Notes From The Cactus Patch

Tall Tales and Ripping Yarns from Texas

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“Thomas Fowl Is Laid To Rest”


Drawing by Betty Crocker

Now the “Rona” has ruined Thanksgiving and is well on the way to destroying Christmas. Santa is no fool; that flimsy mask will not protect him from the vile germ that inhabits every surface in our homes. God forbid he drinks that warm milk and eats those germ-infested homemade cookies, and then brushes against that hot zone of a tree. He won’t last the night, and millions of children will be left presentless.

Our large cities, New York, Chicago, and others are adding Thanksgiving dinner to their list of hit crimes. A family can’t commune and break bread together or go to church on this peaceful day, but a family can have a funeral or go to Walmart or a strip club. How considerate is that?

This year, I will post in the local obituary that our family is mourning the loss of an esteemed member, Thomas Fowl. Visitation and the funeral service will be at our family home on Thanksgiving day. Out of respect for poor Thomas, the family and friends are requested to bring a side dish of comfort food for the attendees. Thomas will be laid out for viewing on a beautiful china platter with all the trimmings. A toast of good wine will be made in his honor. The governor is invited to attend if he pleases. Happy Thanksgiving, one and all.

” The Plan”


A short story by Phil Strawn

A short time back, in a country much like ours was at one time, a young boy lived a good life. His parents, third-generation immigrants from Europe, we’re proud that their only child will be the first in their family to attend a university.

When Babalou was six years old, he asked his mother about two pictures hanging on the wall in their dining room. There was a painting of a sad-eyed man with long hair and a beard, hands clasped, staring upward. The other picture was not a painting, but a fancy written document on yellowish paper. His mother said the man with the sad eyes is our Lord and Savior, and the other picture is what we live by every day as a free nation. Babalou never understood her explanation, but he knew his mother was wise, and he trusted her.

When Babalou turned ten, he worked after school with his father in the family shoe repair shop. His father, a proud citizen, wanted his son to know the value of hard work and learn life’s lessons to build the boys’ self-esteem. Babalou was diligent and learned well. He flourished and became a good student and a fine young man.

The day Babalou arrived at the university, as he and his parents stood by their old car parked in front of his dormitory, they hugged him harder than he could remember. His mother said to him, ” Babalou, take this gift of education that you have been blessed with, and use it to better yourself and your future family. Don’t forget that this country allows you to be anything you wish to be. Go with the grace of God.” He nodded that he would do just that.

Two years into his university education, Babalou was a changed man. The years of professors preaching inequality and pushing socialistic doctrine had soured his once optimistic look on life. He believed God to be a fraud. The professors said the revolution is upon us, and ” The Plan” is being implemented as we speak. How could he argue? They knew everything.

His visits home became less frequent, and when there, he argued with his parents about the smallest of things, calling them fools and ignorant and useless old people because they couldn’t see his way is the only way. His family didn’t know their son, and it broke their hearts. In the last year of school, he didn’t visit for the holidays or summer and didn’t call home once. Letters from home were tossed into the wastebasket; the uncoupling was complete. The “Plan” had secured another convert.

The world of technology awaited Babalou. He invented an application for smartphones that was so new to the industry that the country’s largest companies begged to purchase it. He declined to sell what he had worked so hard to build. His pride was still intact but waning. His university education had paid off well. His parents saved their entire working life to pay for his newfound success, but not one word of gratitude came from Babalou.

Babalou formed a company that soon became the largest and most powerful in the tech world. He resisted selling and fought numerous hostile takeovers, but he lost the battle one day, weakend from the constant barrage, he signed their documents. His company was taken from him for the better of the people and for the “Plan.” Babalou was pushed out and swept away.

A rich man beyond anyone’s dreams, he lived a quiet life in a beautiful beachfront home in the land of the sun. Contact with his parents had ceased years ago. He sometimes wondered what they were doing, but he cared not enough to contact them.

