RSSAll Entries in the "Fractured Opinion" Category


(Manana) Award winning associate editor, Melvin Toole, has resigned from his lucrative position at the San Juan Horseshoe effective Friday. He will pursue a career in professional rodeo. Recent successes at bull riding and calf roping seem to have convinced the scribe to change jobs.

Toole has been on a sabbatical since May and has been earning extra money playing the accordion outside Coors Field at Rockies games. He became an overnight rodeo fanatic after a torrid love affair with Trudy Belle Lorenzo, Hall of Fame barrel racer and dry land wheat farmer from lavish East Colona.

Toole plans to throw his hat into the professional rodeo ring next spring.

“I’ve watched a lot of rodeo on TV,” said the 82-year old Tool who gained national notoriety in 1979 when he bravely crossed the Black Canyon of the Gunnison with a pair of hastily constructed wax wings. Later in 1987 he became the only white man to have successfully negotiated the San Miguel River from Shamrock Mines to Vanadium while totally emerged in a ramshackle oak whiskey barrel and without the aid of artificial breathing apparatus. Last year Tool thrilled Montrose County Fair participants as he scaled Friendship Hall, again in a barrel and without the aid of a net.

Sporting bumper stickers which read: “Better dead than deadlines” and “Bull riders are my type” the former journalist kissed his desk goodbye and drove off into the sunset accompanied by his dog “Rollo” and a bucket of fried chicken wings.

 – Uncle Pahgre

Most Matchmakers prefer solitude, going it alone

According to a cross-section of matchmakers interviewed over the past twelve months, most prefer the single life. In 88% of the cases the arrangements made for other people have little to do with lifestyle choices and relationships for the fulcrum that brings parties together.

Despite what in many cultures is a formal occupation, the edifying actions of these introduction and bindery engineers is not reflective of the free-wheeling, almost live-wire realities expressed in our scientific survey.

“We separate work from play,” explained one matchmaker . “Just because we do the research and match two likely subjects doesn’t mean we are on the prowl for a mate.

Harmony, according to the respondents, is everything in a relationship or love affair but there is no guarantee of bliss. Modern day matchmakers often see themselves as the equivalent of sports or talent agents who are trying to get the best contract for their clients.

“After all I’ve seen of the human predicament I prefer the peace and solitude of an unattached life,” said one. “Monogamy can be a soothing bargain and there is no shortage of people ready to embrace it without fully considering the wrappings and trappings or a lifelong commitment.”

“There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence themselves.”     

– Will Rogers

Sex Researcher Pregnant

(Placerville) Local scientist, Dr. Olivia Tinkleholland, has turned up pregnant. Although the father is unknown  there are reportedly “plenty of potential candidates “. The baby is due in December.

Tinkleholland, who for decades has been studying the sexual behavior of ground squirrels, was surprised by the predicament.

According to directors of the research effort, she may have gotten too close to her work. Over the past few months several colleagues have continually expressed concern that her hands on approach be curtailed. Within a consortium of trained, experienced biologists and behavioral scientists there have been few explanations for the phenomenon. Most, if fact have been inclined to skirt the issue.

“Olivia is a gifted professional,” said a longtime associate. “I assure you she operated in the open and clearly had no other agenda than the betterment of Colorado’s ground squirrel population. Her activities after hours have not been chronicled and potential osmosis is expected to be fully examined.

“She could end up being a study within a study,” said the source. “That could be an embarrassment for everyone connected to the research curriculum for decades to come.”

The development should serve as warning to investigators and pollsters alike who might find themselves wrapped in data and overwhelmed by statistics instead of common sense. The take-no-prisoners policies exercised by Tinklleholland in her private life may have contributed to her present situation. Up until now little of her story makes much sense according to persons familiar with similar occurrences and oddball episodes.

“What did she expect?” asked her mother who is visiting from Cleveland.

