Determining three months ago that he was turning himself into a bipedal food blister, the Colonel took corrective action and placed his sorry, not-so-slim self on an indefinite weight control and personal appearance program.
By the end of two months, the Colonel had shed eleven pounds.
A much needed haircut helped him accomplish his goal of twelve pounds lost in 60 days.
During the next thirty days, the Colonel discarded an additional eight pounds off of his rapidly trimming frame, two pounds of which were lost just yesterday.
This morning, the Colonel's rather prominent proboscis is sporting a rather impressive collection of lengthy lateral lacerations, from which the Colonel estimates he lost at least two pints of blood -- at slightly more than one pound per pint.
Here's how it happened.
The Colonel and his trusty red tractor, Semper Field (not to be confused with his boat -- Semper Fish, nor his sawmill -- Semper Filet, nor even his rusty red pick-up -- Semper Fillit) were bush-hoggin' one of the many far-flung fields aboard the Colonel's vast holdings here at the shallow northern end of deep southern nowhere. The Colonel and Semper Field had completed cutting about half of the field when out of the corner of his eye the Colonel caught movement at the other end of the cleared expanse.
As the Colonel watched in amazement, onto the freshly-flayed field sauntered the biggest, orneriest, longest-fanged, sharpest-clawed bobcat in three counties and half of a fourth.
The Colonel brought Semper Field to an idling halt and gave the fierce feline his rapt attention.
The Colonel trained his finely calibrated Mark I, Mod A starboard eyeball on the cat and whistled low to himself -- the beast stood at least two and a half feet at the shoulder, with a head the size of a youth-league basketball.
A youth-league basketball? Well, it weren't quite as big as a regulation basketball, and the Colonel ain't gonna be made out a liar over a stupid basketball.
The bobcat had spots as big around as one of the comely and kind-hearted Miss Brenda's dessert plates and yellow eyes the size of half-dollars.
And the yellow eyes were fixed on the Colonel.
The Colonel's been in enough scraps to know when he's being called out, and this bad cat was clearly calling the Colonel out.
The Colonel ain't backed down from a fight, ever. And, the Colonel ain't afraid of nuthin' nor nobuddy -- exceptin' the comely and kind-hearted Miss Brenda.
The Colonel took Semper Field out of gear and turned off the engine. As the diesel rattled to a stop, the Colonel could clearly discern, even with his infantry weapons firing-depleted and tinnitus-afflicted hearing, the cat's low menacing growl, despite the fact that a good 100 meters separated cat and Colonel.
The Colonel climbed down from Semper Field and advanced on the bobcat with his vocal chords vibrating a growl of their own.
The cat's eyes fairly gleamed as he trotted toward the Colonel.
The Colonel broke into a trot of his own and as the closure rate increased and the gap d' clash decreased, the Colonel's last few remaining cognitive cells lying fallow in a forgotten cranny of his bony brain-housing group jostled together just long enough to allow a synapse to fire and send a tiny charge to his low-judgement warning light.
The problem with his low-judgement warning light is it always flickers on well past the point at which the Colonel's low judgement level will allow him to do anything about it.
The thought did flash briefly across the cavernous expanse between the Colonel's ears that this cat might very well be capable of putting that last entry in the Colonel's health record -- Semper Final, if you will.
But, the faintly blinking low judgement warning light and the last flashing thought of possible passage to his eternal reward were blotted from the Colonel's muddled mind by the searing pain attendant with punching the bobcat in a claw with his nose.
The Colonel's nose, with ample target area for even the most casual of area weapon engagements, split open in three places like a ripe tomato swiped by a..., well..., a bobcat's clawed paw.
Blood poured forth from his lacerated schnazz at a rate that the Colonel estimated would result in complete emptying of his body's hemoglobin reservoir within minutes.
As much as the Colonel was deeply enjoying the catfight, his low blood-level warning klaxon cut through the snarlin', growlin', screechin', and screamin' that emanates from any good tussle with a wildcat and the Colonel, despite the previously mentioned light-warned judgement deficit, summoned enough discretion to effect a not-so-valorous fighting withdrawal and eventual break in contact with the bobcat, long enough to rip off the remains of his shredded t-shirt and apply it with direct pressure to the grievous wound...
Not buying it?
Okay, here's what really happened.
The Colonel and his trusty red tractor -- Semper Field -- were bush-hoggin' one of the many far-flung fields aboard the Colonel's vast holdings here at the shallow northern end of deep southern nowhere when the Colonel was suddenly and deliberately attacked by the killer cane of the most robust blackberry bramble in three counties and half of a fourth.
Said killer cane was thirty-seven and one-half feet long and as big around as the barrel of the Colonel's trusty deer rifle -- Semper Fire.
Thirty-seven and one-half feet long? The Colonel could have just said thirty-seven or thirty-eight feet, but he ain't gonna be made out a liar, or exaggerator, over a stupid blackberry vine.
Not only was the blackberry cane in question lethally long and pointedly potent, but it was heatedly hostile and mobile to boot.
The Colonel and Semper Field were half a field away from the killer blackberry cane's bramble. The killer cane's bobcat claw thorns fairly glistened as it leaped from it's bramble and raced toward the Colonel's nose...
That's the Colonel's story, and he's stickin' to it.