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Trout Shortages Linger

(Montrose) Despite the rain and the efforts of the federals, a chronic shortage of trout continues to plague Western Colorado. While dwindling numbers continue to chafe the fannies of DOW personnel, local anglers appear content with the sybaritic properties inherent to the ancient relationship between man and fish.

“What’s all that about?” asked Al Pescadante, a spokesman for our raging bucolic paradise. “These are hard times for trout. For generations we’ve watched as the older fish retire at a rapid pace and the younger ones, victims of the fiscal current, head off to make their fortune in the city. The thinning ranks of production are aggravated by demands on social services while idle fish hang out under rocks. Sure, some of the younger fish return but by then all the good bait has been eaten.

Although purely hypothetical, many attest the theory of destructive humus fungi in the streams. Others feel the fish themselves should bear the brunt of reconciliation with their environs.

“We’re sick of these trout standing around with their hands out,” said Wanda Wanna, a blind fillet advocate who once tied more than 1300 flies in less than a week. “You don’t see kokanee on welfare, do you? For decades I’ve listened to trout whine about their predicament. Why don’t they pull themselves up by the boot straps like other fish?”

Some relief is expected following an extensive contract signed by Mountain Valley Fish and Oyster and the San Juan Horseshoe last month. In short the agreement calls for more career opportunities of fish in return for in-cooler/on-shore packaging considerations.

“Our goal is to get these fish back on track. Trout were much happier back in the Seventies,” said one fish market architect, “or at least they seemed to be.”

– Small Mouth Bess


1. Knives do tend to get dull faster over 8,000 feet. To decelerate this erosion simply wrap in old sweat sox soaked in vinegar…

2. Yes, it appears to be really stupid for baseball players to congregate inside a dugout during a pandemic.

3. Yes it was much like when the virus shut down our favorite machete bar in Andes and all the troublemakers moved to Bolambolo .(SP)

4. No. One cannot customize his Congressional Cardboard Cut-Out with body cameras/taping devices and prompts right there in the gallery.

5. gaudy plumage fades with age

6. Schadenfreude in High German episodes

7. People not bright enough to digest the nightly news or read their Bibles on their own = problems in the world = they need a news analyst or a preacher to wipe their their feigning intellect. These people should not be voting until they understand the issues.

8. My own teakwood fandango and a view of the sea

9. A foxhole is an asshole that digests FOX News

10. according to unreliable sources across the street at the bar

11. As far as we know a soul may not bring guns into heaven.

12. Books are bad. We have television now.

13. God loves the United States more than other countries because Jesus went to Harvard with Ted Cruz.

Tin Man to Speak Before House

Tin Man to Speak Before House

(Oz) The celebrated Tin Man of the Yellow Brick Road will undress the House of Representatives tomorrow in what is expected to be a plea for compassion. The legislative body has recently passed legislation lambasting the poor while attempting to extend corporate tax breaks.

He is expected to scold House Republicans, then encourage them to have a heart while longtime associate, the Cowardly Lion, will exhort Democrats to stand up to the Trump/Pea Party and the military-industrialists that have all but set policy for the past 70 years.

The Tin Man, himself a recovering politician, has been notably outspoken of late in his attempts to rescue what is left of Republicanism in this country. Admitting that his image has suffered due to links to Dorothy (a flaming liberal) and his continued support for her know-it-all economic advisor known only in dark corridors as The Scarecrow, the Tin Man urged the body to end bi-partisan politics for the good of the nation.

Everyone’s favorite little dog, Toto, the lone intellectual in the group, is slated to host the presentation. It is common knowledge that he terrier-mix has set his sights on the Senate in 2016.

Despite engraved invitations and the promise of a free martini lunch following the talk, only three Congressmen are expected to attend. The other 432 will be out campaigning or playing golf with lobbyists. 

– Xeno Phobichek

Glitzy Strip Seduces Casinos

(Colona) Three major casinos are currently negotiating the purchase of a strip of land on the border of Ouray and Montrose Counties. The corridor, dubbed Glitzy Strip, lies in neither county making it exempt from laws governing such recreative endeavors as gambling and whiskey making.

County officials fear the worst. The powerful gambling interests say they plan a tasteful development but can Colona maintain its distinct culture with the sounds of poker chips rattling and dice hitting the felt? Sure, some say it will help the economy but a majority questions the ability of the existing infrastructure to handle the impact.

