Notes From The Cactus Patch

Tall Tales and Ripping Yarns from The Great State Of Texas

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“When The Words Wont Come And The TV News Sucks”


My mind is oat meal mush and my fingers are as useless as a tomato plant on Mars. Words wont come.

I can see them in my mind’s third eye, but It’s as if my vocabulary has reverted back to that of a five-year-old. A massive brain fart has incapacitated my once-fertile imagination to the point where everything comes out “see Dick run, see Sally chase Dick, see Spot bite Sally.” Jibberish on burnt toast.

I may have the answer to my condition, even though I can’t remember how I came to this conclusion, but it must be true.

“Television News.” It’s not “real” news; it’s a short presentation sprinkled with Fairy dust, and Unicorn piss dreamed up by a gang of young writers holed up in a small office on the tenth floor at Rock Center. Nothing but bad, bad Leroy Brown. There ain’t nothing on the news but bad shit, every day, twenty-four hours of hair-pulling madness with “big Pharma” sitcoms paying the way.

Lester Holt over on NBC looks like a million-dollar cloths horse dressed in his pretty suit, sitting there telling us that everything is okay. He knows it’s bull-shit, but he won’t say it. He’s a good dancer and a better liar than most of them. A little taste of doom and gloom, and then POW, “it’ those crazy assed Chritians fault.” Cuba is not communist; they just want the Covid vaccine and after-market classic car parts. Castro wasn’t such a bad guy after all, and AOC is his love child.

Lester said today that his viewers are getting the Delta Varient, even though they are fully vaxxed. You got the jab, you got the gab, and now your gonna be on a marble slab. This little bugger is worse than Epstiens home videos. Just what did those folks in India send to us? The next time I get a scammer call about my auto warranty, I’ll ask the Indian dude, “what the hell?”

I remember “back in the day,” when Walter Cronkite read us the news in a matter of fact black and white. There was no dancing around the subjects or inserting their own opines, just the facts, Jack.

Walter bought his suits at Sears, ate his lunch from a brown bag, and took the subway to work. I would imagine he sold pop bottles to buy those suits. Of course, I was a kid, but I remember being comforted by Walter’s grandfatherly looks and the warm way he reminded us that the Russians will nuke us at any moment over the Cuba blockade, but it’s okay. The good old USA will come back from the ashes and be as good as new. Now, let’s gets those rockets finished and get to the moon, and Kennedy really was a choir boy. Now, boys and girls, that was some real news. He wasn’t Edward R. Murrow, but he got the job done.

There. I believe I am healed and back to normal. Venting works miracles. It will take a while to get to 100%, but you can bet your sweet ass that I won’t be watching the TV News anytime soon. Good Day.

“When Alice Met Arlo”


Photo by: David Crosby

Above is a picture of my 16th cousin removed, Alice B Token, taken at the famous Woodstock Arts and Music Fair in 1969.

She was working for Wavy Gravy and The Hog Farm at the time, so she was used to serving large numbers of hungry, stoned, and confused flower children.

She was the only wait staff left, after her co-workers dropped the brown acid that Wavy warned everyone not to take, so her three days of peace and harmony were a living hell; you can only serve so many needy hippies in a day.

Not one to put up with shit from anyone, she personally kicked John Sebastian’s whiny gimlet ass for saying “Wow” for twenty minuets, and pulled Grace Slicks falsies off during a cat fight over a ham sandwich. Things around the stage got a bit intense. David Crosby grabbed her ass and she whopped him with the closest weapon she could find, which wound up being Neil Young’s Martin acoustic, which was a total loss after connecting with Crosby’s head. That’s why he didn’t play with Crosby,Stills and Nash, and is not in the film. The girl grew up in Texas and was a total bad-ass; enough said.

In this pic, she is delivering sandwiches to the bands at the rear of the stage, and appears not too happy about the whole situation.

Joe Cocker, that fidgety spastic Brit dude, had requested a spam and cheese sandwich on a toasted English muffin, while Janis Joplin ordered a cheeseburger, fries and a fifth of Southern Comfort. Celebrities are so damn picky.

This is where she met up with her future husband, Arlo Guthrie, who memorialized her in his song “Alice’s Restaurant.” The one thing she came away from Woodstock with was, “those worthless smelly Hippies don’t tip shit, they don’t have any money.”

