Hanks: There needs to be some laughter involved | TheFencePost.com

Hanks: There needs to be some laughter involved

Now gentle readers, you all know that “laffin” is good medicine. It’s always good medicine to help you recover from some malady that has you all confined to having the blues or being depressed. Of course there are times that laughter is not appropriate and would be considered insensitive and rude. There are things that happen to us that are so hurtful and distressing one would never think of laughter.

However, on the lighter side, life can really be amusing and even funny if we allow ourselves to just cut loose and have a good “belly laff!”

Remember the last time you saw an infant get tickled and just bust out “laffin” all over? There is no way that you can keep from joining in and laughing with the little tyke, is there? I never have been able to keep from it and when it was all over, man I felt so good inside.

There is a cowboy code that is more or less unspoken that when a good, rip-tearing, horrible wreck takes place involving one or more of the crew, if no one is maimed or actually killed, it’s considered a good slap on the back to make fun of those involved. Yes, you are required to “laff” and it’s considered rude if you don’t. Should you not “laff” those victims might just feel like they are not a part of the crew.

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There was that one time when I was draggin’ a calf to the branding fire on a big green broke colt that I let the rope get under the colt’s tail and he came unglued! He bucked up against the fence and as long as I held my dallies (rope around the saddle horn) I could stay with him. On the other hand he was jarring my eye teeth out and pounding my butt into peanut butter.

I decided I had to turn my rope loose and maybe then the calf would drag the rope out from under the colt’s tail and this incident would be over with. Sooooo, I turned my dallies loose only to be tossed over said fence and on the way down parts of me landed on the cross tie and two-by-twelve fencing. The “ride’em boss, ride’em” calls had ended and all I could hear was an uproar in hearty “laffin”! I must have looked like that drawing of “Kilroy was here” when I began to emerge up and over the fence and all fell silent as I must have had a really disgusted look on my face.

I realized that I hadn’t been killed and it was probably my fault the rope wound up under the horses’ tail and not the cowboys fault. A big grin crossed my mug and I too began to “laff” a little. Not much, but a little. All was well, I felt I had kept the code as well as my crew and there would be a good story to tell at some later time. I just told it.

As a result of not only that little wreck but a few others when I was ejected from a horse and landed firmly onto the terra firma, I came up with what I thought was a cute cartoon. This cowboy is being bucked head first over his horse and his buddy sez, “ Otis, when ridin’ a bronc, it’s always best to keep yer back pockets lower than yer eyebrows!”

Yes, in my cowboy career I have been the brunt of many knee slappin’ “laffs” and I have done my fair share of “laffin” at those when they were at the other end of the stick.

The truth really is my friends, if you can find a good “laff” inside of you for any reason at all you will find it to be purty darn good medicine. And something else, a good cry is good for you when nothing else seems to be appropriate. While watching the news on the RFD channel last evening I watched an old rancher being interviewed after he lost his home and livestock in one of those horrible Kansas fires. This poor feller all scruffed up, dirty and tired, tried to talk but nothing came but him just breaking down and shedding tears like I’ve never seen a cowboy shed.

It broke my heart to see him so badly devastated. It seems that sometimes we need to do one or the other. Just “laff” if you can and cry if you can’t.

Stay tuned, check yer cinch on occasion, please count your blessings every day, have a good “laff” when it’s called for and I’ll c. y’all, all y’all. ❖

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Mad Jack Hanks

The cowboy in me


I reckon he has always been there. I also believe that most folks, male or female, that are or have been “cowboys” for a good portion of their lives also had that “cowboy” in them…

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