By Wendy Angel
Horse people are crafty. Like, not in the Martha Stewart way, but in the MacGyver way. Truly, he should be the patron saint of horse people everywhere.
There is no other group of people on this planet that can take duct tape and a piece of baling twine and solve anything the way we can. We are always prepared for unplanned outages. Who among us hasn’t used baling twine to pull our hair back? Or used duct tape to keep a shoe on, or electrical tape to keep a boot on our foot?
More than one of us has seen beat-up leather goods at a yard sale that are one inch away from meeting God and thought, “Well a little hydrophane could fix that….”
Let us dig into our trunks and we can fix, set up, move or create anything. ANYTHING.
Sometimes, though, our MacGyver qualities can cause issues. Or rather, the supplies that we amass that enable us to be MacGyver and be our most prepared versions of ourselves – those can cause issues.
Take one certain pre-show trip to Walmart, where I needed to restock pretty much, well, everything in my supplies kit. I walked down the aisles, filling my cart with all of the wondrous goods that I needed. Staple gun. Small knife to keep in my trunk for cutting twine, opening shavings bags, etc.? Check. Small sewing kit. Large scissors – got ’em. Dish detergent for my horse’s tail if he pees in it overnight – OK. Safety pins for errant numbers and missing buttons.
Then it was just time to check out.
“Hi, how are you tonight?” chirped the cashier.
“Oh just great. Just getting ready for my torturous weekend!” was my errant reply.
Of course, because I am awkward, I meant my horse show. But the cashier gave me side-eye and started scanning.
Oh, no. No, no, no, no, no.
I suddenly realized that my purchases did not make me look liked a prepared but frightened athlete. Instead, my MacGyvering purchases made me look like a prepared, deranged and frightening serial killer.
With each beep of the scanned items, I could feel her judgment and fear grow. I felt like her hand was one second away from hitting whatever super secret call button they must have. The rags. Vaseline. Wet wipes.
I internally cringed as the items went down the belt. I could feel the sweat beading on my face, and I certainly could see it on hers. I felt like we were playing an awkward game of chicken to see who might make a joke-not-joke, to see who was going to break first. I was certain I’d end up on some sort of list if I did, so I just kept quiet and prayed for time to accelerate.
Then we got to some better stuff. A bottle of rubbing alcohol. Small bungee cords. A flashlight. Electrical tape. By the time we got to the latex gloves, duct tape and zip ties, it was all over for my poor cashier. If I remember correctly, she called her manager over for a “price check,” but really I think she just wanted a witness and to give some sort of hand signal to have the cameras zoom in on me. Or something.
My last item was some beer, which I am sure she thought was going to be some celebratory drink or an offering to whatever demon I was killing for.
Thankfully, I was allowed to pay and exit. Before I left though, I turned around to the cashier, and I swear she took a step back. I quickly blurted out, “These are all going to make my life easier AT THE HORSE SHOW THIS WEEKEND! Okthankyousomuchhaveagreatnightbye.”
I did not stay to gauge her reaction. Hopefully she just ended up thinking I was a quirky lunatic instead of a murderous lunatic. I know, fine lines and all.
And on the way out into the parking lot, just like in Margaritaville, I actually blew out my flip-flop. But, no worries. I had my duct tape.