One Jackass – Or Two?

Jackass

An Old Man and His Mule

An old man walked up and tied his old mule to the hitching post. As he stood there, brushing some of the dust from his face and clothes, a young gunslinger stepped out the saloon with a gun in one hand and a bottle of whiskey in the other.

The young gunslinger looked at the old man and laughed, “Hey old man, have you ever danced?”

The old man looked up at the gunslinger and said, “No,… I never did dance… never really wanted to.”

A crowd had gathered as the gunslinger grinned and said, “Well, you old fart, you’re gonna dance now,” and started shooting at the old man’s feet.

The old prospector — not wanting to get his toe blown off — started hopping around. Everybody was laughing. When his last bullet had been fired, the young gunslinger, still laughing, holstered his gun and turned around to go back into the saloon.

The old man turned to his pack mule, pulled out a double-barreled shotgun, and cocked both hammers. The loud clicks carried clearly through the desert air, and the crowd stopped laughing immediately.

The young gunslinger heard the sounds, too, and he turned around very slowly. The silence was almost deafening. The crowd watched as the young gunman stared at the old man and the large gaping holes of the twin barrels.

The barrels of the shotgun never wavered in the old man’s hands, as he quietly said, “Son, have you ever kissed a mule’s ass?”

The gunslinger swallowed hard and said, “No Sir… But I’ve always wanted to.”

There are five lessons here for all of us:

  1. Never be arrogant.
  2. Don’t waste ammunition.
  3. Whiskey makes you think you’re smarter than you are.
  4. Always make sure you know who has the power.
  5. Don’t mess with old people, they didn’t get old by being stupid.

 

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Flash Fiction #93

Barbed Wire

PHOTO PROMPT © Madison Woods

IMPRISONED INFINITY

Barbed wire tamed the Wild West. It had been Terra Incognita – the land beyond the law.  Its business was Beef.  Myriad cattle grazed millions of open acres, giving birth a century later to McDonalds and Burger King.

Then came the farmers – Sodbusters.  The cost of enough lumber, on the treeless plain, to keep cattle from crops, was exorbitant.  But then came the wire salesman, offering a cheap solution that was horse-high, bull-strong, and pig-tight.

Even men with no property deeds objected to being fenced out of once-open land. Wire wars were fought, but eventually, civilization moved west, and peace prevailed.

***

Go to Rochelle’s Addicted to Purple site and use her Wednesday photo as a prompt to write a complete 100 word story.

Minutia

Being another premium collection of Archon’s famous Rants and Rambles© – until I run out of breath.

Back when I was young and healthy, and working, chocolate milk and cheddar were occasional treats. Now that I am more subject to osteoporosis (bone weakening through loss of calcium), the wife ensures that brown cow juice and four or five types of cheese are available at all times.

A recent study proved that flavonoids in chocolate are good for you, the darker the chocolate, the better. Recently, locally, dark-chocolate milk has become available. MMMH, yummy! Now, if I could just get the folks who decaffeinate coffee, to decalorify all the food I like….

Because I’m compulsive, and have nothing better to do, we take receipts, and keep track of all the gasoline we put into the car. Last year’s total ran to just over $2200. We aren’t soccer moms, or run a taxi. I don’t know if that’s “normal” or not. Anybody got an opinion?

At the recent Detroit Gun and Knife show, they had a display of the two Tommy Guns, Thompson sub-machine guns, which were used in the Chicago, Valentine’s Day Massacre of 1929. Somehow they migrated to the small town of St. Joseph, north of Detroit, and were later turned over to local police, whose taser-instructing Sheriff brought them down and stood guard over them.

Son, Shimoniac, has been at his current job as a plastic parts moulder for five years. Each year, he has applied for the position of Material Handler, and each year an opening has gone to an employee with less seniority. It just occurred for the fifth time. His supervisor is apologetic, and explained that it is because he quickly became indispensable.

He can make every part, on every machine, including 5 or 6 items like bagpipe mouthpieces and CPU anti-skid mats, which are only run once a year. He recently trained a new employee – who may not be there next year – to make the mats, and is usually the one chosen to train new temps. His part achieved shipping quantity the other night and, while they were changing the mould in his machine, he covered four other machines during breaks.

The most “Internet” of Internet sentences, is currently the incorrect, “Your an idiot.” It perfectly personifies the Wild West nature of the interwebz, although it may soon be replaced by, “It’s a hoax!”

As a language geek, I often wonder how we manage to communicate as well as we do. I recently saw a photo of a dog in the newspaper, with a caption declaring that it was a “Burmese mountain dog.” Ah yes, Burma, that low-land, coastal, swamp-infested country, not well-known for either mountains – or dogs, since that last restaurant opened. Perhaps they were thinking of the Swiss dogs, from the Alps Mountains, near the capital of Bern – Bernese mountain dogs? Nah, that requires thinking.

So many people just don’t concern themselves with the nuances and exactitudes of the language. The slang term “klicks” came into being from the American Army referring to kilometers, because they don’t speak Canadian. Since the one begins with a K, I would expect the other to do so also, yet 75% of the times I read it, even by professional writers, I see “clicks.”

A Canadian Army body transport team of eight male and two females, posed for a group photo around an aluminum casket. Two of the guys were wrestling, one was photo-bombing bunny ears on his buddy, and one was staring off into space and pointing, as if at a UFO. All the rest had cheesy grins. The female corporal posted it to her Facebook page, captioned, “Putting the FUN back in funeral.”

They were all off-duty, and there was no body in the casket, but the shit hit the fan. I say, you can’t be serious all the time, but what irked me, was the claim that this picture was a “selfie.” Selfies are spontaneous, self-taken photos. They have arms in them and the focus distance is two feet or less. Posed photos from 20 feet out, are not “selfies!”

I don’t ever pick up a book to read, with the intention of being a nit-picker, but posting a few recent book reviews has made me aware of the many things I notice, but used to just ignore, in the suspension of disbelief category.

I recently finished a Clive Cussler book where the only underwater action was the ten-page recovery of a locomotive which fell off a lake ferry in a storm. I question, but can’t prove, the impossibility of a 1906 Rolls-Royce in San Francisco.

I also read a non-Cussler book centered around an underwater base. The supply ship “hoved to.” It could have heaved to, or hove to, but not hoved! The crew shared a bottle of “saki.” Saki was the pen-name of writer, H.H.Munro, or is a current Japanese manga series. The rice liquor is sake. A pair of glasses swirling in a flooding airlock were called flotsam. If it don’t float, it ain’t flotsam.

They recovered gold ingots from a sunken wreck. A Scottish character gushed that they weighed 50 stone apiece, and were worth almost a half a million dollars each. 50 pounds apiece, perhaps. Stone is a British Imperial measure of weight of 14 pounds. 50 stone would be 700 pounds. Nobody a hundred years ago, without a forklift, would pour a 700 pound gold brick, and the tiny manipulator arms of a mini-sub could not grasp, or move one. If they did, each would be worth over fourteen million dollars.

Well, that cleared a bunch of bats out of this ding-dong’s belfry. I wonder if they’ll let me post when I’m in “The Home.”???