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Laugh Tracks in the Dust

I had a great time entertaining members and guests of the Wyoming Stock Growers Association in Casper, Wyo., last week. While mingling and swapping lies there, I picked up a couple of good stories worthy of sharing with you.

According to my storyteller, there’s a prominent rancher in northern Wyoming who raises Herefords, has always raised Herefords, will always raise Herefords and who has a deep-seated loathing of Black Angus cattle.

Well, this Angus-loathing rancher wuz attending some beef industry meeting in his home state and the evening banquet meal featured Certified Angus Beef. Some mischievous cowboy, wanting to stir up the conversation pot a bit, asked this rancher what he thought about eating an Angus steak for his supper.

Cutting a big bite from the steak and spearing it with his fork, the Hereford breeder held the bite aloft and said, “The only way to get rid of all Angus cattle is to eat all the pathetic little S.O.B.s.”

That’s a pretty succinct explanation of his beliefs and feelings.

I learned that another northern Wyoming cowboy and team roper, ol’ Tossa Loope, recently got into a bit of legal trouble up in Cody.

Tos wuz on a long haul to a team roping and decided to stop in Cody to rest his horse from riding in the trailer. While he wuz stopped, ol’ Tos thought he might as well limber up his roping arm by throwing loops at the nearby huge bronze statue of Buffalo Bill Cody.

Tos wuz having a good ol’ time roping ol’ Bill’s statue when a state trooper pulled up and arrested him.

No it wuzn’t for defacing public property or making a public nuisance. The charge wuz for “statuary rope.” He got off with just a small fine.

While on the trip to Wyoming, I accidentally discovered a new, highly profitable bizness to get into. The bizness is temporary pocketknife storage.

If that sounds a little strange, let me explain.

At Mid-Continent Airport in Wichita, as I prepared for the semi-strip search going through security, I discovered that I had my commemorative Quail Unlimited pocketknife in my pocket.

Of course, the Transportation (In)Security Administration folks took a dim view of my attempt to smuggle a lethal weapon aboard my flight. So, fighting back a nearly overwhelming urge to attack right that moment, I calmly asked them what I could do.

They curtly told me one option wuz to go back to the ticket desk and put the knife in my overnight bag and check it through security. I opted not to take that option because I wanted all carry-on luggage for the trip.

My second option wuz to deposit my QU knife at a counter not far away and pick it up on my return to Wichita. I chose that option and the nice lady (who didn’t speak much English) told me (I think) the fee would be $5. I ponied up the cash and handed over my treasured knife.

Of course, you’ve figgered out the end of the story. Upon my return to Wichita, the thought of retrieving my QU knife entered my brain, not while walking within 10 feet of my securely stored knife, but a half hour later while I wuz driving a few miles north of Newton ” too far to return and fetch my knife.

So, sadly, I went on to Damphewmore Acres knife-less. Even though the nice lady at the knife storage counter has my name, address and phone number, I doubt she’ll send it to me. However, if any of you readers want your pocket knife securely stored. Send it to me. I’ll “cut” you a deal. My “cut rate” storage fee is only $4 per day.

This is a story of misplaced softheartedness, normally an admirable trait. A family with little kids acquired some young chicks for all the right reasons ” meat, eggs, teaching the kids the responsibility of chores and the reality of life and death in the agriculture bizness.

Unfortunately, one day a member of the family accidentally stepped on a little chick and seriously injured it, but it wouldn’t die. Equally unfortunately for the chick, the only family members at home were the mother and the children.

What to do? mom realized it wuz her responsibility to put the chick out of its misery. But mom couldn’t bring herself to dispatch the chick when her children were watching. So, after much hand-wringing and soul searching, she determined the most humane way wuz to gently place the injured chick in the deep freeze where it would “just go painlessly to sleep.” And that’s what she did.

The process worked, but the chick never got to express itself about the comparative painlessness of freezing versus head wringing.

I’ll quit this column now before you start hand-wringing about its length. Until next week, remember these words of wisdom: It’s frustrating when you know all the answers but nobody bothers to ask you the questions.

Have a good ‘un.


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