“19 Holes With Dirty Harry”


How’s that for a landing! I have never flown a plane in my whole life, but my newly-minted friend, Sir Richard Branson, let me land one of his private jets.

This adventure started last week when my wife and I were feeling “down in the mouth” because all our friends were posting their vacations on Facebook, and here we are, stuck in Granbury.

My wife loves to enter stupid contests found in the back of her trashy movie star magazines, so she entered one that promised lunch with Sir Richard Branson. Who knew that she would win the darn thing.

A week later, out of the blue, Sir Richard sent us an email saying he would be stopping in Dallas on his way to Carmel, California, and if we weren’t busy, would we like to fly out with him for a round of golf and a spot of lunch at Pebble Beach. Well, hell ya!

A few days later, we are on Sir Richards jet heading to the West coast and dining on Picasso Pawns and ice-cold Chardonnay at 30,000 feet. We wondered what all the poor people were doing.

Sir Richard is a gambler and a jokester, so he bet me a fifty spot that I couldn’t land his private jet. Having consumed an entire bottle of cold wine and feeling a bit cocky, I took the bet. It was a rough-assed landing, giving the pilot a heart attack after we slid off the runway, but it was great fun.

Unfortunately, Sir Richard didn’t have any cash, so he gave me his Rolex instead. What a pal!

Arriving at Pebble Beach Golf Club, Sir Richard mentioned that his good buddy Clint Eastwood would be making up our fourth. My wife was so excited she fainted on the spot. Sir Richard brought her around with a few sips of expensive chardonnay, and a pre-paid Platinum Visa Card waved under her nose.

Clint and Sir Richard have more money than Moses and have a running bet of twenty-thousand a hole. We passed on their game but agreed to keep their score, so no one cheated.

Clint had Sir Richard down by two until he missed a critical par putt on 16 and posted a double-bogy.

Being Dirty Harry and all, Clint didn’t take that well, so he pulled a 44 Magnum from his golf bag and blasted his ball into powder, leaving a large crater in the green. ” Take that you little white shit,” he mumbled. He then turned to us and said, “its okay, I own the course.” My wife and I were a bit unnerved but managed to finish the round. Sir Richard knew better than to piss off Dirty Harry, so he let Clint win. It was chump-change to him.

After the game, we made our way to the grill and were seated in Clint’s special booth. He told the waiter to bring four “Dirty Harry Specials,” which consisted of a chili-cheese hot dog with extra onions, San Francisco Curley Fries, and a large glass of Colt 45 Malt Liquor. Yum-Yum, fine dining it was.

Finished with our meal and preparing to leave, we noticed a commotion at the bar, and Clint, being the owner, intervened.

It seems a group of hipster golfers were pissing about their outrageous bar bill and didn’t want to pay up.

Clint grabbed the nearest one and threw him to the polished pine floor. Then, being Dirty Harry and all, he produced his 44 Magnum from his jacket, pointed it at the hipster’s face, and uttered, ” this is the most powerful handgun in the world and it will blow your head clean off. Now in all this excitement, I forgot how many bullets I fired. Was it five or six? Well do you feel lucky, punk?”

Too afraid to move, we stood there shaking, we are sure that there would be a shooting all over a bar bill. Sir Richard offered to pay the tab, but Clint would hear non of it.

Clint got all “beady eyed” and, in his famous Dirty Harry voice, said to the hipster, “Well, do you feel lucky… punk?” The young man, fearing for his life, answered, ” I gots to know.”

Clint then fired a shot into the ceiling, sending everyone in the grill running for the door. He started laughing, as were the hipsters and the guy on the ground. It seems he pulls this act about once a month, just for fun.

It was a great trip, and Clint gave us some coupons for a free game at Pebble.

When Sir Richard dropped us off at Love Field, he asked if we might like to take a little trip with him and some of his mates into outer space. It pays to know the right people.

“More Things That Make You Ask, WTH?”


“Happy Summer Solstice.” Really? It’s called summer-time you little wokie twerps. This is not Stonehenge with a bunch of naked Druids dancing around a pile of rocks. It’s Texas, and it’s damn hot from April until October. Our seasons in Texas go like this; spring for a few days, then summer for 5 or 6 months, then winter for a few weeks, then summer again. Fall is a few days, maybe.

