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Cows Showing Off Spring Brands

Branding cows has been part of the Western culture since the first bovines waddled off the tall ships of the Spanish Main. Elaborate or inornate, thousands of brands have been registered and people even make living inspecting the things. Some people think it’s harsh to burn a predominant mark into the side of a cow but actually they don’t feel much. It’s kind of like their logo.

Besides, considering the practice of summer grazing on large tracts of gov’ment land from here to the Utah border (and because all Herefords look alike) it’s quite practical (at least for the cow punchers). How would you like to spend the warm months out in the middle of nowhere without so much as bus number, ID or address book? It’s like a social security card for cattle and maybe a lot more as we eavesdrop on a conversation in a pasture near Montrose.

Bossie: Get a load of that tattoo on Old Miss Elsie over there.

Brownie: Yeah, she thinks she’s femme fatale on-the-hoof.

Bossie: Grazer.

Elsie: Hello, girls. Did you see my new brand? It’s from Paris.

Brownie: Paris, Texas perhaps.

Bossie: My brand is Ralph Lauren. It’s designer, you know.

Elsie: Well, my markings show superior stock anyway. You two are no better than 2% next to me.

Bossie: She wouldn’t know the difference between high fashion and cheap imitation.

Brownie: Oh Elsie, your brand is nice but it’s a copy. I saw one just like it on the sale rack at the Delta Feedlot.

Elsie: I wouldn’t wear that brand of yours to the rendering plant.

Bossie: It’s all right for dairy cows, but not for us.

Brownie: Don’t you think that kind of brand makes her look fat.

Elsie: It cost over $100. What did you pay for that costume?

Bossie: At least it goes with my hooves. That’s more than I can say for your ensemble.

Elsie: Enough about brands. Who did your hair? It looks like it was burned off.

Bossie: Who did your makeup? Old MacDonald?

Elsie: Jealousy is one of the deadly sins. My monogram speaks for itself. Now I must leave. I have a luncheon engagement.

Sammy Steer: Good grass, man. All we need now is to get over the fence into the cow pasture.

Lord Bull: Look at the brand on that heifer.

– Merv Ditchwater



(Norwood) Regular daily flights from Nucla to Naturita are slated to start today with the 6 am morning milk run. Flights, which were suspended due to fuel shortages during the Persian Gulf War, will number 15 on weekdays and more than 20 on the weekends.

     According to West End Open Space Airways the planes will hold 13 passengers not counting a pilot, co-pilot and rear gunner. The recently repaved Calamity Draw landing strip in Nucla was pronounced “sea-worthy” last week while crews are busily preparing the historical Vancorum dirt strip for the return flight.

     One spokesman for the newly formed Twin Cities Air Board told The Horseshoe that Hopkins Field might serve as a backup landing zone if sheep fences were not completed by departure time.

     The news was greeted with much enthusiasm as far away as Norwood where anxious residents still await the resumption of stagecoach service from the Paradox Valley.

“I am not a pessimist; to perceive evil where it exists is, in my opinion, a form of optimism.”

– Roberto Rossellini

IRS Offering Ribs in Lieu of Refunds

(Ogden, UT) The Internal Revenue Service, in an apparent attempt to relieve the personal debt ceilings, has instituted a flagship program which offers taxpayers baby-back pork ribs instead of refunds.

The ribs, available only to persons who have earned a tax refund will be sent out just like other correspondence from the Treasury Department, arriving late, and probably cold. Already jokes about pork barrel politics and pigs at the trough are circulating major government centers. Earned income credit cannot be applied in a piggyback fashion as it has in other years.

“Recent tax cuts for the wealthy dictate that we too must cut back when it comes to refunding moneys,” said Shirley Turnip of the IRS.

Persons interested in receiving the food should fill out one of the Ribs Instead of Refunds forms available right next to Selective Service questionnaires at local post offices. Respondents must clearly state whether they prefer sauce or dry-cooked ribs, how they like them done and if they prefer potato salad to cole slaw.

“Once we get the fire going it will be too late for substitutions,” said Turnip.

Meanwhile the IRS has filed a final decision as to the status of sun worshipers residing in this country, saying that since the practice is not recognized as a legitimate religion and therefore these parties must file taxes in accordance with the existing laws.

“A few hunhred scrawls o’ chaps with a couple o’ guns and Rosary beads, again’ a hunhred thousand thrained men with horse, fut an’ artillery…and he wants us to fight fair!”

– Sean O’Casey in The Plow and the Star (1926)

Yuppie Anazazi To Blame For Demise of Mesa Verde?

(Mancos) Young, urban, professional cliff dwellers are being blamed for the passing of the native American culture at Mesa Verde according to archaeologists and doctors here. Basing their theories on a recent dig which netted what most believe to be an early local, the scientists seem convinced that the ancient mystery can now be resolved.

“The upwardly mobile Anazazi sought to acquire second homes, sophisticated time keeping devices, pure-bred dogs, expensive foreign transportation and private schools for their children,” said Dr. Melvin Tool, Medical Director of the Far View Institute just west of here. “This obsession with material goods on the part of the more affluent caused a riff in the social infrastructure and growing resentment among the poorer Anazazi who were sentenced to scraping out a living growing corn, hunting and making jewelry.”

