Yield: You win, Bub | TheFencePost.com

Yield: You win, Bub

I love olden-times, true, hilarious stories. Here's one that dates back decades to when about every small rural town boasted at least one new car dealership. In this case, the sleepy little country town in the Kansas Flint Hills had a Chevrolet dealership. Not surprisingly, customer traffic through the dealership wuz consistently slow, which left the sole proprietor of the bizness with a lot of idle time on his hands.

There wuz a full-service gasoline station right across the street from the Chevy dealership, so, naturally, the time-on-his-hands Chevy guy spent a lot of time at the gas station verbally gassing with the owner and all the customers who drove in.

Well, one hot summer day right at the end of the feeder cattle shipping season, "Chevyman" wuz idling at the gas station when a local rancher pulled in for a fill-up, windshield wash and tire pressure check. The rancher wuz pulling a rusty, gravel-pulverized, open-topped stock trailer and inside the trailer wuz a single highly agitated steer doing its best, and barely failing, to launch itself out the top of the trailer rocketship style.

Chevyman took in the scene immediately and commented dryly to the steer owner, with whom he was more than a nodding acquaintance, "Traveling light today, Bub, with just one steer."

The steer owner retorted tartly, "That's the wildest SOB I've ever seen. We couldn't get it rounded up with the herd when we shipped and I've spent all morning with a crew chasing that steer down, roping him and dragging him into the trailer. He's going straight to the sale barn — TODAY!"

Chevyman nodded knowingly, then added, "Too bad you didn't use my way. I know a way to catch any wild steer single-handed and get it loaded with hardly any fuss at all. Why, I'll bet you a case of cold beer that if you turn that steer out here in town, right now, that I can get him caught and loaded back into your trailer in less than a half-hour."

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The thirsty rancher looked at Chevyman skeptically and said, "I'll just take that bet." And with that, he walked to the back of his trailer and let the crazed steer out. It headed down the bricked main drag with its tail cranking and within seconds wuz out of sight.

The rancher looked at Chevyman, glanced at his pocket watch and said confidently, "You're wasting time. Your half-hour's started."

Chevyman extricated himself from his seat, strolled slowly across the street to his dealership, reached into the refrigerator and extracted an ice-cold case of beer. Then he strolled back across the street to the rancher, handed him the beer and stated with a wide grin, "You win, Bub!"

•••

The saga of egg-sucking blacksnakes continues. Column readers felt compelled to tell me of similar incidents. One Kansas reader said his grandfather used to put old light bulbs in his hens' nests and that egg-sucking blacksnakes and bullsnakes would mistakenly try to ingest the light bulb from the small end and could never get the job done. His grandpa would find the snakes trying to eat the light bulb and dispatch them.

One Missouri reader suggested putting old golf balls into the hens' nests. He said egg-sucking snakes will eat the golf balls, but can't digest or excrete them and will die of constipation. I doubt the veracity of that story, but I like it anyway and might try it if another egg-sucking snake finds it way into my henhouse.

•••

Well, the primary election in Kansas is done and we still don't know who our next governor will be. The two leading candidates finished the election with just a few-hundred votes separating them.

Regardless of who is eventually declared the winner, the tight race again proves the point that every vote counts and every vote is important.

•••

Some folks can raise melons successfully, but not me. I have never raised a truly good melon crop. So, the good melon farmers in our neighborhood have been gracing us with sumptuous cantaloupe and the occasional watermelon.

That reminded me of an old melon-grower story. Old Mick has a watermelon patch and as the melons start ripening, he notices that every night a few ripe melons disappear. He knows some of the ornery local teens are responsible for the pilfered melons.

Mick thinks hard of a way to discourage this very unsatisfactory situation and finally thinks he's come up with a solution to his problem. He puts up a sign next to the patch that reads: "Warning! One of these watermelons contains poison and I'm the only one who knows which melon."

Mick smiles smugly as he heads to the house. However, the next day when he returns to the watermelon patch, Mick's smile turns into an ashen frown, even though none of his watermelons have been taken. Another sign has been erected next to his sign. It reads: "Now there are two poison melons! And I'm the only person who knows which is the second."

•••

Well, I've reached the point where I need to conclude with some wise words of wisdom. This week: "Don't regret growing older. It's a privilege denied to many."

Have a good 'un. ❖