Sunday Humor-The $147.00 Tasmanian Devil

$147.00 Tasmanian Devil By Mike Ford

$147.00 Tasmanian Devil
By Mike Ford

Happy Sunday! I hope today’s offering pleases and amuses you.

As some of you know, I had some difficulty assimilating back into polite society upon my return from my first tour over in the Sandbox. This as I related in a previous article, even extended to the operation of simple floor buffing device. Another example occurred when my youngest daughter prevailed upon me to take her to the County Fair.


Like most County Fairs, the one in St Lucie County, Florida was great…animals**, exhibits**, rides, cotton candy…real Americana—and of course, the Carnies; those practitioners of applied human psychology specifically geared towards separating you from your money…one dollar bill at a time.

My lovely daughter Ashley and I wandered about the grounds, riding all the rides and eating all the junk food we could force down. Then we came upon Carnie Row…all the games that looked so easy; just ask the kindly folks running them. “Step right up here young feller, only One Dollar gets you ten shots with this highly accurate Red-Ryder-Range-Model-BB-Gun-With-The-Compass-In-The-Stock. Well, I wasn’t about to traumatize my young daughter. She’d already heard about the last time I pulled out my trusty Red Ryder Shootin’ Iron. So, we moved on down the line.

And then, there it was, the most ginormous stuffed green lizard/dinosaur I’d ever seen. And of course, my little Ashley just had to have it. “Daddy….DADDY!….go win me that lizard, pleeeeeze!” What was I to do? I mean, what man can hope to withstand the plaintive entreaties of his little girl—a little girl who still believes deep down, that Daddy could pick up the house if he really wanted to.

So, I hied myself over to the gentleman running this particular dollar bill separation process (not the one most Infantryman are familiar with…this is a family friendly article!). I knew immediately I was in deep kimchee. “All” I had to do was knock three metal milk bottles over by hitting them with a baseball from about 5 feet away. Did I mention the beat up rotator cuff from boxing way back in the day? But that’s another story.


Anyhow, I handed the gentleman a few bills and he handed The Mark (that’s me…as if you ain’t already figured that one out) a few baseballs. After a couple shoulder rotations ostensibly to loosen up, but really to buy time, I gave the target a steely look, wound up and let one fly. I swear I could hear Don Adams whispering in my ear, “Missed it by THAT much.” And alas, no Barbara Feldon to comfort me.

Again I let fly and actually hit one of the bottles with a glancing blow, but to little effect. I kept at it, bound and determined to win that lizard for my little girl, or else—or else what? I had no clue. I kept going—mostly misses, but even the hits were less than effective. All the while, my beautiful daughter is watching her Daddy fail spectacularly. This wasn’t good.

Finally, and just in time to avoid total humiliation, I managed to hit the milk bottle pyramid just right (or more likely, the Carnie flipped the switch that cut off the electromagnet holding the metal bottles together) and the bottles went flying. My daughter got her Lizard, and the Carnie, feeling sorry for The Rube, gave him a stuffed Tasmanian Devil for being a good sport.

And that folks, is how I came into possession of a $147.00 stuffed Tasmanian Devil. Since that day, he has returned to the Desert with me and also accompanied me to Haiti during the earthquake recovery. Now he rides in my truck with me. And sparks conversations with everyone he meets.


Fair Tickets-$20.00
Junk food-$25.00
Baseball Throws-$147.00 (and a Sore Rotator Cuff)

Remaining My Daughter’s Hero….PRICELESS

Happy Sunday!

**St Lucie County’s 4-H & FFA programs are among the best in the nation.

Mike Ford is a retired Infantry Officer who writes on Military, Foreign Affairs and occasionally dabbles in Political and Economic matters.

Follow him on Twitter: @MikeFor10394583

You can find his other Red State work here.


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