Don Merideth used to sing the famous country song ” Turn Out The Lights, The Parties Over,” a Willie Nelson staple, when, at the end of Monday Night Football, the losing team was shellacked and had no way to come back. Too bad he wasn’t here to sing this past Sunday evening.
Dandy Don was the quarterback for the Cowboys back when they were a man’s football team and had the best coach in the NFL, Tom Landry. How things change in 50 years. Now they have Jabba The Hut as a coach, and the team is a bunch of woke, “where’s my trophy” pansy-asses.
An Arkansas hillbilly strikes it rich with oil and gas. I guess he was out “shoot’n at some food and up through the ground came a bubbl’n crude.”
He moves the family, not to Beverly Hills, but to Highland Park, Dallas’s equivalent. He then buys the team for a song and ruins the shining silver star of Texas. Just because he played football in college doesn’t make him a coach or an expert, of which he sees himself. Jimmy Johnson was the best thing to happen to the team since Tom Landry, and Jones, in the true style of “Dogpatch,” runs him off with a double-barrel shotgun and rabid hound dogs. Moma Yokum would be proud.
I was a fan since the 60s, then dropped off the cowboy wagon for a decade or so, then back on when my son bought 2 seats at the stadium, and I attended games with him. So I had hope that this season, after 26 years of disappointment, the “boys” would win the playoffs and go to the “big show.” Well, they did put on quite a show Sunday, but it was a “shit-show,” and once again, they will be watching the Super Bowl from their media rooms.
Jerry Jones has made a fortune from building a colossal stadium to house a mediocre team and trick the fans into filling the seats and buying his silver and blue made-in-China crap. In the 1800s, he would have been called a “huckster” or a “traveling medicine show,” and likely ran out of town.
Pictured here is my grandfather on the left and his friend Hymie Rothstein with his horse Miss Golda. Hymie was, or possibly is, the only Jewish cowboy in Texas.
Hymie left the “old country” (New York) in 1910 with a burning determination to become a cattle rancher. With a grubstake from his uncle, he bought 500 acres of prime ranchland between Weatherford and Mineral Wells and stocked the spread with 500 head of Hereford cattle. He named the ranch “The Flying Menorah,” his mothers idea.
His mothers’ cousin in New York owned several restaurants and made a deal with Hymie to furnish him with Kosher meat for his patrons. Hymie, a bit of a slacker in his faith, had no idea how to raise Kosher cattle.
He required his ranch hands to wear Yamakas and grow a long beard. Then, on Friday’s before sundown, he would drive a wagon through the herd with a Rabi from the synagogue in Fort Worth, standing in the bed, blessed the cattle and the land. He assumed that if the cattle were somewhat converted, all would be Kosher. The Rabi was paid twenty-five dollars for the blessing, so he kept his opinion on the cow’s religious transformation to himself.
Hymie purchased a 3500 lb Hereford bull from a neighboring ranch to keep the cows happy and grow the herd. The bull, a massive beast with Hyde-like steel, would walk through any barb wire fence and wander off for days at a time. He named the bull “Little Moses” because of the bovines’ wanderlust.
In early December, a blue norther blew in and dropped eight inches of snow on the ranch. It was two days before the ranch hands could tend to the cattle, and when they didn’t find the herd, they checked the fencelines. At the back of the 500 acres was a section of broken fence. Thousands of cattle tracks led through the opening and onto the vast prairie. ” Little Moses” had escaped again, and the herd was following his lead.
The cowboys tracked the cattle for miles but lost their trail in the rocky hills. Hymie was frantic and called his local Sherriff, JD Ramses, for help. The Weatherford police put out a “missing cattle” alert. A poster showing a group of smiling cows was tacked on telephone poles in town. Calls from West Texas reported a large contingent of cattle crossing Route 66 a few days ago.
Hymie and the boys found the crossing and followed the herd. The cattle had been missing for 39 days and nights without hay or feed, surviving on clumps of prairie grasses and creek water.
On the 40th day, the cowboys located the herd resting at the edge of Palo Duro Canyon. All 500 cows were accounted for, but “Little Moses” was missing.
One of the cowboys spotted a snow-white bull lumbering and stumbling out of the canyon at sundown. It was “Little Moses.” His cow fur had turned completely white. His eyes were bright blue and glowed like fiery coals.
