It's good to know a few of the faithful are still standing. The days of the GSSC are growing nigh, and soon we will see the denouement of all this intrigue and suspense!
Dean, you ol' fox, it's just like you to take a historic overview of this thread and snatch for our attention the portion of the contest that had been languishing unnoticed. I have to admit that I'm a lover of action myself... and look most forward to the spewing of arrows in pursuit of the dreaded Spam-beast. Still, my Dad always tried to instill within me the concept of eating whatever it is you are willing to shoot, and your culinary challenge is a point well taken (BTW, I've had little trouble following his instruction on "game" such as 'Coon, Thirteen-Stripe Ground Squirrels- delicious with a white sauce, Skunk, and handfuls of Butterflies shot on the wing, but I'm worried about this one!).
I'm in search for a suitable prize to add to the purse for the gourmet portion of the GSSC contest that will equal the one for the shoot-off in value and prestige (not an easy task). Thanks to all of you who have E-mailed with cash offers for the prize, but out of commitment to you as a group, I'm not selling- or trading- unless the guy with the Pierce recurve cares to give me a call!!!!!!
Talk is cheap, and I guess that makes this thread the cheapest place on the whole doggone Web, but in only a few days, we'll all know what's what, and who's who:
Tom (Longbo)- I can't wait to see those bamboo-limbed beauties, and see whether any of Mr. Hill's consumate talent lies within you.
Dean- I know you make the finest of wood bows, but the Coudersport Knothole Champ tells me you'll be more of a threat in the the cooking division than the shoot-off. I hope you prove him wrong.
Grump- I can't believe you have any hope of making the shoot. Remember that trouble I got in in 1st grade?? It was for giggling when a more worldly Sport showed me a National Geographic spread of some Nubian girls dressed (undressed) in native costume (or course, I haven't looked since). In your weakened, hallucinogenic state, I doubt you can pull yourself away in time from these quiver-only clad Amazonian princesses with their pert, upthrust,... Never mind.... Good luck in making it.
Bearman- Bring plenty of maple syrup. If I have to put any of that stuff in my mouth, I 'm going to need help.
Haggis- Quit leaving those shreeks of fiendish laughter on my answering machine. I have Caller ID, and I'm tired of it.
To the rest of the GSSC faithful- Stand firm, and show up at Dean's table for the official GSSC/Stickbow glow-in-the-dark hand stamp that proves you exist. If you are not real, on the other hand, we'd prefer you don't come.
Here's to exceptional shooting, iron-clad stomachs, a real good time, and the end of this thread as we know it. See you in Berrien Springs, the Lord and weather willing.....
Low on the western horizon, the setting sun stains a scudding of high clouds bright pink with it's terminal blush. And at the edge of a northerly facing cottonwood copse a small mound berift of grass and about to be swallowed by the evening fog, begins to quiver...then crack open, and through a tangental crevice a hand emerges clutching one orange faux barred fletched arrow.
Like one born from Gaia herself, a filthy mud (?) covered head erurpts from the mound...
Then mumbled word fragment's...sp...spa...mmmm.
Finally extracated from the mound, the filthy creature orient's to true north and begins plodding in that direction - still clutching the arrow...
What rough beast slouches toward Berrien Springs to be born?
Grump, get your head cleared and your arse up here, pronto. It's gettin heavy, man. Freaky and far-out, too. If Odysseus can do it, so can you.
Sounds like Bearman, but I happen to know he hasn't left the area yet. Must be "The Spaminater".
We all know what Grump's priorities are. He will not make the shoot because he would rather languish in the arms and bossom of a jungle princess! Bow in hand, nostrils flaring all covered with spam fuzz and judgement so clouded the sun may never shine again! No he will not come for archery or spam. However for a beer it is possible.
There will be an adequate supply of the golden nectar to assist Grump in washing down the Succulent Pink Artificial Meat and to help him forget his lost lovelies in the Amazon.
For many day's I sat guard on that pregnant mound. My thought's covering it like so much Eider down.
Still asleep when the mound broke open...I awoke to gurgling epithet's and sucking noises as the cursing creature pryed it'self loose from the fecund folds of filth.
Not even a rapter's night vision could penetrate the creepy coating that encrusted that creature. But for one brief moment I did manage to discern the fetid glint in his eye...and I recognized immediately a face I hadn't seen in ner' a fortnight.
Yes a primal healing had occured...but at what price?
