The living is easy

Tales from the Ono Ranch
Mad Jack Hanks
Wellington, Colo.

Gentle readers, most of you might remember that song way back when called Summertime. Yep, “Summertime and the living is easy.” Well, that depends on how old you are and how life is treating you in these “golden” years. Sometimes it ain’t all it’s cracked up to be.

I stopped on the interstate just this week to help a stranded young woman with two little ones who had run out of gas. She almost made it as she was just a mile from Wellington. I told her I would run in and get a gas can and return with some petrol so she could get off that busy interstate with those kids. I went to the quick stop and they would be happy to sell me a 2 gallon gas can for SEVENTEEN dollars, and then I had to buy a couple of gallons of gas to get her on her way. She had told me, “I have money!” Of course she did. It takes money to get tattoos and toe rings and the like, plus she was driving a rather expensive vehicle. This gas can had two, count them two funnels and we had a difficult time trying to figure out how to make either work. She figured it out, I could have never. “The living is easy.” I didn’t charge her anything at all. I’m paying it forward.

It seems to me that anything you buy, be it a lawn sprinkler, gas can or a box of Ritz crackers, I just have a hard time getting any of them to work without breaking a sweat! Most every tool one buys comes packaged in hard plastic and you need a chain saw to get in there and remove the fencing pliers. I suspect there are a lot of young engineers fresh out of college that have been given jobs where they have to prove how clever and “different” they can design and come up with new ways to make old folks want to just run for the border. Oh, but Mad Jack, they are trying to be environmentally friendly. WE HAVE TO SAVE THE PLANET YOU DUMMY! Plastic straws are on the “hit list” but none of the other plastics, like the bumper on your pickup and containers for fly traps and all that stuff. Of course all of this is expected given the lunacy we endure from day to day.

There is this little “goon” that hangs around the post office and he is wrapped up like a mummy and his job is to intimidate anyone and everyone who attempts to go in without a mask. He has jumped on me twice and Ol’ Mad Jack got a little hostile the last time. He is a little younger than myself and a good bit smaller so he thinks in a pretty big way as I am six foot two and two hundred pounds. If I had been thinking, I should have threatened to give him a big hug instead of another alternative I offered up. “It’s Summertime and the living is easy!” Well, by golly it ain’t been all that easy here of late. I know, I know, you think I’m just an old grouchy man who wants these last years to be enjoyable with no issues whatsoever. That ain’t gonna’ happen and I know it. I’m glad the old feller is screaming, IT’S MY LIFE TOO!” Hopefully in the future I will just ignore him and go about my business and let him suffer in his own self indulgence. I know he must be feeling as if he is saving lives plus, he gets all the attention that he must have never gotten.

I think I have most of it under control and yes, I am HAPPY and plan on staying that way until the dirty rotten, bitter end! You know I kid a lot and you can feel free to toss some of this aside. Don’t toss this aside: Some of you may be new to this column and I haven’t told you how to order my 2021 Hoots calendars if you want one. Here we go: Jack Hanks, P.O. Box 825, Wellington, CO 80549. or email

The calendars are $15, if you buy three you will receive an 8 1/2 x 11-inch original pen and ink Hoots cartoon that is signed and I choose what to send you and that’s always only the best. The calendars will be signed and postage paid.

Stay tuned, check yer cinch on occasion and take time to “pay it forward” as the living is easy! I’ll c. y’all, all y’all. ❖