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Howdy Law Amendment Travels to Senate

(Barnacle-on-Potomac) Western hospitality is alive an well after weeks in the House of Representatives. That’s where the populist Howdy Law has been hanging its’ Stetson since September.

Originally bulldogged into law by the Montrose (Colorado) City Council and quickly approved by the County Commissars, the Howdy Law has received quite a little press since it’s virgin implementation at this Western Colorado town in 1994. Lots of other municipalities and counties have adopted the legislation. Some have written it into city and county ordinances while others have simply encouraged the local population to live by the simple do unto others creed that is inherent to a healthy society.

The Howdy Law, as originally written, simply calls for outward signs of friendliness by saying Howdy to people one encounters on the street. It endorses gregariousness as a way of life and the end result is a happier, thriving population. For old timers it’s the only acceptable way to be, and is therefore comfortable in all social exchanges. For the urban refugee it is restorative and hygienic. It allows the soul to bloom in its new environs.

Now the federals are on the verge of passing legislation that would adopt the Howdy Law as the edict of note and quite possibly the prescription for what ails us as a nation. In most cultures a greeting is basic. Here in the suburb-choked, dollar-days USA we are more likely to run someone over with our shiny new car than slow down to belt out an topical hello.

At first the local Howdy Law was based on the honor system but after a few months a person could expect a toothless summons for any sign of animosity in the face of such a greeting. To be sure there were those who said their right to be anti-social was being eroded and the civil libertarians jumped into the fray. A lawsuit was filed and people got haute and hot. Fortunately the paperwork was mysteriously misplaced and the court records allegedly remain stashed under a pile of dog-at-large citations and drunk driving plea bargains in the quart house storm cellar.

In 1996, then Governor Roy Romero signed a breakthrough bill that adopted the Howdy Law all across the state. It became the bible for the tourist industry with dude ranches teaching their little dudes and dudettes to employ it on trail rides and ski areas demanding that their close-cropped employees say Howdy to visitors as many as 200 times per day.

What these greenhorn mercantilists often don’t remember is that the whole thing started here on the banks of the Uncompahgre River where the concept of Howdy is as natural as clear blue skies and as sure as  sagebrush perfume. Despite rampant growth and questionable land use over the past years Montrose remains a friendly place. Even the cops say Howdy, then they put on the cuffs.

Do some of us think friendly is not cosmopolitan or sophisticated enough? The other evening in what was once a small town I stood in the checkout line at the grocery. There were lots of people there that I had never seen. No one spoke. Suddenly in my advanced state of Holy Joe judgment I realized two things, 1.) I was the only person, in elephant pants, a Hawaiian shirt and cowboy boots 2.) In my attempt to get on with the purchase of whipped cream and green chili salsa I didn’t say anything to anyone either.

Estrangement often predicates violence as the disaffected act out their fatal frustrations. We don’t have to bring up road rage or kids with guns to illustrate that point (the man on TV does that for us every hour on the hour). Maybe a crisp Hello In There, as song writer John Prine puts it, could defuse the situation. The feds seem to think so, and isn’t that entity infallible in matters of benevolent dictation?

Enough preaching. If all goes according to plan the Senate will vote on this matter of mandatory greeting tomorrow and the Howdy Law will be in the books (allow six to eight weeks for delivery) In other business, the legislative body will, in what critics are calling another pay raise masquerade, cast a final vote this week on whether to allow service animals into the chamber. How do?

– Kashmir Horseshoe



A research scientist poses with archaic salination apparatus moments before successfully cloning a bucket of water at Gothic, Colorado. Investors here hope the discovery will ease water shortages and allow humans to continue to abuse the life sustaining element.

(Gothic) Scientists at the Rocky Mountain Biological Lab here have successfully cloned about a pail of water. Working around the clock since June these cutting edge researchers confirm that water was created, albeit in small proportions, after combining genetic cells of several indigenous species with captured moisture and a residue of hydrogen and oxygen molecules.