The bull lay down near the campfire. The herd moved in and surrounded the cowboys and the bull. The cows seemed to be saying goodbye to their leader. Hymie fed him some bread and a few sips of Kosher wine, and then ” Little Moses” expired. It was a good way to go. Laying by the warm campfire and surrounded by his minions.
A crack of thunder and lightning bolts hit a grove of trees nearby. Usually, that would spook the cattle, but not a one moved. Instead, there was a sound of trumpets from somewhere above. The herd looked skyward as if they were being summoned.
Two “Heavenly Holstein” cows with angel wings descended from the sky into the camp. They each carried a golden trumpet in their left hooves. The angel cows stood on either side of “Little Moses,” and together, the trio ascended into the clouds, starting their journey to Bovine Heaven.
Hymie and the cowboys were gobsmacked by what they had witnessed. They tempered their shock with a bottle of red-eye whiskey and roll-your-own cigarettes. The conversation around the campfire was sparse.
The herd dispersed into the grove of trees next to the camp. Hymie and the other hands hobbled their horses and bedded down next to the fire.
When dawn broke, the cowboys found a snow-white bull calf with fiery blue eyes standing with the cows. The calf led his herd and the cowboys back to the Flying Menorah.
White smoke was spotted coming from the CDC smoke stack today, signaling the naming of the newest virus that will be killing us all within weeks. Vaccinated or not, it’s gonna get us.
” Flurona” the new rockstar variant of 2022 has been spotted in Los Angeles and the affluent suburbs looking every bit a Hollywood-inspired virus. It’s so contagious that the smash and grab gangs are taking a break from their criminal activities, giving Rodeo Drive merchants time to replace their smashed windows and replenish the supply of outrageously priced goods.
Maya Sharona, field reporter for NPR caught up with business human unit Libby Caucus in her Rodeo Drive shop. Ms. Caucus stated, “Like it’s been soooo crazy dangerous here on the drive that even the Kardashians have been staying away.”
Kamala (not a real black woman) Harris, this morning on national television compared the January 6th, riot to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and the terrorist attack on New York, aka, 911.
2,500 servicemen died in the attack on Pearl Harbor, so how dare this faux human compare the two. It takes a special kind of brain-damaged moron to issue such an insult to the families of those that died in those attacks. Worse than 911, who in the hell told her to say that? This woman has less brain function than Joe Bee. That reminds me, who has taken more balls to the chin than Mickey Mantel and Roger Marris? Kamala Harris.
As a child growing up in 1950s Texas, I never understood the need to put myself behind an eight-ball with proclamation’s I had no way of keeping. New Year resolutions were the worst of them all.
My parents made them by the dozens and broke them without batting an eye.
My mother was the worst of the family bunch. Every year, on the eve of midnight, she would make a grandiose announcement to the family, usually after a few glasses of sparkling Cold Duck wine or too many Old Crow eggnogs. She made many resolutions in her day, but her yearly favorite was “kicking the ciggies.” She smoked like Bogart, one in each hand with a third, lit and waiting in the ashtray. My father, a lesser smoker, was a rank beginner compared to his bride. As a result, our household had more ashtrays than dishes. My sister and I also enjoyed the mild smoke from the ever-present Chesterfield cloud that hung in every room. Mother finally kept her favorite resolution at the age of 74, with some help from emphysema.
So, here I am at 72, and for the first time, I am considering making a New Year resolution or two.
I’ve been kicking around the less painful ones, easy things like giving up red meat or sugar. But then, Ovaltine contains sugar, and there is no way I can sleep without my hot Ovaltine, usually taken between 1 and 2 am, which is also my writing hours so that one is out. But, on the other hand, red meat can give me gastronomical grief, and I like fish more so that one is still doable.
Abstaining from distilled spirits? Now that’s tough, but it seems to be the national favorite.
It’s immensely satisfying to hold a crystal snifter of Jamesons or Tullamore Dew while sitting on my patio admiring the beauty of our local mountain, Comanche Peak. Good Irish whiskey settles my nerves and fuels my literary creativity. Jack Kerouac and Truman Capote will attest to that. Reaching old age without dying is hard work, and suitable rewards are in order. So unless I plan to stop writing and live out my final days as a nervous wreck, that one is kaput.
