This is the San Juan Horseshoe

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and the rest of the planet since 1977.

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 “The Premier Rocky Mountain Humor/American Satire Parody Website, Comedy, Laughs, Spoof & Funny Paper from Western Colorado”

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Mindlessly discretionary, self-centered and often annoying, our Rocky Mountain stories are certain to tickle the sedentary, and amaze the gullible. For further adventures in political emersion and elite slipshod hooey see the large, fuzzy-hatted man at the door. Leave all opinions, complaints, vase floral arrangements, broken promises, white bread fears and unfinished science projects with him.


Featuring in-depth, introspective news stories written by people who weren’t there either.

This website has evolved from the comedic newspaper, the San Juan Horseshoe, without the printing bill, the dirty ink and the days of distributing to six mountain counties. Now we be circulating the globe with a click of a mouse! Why just the other day we received an email from a man in Luang Prabang wanting to borrow a cup of rice. Back in May a woman in Bilbao sent us a naughty Basque Valentine. Just last night a frantic river rafter called from the Nile. She was all wet and needed a towel which we sent immediately. You can too!

As with all endeavors we need the support of readers like you who enjoy this kind of tepid balderdash, this barking up the family tree, this adverbial tempo, this inconsequential endorsement of what is sacred and what is silly.

Failed comedians, rascal politicians, self-proclaimed celebrities and the opinionated moron next door appearing inside these pages fly Excelsior Airlines, The Airlines Without Chairs, in return for dumpster donuts, casual sex and free wedding announcements. These people are only real if you think they are real.

Persons seeking special accommodations with the brass section of the Pea Green Symphony Orchestra should approach each member on a one-to-one basis, leaving no stone unturned. Remember to ring at the archaic Moldavian gate and under no circumstances employ the linen elevator for personal travel. Admission is generally one unused joke or a shopping bag full of laughs (Saturdays only).

Contact us: sanjuanhorseshoe@gmail.com

“Read it while you drive!”


Ester got shit-housed again last night and spent the wood money. I had it hid up there on the mantle next to the porcelain rat. She had to climb up on two chairs and three telephone books to get it but I guess she was plenty thirsty. When the cops caught up to her over in Carne County the wind had blown more than 40 beer cans out of the back of her Studebaker pickup. Colorado State Law 611 clearly states, “The pickup is an extension of the driver/operator…”

So…No more Ester ‘till spring lessin’ she breaks out.

Right about now I’m enjoying snow days a lot more than I probably should. After running all over these mountains for 40 some years I revel in the fact that I get to stay home and watch winter storms from my living room picture window. No wool socks, no scull cap, no Sorrels. How pretty. How warm and dry. Yes, I allow myself a snow day just like so many decades ago when snow closed the schools.

On some of those colder snow days the keys to my laptop get frozen and I must entertain myself in other less fruitful ways. That’s when I try to connect to the child’s joy and simple security of unexpected leisure. Even as children we recognized the great gift of loafing time. Then tomorrow we’ll return to our nose to the grindstone. But not without reprieve. A healthy dose goes a long way.

She slipped into the leather booth, half pied,
ordered the vegan prime rib with parsley on the side.
My chicken fry speechless in his thick white gravy —
Her legs were long and her hair was wavy.
“I’m a cowboy vegetarian I popped with a “Moo,”
just got done breaking a herd of tofu.”
The conversation piqued in taut suspension.
Drugstore heroics had grasped her attention.

Although it seems preposterous today these kinds of nightly rendezvous were common when the passageways from the pristine, and somewhat holier-than-thou hotels in Gunnison lead to the pleasure palaces that dotted the fringe of town. If the churches couldn’t see the dens of ill repute then they all must have all shut down, heh? Never mind that the hookers had to look at so many steeples on their day off in town.

And speaking of people on the fringe, the Nazis were close to perfecting Twitter in 1945. Clearly this could have drastically changed the course of the war. Unfounded fears in Allied ranks were discarded when the US dropped the bombs on Japan assuring that for at least a generation ahead numbskulls would not ever again have access to social media.

