Joe Manchin Says President Trump Has The “Fortitude” To Pass Gun Control

Breitbart reports West Virginia’s rabidly anti-gun Senator, Joe Manchin, says President Donald J. Trump has the “fortitude” to pass gun control.

Well, Joe, there is a difference between you and President Trump. President Trump is a legitimate member of the shooting community, a businessman who looks at the numbers and lets them lead them where he needs to go, and so far at least a truth speaker.

But Joe Manchin….

only says he is.

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Gun control Nuts Showcasing Victims, Not Numbers

I see the gun control campaigners are quiet of “benefits” derived from gun control, and are concentrating on showcasing victims. Given the facts, that gun control brings on a sharp increase the number of victims, as the laws CBS lobbied for, and some said paid for, did in the 1960’s:

…that pretty much seems the smart thing to do.

So I am not at all surprised to read that CBS 60 Minutes has decided to showcase victims in its quest to extend the benefits of New Jersey’s gun laws to us all.

Of course, if it were unprofitable for CBS to do that,they would not do it. Which makes it important to avoid those who advertise on propaganda programs, and tell the advertisers why.

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France’ Strict Gun Controls a “Paper Tiger”

In 1968, after the murder of Dr. Martin Luther King in Memphis, one of the magazines cited the very low French crime rates as a “benefit of gun control.”

They proply received a letter from Paris, citing the very lax French gun laws, with al permit to purchase or a permit to possess a sound suppressor available at any city hall, upon request and payment of a small tax. The letter writer continued by discussing killing rats in the alley behind his home with a silenced .22 rifle.

Obviously, things have changed since 1968. Instead of very low crime rates and easy gun laws, France has draconian gun laws and the French walk in constant fear of both crime and of terrorism.

Breitbart has an extensive report here, saying that from 2015 to the present, french gun controls have been a paper tiger.

See Text refers to the fact our original data consisted of crime totals, so the French crime rates were calculated from the total number of crimes and the population taken from Wikipedia. The five year delay in creating a new table is due to the many nuances of the beautiful French language, which can lead someone not a native speaker wildly astray.

Click on over for the latest from one one of the strictest gun control venues on Earth. For our part, this chart is out of date, but of date but still illustrates why the French live in fear of crime:

We will have an update later in the year, with the latest from France, so keep checking.

Stranger

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Trump Dismisses Anti-Gun Surgeon General

Steve Bartin’s NewAlert reports President Donald J. Trump has dismissed Obama’s British educated and viociferously anti-gun Surgeon General.

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Report: Gun Banned Caracas “On A Knife Edge”

An interesting report from Bloomberg says “Caracas is on a kife edge.”

Well, that is one way of describing a country where a Socialist dictator is slowly pushing a very sharfp knife through its heart, and people are so hungry even beloved pets go in the stewpot.

Venezuela has the natureal resources, but the wealth went to the ruling elites, so there is nothing left for necessities. Like a way to earn a living in a ocuntry where the government has seized and then lewt fall into ruin most means of earning foreign exchange.

Anbd do remember that all this was made possible first by Hugo Chavez confiscation of all guns more powerful than .22 long rifle, and then Chavez confiscation of all .22’s.

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PBS: White Men Are Sexist: Other Skin Tones Are Not

It is no secret that PBS has been a publicly funded “hate whitey” group for many years. Newsbusters takes notice of the latest eruption from PBS, that “White men are guilty of ambivalent sexism.”

There is nothing ambivalent about the palefaces attitude toward women. By the 1500 year old code of conduct European society a man was supposed to keep his women well fed, well housed, and well satisfied; walk between any woman and any possible danger and to protect any woman to the point of sacrificing his own life. A code admirable in many respects, not least in the general observance by men. Until stupid women ruined a good deal.

Of course, European manners and mores have produced a few rogues who did not play by the rulebook. “Yellow Hair of the yellowlegs,” George Armstrong Custer, pursued a small band of Cheyenne for hundreds of miles in order to murder a Chief and take his daughter. And produce two children by her.

But Custer was an exception in an age when virtually every man observed the code. There was, and is, nothing ambivalent about paleface men’s regard for women. They like ’em. Sometimes too many and too much, but they kike them.

And PBS should have their collective mouths washed out with chicken droppings and lye soap for suggesting they do not.

Stranger

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She Couldn’t Figure Out How without making him happy

Well, it is almost Christmas, and Commander Cody’s on the radio, singing “Ain’t going to sing those sad songs no more.” That sounds like a good idea to me! Life is just too darn short to take seriously. Especially when the neighbors kids insist on shooting of a kings ransom worth of fireworks every night. From sunset to 1 in the Aye Emm! Sounds like hunting season just started. Snipe hunting.

I think it was H.L. Mencken who observed that hunting and fishing are the only solitary vices a man can indulge in without shame. Hunting and fishing would be a lot more popular if would be nimrods didn’t have such a hard time getting away from home. I have heard that there is only one sure-fire way to get the wife’s permission to hunt and fish all you want to.

Start complaining about your health. Quit shaving or combing your hair. Wear the same clothes all week. Don’t eat more’n a bite or two of your groceries. Stay up as late as you can, get up as early as you can. And after a few weeks of this regimen you will start looking pretty peaked. And as soon as your wife makes the first comment on your appearance make an appointment with a friendly doctor.
Lay the situation before him – and get his prescription for more outdoor R & R.

Of course, you have to make sure your wife values your company. Otherwise you might wind up like the counterman at a diner I stepped into last summer. I was setting there drinking my jamocha when a friend of the counterman stopped by.

After the “hello Ole’s” were over the visitor asks the counterman how his divorce was coming along.

“Not so good,” sez the counterman. “She can’t figure out
how to give me a divorce without making me happy.”

