The Full Moon Faux Pas

By Chris Hardie | January 16, 2019

  • Fergus, writer Chris Hardie's Scottish Blackface ram. (Photo courtesy of Chris Hardie)

Fergus, writer Chris Hardie's Scottish Blackface ram. (Photo courtesy of Chris Hardie)

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The super blood wolf moon is coming! While this sounds creepy, it’s actually just a close-up lunar eclipse that turns the moon red from the Earth’s shadow. As people prepare to catch a glimpse of this phenomenon early next week, it got writer Chris Hardie reflecting on another type of spectacle: his very own full moon faux pas.

Full Moon Faux Pas

One of the early celestial treats of 2019 will be a series of three consecutive full supermoons in January, February and March.

A supermoon is a new or full moon that closely coincides with perigee, the moon’s closest point to the earth in its monthly orbit.

Back on terra firma, I had a near-supermoon event last year on my farm just hours after a full moon in the sky. So with tongue firmly planted in cheek, I present this tail (I mean a T-A-L-E).The premise is true and the names have not been changed to protect the guilty.

As a longtime column writer I learned that the safest butt of jokes is yourself when venturing into the risky territory of humor.

My slow learning curve was accelerated by upset readers and hindsight. What’s funny to some is not funny to all. It’s easy — whether intentional or not — to offend. I’m much more rounded now, but getting everyone to crack a smile is still a challenge. While at times I still fly from the seat of my pants, offending oneself is safe territory.

That morning my wife Sherry and I decided it was time to bring our ram back in with the ewes for breeding. We had separated Fergus and the young rams (which sounds like the name of a rock band) from the flock a couple of months ago. It was time to bring the stud into the flock so that we will have spring lambs.

Fergus — a fully grown Scottish Blackface ram with big curly horns — is generally pretty friendly and likes to be scratched under his chin. My plan was to scratch him, grab his horns and drag him to the ewe barn.

But Fergus was extremely wary and wouldn’t come anywhere close to me. Even with the lure of a pail of feed, Fergus was playing hard to get.

I had to go to plan B — wait until Fergus got close and tackle him. Hardly a sophisticated strategy, but one that has nevertheless proven effective in the past.

I poured out a little feed.

I waited.

Fergus came closer.

I leapt.

I should have waited for Fergus to get even closer. Instead of grabbing his horns all I had was a couple of tufts of his fleece. Fergus did not take kindly to my attempt and with all his might tried to pull away.

I knew I had to hold on and bring him to the ground.

I did hold on.

My pants did not.

My dungaree selection that day was an old pair of black sweatpants. The string to cinch the waistband is long gone and the elastic is stretched and old — the perfect complement to the belly it surrounds.

The old elastic gave way as Fergus dragged me. In the span of 10 feet and 1.4 seconds the pants went from my waist to my knees. The only thing between my birthday suit and the cold November sky was my drawers and I could feel those starting to slide.

A couple more seconds of dragging and there would been a big white supermoon, as fullness would have lined up with perigee. That would have been both embarrassing and potentially painful.

I didn’t have time to worry about my lower regions because I had to gain the upper hand. Luckily I did, bringing Fergus to the ground. In one less-than-graceful fell swoop I grabbed his horns with one hand and pulled up my pants with the other.

Sherry greeted my foibles with laughter, suggesting that the experience would make for a good column. How well she knows me.

I dragged Fergus out of the pen and the recalcitrant ram suddenly was eager to head toward the greener pastures of the ewe barn. He arrived with no further incident.

In case you’re wondering, the supermoons will be January 21, February 19 and March 21, with the February date showing the closest supermoon of the year.

Be sure to enjoy these celestial events. I plan to be safely tucked away in bed, holding up the waistband of my pajamas.


SONGS: “The Crisper” by Blue Dot Sessions & “Ram On” by Thrillington (Paul McCartney)

Chris Hardie

Chris Hardie

Chris Hardie and his wife, Sherry, raise sheep and cattle on his great-grandparents’ Jackson County farm. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in 2001, he is a former member of the Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council and past president of the Wisconsin Newspaper Association.
2019-01-18T22:39:39-06:00Tags: , , , , , , , |

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