Monthly Archives: September 2021

WINGSPREAD Ezine for September, 2021


“Spreading your wings in a perplexing world”

September, 2021                                                                                             James P. Hurd

Please forward, and share this E-zine with anyone. Thank you.

Contents

  • New story
  • Puzzler of the month
  • Writer’s Corner
  • How to purchase Wingspread: A Memoir of Faith and Flying
  • Wingspread E-zine subscription information

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 New story: “The Unfaithful Wife” 

The big tires skim the six-inch grass as we roll to a stop and taxi up to the houses. I open the side window and inhale the cooler air. Wally and Marg Jank are waiting with the patient, who lies on a stretcher.

Wally translates the loud chatter of the Yanomamo women standing around. “I wonder if she’ll die…? She’s so young… Her husband was really mad… How terrible he cut her leg off…! Serves her right for messing around with that other guy; I wonder what her husband will do to him…?” And sundry other helpful comments. The Yanomamo live in scattered shobonos of about 50 people each. Venezuelan healthcare does not extend to this remote location, and neither does law and order. The men frequently wage war on neighboring villages. The people go completely naked. The men expect their wives to obey them and to quickly accede to their demands . . .

To read more, click here:   https://jimhurd.com/2021/09/07/the-unfaithful-wife/

(*Please leave a comment on the website. Thanks.)

Puzzler for the month for September

The Loose Caboose ( from “Click and Clack, The Tappet Brothers”):

Imagine, if you will, a long freight train. Like the kind you see out West with a couple hundred cars getting ready to leave the train yard. The engineer opens the throttle and the train starts to pull away from the yard. Then they realize that the caboose has a problem. The brake is frozen on one of the wheels of the caboose, and the wheel is being dragged so there are sparks and smoke. 

Someone standing there says, “Stop the train.” So, they manage to signal to the engineer, to stop the train. Well, they can’t fix it, so they just cut the caboose loose. They remove it and they give the engineer the go ahead. They wave him. You know. Go ahead. He gives it the throttle. The train doesn’t move.

He gives it more throttle, it doesn’t move. He gives it more and what’s happening in the train isn’t moving, but his wheels are spinning. There’s nothing wrong with any of the remaining cars and there’s nothing wrong with the engine, but there is something wrong with the engineer.

The question is why won’t the train move?
(Answer in next month’s Ezine)

Remember August’s puzzler: “The interchangeable part”?

What part of a car is virtually interchangeable with virtually any other car, whether it’s foreign or domestic?

Answer from Tom and Ray: 

Now, a lot of people wrote in and said things like, “the air in the tires,” “the oil in the crankcase.” But we said it was an actual mechanical part — not a fluid. We did research this for six or seven minutes.

The answer is the Schrader tire valve, the valve that goes in the stem. It’s called that because it’s made by the Schrader Company.

It’s a little check valve that keeps the air from coming out. It allows you to put air into the tire, yet it does not allow air to escape.

You can take that out of any car. In fact, we’ve taken them out of all the cars in the parking lot… and all the cars in the parking lot now have flat tires.

Writers’ Corner

Watch for my upcoming novel: East Into Unbelief (provisional title)

Sean loses his father, his best girlfriend, his life dream, and finally, his faith. How can he be a good atheist, especially when he’s stuck at Torrey Bible Institute? He can’t see it, but grace is coming . . .

Word of the Month:  Developmental editing [as opposed to line editing or proofreading]. A higher-level critique of your plot, character development, scenes.

Tip of the month: Was it Elmore Leonard who said that if you wish to be a published writer, you need to spend lots of time and lots of money? I just contracted for an editor’s critique of my novel’s first 50 pages, plus a critique of my synopsis.

Buy James Hurd’s Wingspread: A Memoir of Faith and Flying  How childhood (Fundamentalist) faith led to mission bush-piloting in South America—and Barbara. Buy it here:  https://jimhurd.com/home/  (or order it at Barnes and Noble, Amazon, etc.) 

See pics here related to Wingspread: Of Faith and Flying: http://www.pinterest.com/hurd1149/wingspread-of-faith-and-flying/

Follow “james hurd” on Facebook, or “@hurdjp” on Twitter

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More paraprosdokians!