Attending a non-denominational house of worship with my bride. I can do this one with a few exceptions. Firstly, how does the word “none” go with denominational? There are hundreds of organized religions out there, just pick one and go with it.
Secondly, I’m old school church. I need to hear “the word of God,” not some big-haired pastor with an expensive haircut using the bible as a Cliff Notes report. I don’t dance hip hop in the isles, or clap, or sing songs projected on a screen, or enjoy hearing a choir of off-key screeching women whining about their personal tradgadys to the accompaniment of a Led Zepplin tribute band. I need that old-time religion to soothe my soul. The bubble-haired lady playing that Hammond B3 organ; that old rugged cross hanging on the wall next to the velvet Last Supper painting. A yelling red-faced slobbering preacher that points to me and says I’m going to Hell in a used Honda if I don’t change my sinful ways, and then expects money for admonishing me in front of strangers. Uncomfortable seating is a must. I can’t be a Baptist again, that would require me to give up my Irish whiskey, so it’s best to move on to another resolution or consider becoming a Catholic.
Improving my health. Maybe the easiest one of all, except for the sugar Ovaltine thing and the Irish whiskey thing. I possibly can do this one and make it stick. I beat the snot out of Cancer, so what’s left that could get me?
My doctor is young and hip. He wears one of those Apple watches that keep you alive and listens to TED talks in his wireless earbuds and drives a Tesla. He recommends, walking, hiking, biking, going to the gym, meditating, using fewer medications, and eating less of everything that tastes like food.
I reminded him that I need a knee replacement and major back surgery, so the walking, biking, hiking, and gym are out. Using fewer meds? He’s the idiot that put me on them. Sorry doc, I am not eating bagged weeds, Kale, plant-based meats, or gluten-free anything. Lactose-free milk is as woke as I get. I could only achieve a meditated state after a pipe full of Maui Wowie and Cat Stevens on the stereo.
By writing my resolutions down, I realize that nothing has changed since I was a kid. I’m not standing behind that eight-ball at this age.
I feel like I’m living in a black and white telecast of the Twilight Zone. The ghost of Rod Serling is sitting in my den telling me stories and smoking Camels. That “dead zone” between Christmas and New Year has arrived.
Christmas can be such a damp squib to one’s spirits. Yet, throughout December, we anticipate the evening of the 24th and the 25th. Plans are made, food and wine are consumed with friends and family, phone calls made, presents exchanged, all in a whirlwind of excitement and frivolity. The world is at peace, life is good, we are all out of debt, and the family members we disliked a week ago now sit in our den spilling beer on our new carpet and double dipping the queso.
Then December 26th arrives, the tire goes flat, the cake goes stale, and the wine is soured. A whole week of angst lies ahead. I stock up on Valium and Tullamore Dew to fortify my journey.
I sit in my cushy recliner, slack jaw, drooling, staring at the ladybug on my ceiling. Pat Sajak is droning in the background, and Vanna is marching across the stage, turning those damn letters. The poor lady loses the car over a pause of 2.5 seconds. Sajak is an asshole. The lady goes home, her predicament goes viral on the net, Audie gives her a car, and Wheel of Fortune comes off looking like the dipshits they are. Why doe’s Vanna White even have a job?
My wife and I have doctor’s appointments this week. She, physical therapy, and me for a sinus invasion. We talk of going to the mountains, the ocean, or anywhere, there is no cedar. Christmas kicked our senior butts. We are as broke as 1930s sharecroppers. So I’m searching for old reruns of the Twilight Zone for insight and inspiration.
The coming Friday evening will bring a welcomed end to the year from Hell. According to the newscast, we will be walled into our homes within a few weeks and most likely deceased by February because of the Omicron bug. New Year’s Eve brings revelers blowing their little paper horns, drinking champagne, groping each other’s butts, and making drunken fools of themselves, but come morning, nothing has changed, and no one gets a pass to start all over. So put on your face diaper and shut up.
I think Rod Serling had it right. “Live every day like you’re in The Twilight Zone;” come to think of it, we are.
Christmas Eve 2021 is upon us, and there is no escaping it.
I’m aware that my advanced age drives many of my phobias and fits of melancholia. Still, with our country going to complete crap in a Crate and Barrel wooden box, it’s impossible to fool me into becoming a smiling Father Christmas sitting around the fire drinking hot chocolate while reading “The Night Before Christmas” to our wokie grandkids. But, of course, they wouldn’t understand why someone would write such a fairytale. They are much too smart for their young age, thanks to Google and iPhones.
