Story last updated at 2:46 p.m. Thursday, October 3, 2002

Incessant rain, lumberjack moose bring early onset of attitude
Nick C. Varney
My, my, my, methinks this may be a tough winter. The psychological version of the Farmers Almanac (available online at ; $25.99 plus an equity loan for shipping and handling) predicts that people may start to crack early.

In fact, some mental meltdowns have already begun, probably due to persistent rainfalls that have beluga whales chasing winter kings through our back yard. I've had to moor my boat to a tree near the raspberry bushes and build a raft for my dog Howard's living quarters. The delivery lady now ties the newspaper to a buoy where I can retrieve it when I kayak my wife to her car in the morning. There is no question that the incessant deluge is getting on people nerves. For instance

Wild Willie is on the verge of a stroke because he hasn't been able to mow his lawn for over three weeks and he has lost two pigs, a gaggle of geese and his girlfriend in the undergrowth. The poor guy really wants those porkers and birds back and never stops whining about it.

Turk, on the other hand, could care less. He told Willie that the animals would come back when they got hungry enough and suggested putting a tracking collar on his wandering dudette. Turk added that if W.W. didn't shut up, he was going to position his head up the same place that the political soft money clowns have theirs.

Willie didn't get it until Turk started to rant about "insipid and obtuse political cartoons featuring a moose with a chainsaw." Willie replied that he thought the moose cartoons were cute and that they have him leaning toward supporting a certain lady for mayor of Alaska. Turk just rolled his eyes and murmured that the dude was so clueless that he thinks the Fran Fan buttons are appliance advertisements.

Being an independent, I stayed out of the debate because it wouldn't have made a spit of difference. Willie and Turk have been canceling out each other's votes for 25 years and will continue to do so 'til one of them takes the big dirt nap. When that time comes, the survivor probably won't vote again because he'll claim that the deceased has taken the fun out of it.

Turk will admit one thing though. As dense as Willie is, he still looks like a genius compared to the voters and polling precinct workers in Dade County, Florida.

Even my fishing buddy Louie, who is usually a mild-mannered, gentle soul, kind to small animals and a man of mild profanity when I do something stupid on his boat (talk about a statement that would make lie detector explode) has his Jockeys in a knot. I made the mistake of asking about some modifications he had done on his latest fish chaser. I'm still waiting for the fire to quit shooting out of his nostrils when he mentions the final bill.

Luckily, he doesn't hold a grudge. At least I don't think he does. Come to think of it, he hasn't invited me to go fishing since I lost a tie-down strap off his boat and then got into his new truck with saltwater soaked shoes that turned his carpet a unique off-white. It was a long walk home, but at least he waved at me when he went by. Either that, or he was just reminding me of how many straps I owed him.

The continuing inundation also seems to have waterlogged at least one driver's skull to the point that he is navigating with his brain stem. A few days ago, I was heading into town via the East End Road when a guy suddenly pulled his vehicle out in front of my little rig at the Kachemack Drive access. I had to lay on the brakes so hard that I lost a half an inch of rubber off my tires trying to avoid slamming into the rear of his pickup that was sporting an "I hate broccoli" bumper sticker (He obviously suffers from I.Q. envy).

The dolt was very fortunate. If I would have smacked him, he'd probably still be waiting for the cell that he was babbling on to pass naturally while running up an open line phone bill. That little incident has made me grumpier than Turk, Wild Willie and Louie put together.

Unfortunately, I don't have any more word space to address the plethora of messages left on my answering machine howling about campaign ads, grocery and alcohol taxes, etc. What I ought to do is play them during one of my commentaries on KBBI. The rants are funnier than Rodney Dangerfield after a half case of Moosehead. A majority of the callers sound like they've been smoking their hemp shirts.

It's going to be a long seven months.

Nick Varney wanders, stumbles or paddles into this space every three weeks or so.