Laugh Tracks in the Dust 9-27-10 | TheFencePost.com

Laugh Tracks in the Dust 9-27-10

I talked to an old cowboy recently who told me a funny, and supposedly true, story that happened more than 15 years ago at a cattlemen’s conference in Wyoming.

A fun bunch of cowboys were sitting at a round table swapping stories, lies, and opinions when one grizzled old codger edged into the conversation with an intro that went something like this: “Let me tell you how the dad-blamed government is trying to save an endangered species of mice on my ranch by killing them.”

That perked up everybody at the table, so the old cowboy continued his story: “Well, the federal boys said they found a rare species of mouse that lives only near creek beds – and I’m unlucky enough to have one of those creeks running through my ranch, which is near Wheatland.

“The first thing I had to do was fence off three miles of the creek from the cattle so they wouldn’t destroy the rare mouse’s habitat. But after I fenced the creek to their specs, the grass grew so lush and tall that the government boys had a hard time finding any rare mouse specimens to study.

“But, the final straw in this whole story of government intrusion onto my land was when I found out there is only one way those endangered species gents could scientifically tell that rare mouse species from a very common mouse species that shares the same habitat.

“When they trap a suspected rare mouse, the only way they can tell it from the common mouse is to kill it and skin it and measure it’s skull. Seems the rare mouse is a wee-bit wider between the eye-balls than the common mouse.

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“So, here’s the summary of it. I have a bunch of highly-paid government scientists intruding on my ranch, who are trying to save a rare mouse by killing and skinning all they can find. Typical government!”

I’d add that the old gent’s summary sounds as if he wuz discussing the current government’s “fixing” of the housing markets – a lot of cost and only negative results.

***

While I’m discussing and cussing asinine government, just recently the Environmental Protection Agency hoisted a trial balloon proposal to ban all lead ammunition and all lead in fishing equipment. The explanation given wuz to save humans and wildlife from lead poisoning from the bullets and shotshells we sprinkle around our hunting grounds and the lead sinkers we put on the ends of our fishing lines.

EPA’s proposal raised such a ruckus from gun owners that the EPA backed off the ammo bit, but last I heard, the lead-ban from fishing gear wuz still under consideration.

Now, I ask you this, just how hazardous to health do you think the miniscule spreading of lead by sportsmen is causing? I’d bet not even close to the massive superfund sites that the EPA still hasn’t cleaned up. Even if this whole thing blows over, it still reflects how the government will mess around in every facet of our lives, if we let it.

***

I like this funny story. Two farmers were embroiled in a court case involving a fencing dispute. The whole case could have been settled in 10 minutes by the parties if they’d been sensible, but it turns out these two farmers had no love loss for each other. They had a long-running feud over renting farm land.

The end result was both farmers wanted an all-or-none settlement of their fencing dispute, so they each hired a high-powered lawyer to represent him in court.

As could be expected, the two attorneys had faced each other in court before and they didn’t like each other either.

So, when the trial opened, the first lawyer made a opening statement and the opposing lawyer jumped up, pointed to his opposite number, and exclaimed, “You, sir, are a cheat and a conniving thief!”

At that point, the offended lawyer pointed right back at his opponent and bellowed, “And you, sir, are a liar and a blowhard buffoon!”

Having heard enough of this childishness in his courtroom, the judge banged his gavel loudly, and interjected, “Now that both attorneys have been correctly and properly identified for the record, let’s get on with the case.”

***

My friends from Albuquerque, N.M., Mr. and Mrs. Potter E. Klector, stopped for a brief visit a week or so ago, and I found out that the Mrs. is bent out of shape because I failed to mention her by name in my previous columns.

So, I’ll rectify that situation by giving a public shout-out to Ressi P. Klector, the best gourmet cook in New Mexico. Anything for my friends!

***

I’ll close with a nugget (not chicken) of a quote about cooking from the renowned homemaking wit, Erma Bombeck. She said, “I come from a family where gravy is considered a beverage.”

So did I – and a lot of other country folks, too. For this week, have a good ‘un.