I thought uncharitably, and I wondered why in the hell I couldn’t have been born in the Year of the Dragon.
Before long I realized that it was 9:00 AM, time for the first game! Games would continue non-stop from 9:00 in the morning to 9:00 at night for the next four daze! I mean days, of course.
The following games continue at a diminished rate until the April 7 Championship. I almost felt like filing my teeth.
I had been distracted from life in general for almost a week. There was a billion dollar bracket to be filled out after all. For those who don’t know or care about such things, multi-billionaire Warren Buffet said that this year he would give a billion dollars to anybody who correctly picked all 63 of the 63 games in the 64-team tournament. Actually there were 68 teams but the first four games did not count. I know, I know, who cares?
I was out of the billion dollar race by Thursday afternoon on the first day of the tourney. Dejectedly, though I knew it was just a matter of time, I went outside to do my hayseed chores. Maybe, I thought, I’m more of a bumpkin than a hayseed.
My chores include feeding, watering, petting and caring for two goats, two rabbits (Grrr), a couple of dozen hens and two roosters. All of this is accomplished with four dogs milling around hoping you drop something tasty.
My wife helps when I need a day off, but I am the primary bumpkin.
It is usually no biggie, just daily things a guy does when he has a fake mini-farm. As I said before though, distraction had been my constant companion lately.
First, one of the goats, Buuster, rubbed against me and stared into my eyes accusingly. I then remembered that I forgot to come out and rub his head the day before when my wife Joy did the chores.
Then Baaxter, Buuster’s brother, butted me in the ass for being slow. I’m lower than a goat in the pecking order.
Then two of my favorite hens gave me a good cussing out for forgetting to toss my usual handful of grain on the floor of the coop. I guiltily went and fetched two handfuls and when I got back there were eight nagging hens waiting for me.
Apparently I’m lower than a chicken too.
They grudgingly forgave me when I spread the goodies out for them. After filling my vest pockets with eggs I retreated to the un-nagging sunshine and headed for the bunny condo.
Oh, I forgot, they are rabbits and I am the bunny. It’s funny how something inconsequential can haunt you at times.
With my head planted firmly inside my butt, I made three trips to the wabbit house when I could have done it in one. I also managed to bend over and break an egg inside my pocket.
At last I finished, or thought I had, so I headed inside to the mind numbing pleasures of another six hours of basketball games. After shedding my dung covered boots at the door I peeled off my egg infused vest and tossed it in the sink.
That is when I heard the ear splitting bleats of two starving and heartbroken goats. Crap! I had forgotten the most important part of their diet, the alfalfa.
I headed back outside and grabbed a flake of hay from the shed, then unlatched the gate and walked toward the goat cabin. Two steps in I realized that I was in my slippers. Muddy, poopy slippers, I might add. By the time my short trek was over my slippers were suffering, my clothes were covered with sneeze inducing hay bits and I had arrived at a foregone conclusion.
I was not a bumpkin or a hayseed. Either one of them could have performed my duties in half the time with no wardrobe disasters or animal bitching.
It seems that I had evolved into a haysod, maybe the first ever. Since the lowest of the lowest hayseeds could have executed my chores twice as efficiently as me, I had to be lower on the totem pole than them.
Yes, that would make me a haysod. I can’t think of anything else lower, especially since a haysod exists only in my imagination. That’s low man.
With resignation and determination, an odd couple indeed, I knew that I might not rise back up to hayseed status until the tourney was over.
So be it, I thought, and I managed to make it to the couch with no further indignities heaped upon my plate. By Friday night the last of 11 million contestants had been eliminated from the billion dollar sweepstakes.
I felt vindicated, because I really did have as good of a chance as anyone to win. Blind luck rules sometimes, and other times it doesn’t.
I hope there were at least a few other haysods mixed in there though. That would make me feel a hare better.
I mean “a better hare”.
No damnit! “A hair better”.
Yeah, that’s it.
Shit.

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