Friday, April 20, 2007

The PREFECT First Car

Remember your first car?

I suppose everyone does. This includes a guy in England. On a forum called, Author’s Hangout, that person, a talented English writer who uses the handle, Oggbashan, (friends call him, Og) told of his first few autos.

IMHO, his account was funny, well-written, universal and yet unique. With his permission, I’m posting it here among my Bilge complete with the original English spellings and usage.

Anyone wishing to contact Og, especially agents, editors and/or publishers anxious to add terms such as rich and published to his list of credentials, can let me know. After a suitable period of, “Why not me?” lamentation, I promise to pass the messages alone, honest.

Bayou Bill


Ford Prefect E493a

Unfortunately the previous owner had modified the dashboard for an aluminium engine-turned slab with recessed instruments. The dashboard lighting only showed the recesses, not the instruments, so reading the instruments after dark required the use of a torch.

The Ford windscreen wipers worked on a vacuum from the engine's manifold. When accelerating or climbing a hill the wipers would slow down and stop. When descending a hill or decelerating, the wipers would whip across the screen maniacally.

The jack points were in the floor in front of the driver and passenger seats, through holes covered with discs of plywood. Driving through water would displace the plywood discs and send a jet of muddy water at the occupants' crotches. An easy way to turn a potential partner into a furious harridan..

The 6 volt lighting system was poor. Driving after dark, particularly in rain, was difficult. The opening windscreen leaked. The demisting system was two electic heating elements attached to the windscreen with rubber suckers. They cleared two tiny arcs of screen that the driver and passenger could peer through. They also used so much power that they drained the battery. I could use the headlights or the demisters, but not both at once.

That car was wrecked by my friend whom I was teaching to drive. He didn't need teaching HOW to drive, he needed teaching HOW TO PASS the driving test.

He failed three times for exceeding the speed limit during the test.

We were practising three point turns. He had completed two slowly but successfully then said "This is ridiculous. I'd do it like this..."

He attempted a handbrake turn but didn't make it. The car crashed sideways into a concrete light standard, breaking off the top, which crashed on to our car's bonnet (US=Hood) breaking the mechanical linkage from accelerator to carburettor. We crawled away on the choke and round a corner where I tied a piece of string to some of the linkage. I drove home pulling that piece of string.

My next car, a 1950 Morris Oxford type MO, was more civilised. It had instruments I could read in the dark, a sealed drip-free windscreen, electric windscreen wipers that worked steadily, 12 volt headlights that actually lit up the road and (bliss!) a heater and demister.

Later, I bought another Ford Prefect E493a. However, the previous owner had been in an accident and had twisted the chassis. Of course he didn't tell me that! The back axle was out of alignment and would break half-shafts every six weeks or so. Scrap yards supplied replacement half-shafts but I was getting tired of the work.

One Friday night I was in my local Public House with my friends. Most of them wanted to go to the next town for an Indian meal. I was tired because I had just spent several hours replacing half-shafts. Another friend was moaning about his car that drank oil. In our drunken state we were arguing which of us had the worst car. Eventually someone else suggested that we should swap cars and see for ourselves. We did, there and then. We drove away (this was before drink drive legislation and when cars were MUCH SLOWER than they are now).

In the dark I was aware of oil fumes and a suspicious mist in my rear view mirror. The next day I looked over my new acquisition. It had two 5-gallon oil cans in the boot (US=trunk). I needed to put one (Imperial) gallon in the engine to bring the oil level to normal. I drove the car to the local shops, stopping at a red traffic light. When the light turned green and I pulled away, the road behind me disappeared in a massive cloud of blue, smelly oil fumes that rose to the windows above the shop fronts.

As the engine warmed up the cloud became persistent and obscured any view behind me except in a strong cross wind. I drove to the nearest car accessory shop and described the symptoms. When the car mechanics had stopped laughing they suggested an evil compound called Krause Bond that was supposed to fill the gaps in the worn cylinder bores, and a set of 'hotter' plugs. I followed the instructions for the Krause Bond to the letter. The cloud was reduced to about half its previous density but was still a hazard to traffic. I fitted the hotter plugs. The engine fired slightly more evenly but the cloud persisted.