Squatters Law Exhumed

(Montrose) Western Slope residents planning to leave town this summer are warned that a remote Homestead Era squatter’s rights ordinance is still on the state books. Until the regulation is amended, local law enforcement personnel have no choice but to follow the letter of the 1870s act.

“We will continue to implement procedures for the protection of the innocent,” said a local deputy sheriff who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “We don’t like squatters any more than the next guy (does) but we have sworn to uphold the law.”

What this means is that an empty house is a potential haven for the dispossessed. Often this raggedy element will swoop down onto an entire subdivision legitimately occupying private property while the owners are absent. In some cases it can take 90 to 120 days to have the intruders legally removed.

“This is particularly rough on second home owners in resort areas like Telluride and Crested Butte where part-time residents commonly spend as little as two months a year in their sanitized castles, out in the woods, surrounded by state-of-the-art landscaping,” said county extraction agent, Suzie Compost. “Are these people expected to actually live in these trophy homes to prevent their seizure at the hands of roving mobs?”

Civilian patrols, alarm systems, guard dogs and even mine fields have not detoured the squatters who often don’t work or mow their lawns and thus have plenty of time for “impertinent occupations”. One home owner, attempting to ward off trespassers dug a large moat around his property only to be informed that he did not possess ample water rights to fill the thing. Another frustrated summer resident successfully chased a band of gypsies out the front door only to discover a contingent of homeless rabble occupying the kitchen and formal dining room.

“They tore down the curtains to make clothing for their naked offspring, cut down Nepalese saplings for firewood and devastated the liquor cabinet,” said victim Jack Spratt, heir to the Tampax fortune whose 73-room home sits at the top of Edith Bunker Mesa, near prestigious Pandora.

Finally ATF agents raided the place when underage smoking and the presence of unregistered handguns were documented. Spratt estimates the damage to his domicile be in the neighborhood of a tax deductible $3.3 million.

“We’re up against the wall until the legislature overturns this archaic statute,” said the quoted police officer. “Considering the danger maybe they will cancel their next recess and stay home.”

Meanwhile residents are encouraged to keep alert. Interlopers, according to local authorities, know exactly when the home owner is in Disneyville, Branson or on a cruise, and that’s when they pounce.

“If you must leave home for recreation limit outings to day trips or hire an armed house sitter,” continued the deputy. “Otherwise you may end up with some unwanted roommates.”    

  Gabby Haze

“I’ll have the organic chicken with a Pepsi.”  – actually overheard in a Ridgway eatery in July


Seeing Eye Boy Aids Lassie

(Irwin) Amos Ruthsatten isn’t ducking his responsibility where the well-loved pooch, Lassie, is concerned. The 12-year-old boy has dropped out of junior high school and quit his job at a local florist in order to turn his full attention to a now aging and all but blind Lassie.

Their unique relationship started when Amos’ father, Elroy Ruthsatten, almost squashed the famous TV dog with his backhoe last month.

“It was painfully obvious that Lassie was ready for the great beyond,” said the older Ruthsatten. “She could barely see the nose on her face.”

The younger Ruthsatten took to the blinded dog right off. Without his constant vigil her situation would be worse than hopeless.

When asked how he knew that the elderly collie was in fact the real Lassie of legend and lore Amos answered:

“All one has to do is talk to her. She remembers everything from the TV series in great detail. No other dog could know those things.”    

  – Axtelle LeFevre and Warren Bushings      

Russia Raises Vodka Prices

(Rahz Putin) On the heels of trade wars and sanctions The Kremlin has raised the price of the Russian high life, including vodka, the main ingredient in washing it all down.

Jacking up liquor prices is the latest in Moscow’s attempts to manipulate trade balances while controlling chronic alcoholism in the country. Good luck, Ivan! Although no actual numbers were introduced, it is surmised that the cost of a good sloppy drunk has just gone up.

