Monday, January 19, 2009

Market Day

The grass chattered as we passed, carried against our will by some 40 mile an hour, subzero wind that charged from the Alberta prairie, broke through a border crossing, and kidnapped us on the open range. We raised our guns but we were subdued. Eyes filled with tears, faces turned down, we surrendered. Grain silos shuddered. Power lines wailed. They say the customs agent turned his head.
It's Shopping for Organically Fed Venison with your host, James Nauertz.
Every year, there is a price: It could be a long, cold, gray arm that reaches out of the slurried, bottomless creek and pulls one of us under, a muffled shout, then silence. Did you say something? Or maybe you are on your knees, in penitent mood, exposed to the world beneath a full moon, winds blowing the snow like desert sand, while you pound on the side of the locked camper like Fred Flintstone. Or you are creeping along unnamed roads, shadowed by an angry rancher or two, activist frontier justices, single-handedly redefining the limits of the first and fourth amendments, anti-federalists, a domestic faction searching of a large, captive audience. Usually there is an evening at Edith Dysentary's cafe, with the badly charred chef, and bowls of fluffy Cryptosporidium Soup, self-replicating dinnerware, four-dimensional jello, a scenic tour of the petroglyphs mounting at the salad bar, and diversion provided by the seven-armed waitress and her daughter, Methyl. Just can't take your eyes off it.
Not a very fair trade, I figure, as we drag a mule deer across the prairie against its will. I will never get used to this.

James Nauertz, Neighborhood Food Pantry, exploring the niche.