Fruit Cake...third exit
Volume 35, Number 4
Page 2 • San Juan Horseshoe • Winter 2011 Mt. Crested Butte’s friendly little family-owned lodge
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WARNING TO ALL CITIZENS
With the holidays upon us local residents and visitors alike are hereby warned that the artsy-craftsy types are out in force and could be working your neighborhood at this very moment. These annoying individuals can even be observed going through the winter garbage in order to satisfy their creative obsessions. Fresh from looting the alleys they will then return to their little hovels and attempt to turn stinky milk cartons into furry little bunnies and even fashion Yuletide headgear from pizza boxes or banana crates. Please watch your coffee grinds since these warped craftspersons will often attempt to reconstruct replicas of ski villages from soggy grinds and bits of aluminum. Bird houses are particularly popular, especially within circles of depraved artists who intend to spend the rest of the winter somewhere warm, with your money as a cushion. To further illustrate our point were you aware that the state of Colorado reported that over 400 traffic signs were stolen between December 1 and December 20 in 2010 alone? Many turned up as pirated lazy susans by New Year’s Eve. The best advice? Withhold all your garbage until after the new year. This way a concerned citizen deprives these parasites of the raw materials necessary to continue the age-old assault on all that is still right and decent within our borders. If this doesn’t work, we suggest a small caliber pistol at close range. Sure, that’s radical but considering the circumstances...With the cops out patrolling the bars for revelers during the holidays we must take matters into our own hands or soon there will be no garbage left to hand down to our children. Lest we forget, we are all responsible for the trash that we generate until it hits the landfill and that’s the American way. -Editor
ANOTHER GROPPO APOLOGY
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 unruffle 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 delousing effort and some color pictures of Melvin Toole hanging Christmas lights at the one of our many local 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 in Kenner, Louisiana, are true. This accusation can be verified by speaking to the elf’s dietitian
We’re just a short drive away in Gunnison – 30 minutes south of Crested Butte and 50 minutes west of Monarch Mountain
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Furthermore attempts at collecting damages from this publication by the family of Groppo are unfounded and illegal. 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. - Editor
Winter 2011 • San Juan Horseshoe • Page 3
INSIDE YOUR ISSUE Holiday Cookies Even the Dog Won’t Eat But a Hot Oven Keeps the Whole House Toasty! by Codger Bacon
in Culinary Quirks and Quibbles Dinosaur Extinction Linked to Holiday Cheer Burning the Candle at Most Ends with Sir Otis of Liver
In Temporary Lifestyles Breaking Down Emotional Chorals for Christmas What can you do when the cows come home? with Dr. Efram Pennywhistle BFD, LSMFT
In Fleeting Mental Health
New Proof Surfaces: Santa Not An American Probably a Russian spy says former CIA operative by Fred Zeppelin
in Zenith Celebrity Watch Aggressive shoplifting for your Holiday Table It couldn’t be easier and more fun! by Small Mouth Bess
In Getting Started’s the Hardest Part Plus extended postulates to eat, drink, fall from, roll in and be frightened to face. Pick up your copy where you have your hoofs clipped!
Gunnison “Pretty Cold” Last Night (Gunnison) Weather factions holed up here in their woolies, confirm that Gunnison was “pretty cold” last night. Although the exact temperature was never confirmed, unreliable sources at Main and Tomichi say levels dropped well below others state wide. Conflicting reports, filed by rogue weather forecasters in fur hats tagged the temperatures as “damn cold”. The problem monitoring weather in the Gunnison Valley has something to do with the critical measuring apparatus freezing and therefore not giving an accurate testimony to the chill. “At least the wind doesn’t blow that much,” said one life long resident, “and the summers are heavenly. Plus, when it gets this cold the little temperature machine on the bank freezes so we don’t have that frigid reminder to contend with each morning,” she bbrrrred.
Page 4 • San Juan Horseshoe • Winter 2011
Christmas Eve Blowout Feared
Shocking But True
Santa Claus Canadian
(Ottowa) The red-clad warrior of Christmas has admitted his Canadian ancestry today much to the dismay of millions of fans south of the border in the United States. Humbug. “We are stunned,” said a spokesman for retailers here. “Why would he mislead us? Why would he impersonate himself in such a cruel way? He should be punished!” For centuries Santa Claus was considered to be a product of the U.S. since his trademark image was created by people like Thomas Nast, Clarence Horning, Frank Leslie and Winslow Homer. Despite these presumptions the elf’s continued insistence that he reside at the brutal North Pole and his long association with Canada should have indicated a rat. “People would prefer to gloss over the reality of a situation rather than consider all the possibilities,” said social scientist Margaret Swede of Cal Polygamy, a visiting scholar here. “Why do they think the Canadian kids always got their
presents first? He’s been a rabid fan of the Maple Leafs since the first power play. He even goes to Expos’ games. That in itself shows substantial instability.” What this disclosure will do to Christmas down in the colonies is not known but former Presidential candidate Al Gore has bravely offered to fill in until a new Santa is appointed, or the old one is exonerated. “Santa has mislead us for too long,” continued Swede. “Even liberal academia will be slow to forgive him for this ruthless act.” As an acting Canadian, Santa is also a subject of the crown (Britain) which may not go down well in Fenian circles. “His mother was a Murphy,” added Swede, “ahh, but don’t they forget the ould sod when they make a few quid across the sea.” After the holidays the United States will consider economic sanctions against the Commonwealth of Canada for harboring the bearded fraud. - Suzie Compost
SANTA SCREENING IN HIGH GEAR (Denver) In the wake of new security fears, including a reported kidnap attempt involving the real Santa Claus, the Department of Homeland Security has issued new warnings and posted a rainbow of colored alerts for the holidays. Applicants for Santa Claus positions nationwide are facing heightened security precautions bordering on harassment. Beard tugging, stomach punching and interrogations are the norm. One Santa was jailed because he could not name the eight reindeer. Another was rejected simply because his Ho, Ho, Ho sounded “a little on the Arabic side”. Questions such as “Who won the ‘04 World Series? and strip searches aimed at uncovering subversive tattoos were repeatedly employed. “Maybe we’re overreacting but the fact remains that infiltration of the Santa venue is quite simple since all of the participants exhibit beards and wear strange outfits,” said one security agent intent on making sure the right person