Response from Tarskaya to Volgograd was hostile, especially in wetter quarters where many see vodka drinking as a necessary means to survive the harsh, gray winters. No one is beyond suspicion and vodkas distilled in other countries is expected to be hardest hit by the realignment.

The Russian government insured the populace that the problem had grown to crisis proportions and warned that if the people did not police themselves vodka distilleries would be destroyed and the fermentation of the intoxicant would be deemed illegal. Russian Prohibition? A field day for the crime syndicates would certainly follow.

“So what?” puffed Yuri Screwthecapov, in response to the official threat. “Most of what my friends and I drink is bootleg anyway. That stuff the government makes tastes like bark and old socks, though I must admit it carries quite a punch on an empty stomach.”

Opposition leaders were quick to jump on the move saying that it could lead to unrest at a particularly precarious time. Some say it is the final prelude to civil war in the former Soviet nation. Although prices have varied over the past decade they have remained stable, even lower, so far this year encouraging people to stock up on the drink at the expense of such items as meat, heating oil and baby formula.

“One must have priorities and stick to them,” stressed one imbiber.

Often made from potatoes and/or grain, Russian vodka is considered some of the best on the planet. Since 1917 leaders have viewed vodka, like Cuban rum, as a control mechanism although they knew the population was becoming addicted. Absenteeism at work and poor production were the first symptoms of the failed state methods.

“The concept of drinking responsibly has never been embraced, at least by the great unwashed here,” said Mikhail Kalashnikov, sipping a fine potato concoction with a plate of sturgeon in sour cream, across from the Kremlin. “Even in arctic weather we Russians prefer it straight and ice cold.”

Public apprehension that the government does not care about them continues to plague information offices and the enforcement of most laws in Russia. Years of totalitarian rule have left the populace lethargic and without direction…two social elements that have led to this threatening state of affairs. Termination drugs such as crack and meth have made little inroad due to the ritual abuse and hackled popularity of vodka.

“Those drugs are reserved for the Free World democracies,” explained a source.

The announcement comes at a particularly crucial time amid Russia’s attempts to placate the West while solidifying what is left of the former empire.

Once again the questions as to the sovereignty of Alaska have surfaced stirring and angry pot on the Bering Strait. For over a century, 151 years to be exact, the United States and its citizens have been under the assumption that they had purchased Alaska outright in 1867. Now, according to a yellowed copy of a Russian deed (the original was buried with none other than Gregori Rasputin in 1916) it appears that the 586,412 square miles was only leased for 150 years.

“The document looks real enough,” said a Danish negotiator, who is currently attempting to persuade the Trump Administration to purchase Greenland. “It is signed by William H. Seward and Alexander II.  If the U.S. had only filed the receipt we could settle this whole mess over a glass of vodka.”

While leaders in the US say the claim is a sham, insiders say Russian troops and tanks have been moving into Western Siberia since Saturday. Whether these soldiers brought enough vodka with them to sustain an invasion is not known. The experts doubt it.

The standoff, in a nutshell, comes down to this: Russia has filed a foreclosure notice on Alaska demanding that the current residents vacate the premises by 2025. The United States has pledged to defend the region which it insists was purchase for $7,200,000 (2-cents per acre) from the czarist government. It could get all too nuclear.

“Who in their right mind would sell land so cheap?” asked Vladimir Putin, current Russian leader and former director of the KGB. “The lease was some crazy Czar thing aimed at raising money to clean up his mess after the Crimean War. You don’t see deals like that, even in the current market.”

Newspaper reports that the former Bolshevik rulers plan to foreclose on the Alaska “loan” don’t help matters either.

Meanwhile Alaskans wait hoping that the whole matter will be forgotten. Some are concerned that they will have to make a choice between a new life in another Siberia or a return to the lower 48. Others have already begun studying their Russian dictionaries. Most are stockpiling ammunition.

One red-nosed man may have said it all when asked what was his greatest concern:

“If Russia takes Alaska back will we have to pay more for vodka too?” he asked.

– Fred Zeppelin