Tales from the O-NO Ranch: It never fails
by “Mad” Jack Hanks
Well, gentle readers, here’s hopin’ you and yours had a safe and happy holiday. Now that the holiday season is over, it means only one thing: it’s time for the DENVER STOCK SHOW! It seems to come around faster and faster each year. I’m ready for ’em this year. Yep, got all my stuff organized, packed and ready for the ride.
Now, there are some things that take place in my booth each year without FAIL! I will have three to four toothpick rollers stroll into my booth at various times. A toothpick roller is that guy that comes in with a toothpick in his mouth. It’s the same toothpick he had last year when he came in.
I have made a horseback observation that toothpick rollers have no sense of humor. If they do, it’s so foreign to me that I fail to recognize it. This toothpick roller will go from cartoon to cartoon, from book to book and never manage to muster up the faintest of smiles. He won’t leave until he’s read every cartoon I’ve got and then he’ll turn to ya and give you a nod and be on his way without uttering a sound.
It never fails that a good many friends and readers of the Fence Post will stop by and we’ll discuss our triumphs and tragedies over the previous years.
It never fails that rodeo buddies will stop and explain that missed loop or that hoss that failed to buck out of the chute, or that cotton pickin’ steer that just plumb stopped when said person was leavin’ his pony to bulldog him down.
There will be that lady that has never seen my artwork before and has herself a grand ole time laughin’ and as she turns to leave she will always ask, how in the world do you come up with all of these ideas? I usually reply, I’m a sick man, ma’am, or I come by it naturally.
Before she leaves she will say, “These are just priceless!” To which I reply, actually they’re not. If you look real close, you will find a price on each and every one! Now children, I’m not being nasty, I’m just kidding around.
Here’s the real kicker: the Stock Show is in January and it’s cold, RIGHT? So, I wear a coat like most reasonable thinkin’ folks would do, RIGHT? Now, I have very little space in my booth after I have put out all my wares and I have to hang my coat somewhere, RIGHT?
Usually, I just hang it up on a display panel at the front of my booth. Here comes three women (THIS NEVER FAILS) they are happy, they are walkin’ 500 miles an hour and two of the three are eating something that’s usually gooey, sticky and fattening. As they fly past my booth one of the women will say, “WAIT!” She will then look as if she is going to do a backward handstand as she reaches back and jerks open the collar of my hanging jacket lookin’ for a price tag. Finding no tag there, her sticky hands reach and grab each sleeve tryin’ to find that elusive price tag. Not finding it, she turns to me and ask, how much is your coat? Usually, I say something like, $5,000. The three of them give me that WHAT IS YOUR PROBLEM, STUPID? look. I just grin and explain that the coat is what I wear to the Stock Show everyday to keep warm and that I don’t sell coats in my booth, I sell cartoons. They give me a look that tells me I’ve caught them red-handed trying to spend more money than maybe they should. The look also tells me I should have just kept my big mouth shut as they didn’t appreciate my feeble attempt at humor at their expense. Some women just can’t help it. They have to stop and price every thread of clothing that catches their eye, but that’s good in a way. It helps to keep the economy flowing.
Well, if ya get a chance to flow on over to the Stock Show, stop by and we’ll visit, or you can bring yer wife and she can fondle my coat as if it were for sale. Somebody told me once that I looked good in cheap clothes: must be somethin’ to it!
Stay tuned and check yer cinch on occasion! C. ya.