Nurture Your Inner Evil Genius

I’d say “off topic”, but we all know all topics are “on” here.

Thanks to Listful Thinking, and our fantastically creative readers who played on Saturday, we learned many things from eHow:

How to prepare for WWIII, defend against zombies, and, for the budget conscious, become Evil on less than $50 a day:

Evil on a Budget

Once your budget is settled try:

Projects for the Evil Genius

Evil genius is attainable.  Be sure to keep this info away from your horses.

My (former) Mafia Boss catch ride, Jumbo, unexpectedly turned up at Daisy’s barn, where he is now boarding.  Once again, he is successfully terrorizing the populace.  While Jumbo was handed a barn pink slip a month ago, his owner has yet to find any place that will take him.  In the spirit of deconstructing Evil Genius, I interviewed him for TLH.

Jane: (trying for casual, and lying like crazy) Hey, Jumbo, I didn’t know you were here! How’s it going?

Jumbo: You’re at the gate.  You’d better have a hostess present.  Fork it over.

Jimmy, Jumbo’s sweet, but (sorry) dumb, sidekick, trots up.

Jimmy: Hey, it’s Jane!  Hi Jane! Boy I haven’t seen you in a long time.  You gonna hang out with us again?  Can we go ride?  Man it’s good to see you.  Would you scratch that spot under my mane?  No one else has found it yet.  Wow it itches…I wish..

Jumbo: Shut your trap.  Did I tell you to talk?  We don’t know if she’s got food yet.

Jimmy backs up.  Shuts his trap.

I am ready for this.  I pull out a green apple.  The only kind Jumbo likes.

Jumbo, squinting: Do I know you?  Who told you to bring a green apple, huh?

Jane: Remember the boarding barn with Hudson?   (for a short period, Jumbo and Hudson were in paddocks next to each other. I figure he’ll remember the horses, if not me.)

Jumbo: Aw please.  If I remembered every boarding barn…hey…that ugly brown horse? Obsessed with cows?  He insulted me.  If I coulda got in the same paddock, he’d be dog food.

I try not to react to Hudson being disparaged, and am grateful Jumbo doesn’t know the “ugly” brown horse now belongs to me.

Jane: That’s the one.

Jumbo: Ha Ha Ha. Man I was all OVER that barn.  I had every single horse under my hoof.  Except that brown one.  If I ever see him again…

Jane: What did he do?

Jumbo: I’ll tell you what he did!  He…hey!  Why should I tell you? I’m not gonna. That scum horse isn’t worth it.

Whoops.  Broke rule number 1 of Evil Genius Interviewing.  Don’t ask why Evil Genius is brooding over imagined insult.  Then he has to admit, in some form, his feelings were hurt.  Ruins the Evil Genius thing.

Jane: I can see why all the horses were afraid of you.  You’re pretty scary.

Jumbo: Pretty?

Jane: Pretty, what?  I said you are awesomely scary?

Tricky.  I’d better move it along.

Jane: Do you have a defining moment that set you on the road to Evil Genius-dom?

Jumbo: Don’t remember.

He’s sulking.  I have a pretty good idea.  They took him off the track, where his speed, quick thinking, and bullying skills were prized in ponying race horses.  When I used him to pony Katherine on her first rides on green horses in training, he was a different guy. Focused.  Easy.  Calm.  Happy. Saved both our butts one day by automatically body blocking an exploding colt against the rail. Jumbo is built like the bouncer of an illegal nightclub.  He was good.

I try not to show how sad it makes me, that he went through a succession of owners, before landing with this one, who wants to make His Bouncer-ness into a Dressage Horse.

Jane: What’s the worst thing you’ve ever done?

Jumbo: HA! Ha ha ha ha ha.  This is a good one.  This guy?  Thought he was some sort of cowboy?  I let him ride for a little while, let him get good and relaxed.  Even let him jab me with spurs.  Can you believe it?  I let him stab me.

Jane: No!

Jumbo: I had a plan.  I let a few minutes go by, see, then right before he was gonna get off, when he wasn’t doing nothin’, I dropped to the ground and rolled over on top of him. In  a western saddle. Punctured a lung, broke 3 ribs, and arm, and a leg. Man, that was good.