I drove that car for three weeks before scrapping it. I had improved the OIL consumption from 30 miles per gallon to 50 miles per gallon. I thought I had lost out on the exchange until I was told that my friend had broken my new half-shaft on the way home from the pub on that Friday night. I had been driving with cautious movements of the clutch. He had let in the clutch sharply, and Bang! - a broken half-shaft.

We remained friends but we wouldn't buy a car from each other...


ps: I liked Ford Prefects. Within their limitations they were a good car. It was unfortunate that my first two were poor specimens. The vacuum operated windscreen wipers had a vacuum tank that would reduce the effect of engine speed but not for a prolonged hill climb, nor an extended overtaking manoeuvre. The remedy was to release the accelerator for a couple of seconds then floor it again.

The "upright" Ford Popular E103 that followed the Prefect was a stripped economy model. The Popular didn't have the vacuum tank and the single windscreen wiper was even more erratic.

My last Ford Prefect was a beautiful example, low mileage, one owner but the garage that sold it to me "didn't have the paperwork to hand." On my first drive the girlfriend who is now my wife was the passenger. Within a couple of miles the top radiator hose burst. I patched it up, drove back to my parents' house, fitted a replacement top hose, and still took the girlfriend out for a meal that evening.

Working on the Prefect was so easy. I 'owned' it for about three weeks before they admitted they had claimed it from the previous owner for non-payment of bills and they didn't have the paperwork at all. I had to return it as technically the garage had stolen it. Six months later when the legal niceties had been completed I had another car and the Ford Prefect was sold at auction.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

MOONLIGHT FLIGHT - short story

This is another short story based on a chapter from my novel, We Danced to Ray Charles. It occurs towards the end of both summer and the novel, several chapters after the last few stories I've posted. As always, any comments, whether brickbats or bouquets will be welcome.

Bayou Bill


Moonlight Flight
by Bill Fullerton

There were five of them back in the summer of ‘68.

All were life-long friends.

But everything changes.

By the time they reached the bluff above Bear Lake, started a smoky fire, put on insect repellant, opened the first round of beers, and found comfortable spots, it was getting dark. The ominous clouds that had been building all afternoon were keeping the temperature semi-reasonable and hurrying the Louisiana twilight.

"Do you think it's going to rain?" Mark Cahill was staring up at the indecisive clouds. For the big, congenial, frat-rat this was less a question than a conversation starter.

Tall, bearded Walt Marshall, who by virtue of being in his mid-twenties was the "old man", tilted his head back to study the dark forms. "Nope. Those clouds are just teasing us."

"I sure hope you're wrong." In a group of competitive athletes, Willie Carter, son of a black preacher, was the best. "Football practice starts next week. Two-a-days are rough enough without having a heat wave adding to your misery."

"Don't forget the drought." Lanky, sandy-haired Bob Hemphill grinned at his old friend. "Hundred degree heat plus no real rain since June means that practice field is going to be extra hard."

"Thanks for reminding me, old buddy."

"Heat stroke and skin abrasions build character," said Walt. "What kinda team's Grambling going to have this year, anyway?"

"It's like I've been telling these guys all summer," Willie gave the group his big, teasing grin, "we’re gonna be so good, it'll remind folks of when yours truly quarterbacked the mighty Black Knights of Kisatche High to the state title."

"You know, it's a good thing you're leaving town this weekend," said Bob, speaking over the chorus of jeers and hoots of derision. "One more crack like that and we might have to take stern measures."

Willie stuck out his chin in a show of mock belligerence. "Oh yeah? Like what?"

"Like, do you remember what happened when we heard you made first-team, all-state?"

"How could I forget? I thought you guys were talking about taking me out for a steak but instead, you threw me in the lake."

"We had to do something to keep you from getting the big head," said Amy Marshall. A classic green-eyed, red-haired beauty, she was Walt's kid sister and the group's unofficial ringleader.

"Sure y'all did," said Willie. "But next time, when I win All-American, please wait until summer. Believe me, that water's a just a tad chilly in April."