comes down the chimney this year. “We’ve seen pictures of extremists from all over the Muslim world and, sadly, almost any of them could pass for Santa Claus.” “We have photos of a suspected Taliban militant at New York’s Macy’s in 2010,” said one agent. “He had the long beard and the one dimensional manner common to today’s terrorists. Any felon can get a Santa suit. He was handing out riyals and promising the mother of all Christmases. That particular verbiage tipped off floor walkers and police were summoned but the suspect vacated the area before he could be questioned.” At press time it is estimated that there are easily as many members of al-Qaeda as there are people masquerading as the true prophet, Santa Claus. U.S. policies in the Mideast have created a heightened interest in terrorism and a new draft class has emerged eager to be martyrs for Allah. Meanwhile the invasion of Iraq, the nuclear confrontation with Iran and the continued support of Israel have had little affect on the recruitment of new Santas. In an ongoing story, a State Department official today confirmed that both the FBI and the CIA have detected
(Colona) Rogue elements of the Elves’ Angels sleigh gang have pledged to go ahead with a decadent rendezvous slated for Christmas Eve it was reported this morning. The elves, normally engaged in Santa-assist duties this time of the year, are apparently blowing off legendary responsibilities in favor of the bash. “We know how these little pixies get when they drink,” flexed one Log Hill resident who is primed for trouble. “Last year they held up traffic and started bonfires all over town. What happened to the charming little sprites who used to roast chestnuts over an open fire and all that?” Last year motorists where constantly harassed along Highway 550 as the evil brownies sought funding for their sinful display. Several drivers were forced out of their cars and into the cold December night by the foul smelling elves. Sleigh gangs from the North Pole and Canada are expected to descend on the peaceful burg on about December 22 with the revelry screeching into the new year. Looting is expected. “New Year’s Eve would be a good time to stay away from the downtown strip,” said the rifle wielding local. “That’s when we plan to match muscle for muscle. We’ve had enough of their crap.”
schemes to kidnap Santa Claus and ruin Christmas. Although no arrests have been made both agencies remain firm in their resolve to “defeat Yuletide terrorism and preserve freedom”. One plot uncovered just last weekend revolves around attempts by radical Muslims to employ Balsamic elves, resentful due to years of oppression under Santa’s regime, do to their dirty work. The elves, moderate by Mideast standards are followers of Tundra Islam, a sect popular within the Arctic Circle. The plan, according to officials here, was to grab Santa at dusk on Christmas Eve and make video tapes of the jolly old elf confessing that he wasn’t real after all. How sick. A redistribution of gifts by the Palestinian Liberation Organization and a reindeer roast were slated as kickers on December 25 despite the fact that Islam does not celebrate Christmas. Meanwhile Santa, taking advantage of seasonal publicity to slam the shopping channels and big box retailers, told reporters that he feels pretty good about his chances come Christmas Eve. “We made it through tough times before and will bring the message of peace on earth once again. I just hope somebody is listening.” - Fred Zeppelin
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Winter 2011 • San Juan Horseshoe • Page 5
“Well you go Uruguay and I’ll go mine.”
- Groucho Marx
After thirty-eight years of steadfast service to this miscreant newspaper there is now talk of downsizing me. Just because I don’t watch television, eat fast food or own a cell phone they say I have lost touch. While it’s true that I have yet to master the art of texting, or heaven forbid tweeting, I can still make a difference with exacto-knives, grid sheets and wax. If my crayons are so very juvenile then why do the other staff members always borrow them? I thought I was in charge around here. That’s what it says on the outside of my office door. But that may change too. Just this morning a burly woman sportswriter reminded me that I was wearing two different color socks and the circulation director softly suggested that I trim my beard so as to be in keeping with the new corporate image here at the Horseshoe. Trim my beard! At Christmas time! What an outrage. Have these people no respect for tradition? That little upstart wasn’t around when the said beard saved three people from drowning in Blue Mesa in 1977. Nor was she present in the Nineties when my beard rubbed elbows with world leaders during the Cold War and later outshone the Taliban, Santa Claus and Fidel himself at the International Dynamic Stochastic General Equilibrium and Austerity Whiskers Competition in Stockholm. I should say not. Now the society/garden column scribe has complained that I gobble hallucinogens during the weekly staff meetings. What’s so strange about that? Isn’t he the one who writes about the emergence of the gay pet culture over in Utah? The man has no writing ability without a few martinis behind him. These nitpickers will not stop until they have my head in their trophy case and my beard on their wall. And all this with winter coming on... But I’ll turn the cubicles on them. I have a simple business plan that calls for feet (sans beard) in the sand. They can have my desk and all my pads and paperclips. I am out the revolving door never to buy doughnuts again! The nightmare of systems gone wrong. It’s the horribly deformed ancient mariner ferryman that takes us from one proverbial shore to the other, then we cannot afford the return ride. The Empire has no clothing. Occupy your conscience. At least with feudalism the peasantry had three meals a day. Guillotine solutions...arguing the merits of the French Revolution. These people are out in the