But if you live in a small town – you could join the volunteer fire department. Attend a few meetings. Make a buddy of the guy who controls the alarm. When you are ready to go hunting or fishing get your buddy to sound the alarm. As you leave the house with your fire fighting gear in one hand – pick up your hunting or fishing gear with the other.

And you could announce you are writing a book. Your wife will be so proud of you she will let you do all the research you need to finish your literary opus. At the end of the season tell the little woman that every publisher has rejected your manuscript. I understand nine out of ten women will believe their husbands. The tenth will call him a liar. If you happen to be married to the tenth, there’s only one thing to do. Write the book.

Of course, hunters and fishermen are remarkably honest and hard working folks. I understand 29,243,741 Americans work their buns off 50 weeks a year so they can go hunting or fishing the other two weeks. Out of those, 29,243,739
go outdoors only to discover its raining a regular goose drownder, or the snow is up to Wilt Chamberlain’s armpits, or the wind is too strong to venture outdoors for the two weeks they have left. Of the remaining three sportsmen, two fall and break their legs getting out of their 4WD pickups, and the other fellow is so surprised to have good weather he turns his boat over and loses all his gear.

‘Course, some outdoorsy types do go out in the rain. I remember when the two guys from Duluth went fishing out in Lake Superior. Which Superior is not much smaller than the Gulf of Mexico. Not enough smaller that you can tell the difference standing on the shore, anyhoo.

These guys got about two miles out in the lake, and a violent storm came up. Their boat filled with water and sank in about ten seconds. By some miracle the two intrepid swimmers managed to struggle ashore, miles from their supplies. It took them a week to find their way back. After they got back to Duluth, they immediately looked up their girl friends and related the whole story of their misadventures.

“How in the world did you survive?” asked one of the girls.

“It sure wasn’t easy,” sez one of the survivors. “Lucky for us, I had a can of sardines in my pocket and we lived on that for a week.”

“Both of you lived on one can of sardines for a week,” asked the other girl.

“Yep, sure did. That’s what saved us.” sez the boy.

“Well, how on earth did you keep from falling off?” asks the girl.

But even under the best of circumstances, some folks overdo the outdoors bit. I worked parts of a couple of summers for a guy name of Hank Nutt, who had enough money to burn a wet dog. Hank was a little guy, balding. Let his side hair grow long and combed it over the top. You have seen folks like that.

Hank used about a half a bottle of Wildroot Cream Oil a week on what hair he had left. Combed his hair with a comb that had teeth about a quarter of an inch apart. So when you looked at him from the side his sconce looked like a sandy field that had been flooded and then plowed. The dark strips looked like the tops of the furrows, and the light strips looked like where the plow had dug down to the sand underneath.

Now, Hank was an outdoor sport type. The first summer I worked for him he spent three weeks fishing in the Amazon basin. Then he took off for a three month safari in Rhodesia, or maybe it was Kenya, with Outdoor Life’s Jack O’Conner.

The second summer, he went hunting guar and stuff in Malaya, and when he got back he took a month in Canada hunting elk and mountain sheep. He was gone so much his wife threatened to divorce him.

“Hon,” he asks, “What can I do to keep you from divorcing me?”

“Get me a Jaguar, and stay home more,” sez the little woman.

“Done,” he sez. And he rushes right out and buys her TWO Jaguars. But durned if the critters didn’t eat her up!

That was his second wife. Hank’s first wife was a city gal who decided she didn’t care for life in Highmore, South Dakota. Which I didn’t blame her for, because Highmore was wonderful for solitude but a heck of a place to live.

Arlene, that was the first wife, revelled in the name of Arlene Butts before she married Hank. So she changed her name to Arlene Nutt. And after she split with Hank she moves back to Greenwich, CT, and sort of takes her maiden name back.

Half way. She hyphenated herself into Arlene Butts-Nutt! Which I thought was a terrible thing for a gentle dame to do to herself. Especially when she took up with a society dude who took off running when matrimony was mentioned. But the running started after she had a loaf in the oven, so to speak.

She christens her offspring Bertram, after his daddy. Which made the kid Bertie Butts-Nutt – which is a heck of a load to hang on a kid who can’t even hold up a bottle yet. And which surprised me – I thought she thought better of any kid than that.

But the women are generally the deadlier of this species. I spent one miserable winter in International Falls, Minnesota. One Thanksgiving one of those professional loafers you run across from time to time was ice fishing in the Sturgeon River. The ice broke, he fell in, went under the ice, and he was gone.

The next June, when the ice went out, they found his body about 20 miles downstream. So the town marshal at Loman sent the widow a long wire to the effect that they had found her late husband’s body and it was in bad shape. In fact, it was full of eels. So what did she want to do with the remaining remains.

The woman sent him a seven word reply, “Sell catch, remit proceeds, set him again.”

Speaking of women, there used to be a stingy old woman at Okmulgee who told her neighbor that when she died she wanted them to bury her in her favorite dress. But before they buried her, cut the back out of the dress and use the material to make a quilt for charity. That way the material would do somebody some good.

“You don’t want to cut the back out of the dress you are buried in,” said the neighbor. “Your Charlie has already gone on, and it wouldn’t look right for you to walk up to Charlie at the Golden Gate without a back to your dress.”

“Don’t worry about it,” sez the old woman. “I buried Charlie without his pants.”

There go the neighbor kids. Sounds like WWIII has started. It must be sunset. That racket ‘minds me of the story about the dove who dipped and dived from one end of a baited field to the other. And when he gets back to the roost he’s a mess. Half of his feathers were gone, beak broke, leg at a funny angle.

“Did you get shot at, dear?” asks his wife.

“Yeah, but those bums were the worst shots I ever saw. They didn’t mess up a feather on me. Not even one,” sez the beat up flyer.

“Well, what happened to you, then,” demands the little woman.

“Oh, I was flying too low and I got caught in a badminton game.”

