Only worth reading if you're familiar with erosion control
|The Last Straw
Ahhhhh,.... erosion control blankets. Brings back some fine memories from my youth. Back in the early forties the boys and me would earn some extra cash herdin' in strays up on the North Plateau. It was late fall and after a good long day of "Yee-hah" and "Git a long little doggie" (dachshund?) we'd all gather around the campfire for a fine plate of Shorty's fried beans, boiled steak and weevil biscuits. Them were some mighty fine vittles.
After the usual carousin’ and horseplay, during which someone was sure to git lassoed and drug through the campfire we would all settle down for a good night's sleep. In that chilly Fall air it always felt good to pull that old EC blanket over top of me and drift off to sleep watching the twinkling embers of the campfire as they scorched holes in Shorty's long johns.
Now, there's somethin' I ain't never thought of before now...Shorty, wore Long Johns! Get it? Shorty---Long John's. Ain't that a hoot!...but I digress.
Sure that old EC blanket might not of kept me warm as one of them Hudson Bay blankets the other fellows used but then agin I didn't pay for my blanket what they paid for theirs. And bein' as porous as it was sure did have its advantages, what with that 3rd and 4th helpin of Shorty's bean's, a good stiff breeze blowin through that EC blanket was a most welcome occurrence from time to time. Sure, them HB blankets had it all over the EC's when it came to insulatin and all but if you knew how to do it, why you could turn that EC into a mighty warm place to hunker down in. Here's the trick.
Always save that last weevil biscuit of Shorty's and just when you're ready to nestle in, crumble it up and sprinkle it over that there blanket. By mornin’ that blanket will be so full of rodents and such that you'll be mighty toasty and warm from their insulatin’ qualities. And here's the best part. If you're quick, you can just flip that EC blanket off of you and on to the cookin fire. Yep, that's another thing them EC blankets have over them HB's They're disposable, biodegradable and downright recyclable. Use'm one night and toss'm on the fire. Cut a new piece off'in the roll the next night and so on. Anyway , like I said. if you're quick you just flip it into the fire, go about your mornin business and then with a stick you can start fishin charred rodents and such from the burnin coals. Right about then is when I do my best Farley Mowat impersonation and down enuff of them to satisfy my hunger. I always try an be polite and offer some to the other fellas but they don't seem to have a hankerin for them.
If you do the weevil biscuit trick it's best to maintain a firm grip on the blanket during the night if you're in owl country. If you're lucky you got one that came with staples and your buddies can just staple you in for the night. Get’im to unstaple you in the mornin’ is another matter. Once or twice in my day I was all warm and snuggled one minute and naked as a jaybird the next as I watched a great horned fly away with my EC blanket. Best one though was when I woke one moonlit night to find a fine-feathered friend perched on my feet with a bloody meal clutched between claw and beak. Not being rightly able to identify the particular species of rodent which was providing that owl's repast, I immediately had a horrifying thought and proceeded to check all of my appendages...most quickly. For a brief moment I thought I was headed to Vienna to sing in a choir, but little Joey was still with me.
Remind me one day to recollect to you my experience on the Dark Continent, up near Albuquerque, herdin water buffalo. We weren’t even lucky enough to have EC blankets then. Best we could do was coat each other in tackifier and roll around in the underbrush until we resembled a large brown snowball. Kept us warm, but if’n it was windy, one or two of us always ended up a mile or so away by morning. Leastwise, until Lefty came up with the idea of stringin filter fence on the downwind side of camp. Sort of acted like flypaper and caught those of us that was beginin to stray.
So that there's my recollection of EC blankets and I thank you for bringin back them fine memories. Most folks in this day and age don't appreciate the fine qualities of an EC blanket. Why just the other day I was headin down the road and somebody had thrown a whole mess of them out on a hillside....what a waste. They been there so long grass was startin to grow in 'em. Who'd a thunk it? …….but enough of that fer now. All this talk has givin me a hankerin to fire up the hydroseeder and blast Ole Lady Crawford’s garbage cans down the street…..I get extra points if’n I can get’m airborne!