Backyard Sex, Part Deux


We live in a semi-rural area. Well, mostly rural. We have houses and running water, but no streetlights, fireplugs, police officers, or Britney Spears sightings. (One good ol’ boy at the local hardware store actually swears that “Britney Spears” is something a spaniel does during a duck hunt.)

Another thing we don’t have is zoning restrictions. So even though we may look like a residential neighborhood from some angles, other angles will reveal that various folks have stocked their back yards with chickens, geese, sheep, goats, and donkeys. And they’re perfectly welcome to do so – ‘cause here along the Travis-Hays county line, a man’s home is not only his castle, but his Little Reata. (Just hit Netflix and rent “Giant.”)

Here at Casa Ramrod, all we have in the back yard are dogs. Or at least, that’s all we intend to have. In practice, at one time or another, we’ve also had squirrels, opossums, and armadillos (visually confirmed) as well as raccoons, bobcats, and skunks (otherwise confirmed). The occasional family of deer hops the fence. Plus, our veterinarian’s bulletin board sports a few too-curious-for-their-own-good doggie photos that provide direct evidence of porcupines in the vicinity.

But all of that’s not enough animal life for one of our nearest neighbors, who has gone the aforementioned chickens-geese-sheep-goats-donkeys route. He has even expanded his own Little Reata by fencing off some of the utility-easement alley behind our properties. All of which is cool with us, by the way. The more fur and feathers, the merrier. (Or at least the furrier and featherier.)

Our dogs Lucy, Linus, and Tillie were cool with it too . . .

. . . until the day the emus showed up.

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Hedwig (No, not the owl, silly)

If you have for some insane reason chosen to not yet view ‘Hedwig and the Angry Inch‘, hold still and we’ll fix you right now.

Here’s a clip of ‘The Origin of Love’ from it. It’s the most shattering explanation I’ve ever seen regarding the essential tragedy and glory of being human:



If that made you bleed a little, here’s the deepest cut.



Danger, Love, and Sex: Three Recent Encounters

Part I: Danger


When Barb and I moved to Austin in 1988, Bergstrom Air Force
Base was still active. F4 Phantoms shrieked overhead almost
every day, performing tight turns and close-formation maneuvers
that you wouldn’t have thought the old Cold War jets could
handle. But boy, could they. When the pilots gave ’em the
spurs, the Phantoms spat fire and roared like demons breaking out
of Hell. KA-POW. Walls shook and windows rattled.

Austin had a pocketful of danger at its southeast corner,
and there was the palpable sense that if anyone ever tried to put
the hurt on this city, the Phantoms would devour their souls.

Then: pffft. Virtually overnight, Bergstrom AFB was shut
down. The Phantoms had their guts ripped out so they could roar
no more.

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