Posted by: grantahelms | January 19, 2014

Splinters in my Arse

Ahh, fences. They are such a delightful thing. So many styles. Each style used for a specific purpose, but all doing the same job. Keeping something out, or keeping something in. So let’s explore them. You have short chain-link and dog wire for keeping pets and children in the yard. There are tall chain-link, with barbed wire  or concertina wire on the top, to keep people out of businesses or to keep prisoners in. We have electrified and barbed wire to keep farm animals in the pasture. Then there is the decorative white picket and wrought iron styles to enhance the beauty of your home. Lately I have noticed an increase in privacy fences. I don’t know what people have to hide, but I guess that’s the point. They must be working.


So many different choices, but none of these are my favorite evidently. I have always been kind of lazy in some people’s opinion. Therefore, I need something to sit on. Here it is.


This is perfect for me. And evidently, according to many and to my own soul searching inspection, I sit on it a lot. But why am I getting splinters now? I guess the fact that others have been commenting about it so much lately has made me uncomfortable and I have been squirming around. Thank goodness I am figuratively speaking. It would be hard to pluck splinters out of my back side. So in case you missed the metaphor, we are talking about staying neutral. Keeping your nose out of it. Minding your own business. Avoiding conflict. Whatever you call it.

I always thought it was a good thing. I could ride the fence, not get my feet dirty and always be there to help when the conflict was over. Doesn’t that sound logical? To help friends and family to nurse their wounds when the conflict is finished? And you can always use the excuse that you were being thoughtful and contemplating the results, while others were having a volcanic eruption. Surely my way has to be healthier, right? You don’t let your blood pressure sky-rocket. You don’t run the risk of saying something in the heat of the moment that will push people away forever. And in the end, you can still be the link between two people who now hate each other.

Wrong! When you hold your thoughts in, no matter who you think is right, those thoughts and feelings simmer inside you until they become a low rolling boil. At this point they have turned into resentment. Resentment for the person who always starts the conflict. Resentment toward yourself for always defending that person. Resentment for not sticking up for what you knew was the truth. I think country music artist Aaron Tippin said it best in this music video:

He says you’ve got to stand for something, or you’ll fall for anything. That is so true. What have I given up in all the years that I have ridden the fence? Who knew the real me? The one who was tired of being a puppet or begging for many of the things that I think I deserved in life. Is it too much for me to want to go fishing? Alone? Is it too much to help your church or a friend without getting into an argument about going? Is it asking too much to let me curl up in a chair and read a book on my day off from work, without being required to do remodeling around the house? I think not!

So, here’s the heads up. I am off the fence. Not only off, but I am tearing that sucker down! It took a few months to climb off, and I’m not sure how long it will take to tear it all the way down, but it is leaving. And I am not replacing it with a wall. I want to be able to see the “green grass” all the way around. I want to play in it. If you want to play in it with me, you are welcome to. If you want to plow it under, I have spike strips waiting for your tractor tires. If you want the truth, ask me. If you can’t handle the truth, I’ll give you a quarter to call someone who has time for the drama in your life and won’t tell you the truth for fear of hurting your feelings. For those that want to tag along, the door is always open. Good luck. Good week. And Goodbye for now.

” Are you a fence rider?”

” What is your favorite style?”

” What do you feel that you have sacrificed in life for the good of others, or beliefs that you had been taught from birth?”

” What other old adages of wisdom can you share with me?”

Just remember that I love you all. This is dedicated to those who have held me up. Those who have held me down. And those who are still riding the fence. You’ve all made me stronger.



  1. And people say g-strings sound uncomfortable. o.O

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