Mark motioned toward the lake. "Well, if it makes you feel any better, we'd be willing to start practicing right now."

"Maybe later. I've already had one bath this week. But if any of you want to check out the lake water for me, feel free."

While everyone else kept talking, Amy opened a bag of potato chips and looked at the four men sitting nearby. Her three best friends and the big brother she'd almost lost in Viet Nam.

For her, this was a perfect moment. Well, it would be perfect if Mark weren't dating that damned Bebe Boudreaux. Why the hell was he so nuts about someone like that? Sure she was tiny and cute, but his friends all despised her. Willie thought she was a racist, Bob thought she was a bitch. Walt thought she was trashy. Amy didn't think, she knew Bebe was all of those things.

What's more, she would be so bad for Mark. If they ever got serious, something Bebe obviously wanted, it would break up the group. Both of those were things she wanted to avoid. Besides, knowing Mark was in Bebe's crosshairs had reminded Amy just how much she wanted him for herself. It’d been that way since last spring. At a party, Mark had found her alone and crying. Both had recently broken up with long-time steadies. When he took her in his arms, they began kissing.

She’d felt something very special, and had wanted to feel more. But then Mark had stopped. So what did that mean? And how did she really feel about her best friend?

Amy had counted on having the summer to sort out her feelings. But with Bebe moving in on Mark, she knew time was running out.

So far, she didn’t seem to be making any progress at getting Bebe out of the picture. Part of her problem was she and Mark were best friends, always had been. And so far, she hadn't been able to change his point of view towards her.

Once the potato chips were finished, she quietly blew into the empty container, twisted the opening shut, and then slammed the inflated bag into her palm. There was a loud, satisfying "bang" followed by startled cries. Amy had their attention. "Do you guys remember when we all went skinny-dipping that summer before junior high?"

The first person to answer was Walt. "I do. It was right after I took the picture of y'all holding that big stringer filled with all those little-bitty fish."

"They weren't that little," she insisted.

"Maybe not, but y'all were so grungy, I told you to get in and wash off. I just wish I'd had some film left to take pictures of that scene."

"Talk about your blackmail," said Mark.

"Speak for yourself," said Bob. "I looked like a young Greek god." He paused to duck the initial volley of objects aimed at his head, and then continued. "But best I recall, you and Willie were a tad chunky and Amy could have used a pound or two."

Skinny and self-conscious when in junior high, Amy's height to weight ratio had long since reached a tall, willowy near-perfection. She grinned at Bob's remark, but continued talking to her brother. "That day, why didn't you come in with us?"

Walt shook his head. "I'm not sure. Maybe I felt too old. I was already in high school, remember?"

As the four guys kidded each other about skinny-dipping, Amy wondered what she should say next. As the group's only female, she could either turn the conversation onto another, safer subject or keep it heading towards the obvious outcome. She glanced around the group until her gaze came to rest on Mark. He looked over and gave her his familiar, reassuring grin. It didn’t register. By then she'd made up her mind.

She looked back at her brother. "Walt, would you still feel too old?"

"How should I know?" he said, giving her a surprised look. "Were you planning on jumping in the lake?"

Mark's response was just what she'd expected. "Hey, that sounds like a great idea! Let’s all do it."

The men began daring each other to go skinny-dipping. It was almost dark, but thanks to the firelight, she was soon viewing four bare, male backsides, three pale and one dark, racing for the lake.

Although left alone on the shore, she wasn't ignored. After hitting the water, the men began calling for her to join them. "I don't think so," she answered. "That's just what I need, a reputation for going skinny-dipping with four guys."

Amy knew saying no was the only logical decision. For one thing, going in would mess up her hair big time. But they'd all be going back to college soon. This might be her last chance to do something to get Mark's mind off Bebe and onto her.

From out on the lake, teasing chants of, "Amy's a chicken, Amy's a chicken," accompanied by imitations of chicken squawks interrupted her thoughts.

The men couldn't see the determined look on her face as she got to her feet. "Okay, you creeps. I'm coming in."


Mark stood waist deep in the cool water, watching as Amy began to unbutton her shirt. "Y’all turn around until I get in the water."

