Gwen Peterson: In a Sows Ear 8-20-12
Next week, August 16-19, along comes the Montana Cowboy Poetry Gathering and Western Music Rendezvous held in Lewistown, Mont. Yours truly has been assigned the momentous task of announcing the winner in the raffle drawing while basking in the bright lights of the nightshow stage. What’s the raffle? A cowboy of course! He wears a hat and boots and has a vacant expression. Sound like any buckaroos you know?
Sadly, this raffle cowboy doesn’t breathe in and out, but he does wear a hat, boots and a cheery grin. He’s made of plaster and steel and stands about five foot tall. (One imagines he’d be taller in the saddle, but unfortunately he can’t fork a horse). He’s been christened, Rusty, because parts of him bear a rust-hued patina.
As you can imagine, the responsibility of drawing a winning number to give away a plaster puncher is fraught with anguish as grueling as putting a robot on Mars. How can I make the ceremony special, you ask? I have penned a collection of limericks all devoted to Rusty. I shall speak each one in a respectful voice while indicating the portion of Rusty to which the limerick may allude. As in the following:
Ol’ Rusty’s made of plaster and paint
He’s purty but real cowboy he ain’t
He leans on a wall
Instead of a stall
And smiles without a complaint.
Rusty’s hat is made with great pains
To shield him from sunshine and rains
With a wide band for sweat
So his eyes don’t get wet
And a crown that’s too big for his brains.
Ol’ Rusty’s a buckaroo fellow
He’s laid back and really quite mellow
But if he’s left in the rain
It quite melts his brain
And rusts to a yellow cremello.
Rusty wears spurs on his boot heels
He clanks ’em like musical bell peals
When he kicks up high
He catches his thigh
Now he knows how his suffering horse feels.
Ol’ Rusty’s a perfect sidekick
Though you all may think he’s a hick
He’s never passé
He don’t drink latte
And his brains are made out of brick.
Though constructed of clay and paint
Rusty, the statue is quaint
But he’s merely plaster
Oh what a disaster
He’d like to make love but he cain’t.
Dear Rusty it’s time to go
You’ve got a new row to hoe
Your job is to stand
In some gardener’s land
And scare off each sneaky crow.
And the winner is … ❖