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Posted 3/01/16 (Tue)


Years ago I served in the North Dakota Legislature. During that time I made a lot of wonderful friends, and heard a lot of great speeches. I think of Senator Waldera promoting a bill that legalized dollar limit poker at charitable functions. And saying, “Do you think the cowboys that trailed cattle into the Dakota Territory spread a blanket out by the fire, and said, “Let’s play bingo!”
But there was one Senator who would get his idioms mixed up. At least I think they are idioms. It’s phrases like, “He’s not the sharpest knife in the drawer.”
He would say things such as, “I’m not the brightest bulb in the drawer.” Or “You can’t make a pig’s purse out of a sow’s ear!” I used to really pay attention when he spoke! He was dang sure good for an occasional column.
What made me think of this is this morning, I’m thinking, “I’m not the brightest bulb in the closet,” or “My elevator doesn’t run all the way to the top!”
You see, every couple of years, I promise my first wife I will take her on an exotic vacation. I took her to the Watford City and Drake High School rodeos on our honeymoon 40 some years ago. Of course, she had to secretary and time. And carry a flag in the Grand Entry.
And years later, I promised I would make it up to her. I took her to a bucking horse sale in Mesquite, Texas. Of course, she had to haul a trailerload of horses 1,200 miles!
One year I took her on a cruise. I found that a cruise is much the same as being locked in a huge casino for five days. I pretty much stayed at the tables, while she suffered with a bout of seasickness in our eight by 10 cell.
I took her to Oklahoma City for the National Finals Rodeo, only to find out that they had moved it to Vegas! That was a real downer.
This year I swore it would be different. She was looking forward to lying on a white, sandy beach. A cold drink with an umbrella sticking out of it in her hand. Listening to the waves roll up on the shore and immersing herself in a good book.
So I booked a trip to Charleston, S.C. That’s right. The east coast. Which is being pummeled by tornadoes and snowstorms. You can see Charleston on the news pretty much every week.
This weekend it was 72 above in Bismarck! 72!!! And the high in Charleston was 51. With rain showers.
By the time you read this, we will be on our long-awaited vacation.
And all of our friends have been posting pictures of themselves on sunny beaches in Mexico. Or golfing in Florida. Or riding and roping in Arizona. Or watching the dolphins and whales off the coast of California.
I told her this morning that we should cancel our flights, and we could take a dump trailer and a skid steer along and help with the cleanup along the Atlantic Coast.
And that is how the fight started.