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Western Gives Cornhuskers Solid Beating

Will Take on Michigan Next

(Gunnison) The Western State University Mountaineer Poker Team beat Nebraska in both 7-card stud and 5-card draw this evening running their season’s record to 15-0. The hapless flatlanders were set back on their heels from the start as Mountaineer standout Melvin Toole flashed a queen high straight in the first hand. He then followed with a low straight flush and 4 sevens before dropping out in the fourth go round.

     “We expected a little more from the Nebraska dealers,” said WSC coach “Toots” Newberry, who has been at the gambling helm since 1960. “Maybe it was the long bus ride but they just didn’t seem to have the concentration.”

     In the later rounds, the Western State players simply ran away with the match, cleaning out the Cornhuskers and even pulling in personal jewelry, stereo equipment, a late model pickup truck and assorted IOUs. At the finale, as the midnight oil burned brightly, Newberry himself was forced to disallow a controversial transaction.

     “One of their players wanted to bet that stupid looking mascot, Billy Cornhusker or something. I had a feeling my guy had a full house,” said the card coach. “I stepped in and stopped play.”

     Western State’s poker squad was one of the first teams organized after federal funds were made available for parlor games in 1984. The athletic department had recently dropped baseball and was looking for a spring sport to take its place. Poker has been a very successful program at the college ever since. Profits have even paid the heating bill in classroom buildings some Januarys.

     Next on tap for the Mountaineers is a deceptive Wolverine club, a group that has been accused of dealing off the bottom of the deck on more than one occasion. When the chips are down Western will be a six-pot favorite to clean up.

– Bart Maverick   

Liberals Plan Coupe te Grasso

Liberals Plan Coupe te Grasso

A devious plot to steal Christmas has been thwarted according to Homeland Security personnel who say they have 30 known liberals in custody this morning. The seizure was slated for Christmas Day when all the righteous folk are opening presents. “We choked this one off right at the larnyx,” said one immigration official: Liberals, like those featured above, have allegedly been planning a fashionable Coupes te Monserrat since last year. The insidious scam was to abduct Christmas and replace it with a pagan, secular, communist Winter Solstice. Insiders say the great unwashed would never have embraced the modification that sought to replace plastic Christmas lights with stars and constellations. Business and civic leaders supported what they call arbitrary despotism since the ancient observation of the solstice has no ledger sheet.

Wilds Win Yacht in Horseshoe Raffle

Wilds Win Yacht in Horseshoe Raffle

Felicidades to Gary and Debbie Wild, the winners of a new boat as part of the gala Day-Old Fish Raffle held at San Carlos, Sonora. Bankrolled (except for drinks) by the San Juan Horseshoe, all proceeds go to underprivileged bait cutters everywhere. The winners, formerly of Ouray, were forced to disguise the craft in Christmas lights to get it across the border.



Alas, we have grown tired of extending these seasonal apologies to Groppo the Elf and his battery of attorneys but in the spirit of the holidays we will reach deep and try to de-ruffle a few feathers once more.

First of all let us set the record straight. The short piece appearing in the November issue regarding Groppo’s heritage was, admittedly in bad taste. Moreover we really didn’t have photographs of the elf with local livestock even though we were assured that this was the case. The prints, as it turns out disappeared the night before this issue was to be put to rest and we were forced to substitute a story about the much maligned Spar City de-lousing effort and some color pictures of Melvin Toole hanging Christmas lights at the one of our countless private prisons.

Repeated references to Groppo’s alcohol abuse were presented out of context so as not to endanger the reputations of local citizens. Implications that Groppo’s physical stature and mental capacity are the result of his diet of bombardier beetles, twinkies and swamp grass digested while growing up at the Pole are true. This accusation can be verified by speaking to the elf’s dietitian

Furthermore attempts at collecting damages from this publication by the family of Groppo are unfounded, illegal and a waste of time even for those who make a career out of same.

We did not ever say that his immediate family were drug addicts only that the current inhabitants of his family tree were junkies and substance abusers. We never said they were alcoholics either since most are reputedly closet drunks and their public behavior, although suspect, cannot be chronicled.

Never mind all that. Let’s shake hands and part as friends, Groppo. After all you’re really no worse than most of us, especially when viewed through the rose-colored filter of the Yuletide. At least you have exhibited the integrity and good taste to steer clear of civil service – Editor


(Montrose) Gangs of menacing elves continue to prowl the halls of Shady Acres Recreational Care Center Friday with no clear motive inherent. The shoddily dressed, now recently dismissed throng arrived on the grounds on Monday, frightening residents and daring police to take action.

“They aren’t driving drunk or skateboarding so there’s nothing we can do,” said one officer still investigating a robbery at the local Safeway back in 1979.

At present there are over 400 local police patrol cars surrounding Shady Acres poised for an assault. Despite demands that the elves vacate the premises a classic quagmire has emerged. Inside the hell hole that was once a peaceful redoubt for seniors, elves conduct brutal games or ping pong and billiards often holding tables for more than the allotted times.

“The savages won’t eat our food, oh no,” said Warner Brick, a retired dog catcher from Ridgway. “They have to dial out and order burgers, tacos and roast beef sandwiches made from synthetics. They love fast food. They crave it. Then they throw all their wrappers all over the sun room.”