street for you. The police are victims too. If you are not part of the solution you are part of the problem. Social conscience in the face of a laugh track. When will the Democrats stop whining and show a little integrity with regard to the 99%? Obama should cut off their afternoon snacks until they stand up and fly right. Who are Republican strawberry candidates carrying on this debate charade? Karl Rove should step in and anoint one holy candidate for God and country. Better yet why doesn’t Congress simply dissolve itself and devote more hours to campaigning and enjoying holiday gift exchanges (closed the the media) with fawning lobbyists? There are no liberal or conservative journalists out there anymore. They are all corporate, dedicated to preserving the status quo and expanding the fleeced market. Eat a burger. Ask your doctor. Report all suspicious behavior. Drink Bud Lite. But let us cast this aside in favor of all that is flagella libidinous for the holidays. Did you know that the ancient Druids believed cranberries to be natural aphrodisiacs? That’s grand dogma from red-haired madmen akin to wearing woolen kilts without knickers. It’s all potentially uncomfortable and so is the news which we will attempt to report without waking the baby. Here are the leading stories as they symbiotically occur with the magic moments of your life. Our feature story probes emerging evidence that Wal-Mart will control all of the food on the planet by 2020. Already, in Bentonville’s burgeoning Chinatown, itinerant work gangs are constructing underground bunkers and warehouses to store edibles and phony country music. Tarnation…the Yellow Peril even manufactures American flags! If that’s not enough the curl your eyebrows take a look at Santa’s Baby Pictures airbrushed to perfection at the Newtopian Embassy right there on Manhattan Island. I remember a recent Christmas Eve when one surly old elf dropped a liter of Stoly onto an unforgiving rock floor of the Tribeca Grill and cried all night long. I wonder if Santa too was afraid to sit on Santa”s lap when he was young. Extra: Salmon fatalities are once again up in November. Does this phenomenon have any connection to our piece about a dorsal fin injury that could keep underwater great Melvin Toole from
the Cow Belle’s annual striped bass tournament in February? Read it here and you be the judge. Closer to home we invite our reader to attend the ribbon cutting for the new Colona roundabout which is slated for January. The exact date will appear on the sanjuanhorseshoe.com web page which is concise and easily accessible, although not particularly as functional in the house training of young puppies like the newspaper version may have been in the past. I myself will be busy producing a monthly web page from my tent in Punta del Diablo which, like my Colona digs, has yet to be confused with a room at the Waldorf-Astoria. It could be easily argued that a little water and electricity would alleviate daily burdens but that will have to come after they deliver the Murphy bed and telescopes. Meanwhile people ‘round hea’ have been anxiously awaiting the next episode on the BLM decision to ban sacred cows from public land. Will there be a fight? One side insists that cows have the same rights as people and the other says “Let’s Eat!”. Yes, it could be easily argued that intelligence tests are discriminatory, especially in cases of grazing and national security. If you’re looking for a compact schedule on winter peak closings please refer to the High Country Atlas and Pornographic Topo Map located above 14,000 feet in the back of this paper. It’s right next to the tedious, rambling testimony of the Missing Link, outlining his/her successful attempts to elude the Montrose Police Department. In closing we would like to remind all residents and guests that the Ute Curse, placed on Telluride in the 1880s is up for renewal. Potential endorsements/contributions are encouraged. What a wonderful community. And don’t forget that January 2 is Take Your Libido to Work Day! And finally, with a gritty oath spewing from my chattering bicuspids, I bid winter a fond adieu.
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Page 6 • San Juan Horseshoe • Winter 2011
Late Christmas Delivery Nets Surprise
Holiday Recipes #611
(Manana) A Christmas parcel, postmarked December, 1885 was delivered to the residence of Melvin O’Toole here Friday. Despite the fact that the original package was sent to O’Toole’s great grandfather it was decided that the current occupant was rightful recipient. “It’s hard to believe that a package could float around in postal space for over 100 years,” said a post office spokesman. “It’s quite a phenomenon. We don’t generally misplace mail, especially for that long a time.” Upon opening the well-wrapped gift, O’Toole and his family discovered that the present was an exotic Greek goat cheese, purchased on the island of Kos by a friend of the senior O’Toole’s on his way home from the Crimean War. “I’m surprised that the cheese made it through our stepped-up security. Maybe that’s why it was mailed surface ship back in 1885, that and the fact that we didn’t have air mail back then. Rather than eat the tenuously aged cheese, the O’Tooles plan to return the cheese to Greece where it will be enshrined somewhere on the island of Cyprus as a warning against armed aggression by Turkish forces there. - Fred Zeppelin
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FRUITCAKE TARDY, PAPER APOLOGIZES (Ouray) The saga of the missing fruitcake goes on. It’s December and it’s still not here. Earlier today the San Juan Horseshoe made a formal apology to a hungry clientele anxiously awaiting the arrival of their holiday fruitcake. According to food editors, the shipment was misplaced somewhere between the cities of Istanbul and Athens, an area frequented by free lance highwaymen but not Islamic terrorists as was first feared. “That was back in November,” said Melvin Toole, coordinator of the massive fruitcake landings. “We’re tired of answers, we want excuses!” All told the fruitcake cargo, clearly marked with large block letters spelling out USA, weighs in at about 112 tons and had originally been shipped from Damascus on November 20. After a scheduled stopover in Cyprus, where it soaked in rum for three days due to Muslim laws against the use of spirits, it crossed a slight stretch of the Mediterranean Sea landing on the Turkish mainland at Anamur. From that spot the fruitcake joined a colossal caravan and headed overland arriving in Istanbul in late November. “How could we lose that much of anything?” whined Toole. “The cargo was larger than many of the Greek Islands. At the present we are not discounting any possibility, including sabotage.” Toole has been reminded that his banter might be offensive to the millions of Arabs that currently surround him in Turkey. He has softened his approach since that time, extending a pathetic plea for the safe return of the fruitcake. “There are countless little children in the Free World awaiting the arrival of the heavy, spiced cake containing nuts and candied/dried fruit,” spouted Toole. “The hateful men who interrupted the shipment are nothing more than naughty.”