Of course, dove hunting is a daytime sport. From after sunrise to before sunset. Deer hunting, now, is an anytime sport. Particularly the way some of the headlighting set hunt deer.

For serious night hunting – the folks up in Northwest Arkansas take the prize. I have never been around men and women any more serious about coon hunting. Now, the point of the way they coonhunt is to show off their dogs. And that’s all!

I remember one time when Irene, I.Goe’s sister, brought her husband down from Saint Louis and I.Goe took Walter coon hunting. Willie Cummin’s pack was doing the honors, and they had a big ol’ boar coon on the run. Bayin’ every breath. Ooooo, oooooo, yiiii, ooooo, yi-yi, just a going!

“Ain’t that the prettiest music you ever heard in your life,” demands Willie.

“Sure it is,” sez somebody.

“What about you, Walter,” I.Goe asks his brother in law. “Ain’t that fine?”

“Them dam dogs is makin’ so much racket I can’t hear no music at all,” sez the brother-in-law. Needles to say, Joe Goe sent his idiot son-in-law packing the next day. Irene was so upset she almost let Walter go home by himself.

Yessir, those folks were serious about coon hunting. And a prize coonhound is worth some real money. I remember the time I.Goe swapped three brand new Reo trucks to Slick Tullos for one coonhound. That was in ’47 – when you had to be on a list to get any kind of a new vehicle.

I.Goe, his name was Ira Goe but everybody called him I.Goe, had a fleet of cattle and grain trucks and was pretty well off. But his real love was dogs. There wasn’t a field trial within a day’s drive he didn’t bring a brace of pointers to, and there wasn’t a coon hunt he wasn’t in the middle of.

I.Goe had been on the new truck list since VE day and got six new Reo’s in one day. And swapped half his new trucks for a coonhound that night. His banker approved the deal, too. Coonhounds will multiply themselves, but trucks wear out. I.Goe said his drivers could drive the ’40’s they had until he could sell a litter of pups.

What happened was I.Goe had a genuine, pedigreed, get of a double world champion, coonhound. And Slick Tullos had an ugly mongrel dog. Slick’s dog was nothing to look at, I.Goe’s dog was sure enough a looker. But both claimed they had the best coonhound in the world. Of course, because everybody’s coon dog is the best. And every sport is willing to bet his roll on his dog.

So Slick, I.Goe, his banker, a big mouth dude from Tulsa, and a bunch more serious coon hunters went hunting. Just to prove whose dog was best. Slick’s dog barked treed at an old oak tree. Pedigree went sniffing around and couldn’t find a trace of a smell. So the Tulsa dude claimed Slick’s dog was lying.

That made Slick so mad he insisted they climb the tree and roust out the coon. “I know they’s a coon in that air tree,” sez Slick. “I had this dog four years now, hunted ‘er ever night, and he ain’t never treed no empty tree.”

Nobody would climb the tree so they finally cut the old oak down. And in a hollow of that oak tree, thirty feet from the ground, they found the skeleton of a coon that had probably been dead ten years. Which made Slick’s dog hands down winner.

“A coon hound,” sez Slick, “has gotter foller a cold trail. Ef’n he don’t he ain’t no coon dog. That air dog uv mine is a real coon ketcher.” And shortly after that a deal was made.

Now, I.Goe was always in the market for a new dog. One time he was up around Greenville somewhere at a field trial and somebody offered him a champion bird dog along with a cage at a ridiculous price. And before he thought he owned himself another dog. He goes to get his new dog – in its cage – and takes it home. When they get home and he opens the cage door the critter proceeds to tear into his arm and rips it up more’n a hundred stitches worth!

So I.Goe has to go to the doctor. The doc sews him up, and hears the story of the cheap dog. The story don’t sound right to the doc, so he says he’s afraid the dog had been exposed to rabies and he’d better have a course of rabies shots. “Will that keep me from having the hydrophobia?” asks the sufferer.

“If we start right now it will,” sez the doc. “But if we wait even a few hours it might not have time to act before you have symptoms. And if the symptoms ever show you will be a dead man.”

“Well, start the treatments as soon as you can,” sez I.Goe. “But first give me a piece of paper and a pen.”

Naturally, the doc misunderstood him. “You don’t need to make a will yet,” he sez, “you will have plenty of time for that after the first injection.”

“I don’t want to make a will,” sez I.Goe. “I want to make a list of the people I want to bite if your treatment don’t work.”

Well, there’s Burl Ives singing John Henry. That was popular back when I first moved to this part of the world. I was hired as bench man for the largest local purveyor of idiot boxes. The store was next to the Owl Drug Store on the corner of Front and Main, downtown. The Owl had a nice lunch counter, and after dinner the cooks and waitresses liked to take a break on the steps in the alley.

One day a fellow with a sixty inch waist and forty inch hips brought in a Hotpoint table model to be repaired. I promised him it would be ready after lunch, and it was. He came to get it during break time at the Owl – and while I was getting his change he picks the TV up and totes it out to his pickup.

I follow him out with his change, and his pants start sliding down! By the time he gets to
the step down into the alley he is waddling along with his knees as far apart as he can get them. Keeping his pants from sliding any lower!

There were five or six women sitting out back taking a smoke break – and everything stopped! Every last woman was as still as the statue on the court house lawn! Not one moved a muscle or offered that fat man the slightest help. The fat man staggers down the back steps taking those real wide steps. You could have spun a hula hoop between his legs without touching him. He makes it to his truck, sets the TV on the tailgate, pulls up his pants, and takes his change, all “cool as a cucumber.” He’s just a little redder in the face than he was to begin with. Then he hops in his truck and wheels out on Main Street. Nobody moved a muscle until he was gone.

And then everybody started roaring with laughter. Including me! Some of the women sitting there laughed until the tears ran down their faces.