It was an unnecessary gesture towards modesty. With clouds hiding the moon, there was little light. That, plus the campfire burning behind her, meant the only thing visible was her silhouette.

The request was answered by a derisive chorus of boo's, whistles, and cries of, "Take it off. Take it off." Walt's voice cut through the din. "Come on, Sis. Don't start playing shy on us just because you're the scrawniest person here."

"Walt Marshall, you'll pay for that," yelled Amy as she tossed her shirt to the ground and began struggling with her jeans. In Mark's opinion, that silhouette in the firelight looked anything but scrawny. Still, count on Walt to come up with the perfect line to get Amy moving.

Once she joined them, there was a lot of horseplay, even a short-lived football game featuring an old sneaker Willie had found on the shore, but very little swimming. It was during a lull in the action, that Amy suggested Mark "toss" her. It was an acrobatic stunt that would involve him heaving her straight up out of the water. If done right, she'd have time to arch forward and re-enter in a controlled dive. They'd done this many times in the past, but never in the dark-much less while skinny-dipping.

"Are you sure?" Mark was both surprised and a little dubious.

"Of course, I'm sure. Come on. It'll be fun."

When everyone else began urging them to give it a try, he agreed. "All right. But you guys aren't fooling me. All y'all want is to get my head under water."

He took Amy's hand and helped her into position standing in front of him, facing away. The dark lake water was lapping at her pale, bare shoulders. When he asked, "You ready?" she nodded.

Placing his hands on her waist, Mark exhaled to offset his body's natural buoyancy and then began pushing his way down toward a squatting position at her feet. To reach that goal, he had to use her body to help propel and guide his descent. As his hands slid down her sides and his body brushed against her skin, Mark found himself struggling to ignore the feel of that warm, silky, and very naked flesh.

Once in position he tapped on her feet, the signal for her to rise up on tiptoe so he could cup a heel in each hand. When everything was in place, he shifted forward slightly and she leaned back against his shoulder, letting him know she was ready.

That's when Mark lost his struggle. The touch of her legs along his chest, the smooth contour of her thighs resting lightly against his shoulder, the sensation of her hip nestled against the side of his face, it was more than he could ignore. There was an excited churning in his stomach and a dizzy confusion inside his skull. His mind wouldn't work. His body couldn't move.

Amy twitched her legs as a reminder she was ready, but he couldn't respond. It took oxygen deprivation to break the spell. Almost out of air, he began propelling her upward. But the long pause had gotten them out of synch. A knee buckled, a hand, or was it a foot, slipped and while only halfway out of the water, Amy began falling awkwardly back into the lake.

Once the choking and gasping ended, neither of them got any sympathy from the onlookers. "That has to be the most pathetic excuse for a toss I've ever seen," said Willie, his voice thick with feigned disgust.

"Yep, that was pretty sad, you two," agreed Bob.

"You two nothing, it was all his fault," insisted Amy, pointing at Mark. "He even looks guilty."

It'd become so dark she was the only one close enough to make out his expression. But Amy was wrong; the look on Mark's face had nothing to do with guilt. Its source was a storm of other emotions so strong and unsettling he could barely breath. Finally he managed to croak, "I'm innocent. And I must have swallowed at least half the lake."

Amy drifted closer and put a hand on his shoulder. "You poor thing," she said, giving him a wink that belied her teasing tone. "Do you need help, maybe some mouth-to-mouth resuscitation? I think Bob got a merit badge in first aide? Would you like for him come help?"

"Nothing personal," said Bob, "but if I've got to give him mouth-to-mouth, I say let nature take it's course."

This strong show of compassion continued until Walt broke in, "I can't stand it. I promised myself I wouldn't do this, but seeing what a shambles you and Mark made of things, I'm wondering if you want to try that overhand toss we did once?"

The overhand was tougher to pull off because the thrower had to squat with his hands shoulder high like a weight lifter about to lift a barbell over his head. This made it harder for the person being tossed to keep their balance. But since the thrower could extend their arms straight up during the toss, if everything worked just right, the results could be a high and spectacular ascent.

Everyone but Mark agreed he was unfit for duty. After a feeble protest, he moved out of the way so Willie and Bob could get into position on either side of Amy.

