Friday, June 3, 2011


I'm setting here this morning in my new caffeine shorts trying to lose a pound or two. And I was reminded of a hunting trip with my day, years ago.

My Dad really likes his coffee. If he does not get that first cup in the morning, he is a real bear for most of the day. Well, one morning when we were up hunting, he was walking the floor in his trailer. He hadn't had his coffee yet because when he packed up the trailer, he forgot the innards for his coffee pot. And seeing as my brother-in-law Robert and I wanted some coffee also, I volunteered to make some good old cowboy coffee. So I filled the pot with water, lit the burner, placed the pot on the burner, and started to put coffee in the pot.

Well, Dad hollered and cussed a blue streak. He said there is no way in h### he was going to drink coffee with grounds floating in it. He said he would chew the grounds before he would drink any of it. I told him that all he needed to do was strain the grounds through his teeth, and I and Robert laughed.

Boy, oh boy, did Dad go off then! He said for me to not even try to make any of that cowboy sludge. He would think of something, and HE would make the coffee before we started to make breakfast. Well, what could we say? We went ahead and got our gear ready, and loaded up the truck. When we came back in, Dad was in a much better mood. He had that coffee pot just perking right along.

Robert and I never said a word. We set the table and sat down. Dad had also made breakfast. Man, did it look good. And we could smell the fresh coffee, bacon, hash browns, eggs, and toast with orange juice. A great meal for the mighty hunters.

Until it was time to chow down.

Dad poured us our coffee, we were just taking our first bites, and Dad was taking his first sip of coffee, and Dad gave us a funny look. He looked kind of crosseyed, and his face turning a kind of greenish gray. He then took another sip and asked us if the coffee tasted kind of funny. Well, I hadn't had any yet.

Dad took another sip and got greener around the eye balls. He spit out the coffee. He gave us a dirty look and demanded that we each take a sip. So Robert and I knew something was up. Robert and I looked at each other as we picked up our cups and gave each other a look that said you-go-first.

Well, that coffee DID have a funny taste to it. Kind of like soap. Robert and I spit out the coffee we had not swallowed back into our cups. At the same time we both asked what in the heck he used to make the coffee taste like this.

Well, he looked at us and said that he thought that if he put the grounds in a clean sock and put it in the coffee pot, that it would perk around in the pot and make coffee. And Dad then took another sip and said that it didn't quite taste like soap, but more like Downy fabric softener.

Well, duh -- Mom had cleaned his stuff and had used Downy as she always had. We threw out the coffee and ate our breakfast. Robert and I tried real hard not to look at each other, cause we knew that if we did we would lose it and laugh our heads off. We already knew we would pick on Dad the rest of our hunting trip.

Even our breakfast tasted like Downy. I went and used about half a bottle of mouthwash to get the taste out of my mouth. I don't know what Robert used. My Dad told us to just leave the mess, and we would clean up from breakfast when we got back to camp. So we loaded ourselves in the truck and away we went.

Robert dropped off Dad at the spot he wanted to hunt, and dropped me maybe about a half mile from my Dad. Robert when on down the road to where he wanted to hunt. I walked into the heavy timber. I found a nice place to park my butt, and wait for my chance to get my deer.

I sat there for a few hours, then I heard a shot. It came from the direction of where my Dad was. Then I heard another shot from the same direction. I started walking to where my Dad was, hoping that I might get a shot along the way. As I was walking through the trees, I heard a truck go by. Maybe it was Robert, and he had heard the shots also.

I never did see anything, and as I came upon my Dad I saw he had a nice fat doe on the ground, and had it almost field dressed. He looked at me, all smiles and such. So, I helped him finish field dressing his deer. As we were working I asked him how far of a shot was it. He turned a little red, and said it was maybe 40 feet or so. I gave him a look, wondering how the deer could have gotten so close. Well just as he was going to tell me, Robert showed up.

We dragged the deer out of the woods, and down to the road where Roberts truck was. We loaded up the deer and we headed back to camp. As we neared camp, Robert leaned a little forward and looked at me. Robert asked, do you smell something? And I told him I did, and it smelled a lot like Downy. We both leaned in towards the center of the seat where Dad sat and we both inhaled deeply. Robert said that Dad's clothes smelled of Downy. I took in another whiff, looked at Dad, and said it wasn't his clothes, it was his breath. At just that time we pulled into camp, and Robert and I jumped out of the truck before Dad could smack us or say a word.

Dad grouched at us a bit, and we helped him hang up his deer. As it was hung, Robert gave the deer a sniff, looked at Dad, and before Robert could open his mouth Dad told Robert that if he said a single word he would be sleeping in a wet sleeping bag outside.

But I couldn't let this pass.

I sniffed, and sniffed, and sniffed all around Dad's deer. Finally stopping in front of the deer's head I took another sniff, looked at my Dad, and asked, "What did you do? Did you try to kiss this deer? Cause we both can still smell the Downy on your breath."

Well, Robert and I ran around the camp for a bit while Dad tried to whack us with a big stick. He never did catch us.

For dinner that night we had fried taters, salad, steak, and cobbler in a dutch oven. And, oh yeah, we also had cowboy coffee. By the end of our hunting trip, Dad found out that cowboy coffee was not all that bad, as long as the sugar held out.

When we got home and Dad talked to Mom, he spilled the beans about himself. Robert and I never did tell her about how it seemed that his deer smelled of Downy. But Mom made a remark about how his deer seemed to be kind of spring time fresh, even when it was Fall.

The following year, Dad tried to make nylon-sock coffee. Robert and I never found out if Mom was missing a pair. And, yeah, it was NOT good.

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