Because the fellow had about a six inch high by six inch wide “gas vent” ripped in the seat of his drawers! I always wondered if his mama ever warned him about wearing clean underwear in case he was in a wreck.

Actually, I have had long johns with the trap down that had less southern exposure than that fellow’s boxer shorts. The trap was so small you had to be careful when you wore those woolies, for sure.

You know, talking about those red woolies, they were warm. And the warmest part was all that good exercise you got scratching yourself. I suspect itchy wool underwear was a major reason so few folks in the forties and before were fat. We worked hard every day. Even when we were settin’ we were still scratching.

But in those days most folks still had outhouses. And it didn’t matter how tight your privy was there were still cracks. And I tell you what – folks nowadays don’t know what it feels like to go out on a bitterly cold night, drop your drawers and take a seat, and feel a freezing cold wind tickling your curly hairs. Brrr! Gives me the cold robbies just thinking about it.

Now, I like a good laugh. But some folks think things are funny that just flat leave me cold. Like blonde jokes. These are pretty sad. Like the one about the blonde who worked up a big appetite so she stopped off at the Pizza Hut.

The clerk asked her if she wanted her pizza sliced up into four slices, or eight. The blonde scratched her head as she thought about it, then she answered..
“Make it four slices. I could never eat eight.”

Or the one about the blonde who was found unconscious in a jail cell with twelve bumps on
her head. She tried to hang herself with a rubber band.

Or “How many blondes does it take to change a light bulb?”

“None. Their boy friends do it for them.”

Now a real life blonde I once knew named her daughter Morphine, because morphine comes from wild poppies. As she explained it, “Her poppie was just about the wildest scoundrel who ever came through here.”

One of the wildest scoundrels I ever knew was a commercial airlines pilot by trade. This was a while back, when the DC3’s still flew the short hops and the Connies took the hoi polloi to Europe “non stop with a stopover at Gander.”

Jake was a DC3 pilot who hit every burg of any size in West Kansas. His plane was never more than half full, so they only gave him one stewardess. One time he got a gal fresh out of stewardess school. She was so green she had actually never been off the ground before.

So Jake and his co-pilot decided to give her a trip to remember. The co- pilot gets on through the cargo hatch in the nose of the plane, and he was sitting just where he was supposed to be. But as soon as they were in the air Jake called the new stew and asked her to send the co-pilot forward. She checked and called back that the co-pilot was no where to be found.

“We weren’t supposed to take off until you checked the co-pilot in. There’s nothing we can do now but go on to Garden City and get another copilot from Wichita. That will mean a five hour layover in Garden City!”

You talk about a gal being scared! That gal was scared to death. Several passengers got a hot coffee shower before the plane lit at Garden City.

The plane rolled to a stop in Garden City, the co-pilot slips back out the cargo hatch and makes a run for that rolling ladder they used to use to get passengers aboard. When the new stew breaks the seal on the door the first thing she sees is a guy in a pilot’s riggin’ staggerin’ up the passenger ramp. Looking plumb tuckered out.

He literally fell into the startled stewardess’ arms, puffing and blowing like a marathon runner. “Lord, what a race,” he puffed. “I didn’t think I’d make it!”

Jake was half of a set of twins, and t’ other half was pretty much of a cutter, too. A lot of twins not only look alike and act alike but they take up the same profession. But where Jake was a rowdy who took up flying, his brother Jack had a dry sense of humor, and he went to med school and made a doctor. And a darn good one, too.

One time Jack was a guest at a big dinner party when one of the women turned to him and asked, “Doctor, what do you find to be the most common ailment of children?”

Jack considered the question while he chewed up another chunk of chicken and then he answered the question. “Mothers, madam.”

There’s more truth than poetry to that, for sure.

Some of the funniest stuff I hear comes on the news. And not at the end of Paul Harvey, either. Like the Republican lady who walked out of the library, plumb innocent, and she finds herself tangled up in the start of a Bill Clinton parade. After the parade she sought out the law and accused a certain prominent Massachusetts Democrat of making extremely improper advances to her while she was tangled up waiting for the parade to form up.

“Why didn’t you cry out for help, if he was doing what you claim he did?” she was asked.

“You’ll never hear me hollering at a Democratic Party parade,” she said.

Speaking of never hearing something, I’m reminded of the time Lykes Steamship Lines advertised for a radio operator.

Six or seven prospects showed up at their office, and they were told to set down and wait. Of course, they all got to swapping stories while they were waiting for the interview. They got so involved in talking they didn’t pay any attention to the dits and dahs that came over the office loudspeaker from time to time.

After a while another radioman came in the office and sat down. All at once the new man snapped to attention and walked into the personnel managers office without any invite that any of the other operators could see.

In a couple of minutes he walked out of the office with a satisfied smile on his face, and his employment papers in his hand. The other operators wanted to know how he got in ahead of everyone.

“One of you would have gotten the job, if you had listened to the message from the loudspeaker,” the newly employed radioman said.

“What message?” the other operators asked.

“Why, the code,” Sparks said. “It said: ‘The man I need must always be alert. The first man who gets this message and comes directly into my office will be hired.”

Now, Sparks took the test and passed. Which reminds me of Willie Weichert, a skinny redheaded sack of freckles I used to box with. One time Miss Bond gave Willie a report card that wasn’t so good – straight “C” or worse. Willie wasn’t dumb – he just didn’t like school all that well.

When Willie’s daddy got home Willie hands him a report card. His Daddy looks at the card and says to Willie, “What’s this.”

“That’s one of your old report cards I borrowed from Grandma. Now here’s mine.”

Now, Willie usually had a quick comeback to most everyone. He became the maitre’d of a fancy eating joint down in Tulsa on the strength of his ability to hold up his end of things. I only know of one time Willie was at a loss for words.

