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Colossal Wildflower Smuggling Ring Nailed

(Crested Butte) An international smuggling ring concentrating on fragile wildflowers has been brought to its knees according to agents of the Treasury Department and the U. S. Forest Service. At present over 200 arrests have been made and a subsequent roundup is expected over the weekend.

     An excited Treasury Department source said the ring had been responsible for the illegal export of over 5000 wildflower bouquets per week since May. The flowers usually end up in places like Los Angeles and New York where shady florists buy them cheap in bulk and often turn them the same day.

     “Despite the perishable nature of the contraband the smuggling is very profitable due to a low overhead and a constant supply of product through the summer,” said one agent. “We have caught people strolling out of the state with a just a handful of flowers and have busted massive refrigeration trucks. In the final analysis there’s really no way to determine how many criminals are engaged in the conspiracy.”

     Some local residents even think the incarcerated Unibomber, Ted Kaczynski, is the big kahuna in the heralded flower heists.

     “Why wouldn’t he be?” asked one horticulturists attached to the Rocky Mountain Biological Warfare Laboratory at Gothic. “We see people that look like the Unibomber driving through town every day. We think he’s in cahoots with Charlie Manson who may be orchestrating the entire scam from his jail cell.”

     Operatives often pose as simple tourists who, despite laws prohibiting this kind of activity, pick wildflowers to take home to transplant in their flatland gardens. Canned excuses for the behavior run from “I’m only going to take a few” to “They’re going to die anyway.”

     Residents who observe any questionable behavior in the field are asked to call 911.

Sunflowers and Sneffels

Can Openers Beneficial

(Somewhere near Gunnison, summer 1882)

Cowboys working the herds from here to Laredo learn real quick, especially when it comes to their chow. Thanks to the invention of the can opener the joys of the chuckwagon have now become even more accessible.

“This little gadget has made it possible to eat and run,” said one cowpoke. Sometimes we don’t get the chance to sit down to dinner. The cows don’t always wait until we finish eating to stampede or wander off.”

One camp cook employed by the Circle D Cattle Company told The Horseshoe that he didn’t know how they got along without it.

“I don’t know how we got along without it,” he said.

The metal opener is designed to fit under the brim of a can and, with a simple turn of the wrist, the top of the can is separated from the holding portion. Some cooks claim that they can open 10 cans in 10 minutes although the boast has been questioned by record keepers from Montana to Texas.

“Now if someone would only invent canned beans we would be in total harmony with our surroundings,” said the cook.

-Wardeene Scrubb


(Ironton Park) Top secret repairs on the historic Bear Creek Bridge north of here were suspect from the beginning. According to an extensive undercover investigation and a volley of anonymous tips, the construction had little to do with firming up the bridge but a lot to do with a massive tunnel that leads right to the back door of the Montrose Wal-Mart.

According to a continuing probe, the 45-mile-long tunnel was allegedly concocted to allow the Beautiful People a discreet access to the above-mentioned mass merchandising facility down valley. Although the initial response was peppered with giggling skepticism, the conspiracy theory has gained credence since the construction was completed earlier this month.

“It seemed rather far-fetched at best,” said Melvin Toole, a special investigator attached at the wrists and ankles. “But when we bellied up to the site and saw all that dirt being diverted to Silverton we knew the Division of Transportation was up to no good. One DOT boss said the dirt would be used to stabilize mud slide zones while another insisted the soil was needed to secure the fluctuating corn crop for next year.

Toole claims the project grew out of pressures on the highway department to create a secret access for wealthy residents who want to experience an occasional elbow rub with the great unwashed. He substantiated these claims with photographs of highway workers dropping dirt tailings from their trousers like in the film “The Great Escape”.

“The rich folks don’t want to be seen going into Wal-Mart when they spend so much effort trying to impress their neighbors,” continued Toole. “What if a self-imposed Telluride celebrity or a nouveau riche rancher from Ridgway were seen pulling into the Wal-Mart parking lot like a commoner? How would that look?”

Toole said that he was shocked by the influence exerted by some in the San Juans but quickly pointed to wetlands manipulation, questionable public land use, conflicts in visual pollution standards and rampant growth in his summation.

“Who forced the issue on left-turn lanes diversion in Ouray or legitimized the high security, gated community above Telluride?” he chided.

A recently formed committee, populated by people who have little else to do, has solicited the Army Corps of Engineers, the Hibernian Association of Retired Hard Rock Miners, OSHA, the Ridgway Fire Department and the Uncompahgre Ladies’ Pin Cushion Consortium “in an effort to get to the bottom of this tunnel thing”, according to sources here.

Also consulted was acting legal counsel Gary Wild of Ouray who, as it turns out was recently displaced from his office by unidentified, yet significant, others. It is not known whether this cruel banishment had anything to do with Bear Creek Tunnel Conspiracy. The investigation will continue through the weekend.

– Uncle Pahgre

Free Gas For Tourists Plan Unpopular

(Denver UPS) Colorado businessmen are skeptical of the Noise-Noise Gasoline Subsidy Amendment according to poll takers at the capital. The amendment sponsored by brothers Oral and Rectal Noise, both Colorado senators, calls for state aid to visiting tourists in the form of gasoline.

“If we can offer to pay the tourist’s way to the state,” commented Oral, we can assure ourselves of another record breaking tourist season.”

Advertising campaigns are planned to hit the June publications of National Geographic, National Enquirer and National Lampoon. “We’re looking for the national audience,” said Rectal. “Maybe we can get a network to pick up the story.”

The cost of the program would be “alarming” according to one member of the Colorado House.

“It’s just like so many other bills sponsored by the Noises. They keep pecking away at you with all their neurotic little hand movements and keep you in suspense waiting for the punch line that never comes.”

Most Colorado legislators and business groups are skeptical of the bill.

“Where does the honorable senator expect to get the funds for a program like this?” asked one visiting gasoline attendant specialist from Helena, Montana.

Noise was unavailable for comment but has hinted that the state could charge one dollar for a glass of water between June and October.

This looks like the second defeat in a row for the senator from Uranus, Colorado as his bill to award the highway road kill maintenance contract to various fast food concerns was soundly defeated in November. He is currently being investigated for alleged meetings with Russian officials over asphalt maintenance and chuckhole counseling in rural Colorado and Utah in 2016.

– Rudy Wanderlust 

Horseshoe pledge: No more silly slapstick

Late last night the San Juan Horseshoe promised it’s readers: No more cheap pie throwing slapstick. Much to our surprise our fans cried “Foul”….so we brought in a chicken. That did not seem to soothe them one bit. Nobody be happy these days…