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Visiting El Jardin, Antioquia

Tips from the self-propelled experts at Dip Advisor

Don’t step in dog poop.

(Actually these towns are far cleaner than most places in the world. People here are very good about cleaning up after their pets. The problem often rests with a few patos (jerks) and an assortment of free-lance canines that rarely carry around those plastic poop gloves. The absence of paw thumbs also poses a problem for even the most conscientious mutt).

Never wear shorts unless you want to.

(Despite what the guidebooks say nobody gives a damn what you wear or do. As I said to a friend on the street in Andes: “You are just jealous. If you had legs like mine you would wear shorts too”.


Since there are few gringos here you may get a stare or two from the locals. The best panacea is an enthusiastic greeting which generally calms their fears. (They’ve seen us on the TV crime shows after all). Like everywhere else in the world there are those who have yet to develop socially. It’s not about you but it could be.

Don’t step in horseshit. (Hey it’s a cowboy town. C’mon)

Dig los frijoles.

The aroma of beans cooking in the morning is a secure experience. It’s good for your mental health.

Tell the locals how much you love their town. They won’t be surprised but they’ll take it as a compliment. After all, it is a rare Andean jewel.


Always tranquilo. Noise be damned. Nothings, is perfect. The acoustics are part of the landscape. You’ll get used to it after 10 years or so.

Always greet people before beginning a conversation. It sets the tempo.

Use your GPS to find the closest bano.

And suggest that the local people refrain from using electricity so that you can take that perfect photo without overhead electric wires everywhere. You may get a laugh or a stare depending on the depth of your conversational partner

It’s perfectly natural to talk to dogs. Everyone here does it. Just keep in mind that most don’t speak English. Add food to the conversation and they can translate.

Don’t step in llama shit

Play tango in the morning. The louder the better.

Pray Away the Hay Program Destabilizing Ranchers

(Ridgway) As with many self-righteous revivals there are often pitfalls most notably relating to over-zealous, twisted application and holier-than-thou contingencies within a congregation void of real love and toleration.

Such as it has become with Pray Away the Hay, a faith-based effort aimed at creating a strict theocracy with evangelicals at the stern. A once lauded syllabus outlining a concerted agenda has been shaved down to stubble allowing for the reemergence of heretics and pagans in the county.

Most of those engaged in the petitioning of the Lord with prayer have sordid pasts from drug use to alcohol abuse to a plethora of social ills. They escape from these addictions and substitute salvation tales and the dogmas of those who seek to control their flocks.

And there’s plenty of money in it for the Puritan bosses even thou their followers are suffering due to mindless tariffs and trade wars with China and former allies such as France and Germany. The frustration and misdirection herein has now invaded the ranching community causing fiscal harm and mindless summations not at all related to the spirit but rather to the pocketbook.

The promise of a bailout by the Trump people has turned into a fiasco where they only ranchers receiving money are of the big dollar corporate variety.

“We started evening vespers back in March but the hay is still there,” said Charley Tonne, who earned a doctorate of divinity at the University of Downtown Delta in 1980. “We hopped it all up during the summer months with rodeos and parades but still nothing changed. Last fall we introduced a more militant approach utilizing tirades of dutiful propaganda and the terrible swift sword of sabotage.”

Tonne, head preacher at the Church of the Once Damned insists on being called doctor even though the level of study is generally compared to a junior high school curriculum.

“I read the Bible and took accounting classes at night,” he said. “Looking back I wish I had taken more classroom work in banking and finance. I excelled in Bible study while securing a grasp of micro-economics. So long as there are the good folk we will have mega churches which have about as much connection to metaphysics as they do to hayfields.

Getting back to Pray Away the Hay, Tonne and his born again followers have suspended the controversial program saying that it is clear that the Creator likes hay and that they “should not be bothering him with incidental issues while heaven and hell collide.”

-Kashmir Horseshoe

“Make Italy Great Again!” – Benito Mussolini, 1925.

Springtime all year round

Springtime all year round

Another cold, dark January day in Medellin, Colombia

Amazon Acquires Christmas

(Montrose) Faceless on-line merchandising giant, Amazon, has reportedly purchased Christmas. .The acquisition, for an undisclosed sum, sent shock waves through major stock exchanges already paralyzed by news that the Afghani Poppy Cartel had been admitted to the Wall Street’s exclusive market.