Other than that they aren’t talking.

Overshadowed for years by projects aimed at cloning everything from chickens to people, the water creation came about with little federal funding, the operations budget evolving from alternative sources. Many of the day to day expenses were covered by local environmental groups with the remainder of the research money coming from state and local water boards, militant ditch riders and ranching interests.

“Most water boards, especially on the Confront Range, made their contributions anonymously or under the umbrella of hastily contrived public corporations,” said Melvin O’Toole, executive director of RMBL. “They didn’t want anyone to connect them to this innovative approach in case it failed.”

The cloned water is on display at Tony’s Conoco through February 12 when it will be shipped to Denver for analysis. Already conservationists have filed a lawsuit to prevent the water from being adjudicated for suburbs and golf corpses in the Denver metro area. They say that once the phenomenon reaches the heavily populated areas to the east the Western Slope will never get it back.

Meanwhile scientists here say they can clone larger amounts of water just as soon as they gain approval from regulatory boards and the federal government.

“They want to make sure that the excess water does not adversely affect the price of existing water,” continued O’Toole. “It’s like oil, milk or many other liquid forms. An abundance of water could cause prices to drop and result in a negative impact on the market.”

Many local watchdogs contend that the price of water has always been in the bargain basement and that any new water in this valley would be welcome news. Acknowledged as the breakthrough of the last century, the creation of abundant water supplies will change everything, they say.

“What the rest of the Rocky Mountains does with this new found treasure is their business,” said one environmentalist. “Soon we may see more green fields, experiments with high yield crops, more trees, less desert and, yes, more golf corpses. We have skirted the issue for far too long thinking that new sources of the life liquid would be found. Now we appear to be on the threshold of ice-cold discovery.”

For decades physicians, set on pathological career advancement and fame associated with medical breakthroughs, have focused on cloning living things. Despite condemnation from the government and religious groups they have blindly followed task, the medical hierarchy smiling in approval.
“For no other reason than the earth’s overpopulation this research must be terminated,” said O’Toole. “We don’t need any more people. But we do need a lot more water!”

Moments after the announcement a host of corporate interests were on the scene attempting to file patents, carve out deals and make claims of the new water. They seek to control the cloned substance and thus sell it to consumers at exorbitant prices.

“It’s the American way,” said one real estate executive who seeks to gain rights for a 10,000-home suburb east of Denver. “We have no water now but we have to keep feeding the monster that we have created or he’ll turn on us. Look at the pharmaceutical companies. They get away with whatever they like. If the people ever rise up and take back what is theirs we’ll all be on the chopping block.”

O’Toole would not comment when asked if his research would lead to the cloning of snow. He did say, however that the RMBL needed storage containers, cisterns, troughs and a backhoe so as to continue to clone the wet gold.

“What good is anything without water,” O’Toole pontificated. “So what if we drill for a million barrels of oil? It can’t keep people from their thirst. What good is a pickup load of gold if the driver is parched? We envision two men. One has a bag of gold, the other a cup of water. When push comes to shove which one would best benefit from an even trade?”

O’Toole went on to assure supporters that his water was of the finest quality and tasted just like all the other water in the region.

“It’s fresh, clear and bountiful…and best when served cold,” he quipped. “The first thing on our extended agenda is to return the rivers of this country to their original state, then I myself plan to take a long, hot shower.”

– Kashmir Horseshoe




(Pitkin) The use of cameras or other mechanical machinery aimed at recording images will no longer be permitted in Wilderness Areas as of January according to a press release from the feds.

Persons engaging in this illegal activity after the said date will be fined and prohibited from visiting the regions in the future.

“In regions where other machines are banned we have now caught up to ourselves,” said Melvin Toole, architect of the plan. “Soon blenders, chain saws and generators will be taboo as well. Our goal is to rid the forests of people by next summer and cut down the trees. Then we’ll be done with all this controversy once and for all.”

Shutterbugs from all across the West plan to block entrances to Wilderness regions in an attempt to generate support for their hobby.

