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Posted 3/22/16 (Tue)


Spring is a wonderful season in ranching country. Most ranchers are either in the middle of calving, or just getting started. The ground has a little green tint to it, and we all are hoping for a little rain, or maybe even a wet snow to get things started.
And yesterday, I picked the first crocus for my wife. I’m not too much into flowers, but the first crocus of spring always brings a smile to my face. I used to find them in the horse pasture west of the yard. I’d be riding, looking for a lost calf, or a bad bagged cow, and there, on a side hill, would be that fist harbinger of spring. I’d stick it in my jacket pocket and take it home for Shirley. She always is tickled with it. It would be scrunched up and full of little bugs, but she still liked it.
So this morning, Shirley said write about crocuses. So I did. But while I was perusing some old stories, I found this one, that I thought kind of balances the crocus story out…
The internet is a wonderful tool. You can check the markets, message friends, shop for parts, buy fertilizer, and, from what I understand, it has replaced National Geographic as a young boy’s first sex education magazine.
You can buy or sell a horse, buy or sell cattle, and find a truck to use in the hay field. I have recipes marked for making dinner, and won an argument on what cut of meat “filet mignon” comes from.
I have a souped-up financial statement for my banker and scores of other fictional tales. You can book a motel room, buy drugs, and find out how to treat your puppy for worms.
But last week, a guy discovered a new use of this medium. He advertised his wife for sale. Really. I saw it. In fact I placed a bid or two. Because of this simple ad, I may have to use the recipe site a little more often. I am cooking for myself.
Here is how it happened.
I was checking this eBay deal out for a used semi-tractor to haul hay. And somehow or other, I found this advertisement this guy had posted to trade his wife off. Well, being the curious sort, I inquired about some kind of trade. I was thinking, what with Shirley having to work so hard, maybe we could get a little help here.
I was thinking I could trade the old mower-conditioner off. Or perhaps the classic Cadillac that sits in the shop. But, alas, Shirley was watching over my shoulder as I inquired about a trade. And she wrongfully assumed I was discussing trading her.
I was messaging back and forth with this guy when Shirley started watching. Shirley missed the part about the car being my trading stock. She started rubbering as I was discussing the Cadillac. The guy had asked what kind of shape the car was in. I replied “her body is in tough shape, but she runs pretty good if you warm her up.” I felt a cold chill enter the room.
The guy asked if I ever took her to a car show. I replied “that I had, but she was too big to haul around much, and she didn’t like gravel roads, so I usually just left her home.” The chill seemed to get worse.
He asked how long I’d had her. I replied that “I’d gotten her in the early seventies, but I was thinking of getting rid of her and getting a newer model with fewer miles.” By now, it was damn cold in the office.
He asked if I thought she would last a couple more years. I said “if you gave her a wax job, and kept her inside, she might.” Icicles were forming on my coffee cup.
The final blow came, when the guy said he guessed he wasn’t interested. Said it sounded like mine was pretty well wore out and he didn’t want to trade his wife for some wore out old piece of junk. I, thinking of that old Caddy, just agreed and said “if I couldn’t get anything for mine, I’d just push her in a washout, or trade her to some drunk in a bar.”
I kind of saw the fist coming out of the corner of my eye. That eye is starting to open a little today. And I am posting a bit of advice. Kind of like Wild Bill Hickock should have used. Always sit with your back to the wall. And never, never, criticize your Cadillac.