Flash! Chicago, the murder capitol of the US. Obama’s home town, yet he wont live there. Over the weekend, more than 50 shootings and multiple deaths. So much for their Juneteenth celebration. No coverage of this on NBC or ABC. Guess Lester Holt doesn’t read the newspaper.

New Zealand is sending a trans girl to the Olympics. She lifted weights for years as a guy, but couldn’t win, so now he is a she and is expected to be the gold medal winner in women’s weight lifting. The other girl competitors should organize a whoop-ass party for this dude.

Macy Gray, that has-been singer from decades ago wants America to have a new flag. It appears the current flag triggers her emotions. How about Macy moves to a country with a flag that meets her approval.

“Coming Soon To Your Hometown!” Kamala La-La-Harris will be our first black woman president, although she is not black, and Nancy “Grey Goose” Pelosi will be vice president. Sippy Cup Joe will be banished to the basement or his beach house. Dr. Jill will have to go back to teaching. Who was it that said things can’t get any worse?

“Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow”


Us Texans can be braggarts, pompous asses, and supercilious zealots about our state, history, and traditions. To us, “everything is bigger” in Texas. I won’t deny this because it happens to be true.

We are divinely blessed with the big sky country, enormous cattle ranches larger than most states, the vast rolling prairies, Big Tex and the State Fair, The Fort Worth Fat Stock Show, the Big Bend National Park, big-assed rodeos, colossal oil and gas fields, big cattle with massive horns, tall longneck beers, fat fluffy biscuits, and my favorite, “big hair.” I happen to have first-hand knowledge of the big hair phenomenon. It happened in our household.

In 1956, an artistically inclined Fort Worth beautician that happened to be my uncle figured out he could take a woman’s healthy, shining long hair and transform it into a towering monument of femininity. Teasing, ratting, poking, backcombing, and then mold the mass into a two-foot mountain of tortured follicles. To keep the sculpture in place required a minimum of one or more 16-ounce cans of flammable cancer-causing lacquer-based hair spray that was known to explode when in the vicinity of an open flame. Who knew a hair-do could be so dangerous.

It was a winning combo for the beauty shops. Women had to visit their beauticians to achieve their “big hair” style, and the shop sold the spray to hold the sculpture in place. It was a gold mine, and within six months, every beautician in Fort Worth had doubled their business and was driving a Frank Kent Cadillac. The good times were rolling in, and Texas women would never look the same.

My hair-fixin uncle entered a hairstyle show in Dallas and needed a model. My mother, ever the good sister, volunteered for the job, and off the two went. But, of course, Dallas was the forbidden zone for us, Fort Worth-ians, so it was a shock to the family when my mother consented to go.

As children, we must repeat an oath, pledging to never, under any circumstance, visit Dallas, except for funerals and weddings, and then don’t spend your money there; keep it in Cowtown. Amon Carter watched over his sheep, and the Leonard Brothers needed our support.

As a cold Saturday in late December, turned to nighttime, and then late evening. My father grew increasingly worried about his wife’s whereabouts.
“How long does it take to fix some damn hair?” He said for the hundredth time. The weatherman on Channel 5 had forcasted a big sleet storm that might hit at any time.

Dinner was a sack of White Castle burgers. My sister went to bed early, and I, in support of my father, sat up watching “The Mummy” on Nightmare Theater. My father was outside in the cold, pacing on the front porch, chain-smoking unfiltered Lucky Strikes and cursing Dallas.

Around 10 PM, my father joined me in front of the television as the mummy was killing his final victim with a chokehold; the front door opened, and there stood my mother with a furry gargoyle perched on her head.

The lighting from our Christmas tree cast an eerie glow on her form. Tiny glass ornaments in her hair reflected the red and blue lights, making her an angelic Christmas version of “The Bride of Frankenstien.”

She staggard to the sofa plopped down, and fell over sideways. My father gently lifted her to a sitting position and placed a cushion behind her back. I noticed a small pile of broken hair where her head had landed. She began to weep. There was no consoling her; the more we tried, the louder she wailed.