Celebrate the holidays with a
A response within the Syrian embassy here suggests that little children do not generally like fruitcake especially since someone once suggested that the treat may be good for them. “Our operatives in the Mid East have no knowledge of the whereabouts of the cargo,” said diplomatic spokesperson Mohammed Tululah, of the Damascus Tululahs. “Maybe those horrible Kurds are building houses with the stuff!” Unreliable sources in Greece say the shipment was most likely high-jacked near Gallipoli and taken to Bulgaria for distribution through the black market. Eyewitnesses say they observed long trains of camels, mules and llamas crossing the Greek frontier last week but thought nothing of it until the fruitcake cargo pulled up lame. Toole, who has curbed his demands for a legendary Ninth Crusade “to free Asia Minor from the infidels”, told reporters Friday that unless the situation is resolved soon it could lead to all-out war by the new year. Back in Colorado the Horseshoe staff continues to pace up and down the darkroom floor, obsessed with the missing fruitcake. On the heels of this frustration critics within the industry are accusing the paper of making the whole thing up to gain positive publicity. “Publicity my eye,” quipped Toole. “We’re making it up to fill space. After 24 years of Santa, elves and reindeer you try to write yet another Christmas issue.” For the past two decades the paper has presented more than 20,000 families with the confection over the Yuletide. “If the fruitcake is not rescued soon we will be forced to begin phase two of our Christmas plan...the distribution of 400,000 cases of canned yams. Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that,” he frowned. - Bastardo Vehemente
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Winter 2011 • San Juan Horseshoe • Page 7
NORWOOD ENFORCES MANDATORY NAP ORDINANCE
Snow architects need permit
(Goodenough Gulch) The town of Norwood plans to penalize residents who refuse to take an afternoon nap during the month of January. The siestas, suggested to be at least an hour in length, are said to improve the general attitude of the populace and make things more relaxed for everyone. “People really get crabby around here when winter sets in,” said Morpheus Snoozer, a retired Wright’s Mesa rancher and hibernation proponent. “All they need is a little time-out in the early afternoon and their overall outlook is much brighter.” Snoozer pointed to the town’s population of dogs and cats, who are known to take a nap at
the slightest provocation. “You don’t see these creatures barking and hissing at people all winter long, do you?” he asked. Designated nap times will be formulated in alphabetical order, but will be limited to the confines of early afternoon according to Snoozer. People who refuse to cooperate will be sent to bed without dinner. “No matter what benefits surface, it is inconceivable for everyone to go to sleep at the same time,” he confessed. “Hell, if that happened some stranger could waltz right in and steal the whole town.” -Alfalfa Romero
IMPERSONATING SANTA NETS ARRESTS
(Denver) Police report the arrests of more than 50 Santa impersonators since Thursday night. The drastic increase is blamed on the holidays. “We’ve arrested more Santa impersonators this week alone than we did during the entire month of July,” said Sergeant Will Malarkey, of the Denver Police Department. Other sources here told The Horseshoe that police units have been apprehending the phony Santas at a rate of seven per day and holding them inside Corporate Sellout Stadium. At the present arrest rate the cops should have collected about 200 of the Santa Clauses. Most arrests occur in and around department stores and other retail outlets say police. Often the Santas are nabbed while ringing a bell, laughing loudly or walking around in bright clothes. “It’s like they want to be caught,” said Malarkey. “It’s like, you know, the lemurs... or otters...or lemmings thing.” Authorities have promised to rid the streets of these pests before Christmas Eve. Most will no doubt be incarcerated right through the Yuletide and let out sometime in the spring unless other charges are pending. Sadly, many Santa impersonators drink, or at least that is how they were portrayed in those 1940s black and white Christmas movies. “We finally secure accommodations for these bums and, wouldn’t you know it, we find out that the other bums (the Broncos) will be using the facility on weekends in January,” said the detective. When asked why he called the Broncos “bums” when they have enjoyed such a tremendously successful season, Malarkey said that he’s never be happy no matter how many Super Bowls the team won. “I long for the days of Frank Tripuka,” sobbed Malarkey. A local psychologist, Dr. Efram J. Pennywhistle says the Santas are a sick lot to be sure. “The entire sub culture is comprised of persons who do not receive enough love and attention during the rest of the year. They jump on this Santa bandwagon around Christmas hoping to make up a little bit,” he smiled. “They’re, in a sense, trying to cut their emotional losses by donning a red suit and beard and prancing around giving away presents. Most don’t have two nickels to rub together.” Pennywhistle is currently treating several of the heel-cooling Kris Kringles at Sports Authority Stadium. He says he’ll stay with the group in an attempt to bring them back to reality before Valentine’s Day. “We’d hate like hell to see these same people buzzing around like Cupids, bothering everybody,” he frowned.