Yeah, I’m an old school guy with old school thoughts, when I can remember them. My wife says she is worried about me; I don’t remember things she says she told me ten minutes earlier. I tell her, “well maybe you didn’t tell me but thought you did.” It goes both ways. Then I find my car keys in the refrigerator, next to my reading glasses and wallet.
I used to laugh when my father asked me what day is it? Now, I am my father and my son laughs at me. Aging is not for pussy’s. It takes a real man to survive it.
That’s why I write short stories and blog, it keeps my mind sharp, and my wit acrid. The brain is a muscle that craves stimulation. I would think the number of medications I take would do that job, but creating fictional characters and predicaments based on my street rat crazy family makes me a whole person.
Who needs genealogy? I don’t. My grandmother, mother, aunts, uncles, and other relatives tell my sister and me that we are related to the famous female outlaw; Belle Starr. Also to Chief Quanah Parker and Will Rogers. Of course, they have no written proof, only hearsay delivered around a campfire or a supper table. I sent some spit to a genealogy outfit and they sent me a report. It wasn’t what I expected.
Northern European, Russian, English, Scottish, Irish, Welsh, and Neanderthal; not one molecule of American Indian, even though my Granny was born and raised on a reservation in Oklahoma and lived in a teepee. I called them up. The nice lady said the American Indigenous tribes are secretive and don’t give out information. She assured me I was probably a Cherokee and could go on acting like one if it made me feel better. Stupid ass lady. I do feel better.
Have a Merry Christmas and may you live in the land of good water, bountiful game, and cold beer.
A personal recount of my childhood Christmas memories.
Riding a ceiling-mounted “Rocket Train” to nowhere around the basement of a department store doesn’t seem like a Christmas thing, but that’s what thousands of other Texas kids and I did every year in the 1950s.
Leonard Brothers Department Store occupied two square blocks of downtown Fort Worth real estate and was known as the Southwest’s Macy’s. They offered everything the big shot stores in the East carried, and then, hundreds of items no retailer in their right mind would consider.
If you had a mind to, one could purchase a full-length mink coat with optional mink mittens, the latest women’s high-fashion clothing line from Paris France, an Italian cut-crystal vile of Elizabeth Taylors spit, James Dean’s signature hair tonic, Rock Hudson’s autographed wedding photos, a housebroken Llama, an aluminum fishing boat and motor, a new car, a pole barn, a nice two-story craftsman home “build it yourself kit” delivered to your lot, chickens, barb wire, hay, horses and cows, a 30-30 Winchester rifle, a 40 caliber autographed General George Custer Colt pistol, a bottle of good hootch and a Ford tractor. That’s about as Texas as it gets.
The Christmas season in downtown Fort Worth was internationally recognized for its innovative and wonderous decorations. The righteous city fathers figured the best way to out-do Dallas, a full-time effort, was to line every building with white lights from top to bottom and install large glowing decorations on every lamp pole, street light, and building façade available. If that didn’t make you “ooooh and ahhhh,” then you needed to go home and hide in a closet.
A week, or so, after Thanksgiving, my parents would take my sister and me downtown to see the decorations and visit the Leonard Brothers Department Store. Santa just happened to be in their basement taking advanced verbal orders from every crumb cruncher that could climb the stairs and plop on his lap.
My sister, in between screams and crying fits, always asked for the latest doll. She was scared senseless of “HO-HO,” but she somehow managed to spit out her order. Like clockwork, every year, I asked for a Daisy BB Gun with a year’s supply of stainless silver ammo ( for killing werewolves), a full-size Elliot Ness operable Thompson Sub Machine Gun, or an Army surplus Bazooka with real rockets and a long, razor-sharp Bowie knife encased in a fringed leather holster. It was a 1950s boy thing; weapons were what we longed for. How else could we defeat Santa Anna at the Alamo or win World War II, again? Our neighborhood may have sported the best-supplied “kid army” on the planet, and jolly old Santa was our secret arms dealer; parents non-the wiser. I finally got the BB Gun, but Santy was wise enough to not bring the other request.