  • I’ve had a perfectly wonderful evening, but this wasn’t it. –Groucho Marx
  • He taught me housekeeping; when I divorce, I keep the house. –Zsa Zsa Gabor
  • I haven’t slept for 10 days, because that would be too long. –Mitch Hedberg
  • Standing in the park today, I was wondering why a frisbee looks larger the closer it gets… Then it hit me. –Stewart Francis
  • When I was a kid my parents moved a lot, but I always found them. –Rodney Dangerfield
  • My husband hates seeing trash and garbage lying around the house – he can’t stand the competition. –Phyllis Diller
  • I can picture in my mind a world without war, a world without hate. And I can picture us attacking that world because they’d never expect it. –Jack Handey
  • The company accountant is shy and retiring. He’s shy a quarter of a million dollars. That’s why he’s retiring. –Milton Berle
  • I’m a very tolerant man, except when it comes to holding a grudge. –Robin Williams
  • I saw a bank that said “24 Hour Banking,” but I don’t have that much time. –Stephen Wright
  • I always remember my grandfather’s last words: “A truck!” –Emo Phillips
  • Half of all marriages end in divorce—and then there are the really unhappy ones. –Joan Rivers
  • There are three kinds of people in the world – those who can count, and those who can’t. –Unknown

The Unfaithful Wife

“Her husband cut her leg off, but her relatives say she’s to blame.” Wally calls at 9 a.m. on our short-wave radio. He lives near the Yanomamo village of Niayobateri, 360 miles deep into the Venezuelan jungle. “Juanita was messing around with another man and her husband cut her leg off and we can’t stop the bleeding from the bloody stump. Can you come pick her up and take her to Puerto Ayacucho hospital?”

I drive our green Chevrolet pickup truck the five miles through the humid, enervating heat to Puerto Ayacucho airport and prepare the Cessna 185 for the trip. Amazing airplane, with its oversize tires for unpaved airstrips and modified wings and ailerons for short-field landings. I strap in, hear the engine growl when I plunge the throttle to full open, and smell the exhaust from the 300 hp engine. We roll a short distance, spring into the air and climb to 10,000 feet.

The eternal jungle rolls by underneath, an endless, green field of broccoli-like trees, some 100 feet high, broken only by the occasional small savannah and ribboned with two major rivers – the Ventuari, and the mighty Orinoco that empties into the Atlantic 600 miles to the east. The steady drone of the engine calms me. Nothing to do now for a couple hours except fight complacency and sleepiness. I wonder about the woman’s condition. Has she bled to death? Is she in great pain?

We overfly Isla Ratón where the Salesian Catholics have a mission. Pass the mouth of the Ventuari, where semi-abandoned Santa Barbara sits with its long but untended airstrip. Pass Tama Tama airstrip, headquarters of the New Tribes Mission. Now we’re above unbroken jungle looking for Parima, a small airstrip that nestles among low-lying hills near the Brazilian border. Circling above the airstrip, I see the Yanomamo roundhouse, and a group of people standing in front of the rectangular houses built by the missionaries.

The big tires skim the six-inch grass as we roll to a stop and taxi up to the houses. I open the side window and inhale the cooler air. Wally and Marg Jank are waiting with the patient, who lies on a stretcher.

Wally translates the loud chatter of the Yanomamo women standing around. “I wonder if she’ll die…? She’s so young… Her husband was really mad… How terrible he cut her leg off…! Serves her right for messing around with that other guy; I wonder what her husband will do to him…?” And sundry other helpful comments. The Yanomamo live in scattered shobonos of about 50 people each. Venezuelan healthcare does not extend to this remote location, and neither does law and order. The men frequently wage war on neighboring villages. The people go completely naked. The men expect their wives to obey them and to quickly accede to their demands.

We load the injured woman, into the plane and secure her stretcher. Marg has dressed her in a blouse and skirt, and Wally has decided to accompany her. Marg speaks a prayer over her and we’re off for the long flight back. The afternoon cumulus buildups threaten as we dodge among thundershowers. Suddenly we plunge into a dark cloud and begin flying on instruments. A couple times bright lightning flashes and the plane is tossed around by powerful updrafts. Flying blind for a while, I hope to break out soon because we need those glimpses of the Orinoco River to keep us on course. Finally we land in Puerto Ayacucho and drive straight to the tiny hospital where I leave Wally and Juanita.

When Wally stops by our house the next day, I ask, “How’s the patient?”

“She seems to be doing okay, but she’s flirting with the male nurses. Seems she just can’t learn her lesson. I feel sorry for her, though.”

After a week, we fly her home to Niayobateri where she is received with joy by her relatives and even by her husband, who apparently thinks she’ll now be completely faithful. Is all now forgiven?