I went out to dinner one night and saw an old friend, Ray, at the restaurant. We can't bring up Ray without telling one of the best tales I've ever heard.

Back in the old days before meddling government bureaucrats sucked the fun out of everything, you used to be able to go to the general store and buy dynamite over the counter like aspirin and soap. It came in handy around the farm. You could get rid of those pesky beavers that were damming up the creek and flooding out your crops or you could clean out those fencerows and get rid of some of those bothersome tree stumps. Ray liked this last feature quite a bit.

One day, Ray was out blasting stumps along a fencerow. He'd pile up the dynamite, light the fuse, and blow a stump sky high. The team of horses could then be brought in to pull the stump carcass out of the way.

Ray was making good time near a road fence across from his neighbor's buildings. The neighbor saw what was happening and came over to inform Ray that he had no idea what he was doing and would surely end up killing somebody in the process. He encouraged Ray to cease and desist immediately. Ray saw things differently. He informed the neighbor that he DID know what he was doing and was not about to stop. The neighbor threw up his hands in disgust and left.

Ray proceeded to stack a very large quantity of the dynamite on one side of the stump closest to the field. He lit the fuse and backed up. The extra-large, off-center charge and the laws of physics combined to send the stump high into the sky with a trajectory such that it landed right in the neighbor's front yard!

The neighbor had no further objections.

Boy, those were the days! What I wouldn't give right now for a case of dynamite - just for beautification purposes, of course.

Guy No. 2

Read more articles from Jeff Ryan>