Now – I better explain that the deal with restaurant eatin’ is that they make up a daily list of luncheon specials, cook up a lot of it, and hope the customers eat ’em out of special. But every once in a blue moon nobody will order a darn thing off the steam table. That’s when the kitchen gets backed up and the service goes to blazes.

One of those bad days, a Friday, a guy in a hurry comes in and orders fish. He not only orders fish – he’s durn p’ticular about how he wanted it fixed. So he sets for a while. After about a half hour his waiter approaches his table with a big silver tray. And the guy sets up straight and looks expectant.

“I’m sorry, sir,” sez his waiter. “This roast beef is for another table. But your fish will be ready in just a few minutes.”
“Ask the maitre’d watinell kind of bait are you usin’?” demands the now highly irate diner.

Well, that looks like all the time I have for today, but if things work out well, I should have more time for talking about what used to be.

Stranger

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Of Steinway’s and cordovoxes

Well, is almost here and the radio is playing those old familiar refrains again. Like Rudolph. I sure remember when that song came out. I was in the railroad station in Raleigh the first time I heard Roy Rogers singing that tune.

The ticket agent was a buxom blonde showing more chest than was generally acceptable in those days and several of the college kids buying tickets were a more’n a little goggleyed at the sight. Some of their eyes stuck out like a crabs! One of them rubbed his eyes back in their sockets and squeezed in line ahead of me. In a minute that purty thang sang out “Destination, Puleeze?”

“Two pickets to Tittsburgh,” sez the boy. He didn’t notice, but she did! I could sympathize with him, she had just about the same effect on me. But I managed to get my ticket to Savannah without misspeaking myself.

Which ‘minds me that I was totin’ bags for tips when a country looking couple walks in and the man asks for a room – while the gal hangs back and looks embarrassed. Jimmy, the desk clerk, recognizes the symptoms, of course.

“You will want the bridal chambers, of course,” sez Jimmy.

“Well, we will rent one for the wife,” sez the lad, “But I’ll jest pee out the winder like I do at home.”

But anyhoo, right now the radio is playing a cheerful ditty that goes “Happy Birthday Father Christmas.” Father Christmas is what the Brits and Ozzies call Santa Claus, and the song reminds me of a red headed college professor type war bride I ran into one time. Literally!

We turned the same corner at the same time and wham! She had about two hundred and fifty or so pounds on me and it was like getting smacked by a feather bed tied to the front end of a Mack truck. Although the truck she smacked me into did me more damage.

I found her a pleasant enough bird, but rawtha intimidating to a skinny kid like me. She was the type to warm you in winter and shade you in the summer, though. Big gal! Six seven or so, and she’d go around four hundred on the hoof. So big I figured they took her measurements like surveying land, by rods and chains.

But she was towing a daughter about my age, and OH MY!, that Hermione gal made me forget all my cuts and contusions. Yessir, that gal just naturally forced a growing boy to look her up one side and right back down the same side, she looked so good.

She was a popular gal, although she took after her mama. Crik in the neck tall. Tall enough to make you think you needed an altimeter instead of a tape measure. She could have had a date every night. But this English gal was a budding opera singer. And opera in English makes about as much sense to me as Russian baseball.

It’s sort of like playing country music backward. You know how that goes, the dog comes back; your ex gets married, stops the alimony and brings your truck back; your mamma gets out of jail, somebody else confesses to the crime, and you ain’t left with a thing to cry about.

Hermione got religion and Brother Hataway James was going to baptize her. She gets ready and Brother James sez “Now, Hermione, I’m going to wash all your sins away.”

“My goodness,” giggles Ermie, “In that little tub?”

Speaking of Brother Hataway James, that young man told a story about going to preach sermons in little country churches when he was still in Bible School. He said he got to a church in Eram, which is out from Muskogee if they haven’t moved it, and the congregation was waiting on him. The whole congregation!

They wanted him to have a trial for one of the oldest members of the congregation, who was accused of cussin’ the church! Now, that was a serious matter! So the whole congregation gathers up to try this old fellow and kick him out of the church.

Naturally, they had to let the defendant have his say after four or five said they had heard him cuss the church in church.

He starts out “I don’t know what to say about this. They say I cussed the church, and I didn’t, but in a way I did.”

“We had that funeral for Aunt Ophelia Jenkins last week, and the whole settlement gathered up for services. When they opened the casket there was a big old polecat setting on top of Aunt Ophelia just like he belonged there.”

“That critter stuck its tail straight up and started running around trying to get out of the casket. The congregation made a rush for the door. In all the tumult Brother Jenkins and Sister O’Toole got jammed up in the door, and little Johnny Jenkins tried to crawl between their legs and kicked me in the knee. It was just an awful mess. In all the excitement I hollered out `Damn a church house anyway that don’t got but one door.'”

Those folks should have taken a page from the old gypsy’s three simple rules for a long life. “Always have payoff money. Always have getaway money. Never let yourself get parked in.”

Anyhoo, Father Christmas has had his birthday and now somebody is playing a Irish jig on a pipe organ. The Washerwoman is a fun “chune” on an accordion or a concertina, but it wants a more agile instrument than the “giant Wurlitzer organ.” A jig on that accordion on steroids sounds as ponderous as a bull elephant trying to toe do the Can-Can.

Of course, the accordion, the “knee organ,” called a Cordovox isn’t much smaller than a theater organ. At something like nine grand and up, way up, new, it’s not much cheaper than one, either. And not a darn bit lighter. As the kinks in my back can attest.

You know what a half step in music is? That’s a Cordovox player staggering on stage.

The only thing in portable music boxes heavier than a Cordovox is a bandonion, a semi-portable bass register box that’s popular in Argentina. But any knee-harmonica is heavy. Even a little fifteen pound pedalowka gets heavy at the end of a six hour polka session.