Uncle said that a jealous competitor had switched his hair spray with a can of spray glue, so the hair-do would be permanent. The good news is they won the hair show, and they got a big trophy and a check.

The following day, mom left the house early. When she returned, her hair was as short as a man’s.

I was sad to see the hair-do go. I thought the tiny ornaments in her hair looked pretty cool. After all, it was Christmas time.

“Who Knew The Scarecrow Was So Smart”


The Democrats are upset that the new Prime Minister of Israel is a Jew. What the hell? of course he’s a Jew. A.O.C., that little Tesla driving-two apartment owning, grandmother ignoring cutie from New York says that the Israelis should have elected a Palestinian.

Some journalist stuck a mic in her face and this is what comes out, “Well, like, you know, they like, live just across the street, so like, it would be good for neighborhood relations,” she said in her 10 year-old valley girl voice. This is the wisdom that comes from a moron that was elected because of her whimsical social media videos. A mediocre bartender with a credit score of 400 goes to congress; definitely not “Mr. Smith Goes To Washington.” I read that Pelosi fixed her credit problem and co-signed for the Tesla.

“Old Joe” refuses to do a joint presser with Putin? Maybe for good reasons; the teleprompter might be in Russian, they wouldn’t let Dr. Jill, his mouth piece and coach, stand next to him, Putin might bring up the dirty money he and Hunter got from Russia and Ukraine, or Putin might say, ” Joe, you know Trump really won.” Pretty sure Obama called the shot this one.

“N” word Hunter keeps getting all the breaks. Using that foul word, for most Americans, signals the end of your career, your job or worse, your life. Hunter said it, he texted it, the viral community got it out there, Dorsey and Zucker censored it, and the main stream media ignores it. Hunter tweeted an apology of sorts to his followers,” sorry dudes, I must have smoked some bad crack.” So, is there good crack?

Kamala La-La Harris still can’t find her way to the Mexico-US boarder. She figures if she doesn’t go there, the problem doesn’t exist. It’s not that difficult. Google Maps will show her the way. Go to Texas and then head south on I 35.; there will be a motorcade of 500 pickup trucks flying Trump flags to safely escort her to the boarder.

Lester Holt, when interviewing her for his NBC newscast, reminded her VP-ness more than once, that she has never been to the boarder, even after her insistence that she had visited the place multiple times. She mumbled a bit and laughed it off. I guess her cackling witch laugh makes everything alright. Lester zinged her a good one.

The G-7; where all the leaders that ruined the economy in their own countries, get together to ruin the world’s economy so they wont look so bad.

“Ben and Jerry’s” is introducing a new ice cream flavor on July 3rd, just in time for our all American July 4th celebrations. “Aw Come On Man” double-double-Joe’s-in-trouble triple chocolate chunk, in honor of our favorite presidential ice cream man. Joe said he will send a few truckloads to the illegal kiddo’s in cages down there on the Texas boarder. Ice cream makes everything better, right?

The current leadership in Washington, both sides of the street, reminds me of the movie, “The Wizard of Oz.” Dorothy and Toto are headed to Oz, and she stumbles across the Scarecrow.

Dorothy: “How can you talk if you haven’t got a brain?” The Scarecrow: “I don’t know, but some people without brains do an awful lot of talking, don’t they?”

“Baseball At The Zoo”


In 1956, Fort Worth had one of the best zoo’s in the country. Located in Forest Park along the banks of the Trinity River, it was a world away from hot summertime Texas.

My neighborhood buddies, Georgie and Skipper and I would ride our “made in the U.S.A.”all steel, 60 pound,Western Flyer bicycles to the park every week either to play pick-up baseball on the city diamonds, swim in the city pool, or hang out at the zoo, which was our favorite destination. Being kids, we didn’t have a dime to our names, so we discovered a secret hidey hole near the Ape House, and skittered in.

Meandering trails of crushed rock surrounded by lush foliage transported us to the jungles of Africa. The only thing missing was Tarzan and Jane, yelling and swinging through the trees. We were always on the watch, just in case they made an appearance.

