In 1990 the meeting hall of the United Nations' International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna, Austria, rang with a toast. More than one hundred Atomic Energy Conference delegates from fifty nations raised their glasses high and repeated lustily after me the "Mountain Man Toast." I had been invited to Vienna as a media consultant by the IAEA for a converence on exploring ways to make atomic plants more user-friendly. At the final session I was asked to lead the toast. The Mouintain Man Toast evokes the Old West, with 1830's fur trade-period jargon.
The toast requires motions as well as words and is the sort of ritual that warms the soul and brings smiles to the faces of hearty eaters and drinkers everywhere.
It is a standing offer at The Fort that anyone who gives the Mountain Man Toast from memory has his drink on the house.Well then. Let's hear it, learn it, and get ourselves a free drink.
"Here's to the childs what's come afore (Glass in right hand, held at shoulder)
And here's to the pilgrims, what's come arter. (Glass in right hand, arm extended)
May yer trails be free of griz, (Left hand over glass, making clawing motion with fingers)
Yer packs, filled with plews, (Left and right arms extended out making a circle)
And fat buffler in yer pot! (Glass extended, left hand rubs/ points at your belly)
WAUGH!" ( (Extend hand with glass)In case you couldn't figure it out on your own.
Childs = What mountain men called one another.
Pilgrim = Lightly derisive term for "sod-busting" covered wagon emigrants coming west
Arter = After
Griz = Grizzley bear
Plews = Large beaver pelts French plus, a plus sign for large size pelt
Buffler in yer pot = Buffalo in your belly
Waugh = Sioux exclamation meaning "right on!"
I could really have done without the "You sure have the feeling you're in the presence of a king" part. It is a warm and honest and humble feeling Sam Arnold expresses, but I do not like it. That tells me right there his political views, whatever they are and I can take a good guess, would not be worth listening to. It tells me where his loyalty is misplaced.
"Why not? This is a great opportunity. Don't you understand what you are turning down? The buzz alone is worth more than you can buy."
"How rude. And what do you mean anyway? We'll certainly pay. And make it worthwhile!"