Off the grid with privileges? I still have electricity and water and grow my own happy garden. Now if I could only figure a frugal way to lure a herd of exotic cheeses into the yard and triple distilled potato vodka I would be independent. That’s what I told my Uncle Pahgre just yesterday. He is still in jail over in Salida for “failure to chain up” while drunk on Monarch on Christmas Eve.

After diversionary chit-chat he dropped his voice to a sliver of a whisper, “Will ye help me break outa this tin pan jail?”

“What’s tin pan about it?” I asked

“All right cornball calaboose,” he tethered. Then he winced and slumped in apprehension of his fate. He said he could hear them building the gallows. I told him hangin’ was a far cry better than the guillotine. I thought I saw a tear in his eye but it was the jalapenos I had shoplifted at the farmer’s market about a week ago.

“Why then is it so difficult,” he asked, “for some people to accept that God is Irish when they so easily buy into this The Easter Bunny is Russian business?”

South Fork of the Gunnison near Lake City


Literary critics dipping their wings toward our western peaks — Let the gadfly have his way. Prepare for the 22nd Century! We are categorized by coded-linoleum micro-chips on a heavy, often sultry, card punch system that tells us everything we need to know and some what ain’t.
They said we were “disjointed, iconoclastic, wild and bizarre while exuding an air of indifference” and “difficult to follow without a horse shovel and a bucket of ice.” What’s that saying about the horse they rode in on?


Notice how lustrous and official the following itemized and bold headlines can be. They don’t mean anything but they look like other piles of words or forms generated for no good reason, kind of familiar and something easier passed over than read. Like spitting head-on into a turf fan. Go…

DUDE HIBERNATION – Now you can hang out with a real live black bear family and watch ancient rituals of cave dwellers. Humans bred with Neanderthals and evolution is not for everyone.

Self-appointed saviors of your soul don’t know the difference between the Bhagavad-Gita and Reader’s Digest.

See any one of many bibles out there.

How to find the job that fits. Everyone is different or the same.
1. As soon as they tell you welcome to our team or that they are reaching out to you it is clear they have adopted the mindless language of sound-byte corporate chatter. It’s time to go to lunch and not return.

I may never comprehend or fully appreciate the gout in my stocking for Christmas morning his year. No more elk chili. No more chicken friend steak for eternity. No more single-malt. No more petite sirahs. I used to wake up dreaming of beautiful women. Now I wake up dreaming of fully loaded cheeseburgers.

—Compiled by Red, Fred, Ted, Ned and Edward Herring. Thanks little Captains!

Tune In Next: When I tell you about my encounter with a tattooed, pollyanna, neo-hippie woman-child who talks to dogs while ignoring people.
All rights reserved. All wrongs denied.
Accredited: TY-8827226- Rocky Mountain Mule Deer Time.

Crested Butte in December


Editor’s note: We will survive the three-pronged embarrassment suffered by our poorly inoculated editorial staff forcibly escorted out of the Fortune 500 Fish Fry held at the Elves Club last Friday.

Leftover words and phrases from stories – up for adoption this month:

plutocratic debris

fait accompli

journalistic hyperbole


piece de resistance

a brisk and fleeting alacrity


*Celebs you’d like to self-isolate with tonight!

in Ostentatious Social Distancing

*Where were you the day the alien

space ships arrived in Grand Junction?

in Red Planet Blue Planet

*”Those crazy, whacked out

haircuts of the Politburo”


Olathe teen reads Ulysses backwards in social lockdown


Familiarity flocks embrace corporate ideals with soporific regularity

100 Chateaubriand recipes for your blender

Satire acknowledged as measuring stick of reality in our society

Pandemic Sensitivity Update: Many people look better in masks

You can expect more stimulating hints and evocations ubiquitously darting and floating like heaven’s first falling snowflakes into an unattended gas station men’s room

Looking for news, letters, sports, photos and local ads? Click on Featured Peeks or any of the six prompts under the masthead.

Do you miss the newspaper version of this effort? Click on print archives and peruse an assortment of old issues in their entirety. GO TO PRINT ARCHIVES ON OUR HOME PAGE.


