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Dumber Than a Box of Rocks – Humorous Short Story

Dumber Than a Box of Rocks – Humorous Short Story

Dumber Than a Box of Rocks – Humorous Short Story: Introduction

Have you ever thought your parents might not be too bright. I’m talking about the time you were a teenager and knew about everything there was to know, and your parents were dumber than a box of rocks.

I remember as a teenager my dad told me to get a job as president of a major corporation while I still knew everything.

Dumber Than a Box of Rocks - Is there a lesson to learn?

Teenagers sometimes think their parents are dumber than a box of rocks. Enjoy this humorous short story.

I have come to the realization that I was pretty much brain-dead until I was twenty-five.

Having a family of my own has taught me the difference between patience and long-suffering. Patience is when you have to wait a long time for something; long-suffering is when you have children.

Sit back, relax, and enjoy the story. Thank you for spending your valuable time with me.

Dumber Than a Box of Rocks – A Humorous Short Story

“I’m telling you that Alaska is closer to Hawaii than San Francisco, California,” Dad said.

“You know that’s not true, Dad,” I said.

“You calling me a liar?” he asked.

I had crossed the line and was treading on dangerous ground. I Chose my words carefully.

“No, Dad, you’re just mistaken.”

Dad laughed. “That answer saved you some serious grief, Mason.”

Dad and I had been arguing since we dropped Aunt Laural at her home in Blackhawk, Colorado. Dad is dumber than a box of rocks sometimes. Everyone with half-a-brain knows that California is closer to Hawaii than Alaska.

Mom spied a giant sign. “Vic’s gold panning three miles ahead. Who wants to pan for gold?”

“Sounds good to me,” I said.

Dad followed the highway to Vic’s and pulled into a gravel parking lot. We crossed a foot bridge that spanned a stream and headed to a table that advertised, “Get Your Pans Here.” The table was fifty yards from a hole in the side of the mountain, which we assumed was an old mine. A shack stood near the mine opening. A rusty old drag-line sat twenty-five yards downstream from the table. It looked as though it had been broken for years.

“You Vic?” Dad asked the man at the table.

“Yes sir, I am.”

The table held some dirt filled pans. “How much are your pans?” asked Dad.

“Five and Ten dollars.”

“What’s the difference?”

“Nothin…some people like to pay more; makes em feel more important, so I oblige em,” Vic replied.

“You guarantee we’ll find gold?” Dad asked.

“I don’t guarantee nothin,” came the reply. “But…if you can fix the clutch on that old drag-line over yonder your wife and young-uns will find plenty of gold.”

“Can’t you get a mechanic to repair it?” Dad asked.

“It’s an old cable drag-line,” Vic replied. “I’ve had twenty different mechanics out here and all they know to do is charge mileage and a minimum, tell me they can’t get parts, and hightail it back to town.”

“Does that old drag-line have a wooden clutch?” Dad asked.

“Yes sir.”

“You guarantee we’ll find gold if my son and I fix it?”

“Mister, you’ll find plenty of gold.”

Dad bought a couple five dollar pans from Vic and told Jenny, my sister, “Try your luck.” He turned to Mom and said, “Noel, I’m going to fix Vic’s drag-line”

“Okay,” Mom answered.

Dad is over his head. He was never a mechanic. This should be interesting.

“You really think you can fix that old drag-line?” I asked.

“Come along and find out,” Dad said.

“You got any one-by-twos or two-by-fours?” Dad asked Vic.

“Over in that wood pile.”

Dad sent me to the wood pile to get a two-by-four board.

“Say hello to Sara when you get to the woodpile,” said Vic.

‘Ol Vic must be losing his mind,’ I thought. ‘There’s no one at the woodpile.’

I jumped on the woodpile, climbed to the top, and picked a good six-footer.

“Y E E E O O O W!”

A blood curdling scream erupted from behind the wood pile and I shot off the pile. (I probably set a world standing broad-jump record.) The largest bobcat I ever saw walked from behind the wood pile. It must have weighed thirty-five or forty pounds. Three small kittens followed close behind. Momma bobcat hissed and spat at me and took a few steps toward me.

‘I’m gonna die!’ I thought.

I backed toward the drag-line with the two-by-four clutched in my hand. Every step backward I took the bobcat took a step forward. She cornered me between Dad and Vic. What were we going to do? I was terrified.

“You’re lucky she didn’t tear your arm off,” laughed Vic.

“You knew she was there?” I asked.

“Aw, Sara wouldn’t hurt a fly,” Vic said. “Come here, girl.”

The bobcat leaped. I screamed and nearly soiled myself. She landed in Vic’s arms and began purring and licking his face. The kittens rubbed against my pant leg.

“Looks like you found some friends,” Vic said. “They don’t normally take to strangers that fast. You must be all right.”

I didn’t say a word. I was relieved my larynx wasn’t ripped out, but my heart pounded like a bass drum. I wanted to choke Vic.

“Hand me the two-by-four,” Dad said as he climbed onto the drag-line

I watched Dad whittle eight one-inch squares. He placed the wood squares in a yoke against a pressure plate. I held the pieces in place while Dad tightened the pressure plate and casing. The whole affair took forty-five minutes.

“Okay if I fire this thing up?” asked Dad.

“Help yourself,” replied Vic.

Dad cranked up the engine with a roar. Sarah, the bobcat, and her kittens shot straight in the air and beat a blue streak to the wood pile.

‘Serves you right, you mangy cats’ I thought.

Dad pulled a lever. A cable tightened and raised the boom. He pulled another lever and the bucket dug into the ground and pulled dirt into the bucket. He swung the boom around and unloaded the dirt in a pile on the ground. “Works like new,” he said.

“I’ll be dogged,” said Vic. “I’ve waited five years to get that fixed. Let’s find some gold!”

We walked to the little shack he called home; he brought out four vials of gold and handed them to my dad.

“Each vial holds four ounces of gold which assays ninety-eight percent pure,” Vic said.

He walked to his table by the creek and pulled ten pans from under it. “I guarantee these have gold. Take these home with you.”

“My hero,” Mom said with her best Pollyanna voice.

Dad smiled.

When we were back on the road I asked Dad, “Where did you learn to fix a wooden clutch?”

“The first gasoline tank truck your Grandpa Bricklin bought for his gas station had a wooden clutch. Grandpa’s driver broke the clutch once a month. We were too poor to hire a mechanic, so we fixed it ourselves.”

“I owe you an apology,” I said.

“What for?”

“I didn’t think you were smart enough to fix Vic’s drag-line”

Dad laughed and said, “You’d be surprised what your half-wit old man might know.”

“Yes, sir,”

Who knew? I gained new respect for my dad that day. Maybe, I’ll get an atlas and check my facts on Alaska before I argue with Dad again.

Copyright 2010 J-me

Let me know what you think of “Dumber Than a box of Rocks – Humorous Short Story.”


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  1. Fay Klein says:

    Good read. And so true about the thoughts of our parents. They really are smarter that we think they are.

  2. Karen says:

    Thoroughly enjoyed the story. I had to laugh out loud on several occasions – hubby thought I’d lost my marbles!

    Well done!

  3. admin says:

    Thank you for the kind words.