This story I’m telling happened decades ago, but it wuz told to me a couple of weeks ago as the truth — and knowing at least one of the persons involved, I’m inclined to believe it’s true.
It’s a Chase County story of a love triangle that eventually came to involve five persons, It isn’t a tragic love triangle, although at times it looked like that’s how it wuz gonna end.
The story happened back when Chase County wuz home to one of the first commercial cattle feed yards in the country. And the five people involved were all feedlot cowhands or otherwise connected to the feed yard. As those of you of a certain age will recall, those were the days when practical jokes weren’t spontaneous, but more often well-planned.
The gist of the story is that one of the cowboys wuz having a fling with one of the local gals. He wasn’t, but the cowboy “friends” of the lovelorn cowhand decided to convince him that “his” gal was stepping out on him with another feedlot hand.
So, they concocted this plan: Two friends of the lovelorn cowboy told him they knew his “gal” wuz rendezvousing with another cowboy late at night at the feed yard. The “lovelorn” didn’t believe the story so his companions told him they could prove it.
So, they cautiously approached the feedlot and, sure enuf, they spied the “gal” sparking with someone. Well, the “gal” happened to be another cowboy dressed in a blonde wig, but it convinced the lovelorn that his “gal” wuz two-timing.
After sneaking away from the feedlot, the aggrieved cowboy said “I’m gonna shoot that S.O.B.” However, his “friends” said the guy didn’t need to be shot — just shot “at” to scare him badly. And, one of his “friends” volunteered to take the “scare shot.”
So, back to town they went and retrieved a shotgun, plus they picked up the girlfriend of one of the co-conspirators, but didn’t clue her in on the practical joke.
Well, back up to the feedlot they sneaked and found the “way-ward” couple sitting on the fence, outlined against the sky.
As planned by the conspirators, a shotgun blast filled the air and a yell of “I’m hit! I’m hit bad! Get a doctor!” echoed back to the “shooting party.”
Well, the girlfriend not in on the practical joke, went into panic mode, screamed “you really shot him,” and ran headlong off the hill and a half-mile back to town where she found the local lawman and told him about the shooting at the feedlot.
About that time, all four of the conspirators nonchalantly drove by in a car, smiling, waving and clearly not “shot.”
The local lawman flagged them down and “convinced” the bunch to tell him the whole practical joke story.
Then what happened is priceless. The lawman grabbed the one who’d posed as the blonde girl by his shirt lapels, pulled his face within inches of the lawman’s face and said sternly, “Dammit! Don’t you ever pull a stunt like that again without giving me warning in advance!”
That lawman’s response wuz sure different that what would happen today. No one got hurt. No one got arrested. And practical jokes were seen as just that — jokes. For sure, they were simpler times, but much better in most ways. That’s the old man in me speaking.
I know professional football players have been in the negative news a lot the past few weeks for kneeling for the national anthem. But, I have a second-hand story about two pros — told to me by my Missouri buddy Canby Handy as the truth.
Canby knows a feller who is friends with Jordy Nelson, the Green Bay Packer pass catcher who played collegiate ball at Kansas State University. Well, one summer Jordy brought the famous Packer quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, out to the Nelson family farm north of Manhattan, just to give the city boy a taste of farm life.
One day Nelson and Rodgers decided to play golf at the little course at Onaga, Kan. The gal at the counter taking their green fee money recognized Jordy and gushed about how she wuz a big fan of his, had watched him play, etc. Then she caught herself, looked at Rodgers and asked, “Do you play pro football, too?”
Without the slightest give-away about his true identity, or even a sly smile, the future Hall of Famer Aaron Rodgers replied seriously, “No, ma’am. I’m just the State Farm insurance guy.”
The pair headed out to the course and the gal never knew the true story.
At one of the recent protest marches, one fervent protestor carried a sign that said: “I dream women will someday have the same rights as guns.”
Some anonymous wag on the internet responded with this: Does that mean that this protestor wants women to be banned from entering school and college campuses … women to be banned from any establishment selling alcohol … women to be banned from polling places on election days … Women to be banned from any official government group meetings … all women to be banned from all airports … some women to be banned outright simply because they look too scary … All women to be locked up at all times when they are not in use … and that all women should come with silencers?
Sometimes logic hurts. Have a good ‘un.