The Ape House was the main attraction for children. A building with a large outside enclosure featuring towering stone cliffs, large climbing trees, and a sparkling lagoon gave the place a jungle vibe. The Gorilla’s, and assorted noisy Monkey’s preferred the outside enclosure, so they were always lounging around the lagoon, picking their butts, fighting, or eating banana’s and other tasty simian treats. One of the Gorilla’s had a nasty habit that earned him the nick-name, “Whitey Ford,” that famous pitcher for the Yankee’s. Whitey the Gorilla Ford, threw monkey poop.

This particular summer day, after a morning game of baseball, the three of us visited the zoo. There was a group of children, about our age standing at the outside Ape enclosure. Three mom’s chaperoned the group of about twenty.

Kids, being the little twerps they are, were mocking the Gorilla’s, making faces, yelling insults and such, being brats. A few of the Gorilla’s were irritated by their behavior, and paced around the lagoon giving the group the stink eye. Gorilla’s have feelings too, and they were pissed. “Whitey Ford” sat on a boulder with his back to the tormentors. He was busy forming a perfect major league proportioned poop ball. The only thing missing was the stitching and the stamp.

One kid in the crowd ramped up the insults and threw a snow cone at the Gorilla’s. That did it.

“Whitey Ford” stood up, his back to the crowd, looked over his left shoulder, then at the other Gorilla’s, and gave them a nod, as if to say, “watch this.” The kid was still going at it, and one of the mom chaperones was standing behind him, doing her best to quiet him down.

“Whitey Ford” started his wind-up, turned on his right leg, lifted his left leg high, and released a perfect ninety-mile-per-hour curve ball at the mouthy boy. His aim was a little high, and he missed the kid, but hit the mom chaperone square in the forehead. She staggered backward ten feet, flipped over a wooden fence rail and did a back flip into the duck pond.

It was a beautiful pitch. We could see the subtle curve and the rise of the poop ball a split second before it hit it’s target. Holy crap, this Gorilla could pitch for the majors. We clapped and yelled our approval, giving a thumbs up to Whitey. He couldn’t return the gesture because Gorilla’s don’t have thumbs, so he gave us a nod and a smile.

“Live Your Life Like It’s Your Last Summer”


A half dozen years ago, I was sitting on the patio of my golf club having a beer with one of the H.O.A board members of the community I lived in. DeCordova Bend Estates is a hot-shit golf community in Granbury Texas, and if you can afford it, it was the happening place to be. At that time, my wife and I could afford it. We were hot-stuff. We considered ourselves “Donna Summer” hot stuff golf cart driving disco baby.

Dave, the nice fellow I was visiting with shared a tid-bit of knowledge with me. It wasn’t solicited, but he just threw it out there, kind of like a lure; something to discuss.

He said that he and his wife looked at their older years as “how many summers do we have left.” It was an odd statement and I didn’t understand it, so I begged further explanation. He expounded a bit. Alcohol has that effect; it tends to make normal folks speak like Will Rogers.

After a few beers, he shared this, “As we grow older, we approach the future with how many good days we have left before the medical issues arise, and the bills they produce, and the infirmity that comes with those issues, and then the hospitalizations and surgeries, and the nursing homes, and then the inevitable, which is death. Summers are our good place, our good times to remember with our families and our spouses. No one remembers winters, except for Christmas, we remember and cherish our summer times. It starts with our first childhood summer that we can remember.” Heavy stuff.

When he laid it out in those terms, it made perfect sense; “how many summers do we have left?” Why had I not had the fore-site to approach life in those terms?

I will turn 72 in September, and my wife is 69 as of last May. The two of us are on the downhill slide of life as we know it. Unless Dr. Fauci invents an age reversal shot, we are big-time screwed.

What summer are the two of us in? I have no idea. The medical issues started in 2019 with my cancer. Now two years later, I deal with the effects of massive radiation that has fried my internal organs. My wife needs major back surgery, as do I, and our little dog Winnie is 13 years old and having a bad time. What the hell? Is this it? Life sucks and then you die? So the television commercials for Fidelity investments are complete fantasy laden bullshit? Yes they are.

When my mother was struggling with terminal emphysema, and my father was dying from brain cancer, she looked at me and said,”what happened to the golden years?” I didn’t know what to say. At some point, the golden years had passed them by without a nod. Both of them, sick and dying, where was the happiness? No traveling, no walks on the beach, no nothing, except waiting for a miserable death. My sister and I watched this unfold, helpless to change the outcome.