Fly by night oh wings, and take me to the council fire - where there will be dancing in the streets for those who brave a mid summer's night's eve. isayso sayso,
Was fearless for a while, anyhow. Gettin' some flashbacks now. Bummer.
Hey Mr. Hagman (da hummm), Send me a dream (da da da dum)-- Make his complexion cause screeches and screams (oh, oh). Make his two lips (do wop) Like furrows in clover (da dum) And tell him that his lonely nights are overrrr-r-r.
We getting down to the wire on this thing and I still have two meals unaccounted for. Lunch on Saturday and breakfast on Sunday. Any takers? If I return home weighing less than when I left there will be some explaining to do.
VSN, As usual I can see that your nostrils are filled with fuzz! Lamenting about issues from long past. One must gather thy bow, quiver and sustanace and makeready for the journey for the Great Shoot of the Spam! If one is not able to rally for this great event, then he shoud be ready for the festivities of the event. One must be prepared to chalenge in the shooting of false game, imbibe in the richness of feast of the day, and the nectar of the gods! All of this shared with friends who are also out of control with this toxophilious maddness. I hope to see you there! Hawk
Anyone have original post from Haggis that started all this nonsense? Not in the archives. first 100 some posts are reduced to 30. If someone was bored enough to download original, please reproduce it here, anonymous ok. A spam should know its roots.
Tom, I'd feed you once, 'cept I'm ashamed to admit my identity. Best post with secrtet identities on this thread if you want to keep little dignity. An I remember what you said about dignity.
Innocent Bystander, innocent my butt!
Longbo Tom will judge the Spam cookoff at lunch on Saturday and Breakfast on Sunday.
OK guys. All meals now accounted for. Will sleep better tonight and have fun this weekend.
I've learned cynicism on this thread. I see through you clearly, Mr. LongboTom, and your subterfuge appointing yourself the Spam Shoot Committee with one post and then graciously accepting its verdict and nomination in the next.
I like it.
Dean, as a very, very wise man said just a few short posts ago...innocent my butt. Learned cynicism? Sometimes is difficult to distinguish teacher from student...yes?
Going to go load the truck. Save me some of those little fishies.
Yes. And as my current colleague Geoffrey Chaucer likes to say, running around down here assuming different identities while quoting himself, "Mordre wol oute."
VSN, Mon Hominus Sclelictic Wevels in Cantebury! The details only to be discussed by a campfire in the near moon. There is a savage beast within that needs to be tamed. Several powers that soar between the worlds will attend your discontent only if you are receptive. Hawk
Tom- Little fishies?? Is this now to become the Sardine Thread? One piece of advice- get the double layer kind. The single layer ones are so big that their ###holes are as big as dimes, and remember- they're not cleaned! But is that really of concern to some of the culinary cretins (non-spam-eaters) who inhabit this thread?
On the other hand, the single layer ones will be easier to hit, and a shaft through the midsection should clean them nicely.
VSN, sometimes the only way one can be quoted is to quote one's self. Assures accuracy if nothing else.
Don, I have no idea what kind of fishies they be. Hope not sardines...of any size.
Don, You are right the double layer ones are superior! I* prefer the ones smoked in olive oil. I asume I will see you in a couple of days! Hawk
And so... it begins.....
A ramshackle cadre of unkempt vagabonds begins wending its way from the West, East, and South towards the Mecca that is the GSSC (I don't think there are any humans North of there). Crudely tillered bows in hand, stomachs growling malevolently, they lurch, putter, and slink to the Destination of Destiny. Beings named for animals, those with handles that were created by typographical error, and talented hippies advance in a relentless, unstoppable swarm, reminiscent of a plague of locusts.
They come to compete, to contend for the Prize Of Great Worth, to cook Mediterranean Spam-chops with those cute paper booties, and to stuff themselves with squalid swill that will leave their intestines churning (and cramping) for months to come.
The GSSC begins Friday, and late-comers will be cast outside the Spam Shoot-off Venue, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Come one, come all. The challenge has been issued by Brian, and Bearman alone will determine the fate of the the winners and losers. Who will win the Prize? (Who would want to?) Only one can stand atop the podium (or Dean's '64 VW Bug).... unless, of course, there is "Foul Play".