“I don’t know if we can handle any more than 700 breakfasts in one morning,” flinched a waitress leaning on the good old days when Colona was a railroad town.

Ouray County planners sitting on both sides of the fence seem distracted by potential tax revenues from satellite businesses that they say will spring up. Ranching interests are firmly against the project saying that it’s hard enough to keep hired hands straight now without further distractions.

“I’ve got a good business already,” said one resident. “I didn’t move here to get rich. Western Colorado is a gamble enough without casinos.”

As of this morning Colona remains the only god-fearing community in the county with once-backwater Ridgway emulating Telluride and Ouray knee-deep in decadence.

– Suzy Compost

Low Riders Banned From Engineer

(Ouray) Persons operating low-rider vehicles, hydraulic shocks, space-age woodies, RVs and ruptured Humvees have been banned from Engineer Pass due to clearance considerations. The pass, notorious for deep ravines and mounds of shale, is a challenge for four-wheel-drives.

According to the Forest Service and Department of Transportation, street vehicles have no business traversing tight switch-backs and manipulating steep grades found on Engineer. Both say simple math can be employed to determine rate of success in negotiating the pass.

In addition to the hazards of height many of these banned vehicles simply don’t have the torque to make it to the top.

Hinsdale County officials have yet to decide what, if any action should be taken on their side of the pass. Many feel that if back country drivers make it to the top they should not be restricted on the descent. They remind all drivers to check their brakes before starting downhill.  


Trouble in Paradise?

(Ridgway) Most readers are aware that back in April local bovines adopted the metric system and, since then the herds have been documenting and measuring sizes using that international standard. Unfortunately a problem exists in that cowboys still cling to the English system.

While the situation appears tolerable to the tinhorn, out here on the ranch the conflict grows with neither side willing to make concessions. 

“When the cattle are in the pasture or the barn there’s really no operational problem,” said Dutch Butterfly, foreman of the X-Bar-None Ranch at Cow Creek. “It’s when we have to move the critters that the pies hit the fan.”

Butterfly added that branding and dehorning are also more difficult since the cows measure things one way and the cowboys another.

“It’s the same size brand and the same amount of horn we’re cutting off. It’s just lost in the translation,” he spat. “There’s enough to do trying to make a living out here without communication breakdowns.”

Actually it’s easy enough to convert from English to metric and back. For example: when changing miles to kilometers one simply multiplies the number of miles by the number of kilometers that make up one mile. When weighing hay stacks converting from pounds to kilograms is just as easy.

“These cows are generally a cooperative, but distant lot,” said Butterfly. “We don’t always know what they’re thinking out there chewing the cud and all. What’s gotten into them is hard to say but it all began when they went metric on us. Whenever anyone suggests they go back to the good old American measurement they start all that bawling and kicking and it’s just not worth the hassle.”

Butterfly said the spring roundup was a real mess in Ouray County with cows going one way and cowpunchers another. Feeding time became a struggle since daily allotments were subject to repeated question. Even water measurements got mixed up and had to be sorted out one cow at a time.

After two months of study the Western State University Math Department advised that, since the cows were mere livestock, it was up to the cowboys to adapt. That didn’t go down well either.

“Primates don’t kowtow to domestic herd animals,” said Butterfly. “It just ain’t right.”

Another veteran rancher, Slim Tinkleholland of Mill Creek, near Gunnison, told The Horseshoe that if cows were taught respect when they were still calves they wouldn’t get so uppity.

“Nobody here is belly-aching over bovine/heiffer desires to better themselves. It’s just that for centuries we’ve been a team and now they want to go and change a good thing,” he said. “The fact is that they are bred for meat and dairy and until that changes it’s the wrangler that’s boss.”

Tinkleholland reflected on a day last May when he and his ranch hands were moving a herd of cattle from Mill Creek to Jack’s Cabin.

“The head just didn’t know what the tail was doing,” he winced. When a cowboy hollered in inches the cows mooed in meters. At one point we feared that the dogs and horses would mutiny and adopt that damn metric count. By the time the afternoon was over we had Herefords spread from Almont to Baldwin. What a mess.”

– Small Mouth Bess 

“The Dodgers are scared to death to come over the mountain and play some real baseball teams. We’d kick their asses.” – Western Slope resident, Melvin Arenado Toolski, 119, former baseball coach and body chemistry professor at Pine Beetle Institute.