Home » Gate Guarding » Year in Review Part 12 – Happy New Year

Year in Review Part 12 – Happy New Year

As before, Word Press won’t allow me to post anything new here but I can copy and paste old posts. This one was written just after the 3rd month of gate guarding. I’d forgotten how many things scared me back them. Wow!

Happy New Year!

It looks like Fork will be stuck in 2011 for another week or so. I wish you all a joy filled 2012!

Are You Afraid of the Dark?

I didn’t used to be afraid of the dark. As recently as 4 months ago, I was fairly fearless. Apart from my arachnophobia, I’ve  always been moderately brave (or not quite sharp enough to be afraid). I’ve stood on the front porch and watched tornadoes and stood on the beach to watch 30 foot swells. I may even have been a bit under-afraid. But there are nights out here in very rural southern Texas when I’m just a little uneasy. These are some of the things that have happened in 3+ months of gate guarding that make me jumpy after midnight.

1. The potential rattlesnake napping under the RV when I go out to talk to a driver

2. Henry suddenly dashing to the door with fur and ears standing straight up

3. The smell of cigarette smoke in the middle of the night when I’m 1/4 of a mile from the rig

4. The raccoon sitting on my front step looking in at me at 2 a.m.

5. The barrage of  large, unidentified insects flinging themselves like hail on the screen door

6. The screams and screeches of feral pigs, bickering coons and other unnamed nocturnals

7. The snorting, stomping and very loud mooing of many mad bulls

8. The great white sharks

9. The sudden knock on the door when no traffic has rung the bell to alert me

10.The bats falling off the awning onto my head (has only happened once)

11. The pickup idling for an hour with lights off, sitting on the road but never coming to the gate

12.The continual snapping of brush and branches

13. The yipping and  howling of circling coyotes

14. The tarantulas who want to be my friend

Of the afore-mentioned, all except an occasional green beetle or moth have been courteous enough to stay outside. The raccoon almost made it in but was scared off by my camera flash. All except the sharks.

According to the American Movie Goer Consumer Research Group, the primary target market for movies these days are 16-24 year old males. Based on what’s hot at the cinema, that’s believable. I’m speculating that this is also Snicker’s target market.

In this Snickers commercial, animated great white sharks are participating in a focus-group. A pleasant lady asks them in a blind taste test of people they’ve just eaten/sampled, which one they liked best. The sharks preferred Steve who had eaten Snickers Peanut Butter Squared, over Lisa who had eaten a peanut butter cup.

As I sat down to write tonight I Googled the ad and found it’s been pretty controversial. I was surprised at how strongly people felt. Some have sworn off Snickers forever.

Others thought it was the funniest thing they’ve seen on TV. As I read the reactions, it struck me as interesting that the people who, for a variety of reason, don’t care for the ad, were accused of having: no life, no brains, and no sense of humor.

All that over disagreement about a 30 second commercial. Can you imagine a debate something substantial like the terrorism returning to Northern Ireland or Libya’s oil industry? Possibly that would be less intense. Hard to say.

I like Snickers. I’ll probably continue to buy the one or two bars a year I usually buy. I don’t like the commercial. I don’t think there’s a correlation between this and my hobbies, my intellectual prowess or my sense of humor. I just have enough things that might bite me, sting me, charge me or land on me at night to not want to add something that wants to eat me, too.


As I’ve mentioned before, I don’t have an extra-active imagination, but I’m in danger of develop one. Desert or not, add sharks to the screaming and mooing and screeching and slithering and stalking and it starts getting down right creepy. It’s well after midnight and shapes are shifting  in the shadows of the mesquite and mossy oak. Might be a good time for a Reese’s peanut butter cup!

12 thoughts on “Year in Review Part 12 – Happy New Year

  1. I love the snickers commercial. I love your re-posts! What happened to posting on Fork in the Road? DId you guys close out?

    Happy happy and blessed new year, YOU, my good friend. Geesh … i may never write a post again. So much going on! How do you keep up with reading everyone’s blog? Help! xoxo m

    • Mel – No, I haven’t ‘closed out’. I’ve been struggling with some corrupted files on this site, so I’ve decided it’s easier to re-post than to re-tell some of our past adventures that most of the Fork readers haven’t read. I’ll do another one tonight and then it’s back to fresh writing.
      I read between 40-50 blogs a night… and it takes hours! You may want to pick a a handful that you like best to read daily and then rotate through the rest! 😉
      Just a thought. 🙂

  2. Donna and I wish you both a very Happy and Prosperous New Year. I love reading your post and able to relate to the sundry of critters around us. I kind of enjoy them all and actually try to find them for photos. Take care and God bless.

    • Hi Tom and a most Happy New Year to you and Donna! I can say that, after a year, I’ve enjoy most of the critters that visit. I’m going to write just about them, one of these days. We’ve had almost everything that lives in Texas on our doorstep.:D
      I have a decent camera that I really need to unpack and learn how to use! Thanks for dropping by! It’s so fun to hear from you!

  3. Debbie, do you and Heidi share the Versatile Blogger award? This blog is a hoot! I love it! You and Heidi are officially nominated by this old gal. Don’t know how i scored it … but i am THRILLED that i have the privilege to nominate you and Heidi! xoxox melis

    • Dear Melis – The first time someone gave me the Versatile Blogger award for Fork it was, maybe, two months after I started the blog and I thought it was a joke and that they were teasing me for changing topics so often. 😉
      I never did follow through with it. I’ll get on it this time. Congrats to you – you definitely deserve it!
      And I (we) thank you! 😀

  4. Oh Debbie… I couldn’t have said it better! Yes, I am scared of the dark out here and the creatures that are lurking out there. The circling, yipping coyotes are my biggest concern right now. I’m trying to overcome it! Thanks for your post. Happy New Year!

    • Vicky – Remember when the Cowardly Lion said: I do believe! I do believe! (of course he was talking about spooks … still… 😉
      Believe it – it will get better!

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