Samuel L. Lytle

“…and after I shot it and was tracking it down, I tripped and fell on a sharp branch, cutting my arm. Now I knew I was in a predicament. Here I was, hurt and bleeding, and I knew I still needed to get the buck back to the camp before dark. Do you know what I did?”

I know the answer before he asks me. I have already collected enough clues from the pictures propped up on the desk of his cubicle to aid in the answer. Additionally, I have heard similar stories my entire life. I know it was a rhetorical question, but that is more the reason why I have to answer it.

“First you took off your boot and removed your sock. You couldn’t get blood on your UNR beanie. Maybe last year, but not this year. Not after the Boise State game. You doctored up your arm with your sock and controlled the bleeding. You found the downed beast and went back for your Jeep. You were able to get the Jeep close enough to use the winch and drag it out of the wash. You then used the GPS location app on your Android phone to find your way back to camp.”

The aghast look on his face indicates I was correct on all counts. “How, how did you know all that? Did you read my blog?”

I didn’t read the blog. I’m also not a detective, stalker or employee of Psych.

I’m just a well rounded product of a rural Nevada community.

I possess these quite normal abilities because of my upbringing. The hunting knowledge comes from wielding loaded firearms from an early age. The farming/ranching knowledge is from summers of bucking bales or cutting hay. The sports knowledge is from playing basketball/baseball/football throughout middle and high schools. The tech knowledge comes from brothers that forced my attendance at frequent showings of Return of the Jedi. The automotive knowledge comes from my pa. The nominal street smarts come from conversations with college friends that grew up in real cities.

The cumulative result is knowing something about almost everything and nothing useful about almost anything. I pride myself on this quality and utilize it whenever I am in need of amusement. It is especially useful in fifteen minute conversations. My personal claim is that I can carry a conversation of this length with anyone about anything.

After fifteen minutes, however, if the conversation doesn’t turn to cell phones, the NBA or religion, I have to carefully plan my exit. I don’t want my conversator to find out that I don’t know more than three college football players, the real difference between a Hemi and Cummings or what makes a 12-gauge shotgun more powerful than a 20-gauge. My knowledge is admittedly shallow.

This ability has been especially useful in my current employment. Luckily, my employer attracts small town folk like myself along with the usual Reno or Las Vegas raised workers. Add the fact that my current position requires me to ‘rotate’ through different divisions, forcing me to meet all new co-workers every few months, and I discuss topics I don’t fully understand almost every day.

And nobody notices.

I can’t claim that I am the only one possessing these lukewarm powers. I think it is highly likely that many of my childhood peers have experienced similar abilities, because they too were exposed to the same wide berth of information as myself.

Are you one of them?


Samuel L. Lytle is an aspiring Civil Engineer and Freelance Writer.  He currently lives in Reno with his wife Tiffany and his son Jason.  He recently released his first book, Gold Stars, which is available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble as an eBook.  You can learn more about his writing projects at