The television news said the “Plan” was now in full effect. Social Pensions were canceled, the money to be used for illegal immigrants and others without. Medical insurance was banned. Others came first; citizens came last. Seniors and the disabled and infirmed were sent to retirement camps to live out their last days. Their property was re-distributed to the needy. They were of no use to this “one society” and contributed nothing. Babalou was not concerned; he had more money than God in off-shore and foreign banks. So what if he had to give some to the less fortunate. The “Plan” is right.

Babalou awoke from a sweaty, hellish nightmare. He is now, after many years, concerned about his parents and their well being. Why has he been such a self-centered, greedy fool? He had no answer, but he felt he must see them.

The private jet landed at the small mid-western airport, and Babalou chartered a limo to drive him to his childhood home. The neighborhood was different now, rundown and dirty. Old cars on jacks littered the front yards of the manicured lawns he knew as a child. This was not home; this was block after block of Hell. He knocked on the door of his parent’s home. A young boy answered. In broken English, he explained that the former owners had been moved to a “Retirement Camp,” and his family lived here now. The rose bushes so beloved by his mother lay dead in their flowerbed.

Babalou used his own application to track his parents to a Retirement Camp located an hour away. Arriving, the agency representative, a young lady with a surly attitude, took him to their apartment. She unlocked the door and led him into a small room with a double bed and a kitchenette. Babalou asked where his parents were. The young lady said they had died a few weeks before but had left a large envelope for him. She reminded Babalou that all of their belonging were now the property of ” The Plan,” and he could remove nothing from this room. He was gobsmacked. The Plan was implemented to help everyone live a better life, not put old people in camps and confiscate their personal belongings. What in the Hell has happened to his country? Where had he been?

Babalou sat on his parent’s bed. The quilt his grandmother made, the satin pillow with the cross his mother loved so dearly, and his father’s worn pipe lay on the nightstand. Childhood memories flooded his senses, and tears of sorrow and regret came to his eyes. He opened the envelope. The first document he removed was the man with sad eyes, our “Lord and Savior.” His mother’s words came to him. The second document was the written words that hung in the lovely frame in their dining room. He studied it for a moment and then began to read aloud The Declaration of Independence of the United States of America for the first time in his life.

Old and Gray, But Still Rockin It!


A poster I came up with for our 2006 Big D 60s Legends concert in Dallas. The cream of the crop rock bands from the 60s came out to play one more time.

I’m Bored. I Think I’ll become a Beatnik !


A personal journey to become a Hep Cat. By Phil Strawn

Sluggo-nik

I am bored and uninspired. Writers’ block has crippled my creativity, and painting a picture on canvas no longer holds my interest. My guitar rest in a closet, untouched for two-years. My barber hasn’t cut my hair in months, and my goatee is taking shape, so the time is right for a change.

Last night, during supper, I announced to my wife that I have decided to become a “Beatnik.” Without looking up from her casserole, she asked if it will be like when I decided to become a “Hare Krishna” and move to India to play the sitar and hang out with Yogi’s. Ouch, that stung. She knows me too well.

“This coming Monday,” I say, “around 9 AM CST, I will no longer be a grumpy old guy, but instead, will become a finger-snapping, beret wearing, caffein guzzling, poetry writing, deep thinking Hep Cat.” She touched my whiskery cheek and said, ” now won’t that be fun.” She thinks I am not serious this time, but she can hide and watch.

I didn’t realize a change was afoot six months ago. The transformation has been silent and gradual. It’s as if Tinker Bell, the Beat Fairy, has visited every night and sprinkled pixie dust on my pillow.

A month back, out of the blue, I re-visited “On The Road” by the great beat author Jack Kerouac. It’s a challenging read, but I made it through for a second time. The free and rebellious nature of the characters piqued my imagination. If I can capture the “cool factor,” it might add a few more years to my punch card. Daydreams have no age limit or shelf life.