School Lunch Menu

February,  2021


Salad of Mallard, Foie Gras, Orange and Aniseed

Jerusalem Artichoke Soup

Lobster Cocktail with Pesto

Veal with Blackberry Sauce

Onion Risotto

Lavender Crème Brownie or French Beignets

Taylor Fladgate (15 year)


Tapas Plate

Roasted Kumamoto Oysters

Dinkling Green Red Leg Partridge

Peruvian Potatoes Puree

Late Season Fennel with Smoked Apple

Bannanac Cheesecake

Conco y Toro Sauvignon Late Harvest (Chile)


Beetroot salad

Young leeks

Loin of Monkfish Wrapped in Butter Puff Pastry

Braised parsnips

Forest Mushrooms with Walnut Parsley Fried Rice

Bahian Coffee and Petit Fours

Martel Cordon Bleu


Escargot Pot de Crème

Carpaccio of Cauliflower

Langoustine Ravioli

Skate Cheeks Tempura

Maple-glazed Thumbelina Carrots with Macona Almonds

Clotted Cream Éclairs

Flaming Brandy Punch


Ahi Tuna Nicosian Salad

Pomme Frites with Truffle

Beef Tournedos with Port Wine and Stilton

Rack of Lamb with Sauce Paloise

Tomato Fondue

Chocolate Sorbet

Remy Martin XO

Cigar selection: Arturo Fuente or Macanudo


with Fire Tower Declan 
Executive Corrections Editor

 ”The San Juan Horseshoe apologizes for the misquote from the “Woman from Miami flying from Tampa to Jacksonville.”
After our research team knocked on the Miami woman’s door repeatedly to confirm her statement, we were greeted by two ferrets “Bob“ and “Bobby”, and a Large Russian wolf hound named Roberto that “gives her energy”.
Through our discussion, we came to the resolution that it was not in fact a layover, but merely a hangover.
To be specific, the woman said, “oh, I’m sorry, it was a long night in South Beach and I must’ve missed a day or two.”
As it turns out, the trip from Tampa to Jacksonville won’t happen until her family reunion in April.
*The San Juan Horseshoe reserves rights to hold all airlines accountable for failure in future articles

An instance of editorial brilliance failed to take place last month when articles respectively dealing with aboriginal birth control and public school choice were not juxtaposed, but were rather run in entirely different sections.  This sort of thing will continue to occur.

Readers polls conducted in the last 3 offerings have been discarded due to a statistical quirk.  It turns out that not only do our readers not constitute a valid sample of the general population, but sub-groups among our readers, particularly those subgroups that answered the polls were found to be non-representative of even themselves.  Statisticians brought in from Paonia were in fact unable to parse any of the samples, nor to transit the least squares even when errors were propagated in quadrature.  Suffice to say that our readers deviate from the norm in a remarkable fashion.

Linoleum stains described in the September episode of Slagman P.I. were actually part of the pattern.  And contrary to another description in that episode, there is shag carpeting that is still being used fashionably on Glencoe St. in Denver.  The secret is to never let modern carpet cleaners with their ghastly steam contraptions near it.  Just let the cats gently knead it with their little claws.  Cat hair has never been proven to cause allergies.

We regret to inform our readers that there is no way to correct for shoddy journalism and lack of literary merit.  We will continue to point out the minor errors of identification and information etc., but in the final analysis, correction is in vain.

Colloquialisms sprinkled throughout the body of last months issue were the result of cost overruns by contractors engaged to plan the acquisition of copy.  While it is widely known that our editor will accept any set of words assembled in such a fashion as to appear to have been “written”, our consultants were not so constrained.  In the future, all outlays in connection with accumulation of content will be reviewed by our standards committee.  That act alone should overwhelm those critical among those commentators who waste their time analyzing these offerings.

Cab fare tables shown in our January issue do not include separate charges for stops at bars along the way.  If your intent is truly to get home from the bar it is doubtful that such stops are productive or even recommended.  All fares terminating or passing through Ridgway include admission charges for the cowboy/girl hall of fame.  Whether you stop there or not, its always good to know that last night’s cowperson was at least paid for.