We pause, both thinking about this in entirely different ways.  He was my ride.  There but for the grace of God…

Jumbo: Hey!  I remember you.  I tried the same thing with you, didn’t I?  What a riot. You outsmarted me though and jumped off.  Almost got your saddle though.  Not real happy with you.

Jane: Sorry.  It was a brand new saddle.

Jumbo, staring: You embarrassed me.

Jimmy, nevously: Boss, I don’t think she meant it?  I kinda liked her, she…

Jumbo: What is it about SHUT UP you don’t understand, huh?  Huh?

Jane: It was pretty funny.

(NOT!  I never got on him without a crop again, so I could beat the crap out of him if he tried the drop and roll thing.)

Jumbo:  Wait a second…you’re the girl I ponied with.  I remember you.

Jane: Remember Hog?  You sure put him in his place.  Saved our lives.  He’s all grown up now.

Jumbo: Yeah. Sure.  I remember.  You know, I wanna blow this place.  Got any ponying gigs?

Jimmy, dumbfounded: Boss?  You want a job?

Jumbo: H*ll no!  Thought it might be a hoot.  Bored.  She wasn’t too bad.  Except for that dressage crap. (Looking at me) You have no idea how lucky you are.

Jane: I’m beginning to.

Jumbo: I could have made your life miserable

As I remember, he did his best to make my life miserable.  He wasn’t trying?  That was Jumbo being a Team Player?

Jane: What evil plans have you been hatching lately?

Jumbo: Got a long term one.  It’s great.  Scaring my owner to death, but not so much I don’t get 3 squares for Jimmy and me here.

Jane: How are you scaring her?

Jumbo:  I call it Operation Random Hit.  I do a bunch of crap she wants me to do as if I like doin’ it, see?  Then I put on major attitude: throw my head up, scramble, threaten to rear, sometimes I’ll throw in a buck or two, and act all innocent.  I get her shaking.  Then I play nice like.  She never knows if the next time is gonna be the BIG one.  So she gets off.  I get all lovey-dovey, she thinks she read me wrong, that it was too hard for me, and badda bing.  We’re done for a few days.

Jane: I think you were working that one when I knew you.

Jumbo: Oh yeah.  I gotta hand it to you.  You were a piece of work.  Hard to scare. You made me work for it. Got you though.

Jane: It’s strange, but I honestly liked you.

I wonder if that’s the difference, that I didn’t get as scared as I should have, because I liked him.  It sure as heck wasn’t talent.

Jumbo: That’s strange all right.  Well I never liked you, see?  You got that?  You GOT THAT?

Jane, companionably: Sure, boss.

Awwwww. He really did like me.

Jumbo: Get out of here, before I kick.  Leave me alone.

I walk off, with Jimmy trotting a few steps behind me at the fence.  Jumbo pins his ears, and Jimmy stops.

Jumbo can’t resist: Hey.  Next time?  More than one apple, you stingy {swearing}.

Evil genius deconstructed: once prized for a talent that now makes him banned, he’s feeling sorely misunderstood.  A confused, smart, misunderstood horse is dangerous. He’s hurt, lonely, but satisfied enough with the life he carved out: his 3 squares, his minions, and his Evil Genius-ness.  Life handed  him dressage, and he made Rider-aide.

Deconstructing Evil Genius?  Whoops.  Not so funny.

I like to think if I were his owner, I’d find him a home at a training barn, where he’d again be prized for his bullying skills and quick decision-making.  When he’s not being a Mafia Boss, he’s an incredible dressage ride. The bully can dance.  I can see why his owner has hung onto him.  However the other reality might be she’s afraid he’ll end up at auction, knowing what she knows.   Despite it all, he’s a really loveable guy.

Just don’t tell him I said so.


One thought on “Nurture Your Inner Evil Genius

  1. grey horse matters

    Great dialogue Jane. I do love it when horses show us their personalities through their mouths. I feel sorry for this guy. I’m sure all he needs is consistent work,care and lots of love. Not to say the owner doesn’t love him but it’s always so sad to see a lonely horse turned into a schoolyard bully. And I think he does secretly like you and remember you, thanks for the interview.


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