Speaking of Haggis (see preceeding sentence), I call him forth to either resume the helm of leadership to the millions of (or 6) Spamophiles of America, or to be shown to be a traitorous coward who will add "Haggis" to the list of names (with Judas and Benedict) that a mother will never again call her newborn son.
Yes.... now it begins. All will soon be answered, and with any luck this thread will slip off into a pool of Slime. But, we will be the better, the stonger, for having been here at this point in history. The Champ will soon be named, the fight will soon be over. It is, in fact, a day for which many have prayed.
Be stalwart, my comrades-in-arms. Be strong and very courageous. Remember the words for the great Mediterranean archer of old, Julius Hormel Caesar, "Vini, Vidi, Spami, Barfi!!"
I'll see you in MI.
Hawk, I cannot attend. Inventory too low to finance trip due to bad weather and lack of wood- must stay and attend to business to assure continued access to Spam isle in supermarket. Will make a quicky trip to the Ben Pearson Memorial shoot in Pine Bluff instead, much to my dismay. I will display most recent Spam pelt in case any other poor souls left out of the GSSC are around to commiserate. All will be welcome around the campfire, and we will have a few to shoot there in honor of the greater event.
Must go now and cry myself to sleep, to dream, to wander the fields of unlimited half-tame Spams in full pelage, eager to be sacrificed in the name of.....whatever.
And so... it ends...
I never intended to be the bearer of this news... to be the sole reporter of these results... but I alone am left, for all the other valiant participants of the GSSC have fallen (or at the very least, fallen sick at their stomachs). The mantle of responsibility weighs heavily upon me, but I must shoulder the burden, and try to carry on.
The event started innocently enough. After the Thursday evening practice round- which felled a few of the weaker-stomached contestants- the GSSC got underway late Friday morning with the Cook-Off portion of the competition. To no one's surprise, the contest narrowed rapidly to a two-way skirmish between the Southern IL Gourmand, Bearman, and the Ostrander Epicure, Dean. When the smoke cleared (which, unfortunately, had been thick enough to cover the Spam-stench) and the judges stepped forward, the winner stood in irrefutable defiance. Bearman, with his Medallions-of-Black-Bear-Loin-With-Spam-And-Chub-Stuffing (with his secret Maple Syrup au Hormel sauce) looked like the odds-on favorite, but alas, his "taste testing" of the dish had emptied the bowl, leaving nothing for Tom "The Gagging Judge" Longbo to sample. Not so, our fair Dean!! His simple-but-elegant rendition of Pan Fried Spam with Red-Eye Gravy (note: with REAL red eyes and variegated shading with aniline dyes!!) brimmed to the very top of the hand-tillered Osage skillet, and though no one dared taste it, a Champion was born!!
Oh the revelry that followed... the overwhelming joy that flowed through the camp that night!! Dean, though he tried to appear stoic, was as giddy as a schoolgirl, flushed with the grandeur of his success (or perhaps the fifth of Jack Daniels...). The mood was high, and the party seemed as if it would never end, fueled by Schnapps, Cassis, Cognac, Bottled Water (my favorite), cases of empty Spam cans, and cardboard boxes that had only hours earlier been stuffed with smoked chubs. Yes, the first leg of the GSSC had been completed, the first of our heros had been named. At the awards ceremony, Dean's hand was raised in triumph, and the Prize Of Great Worth (which although it LOOKED like a bottle of Tums with a can of Spam super-glued on top, WASN'T!!!!) was hung around his neck on a Flemish-twist necklace.
The night, at first calm and beautiful, suddenly shivered with the winds of change. The moon, shining bright overhead, began to disappear behind the mysterious gathering clouds above. The festive mood became subdued as an undescribable chill swept over the formerly raucous group. Spotted Owl and Hawk, with a fleeting, knowing glance glided off their respective branches and slipped upward into the night sky to stand guard. Something was coming... something was not right...
