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Tales from the O-NO Ranch

Mad Jack Hanks
Wellington, Colo.

Recently I did a gig that involved about a dozen high school students as well as their instructor and some other adults. Judging by the attire of the students and their behavior, I had decided that all were nice kids, well dressed and not a single redneck in the whole bunch. I don’t think that there was a country kid there, and this presentation was in a country setting.

I watched these kids closely as I began to try and entertain them and the others. I knew that a lot of what I said would go over their heads and have absolutely no meaning what-so-ever! About half of the kids kept their eyes glued on me and were expecting me to entertain them. The other half, along with the instructor, seemed to just stare down at the floor or off into space and just hope that I would stop the bleeding before too long.

Gentle readers, I was right on one count. That is, some of the material that I used about cowboys, etc., just didn’t get through to them at times, or at least some of the time. The eager ones kept the faith and I had their full attention.

I told this little story that made the eager ones bust out “laffin'” and the bored ones force a faint smile. Here’s the story:

A redneck woman goes into the little newspaper office in the community where she resides and tells the editor that she wants to take out an obituary for her recently deceased husband. She asks, “How much do ya get fer an obit?”

The editor softly says, “It’s 50 cents a word.”

She rubs her chin and spouts, “Okay, write this down! Bubba Smith died March 12, 2005!” 

The editor meekly replies, “Is that all?”

“Yep, that’s all!”

“Well, lady, the cost is 50 cents a word but there is a minimum of $15 for the obit, so you might want to reconsider and add more wording.”

She rubs her chin and again spouts, “Write this down … Bubba Smith died March 12, 2005. Two coon dogs and a 1976 Dodge Power Wagon for sale!”

That is one of my favorite stories and I use it almost every time I go to speak somewhere. Back to the school kids, the ones that were eager to be entertained broke out in loud “laffter” and again, those that just wanted this ole cowboy hayseed to be done with whatever it was I was doin’ did force a faint smile.

In a way I felt a little sadness that I could not get that portion of those kids to let loose and and enjoy themselves. I reckon that their world is so distant from mine that communication through cowboy humor was just not possible. I tried.

Just the same, I had a good time and enjoyed myself and I enjoyed those young folks as well. I know that today’s youth have a lot on their respective plates and I will not pass judgement on their ability to have or not have a good “laff” at “funny stuff!”

Stay tuned, check yer cinch on occasion and I’ll c. ya.


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