Walking down the stairs to the store’s basement was the thrill I waited for all year. There, hanging above my head, was the beautiful red and silver tinseled sign, “Toy Land,” kid nirvana, and the Holy Grail all in one room. The smell of burned popcorn and stale chocolate candy wafted up the stairs, and I could hear the cheesy Christmas choir music and the sound the Rocket Train made as it glided along the ceiling-mounted rails. I almost pissed my jeans.
Hundreds, if not thousands of parents jostled down isles of toys, pushing, grabbing, snarling like a pack of wild dogs fighting for that last toy; the holiday spirit and common courtesy was alive and well. The queue of kids for the Rocket Train snaked through the basement like a soup line.
There, sitting on his mini-mountain top perch, sat old red-suited Santa Claus and his elfin apprentices, herding kids to his lap at break-neck speed. Each child got about fifteen-seconds, a black and white photograph, and then it was off the lap and down the steps. Kids were fast in those days; we memorized and practiced our list weeks before our visit for maximum impact. “Ho-Ho” had better be writing this stuff down. Kids don’t forget, squat.
Two Santa visits, four Rocket Train rides, and three popcorn bags later, our family unit departed Leonard’s for the new and improved “Leonard’s Christmas Tree Land,” located across the street from the main building. Thanks to the demolition of several winos infested abandoned buildings, the new lot was now the size of Rhode Island and held enough trees for every person and their dog in Texas.
Thousands, if not millions of fresh-cut trees awaited our choosing. Father, always the cheapskate, chose a sensible tree; not too big, not too small, yet full and fluffy with a lovely piney aroma. My sister and I pointed and danced like fools for the “pink flocked” tree in the tent, that cost the equivalent of a week’s salary. My parents enjoyed our cute antics. The sensible tree was secured to the top of our Nash Rambler station wagon, and we are homeward bound.
Pulling into our driveway, it was impossible to miss our neighbors extravagant holiday display. We had been away from home for 6 hours and returned to a full-blown holiday extravaganza that made our modest home look like a tobacco road share-croppers shack.
Our next-door neighbors, Mr. Mister and Mrs. Mister were the neighborhood gossip fodder. The couple moved from Southern California for his job. He, an aircraft-design engineer, and she, a former gopher girl at Paramount Studios. The Misters reeked new-found money and didn’t mind flaunting it. They drove tiny Italian sports cars and hired a guy to mow their lawn. His wife, Mrs. Mister, always had a Pall Mall ciggie in one hand and a frosty cocktail in the other. Father said she looked like a pretty Hollywood lady named Jane Mansfield, but Mother said she resembled a “gimlet-assed dime-store chippy.” I got the impression that the Misters were quite popular in the neighborhood.
Their Christmas display was pure Cecil B. DeMille. A life-size plywood sleigh, with Santa and his reindeer, covered the Mister’s roof, and 20 or more automated Elves and various holiday characters greeted passersby. Twinkling lights covered every bush and plant in the yard, and a large machine spat out thousands of bubbles that floated through the neighborhood. This was far more than Fort Worth was ready for.
The kill-shot was their enormous picture window that showcased a ceiling-high blue flocked tree bathed in color-changing lights. There, framed in the glow of their yuletide decor, sat Mr. and Mrs. Mister with their two poodles, Fred and Ginger, perched on their expensive modern sofa, sipping vermouth martinis like Hollywood royalty. This display of pompacious decadence didn’t go unnoticed by my parents.
Father hauled our puny tree into the living room and began unpacking lights for the decorating that would happen tomorrow evening. Mother hurried my sister and me off to bed. Visions of spying Elves, sugar plum pudding, and dangerous weapons danced in my head; Christmas was upon us.
Sometime after 10 PM, Father got hungry. Searching for sandwich fixings in the kitchen, he found a bottle of Jim Beam bourbon. Then he found a fresh half gallon of Egg-Nog, which of course, he enjoyed with the bourbon. While searching for bread to make the ham sandwich, he found two “Lux Laundry Soap Flake” boxes, with a dish-towel in each one. Then by chance, he discovered the food coloring. This gave him an idea for our sad little tree.
I awoke in a start. The sun was shining in my face, which meant I was late for school. I ran into the living room and was stopped in my tracks.