The clouds that had promised but once again not delivered any rain were breaking up and the lake was suddenly bathed in bright moonlight. This made it easy for Mark to watch as, after a good deal of talk and shuffling about, Walt disappeared beneath the surface. A moment later, Amy went soaring into the warm, night sky.

It was a high, absolutely perfect toss. Willie, Bob, and Walt were covered with spray which partially blocked their view. Mark was the only one who saw all of Amy's moonlight flight, and he was transfixed.

Whenever he remembered the event, it was always in slow motion. The sight of her wet, nude, nymph-like body soaring gracefully above the lake was beautiful, and erotic, and devastating. The emotions still battering him instantly coalesced into a total and all-consuming love.

He’d been fighting that feeling since they kissed last spring. Thanks to Bebe, he thought he might be winning. Now he knew better. But guys like him didn’t stand a chance with a girl like Amy. Making a move on her would just cost him his best friend.

Mesmerized, he watched Amy’s graceful, moonlit form arch slowly and then begin heading back toward the lake. As she sliced through the dark surface, Mark knew he was in trouble. After finally making love with Bebe, the girl he always wanted, he'd fallen in love with Amy, the girl who'd always been his friend; the woman he could never have.

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Monday, April 02, 2007


A Corbett National Park Waterfall

If you considered, Outdoor Angie: a cautionary tale, to be a piece of poorly written prose exhibiting, at best, questionable taste, odds are you're really going to hate its sequel, this week's contribution to the decline of English letters, Angie's Waterfall Woes.

note: The two main characters in this tale are college students who go around thinking about, preparing for, participating in, and recovering from a certain earthy activity--in this case conducted in the great outdoors. However, the goal is to be funny, not erotic. Honest.

Bayou Bill


Angie’s Waterfall Woes
by Bill Fullerton

As a firm adherent of the, “If it feels good, do it,” school of social behavior, Angie Eveready was not given to long bouts of contemplation. But in the wake of her somewhat-less-than-successful attempt to fulfill her fantasy of making love in the great outdoors, she felt the current situation required a good, old-fashioned think.

The perfect place for such deep introspection was stretched out on a massage table while a sweet chiropractor named Dr. Ari A. Fresca did all sorts of delicious things to her bare back, and shoulders, and thighs, and bottom.

Her first taste of sylvan sex, a romp in the woods with Ernie, had been a total blast—at first. But it ended in failure when his dog, Buford the Beagle, nosed into the act, so to speak, in a very up-close and personal way.

That unsatisfactory experience had lead to second thoughts about her fantasy, not to mention insect bites, a crick in her neck, muscle strains in her back, scratches, a minor concussion, and a spring cold.

That’s when Ralph showed up. Like most members of the small student body at Wodehouse College, he was a friend of a friend. They met at an Earth Day planning session.

Ralph was a sharp dresser and fast talker. Many otherwise charitable observers considered him a low-life, slime-ball. Others insisted he was more like a case of persistent jock itch. But he had these soft, puppy-like eyes that, for no discernable reason, gave certain females the mistaken impression they could safely confide in him.

It wasn’t long before Angie joined that number, confessing her love of the wilderness and her long-held fantasy of communing with nature by making love in the great out-of-doors. After her third post-planning session beer at Ralph’s apartment, she even admitted to her recent failure in this regard. She then granted Ralph a sample of what would be in-store should she ever achieve the long-sought natural nirvana.

All this fired Ralph with an even greater zeal to help Angie fulfill her fantasy. The term “even greater” is appropriate, for when it came to face and figure, mother nature had been very kind to Angie. She possessed the type of body the late Aldous Huxley would no doubt have described as, “pneumatic.” While her long legs, shapely bottom and generous bosom diverted the attention of most men, those who managed to lift their gaze could behold an exquisite, Madonna-like face that featured dark-brown eyes, full lips, and a smile that was both beatific and seductive.

