The Gross National Debt

Friday, May 11, 2012

FRIDEE FUNEH

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Tired of paying ever-increasing prices of gasoline, one local family has traded in their fleet of OPEC supporting rides for a more traditional mode of transportation.

“We got hay burners,” said Jim Turk. “Horses. Got a horse for the wife, myself and Jim Jr. and a pony for little Sally Mae. Best decision we ever made.”
You're doing it wrong.
The Turk family traded in a Ford Explorer, a Volvo and an aging Crown Victoria for their stable of horses. Mr. Turk declined to say exactly how much they got on trade, only admitting “We got a good deal on this. Got enough money left over to take the whole family out to eat and buy a new saddle.”

Mr. Turk rides a roan gelding and his wife Mary Lou rides a dappled grey mare. Jim Jr., a lineman on the high school football team, rides a Morgan. Sally Mae’s pony is buckskin colored.

Mr. Turk said the decision, made about two months ago, is already paying off. By eliminating gasoline from their daily budget, he estimates the family has saved $500 a month alone. Additional savings come from not having to pay vehicle insurance and routine maintenance on the cars.
Reminds me of a gal I dated in college.

“All we have now are regular vet bills and a little bit of money for sweet feed,” Mr. Turk said. “A horse is about 10 percent of the cost of a car. A pony is a bit less.

“I tell you, have you checked the prices of veterinarians these days? Way cheaper than a doctor at the clinic. I’m looking at switching our health care to the vet as well. After all, the vet is a doctor and he can prescribe medicine. What more do you need from a doctor?”

Sweet feed is costing about $8 a bag at the feed store. One bag lasts a week, according to the Turks. The horses and ponies graze in neighborhood yards, providing an unexpected bonus for the Turk family. No more lawn maintenance costs.

COMMUNITY REACTION

Neighbors so far don’t seem to mind. All interviewed said they are glad to not have to pay illegal immigrants under the table for lawn maintenance. The only drawback is the horses are a bit indiscriminate when it comes to pruning and hedge maintenance.

“They either eat the whole thing right down to the ground or don’t eat at all,” said Turk family neighbor Junie Snodgrass. “While I really didn’t mind them eating the petunias my husband bought, I didn’t much care for them eating my rose blooms. They won’t even touch the hibiscus, which is fine. But the holly bushes really need to be cut back. They are getting so tall I can barely see into anyone else’s house.”

GOING GREEN
Horse apple? You're still doing it wrong.

The equine byproducts, horse apples, are gathered daily and dumped in the family’s compost bin the back yard. A ring of tomato plants surround the bin, supporting Big Boys bigger than a doubled fist.

The compost also feeds a nearby garden, which is fenced off.

“Had to,” Mr. Turk explained. “Horses will get in there and eat everything right to the ground. Not too good! So we put up the fence, horses stay out and we get fresh veggies.

The family describes the taste of the fresh vegetables as amazing and far superior to supermarket produce.

OTHER BENEFITS

16 year old Jim Jr. said riding a horse to school has so far been one of the best things to ever happen to him.

“Girls, girls, girls, Girls are just slap crazy about horses. The first day I rode up to school all my friends were like laughing and making fun of me. But when school was over and I spent the next three hours giving girls rides around the whole school, lemme tell you there were some jealous looks,” he said.
Well, maybe it will work. No. You're still doing it wrong.

Mrs. Turk said her only objection is going grocery shopping. A horse is not exactly conducive to bringing home two weeks worth of food for a family of four. But they have a solution in mind. Thanks to the money the family is saving, next week they plan to buy a wagon. Mrs. Turk will hitch her mare to the wagon, ride to the grocery store and shop without worrying about how to get everything home.

Mr. Turk has received a mixed reaction at work. While his boss doesn’t mind, some of his co workers have objected to the smell and the flies that have mysteriously appeared about the same time as his horse. Mr. Turk brushes it off.

“I’m thinking so far out of the box here, they can’t grasp what I’m doing. Radical, genius-level ideas have always met with strong resistance. This is no different.”

Little Sally Mae? She’s probably the happiest of the bunch.

“I GOT A PONY!” she loudly exclaims to everyone she sees.

1 comment:

  1. So funny! After a tiring day at work I really appreciated the giggles.
    ps: I thought the site was blank because the story started so far down the page.

    ReplyDelete