Mad Jack Hanks: Tales From The O-NO Ranch 1-21-13
Ahhhhh … the wild rag. For you gentle readers who may not be familiar with that term, a wild rag is that usually bright colored nylon or rayon scarf you see wrapped around the neck of just about any cowboy that works in colder country. It has also been used by many cowboy poets and entertainers for affect and most wouldn’t know a black bear from an angus cow.
Just the same, I have worn them for over 30 years and if I can keep my skinny neck warm it’s easier to keep the rest of me warm. Now on occasion in the past I have used my wild rag to tie a splint around my leg when a horse fell with me and I broke my leg. I have blindfolded horses with my wild rag in order to give them a shot or maybe to clip their mane. I have hobbled a horse with that old wild rag and of course used it to keep the branding smoke out of my lungs.
I have a cute story to tell you of a “wild rag incident” that happened to me recently. I have a buddy called “Animal,” that guy you may see in my cartoons from time to time. Animal travels many places to go dancing. He can go just about anywhere as he is about 6-foot-4 and 300 pounds and on occasion he goes to a big dance saloon in south Denver. He wanted me to go with him one night as it was ladies night and he assured me there would be plenty of ladies to dance with. So I went. Now children, I’m thinking that here I’m gonna’ be the new guy, the old guy and most of these places have their own little groups of folks that stick to themselves and I might not get to dance all that much. In order to be at my best, I wore my newest pink shirt, a white silk wild rag, wranglers and my black hat and boots. I wanted to look my very best. After we arrived I’m sort of wandering through the crowd of about 300 folks and I picked out a young lass and thought “what the heck?” Animal had always told me a blind pig will find an acorn every now and then. I approached this lady and said, “Howdy, my name is Jack, I was wondering if I could get you to dance with me?”
“Sure” she offered and jumped up and off on the dance floor we went.
As we were smoothing out a two step she looked me over and replied, “You really look nice!”
That was certainly comforting to me and I returned the compliment.
She went on … ”However, I think your ASCOT might me a little too much for this crowd here!”
“My ASCOT?” I shot back!
“Yes, your ASCOT,” as she fingered my wild rag.
“Ma’am, in the cowboy culture, we call this (I lowered my voice as I leaned toward her ear) a WILD RAG!”
“Oh, … a wild rag, she slowly repeated and shot me a smile.
Gentle readers, this was an urban cowboy bar for sure there were no, I mean none, nada cowboy in the place and certainly no “wild rags” present. That happened to be the friendliest bunch of women I had been around to be in a new place and be an old new guy. I danced all night at my pleasure. What a deal!
Stay tuned, check yer cinch on occasion and I’ll c y’all, all y’all. ❖
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