It was an accepted truth around campus that whatever Ralph might lack in looks, smarts, and class, he more than made up for with a line of solid-gold BS. Using this skill, he convinced Angie her problem with outdoor sex wasn’t the fantasy or setting, but her male partner. She needed a guy who wouldn’t bring a dog along, someone who had access to a mountain cabin near a waterfall, and who knew everything anyone needed to know about the wilderness. In other words, she needed a fellow nature-lover like Ralph.

By Ralph’s somewhat loose standards, he wasn’t lying, not really. While he wouldn’t know a raccoon from a rhino, he did know enough not to bring along a dog. He also thought that, with a little luck, he might be able to wangle a remote cabin he spent a miserable night in many years ago. To consider his claim that he knew everything anyone needed to know about the wilderness as valid, however, one would need to accept his contention that all any sane person needed to know about the wilderness was to stay the hell out of the place.

Though Angie was just a freshman, she possessed a remarkably inclusive attitude towards men. Still, a guy with a face eerily similar to that of a ferret, an ill proportioned body built by years of easy living, and the personality of a two-faced rat, would seem an unlikely candidate for her favors. But those soft eyes and the promise of a mountain cabin near a waterfall proved too much to resist. She agreed.

The cabin in question was the seldom used property of a friend of the second wife of one of Ralph’s cousins. Angie was told it belonged to his uncle. The location played a large role in its limited use. Reaching it required an extended hike up, and up, and up a long, narrow, overgrown trail. Even well-conditioned day-trippers found the feat a challenge. For those who were out-of-shape, and toting a backpack loaded with enough supplies for a weekend, it was an experience that could crush both body and soul.

Being a gentleman, and a man whose idea of exercise was popping the top on another beer, Ralph let Angie lead the way. This gesture accomplished two things. It kept her from seeing him sweating and straining while giving him a highly motivating, low-angle view of her ample bottom in motion. This inspirational view managed to keep him climbing that long, long trail even as he felt a growing kinship with those who endured the Bataan Death March.

No doubt spurred on by the vision undulating before him, Ralph managed to reach the cabin without collapsing or throwing up. While Angie admired the tall hardwood trees surrounding the cabin, Ralph tried to unlatch the door. This proved a time consuming process. Due to a combination of lust and exhaustion, his fingers refused to stop shaking.

It is a truth universally acknowledged, at least by savvy outdoor-types, that unoccupied, rustic cabins acquire a memorable, earthy aroma. This is most evident when first entering the structure. Consider for a moment the stale, dusty smell of Grandma’s attic. To that add mold, mildew, animal droppings and a funky essence similar to that of athletic socks left all summer in a poorly ventilated gym locker, and you begin to get the idea.

It was Ralph’s plan to get Angie inside, spread out the sleeping bags, and begin the first of what he hoped would be many boisterous bounces in the cabin. The strong, heady scent that wafted out of the cabin door, along with the sound of that waterfall, cancelled his plan.

When he tried to get her inside, she gave him a big kiss, giggled and slipped away. Her idea was to leave the door open so the cabin could air out while they went to find the waterfall. This didn’t seem like a very good idea to Ralph who was both horny and still exhausted from the climb.

Those who have read the account of Angie’s earlier adventure may recall her amazing ability to coax men into doing virtually anything she wants. On this arboreal occasion, the quick removal of her t-shirt did the trick.

In justice to Ralph, it must be reported that few men, living or dead, could resist the sight of her bountiful bosom. Angie’s breasts were large and shapely with the springy tautness of youth. To the slack-jawed Ralph, their large, erect nipples seemed to be pointing right at him. When Angie turned and headed for the falls, he followed like some dumb ox after a carrot dangled just inches from his reach.

The waterfall in question proved so impressive, it managed to get Ralph’s mind off Angie’s breasts for a good ten seconds. To him, the place looked like a jungle scene from some Tarzan movie. A thin stream of water seemed to appear by magic high in the forest before plunging down an almost vertical cliff face into a rocky, tree-lined pool.

The sight of Angie sitting on a rock and taking off her hiking boots diverted Ralph’s attention and raised, among other things, his hopes. To his disappointment, she didn’t remove her shorts. Instead, she moved to the edge of the pool, found another rock to sit on, and began splashing her feet in the water.