A gray dawn followed an eerie, sleepless night. Undaunted by the nebulous threat that seemed... felt... as if it were closing in, the brave participants of the GSSC purposed to press onward with the day's competition. The Shoot-Off portion of the event would go on as planned. Nothing would stand in their way! The Trophy Of Inestimable Value (which looked like a cheap Spam T-shirt, but WASN'T!!!) would be contested for, and won by the most skillful of the group. The send-off for the finalists in the competition was a sight to behold. The archers, clad in their gay apparel (perhaps I should rephrase that) strode forward in a loosely defined line. Hawk was there, his mighty Fox longbow tucked lightly beneath his wing. Tom (Longbo) had unsheathed two of his most formidable weapons, a 98.6# @ 28" Hill-style bow of willow and cottonwood, and a 26# @ 36.5" bow of Bois D'Arc he had tillered for himself (while trying for a 75# model). In his teeth was clenched the familiar bamboo/juniper pipe he loved so well, and his look was one of cold, hard confidence. Spotted Owl was nowhere to be seen, still on guard duty, but John Friedrich was there, his classy wife cheering from the sidelines. One by one they came, Brian with his guitar string-strung bow, Steve H. sporting his new Black Buffalo bow named "The Mrs." (or perhaps "Three Misses", I couldn't hear for sure), the Vienna Wienie, Spamorama, and me, Hawkeye.
The early competition went well, and the shooting was exemplary. The cans of Spam, hidden through the Michigan forests, were skewered with regularity and aplomb. One pound, 6.23 oz., even the little 2 oz. Spam Spread cans were hit again and again, as each contestant knew they were shooting the best archery round of their life...
And so... it happened... as the entire band of merry (NOT GAY) archers approached the final target, the 81 yard Spam-can-in-the-gold-ring target, they came without warning, from every direction. The sky was suddenly filled with wraith-like Amazonian warriors clad only in fuzz-covered Spam quivers. We stood transfixed as the they screamed downwards, heaving their pert, upthrust... but I digress...
A shout of challenge was heard from the far side of the meadow. And then, there he was. Nearly toothless, crooked grin cleaving his scarred face, dirty clothes, unmistakable stench. Haggis. On his left stood Doe-Boy, appearing as if he were a decaying zombie (or fairly normal, in other words). On his right, dazed, confused, drugged(?!), stood Grump, no more than a shadow of his former self (but boy, he sure looked happpy).
Across the field of contest they stode. They pulled up just a Joe Don's bow shot away, and stood, hands on hips. I wasn't surprised when Haggis spoke first, his voice (and breath) like something from the Pit of Hell. "You boys thought you could name the GSSC champ without me, dintcha??", He slurred. "Well, you was wrong. I be the champ this year... AND FOREVER!!!!" He bend he head back, and laughed that shrieking, hallucinogenic laugh that I had heard all too often on my answering machine. It was as he dropped his head back down and fixed his spiteful glare upon me that I saw them... the Spotted Owl feathers in his hatband... the blood on his hands... the hungry pleasure in his eyes. A lump formed in my throat as I realized a beloved comrade had fallen (no, we're NOT gay!). I stood at the line, ready for my turn at the target 81 yards distant. I looked at the others. They knew. We all knew what had to be done. We would loose our shafts simultaneouly at the distant target, trying to hit the Spam can full square and save the Championship, then turn to face our enemies. Without a word, with honed precision and broadheads to match, we each graeped an arrow by the nock, and slid it onto the string without looking down.
Haggis' eyes narrowed to mere slits as he "instinctively" intercepted our plan. With his shouted command, they all moved forward, Haggis, Doe-Boy, and Grump (who headed off in the wrong direction, still dazed) and the Amazonian wraiths with their pert, upthr... aw, you get the picture. The air was filled with the hissing of oversized fletching, designed by Haggis to overcome his lack of understanding of deflection vs. spine. Two arrows whizzed past my head, but the others were not so lucky. Dead and wounded they fell. Tom (Longbo) lay unconscious, blood (or Spam slime) dripping from a nasty gash to his head. It was his good fortune that the wraiths shot expandable broadheads, and as usual, this one had failed to penetrate. Brian snapped the guitar "E" string when an Amazonian arrow scraped it as he neared full draw, and as his bow knocked him cold, he wished he had a "G" string (maybe I should rephrase that). John Friedrich lay writhing in pain, felled by a serious hang nail AND old tendon injury in the shoulder rekindled by a glancing blow from a Doe-Boy Judo point. Steve H. pulled off three consecutive aerial shots on the wraiths, hitting each one squarely in the... well, as a gentleman, I'd rather not say, but a miss with his forth arrow cost him dearly. His opponents arrow, loosed two seconds after his own, splintered his bow, the shards temporarily blinding him. As he fell to the ground, he exclaimed, "I knew I should have switched to Smooth-On epoxy!!" Then, he was silent. The Vienna Wienie took a shaft to the shaf... er lower groin, and fell on his own knife when he realized he had been "Bobbitted". Spamorama was running towards the woods with an arrow in his arm when a second shaft caught him between the shoulder blades, and he went down hard, and lay all too still. Jerry Pierce jumped on a log to return fire with his mighty not-for-sale-at-any-price bow, but the rules committee reminded him that this was a longbow-only event, and he was forced back to the PBS booth.
