Below is a glimpse into the management style of your slightly deranged Rangeland rancher and vintner. I recently sent this email to my ranch manager.
I write to you from a hospital bed in Templeton. This saga began about 6pm yesterday when I went to grab the Ram pickup to feed the sheep.
When I started to load the hay, I found to my dismay and consternation, the tailgate latch handle entirely missing. So I soldiered ahead by loading the 100 lb hay bale _over_ the tailgate. Onward to the sheep, where I climbed up into the truck to toss hay into the pen. I noticed that, between the alfalfa and bare metal pickup bed, I had quite the skating rink underfoot. I also noticed the hay hooks could be stowed more safely. No problem, I surmised, I can handle this. The first flake-toss went smoothly. On the second toss, however, my feet started to go. Soon I was high stepping like Charlie Chaplin on methamphetamine, trying to regain my footing. Then my feet went high and my ass low as I flopped with clunk and a meaty stabbing sound, flat to the truck bed with a hay hook buried in my back.
At this point, I was disoriented from shock and feeling somewhat uncomfortable from the do-dad stuck between my back ribs. I was having trouble catching my breath, probably due to my collapsed lung. I worked my way upright, lowered myself gingerly from the truck bed and began to walk for home. I hadn't gone far when my greatest fear, my worst nightmare was realized. I was slammed forward to the ground from behind.
I saw stars as I hit the ground and felt the gravel grind my forehead to the bone. My limbs and back were being gripped and clawed by four slashing paws of a big cat while his full weight drove the hay hook deeper and pinned me to the ground. The hook ground noticeably against my ribs and perforated my innards further. The cougar's teeth hammered my skull and gnawed relentlessly as I struggled to free my leatherman and open the blade. After a long wrestle, I was able to roll over to my back and--onto the hay hook! The new pain caused me to lurch and scream maniacally as I faced the cat for the first time. Startled by my convulsions, he whipped his blood and slobber-soaked muzzle from side to side, bearing his huge choppers in a blood soaked, demonic snarl. I was exploding now with adrenaline, I jabbed my thumb into his left eye socket while I drove my trusty steel into his neck, just below the powerful jaw. Hot blood burst from his neck and I soon felt the life recede from his powerful body. The lion gurgled his last as I heaved his carcass to the side and lurched to my feet. I staggered home and passed out at Lisa's feet.
The doctors sewed me up with 171 stitches. They think my lung and ruptured liver (toughened by years of enthusiastic alcohol consumption) will eventually heal. Lisa may never forgive me about the blood stains on her white leather Tesla interior as she rushed me to the ER.
This story is based on a real event. The tailgate latch on the pickup was broken. All other events are an elaboration on this rock solid foundation of truth. The moral of this story is, you should always tell your boss if something is broken and see that it is repaired in a timely fashion.
Adelaida Springs Ranch, home of preposterously good Rangeland wines and meats
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