This was better than nothing, he decided, and joined her. The water was colder than the proverbial well-digger’s derriere in the Dakotas, but it felt good on his hot, sweaty feet. Something told him not to rush Angie, that his time would come, soon. In a rare display of patience, he put an arm around her shoulders and they just sat, savoring the spectacle.

But they were young and healthy. Ralph was also very horny. As for Angie, little was ever required to stir her primal instincts. Now she was falling under the romantic spell of the waterfall. So when Ralph took one of her breasts in his free hand and nuzzled her neck, she responded in a most positive manner.

Passion is one thing, however, practicality another. In this case, their passion to copulate ran into the reality that there was no way they could do so on that rock.

Ralph’s very practical suggestion—that they return to the cabin—met with adamant resistance from Angie. She didn’t agree to hike all the way up here and spend the weekend with a lesser life form like Ralph just to get it on in some dirty, stuffy cabin when they could be making love beside such a beautiful wonder of nature.

This attitude initiated a search, best described as frantic, by the hyper-horny Ralph. While Angie sat on her rock, contemplating the waterfall, he moved furiously around the edge of the pond, looking for a flat surface. Tucked away near the spot where the pool ended and the stream recommenced its downhill journey, he found that for which he sought.

It was a secluded nook, just up from a little strip of sand. Having once scored on the beach, he was glad there was a fern-like ground covering to keep the sand and dirt off them. Not that he really cared. That would be Angie’s problem. But he wanted to keep her happy, horny, and humping. With a yelp of triumph, he rushed back around the pool to claim his prize.

Angie thought the spot was great. She turned and gave the beaming Ralph a big kiss while pulling off his shirt. It fell to the ground and she rubbed her breasts against his pale chest, letting her hard nipples slip through the sparse chest hairs. With a cry of outdoor joy, she hugged him close and let him start working on her shorts while she gazed over his shoulder at the waterfall.

They were still in the midst of this embrace when the wind shifted. It had been coming up the mountain. The most significant effect being to blow the mist and spray away from anyone who happened to be at the base of the waterfall. Now it was blowing down the mountain. As a result, tiny droplets of ice-cold mountain stream water were being directed their way.

Both lovers noticed the chilling effect of the wind change at the same time. Their reactions, however, differed. Ralph was all for returning to the snug dry, cabin. Angie, whose outdoor fantasies included making love in the rain, decided spray from the nearby waterfall was a more than acceptable alternative, and insisted they stay.

In his excited condition, it took very little coaxing on her part before Ralph agreed. However, he urged her to go ahead and crawl into their hide-away. At the entrance, she paused. Recalling past disasters, she asked if he’d checked it out and was sure it was safe.

Ralph, who had barely glanced inside, said he checked every inch and for her not to worry. Reassured, Angie crawled in, rolled over on her back, snuggled in among the soft green ivy, spread her legs, and then lifted her arms toward Ralph in a totally unnecessary gesture of welcome.

Not unlike a drowning man lunging for a life vest, Ralph leapt into the breach. After one or two near misses, he scored a direct hit and sank into the snug warmth of Angie’s exceptional body.

If Ralph’s body and equipment were less impressive than those she’d recently experienced, Angie didn’t mind. With the exception of a few men she’d known, okay, make that one man, Ernie, it was her experience that all tomcats were gray in the dark, so to speak. And what Ralph might lack in size and technique, he almost made for with enthusiasm.

Their passionate proceeding had barely begun when she felt something small and sharp poking into her bottom. Assuming it was a stick, she continued her erotic endeavors.

Soon she felt something else, a bit more like a pinch, near the first one. She was closing in on what promised to be a really nice climax, and didn’t want to stop. So each time she lifted her hips off the ground, she gave them an extra wiggle, hoping to land on a spot free of whatever it was. This action drove Ralph to even greater heights of verbal prowess, but the stinging only got worse.

Among her many talents, Angie knew how to multi-task. Even as the passionate coupling between she and Ralph became more intense, she slipped a hand beneath her bottom and tried to smooth away whatever was bothering her. When something sharp and painful stuck her hand, she jerked it away. While still hunching and moaning, she moved the hand near her face for a close look.

