Shut Up



“Never miss a good chance to shut up.”


Walter made an executive decision...the ranch should be as “green” as possible. So early in the Spring, Walter ordered solar panels for their house, along with the wiring, storage batteries and other accoutrements that were required to make their ranchhouse energy efficient.

Before Walter set up his ladder to climb onto the roof, Alex suggested Walter hire an expert to install the panels. Alex received a resounding “Shut up!” as his response to that suggestion. Three weeks, a trip to the medical center and a few days of muscle relaxants later, Walter was ready for his next project.

Walter waved goodbye as the truck that delivered their new cistern (and the pipes) drove away. Their area of Montana had decent yearly rainfall but every once in a while they would go through a drought. Sometimes the drought triggered wildfires. Walter saw no reason why he couldn’t put in a large cistern to collect the rainwater. At the very least the water could be used for their horses and the chickens. With proper treatment, he and Alex could use the water as well.

Alex, whose expertise lay with weapons, computers and electronic surveillance equipment, knew better than to get involved with his partner’s project. He did, however, make a computer search for local experts in the field of water conservation and installers of cisterns; he presented the list to Walter. Walter had two words for Alex’s helpful suggestions.

When a pipe burst, raining down about fifty gallons of water onto Walter’s head, Alex waded through the dirt and mud to rescue his angry bear then he called the first name on the list.

After several quiet project free weeks, Alex walked into the kitchen and found his partner pouring over catalogs containing large stone barbecue pits. Walter’s face was smiling with glee. Alex could almost see Walter’s pulse racing with anticipation.

“I love barbecue. If we put it close enough to the kitchen door, we could barbecue all winter long!” Walter said, very proud of himself to have come up with the idea. “What do you think, Alex? Alex? Hey, Alex, where’d ya go?”

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