Hunt camps, secret, and headaches

It was a quiet weekend followed by a slow news week here in Drizzle Creek.
It had taken most of the previous week to recover from the Thanksgiving celebrations, which included a week of cleaning up leftovers. That meant there was not a lot of extra blood to send to the brain as the stomach had first call on all reserves.
Then by the weekend, a major segment of the male population had loaded up and headed for moose camp. This left the Bakery devoid of surplus bread and some of the best liars . . . er, conversationalists the town has to offer.
The truckloads of supplies and equipment that were headed out of town in the convoy suggested a major military excursion, or a mass permanent exodus. Outfitting a full brigade with tents and ATVs, as well as enough food to last a couple of months, was obviously complete.
Ample medical supplies to ward off snake and frost bite also was in evidence.
But by late Monday, the entire crew was back arranged around the debating table, holding their heads and reliving the adventure—that is, the parts they could remember.
Moose were, of course, absent from the mix. This is not uncommon, but it is rumoured Pickle’s annual solution to this lack of meat is to stop at brother Gherkin’s farm in Hooterville on the return trip. For $20 apiece, the crew is allowed to drop one cull cow, drag the carcass around the pasture a couple of times to simulate usual moose extraction techniques, before loading it on the pickup and taking it in for processing.
No one will ‘fess up’ to this actually happening, but the rumour persists—and what’s that they say about “where there’s smoke. . . .”
The Runt also was at the debating table, again foregoing this year’s hunt, preferring instead the safety of a soft bed where there is far less chance of being mistaken for a Sasquatch. He did, however, manage to break into the moose discussion to brag about his new car.
“Runs real sweet, but the missus has pretty much taken claim of it and is personalizing to suit herself,” he stated as he looked longingly at the latest tray of chocolate long-johns being delivered to the display case.
“It has only a metric speedometer, no m.p.h. numbers, so I see she’s made up a little conversion chart for the equivalents and pasted it to the dash. She’s got it topping out at a 110 m.p.h.,” he explained as a puzzled look crossed his face.
“I wonder where she’s figuring on doing 110 m.p.h.? Maybe there’s something she’s not telling you?” I observed as I sheltered my cookie from the Runt’s lust-filled eyes.
“I don’t think I’ll ask. Husbands and wives should keep a few secrets from each other,” concluded the Runt philosophically as he pushed back from the table and gave the long-johns one lingering, wistful glance.
As I rose to leave, Pickle picked up the aspirin bottle that had been seeing more combined service than the sugar dispenser, and shook out a couple of tablets.
“Boy, I can’t figure out how we all came down with these terrible headaches. Must have been a virus going around that hunt camp,” he stated as the assembled crew nodded in agreement.

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