I have always been fortunate to have good friends, but since I moved back to my home area I see even more why it is great to have them. Maybe because this area is a little more remote and things are a little harder to come by that you see more and more of folks pulling together to help each other out. Sometimes it is just about getting a laugh every now and again.
I was taking a trip out west a long time ago with a bunch of my buddies (who for the record, still are) and we were riding in a motor home. It was my turn to drive and my friend Bob was the copilot. Bob is a great guy and fun to travel with. As we were driving through Nebraska, all you could see from horizon to horizon were rows of corn. I know Bob was simply trying to keep me from dozing off, so he cranked up our conversation a bit. Somewhere in about the middle of the drive he looked right at me and asked if I knew what folks from Nebraska did for a living. I may have snapped a little and asked Bob what we had been looking at for the last few hours and he shrugged and said, “Corn.” “Then don’t you think their income may have a lot to do with corn,” I jabbed back. I couldn’t help it but I ended that portion of the conversation by adding, “Jeese, Bob, boy are you dumb!!” He shot right back at me within a 1/10th of a sec, “Well, at least I am dumber than you.” I started laughing and didn’t stop until we hit the Colorado border.
Bob’s remark became the signature line for the entire trip for our entire group. No matter what was said, the response was always, “Well, at least I am dumber than you.” Even to this day (almost 30 years later), it still occasionally comes out and everyone laughs and remembers that trip out west.
I can always use a good laugh and one day I was with a group of friends just catching up when someone’s name came up in conversation that I didn’t know. I guess I didn’t have to as one of the other guys in the group just took off on the guy. He said he was a dirty S.O.B. and a blankety blanket blah blah blah. He stopped long enough to catch his breath after his tirade and then continued, “But he is a pretty good guy. I’d have a beer with him.” I couldn’t help but laugh and filed away the name being bashed. Someday I may run into him and want to see if I’d have a beer with him.
As important as the laughs, friendship is certainly about helping out whenever you can. We were at camp recently when we received a text from a friend at a nearby camp. His ATV lost one of its rear wheels when a bolt let go and it was about a 3 mile walk back through some pretty swampy areas. It took all of about three seconds for the team in our camp to go into action. One started making a list of the necessary tools while another contacted another nearby camp to get one of their ATVs to use to get out and get the disabled machine fixed. Even though the sleet and snow were coming down pretty hard, the task at hand was to get the right tools together and get the machine and its driver out of the woods and back to someplace warm. It took a few hours but it was mission accomplished. Even though the disabled ATV driver was very thankful, it wasn’t necessary to say much as he would have been the first one to offer help if someone else found themselves in that situation and all knew it.
I know we all have stories of helping or being helped by friends and how good it felt either way. There certainly is a special bond among those that call themselves friends even if sometimes they are “dumber than you”…
And that’s the situation as I survey it …