The Great Pumpkin Made Me Do it, 2.0


This is a post from a few Halloween’s ago. Since many of the kiddos will not be trick or treating this year because of the ” Rona,” I thought it a good time to revisit. Enjoy.

I did something last night that surprised myself, and that’s always a good thing these days. I watched ” Its The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown” the preverbeal 1960s Halloween show.

It was comforting to see the old Peanuts gang looking so healthy and young. Pig Pen and Linus are still my favorites. Charlie Brown has a defeatist attitude, so I never got into him. I told my wife, Maureen, that it rejuvenated my interest in Halloween and trick-or-treating while watching that program. Things are going to be different this year, I declared.

As a child, I fondly remember the anticipation of Halloween. When October 1st came around, the kids in my neighborhood counted the days until the 31st. Back in the day (the 1950s), we celebrated Halloween on the actual date and did our begging on that evening, in the dark, and even if it was a school night. We were tough kids back in those days, staying up late and actually going to school the next day. We didn’t need a weekend to recover and didn’t know what a safe room was. Trick-or-treating was damn serious stuff for us, and we were good at it.

In a fit of nostalgia, I announced to my wife that I will go trick-or-treating this year. For now, she is going along with the idea as if I am joking. I tell her I am not, and she can hide and watch. As for a costume, I will wear a black t-shirt, a black jacket, jeans and sneakers, and possibly a Texas Rangers ball cap if the weather is inclement. I will not carry a glow stick or a flashlight; that’s for babies. If I can’t find a group of kids to walk with for some reason, I will trudge on by myself. I am determined to experience one last Halloween before that tall, robe-wearing dude with a sickle knock on my door. This has evolved into a bucket list thing, and I must see it through.

I have given this some thought and have worked out the perfect plan accepted in today’s society. When I ring the first doorbell, and a smiling man or woman answers, I will say trick-or-treat holding their bowel of candy. Their first reaction will be to say, “where’s your grandkid, or what the hell is this.” Either one, I’m ready. I will look them straight in their parental eye and say, ” I identify as a 6-year-old.” I will either come home with a full bag of goodies or be bonding out of jail. It’s going to be a good Halloween this year.

President Trump Reveals He is Superman After Fighting The Corona Virus


Photo courtesy of The Daily Planet

During a campaign rally yesterday, President Donald Trump revealed that he is now “Superman” after successfully beating the Corona Virus.

His personal physician says, “I have no clue how this happened, but it’s a done deal, and we have to live with it.” Dr. Seamus Scaromuche of The Institute For Super Hero’s said the most likely cause was the intense steroid therapy, along with the high doses of secret sauce from Johnson and Johnson. The First Lady was also seen feeding him a glowing green soup that may have been smuggled from the planet Krypton.

Concluding his speech, The President ripped off his expensive suit and flew off the stage, “faster than a speeding bullet.” Within seconds, he buzzed a Biden campaign rally being held at an airport a few states away. The small and confused crowd ran screaming from the tarmac as the flash of blue and red broke the sound barrier a few feet above their heads. The President then used his laser vision to melt the tires on Biden’s plane and welded the doors shut.

Upon returning to his rally, Superman/POTUS brought to the stage “Penny Lane,” great-granddaughter of Lois Lane. She tearfully remarked to the crowd, “my great granny would have been so proud.” President Trump then called White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnanny/Starlight to the stage, and the two superheroes held arms high in a victory celebration.

Judge Amy Coney Barrett Arrives at Supreme Court Hearing In Costume


October 12, 2020- The Dead South News Service – photo courtesy of Jackie Kennedy Onassis.

Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett got day one of her bi-partisan hearing off to a rousing start by dressing in costume. It appears her attire is that of a handmaiden from the hit Hulu series “A Handmaids Tale.”

Senator Diane Feinstein and Kamala Harris ran from the proceedings screaming. A doctor was summoned to administer a sedative to both women before the hearing could proceed. Senator Corey Booker, a fan of the show, said, “I don’t agree with her on anything, but Judge Barrett looks pretty darn hot.”