(Crested Butte) Persons engaged at building structures from snow must have a valid building permit according to inspectors here in Gunnison County. Projects such as snow forts, snow pits, ice/snow sculptures, trophy igloos and even snowmen fall under this new regulation enacted by county officials on Tuesday. The action comes amid fears of overwhelming snow depths this year. The legislation goes into effect in 2012 giving residents and visitors a grace period in which to finish up projects started in December. It remains to be seen whether or not other counties will follow suit on the controversial move. “We’re forced to do something,” said one council member. “We can’t stand by while people build and build. So what if it’s all going to melt someday,” she said. “We’re concerned with right now. While we don’t blame people for taking advantage of cheap building material the situation here is deteriorating into anarchy.” According to county records some 250 snow structures have sprung up since the last big dump, often blocking access roads and pedestrian pathways throughout the municipal region. With another 48 inches of snow forecast for this evening it’s a now or never proposition according to our sources. “We busted a couple of kids building a snowman Friday right out on Highway 135,” said the source. “Now what were they thinking? After January 1 these kinds of violations will be subject to fine.” It was not clear if tunnels, wind breaks, mounds or snowmaking operations would fall under this fresh criteria. County officials promised to go easy on juveniles guilty of infractions, unless the situation is deemed aggravated. Citizens are reminded that stacked firewood, parked cars and loitering will be tolerated in accordance with the existing statutes. - Small Mouth Bess
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Page 8 • San Juan Horseshoe • Winter 2011
It was Christmas Eve on Lonesome. But nobody on Lonesome knew it was Christmas Eve, although a child of the outer world could have guessed it, even out in those wilds where Lonesome slipped from one lone log cabin high up in the steeps, down through a stretch of jungled darkness to another lone cabin at the mouth of the stream. There was the holy hush in the gray twilight that comes only on Christmas Eve. There were the big flakes of snow that fell as they never fall except on Christmas Eve. There was a snowy man on horseback in a big coat, with saddle pockets that might have been busting with toys for children in the little cabin at the head of the stream. But not even he knew that it was Christmas Eve. He was thinking of Christmas Eve, but it was of a Christmas Eve of the year before, when he sat in prison with other men in stripes, and listened to the chaplain talk of peace and goodwill to all men upon earth, when he had forgotten all men on earth but one, and had only hatred in his heart for him. “Vengeance is mine!” saith the Lord That was what the chaplain had thundered at him. And then, as now, he thought of the enemy who had betrayed him to the law, and had sworn away his liberty, and had robbed him of everything in life except a fierce longing for the day when he could strike back and strike to kill. And then, while he looked back hard into the chaplain’s eyes, and now, while he splashed through the yellow mud thinking of that Christmas Eve, Buck shook his head; and then, as now, his sullen heart answered: “Mine!” The big flakes drifted to crotch and twig and limb. They gathered on the brim of his hat, filled out the wrinkles in his big coat, whitened his hair and his long mustache, and sifted into the yellow twisting path that guided his horse’s feet. High above he could see through the whirling snow now and then the gleam of a red star. He knew it was the light from his enemy’s window; but somehow the chaplain’s voice kept ringing in his ears, and every time he saw the light
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he couldn’t help thinking of the story of the Star that the chaplain told that Christmas Eve, and he dropped his eyes by and by, so as not to see it again, and rode on until the light shone in his face. He led his horse up a little ravine and hitched it among the snowy holly and rhododendrons, and slipped toward the light. There was a dog somewhere, of course; and like a thief he climbed over the low-rail fence and stole through the tall snow-wet grass until he leaned against an apple tree with the sill of the window two feet above the level of his eyes. Reaching above him he caught a stout limb and dragged himself up to the crotch of the tree. A mass of snow slipped softly to the earth. The branch creaked above the light wind; around the corner of the house a dog growled and he sat still. He had waited three long years and he had ridden two hard nights and lain out two cold days in the woods for this. And presently he reached out very carefully, and noiselessly broke leaf and branch and twig until a passage was cleared for his eye and for the point of the pistol that was gripped in his right hand. A woman was just disappearing through the kitchen door, and he peered cautiously and saw nothing but darting shadows. From one corner a shadow loomed suddenly out in human shape. Buck saw the shadowed gesture of an arm, and he cocked his pistol. That shadow was his man and in a moment he would be in a chair in the chimney corner to smoke his pipe, maybe his last pipe. Buck smiled. Pure hatred made him smile.But it was a mean, a mean and sorry thing to shoot a man in the back, dog though he was; and now that the moment had come a wave of sickening shame ran through Buck. No one of his name had ever done that before; but this man and his people had, and with their own lips had framed palliation for him. What was fair for one was fair for the other, they always said. The poor man couldn’t fight money in the courts; and so they had shot from the brush, and that was why they were rich now and Buck was poor--why his enemy was safe at home and he was out there, homeless, in the apple tree. Buck thought of all this, but it was no use. The shadow slouched suddenly and disappeared; and Buck was glad. With a gritting oath between his chattering teeth he pulled his pistol in and thrust one leg down to swing from the tree. He would meet him face-to-face the next day and kill him like a man. And there he hung as rigid as though the cold had suddenly turned him, blood, bones and marrow, into ice.
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The door had opened and full in the firelight stood the girl who he had heard was dead. He knew now how and why that word was sent to him. And now she who had been his sweetheart stood before him--the wife of the man he meant to kill. Her lips moved and Buck thought he could tell what she said: “Git up Jim, git up!” Then she went back. A flame flared up within him now that must have come straight from the devil’s forge. Again the shadows played over the ceiling. His teeth grated as he cocked his pistol, and pointed it down the beam of light that shot into the heart of the apple tree, and waited. The shadow of a head shot along the rafters and over the fireplace. It was a madman clutching the butt of the pistol now, and as his eyes caught the glinting sight and his heart thumped, there stepped into the square light of the window--a child! It was a boy with yellow tumbled hair, and he had a puppy in his arms. In front of the fire the little fellow dropped the dog, and they began to play. “Yap! Yap! Yap!” Buck could hear the shrill barking of the fat little dog, and the joyous shrieks of the child as he made his playfellow chase his tail round and round or tumbled him head over heels on the floor. It was the first child Buck had seen for three years; it was his child and hers; and, in the apple tree Buck watched fixedly. They were down on the floor now, rolling over and over together; and he watched them until the child grew tired and turned his face to the fire and lay still, looking into it. Buck could see his eyes close presently, and then the puppy crept closer, put his head on his playmate’s chest, and the two lay thus asleep. And still Buck looked, his clasp loosening on his pistol and his lips loosening under his stiff mustache, and kept looking until the door opened again and the woman crossed the floor. A flood of light flashed quickly on the snow, barely touching the snow-hung tips of the apple tree, and he saw her in the doorway. He saw her look anxiously into the darkness, looking and listening for a long while. Buck dropped noiselessly to the snow when she closed the door. He wondered what they would think when they saw his tracks in the snow the next morning; and then he realized they would be covered before morning, as if Buck had never been there at all. As he started up the ravine where his horse was he heard the clink of metal down the road and the splash of a horse’s hoofs in the soft mud, and he sank down behind a holly bush. Again the light from the cabin flashed out on the snow. “That you Jim?” “Yep!” And then the child’s voice: “Has oo dot thumb tandy?” “Yep!” The cheery answer rang out almost at Buck’s ear, and Jim passed death waiting for him behind the bush which his left foot brushed, shaking the snow from the red berries down on the crouching figure beneath. Only once, far down the dark jangled way, with the underlying streak of yellow that was leading him whither, God only knew--once only Buck looked back. There was the red light gleaming faintly through the moonlit flakes of snow. Once more he thought of the Star and once more the chaplain’s voice came back to him. “Mine! saith the Lord. Just how, Buck could not see himself in the snow and him back there for life with her and the child, but some strange impulse made him bare his head. “Yourn,” said Buck grimly. But nobody on Lonesome --- not even Buck--- knew it was Christmas Eve.