“Taking a picture is not harmful in any way to the forests and/or their inhabitants,” said Nellie Nikon, of Malfunction. “There’s no pollution, little noise and no impact on the earth. We just like to take pictures of birds and trees and flowers. We’re not bad people!”

The federal government, all wrapped up in another senseless Presidential election has not had time to review the restrictive agenda. Multiple use advocates have already threatened a filibuster. Persons wishing to attend should simply follow the brown forest service signs found all over the woods.

Department of Interior to start big fires

(Ouray) In a turnabout from an original plan to mechanically thin and burn about 10,000 acres near here, the USFS has decided simply to burn down 100% of the forests.

Operation No Trees-No Fires is already in place and a series of uncontrolled burns will start in mid-November.

Saying that the agency has finally found a way to silence all of the critics of our forest fire policies, a spokesman for the wardens of the woods called the plan fool-proof.

Originally the USFS had charted specific problem areas for destruction with prime harvests going to lumber companies for a nominal fee. Then, after reconsidering the complaints of many citizens the agency decided to be done with annoyances once and for all.

“We expect the blaze to last 40 days and 40 nights leaving a heap of ashes that should mix well with the rocky soil,” said the source. “Then, after about five years we can begin growing cash crops like hemp where trees once stood.”

Radicals within the ranks say the initial plan called for the fires to be set during hunting season so as to send a message to the firearm lobby.


Biosphere III Filling Up

(Crested Butte) The massive glass dome built last month to house herd refugees is filling up fast with an abundance of applicants showing up in person, their meager belongings strapped to their backs. Deer and elk, even bear and lion, are all willing to live peacefully together at least until the end of hunting season.

According to the ground rules endangered species have first crack at the digs followed by political refugees from the Rocky Mountains. Later, if room permits people will be included on the roster.

“It’s a sort of Noah and the Ark deal here,” said Estelle Marmotbreath, the architect behind the scenes. “We probably need two of everything just in case the world ends over the next couple of months.”

This biosphere is the third of its kind. The first two were employed as test cases involving an incredible assortment of living items from centipedes to barrel cactus. The shells were then donated to the modular housing industry.

Plants and mammals wishing to hide out here should call their elected officials or the President at home.


Horseshoe interns caught making up verbs and conjunctions

(Merda Verde) Three summer interns at The San Juan Horseshoe are being charged with tampering with and abusing the English language. The action, performed clandestinely over a period of three months, was suspected after grammatical leaks and a plethora of new words started cropping up last week.

Discovered by night cleaning personnel, the contraband words had been hidden in a henway colloquial hamper until the time where they could be safely released into the existing language. Apparently creating bogus action words and sentence breaks came before employing the existing forms of communication, a felony in some academic and professional circles.

After two hours of cross-examination it appears likely that the linguistic pirates will plead guilty to the charges.

    While no motive was established, police found evidence that an attempt to dupe the public was foremost on their minds when the transgression occurred. According to one investigator the trio were not attempting to radically change literary society as much as to throw it into anarchy and leave it there.

“They have been purposely misleading the humble scores,” insisted a spokesman for the local district attorney’s office. “Imagine introducing scores of unregistered verbs and frightening conjunctions onto the shoulders of an already word-weary population.

Culturally speaking, the affront might have passed for the young reporters’ desire to get ahead in the competitive world of poor writing. All have admitted wrongdoing but say they need the expanded vocabulary to make sentences more powerful and to avoid the repetition use of the same words in their work.

Adding that they never intended their coined words and often highly contagious nouveau slang to fall into the hands of a mono-lingual caste, the three asked for lenience since none had paid back their student loans and feared a poorly punctuated debtor’s prison more than a dangling participle, metaphorically speaking.