Tool, who is best known as the surgeon who first transplanted the brain of a human into the head of an ape, said the situation at Mesa Verde in about 1100 was much like that of our urban centers today.

“Everyone was abandoning the decaying cliff dwellings for the security of the suburbs,” he shrugged. “How do you think Cortez was founded. Once the wheel is set in motion it is tough to stop it from turning and, make no mistake about it, the Anazazi, like their casino-happy Ute descendents of today, had discovered the wheel!”

When coupled with his analogy to the urban centers Tool’s vast experience with apes comes into play like a runaway hockey puck at an orthodontist’s convention.

Tool writes: “Some three to four hours after we placed the brain of the human into the cranial cavity of the ape a major metamorphosis ensued. The ape, once content to eat bananas and swing on his lonely swing now wanted more. He threw his food at his handler, refused to perform cute tricks and demanded to see a lawyer! After a few days he began abusing his charge card and seeing a therapist. After a week he was a fully reconditioned neurotic much like the man he had almost become.”

The physician equates the behavior of the greedy Yuppie Anazazis to the behavior of the frustrated ape with the newly acquired human brain. With further experimentation Tool and his colleagues hope to isolate extended patterns of abnormal behaviorisms and thus develop a treatment which might deter this conduct in the future.

“We’ll be needing about a truckload of volunteer apes with human brains,” winced Tool, “since it is still illegal to perform experiments of this type on yuppies. If we are successful we might be able to determine the origin of greed in man and make a U-turn on the road to destruction.”

-Princess Irm Peawit

“It’s not just the GOP’s position on pot that is a problem for younger voters. Virtually everything it does offends their sensibilities. Trump pulled out of the Paris climate accord, wants to ban transgender people from the military, is vehemently anti-immigrant (legal and illegal), approved the Muslim ban and a plan to punish so-called sanctuary cities, and tore up net neutrality. His treatment of women is yet another strike against him.”

Jennifer Rubin writes the Right Turn blog for The Washington Post, offering reported opinion from a conservative perspective.  Follow @JRubinBlogger


Deer and elk not in compliance

(Ridgway) Wild herd animals residing in the mountains near here continue to be uncooperative in the efforts to keep the local park free of debris, especially of the fecal nature. Currently dog owners appear willing to pick up after their pets, whose numbers, compared to the those of deer and elk that use the facility, are paltry.

The city has posted popper units and paper pickup supplies at the park’s scoop stations. They have even posted the familiar: “It’s the Law” threat but the response has lingered well behind since the perpetrators have no money.

“It’s disgusting,” said one resident. “There’s poop everywhere. Don’t these animals have any pride, any restraint?”

DOW officials, consulted on how to solve these pressing problems, confirmed reports that they had no specific fix in mind.

“We have the same trouble up above timber line with the fragile tundra at risk,” said one ranger. “Our little signs keep 200-pound people honest but have little if any effect on 2000-pound elk. I think it’s time we give it up.”

A March study is on the docket to determine exactly how much of the problem is being created by the elk and deer and what to write off as human error. If the crisis continues the wild animals may be banned from the park in 2019.

Horseshoe Readership Figures Disputed

(Colona) Dead people, ghost towns, morgues, fictitious literary characters, cartoons and in one case an entire hotel registry of guests from 1898 have allegedly been claimed as regular readers in the latest San Juan Horseshoe demographics survey released this week.

Along with these fringe aficionados of refried news the paper claimed 350 readers in tiny Maher, which boasts a population of 20, 7500 readers in Naturita and over 12,000 readers overseas despite the fact that there is no mailing receipt or any indication that the paper has left the country.

In addition the publisher has named included his mother on the subscriber list at least 30 times and claims regular perusal by dogs, cats, livestock and exotic birds.

“How they got hold of the team rosters for the NHL, NFL and NBA is anyone’s guess,” said investigating officers sent to Colorado by the FCC. “Claims that all of the players read every issue are common balderdash.”

The principals at the paper face prosecution for misleading advertisers, mail fraud, and illegal dumping.

“We became suspicious when the Horseshoe readership figures outpaced massive urban dailies like the New York Times and the San Francisco Chronicle,” said one of the federal snoops. “In one case the Western Colorado flyer registered digestion levels higher than the Denver Post and added that its pages were interpreted by “a high percentage of the filthy rich.”

Publisher General Kashmir Horseshoe told the press that he expects to beat the mail fraud rap but that the littering infractions might stand.

“We can’t deny hard evidence like the papers in the Uncompahgre River but I expect that our sales associates will go on lying to advertisers just like before. In over 42 years of publication “dressing up the truth” and “painting pretty pictures” has become tradition and is still in vogue.”

Horseshoe went on to say that there is no proof that the dead cannot read and that hundreds of tropical birds and puppies often catch a glance of headlines or scan the obituaries while doing their business.

“They represent documented readers,” he laughed. “Many, in fact are contributors as well.”

– Small Mouth Bess

You write the caption and win!

Help us write an appropriate caption for the above photo. Look closely and you will see who is who. 4 main characters are missing from the photo. Hint: Hollywood set in 1938.