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Jul 07 2008

Keep South Austin just gimme that countryside

bufo_gulf_coastus.jpg

As is always the case when I forget I have a blog, I’ve been getting emails from concerned blamers who have gotten it into their heads that the reason I’m not posting regularly is that I have been out sick with cancer again. I am sincerely moved by your interest in my tumors, but the truth behind my absenteeism is nothing nearly so dramatic as impending doom. I have merely been farting around in the boondocks with my horse Stanley.

Regular readers will recall that last fall, after a 30-year hiatus from equestrianity, I acquired a giant 7-year-old quarter horse gelding named Stanley. Since then I have been more or less transfixed by Stanley’s magnificence. He is hot stuff. Stingray alludes to him as my “boyfriend.” I would rather hang around watching Stanley eat hay than do anything else.

Just call me Ahlivah.

In fact, the excellence of Stanley, and by extension the excellence of the bucolic life in general, is so riveting that when I am Stanleying I find it almost impossible to even remember that there is a patriarchy to blame. Thinking up sarcastic things to say about human rights crises pales in comparison to shoveling manure. To discussing the sugar content of forage with the barn manager. To whittlin’.

These simple pursuits have worked wonders on my post-chemo physique, I might add. For the first time since my 247 cancer surgeries, assorted radioactions, and poisonings, I have biceps. Their names are Thelma and Louise. They will fuck you up.

I fully expect that once I sufficiently re-acclimate to the rustic schedge I will be able to resume my duties as That Internet Feminist With the Delightful Demeanor full-time. Meanwhile, it’s not like I’m not making subconscious notes, you know, while I’m hoisting hay bales. For instance, it won’t surprise you to learn that, although the horse world is populated so overwhelmingly by women you’d think it was a separatist cult, it remains patriarchal to the core. A shocking expos√© is in the offing!

In the interim, perhaps you might content yourselves with this photo of one of eight Gulf Coast toads I found living under a water bucket in the barn this morning. My toad-wrangling chops are not what they once were, or the photo would have contained all eight specimens. You know how it is; when you remove a water bucket from a settlement of toads secreted thereunder, their interest in being photographed — which interest was scant at best — instantly evaporates, and they biff off in all directions, hopping mad.

By the way, Green Acres has often been hailed as a mid-century masterpiece of broadcast existentialism. Fuck that. I could never understand why Lisa didn’t just blow off that dweeb Oliver and get back to her penthouse. And what about that Post cereal ad at the end of the YouTube video? Skin crawls.

20 comments

  1. Mehitabel Moody Moss

    Firstly, I am so glad you left us for pleasure and not pain.
    But my overriding thought after reading this post is that it fully explains why girls love horses.
    I thought it was about feeling the saddle rubbing on your vulvar area while trotting but that never explained why girls with no access to horses were also obsessed.
    Now we know – horses can make you forget the patriarchy! If even for a fleeting time.
    I am so glad you can be out and about Stanleying, because vacations from the hard work of blaming are needed. Go grrrl!

  2. funder

    Dear Twisty,

    After your meditations upon the horse world have completed, can you explain to the Junior Blamer Horsewomen in your readership why the Patriarchy is screwing us over on the price of hay? And please don’t simply say “bioethanol,” because the whole concept is completely fucking ridiculous.

    Congrats to Thelma and Louise. And Stanley is a lucky gelding. I hope you whisper revolutionary feminisms in his ears as you groom him.

  3. Theriomorph

    Being continually transifixified by Gilgamesh, who is only 77 pounds of transfixification, I fully understand the Stanley situation.

  4. thebewilderness

    The toads are delightful, the horsing around superb, but did you ever try to chew a grape nut? It’s like chewing gravel. No wonder the “Foley girls” are all anorexic, if that’s what’s for breakfast.

    I’m very glad that you are well.

  5. Mikeb302000

    Dear Twisty, I’ve been reading your blog for two years, every word, every comment. This is my first attempt at commenting, hopefully you’ll find it acceptable. The truth is I’ve been a little intimidated by you and your friends.

    The reason I’ve decided to delurk is simply to thank you for so much great reading and so many thought-provoking ideas. I mean that from the bottom of my heart.

    I relate to the patriarchy blaming so much, I think, because I’ve been doing it myself for years.

  6. Cass

    “By the way, Green Acres has often been hailed as a mid-century masterpiece of broadcast existentialism.”

    In the original concept, Eddie Albert left his pastoral life to live with Eva Gabor on Park Avenue, just because he was her husband. The producers decided however that that took the show too far into surrealism.