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Winter 2011 • San Juan Horseshoe • Page 9
DOG COURT CLOSED FOR HOLIDAYS (Crested Butte) When the mice are away the cats will play or so it would seem for local pooches as the town dog court will adjourn for the holidays. Animal control officers will be replaced by a contingent of volunteers comprised of local anarchists, and militant members of the state humane society. “It’s a great time to let Rover cruise,” said one rogue town official who insists that dogs create far less problem than humans in the mountain town. In a dog court update, Sam, a large golden retriever and Ginger, a small black cocker spaniel were married in a civil ceremony Friday and Dutch, a Chinese pug was deported for knocking over garbage cans on Sopris. Municipal Judge Harold Tail fined Max, a large German Shepherd ten dollars for chasing cars on Elk Avenue. Max had claimed that he was only following orders and that all charges should be dropped due in part to the fact that he didn’t successfully catch any of them. Dog court will once again open on January 3.
Police Bust Nudist Ice Fishermen (Sapinero) Gunnison authorities confirmed reports that they have taken a group of ice fisherman into custody for allegedly violating indecent exposure laws along Blue Mesa. The frozen anglers are being held indoors at the Gunnison County jail until appropriate attire can be secured. “After we get them covered we’ll be running some tests that we hope will determine if insanity pleas will be entertained by a local judge,” said one dispatcher. The piscatorial nudist colony, comprised of 16 men and 3 women was spotted fishing near Never Sink on Tuesday but managed to elude police until the weekend, due to a series of hit and run tactics which netted the group enough trout to feed Lake City for about a month. “They’re a hardy group,” said one officer. “We hated to bust them but the law stipulates that ice fishermen carry licenses on their person and these folks didn’t have pockets.”
ST. ROSCOE APPEARS TO WAL-MART SHOPPERS
(Montrose) The patron of excessive consumerism, St. Roscoe of Mesquite, reportedly appeared to several hundred Wal-Mart enthusiasts as they left the outlet Friday. The Christmas season generates colossal throngs of witless vendees and countless millions of dollars for the Arkansas- based discount house as mindless shopping herds get into the holiday spirit. St. Roscoe urged the faithful to spend more money, often physically pushing some of the fringe element back into the store. He assured late arrivals and the uninitiated that they would be rewarded for spending right up to the limit on their credit cards. “It’s all fine and dandy to spend the week’s paycheck on items marked down from the regular price,” proclaimed St. Roscoe. The last documented sighting of the consumer saint occurred two years ago when St. Roscoe appeared to a contingent of gamblers enjoying the new casinos in Cripple Creek. That time he showed up in a powder blue leisure suit and white loafers. This latest visit featured Roscoe in a more subtle getup characterized by a plumed top hat made in Canada, Palestinian fatigues and beaded moccasins made in Taiwan. This ensemble was underscored by green and white Dutch argyle socks and a snappy Mexican bolo tie presented to Roscoe by a former governor of Sonora in 1983. A crisp, silk Parisian cape complimented the entire costume emphasizing the saint’s loyalty to mass marketing and lip service to products made in the U.S.A. “The frugal shall inherit the earth while the spendthrift shall enter the Kingdom of Mass Merchandizing,” wailed Roscoe from his new found perch above a line of shopping carts. Give Caesar what is Caesar’s and give Wal-Mart what is Wal-Mart’s!” The saint then used a fender-bender as a diversion, stole a 1959 Ford station wagon from the parking lot and headed off toward Gunnison. He has not been seen since.
CBMR to purchase “feeder college”
Crested Butte Mountain Resort announced plans to purchase Western State College as a feeder facility by the end of the month. Although details are sketchy it appears that the ski resort wants to assure the presence of skier days and provide a place to educate the public as to space charges. “We don’t know what space charges are but we’ll be offering an academic explanation real damn soon,” said Dr. Ethel Marmotbreath, coordinator of the controversial acquisition. “The formula is elusive but has something to do with the multiplication of .0175 by the number of college grads flipping burgers in the Gunnison Valley. Now, when students cut morning classes, they can buy a half day ticket and nobody will tell their parents.”
COPS WILL FIRE ONLY ON WHITES
(Los Angeles) Local police departments have been instructed to open fire only on white perpetrators over the holidays it was disclosed today. “The other groups bitch too much when we shoot at them,” said acting police commissar Wanda Wanna, of Pepper Hills. “We’re trying to keep a lid on things at least until after the holidays,” she said.
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Page 10 • San Juan Horseshoe • Winter 2011
Superman Gets Cell Phone
North Pole Military Buildup Concerns UN
(Brussels) Well documented military expansion on the normally tranquil North Pole has bureaucrats hopping down here at NATO. Experts today confirmed the shipment of more than 200 refurbished tanks from Late Britain and some 30 aircraft from the Franks. In addition the North Pole is in the final negotiations with the United Steaks over the lease of a dozen nuclear submarines and an undisclosed number of Phooey helicopters. All business partners are card-carrying, charter members of NATO. When asked by reporters if these actions would not promote war, representatives for the seller(s) had no comment. Other deals in the works include the purchase of 12,000 Cinzano umbrellas from Italy and a substantial cargo of Russian gold and silver ore, with which to make medals for its generals. North Korea, Iraq and Afganistan have sent along military catalogues according to informants in northern Canada. “Air surveillance has detected crates of Chinese missiles capable of hitting Hollywood,” said one NATO source. “But the elves seem to be having trouble reading the assembly instructions and that’s good news for the rest of us, at least for the time being.”