Small objects were crawling on the back of her hand. They were, to be more precise, red ants. One of them picked that moment to try a sample of her flesh. Considering that this ant's comrades were simultaneously attacking both her heinie and her hand, Angie’s next action was, in hindsight, both natural and reasonable.

It would be hard to imagine any two people being closer at that moment than were Angie and Ralph. Despite this physical proximity, however, a vast communication gap existed between the young lovers. Ralph misinterpreted Angie’s shouts and screams, not to mention her vigorous gyrations, as manifestations of a passion that was about to explode. Having read several sex manuals and how-to articles, he knew real men always left their women satisfied. This led to a re-doubling of his efforts. Besides, he was on the verge of re-enacting the epic eruption at Mount Vesuvius.

At this point in the proceedings, Angie got the distinct sensation the ants had begun a rather thorough exploration of their new environment. As part of this journey of discovery, they were approaching the same inner recesses of her anatomy Buford the Beagle had also sought to investigate.

This revelation proved very motivational. With a scream of “Get off me, you jerk!” Angie instituted a particularly powerful heave with her hips while pushing against her lover's flat chest. It was thus that she managed to dislodge the confused and preoccupied Ralph. His unsettled mental condition can be ascribed, in large part, to finding himself in the early stages of what had suddenly become a mid-air emission.

It is a little known law of nature that those lying buck-naked in small, dim, secluded woodland nooks find it very difficult to remove ants which are busy inflicting a series of burning bites and simultaneously doing their best to enter certain private passages and recesses of said person’s anatomy. To Angie’s credit, she quickly grasped this concept.

Shoving the bewildered and still spurting Ralph aside, she jumped up and raced toward the pool. Though it ran counter to her long and loudly espoused love of nature and reverence for life and animal rights, she fully intended to drown every one of what, in her agitated state of mind, she now labeled as, those damn little piss-ants.

Do you remember that wind shift mentioned earlier? In case that item slipped your mind in all the excitement, it began while Angie and Ralph were playing tongue hockey and ripping off what little clothes they still had on. The shift propelled the waterfall’s spray and mist in their direction and quickly covered their bare skin with a thin film of cold water. Then Ralph said lets go do it in the cabin and Angie said no, let’s make love in that spot you found.

You remember now?

Well, that wind had continued blowing in the same direction. As a result, the once dry rocks which provided such sure footing when Angie and Ralph first arrived, were now coated with water and become VERY slippery. It’s a testament to either Angie’s youthful agility or her good luck that she almost made it to the pool before a foot slipped, then an ankle twisted and she entered the ice-cold water in a manner somewhat resembling the cannonball dive so favored my drunken men with large bellies.

To use the negative form of an expression made famous by former U.S. Vice President Dan Quayle, Angie was not a happy camper. By the time she managed to get her boots back on, a process delayed by her throwing one of them at Ralph, and limped to the cabin, her back was beginning to itch. A quick check of her official, Guide to Plants and Bugs and Other Disgusting Outdoor Stuff, revealed the hard truth that the soft ground cover she had recently reclined upon was, poison ivy.

After-action damage assessment:

1. Various bruises and abrasions
2. One sprained ankle
3. A severe case of poison ivy
4. Blisters on both feet
5. Numerous ant bites, some in very personal spots

1. Blisters on both feet
2. Dehydration, from carrying both packs back to the car
3. A strained back, ditto
4. One black eye, from Angie’s well-thrown boot
5. No more Angie, not in her lifetime

Now Angie was back in civilization and Dr. Fresca’s fabulous fingers were making it all better. Her bare bottom wiggled with contentment under the kindly doctor’s skillful touch as she considered his suggestion.

Maybe he’s right. Maybe I do need to try experiencing nature in a more refined setting; like amid all the flowers and natural beauty he keeps talking about in his backyard. And with it being surrounded by a tall privacy fence, I could lay out beside the heated pool in my bikini, or less. After all, he says sunshine will help clear up the last of that damn poison ivy. And he’s the doctor, and kind of cute for an older guy. So he should know, shouldn’t he?

Oh, will Angie ever learn?

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