Beware the Cattle Guard!
A herd trained strictly to guard pasture and stinky ponds has become a marauding bovine paramilitary. Possibly with “Homeland Security.” Presumed to be walking two-legged, toting spears until hoof-operated automatic weapons are developed by moo-cow science. Arizona Citizens: carry identification papers on all back roads. Or a gun, a knife, and a grill.
(Thanks for the warning, Nathaniel.)
True Tall Tale:
Itinerant miner Ulysses Shoehorn Tobias Pisztov was rattlesnake-bit so many times he eventually learned to simply lie down, enjoy the near-death experience, then go back to work.
(Found the rubber snake at the bottom of the Grand Canyon years ago, a common ruse to keep crows and squirrels away from unattended backpacks. I carried it home. Roadrunners will fight snakes; recently the roadrunner that lives in my yard attacked and tossed it around, just to be on the safe side.)
I sewed this button on a tar-stained but unholy work shirt. Took five minutes. A little off kilter, but no one criticizes fashion at a cement mine. Dear lazy sons, especially the one who cinches his belt tighter to hold his pants up since the button fell off: I gave you needle and thread; five minutes of sewing will make your shirt brand new, or, more importantly, keep your britches on. Now it’s on the Interzone, so it’s “cool.” Just Do It!
The Dumb Sayings of Wilhelm von Buellschidt
Born in Alabama to a German mule-skinner and a former “Miss Ethiopia,” Wilhelm’s first words were utter nonsense. An Idiot Savant, or just Idiot, he was awarded a scholarship to Carvard Haulage, from which he graduated 22 years later, with a degree in Hillbilly Engineering Philosophy. His writings sound noble and wise, but they aren’t. Let us take another look at
1. “You Can Do Anything You Set Your Mind To, If You Just Try Hard Enough.”
You might be able to do some things, even most things, if you try. But not “anything.” For example, young Cheap Dude loved baseball, and decided as a child to be a professional baseball player. He tried, and tried, and tried, and tried to get better at baseball, but never did. Baseball requires excellent vision; Cheap’s eyes require thick glasses. If this Buellschidt saying was correct, Cheap should just keep trying, harder and harder, at 54, because:
2. “You Haven’t Failed Until You Quit Trying.”
Same concept as #1, and just as dumb. When you fail, you fail. Go ahead and keep trying if you want, you might succeed someday. But forever trying, and forever failing, is not heroic perseverance; it’s hard-headed insanity. If I keep trying to play baseball, I still may not have failed, exactly, but I am clearly an idiot for believing that old Buellschidt.
3. “Hard Work Always Brings Success.”
A Buellschidt classic. Hard work always brings hunger, thirst, pain, and exhaustion. Perhaps a meager paycheck, and the satisfaction of doing something useful if by chance you did. Success, sometimes, depending on your definition, your physical and mental fitness, and where you live. (Workers of the World, Unite!)
4. “Freedom Isn’t Free.”
Pure Buellschidt. Freedom is free as the wind. But as soon as people band together for commerce and protection, the price goes up, you give up some freedom for the common good. It gets deadly expensive as soon as one government decides their restrictions on freedom are better than everybody else’s.
5. ”Follow Your Dreams.”
So I should fly a tandem bicycle nude over a full football stadium, with my beloved first grade teacher, while drinking from a five-gallon bottle of vodka? That Buellschidt is crazy! To follow my dreams would mean years of wandering aimlessly through a high school/food market/Grand Canyon hybrid, and, (if their dreams include making it with a creepy old man,) several pregnant supermodels. If you have a worthy goal, by all means pursue it. But following your dreams is only slightly less dumb than following your horoscope.
6. “Love Makes the World Go Round.”
No, the laws of physics do, stupid Buellschidt! Love merely makes our time on this blighted sphere tolerable. Luckily, love is just like physics--free!
7. “It is Better to Light a Scented Candle, Than to Curse the Fart-ness”
OK, we’ll give ‘im that one.
Today's Philosophical Meditation: Holy people are worshiped, but holy shirts are converted to greasy shop rags. A holy mystery.
Today’s Political Analysis: The sad legacy of everyone’s right to bear arms is a lot of armless bears out there. The only practical solution is to arm bears. Amidst the controversy, let us not forget the critical right to bare arms.