The Whitehall Ledger - Serving Southern Jefferson County in the Great State of Montana

By Jack H. Smith
Whitehall Ledger 

Column: Goat Heads


November 13, 2019

While I certainly don't mind being outside for a hike or spending a few days camping without any technology or a care in the world, I also very much like to be sitting on the self-created divot on my couch and binge-watching a television show or a football or basketball game.

Over the years, I have also really grown to love mixed martial arts and have gone to six UFC events in the past decade. Watching a fight card live is a magical experience and the energy in the arena, especially for a highly anticipated fight, is not something I could really explain in words.

As much as like to see the fights in person, it is super expensive and not something I can afford to do all the time. It works out really well that I enjoy watching the fights just as much at home. The view is a lot better and you can pause the fight to use the bathroom. It's kind of a battle trying to get to the bathroom and back in between fights. At UFC 202 in Las Vegas, Melissa went to the bathroom a few minutes prior to the co-main event and ended up missing a ten-second knockout.

For some strange reason, at it has been like this since I started watching the UFC, I don't like to sit at home and will instead stand to watch. I get a little crazy and loud, so it is probably best I'm not seated. When I used to live in Wyoming, a big group used to gather at my mom's house, and I would always be standing. Now when they host a fight, someone will stand in honor of me being in Montana and not in their front room.

A few years back when I was living in Washington, I was really excited about a UFC event. My girlfriend at the time had made plans with her sister and I was going to enjoy the night with a few cold beers and a few cigars.

After the first couple of preliminary fights, I decided it was time to go outside for a cigar. It was a nice evening and I wandered outside to the bench on my porch.

I knew that I had about 20 minutes before the main card started so I had plenty of time to enjoy myself.

A few weeks earlier I had rescued my cat Peaches, so I shut the door behind me when I went outside. When I went to go back inside, I realized I had locked it for some reason. In a hurry, my brain must have thought I was going somewhere and through habit locked it.

At first, I really didn't think it was that big of a deal. I lived in an old bar that had been converted to a really unique loft and my only access to a window would be on the side of my home. This was when I realized I didn't bother to put on shoes. A few weeks prior when I had found Peaches he was in the general area of the windows and it was covered with "goat heads". I'm not really sure how to quite explain a "goat head" other than saying it is a dried-up type of weed that when stepped one feels like stepping on a tack. I had run after Peaches in that area with no shoes on and the pain was unbearable. I ended up with about 30 in my feet and they felt horrible for a long time.

I walked by the windows to see if I could navigate my way through the area, but they started to stick, and I never made it to the window. I accepted defeat and thought I would try my girlfriend but realized my phone was sitting on the coffee table --- how wonderful. I locked the door but didn't bring my phone --- classic Jack!


I had no idea how much time had passed and didn't know what to do. I didn't want to miss the fights, but I also didn't want to have 5,364 goat heads stuck in my feet.

I wondered barefoot a few doors down to a little store, but they would not let me use the phone because it would have been long distance.

I finally had to wonder over to a neighbor's house and ask to borrow a pair of shoes. Normal people ask for sugar or an egg, but not me. I ask for shoes while not wearing socks.

I ended up in the house about ten minutes later. Two minutes later my girlfriend arrived.

These days, I try to be a little more organized while watching the fights. Maybe I should attend more live events because there is probably no way I could end up locked out of an arena shoeless.


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