All utilities have been disconnected and afternoon snacks have been rationed in an attempt to force the elves to the negotiating table. Local negotiators expressed hope that the standoff will be resolved after the elves return to work in January.  

– HL Menocken

“A good laugh and a long sleep are the two best cures for anything.”      – Irish proverb


‘Twas the night before Christmas

And all through the castle

Not a digger was stirring

It was just too much hassle.

(Most of us had been down at Golden Gate Park all day diggin the music and were too wasted .)

The stockings were flung on the floor and the chair

Grab me my pants, there’s a party up there.

(Despite chronic fatigue the cat upstairs was making some kind of racket but soon he’ll be cool since his woman gets off work by seven.)

The horn men were nestled with notes in their heads

While visions of reefer waltzed with second hand threads.

(The North Beach Good Will has just scored new duds, the kind afforded by clothes horse jazz musicians who seem to be between gigs.)

And momma come home to see all this crap

She settled his brains and I don’t hear no rap.

(As expected the lady upstairs arrived home at the usual time and found her man engaged in extra-curricular diversions with an assortment of new friends. A gunshot. Another.)

When out on the highway there arose Dharma batter

The straights cruised on by engulfed in their chatter.

(Why do you want to show up to work everyday when there are places in this very galaxy that you have never been?)

Away to the window I flew like jack flash

Pulled down the Venetians, securing my stash.

(I wanted to see if the cat upstairs was alive or dead but I thought I’d better hide my stash before the North Beach Gestapo started asking a lot of questions.)

The moon and the rest of the ash-ridden snow

Convinced me that midday was too late to go.

(This place is nowhere. With a little luck and the right boxcar I could be in Mexico City for the New Year.)

When what to my wandering mind should appear

But San Francisco’s finest from the front and the rear.

(Somebody in the building must have called up the heat when they heard the shots. They were everywhere, responding in their noted Zen vigor in this neighborhood infested with home sapiens of the discarded variety.)

At my door an old sergeant, with stick of the night

I can’t wait till morning…it’s exit…stage right!

(My duffel bag lay packed in the corner. Once on my back it was out the door leading me to more tolerant horizons.)

More rapid than accurate I headed uptown

Grabbed a bus for the freight yard and waited around.

(The midnight train ride down the coast to LA would be a cold one but I could sleep on the beach in Santa Monica in the morning.)

A weathered old brakeman called out in the rain

If you’ve got ample dollars you’ll be riding this train.

(The tired, old drunk wanted some bread for letting me ride the boxcar. I promised him some Mexican grass and offered him a hit off my Thunderbird and, cursing, he wandered off.)

As wilted, dry leaves before hurricanes fly

I am one with the boxcar, fused to the Pacific sky.

(Finally headed toward Southern California, I polished off the wine and fell asleep despite the chill and the cold metal floor.)

So up through the mountains steel coursers they flew

With a cargo of nothingness as their time clock punched two.

(We hit the Coastal Range in the middle of the night as the full moon made another cameo appearance.)

And then in a twinkling I heard on the roof

The brakeman, another…resenting my spoof.

(The railroad cops didn’t appreciate my travel arrangements for the evening and when we stopped at Salinas they tossed my ass off the iron beast and into an unlikely Christmas Eve.)

As I brushed my self off and was turning around

Down the tracks dragged a hobo not making a sound.

(I had just seen this bum down in the Tenderloin last week. He was snoring away in a skid row hotel lobby, too drunk to make it up the stairs to his two-dollar flop.)

He was dressed all in rags from his head to his foot

His clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.

(A bad dream Kris Kringle in the freight yard of America’s last brush with authentic culture?)

His meager belongings he had thrown in a sack

He smelled like a junkie and let out a hack.

(His personal hygiene didn’t improve with closer proximity.)

His face was one wrinkle, all haggard and hairy

He clung to Wild Roses and a jug of sweet sherry.

His droll, little mouth was drawn up like a bow

The fuzz on his chin as gray as winter So-Ho.

He rolled up two skags, “To you I bequeath”

The smoke pouring out from his cave of no teeth.

(The cat had played out his future in baggy pants and shoes force marched through an alcoholic haze.)

His poker face deluded, a bad loser still game

He choked when he spoke but he spoke just the same.

Uncapping his prize he delivered a belt

And I grabbed for the bottle, in spite of myself.

With a wink of his eye and a twist of his head

Out there in hell’s freight yard the hobo dropped dead.

(Time had run out for this earth-bound angel who had never spent Saturday mornings mowing his lawn in the suburbs or driving kids around in a new Ford Station wagon.)

I picked up his dreams, locked tight with no key

Next stop: Potter’s Field for this snarled refugee.

(A watchman helped me cover him and called the cops. There would be no heartbroken relative to identify him, no one to cry at his grave.)

Then catching the time, I watched for a freight

Skillfully boarding, make LA by eight

Back on a boxcar, I slept on my duffel

Agonized at the thought of that wino’s last shuffle.

But desolation’s despots on angels take toll

One long ago Christmas deep deep in my soul.

                                 – Paradise Stolen, 1959