I think Mo and I may have four or five summers left, but who knows. We will live each of them as if it is our last summer on this earth. Fire up the grill, throw on the burgers and pop me a cold beer; It’s summer time.

“I Was A 3-D Child”


I saw my first 3-D movie in 1955. My cousin Jock and I rode our balloon tire bicycles to the 7th Street Theater in Fort Worth. A ticket was $.25 cents and a coke and popcorn was another $.10 cents, we were set. The cheesy cardboard 3-D glasses were free.

After two cartoons, a message on the screen said “put on your 3-D glasses now!” Man, we were ready. The music was scary, the credits and opening scenes were even scarier. Vincent Price looked about as evil as the devil, and the wax figures looked real, ready to jump through the screen. Neither of us would admit it, but we were scared shitless.

Things started flying around the screen, then into the audience and over our heads. Floating orbs, spears and flying ghost. Old Vincent threw a fiery orb at the front row, and kids ran down the isle screaming, hitting the seats and falling, blind, still wearing their 3-D glasses. It was pandemonium. The manager stopped the film and brought up the house lights. That was it.

We rode our bicycles home still wearing our 3-D glasses and looking oh so cool.

“Everybody Gets A Month!”


February is African American history month, March is women’s history and Irish American heritage month, May is Asian Pacific and Jewish American heritage month, June is now Pride month (too many identifiers to call it Gay and Lesbian month any longer), September is Hispanic-Latino heritage month, October is Italian American heritage month, and lastly November is American Indian heritage month. But to list some is to exclude many. Where are the months to celebrate Caribbean, German, Scandinavian, French-Creole, or people from India? When is enough, enough?

So now friends and neighbors, June will be known as “Pride Month.” What about Juneteenth? June has always been the month for celebrating the end of slavery. Is that canceled now? I wouldn’t be surprised. Our black Americans are not going to be happy about this one. Why doe’s our government, (mostly our Democrat government) think a group of folks should get a month celebrating their sexual preference? I don’t give a tinkers-damn about who humps who, but when you try and cram this “Wokie-sock cap wearing-Birkenstock feet-hipster-skinny jean-I Phone talking-snow flake ” crap down my throat, then I get irritated. Gays can be Gays and boys can be girls and vice-versa, no problem, and most American’s feel that way. It’s not the 1950s anymore. Hell, even 40 years ago, Kermit The Frog sang about Rainbow Connections.

Old Sippy-Cup Joe, gave orders for all American Embassy’s and government buildings to fly the rainbow flag for “Pride Month.” Doe’s this include our embassy’s in Muslim countries? Muslim law and Muslim folks don’t have much love for gay and trans peoples. I’m still waiting for the news report on this one.

We can assume that this will be made law by “Old I’ll Sign Anything” Joe. Doe’s he realize the cost to change all the calender’s in this country? Just imagine; January, February, March, April, May, Pride Month, July etc. Doesn’t flow too well. For a point of argument, one could say, “well, this is harmless, let’s give those poor down-trodden folks their own month,” they deserve it. What have they done to deserve their own calendar month? The few gay folks I know, have great professional career’s and make a load of change and are definitely not down trodden.

Everyone needs their own month, so let’s make July “Grumpy-Ass Old Men” month. Us senior have to put up with this new world order, love-love Panda Rainbow crap, so give us our Du. We’ve earned it.

Dr. Gustav Scaramouch, head of Social Behavior’s Department at the Freddie Mercury Medical Institute in Queens, New York says, ” this is a slippery slope. Once we give the LGBQRSTUVWXYZ movement their own month, then we will be obliged to give other groups their own month. Our historical calendar will be decimated. Imagine starting with the first month of the year, January, will be “Black Lives Matter Month”, then February will be “Antifa” Month, then March will be “White Supremacy Month”, then April will be “Illegal Immigrants Month,”there will be no end. Then, they will come for our American Holidays. I called President Biden about this, but he was taking his fourth nap of the day and he couldn’t talk.”

How’s about we just leave things alone. It’s been working for over 200 years because our founding fathers were much smarter than us.

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