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Posted 9/26/12 (Wed)

Hail the victors! Hail the victors! We have returned home with the bounty and treasures of a faraway land!
I know some of you may not believe this, but it is the truth. Well, I’ll start at the beginning.
River is our nephew. I’ve mentioned him before. Good cowboy. Champion wrestler and twin brother of Maddi, the Magnificent! River is attending college at Spearfish, S.D. He is a member of the rodeo team at Black Hills State University and he invited me to sponsor a team in a golf tournament that raises funds for their rodeo team.
Now, I abhor the thought of leaving Shirley with chores, driving to Deadwood with friends, spending a night drinking whiskey and playing poker, sleeping in on Sunday morning, and then golfing on a beautiful course in the Black Hills. But then since River is kind of shy and I was his only hope, I thought it over for five seconds and agreed.
I’m not a good golfer. I’m not even a bad golfer. People who have played with me will attest that I am not a golfer at all. I have been told it would take years of lessons to make me a bad golfer. And I can honestly admit, and I have friends that will swear to the fact that I, like Bubba Watson, have never had a lesson. Bubba did better than me.
But as Jeff reminded me, the talent is in the recruiting of team members and I recruited two of the top golfers in the state. We won the tournament with a score of 60. Eleven under par. That is 60 shots. One of River’s. Two of mine, and 57 of Ray’s and Dean G’s. And to be completely honest, the team was forced to use one each of River’s and mine. So actually, they needed only one of mine, but it was a good shot.
So this morning, after the celebratory evening, my mind is blank. And then to make matters worse, Shirley says that is when it is best! That hurts. That really hurts. And I’ve told her many times, fat people have feelings, too.
You know, a couple of years ago, you never would have thought about rush-hour traffic in Alexander, Williston, or Watford, but now you do. There was a time when, if you were out late at night or early in the morning, you would be the only car on the street. That could be good. Or that could be bad.
When we were living and ranching in both the Dickinson and the Selfridge areas, we spent a lot of time at each place. It depended on just where we were haying or doing cowboy work. So we didn’t keep a lot of food in either fridge. We just kind of played it by ear.
So if we were in Dickinson, I could get up at three in the morning, drive across town to the grocery store, buy breakfast groceries, and prepare a big breakfast for the neighbors and ourselves, without really bothering anyone.
One morning, I guess it’s about 3:00 or 3:30 a.m., I go buy breakfast foods. And heading south through town on 22, I get picked up for speeding. Thirty-two mph! Thirty-two in a 25 mph zone! I’m the only car on the road. People drive 35 mph all day long and nobody says a thing.
Well, the officer shines his light around the car. He’s sure anyone out at that time of the morning is drunk,  high, lost or it is an emergency or something. All he can find is bacon, eggs and juice (he never found the body in the trunk). He gives a stern lecture on speeding and sends me off. I’m a little upset.
Two weeks later, same deal. It is cold and I leave my car running under a streetlight in the store parking lot. I load my groceries and take off. Being somewhat of a rebel, I determine to drive at 27 mph. As I make my way through town, I meet an officer. His lights come on and he spins around. I fasten my seat belt, take out my driver’s license, and wait for him. He comes up and shines his light in my car. Again looking for drugs, booze, weapons of mass destruction, or so forth. Nothing.
He shines his light in my face. “Do you know why I stopped you?” I stare into that light and scream indignantly, “For going 27 mph in a 25, you moron!”
“No,” he responds, “You don’t have your headlights on.”
“Oh, thank you, nice officer.”
That reminds me of a story.
This guy was driving home from a late night of drinking and card playing. As he goes through Manning, an officer begins following him. It is 2:00 a.m. in the morning. The officer is following pretty close, so the guy eases to the side to let the patrolman by. Immediately the officer flips his lights on and picks the guy up.
“Where are you going this time of the night?”
“Well,” the guy replies, “I’m on my way to a lecture on the evils of alcohol and the evils of gambling. The speaker is touching on how it affects your family life. How it can cause marital breakups and how it can jeopardize your career.”
Interested, the officer asks who is giving the lecture.
“My wife,” comes the short reply.
Click, click. The sound of handcuffs.