Our formally green tree was now flocked in thick pink snow, as were the curtains, the fireplace mantel, two chairs, the coffee table, and my father, who lay on the couch, passed out, with a half-eaten ham sandwich on his chest. My Mother sat a few feet away, sipping her coffee and smoking a Winston; my Louisville slugger lay on her lap. I was reluctant to approach her, but I had to know.
I timidly put my hand on her shoulder and asked, “Mom, is Dad going to be alright?” She took a sip of coffee and a drag from her ciggie and said, “well, for right now, he will be, but after he wakes up, who knows.”
Jeez-al-mighty, the radicals have kicked Joe Bee to the curb. He is officially a useless old man that has outlived his pecker. Willie Nelson said it first, and he should know; he’s much older than JB and has access to better weed.
With Joe Bee soon to be in the memory care home, that cute dancing Latino congress girl from New York is now free to roam the hallowed halls of Congress and possibly the White House acting like Castro’s daughter while bossing everyone around. But, of course, Jill ( not a doctor) Biden doesn’t give a street rat’s ass if she does; she got Joe Bee to sign everything over to her, even Hunter’s laptop and collection of ancient Mayan crack pipes.
Since a handful of NFL games were canceled, ratings are up!
My wife and I thought we had the Omicron. Watery eyes, coughing, tearing up, a snotty nose, then we realized we were watching The Sound of Music. I’m better today.
Senator Manchin just bitch slapped the radical Democratic party. He saved the country, the economy, and every God-fearing citizen that lives here. Hats off to Mr. Manchin. The only thing that would be sweeter would be for him to sucker punch Pelosi while she’s drinking her Gin and Tonic ice cream float.
I visited our local on the square bookstore today; I purchased a Christmas gift for my wife. It’s a hometown place with a great assortment of the latest books, hot tea and biscuits, and friendly folks. The business was great, and the place was packed to the walls, and not one person was looking at their phone. Imagine that.
After hearing president Devo’s dire prediction today, “It’s going to be a cold winter of severe illness and painful deaths.” Taking his prediction to heart, my wife and I are making our final arrangements. Well, not really, but maybe. The drama around the country is so thick you would think the Kardashian’s are writing sniffy’s teleprompter speeches. So our little statement is a wokie stab at black humor. Can I say ” black humor?” Is that too racist? Am I canceled?
It’s not every day our government, meaning head elf Fauci and president Poopy Pants, tells us we are doomed and will likely expire within a few months due to the Omicron BR549 Virus. The vile little bug, engineered to be quite intelligent and talkative, says it doesn’t matter if we are jabbed, the vax is a juvenile joke, and it farts in our general direction. Such a cheeky little bugger.
Our rotting, and recently retired carcasses will be found in our fancy new leather recliners, a melted cocktail still clutched in our skeletal fingers, and Netflix running on the television.
Come to think of it, I don’t believe any American president has given such a grim forewarning to our country. His wife ( not a doctor ), Jill Biden, is busy fielding angry emails on Hunter’s new laptop while making sure Ole’ Joe has plenty of diapers. Prince Charles’s wife ( never will be queen ) Camilla sent JoeBee a Costco UK membership and a coupon for a year’s worth of free Lavender scented adult diapers. For a commoner, she has such a royal sense of humor.
To save money and lessen the grief of our family and friends, when we do expire from the Omicron, after Christmas, we are holding a wake and celebration of life for ourselves. Of course, we won’t be dead quite yet, but this way we can hear the nice things folks say about us and be able to enjoy the excellent food, booze, and lovely gifts. We hope to see you at the gathering.
The Salvation Army, the one outfit I have relied on for the past 50 years to do the right thing, is now going full-blown BLM, Biden-loving butt-kissing wokie bullcrap. Those red kettle bell ringers outside of Walmart and Hobby Lobby can count on nothing from me and most likely a few hundred million other Americans. I regret that this Christmas season, I have already given around fifty dollars to these beggars, and there is no way to get it back. The holidays tend to bring the soured cream to the top of the milk fat. It’s a sad day.
The news is that the Salvation Army hates white people. Well, guess what Salvation Army, it’s the middle-class white folks that give to the organization that allows you to exist and to help others.
Have a Merry Christmas and kiss my non-donating rear.
Maybe Santa can fill your red kettle. Well, maybe the Dallas Cowboys can send a few wokie bucks your way. Morons.