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In a Sow’s Ear

by Gwen Petersen
Big Timber, Mont.

Today my computer crashed.

Warning: Today’s column may be dangerous. The crash is merely an added incident in a string of mishaps, misfortunes, catastrophes and calamities that have ensued during the production of the Toot, Snoot, ‘n Hoot show, How Nellie Nellie Yonson and Hunka Hunka Heart Throb Foiled the Villains, Saved the Ranch and Found True Love.

Catastrophe Number One: The “leading man hero” (Hunka Hunka Heart Throb) received a blow to the head, developed a swelling of the brain and had to undergo surgery. He had to back out of the show.

Calamity Number Two: The second of the two “villains” (Rancid Ralph) fell off a roof he was shingling and sustained breakage of the pelvis causing him to doubt he could perform. He, however, pulled himself together and made a fine villain.

Mishap Number Three: The character “Carrie Nation” slipped on a patch of ice, slammed to earth, whacked her ankle and broke it. She’s off crutches now you’ll be pleased to know. But she had to withdraw from performing.

Catastrophe Number Four: Our hero’s sidekick (Bangtail Bob) ” and the main musical support for the show ” received word that his elderly step-father lay on his death bed. Bangtail had to fly to another state six days before the show to attend services. You’ll be pleased to know, however, that Bangtail made it back in time.

Misfortune Number Five: The leading villain (Dawg Breath Dan) was hauled off to the hospital with a possible heart attack. Fortunately, the situation turned out to be minor and Dawg Breath returned to the show.

Calamity Number Six: Since one character (Buffalo Sal) lives in another town, we made arrangements to meet half way twixt here and there for a mini-rehearsal. The day of the scheduled get-together, a snowstorm closed the roads. We couldn’t meet. We coped with that setback by doing a “phone rehearsal”. She made it to the show. I’d put in an order for good weather and somebody listened. I hoped the streak of hard luck had snaked back in its hole?

Hah! Fate laughed.

Ill Fortune Number Seven: The evening of show-time a basketball tournament took place here in our high school which naturally siphoned off some of the potential show audience.

Bad Luck Number Eight: A local well-known rancher died. His funeral reception was scheduled for 6 o’clock the day of the show in another town. A batch of people who would otherwise have been present at the Toot show felt obliged to attend the memorial service.

You are wondering if we had any audience at all? Indeed we did. In spite of setbacks, hindrances, delays, hold-ups, bottlenecks and hitches, we got ‘er done. Good crowd. A good time ” as they say ” was had by all. The weather held, nobody else got sick or died or broke bits of themselves.

Misfortune had run its course, I thought. Not so. My computer has developed a serious glitch and will not allow me to employ the e-mail program. Duh.

This week’s Sow’s Ear comes to you via the Carnegie Library’s computer. I can only hope bad luck gremlins won’t take a notion to transfer themselves to whatever activity you may be pursuing. Don’t take any chances. Burn this column as soon as possible.


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