Category: Columns

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  It’s fall, and time once again for the Chipper Invitational Golf Tournament here in the valley. You remember Chipper, Doc’s imaginary squirrel? The one who was imaginarily squirrel-napped? Doc named the annual golf tournament after good ol’ Chipper. The tournament is used to raise money for coats for kids who need them. And it’s only fit and proper it be named for Chipper, since the golf tournament itself is just about as genuine as the squirrel. There isn’t a real golf course here in the valley, you know. You have to go to the city for that. So Doc decided to just wander around with a shovel, digging holes here and there and putting flags next to them. The flags, in civilian life, sure look a lot like metal t-posts. Another thing that makes Doc’s tournament unique is that there is absolutely no way to practice for it. That’s because the “golf course” is usually laid out a day ahead of time each year, and every fall, Doc picks another spot for it. The holes are different, the fairways are non-existent, and the hazards … oh, the hazards. After the first tournament, when one of Harold Brewster’s cows got hit in the butt, there are no longer any four-legged ambulatory golf hazards. Farmers are allowed to move them, happily, into bomb shelters or corrals for the duration of...

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Home Country

  “This whole election process just doesn’t work for me,” Dud said, sipping his coffee. “There’s no way we can tell who is best for the job.” Doc, being the senior member of the Mule Barn truck stop’s world dilemma think tank, looked kindly at Dud. “Well, haven’t you been reading what each candidate stands for, Dud?” Dud shrugged. “Sure. But I firmly believe they only tell you what you want to hear. They’re the best, and the other fella is going to take you straight to ruined aspirations.” “Ruined aspirations?” piped up Steve, the cowboy with the owlish look of pure bowlegged intellectualism. “That’s why I’ve always thought we need a contest. A real contest. Have them put their aspirations where they’ll do the most good.” “A contest?” “Bull riding,” said Steve, nodding sagely. “Just set their aspirations on a bull’s back and the first one to fall off loses.” “But what does bull riding have to do with taxes and warfare and education and all that stuff?” asked Doc. “Nothing at all,” said Steve, “but you can bet it will separate the serious candidates from the oh-what-the-heck guys.” “Makes some sense to me,” said Dud, with a grin. “Only problem is, if they ride bulls, one of them might get killed.” Steve grinned, “Simplifies the selection process, doesn’t it?” ———– Brought to you by the new radio...

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Home Country

“This whole election process just doesn’t work for me,” Dud said, sipping his coffee. “There’s no way we can tell who is best for the job.” Doc, being the senior member of the Mule Barn truck stop’s world dilemma think tank, looked kindly at Dud. “Well, haven’t you been reading what each candidate stands for, Dud?” Dud shrugged. “Sure. But I firmly believe they only tell you what you want to hear. They’re the best, and the other fella is going to take you straight to ruined aspirations.” “Ruined aspirations?” piped up Steve, the cowboy with the owlish look of pure bowlegged intellectualism. “That’s why I’ve always thought we need a contest. A real contest. Have them put their aspirations where they’ll do the most good.” “A contest?” “Bull riding,” said Steve, nodding sagely. “Just set their aspirations on a bull’s back and the first one to fall off loses.” “But what does bull riding have to do with taxes and warfare and education and all that stuff?” asked Doc. “Nothing at all,” said Steve, “but you can bet it will separate the serious candidates from the oh-what-the-heck guys.” “Makes some sense to me,” said Dud, with a grin. “Only problem is, if they ride bulls, one of them might get killed.” Steve grinned, “Simplifies the selection process, doesn’t...

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Home Country

  It takes a special person to be a good teacher in a rural school. Unlike the great city amalgamated and homogenized institutes of lower learning, the rural schools tend not to have teachers who are putting in time until their heart stops. And it’s a mixed blessing, because rural schools sometimes have to hire someone whose only qualification is a pulse. But there are those rural teachers who go down in legend for their creativity. Like John Lewis. After his first semester teaching at the high school, John discovered that some of the boys in class … usually the misbehavers, would raise their hands and ask to go to the john in the middle of a class session. He suspected, when they returned smelling like tobacco, that bodily functions weren’t the prime incentive for the trip. So he got a stick and made a big cardboard sign and stuck it in the closet behind his desk. Then, the very next time someone indicated a peristaltic urgency, he stood and smiled and addressed the class. “Everybody up!” he said, smiling. The class stood, looking dumbfounded at each other. “Since going to the restroom in the middle of class is a God-given American right, I believe it’s only fair that we all share a small part of it. So Pete, since you have asked to go, you get to lead...

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Home Country

It takes a special person to be a good teacher in a rural school. Unlike the great city amalgamated and homogenized institutes of lower learning, the rural schools tend not to have teachers who are putting in time until their heart stops. And it’s a mixed blessing, because rural schools sometimes have to hire someone whose only qualification is a pulse. But there are those rural teachers who go down in legend for their creativity. Like John Lewis. After his first semester teaching at the high school, John discovered that some of the boys in class … usually the misbehavers, would raise their hands and ask to go to the john in the middle of a class session. He suspected, when they returned smelling like tobacco, that bodily functions weren’t the prime incentive for the trip. So he got a stick and made a big cardboard sign and stuck it in the closet behind his desk. Then, the very next time someone indicated a peristaltic urgency, he stood and smiled and addressed the class. “Everybody up!” he said, smiling. The class stood, looking dumbfounded at each other. “Since going to the restroom in the middle of class is a God-given American right, I believe it’s only fair that we all share a small part of it. So Pete, since you have asked to go, you get to lead the...

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