Longtime Horseshoe Editor Lands Dog Catcher Spot
(Islamabad) When Melvin Toole began his career as copy boy at the San Juan Horseshoe people still wore underwear. As his career progressed he took naps. Either way, as of this morning Toole has been anointed the new dog catcher of a small village in Bangladesh, his media career down the darkroom drain. “It was a terrible waste of time,” smiled Toole when asked about memorable moments over his 38 years at the paper. “I’m looking forward to my new position in Chittagong.” Toole will arrive here Wednesday and begin work following a brief orientation, on Monday. The position is expected to be quite a challenge as there are countless dogs roaming the streets, their backups slobbering in the wings. The Pakistani government currently spends millions of dollars on the military due to a long-winded beef with India. It spends next to nothing on dog control. “I plan to catch dogs,” said Toole, “but when I’m finished I could be out of a job. I wonder if they’re looking for a sacred cow catcher down in Calcutta.”
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(Fez) Angry over what it calls hoarding of profits, the nation of Turkey today filed a lien on Thanksgiving. The motion, made at the United Nations today, calls for a sharing of the Thanksgiving pie. “We are a poor country and we only want what is ours,” said Irshra “Paddy” McSheckle, an attorney for the Turks. “It’s a matter of national pride.” Turkey is demanding a “reasonable percentage of the profits” associated with the November holiday based on what it claims are copyright infringements and “a Yanqui monopoly” on what it considers public domain. “They’re a little late this year,” laughed one gringo pilgrim. “In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act”
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(Gotham UPS) It had to happen. Today Superman succumbed to the pressures of convenience and bought a cell phone. Although the exact model and calling plan were not disclosed the purchase was confirmed by technicians at High Table Communications here. “This is quite a feather in our wireless hats,” said a source at the phone company. “Superman prefers AT&T.” Wow that’s got potential. Maybe a commercial shot in Olathe or someplace.” Superman himself was less than enthused. “I bought the phone due to the disappearance of phone booths all across the nation,.” said the Man of Steel. “Since about ‘95 I have been taken to changing into my crime fighting attire in athletic clubs, internet cafes, even the back seat of my car. It’s useless to fight the mindless march of technology and besides it’s only $39.95 a month with free long distance on evenings and weekends.” It is not known if Batman, Spiderman, Wonderwoman or other super heroes will follow the lead and embrace the world of wireless communication. “We don’t think so,” said Efram Pennywhistle, Director of the Popular Culture Center at Bowling Green University in Ohio. “For one thing most of these super hero types don’t have pockets...I mean on their uniforms. Besides, why does someone who can fly at over 400 miles per hour need a cell phone. If they want to talk to a friend or relative they can easily do so in person.” On the heels of this bit of news, several leading telecommunication concerns in the region have confirmed reports that they will be marketing their new products to dogs by the end of 2013. “If that works we’ll move into what looks to be the lucrative field of livestock,” said one unreliable source. “Then we’ll really be somewhere.” - Jack Spratt
PURITANS LAND IN MASS. EN MASSE (Salem -- 1928) A large group of pilgrims calling themselves Puritans have reportedly landed on the rocky coast near Marblehead just to the east of here. According to eye witnesses within the indigenous population the funny looking aliens were dressed up tight despite the harsh summer weather. Estimates say there were over 300 of the black-clad, somber arrivals. While the actual landing was carried off in an organized manner several of those present worked until dark unloading crates of guilt which they intended to share with the natives. It is not known if their radical religion would take root in the New World or if the Puritans, long persecuted in England, would tolerate other ideas here. One member of local Pennacook tribe expressed concern about the new neighbors, saying they appeared pompous and judgmental despite the writings in their sacred guidebook. He plans to move north to avoid potential conflict with the zealots. - Kashmir Horseshoe
Winter 2011 • San Juan Horseshoe • Page 11
Reindeer Not Always Happy On Yule It has long been a human trait to take for granted that, although the wheels have fallen off our own wagons, everyone else is doing just fine. If you are a reindeer at Christmas, it’s all but a given that things are looking up. Surely, as one of Santa’s anointed eight, the laborious joys of the solstice would establish peace and harmony. Maybe not. Let’s eavesdrop on a little soul searching, compliments of Blitzen, a veteran point man in Santa’s annual entourage. Nobody knows the trouble he’s seen. The editor has long been accused of living vicariously through herd animals, especially tiny reindeers that have manipulated the laws of gravity. Damn. Another cold night out here fooling with these reins. I wish the fat boy would spring for new tack this Christmas but he’ll probably settle for carrots and green apples like last year. Where in all of creation did he read that reindeer like that sort of thing. What we need out there in the dark is a cup of rum and eggnog. Where’s Donner? She was supposed to be back from the hardware store an hour ago. Legend tells it that we beasts of burden are happy pursuing a life of service to this obsessed elf in a red suit. That’s history for you. The winners write it down and the losers suffer from cold feet. I’m so tired of little kids with dreamy eyes waiting by the chimney while we’re up on the roof freezing, our hooves slipping. How many people still use fireplaces? Don’t they know wood smoke pollutes the ozone? Why can’t they hold Christmas in July like all those greedy furniture stores? Damn. If I hear that carol one more time I’m gonna puke. Can’t someone play something a little more progressive. Hell, I’ll even take Elvis or Brenda Lee over this syrupy saga that Santa pumps out over the loud speakers. Maybe he’d lighten up if we could get cable here at the North Pole. The cable company says they can’t bury their lines with all the snow. I think they can’t make any money up here what with polar bears, codfish and crazy elves with red noses. And speaking or red noses the old lady, Mrs. Claus, has been flown down to Canada for another round of rehab. I can’t blame the woman for hitting the bottle. You try living with a benevolent elf that can’t afford a second suit of clothes but insists on giving away the farm every December 24. I don’t mean to be bitter but everyone has his limit. And then there’s the favorite son, Rudolph. Before some flatlander came up with the song, you know, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, there was parity, solidarity in this job. Now we have the privileged one and a host of extras. It’s not like we’re in it for the notoriety, or that most of us care. We just want to finish our jobs and get back down to Greenland for winter carnival. It’s tough enough to find a suitable mate in the Arctic but try it up here where we’re up to our butts in blizzards and sleigh bells. He hates to be called Rudy. Rudy...Rudy... more Rudy. Hey, you don’t sign my pay check, you pompous flit. Where did you get that red nose from anyway? At least Mrs. Claus drinks out in the open.
