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"Tits-up in a ditch." Wyoming stories.

"If cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all." -Oscar Wilde

I'm laughing rereading Fine Just the Way It Is by Pulitzer Prize-winner author Annie Proulx. It's a book of marvelous short stories set in Wyoming. Her stories are hard as flint and stunning. I have all of her books. Proulx wrote The Shipping News and "Brokeback Mountain."

In this story (see headline), Bonita Lister thinks about her husband:

"Verl Lister was burden enough. He could not run the ranch alone and they often had to ask their neighbors to throw together and help out. Of course it was because he had been wild in his youth, had rodeoed hard, a bareback rider who suffered falls, hyperextensions and breaks that had bloomed into arthritis and aches as he aged. A trampling had broken his pelvis and legs so that now he walked with the slinking crouch of a bagpipe player.

"She could not fault him for ancient injuries, and remembered him as the straight-backed, curly-headed man with beautiful eyes sitting on his horse, back straight as a metal fence post. But a man, she thought, was supposed to endure pain silently, cowboy up and not bitch about it all day long. She, too, had arthritis in her left knee, but suffered in silence."

I laughed thinking of foolish guys who refused ear protection around extremely loud noises, thinking it was pantywaist. Of course now they're near-deaf. A pilot I met lost 50% of his hearing from walking between the plane and airport near screaming jet engines.

Near-deaf guys who don't wear hearing aids are no fun. I refuse to spend my life shouting and repeating myself. Plus they miss my witty asides and smart-ass comments.

LiterateHiker 9 Feb 12
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6 comments

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1

WHA-A-A-A-----T ???

twill Level 7 Feb 13, 2022
1

“Tits-up in a ditch” headline is an excellent method of getting a man’s attention. Now I’m sweating. I haven’t read this book but now I’m intrigued, confused, and a little bit frustrated.

@Garban, @Canndue, @tioteo, @bobwjr, @Detritus, @AnonySchmoose, @CuddyCruiser, @Serenityseeker, @Mitch07102, @@HippieChick58, @WayneDalton, @RichCC

"Tits-Up in a Ditch" is the name of the story in Fine Just the Way It Is, a book of Wyoming stories by Annie Proulx. A little later in the story:

"Spring was the hardest time, the weather alternating between blizzards and Saharan heat. On a snow-whipped evening, Verl said a cow who tried to climb a steep, wet slope that apparently slid out from under her, had landed on her back in the ditch.

"Had me some luck today. Goddamn cow got herself tits-up in the ditch couple days ago. Dead, time I found her," he said in a curiously satisfied tone.

"Not every man would say that is luck," said Bonita wearily."

I won't tell the end of the story. Someone else ends up tits-up in a ditch.

@LiterateHiker Those Wyoming men sound like a fine gentle souls. We Florida men are much the same. When was the last time you saw an outrageous headline that started with the words “Florida Man: fill in stupid crap here…” NEVER🤪

@LiterateHiker
I didn't even notice the TUIAD statement. From what I've seen, that kind of verbiage tends to be purposely made for exactly the reason you said -- to get reactions from guys. Ha, ha.

My wife's and my mother's families are both from ranch country though. My mother's father, my grandfather, literally homesteaded north of the Grand Canyon and my wife grew up near her uncle's ranch outside Ashland, MT. I've enjoyed western stories pretty much all my life.

So just out of curiosity I'm looking up Annie Proulx books as of today. Obviously you're not much of a reader (/snark) so I noticed enough to decide to check them out per your recommend. We'll see. Ha, ha.😎

@RichCC

Enjoy! Annie Proulx lives in Wyoming and Newfoundland. She wrote five or six collections of Wyoming stories. Hilarious, beautifully written, hard as flint and stunning.

"Brokeback Mountain" is a story in "Close Range- Wyoming Stories." Also "The Half-Skinned Steer," a chilling story. Whew! Will never forget it.

Her first book "The Shipping News" won a Pulitzer Prize. Highly recommend it.

How many 15 year-old-girls do you know who read the complete work of Shakespeare, Dickens, Dostoyevsky and Tolstoy? takes a bow

@LiterateHiker As soon as I read the phrase "Tits-up in a ditch" I had the impression of a situation, any situation, that has gone to hell. I figured it was just an open range figure of speech. I'm gobbling down nonfiction at present, but I will keep Annie Proulx in mind.

1

You don’t like men….why Do you keep trying to date one?

@Cannudue

You're incorrect.

I like athletic, intelligent men with a great sense of humor who treat me with respect and kindness. I want a man who also loves hiking. Witty banter delights me. A tall order.

@LiterateHiker Well, 2 outta 3 ain’t bad🎶

@LiterateHiker So intelligent 👍, witty 👍, athletic——let’s just say I keep my muscles and six-pack inside a foam cooler……..does that count?

2

👂eh, wha’d you say Martha

1

Yeah, I've known too many like that.

2

Vets have a similar story

bobwjr Level 10 Feb 12, 2022
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