Clock adjustments for daylight savings time included in our December procrastinator’s guide to time management, need only be made once, and then only for the state in which you reside.  Do not attempt to determine what time it is in other time zones with or without the benefit of such adjustments.  Keep in mind that even if you fail to make any adjustment at all, your clock will be correct again within 6 or so months.  When setting your watch for a trip to Mexico, keep in mind that; 1) Quintana Roo is mainly in the Central time zone, even though it has the “feel” of being on the east coast, and 2) Times and hours don’t have the same significance in Mexico as they do in, say, Norwood.

Callers who will no doubt notice that these last four corrections all begin with a “C” should not use our toll free line to point this out.  If you’re calling on a cell phone, let us know so that we can leave you on hold.  Remember that your call is important to us and may be recorded to insure quality control as well as for our amusement.  First time callers should use our “west of the Rockies line”, especially when we’re not on the air, which incidentally, is all of the time.


While perusing The Denver Post this morning I ran across several black and white news stories with potentially humorous twists. But we’re in the shadows of 2020 and the healing waters of political correctness hath runneth over. This morning it seems that most intended guffaws from sardonic to harmonic would seriously offend some one or some group.

Admittedly this website is part of the news puddle, but only in a technical sense. We don’t get to go to Florida or Arizona in February to discuss the media’s responsibilities or get asked to come on talk shows (or even game shows) to give a smiling life’s testament in eight minutes.

A comic knight in armor (or clown suspenders) that tries to amuse frightened villagers by observing life as it is, and as it sometimes is not, risks sliding in the fast lane of bad taste. If he slays the friendly dragon of laughter, condemned by some as a threat to the village, there are no new jokes on Monday morning. It all comes down at a time when it seems apparent that everyone could use a good belly laugh.

Adhering to the agenda of political correctness is a very effective substitute for really giving a damn about what happens on one’s planet. It’s cardboard castle walls, a phony parameter for the frightened villager, when that same dragon is only sniffing flowers on the hillside.

Anyway, take out your blue notebooks and number two pencils. This morning’s front page featured a story about snow coupled with a depressing shot of kids waiting for a school bus in Denver. So, it’s winter again. Surprise. Surprise. Nothing there. Denver is still the flatlands.

Having lived in Colorado for most of my life I am used to seeing a headline about the Broncos blasted across the top of the page. Oh, here’s a reefer bar piece (on Sunday the paper runs coupons here) about the Pro Bowl and what Broncos are going there. That, in itself is funny, if you watched the team’s performance of late. I really felt sorry for the reporter who drew this assignment. Maybe next he or she will get a career launching shot at the obituary page.

There’s a story about a newly concocted global emissions accord getting the nod, which should put everyone to sleep, since it remains unclear whether the worst industrialized offender, the USA, will even bother to sign the treaty at all. Hmmm…maybe some futuristic piece about what the negotiators ate for lunch in downtown Kyoto could come out of all this. That could work, but we’d have to be damn careful not to say anything controversial about chopsticks.

Although self-serving, this daily headline reading exercise is one way to embrace what is at least superficially current. But what is the politically correct way to handle the disturbing story: World Ends?     

It’s clear we are going to have to explore the inside of the paper to get to the meat of the day. To quote Paul Harvey, “Page two.”

Tight smack in the middle of the layout is a less than tranquil shot of Carlos the Jackal, who has been linked to terrorist attacks as far back as 1972. Nothing funny there. He was captured in 1994. Is he still alive? Is justice better served by waiting almost three years to try him? Maybe the Parisian courts have been tied up with dog-at-large violations.

 Let’s see…we’ve got a Nebraska gubernatorial hopeful marrying a former Miss America. Nothing there. What about a judge’s decision that rapper Tupac Shakur’s father gets stiffed on his slain son’s estate? Is that a stage name?

Look at this story…says here a drink a day is a plus at middle age. What about a six-pack at 75?

Here’s a short flash about Elton John turning over $32 million to Princess Diana’s Memorial fund. Wasn’t “Candle in the Rain” first written about Marilyn Monroe? Talk about killing two birds with one stone. Ooopps. How insensitive! We better leave that one alone too.

The intensity of my concentration is interrupted by 11 full pages of mindless advertising by a Denver retailer. As a struggling journalist am I offended or jealous?

