Weekly Posting of the Conservative Cow Doctor


Tar and Feathering Royalty

Much time has passed since I offered marital advice, so it’s about time I release a second edition of the traits you should look for when selecting a trophy wife. My first release addressing this topic was in the spring of 2006 and was so well received a reader of the local paper purchased a display ad chastising me as being sexist. She has moved out of Montana, so here we go. If you are a regular reader of this column you know I am in the midst of adding on to my house to accommodate my growing ranks of grandchildren. Number eleven hit the ground and is up and sucking, with number twelve due in early November. The trophy wife and I began saving for this project about a year ago intending to purchase the construction using very little of our own sweat equity. Plans changed. Apparently there are thousands of other Yellowstone County residents with similar ideas, because demand has sucked up most of the construction services. With Christmas just around the corner, I am the engineer, general contractor and undocumented laborer in veterinary coveralls and cow manure and it has made for some long hours. In projects past, I relied on my homemade, child-labor force, but they all have homes, children and projects of their own, so it is back to just me and the trophy wife. We should have had more children.

I harvested logs for purlins, ridgepoles, floor joists and support posts in early July. I spent most of July and August peeling, notching and assembling the log framework in the shade of the cottonwood trees outside my tack shed. Because this is supposed to be a family project, I solicited the services of my trophy wife to run the handles of a drawknife. She diligently attacked the task but could not efficiently skin logs in a manner justifying the sweat she was generating. After a couple logs she was eager to continue, but I suggested we find her a task more fitting to her size and strength. Just like a government employee in shutdown mode, this meant she had nothing to do until I finished the concrete on the foundation.

Last Friday, I stripped the forms off the cellar walls and hauled them back to town. While at Macon Construction Supply I asked if they sold the tar used to seal foundations. They did. I asked if it could be applied with a brush and the clerk said, “Most people just grab a glob and smear it on using their PVC gloves.” A brilliant thought sparked in my mind.

“Do you sell those gloves,” I asked. They did. “Do you have them in a ladies size?” They did.

Sunday morning it had warmed enough for cellar sealing, so I explained the process to the trophy wife, handed her the gloves and opened the five-gallon can of black goo. She climbed down the step ladder into the cellar pit and went straight to her work. What actually transpired in the excavated hole hiding the cellar is known only to her, the concrete walls and the tar. Druann only laughs and the other two are not talking. Anyway, the trophy wife emerged from the earth covered in tar; there was a golf ball sized glob hanging in her hair and her coat and pants were a total loss. She looked like the famous and well photographed oily pelican walking the beaches of Texas after the British Petroleum oil spill. For the next seven days, everything I touched was dripping with tar; the broom handle, door handle, ladder rungs, circular saw, and even the steering wheel on the car. Through all this, she muttered not a word of complaint as if rolling in the tar was just all part of the job and this brings me to my point.

When selecting a trophy wife, study her pedigree and be certain she does not descend from royalty. When I think back over our 34 years and all the challenges we have faced from long nights in wet sleeping bags, to bears eating camp groceries, to man-handling a bucket of tar, I have never heard her complain. She is definitely not a princess and I am one lucky guy to have her.

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