That’s why male squashbox players have so much sympathy for women’s issues. They know what it’s like to be nine months preggers and stand on your dogs all night long.

One thing, though, a squeezebox doesn’t kick like a baby. It pinches. Particularly on a long cut time solo. Things get moving when you play twice as fast as the rest of the band.

A second’s carelessness can feel like you just had your gallstones out without anesthetic. It can make a boy think he’s been turned into a girl, I guarantee!

But a piano with suspenders has certain advantages over other instruments. I knew a Scotsman that took up the “box.” He had been first piper in a bagpipe band until all his teeth fell out. The poor soul had lost his grip! He couldn’t hold on to his mouthpiece.

The change made sense, since the “box” is the Scot’s second national instrument. They call it a bagpipe with pleats. Of course, most accordions are “musette” tuned, and “musette” is French for a sort of Breton dudelsak.

But the Scots are a unique people. They can take the two instruments that annoy the most people in this world, put them in the same band, and make ’em sound pretty good. Especially when the audience gets a snootful of that aged motor oil distilled with peat they call Scotch whiskey.

Of course, these days stomach Steinway’s are out of style with Americans. Considering that a decent Striduli starts at around six grand and goes up, I expect they are priced out of the US market.

A kid that won’t hesitate to pay $80,000 for a mass produced motorized rollerskate with a snake on the logo will balk at five grand for a handcrafted musical instrument. A 99 buck Chinese plunkbox with a warped neck and frets set so high they eat fingertips like a five year old eats Eskimo Pies is more their speed.

Accordions are as popular as ever with folks from the rest of the world, though. I was over in Hotlanta a few weeks ago and read in the Constitution that a Mexican accordion player who was on his way from a wedding to a dance just had to have a cuppa. So Jose stops at the 7-11 on Peachtree Industrial for some caffine. He was just drawing one when he realized his mistake. He ran back outside, but it was too late.

Somebody had already smashed in his pickup window and thrown two more accordions into the seat. But at least accordion players are a sociable lot.

You know what happens when a bunch of accordion players get together, don’t you. Bellowship!

Speaking of which, do you know the difference between an accordion and a lawnmower? The neighbors get real upset if you borrow a lawnmower and don’t return it.

You know, a lot of famous people have been pleated piano players. Richard Nixon for one. John Dean for another. And both the Nixon daughters – making a White House pancordion quartet of an ill assorted sort.

And a ham, Air Force General, and movie actor name of Jimmy Stuart was a whiz with the waistline wurlitzer. He didn’t need backup in that Western scene where he’s playing his Busson on the train, waiting for the baddies to show up.

‘Fact, when they were making that movie Stuart’s playing intrigued an Apache extra, who persuaded Jimmy to teach him to play the belly baldwin. And insisted on giving Stuart drum lessons in return.

That’s how Jimmy Stuart became the best Apache war drum beater in the Air Force. And also how the squeezebox became part of Waila, the Tohono-Oodham music of southern Arizona.

Huddie Ledbetter, “Leadbelly,” picked out the tune on a 12 bass he called a “windjammer” when he wrote Goodnight Irene. Charlie Chaplin was another actor/accordionist. Another ham, actor, and musician, “Big Daddy” Burl Ives, played the accordion. As did former French PM Giscard d’Estang and the former President of Iceland, Vigdis Finnbogadottir. And a bunch of other fairly famous folks.

Oh well, let me change the station! Ah, “He fought for Red Nellie’s honor, he died with two six guns a blazin’, but only two hairs on his chest.”

Well, the Lavender Cowboy had a common enough problem. The education system failed him. Nobody ever told him the facts of life. He-men don’t have hair on their chests. They keep it wore off. Or their women folks do, at any rate.

Of course, women are changeable folks. I remember a while back when a Coast big shot croaked and the widow told the folks at O’Keefe’s to absolutely spare no expense. The bill came to a cool thirty seven grand and change. And the widow was plumb indignant.

“But madam,” sez the undertaker, “You said to give him the best.”

“Yes,” said the grief stricken one, “And it would have been three thousand dollars cheaper to bury him in a BMW.”

It would have been, too. Well, the tune has changed to a varsouviana. Shoe the Donkey, it’s called. Which reminds me of the time I was up in fox hunting country, Kentucky.

The widow lady I was doing odd jobs for was named Mary Harris, and she had a mule she called Herb. Late one afternoon she calls the vet and sez “Doc, Herb is sick and I wish you would come over and look at him.”

The doc told her Herb was most likely “bound up” with gas, and to give Herb a dose of mineral oil. The doc promised to call in the morning and see about him if he didn’t perk right up.

“How do I give it to him?”

“Through a funnel, of course.”

“But he might bite me!” sez Miz Harris.

“Now, Mary, you are a farm woman and you know about these things. You have to give it to him through the other end.”

So Miz Harris went out to the barn and there’s Herb with his head down, moaning and groaning. Something had to be done!

Miz Harris looks around for a funnel, but the nearest thing she could find to one was her Uncle Charlie’s fox hunting horn, a brass horn with red tassels tied to it.

She takes that horn, inserts the mouthpiece in the proper place and ties the tassels to the root of Herb’s tail so it won’t fall out. Herb pays no attention at all to these goings on. Then Miz Harris reaches up on the shelf where the veterinary medicines were kept.

But Miz Harris was long sighted and her reading glasses were in the kitchen, so she misses the mineral oil and gets the turpentine instead. And promptly proceeds to pour an extra liberal dose of turps in the horn and all over Herb’s hindquarters. Like the better part of a quart. You talk about a surprised mule!

Herb raised his head with a sudden jerk that snapped his halter rope. He let out a scream they could hear a mile away. He rears up on his hind legs, brings his front legs down, kicks a hole in the side of the barn, bolts through it, and starts down the road at full gallop. Don’t think a mule can’t run!