“Syntax and sentence structure be damed!” said an unidentified senior editor at the Horseshoe. These are snotty novices with a J-School stamp. Powdered wig proportions!” he gasped, compound sentences  dripping from his scrolling lips. “

No modifiers! No hyphens! Not even footnotes! I say put them into a compound sentence and leave them to rot! Who do these pipsqueak elitists think they are adding and subtracting grammar at will, hammering a half-stuttered language to an early death!” quipped the above source.

The three yet to be named defendants are currently incarcerated on page 116 until further action is instigated.

– Daniela Diphthong

“There’s only two things that money can’t buy: That’s true love and home-grown tomatoes.”

– Guy Clark

Patrons unaccounted for in Montrose Post Office line.

(Montrose) Have they fallen into the Great Abyss while waiting to buy a stamp or send a parcel? Are they victims of a conspiracy or simple poor planning? Did they take a number?

Today local postal sources expressed concern as to a roster of refugees lost, or at least last seen, in line here to buy stamps. The absences have no known precedence and public concern is quickly turning to fright. Long waits in long lines have been the prototype for two decades but until now everyone returned from the ordeal.

“We lost my brother Earl back in 2015 right before Valentine’s Day,” said a Simms Mesa woman. “He went in to send some candy and got caught in the shuffle. One minute he was addressing a greeting card and the next he was not there. If anyone has seen him please tell him we love him. We hope he’s eating well.”

Projected wait times to buy a simple stamp are hovering at about 17 minutes yet people continue to line up. What choice do they have? It’s not like there is a post office on every corner.

“My wife went in on Thursday to buy a stamp or two. When I checked on Friday she was still in line,” said a local rancher. “When I went back on Saturday morning she was nowhere to be found.”

Overworked postal clerks and long lines have plagued the facility since the population exploded in 1995 and the federal agency failed to keep up with the demand for services. Satellite offices were not capable of handling the overflow and many customers have taken to driving to other locales to send their mail.

“I drive ten miles to Olathe were the transactions are quick and friendly,” explained one Montrose man. “At high traffic times like summer and the holidays many of us show up with coolers, books, decks of cards and folding chairs.”

One minute they were there and the next they were gone.

“I Can’t even send my granny to the post office anymore. I’m afraid she’ll never return. Last winter she was packed up and mailed to Omaha.”

Anyone searching for friends or loved ones displaced, mislaid or gone astray while standing in line at the Montrose Post Office is instructed to go to the official website of the postal service and click on Missing Persons. Maybe they are there.

– Fred Zeppelin

Peace Treaty with Bad Angels in Jeopardy

(Hell) An antediluvian agreement, allegedly signed in the primeval dust of angelic battle, has been destroyed by fire according to demonic sources here.

“It is a tragedy of epic proportions,” said a prepared statement from downstairs.

The loss of the original pact between Good and Evil leaves that classic truce hanging by its ears. It’s destruction casts doubt on the validity of contracts, grants and leases written and signed before or since it was reduced to Hadean ashes. It also puts the Two Eternal Powers toe to toe and could dictate a return to hostilities.

Heaven, hesitant to mobilize for fear of offending its most favored trading partner, has declared a nationalemergency so as to give attorneys time to respond or find a copy of the initial peace treaty.

Both sides have shared little, preferring to jockey for godly position, one eye on the saints and the other on the sinners. Meanwhile the entire salvation mechanism has broken down as bureaucrats ignore daily chores so as to more effectively measure adversaries on the power pole.

One celestial expert is quick to dismiss the crisis. “…rusty-saber wing flapping by a bunch of old-fart arch-angels that would be better off playing golf.”

“Good and Evil have been co-existing for so long that it is often hard to tell one from the other…like right and wrong,” she flinched. “They are comfortable together.”

Sociable scientists in Purgatory say the entire episode is politically motivated and that morale is particularly low in hell this time of the year.

“The devil you know is better than the devil you don’t know, warns a Purgatorial proverb,” she quipped.

“By now the place must be overcrowded with sinners of all shapes and sizes. Seriously, I’ve heard the food ain’t half bad the service is inhumane.”

– Daddy Longlegs