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Posted 11/07/12 (Wed)

I have a lot of friends. I know you may question that, but I really do. Many of them are ranchers and farmers and cowboys. And, although I would never condone it, over the years I’ve had friends who have maybe spent a little too long at the scale after shipping calves, or stayed a little too late playing pinochle at the Legion, or maybe lost track of time when visiting about the day in college when…. Well, you know what I mean.
Jay was a rancher in the short grass country. He was a member of the Grazing Association. They had meetings every month to… I don’t know why they had meetings. But Jay never missed one.
After the meeting they would retire to the Legion Club to discuss what they did or didn’t do, and get ready for next month’s meeting. Whiskey would be poured, cards dealt, and the stories would start. One night, Jay stayed a little too wrong. This is the way he told it to me.
“I drove out of town and I was the only one on the road. It was a peaceful night. A few miles down the road, I noticed the flashing lights behind me. I guess I’m not sure how long they followed me, but the cop seemed to think it was quite a ways.
“He asked if I’d been drinking and I explained it had been a grazing meeting. That didn’t seem to impress him.
“That cop had me get out of the car and asked me to walk the line, toe to heel. I did it pretty darn good for a drunken guy wearing cowboy boots on a sidling road. At least, I thought so.
“Then he asked me to stand on one foot. I might have stumbled a little, but it was a little windy.
“Then he asked me to say the alphabet. I guess it is supposed to be A B C D, not A B C, D U I!
“When he asked me to stand on one foot, shut my eyes, and touch my nose with one finger, I simply said, ‘Why don’t you get some other monkey to do your tricks!’
“Click, click. The cuffs!”
Now again, not condoning this kind of behavior, I’ve another cowboy friend, who had a little problem. Now he is attending these classes where they ask a lot of questions about your life and mental state, I’ve heard.
Anyway, he and other “students” were asked what they wanted out of life. The girl ahead of my friend explained she wanted to get her family back together, straighten her life out, get over her dependency, and so forth.
My cowboy friend was next.
He tipped his hat back and said he only wanted three things. “Lose weight, wean 600-pound calves, and get a new tractor!”
He might make valedictorian!