Now, the vet was right, and Herb was full of gas. All the activity got things moving back there, so every few jumps that horn tooted, long and loud.

Every dog in the neighborhood knew when that horn blew it meant Uncle Charlie was going fox hunting. So the dogs held a gathering out on the highway, barking joyously and running like blazes after old Herb.

I tell you, that was a sight. First, Herb running at full gallop, the brass horn hanging under his tail, the ends of the tassels flying, and about sixty or seventy dogs baying him on.

The went by Old Man Howe, who was setting on his front porch. The Old Man hadn’t drawn a sober breath in forty year, and he gazed in absolute amazement as the parade passed under the street light. He thought he’d come down with the delirious tremulous and was seeing mules instead of snakes. He swore off moonshine for the rest of the night.

By that time it was pitch black out. Herb and the dogs were on the main road, coming up on the swing bridge over the Elkhorn. The bridge tender heard the horn blowing and figured a coal barge was coming.

So the bridge tender turns the bridge. Herb ran out of road, fell in the river, hit the bridge pier, broke his neck, and died. The dogs followed him into the water, but they swam out without much trouble.

Now, it just so happened that the bridge tender was running for tax assessor of Jessimine County. But he only got three votes.

Folks figured any idjit that didn’t know the difference between a mule with a horn up its behind and a coal barge coming down the river wasn’t fit to hold office.

Well, there’s Christmas in Killarney. I can’t think of anything I’d rather hear this time of year than a pretty sounding girl singing “Father Brown, before he’s gone, will bless the house and all.”

I knew a preacher one time name of Brown, over in Buna, Texas, back when gas was rationed and most folks either walked or stayed home.

Brother Brown was always exhorting his congregation not to be scared of the Devil, the Lord would take care of them. Some of the tough kids in the bunch decided to test the old boy’s nerves so they got some red flannel and made themselves a devil suit.

One Wednesday sermon Brown’s preaching away about not being skeered of the Devil when one of the boys jumps out of the loft wearing that devil suit and yelling a blue streak.

The congregation got the jump on the preacher and got to the road before him. But he caught the congregation, passed them, and was going away in about three seconds flat! As he faded in the dark he hollered back “I ain’t skeered of the Devil, mind you, I’m just too good to associate with him.”

Well, apparently I have used up the time I had so let’s see what I can do about posting more often.

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Of Sailors, Blind Pigs, Bootleg Wizky, And Ugly Gals

Well, I found a station that plays Scots music, and I finally found out what that tune Willie McNab was continuously whistling is. Willie was a good looking Scots merchant sailor who jumped ship in Houston and took up the carnival life until he got enough cash to go home to Strathclyde as a passenger.

Since half the people in Texas got their backs wet every time they visited home, a lack of official papers wasn’t the problem it would be nowadays. Yessir, Willie was illegal but he sure cut a wide swath among the young ladies.

But I remember that tune very well well, because once you have been whistled at all day long for two or three weeks straight you don’t forget things like that. The tune’s called the Drunken Piper – and in Willie Fergus McNab’s case it was doggone appropriate.

Sober, Willie was as cheerful as anyone I ever labored with. But Willie would drink all you gave him, long as it was alcoholic. And one sniff of a bar rag would make all reason desert Scotty. Man, feed him one shot glass of firewater and Willie was ready, willing, and able to stagger from place to place and look on owl eyed as the world spun on its axle.

But give him two drinks quick and pretty soon Willie was a sodden nuisance. Three drinks within an hour put him out like Lottie’s eye. Blind drunk. Just aware enough to take another drink and stagger from chair to chair. Which definately made him a problem when we talked a couple e of gals into playing canasta.

Because it’s hard to stop a guy from pouring himself another shot when you
have your mind on cards and conversation – and two gals with one guy is not a recipe for romance. Or wasn’t in those days, anyhoo.

One Friday Willie got away from us and wound up in Dallas, down on Deep Ellum. Used to be a Greek guy there, purebred, with as ugly a mug as you will ever see outside of a nightmare. The Greek ran a combination eatin’ joint and blind pig. Blind pig because anyone with a thirst could get blind drunk if he made a pig of himself!

T’ Greek had hamburgers, hot dogs, chile for the Mex trade, mebbe a little Greek food for his domino playing buddies, and beer. It was a really grungy version of what Gus’ place used to be.

But the Greek kept a bottle of hooch under the counter for “special customers.” The ones with the money to pay. I can sure remember plenty of ‘shine getting served up there.

But Willie was a stranger, and when he walks in and asks for a dog and a beer the Greek takes him in. As a man with a thirst. So he asks Willie if he’d like a shot of “wizky.”

Willie figures a dram of Scotch would do him good and sez yes. And gets served a water tumbler of 150 proof Sneaky Pete. Which was about three times his total daily capacity.

Natural, Willie eats his dog, and drinks his shine, and calls for another round. And most likely another. But he don’t remember anything after he orders the second round.

What he did remember was waking up three mornings later, wearing his his shoes and a hangover, in a strange room. While he’s trying to figure out where he’s at and how he got there and how the 12th Battalion of the Scots Field Artillery could fire all those guns is such a small room he realizes he’s not alone.

He casts his eyes to the left and sees his clothes on a chair. He casts his eyes to the right – slowly because it hurt the roots of his hair to move his eyes – and he’s face to face with a naked woman. Which made him forget his hangover.

Because the first glance shows him she’s plumb ugly in the face, the second glance reveals she’s the gnarliest, most repulsive female Willie Fergus McNab never hoped to meet! It takes Scotty a minute to notice she has a strong resemblance to the Greek who served him his supper.

Willie figures he’s passed out and been parked in the Greek’s mothers or sisters bed. Since he don’t want no racket in his debilitated and vulnerable condition he eases out of bed and starts for his clothes. And stumbles over something soft!

