Smoky haze
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Smoky haze

Oct 03, 2023

Today's column is written in the grip of a smoky haze. That sentence was typed without one trace of irony or guilt.

Blame Canada.

This might not be the first time Canadian wildfires could be sniffed in the southeastern Kentucky hills but I don't remember another. From the smell of it half the country must be on fire. I don't think the rain we had here mid-week will help.

According to Meat, who knocked this morning just so I'd open the door to him wearing a gas mask, the wind machine China uses to steer their "weather" balloon is blowing the smoke directly at Beefhide. That's because there's a secret observatory at Beefhide.

"We've got to sabotage that wind machine."

It isn't the first time he's mentioned a secret observatory but it is the first time since Tater woke him up. I haven't tried to verify, but if there was a secret observatory at Beefhide somebody would know about it. He is right we need a windshift to take care of our smoke problem.

On the other hand, Canada's fire problem is going to take reinforcements. I hope they're coming. All I can do is question the guy at the door.

"Meat, where's Tater?"

"She's in Vermont doing family duty the last couple of weeks. She said its so smoky you can't leave the house up there."

"When's she coming back?"

"In about a week. Why do you want to know?

"Just checking. Haven't heard you mention any secret observatories lately."

"Tater might have changed the way I think but I didn't stop knowing what I know smart boy."

I pulled Meat in the door before that last exchange. Standing with it open was smoking up the house. Meat did not take off the gas mask, so everything he said had a Darth flavor.

"So Meat Vader, what's it going to take to shift the wind. How do we overpower a secret wind machine."

He pulled his mask off and replied earnestly. "Probably that low pressure system up east needs to move."

I flinched and shook my head. "But what about the Chinese?"

Meat looked at me like I was stupid. After a couple of beats to let the stupid sink in he said "what about the Chinese?"

He pulled the gas mask back over his head and pulled his best Darth breathing routine. "If I'm Meat Vader, does that make Tater Tater Vader? Haha! Tater Vader the Instigator! She dared me to wear the mask over here and report back."

He jumped up and shouted, "What about the Chinese!!!"

Meat hooted and beelined out the door. He was gone and the door closed before it dawned on me what the last 10 minutes was all about. Or not all about.

Which is to say it was all about my confusion. I think that's about where we started up there in the first sentence or two, right?

We've been in the grip of a smoky haze. We can say that without feeling irony or guilt. But maybe with a bit of foolishness.

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