  7. tinfoil hattie, posting as The 7th Foley Girl

    I believe twisty may have unearthed the original source of my blaming soul. Watching the video, I felt an old, visceral “But-that’s-not-fair!” feeling and I remembered how much I HATED Green Acres as a kid.

    Not that I wanted her life on Pahk Avenoo, but I wanted her to not have to move to a goddam farm if she didn’t want to!

    Grape Nuts. Bah. Chewing Gravel, indeed.

  8. Antoinette Niebieszczanski

    Grape Nuts’ taste can be improved by soaking it in 1 c. of whole milk and nuking it for about 30 seconds. Adding a generous lump of butter is recommended.

  9. Windstorm

    Awwww, Stanley sounds like the cutest (how is it that “cute” has nothing to do with hugeness), smartest, most huggable, love-bucket ever. WANT.

    And toad-wrangling! For some reason I feel like crying I’m so happy to read this.

    Yes, the “she’s my wife so she has to live MY way, no matter what her needs are” is totally skin-crawlingly terrifyingly horrible. OMG. Isn’t he the guy who claimed to be that poor woman’s baby’s father?

    Love your post, as always, Twisty.

  10. ghost of a dead Nazerene on a stick

    Taking the duct tape off the Blame button for one comment:

    I know I “talk too much”, sometimes—especially here—but, when I just shut-up-and-read, I get all verklempt.

    Twisty, you have an A-1 commentariat here, but I guess you already knew that.

    Or maybe it’s your judicious tending of the comment garden, which, I assure you, hurts my feelings sometimes:o).

  11. slythwolf

    Hell, if I had a horse I would forget there was an internet, much less a patriarchy. Good on you, Twisty.

    I say we form an equestrian separatist cult. I’ll be leader; everyone give me all your money so I can buy a horse.

  12. Tarr

    Hah. Have you dealt with Stanley’s bean yet?

  13. Jodie

    My bothers’ (er, brothers’) nickname for me when we were kids was Toad. Despite my love for toads, I hated being called one because they were all warty. IBTP that I wanted a prettier nickname then, because toads are cool.

  14. Helen

    It’s great to see you back, Twisty!

    MMM:
    I thought it was about feeling the saddle rubbing on your vulvar area while trotting but that never explained why girls with no access to horses were also obsessed.

    That’s a “joke” usually brought up by ignorant male assholes accompanied by the “hurh, hurh” which often accompanies stupid sexist-asshole jokes. What’s it doing on one of Twisty’s threads FFS?

    It’s one of those ancient tropes, like the dumb blonde, which never die.

  15. Hattie

    Mother of seven drops dead on tennis court, felled by Grape Nuts starvation diet.

  16. OM

    I’ve always loved Grape Nuts. I’m not skinny, though.

  17. Ron Sullivan

    Gorgeous toad, too. Just now got ’round to saying so.

  18. brainiac9

    Though I comment but rarely, I feel a deep need to express just how thrilled I am that the inimitable IBTP has fresh posts once again. Twisty, you are fabulous in the best sense of the word, and new posts always put a spring in my step. I’m also glad to hear you’ve been enjoying yourself out Stanleying – if horses didn’t make me sneeze every time I come within 10 feet, thereby causing me to develop an instinctive “no thank-you!” reaction regarding any animals with fur, I would be very jealous indeed.

  19. Lara

    “I thought it was about feeling the saddle rubbing on your vulvar area while trotting but that never explained why girls with no access to horses were also obsessed.”

    Yikes, I always found that aspect of horseback riding very unpleasant and irritating, to say the least. Especially with the western saddles…ouch

  20. Chris Clarke

    Lisa didn’t leave the puts and go back to Manhattan because despite the trope in the intro, she was happy in the greater Hooterville surround. She fit there as well as she did in NYC, and – unlike her officious husband – she made friends with the locals immediately, in an accepting and non-condescending manner, and was immediately accepted by the locals in turn.

    Mr. Douglas, contrariwise, despite (or probably, in fact, due to) his lofty Noble Pastoralist schtick, the gentleman farmer plowing in a white dress shirt while feeling smarmily superior to the locals and to his own putative lover, was out of place everywhere but inside his own head. If either of the two needed to up somewhere else, it was him.

    Lisa ought to have left him, but moving away would have been unfair when she’d have been happy and fulfilled living down the road with Arnold the pig and working part-time at Drucker’s store.

    /bloviating ex cathedra

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