Saturday, July 09, 2005

Today, on the Lizacommunicator, it's

RYAN and BRANT VS. !!!!!!!

That whole intro thing would probably be a lot more effective if I could have figured out how to get it horizontal. As it is, you all will have to pretend that it's just as dramatic vertical.
Furthermore, if you ever get the chance to hear Ryan and Brant themselves tag-team telling these stories, it's totally better. I'll try hard to do them justice.
Ryan's family owns Yellowstone's "Bear World," which is one of those places that's basically a wild North American petting zoo. They've got wolves, bears, elk, buffalo, etc. During high school and part of college, Brant and Ryan picked up a few extra dollars helping out with the various maintenance tasks necessary to keep the park up and running. These are their adventures.

This isn't exactly a story, but those of you who know Brant know that he's a cat person. Which for some reason, I find really funny. But that's not the point. The point is that he's not a dog person. Nor is he a buffalo person.
It was one of Brant's responsibilities to feed the one buffalo that Bear World exhibits. Ryan and his family all showed somewhat Hagrid-esque affection for this particular buffalo, insisting that he wouldn't hurt a fly. It's true that when anyone else would drive the truck into the pen to feed it, he would hardly look up. But for some reason, that buffalo just had it in for Brant. Every single time, Brant would go to feed it, he'd end up trapped on top of his truck, the buffalo circling and starting to literally charge every time Brant showed signs of getting down. He'd invariably end up with his cell phone, sitting as still as possible on top of the truck, calling the house and telling them to get down there and rescue him. The first few times, they laughed at him and insisted that the buffalo was harmless, but after awhile they started believing him enough to send out a rescue party.

One afternoon, Brant and Ryan were told to go out into the park and "tag" the elk. That means they had to find each elk they had, attatch an ID tag to its ear, and get the heck out of there as fast as possible. The two of them climbed into to the truck and began what you can imagine was a long afternoon. Toward evening, they were completely exhausted and had had several close calls. Not to mention the fact that it was dead in the middle of a Rexburg summer, and they were in a truck with no A.C. Needless to say, both were a little impatient and somewhat short-tempered. They were down to the last few elusive elk, they found one of them in a clearing by itself. It was a baby, making a huge racket, most likely because its parental figure was nowhere to be seen. Ryan, his short temper making him somewhat reckless, jumped out of the car, grabbed the baby elk and roughly tagged it's ear. It soon made even more noise, as would any seemingly parentless baby elk who just had an ID tag stuck through its ear.
Let's pause and examine the situation. Anyone else probably would have just stormed back over to the truck and kept going. Not Ryan. He lost his temper. He firmly grasped the elk's mouth and nose, clamping them shut. Shaking the elk's head with his hands, he looked that baby elk in the eye, and said "Shutup, you stupid elk!"
Brant, watching from the truck, starts laughing hysterically. Until they hear a noise. The baby elk is no longer parentless. There at the end of the clearing, stands Mama Elk. Ryan let go of the baby elk's face and started sprinting toward the car, Mama Elk close on his heels. He just barely makes it, jumping into the truck and yelling "Let's go let's go let's go!" Meanwhile, Brant is trying desperately to both start the car and help Ryan roll up his window. (Which is not automatic, we're talking elbow grease.) Unfortunately, Brant forgot that his window was still down. Until an enormous elk head thrust itself into it and nearly bit Ryan's beautiful curly head off, reaching ACROSS Brant to do so. It pulled its head back out for a moment, and it was that moment and that moment alone that saved their lives. They managed to speed off and Ryan never again told an elk to shutup.

This story is interesting. If Brant isn't there, Ryan will tell the story in all of its drama and humor. If Ryan isn't there, Brant will tell the same story, but mention the fact that Ryan came along but did absolutely nothing to help.
They came home to Ryan's house one afternoon to find Ryan's mom in a right state. She explained that the two swans they kept in a secured pond had escaped and couldn't they please go out and get them and bring them safely back? Ryan and Brant of course agreed. They set out thinking it would be an easy task...that they could just sneak up on the swans, grab them by the neck and carry them back.
Apparently swans are extremely vicious.
Within the first hour or so of chasing, Ryan and Brant learned that swans can, in fact, punch people. The only way Brant could describe it is that they run at you with their little backwards elbow wing things sticking out and then whack you with them. Brant sustained several swan-wing injuries this way. After being chased around dry land for an hour or two, the swans decided to shake things up a bit by crossing the river behind the house. But Brant and Ryan were still somewhat undaunted; they hauled out two canoes and continued the chase! Apparently, Brant is neither a buffalo person nor a swan person, because his canoe was soon capsized by those chased-after swans. Don't ask me how. They somehow managed to actually tip Brant's canoe over. Keep in mind that Brant was a quarterback in high school and college football. Not one to give up easily, Brant wades through the river and attempts to corner the swans near land. He almost had them cornered, when they swam away and waddled up the bank on the other side...the side they had origonally come from in the first place. Brant, seething mad, covered in bruises, feathers, and swan poop, turns around to watch them. He also sees Ryan, sitting placidly in his unharmed canoe, perfectly clean and dry, watching him with an expression of mild amusement. Standing waist-deep in the river, Brant glares at Ryan, whose smile quickly fades. Through gritted teeth, Brant half-growls, half-whispers "GET YOUR HAT WET." Ryan timidly takes off his hat, swishes it around in the river a little bit, and puts it back on his head, his eyes never leaving Brant's livid face. Satisfied that Ryan is now somewhat wet, Brant looks back at the swans. He manages to look up just in time to see the gardener on the other side calmly pick both swans up by the neck in one smooth gesture; the very same gesture that Brant and Ryan had imagined they could use. After having a minor temper tantrum, Brant storms out of the water and grabs the swans from the gardener, and then stomps toward the house to return them to Ryan's mother. She sees him coming and rushes over, yelling "Omigosh! My swans! Oh, my babies are you okay?"
The worst part is that they were late for a rehearsal that night because of all that, and when they arrived and explained why they were late, everyone laughed. "You were attacked by SWANS?!" "That's awesome!" "I can't believe you guys were attacked by SWANS!" "Ha ha ha ha ha ha!"
Brant said he and Ryan just glared at everyone and said "No. It's not funny."
But we all still laugh anyway.


J-E-N said...


Beckah said...

Wow. That was incredible. I am amazed beyond all compare. That is absolutely spifferendifferic. And that's not an exaggeration.