Peevish Pen

Ruminations on reading, writing, rural living, retirement, aging—and sometimes cats. And maybe a border collie or other critters.

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Location: Rural Virginia, United States

I'm an elderly retired teacher who writes. Among my books are Ferradiddledumday (Appalachian version of the Rumpelstiltskin story), Stuck (middle grade paranormal novel), Patches on the Same Quilt (novel set in Franklin County, VA), Them That Go (an Appalachian novel), Miracle of the Concrete Jesus & Other Stories, and several Kindle ebooks.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

What the World Knows Now

Well, the radio interview for the station in Iowa was certainly interesting this morning. One of the “local hunters” was on the other line.

The host asked if I knew a Reverend Randy Watson, I didn’t. Then did I know a K*v*n D*v*d? Turns out I did. (He's a local landscaper who does a lot of stonework at the lake.) That’s who was on the other line.

It seems, according to KD, that the talk around the area—where “the Mushkos have so many enemies”—is that my tombstone theft was an “inside job.” Apparently, according to him, my husband and I stole it! “A witness saw her husband’s truck by the cemetery Sunday night.” Huh? Why has this “witness” not come forward?

If we’d been there Sunday night, we’d have reported the theft then. Now, what are “witnesses” doing hanging around our farm at night? And why? John already asked the closest neighbor if they’d seen anything? Why did she say she hadn’t? (OK, faithful blog readers, can you picture two 60-plus people—one of whom is overweight and has health problems and the other of whom isn’t in great shape either—wrestling a 500-lb. stone out of a cemetery in the middle of the night?)

Gee, did we also spike our own farm driveway and get flat tires on our trucks back in 2003, do you think?

Interesting how KD turned the tables on me. Apparently, I’m the one harassing the local hunters. Is reporting game violations harassment? Is reporting property damage harassment? Is wanting to be safe on my own property or on the public roads harassment?

“None of the game wardens will respond to her calls,” KD said, mentioning that the police don’t respond either. Uh, yes, they do. Every time I’ve called.

KD accuses me of “crying wolf.” I don’t. (And how would he know whether or not they respond to my calls? Is he monitoring my calls? If so, how?)

KD says the theft of my tombstone was a “way to get publicity” for myself. Why do I need to “get publicity” for myself? I write a column. (AHA! Now I know who must have written that letter of complaint about my column a few weeks ago!)

When I asked KD if he was the one sitting beside his brother at my husband’s trial last year (when one of the locals swore out two false warrants against my husband), and my husband—who didn’t even need a lawyer—defended himself and was found not guilty, KD answered “It could have been me.” Could have been? You either know or don’t know if you’re sitting beside your own brother at a trial. (A brother, by the way, who sends us an email a few days later in which he calls my husband “Mushcrapko.”)

Turns out, according to KD, I have “numerous enemies” in the community. That I have been “harassing the hunters” for years.

I had no idea that posting my land or trying to drive along public roads to my land was “harassing.” Gee, who would’ve thought!

Now it seems, the "local hunters," who have endured my “harassment” for so many years, are offering to buy me a new tombstone if I’ll stop harassing them.

OK, let me get this straight: If I no longer report hunting violations to the authorities, if I stop calling the police every time someone drives by and threatens me—whether it is nearly colliding a 4-wheeler into my truck on a public road or stopping in front of my farm to take my picture or firing shots (albeit into the ground) across the road from me while I’m getting my mail out of the mailbox or scattering spikes in my farm driveway—they’ll replace my tombstone. First I’ve heard of it. You’d have thought they would have told me personally instead of announcing it on an Internet radio show based in Iowa.

Does this mean they'll also stop yelling “Fat Ass!” at me or the “M-F” word at my husband while they drive by or will one of them stop giving my husband or me the middle finger? If they don’t stop and we maybe become indignant and maybe even contact authorities (who, of course aren't going to respond because we're “crying wolf”), does that mean we’re “harassing” them? And if they actually replace the tombstone, and it turns out that we don't behave in such a manner that suits them, will they haul it away again?

KD also took offense that I called the locals by the term “rednecks.”

“Some of them are self-made millionaires—not rednecks!” he declared. The host pointed out that the two were not mutually exclusive. The host also mentioned that he felt like Maury during this exchange.

KD mentioned some other things that didn’t happen—like we’d harassed them during dove season this year. Well, some hunters were out there across the road from us for a while. But there weren’t many doves and it was hot, so most of them went home early. I stayed in and did housework, only looking out occasionally. Plus, I was still recovering from my hospital stay. (I wonder, are people who look like my husband and me, harassing them? Could that be it?)

KD referred to the old Novelty depot as a “hunting cabin.” When I asked him about the rusty chairs across from my driveway, he said they’re “for the hunters to sit on.” (Why would hunters want to sit on chairs a few feet from a public road and facing a private residence—my home? What, exactly, are they hunting from there?

Picture taken this morning. The flowers are in my flowerbed. The edge of my driveway is at lower right. If you click to enlarge the picture, you can see the old chairs facing the road. The old pew in the center was near the road until last Saturday. What could they be hunting from the intersection where three roads meet? Plus they all live in the neighborhood. They never stay over in the old depot.

Even the host noticed something, after KD had mentioned the details of the 4-wheeler incident (if KD were there, I sure didn't see him) and said we “backed up” (we didn’t) and the kid “didn’t get off” his 4-wheeler and come toward us (he did) and that the kid weighed 250 pounds. The host mentioned that a kid this size might have a few friends and—well, you know.

(Thank you, KD, for publicly announcing that the kid was indeed on the road. I’m sure his lawyer will be delighted that you verified that he was riding on the public road in such a manner because now the lawyer won't have to waste valuable time determining if his client was or was not on a public road.)

So, anyway, it turns out that I must not really be the victim of harassment after all. Gee, it’s news to me.

And speaking of news: Thank you, KD, for sharing such interesting information with such a large audience—an audience, I’m sure, that reaches many more people than this humble blog does.

Meanwhile, I'm still awaiting a tombstone. Either the original or a replacement.

Update: The day after the interview, KD decided to create a blog to denounce me. His brother created another one.



Blogger Amy Hanek said...

Wish I had remembered to tune into the radio show online this morning. What an interesting turn of events!!

11:38 AM  
Blogger Marion said...

Let's and John would have stolen your own 500-lb tombstone, plus the piece it was anchored order to harass the local hunters?


Did the radio interviewer seem to side with KD? Or did he see what KD was attempting to do?

11:42 AM  
Blogger Becky Mushko said...

He seemed to side sort of with me. I think. He didn't really take sides, though.

Wonder why KD didn't mention that he has a landscaping business and does a lot of stonework at the lake. It could have given him some publicity.

Wish I'd remembered to mention it.

11:53 AM  
Blogger Debi said...

Maybe you all ought to go on Dr. Phil!

11:12 PM  

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