What this often-hostile buyout could mean for the age-old tradition of Christmas was not clear at the time of the report. Already most retail giants and the credit card companies have sought to placate the new owners with sales and other promotions aimed at selling more junk to the consumer.

What the communications concern will do with Christmas for the rest of the year was not discussed.

“We just hope they don’t ship it out of the country do to lower overhead and a workforce that will toil for less than the traditional employees at the North Pole,” said one consumer advocate. 

In reference to the Afghani quotes many brokers here say they under the assumption that it was poppycock, not poppy stock that was being considered. All agree that margins for the agricultural commodity have risen sharply since peace gestures with the Taliban. Poppies are cultivated all over Afghanistan with each pretty flower containing high quantities of opium that is then processed into heroin.

“When the demand is that intense in U.S. and European markets, it will soon be reflected in ridiculous profits for some war lord or the other,” said a source on the floor here. “We just hope he’s an ally in the war against terror.”

– Princess Irm Peawit


(Ridgway) Santa Claus has been hired to teach sex education here starting in January according to educators here. In compliance with guidelines set down by the Trump Administration the curriculum will be based on half-truths, superstition, misinformation and outright lies permeated by faith-based interests and aimed at keeping this segment of the population in the dark about such hushed topics as birth control and good health.

Santa was chosen both because his very existence is based on a myths and because he is free most of the year.

“All those elves must mean something,” said one teacher, “Our message here is abstinence. He’s got the credentials but can he whitewash the “blackboard” in accordance with the administration’s educational yardstick.”

Although there is no solid evidence that Santa was in any way involved with the procreation of the over 400 elves that live with him, he is seen as a father figure by many which may further qualify him for the teaching position.

– Pepper Salte

Holiday Schnapps…

Santa Pledges to Modify Guilt Trips in 2020

In closing up shop for yet another Yuletide, the jolly old elf reflected on Christmases gone by and those yet to come. Overwhelmed with emotion he bid a tearful goodbye to several retiring reindeer and elves and promised to make Christmas 2020 the best ever!

“One category that needs help is the persistent guilt related to the naughty or nice restrictions that have been firmly in place since the turn of the last century.

“These Victorian principles of trust and honor have no place in out modern world of baggy boxers, aging baby boomers, Boneland Security and video game massacres,” said Santa. “If we are going to keep pace with this whirlwind world we must adjust our parameters and see that our traditions continue to reflect a meaningful experience for all. Within this framework we must never revert or retreat from our stated goal – which is happy children all over the world!”

In closing Santa reiterated his views adding that he will simply leave the guilt trips up to the churches, television and government, three failing institutions that create fear within the population.

“These entities are performing quite crisply and do not need any help from our sector at this time,” he said. “Negative is contagious. Most people are guilty enough and afraid of a bundle of superficial bugaboos. Anyone laying guilt trips on my elves or reindeer will be cut off from the gifts parade, if you get my drift.”

– Tommy Middlefinger


Team Up With Toothless

(Sun City) Candy canes are not politically correct and discriminate against seniors says the American Association of Retired Persons. The powerful lobby group has petitioned Congress to outlaw the striped Christmas treat.

“Not only do these evil candies depict an immobile crew of elders but they focus on the shortcomings of the handicapped as well,” said an effervescent Jodie Twitte, a 22-year-old press secretary for the group. “In short, we don’t want children playing with the necessary tools of the aged. We don’t want them viewing their grandparents as reliant on canes to get around.”

Twitte added that the red and white colors are offensive to some older Americans who have grown bald and no longer need to go to the barber.

“What about people who don’t have teeth and can’t enjoy the candy? Who will speak up for them?” she plinked.

The AARP, recently criticized for reminding quinquagenarians of their inevitable aging, has pledged to get the canes off the market. They have already threatened to go to quart with the makers of Viagra and several RV manufacturers if they don’t get their way.

“Isn’t this a lot like throwing out the baby with the bath water,” asked fifth wheel cliché giant Melvin Toole, always a bridesmaid but never a bride. “I don’t know what that means but I love to throw metaphors around in the age of senior citizen discounts and the demise of sociable security.”

– H.L. Menoken

“They were the champs, work wasn’t for them, they lived off the rest. They emptied their glasses, and now they were ready to wiggle their asses.”

– from The Green House by Mario Vargas Llosa.