He looks down and is revolted to discover he’s tripped over another naked woman. And this woman is so ugly she makes the one he woke up with look like Miss Texas! In fact, Willie claims this second female is a dead ringer for a baboon. Teeth, hair, and all!

While Willie is standing there petrified with horror, Miss Nude Frightful sits up, rubs her eyes, shows off a remarkable set of oversize incisors, and sez “Good morning, dear. You slept with our bridesmaid, don’t you have a good morning kiss for your bride?”

Willie broke down the door getting away! And dressed in an alley three or four blocks away! For the two or three weeks more he stayed around he was strictly on the water wagon. And every time a stranger showed up he’d hide, because he was afraid the Greek had sent somebody after him to bring his son-in-law home! Red Brown finally took pity on the boy and paid him off so he could go home.

Yessir, firewater will make you act like folks in that old song. You know the one – “They say strange things, and they do strange things, in the Bowery, the Bowery, the Bowery; I’ll never go there any more.”

Personally, I never tasted any I liked, so I ‘spect I’m going to be on the coffee train until I cash in. I just wish coffee tasted as good as it smells brewing. Speaking of coffee reminds me of Father Flynn, the “Catlik” padre back where I came from.

One of the Padre’s parisioners was a lady, getting a mite hard of hearing – so when she said anything she put it at a force seven volume level like deef as a post folks do.

When she went to confession, everybody in the church and some of the folks in the street could hear her bellerin’ about all of her little lapses. Which – her lapses were little ones like getting annoyed when some person kept ringing her telephone knowing she couldn’t hear it and her husband wasn’t home. Finally the Padre asked her to write down everything she wanted to confess, roll the paper up, and slide it through the grille in the window to him.

She agreed to that and the next week here she was, poking her list through the grille at the priest. The padre takes it and looks at it, and turns it over and looks at the back, and looks at the front, and turns it every way but loose, and then he says “What is this, this looks like a grocery list”

The woman slaps herself on the forehead, and bellows “Holy Mother of God, I left my sins at the Safeway!”

Now, I have made a few miles in my time, went to a lot of different schools, and of course went to school with a lot of different people. Back in first grade me and a fellow named Willie Weichert were pretty thick. When I came back to town the first person I ran into was Willie. Couldn’t have been nobody else – how many people do you see, redhead, six foot tall and sixteen inches around the chest? Built like a red top tomato stake! Willie was a worker, too. He wasn’t like the old boy that came in for breakfast one morning and told his mama he’d dreamed he had a job.

“You poor lad,” sez Mama real sympathetic. “You look so tired.”

Anyhow, Willie had been looking for a job and finally found a job waitin’ tables in a fancy restaurant in Tulsa. ‘Bout the second day on the job he runs up against a customer who was more’n a little drunk, mostly on self importance.

“Do you know who I am?” this gee roars at Willie.

“No sir, but I’ll ask around and when I find out I’ll come back and tell you, sir.” Willie says, straightface.

Willie thought he was going to get fired over that but instead it tickled the boss so much he got promoted instead. But speakin’ of embarassment on the job, I used to know a fellow I’ll call Len Overstreet, who wanted to be a preacher.

Len went four years to a high class Bible College – won’t say what denomination, you understand. Anyway, Len was about ready to graduate, right at the head of his class. The preacher at an older church nearby had a heart attack, so they sent Len to his church to do a little substitute preachin’ for practice, and get a feel for havin’ a church of his own to be shepherd of and sky pilot to. Now, Len’s robes were just a tad long, and they had the processional, solemn and slow, and Len is walking slow like he is supposed to, and he gets tangled in his robe, and KERFLUNK, he falls down, shakes the church, right in front of a packed house.

Len, he keeps his cool, though. He gets back up, and squares around and looks at the congregation, and mostly the congregation is about to choke, but there’s one old fellow in the front row that Len has been warned about. That fellow ain’t cracked a smile nor liked a preacher or a sermon in forty year.

“Watch Brother McInairny,” they told him, “And don’t let the old sourpuss ruin your sermon.”

So Len, he says “Brother McInairny will now lead us in prayer.”

And Brother Mac gets up, slow and solemn, and starts out, solemn, “Dear Lord, did YOU SEE THAT, HAW, HAW, HAW!”

Len gritted it out and I heard he delivered a fine sermon, but somehow or t’other he just didn’t feel like he had a proper
call for the ministry any more – so he took up making crank bait, fish lures, for a living. Now he’s up in Springfield, and he’s a fish bait millionaire!

But anyhoo, speaking of Willie Weichert reminds me of his mama. You talk about a plain spoken working woman, Willie’s mama was plain spoken some – and work was the only thing she put any faith in here on earth. Jesus for heaven, work for here! T’ only time I ever remember her not having anything to say was the time the bum came by and asked her for a handout. It made her plumb mad!

“You sorry bum,” she sez. “I bet you never did a lick of honest work in your life.”

“Lady” sez the bum, “If youse don’t tink going around askin’ dames like you for a bite to eat ain’t work youse don’t know what work is.”

And just for clarity, a bum wouldn’t work and a hobo would. Which made hobos respectable when bums weren’t, you see. Now, it was Old Lady Donnely who lived down by the Katy that got squared up by a railroad bum. But the bum turned down her offer of working for food.

“You sorry no good loafer,” she hollers. “You ain’t never made the acquaintance of work.”

“Yes I have, lady,” sez the bum. “I lost all three of my wives that way.”

Well, it looks like my time has sped. So until I get another chance to reminisce, adieu.

Stranger

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Economics: The Full Text Of H.Rex.488

While this falls under economics, and more suited for Casa Extrano, it will draw more eyes here, so it will be cross posted. This House Resolution 488 the following House Resolution is a part of what the Democrat’s complicit media … Continue reading

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