Senator Lindsey Graham, the committee’s chairmen, got a chuckle from the stunt and told the remaining panel, “come on now, it’s almost Halloween.”

Judge Barrett, in her opening statement, said, “I only wanted to interject a bit of fun in this hearing.” She further unhinged the Democrats on the panel by placing small figurines of Jesus and the Pope in front of her microphone and lighting a prayer candle.

Seattle Orders 14 K Safe Space Containers In Case Trumps Wins


Seattle WA – October 11- As reported by Phil Strawn The Dead South News Service – picture courtesy of Ernie Kovacs

The Seattle Washington city council has placed an emergency order for 14,000 converted shipping containers to be used as “safe spaces” for their growing millennial population in the event that President Trump wins a second term. The tiny units, manufactured by Denver based “Hidey Hole Conversions” will be positioned around the areas frequented by millennial protesters.

Jim Box, CEO of Hidey Hole says the converted shipping containers are state of the art with Wi-Fi, a bathroom and a comfortable bed which includes a “heavy blanket.” Each unit will cost the city of Seattle approximately $ 4,000 US Dollars and will be delivered and in place by no later than November 1st, 2020.

In order to deter the homeless from moving into the “safe spaces,” a special patch will be required for millennial’s seeking refuge. The patches can be purchased at Starbucks for $10.00 or on Amazon.

President Trump Issues Final Last Wish While Dining at McDonald’s


Washington DC. Friday, October 9, 2020 – The Dead South News Service, Reported by Phil Strawn. Photographs by the late Ansel Adams.

Keeping with the newest protocol in Washington and the requirements of the President. POTUS Trump, via Twitter, announced Friday morning that he is issuing his “Final Last Wish” just in case he relapses with the Corona 19 Virus. The Secret Service tweeted that the President, during his weekly visit to McDonald’s, sent the tweet in between bites of a Double Meat Big Mac. Speaker of The House, Nancy Pelosi, not to be ignored, texted from her weekly hair salon appointment, stating that she will be issuing her “Final Last Wish” later today, making it number two in the rotation. Her tweet was accompanied by a selfie of her eating a Ben and Jerry’s ice cream sandwich while sitting under a hairdryer.

Nancy Pelosi on a recent visit to Oz

President Trump tweeted to Speaker Pelosi that she needs not to waste her time since his tremendous and wonderful wish will trump hers. He jokingly remarked that he heard from a little birdie, her squad of “Flying Monkeys” walked off the job because they haven’t been paid since May. The President reassured Speaker Pelosi that the White House will be doing “everything in our power” to ensure her final wish is granted as soon as possible.

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris tweeted that they will also issue their “Final Last Wish” after being elected. AOC tweeted, ” Hey, what about mine?”

SuperFly Attacks Pence-Disrupts Debate


Photo courtesy of Google

The pesky fly that landed on Vice President Mike Pence head during the debate on Tuesday evening has been identified as a ” Super-Fly Robot Drone.” Bud Zapper, head engineer for Acme Drone Supply confirmed to the press on Wednesday morning, that the drone was one of their new prototypes and is investigating how it escaped their R&D lab.

Zapper says that this particular drone is capable of reading minds and was being used to transmit the Vice Presidents’ thoughts to Kamala Harris via a receiver in her left ear.

Zapper added, “Mr. Pence had an extreme amount of hair-spray holding his hair-doo in place, so the electronics in the drone were most likely unable to penetrate the chemical barrier and were rendered useless, resulting in an annoying amount of feedback in Ms. Harris’s earpiece.”

Dr. Seamus Scaramauche from the Institute Of Extreme Behaviors stated, “this would explain Ms. Harris’ loss of concentration, skewed historical facts, odd facial expressions, and her general bitchiness. The Vice President said he wasn’t aware of the fly and felt no pain.

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