Dean and I were left, but not for long. A lucky shot from Haggis (the only kind he ever makes) glanced off Dean's favorite bow, Little Sister, and delaminated its lower limb before center punching his funny bone. Dean fell. We were in trouble. My hand glided effortlessly back to anchor like a video capture from a Fred Asbell video, but I felt arms grabbing me and my shot went off "half-Asbelled". A wraith had me. She buried my head in her ample bossom seeking to suffocate me as I struggled to loose a fatal shot into ol' Haggis. We struggled as I began to lose consciousness, and as the lights went out, I remember thinking "This is not a bad way to go", between her pert, upthru....
It was a shriek that brought me "to" with a ridiculous grin on my face. Haggis, smelling like a hog lagoon, but brimming with confidence, had loosed his arrow at the target, sure he was the last contestant who could POSSIBLY win the GSSC chmpionship. He had cheated, of course, stepping up to only 79 yards, and was yelling "I be the Champ this year... AND FOREVER" even as the string slipped from his fetid fingers. The raptor's shriek from above cut him off in mid sentence. Knowing full well it was too late to stop Haggis, Hawk plummeted from the sky toward the target. Arrow and bird converged as if by magic, and our brave Hawk was nearly dead as he hit the ground. He whispered, "Please, tell the guys... let this thread di...", and then he was silent.
Haggis screamed with frustration, and started scrambling over the corpses of my friends and his as he ran toward the target, determined to stab it at close range and steal away the Trophy of Inestimable Value. Still shaken, and still smiling, I leapt to my feet and started running to tackle Haggis. I couldn't get there. I was too dizzy, I was too far behind, he smelled too bad. I watched in fascinated horror as he neared the target, plucking the arrow from Hawk's dead body, and grinning as he pulled back his arm to stab the innocent can of Spam. I wanted to yell, "NO!!", but I could not, for my mind had been frozen by the soft "twang" of a well tillered wood bow. I turned to see Dean tumbling back to the earth. Cliff's new bow, Whispering Angel, lay at his feet, where Dean had drawn it like some Howard Hill exhibition shot, pulled to 34" with his remaining good arm and one foot. The arrow screamed toward an unsuspecting Haggis, and took him cleanly through the center of the back just as his arm started forward. With a very surprised look (and for once, no words) Haggis turned. Touching his fingers to his chest, he pulled them away to see them covered with bright red arterial blood. He took two steps our direction, and fell, very, very, dead.
Finally on my feet and clear headed once again, I turned to assit the wounded, but a glance back over my shoulder caused me to smile once again. No.... the wraths were gone... dead or flown away. But as the sun poked a beam through the cloud for the first time this fateful day, it fell upon Dean's bloody arrow, sticking squarley in the center of the 81 yard target, buried half way to the fletching in the lone... can... of... Spam. (Editor's note: A sharp broadhead and properly spined arrow can give much needed penetration on big game and smelly old protagonists when shot from a sufficiently powerful bow. Here's the clean pass-throughs!) I whooped, and for the first time began to hear the cheers and applause of those hiding in the woods around the the meadow. The cheers were for my fallen comrades, they were for the bravery shown that day, but they were also for the Old Hippie who had swept the competition at the GSSC.
Dean, you have made us all proud, and we'll never forget your achievements. Enjoy the Prize of Great Worth and Trophy of Inestimable value. You've earned them. While you, and Tom (Longbo), and Brian, and John, and Steve return to health and regain your strength, know that we salute you for your bravery. We also salute those who are no more: Spotted Owl, Hawk, Spamorama,The Vienna Wienie (ouch!). We also acknowledge Cliff, who gave up a treasured bow he never got to shoot to save the GSSC and all that is right and good (really, Cliff, 5" string follow isn't THAT bad).
And so... it ends... in honor of Hawk's dying request, I will post on this thread no longer, and I ask the same of all of you. Our other friends will be better soon and posting all around the Stickbow. I'll talk to you there.
And so... it ends... as Spotted Owl would have said, "Hau, I sayso, sayso."