You know that guy at the end of the bar who could keep you entertained all night with his nonstop stories about childhood, the ranch, pack trips, pets and old-timers?
Reading Gap Pucci’s new book, “We Do the Damndest Things” is like having that guy in your living room.
The book is a sequel to his rollicking “We Married Adventure,” which came out in 2011. This one is 50 percent longer, packed with yarns that didn’t make it in the first installment. A spread of photos in the center and back offers visuals to fire up your imagination.
Pucci starts out with a few tales about growing up Italian in a suburb of Philadelphia, but the balance of the book takes place in the wilds of Jackson Hole and at his ranch in the Gros Ventre.
There was the time that Dr. Donald “Doc” MacLeod happened to be visiting and a boy knocked on the cabin door because his father had broken his leg while hunting. After the rescuers reached the hunter, set his leg and were prepared to ride down the mountain, they had to put out a large fire, but there wasn’t any dirt on the rocky ledge. The men, including the hunter’s son, had to put it out with unconventional means.
“Well, boys, start peeing,” MacLeod instructed.
How do outfitters keep the mice at bay in hunting camp? Cats, of course. Pucci includes instructions in his “How to pack a cat” tale. After getting the cat along for a five-hour ride to camp, Pucci warns to stand back when loosening the twine on the gunnysack.
“The cat will come out of the sacks like a jet-propelled rocket and all your horses will be pulling back and snorting and blowing,” Pucci writes.
A large part of the book is devoted to Pucci’s stories about other people, including Doc MacLeod, Neil Rafferty and Parthenia Hansen Stinnett. There are even stories Pucci relays thirdhand: They were told to him by other people involved.
Whether the stories make you laugh, cry or grimace, they are fast-paced tales that are guaranteed to provoke some reaction.