Page 14: Sex organ is severed in attack. Where did these guys go to school? Wouldn’t it sound better to say Sex organ severed in attack? That’s how we were taught but back in those days people didn’t do things like that. Land mine victims…estrogen light, child abuse, computer crimes, Christmas lights recalled. Too heavy, especially for a holiday issue.

Bingo! Here’s one about the United States Chamber of Commerce, the GOP and the tobacco companies doing battle with trial lawyers and judges seen as too friendly to plaintiffs. Since none of these groups falls within the sacred curtain we’ll watch it develop.

Shoppers hurt when pit bulls escape yard. What would it be like if we have a financially plagued pipe fitter, who drinks too much coffee, attack the same shoppers, his behavior compared to that of the pit bull? First of all we don’t want to offend pit bull owners or the Pipe fitter’s Union (we even capitalized it to show good faith). We don’t want to frighten shoppers either. And maybe we should can the coffee connection too since we have a lot of advertisers that sell the stuff.

If you’ve managed to read this far you may see the dilemma facing the jokester in print.

Well, fortunately it’s almost time for lunch. What a morning. Oh look. It says here Callisto; one of Jupiter’s moons has oxygen. Now there’s a spot of good news. We may need all of that stuff we can get as an adjacent piece entitled Australian climate changed by burning testifies. Oh here’s one about Democratic hopefuls embracing each other at a  public luncheon. I’ll have two martinis and the grilled cheese.

 guy reading with cow


Horseshoe No Longer Taking Reservations

With apologies to our long-term audience, the San Juan Horseshoe will no longer be accepting and processing reservations after January 3.

Our staff is incontinent, slothful and cannot tell time anymore. Many in upper tier management positions haven’t bothered to come into the office since 1995. The first-come, first-serve protocol will remain in affect until we run out of comfortable chairs. Thanks for your understanding on this complex matter.

Local Man Claims to Have Viewed “Great Attractor”

(Crested Butte) An amateur astronomer claims to have seen what scientists are calling the “Great Attractor” in the winter skies above Snodgrass Mountain. Earl MacAdoo was out walking his grossly overweight Peloponnesian Setter on Friday night when all of a sudden he felt what he called a vigorous gravitational pull, coupled with an offensive aroma, emanating from the north. Upon closer examination he “noticed a huge region of cosmic matter hovering in the sky as if awaiting the right victim in a celestial mugging.”

     MacAdoo fell back. His dog began barking at the sky and a cold chill invaded his bones. He quickly retreated to his pickup and headed back to town where he informed the authorities of his precarious experience.

     Stories of UFOs, and reports of the abnormal are as common as coal in these parts as any longtime resident will tell you. The village police, although feigning interest in his strange story were too busy chasing dogs and cruising snowboarder bars to respond. They promised to patrol the area the next night. MacAdoo went to the bar and shared his story with the town’s swilling element that passed the word along the next day on the street.

     “The Great Attractor is real,” said Dr. Simon Lackluster of Rocky Mountain Biological Weapons Laboratory at Gothic. “Whether MacAdoo saw the thing or not is important. We scientists have been closely watching the critter for some time. We have even spotted a massive galaxy cluster that appears to be at the Great Attractor’s core. It looks a lot like frantic skiers trying to force their way onto a Mountain Express bus at 4:30.”

     One retired television meteorologist from Moline doesn’t agree.

     “I’ve met that MacAdoo person downtown and I think most of us realize he’s nothing more than a common drunk in a ten-gallon hat. That boy didn’t see any galaxy cluster or even an alien craft,” he sneered. “I have conferred with one of the investigating officers and we have reason to believe that what MacAdoo saw was nothing more than a Sunshine Garbage Truck in full descent.”

     After assigning a top reporter to the story The Horseshoe has determined that Sunshine Garbage does in fact maintain a regular night shift in the vicinity of Snodgrass Mountain. This disclosure has set off shock waves all the way to Gunnison as concerned residents, already suspicious of ski area expansion plans there are asking “Who is driving the truck?”

     MacAdoo was contacted early Wednesday morning assuring all in earshot that he saw what he saw and that he can “damn sure tell the difference” between a galaxy cluster and a garbage truck.  

– Small Mouth Bess   

“We have given you a republic, if you can keep it.” – Benjamin Franklin

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foto D Austin

photo by Delinda Austin

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