Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Serious Redneck Moment

    Being a college educated, non drinker, non smoker, and non chewer, and still being in possession of most of my teeth, I'm not inclined to think of myself as a redneck.  I do have to admit that I have an affection for firearms and fiddle music, but I still think I don't fit the general profile.  However, this afternoon I had a serious redneck moment.

    It all began with something new I'm doing at the bee store.  I bought some thymol crystals on line as an additive to the sugar syrup I feed my honeybees.  Thymol is a substance the extract from thyme essetial oil so it is a sort of herbal extract.  A small amount of thymol added to the sugar syrup will prevent both mold and fermentation and is likely to kill a troublesome fungal parasite called nosema.  The problem is that thymol isn't water soluble.  The thymol crystals need to be dissolved in alcohol as a pre-mix before it can be added to the sugar syrup. Given a choice of using rubbing alcohol or something like vodka or everclear, I opted for the everclear (151 proof grain alcohol) as being less harmful to the bees.  This put me in the uncomfortable position of having to visit our local Washington State Liquor Store to purchase 151 proof Everclear.  Since I'm making up the pre-mix for sale in our store I needed to buy several bottles.

     I visited the local liquor store at about 3:00 p.m and purchased two fifths of 151 proof Everclear.  On my way home I stopped by the post office to send off a few mail order packages.  When I got back into my beater cargo van and tried to start it, the shift lever came off in my hand.  I felt like I was back in one of  those old slapstick comedies where the driver hands the steering wheel to the passenger.  My efforts to reinstall the shift lever were not successful so I decided to just walk home and call someone more mechanically inclined to help.  The key is stuck in the ignition because I can't shift the van back into park and I can't lock up the van with my only key inside.  As I was getting ready to walk away, it occured to me that it probably wasn't a good idea to leave two fifths of Everclear on the floorboards of an unlocked van.  So I set off for home with my two fifths of everclear in a brown paper bag tucked under my arm.  I was halfway home before the irony of the situation hit me.  Here I was walking home with two fifths of Everclear because my old beater van broke down on the way home from the liquor store. I would call that a serious redneck moment.

     An hour later a good friend reinstalled the shift lever and the cargo van is mobile once again.