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After all these years I’m still fifth man on a string of idiots. When I first started this gig I figured I’d be into management by now. In fact I was promised a promotion following the Christmas of ‘52, or was it ‘62? The years all blend together when you’re working on the chain gang here in the Great North. Maybe this year Prancer and Cupid will brush their teeth before we go out on our journey. Maybe Dasher will bring a map and Vixen will wear those red tights again. I still think Dancer swiped my flask somewhere over Scotland in 1975. Sure, we could have joined the herd union but then we’d have to go to all those smoky meetings with burned-out antelopes, arrogant zebras and yoked oxen. I’d rather sit through one of the fat boy’s sermons. At least he provides health insurance. Oh, here comes Donner, back from the hardware store. I hope she got the right...what? A package in gold with red ribbon? Under the tree in the stable? My name on it? Who...are you pulling my leg. If you are I’ll...we all got presents? I’ll bet it’s a new collar, or some dry boots or maybe some decoration for my antlers. And a present from Comet? Another from Prancer? A card from Vixen? They shouldn’t have. I thought we agreed not to buy presents anymore. I thought I’d been forgotten. Even Donner got a pile of presents and she’s only been with us for a little over a century. Christmas morning will be quite the festive occasion this year but I’d better get busy. Maybe I’ll buy us all Christmas dinner or a spring trip to Antarctica for the penguin races. Maybe I’d better go to town. I know what all the reindeer want. I’ve heard them talking and it is far better to give than receive but combined the action is dynamite. Dasher wants a basketball and Cupid a cell phone. I’ll get Santa cable TV and Donner a nightcap. And, speaking of nightcaps I know what I’ll buy Mrs. Claus too. What the hell she deserves to make merry before her coming brush with temperance. Hospitals can be so dreary in January. It’s only a few days away. I love this time of the year.
Age a factor
Santa denied Supreme Court appointment (Crested Butte) Supreme Court candidate Santa Claus was in town skiing today attempting to shake off the bitter disappointment of rejection. Yesterday the White House announced that it was withdrawing its earlier nomination of the jolly old elf to fill one of the seats soon to come vacant on the United States Supreme Court. “We were never serious about the appointment,” said one scrooge at the White House. “It was just an attempt at comic relief over the holidays. We have a sense of humor here.” Whether this defeat will affect any future aspirations in the politcial arena on the part of Claus was not clear nor were his immediate plans after Christmas Eve. “Even if we wanted to get Santa appointed we would have to consider such elements as his Canadian ancestory, his much publicized one-world views and the fact that he is far too young for the position,” said the source. “We’re not in the discrimination business but you don’t see any other justices out there skiing at 20 degrees.” Although no one knows for sure, Santa is thought to be about 170-years-old. “Maybe when he matures and reaches the appropriate age group we will resubmit the nomination,” said the aide. “After all, we don’t need some kind of generation gap at the highest levels of decision making in this country.” - Suzie Compost
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Page 12 • San Juan Horseshoe • Winter 2011
Hot Politicians is the Topic at the Cowboy Coffee Shoppe Beans Crawford watched with interest as Frenchy Magiver, proprietor of the Cowboy Coffee Shoppe, poured a powdery substance into the big pot of coffee and stirred it in with a big wooden spoon. “What’d you put in the coffee there, Frenchy?” Beans asked. Beans was retired from cowboying but was nevertheless a loyal patron of the Cowboy Coffee Shoppe. “Secret ingredient, Beans,” Frenchy answered. “If I told you, I’d have to kill you.” “Well, I just want to know that the coffee won’t kill me.” A loyal but occasionally critical patron. “It’s always good wholesome organic stuff,” Frenchy said, letting go of the spoon and stepping back, nodding with approval at the way the long spoon stood erect in the big pot. “Perfect,” he said. And took the spoon out, tossed it in the back sink. “Is that the one, where if you left that spoon in, it’d disappear by noon?” “Yep,” Frenchy said. “’Black Bart’s Delight.’ A favorite. You want a warmup with it?” “No, I’m fine with this regular old ‘Frenchy’s Roast,’” Beans said hastily. Frenchy Magiver’s coffee was truly the sipping kind, no matter how much sugar and milk you threw in to dilute it. A big crew-cab pickup truck roared into the gravel parking lot, skidded to a stop.
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“What’re you tryin to say?” asked Dewey Dewey. “Well,” said Pete, “you’re tryin to get a job in a gover’mint you’re tryin to eliminate. That sounds crazy “Finished’er just in time,” said Frenchy, watching half enough to me.” a dozen cowboys spill out of the truck, all wearing regu“Not eliminate,” said Dewey, a little hotly. “Reduce! lation cowboy hats. “It always amazes me,” he mused, Cut down in size!” watching them. “I know you can get a lot of bodies in a “Yeah,” said Pete, “to a size you could drown in the truck like that. But how do they all do it with hats on?” bathtub, like that guy said. So if you’re gonna try to get it “Carefully,” suggested Beans. down to that, why wouldn’t you go ahead and do it?” The hands from the Busted Flats Ranch trooped “Do what?” through the door, arguing about something as usual. “Drown it in the bathtub! Then you got no taxes, no “Well,” said Dewey Dewey, “she’s a Republican before regulation, no nothing except your free market or whatshe’s a woman, and that’s good enough for me.” ever, and the absolute freedom to go out and do any “What’re you talking about!” scoffed Hoss Wilkins, damn thing you want.” the crew boss. “She was born a woman; how could she “We all believe in freedom, don’t we?” said Luke. be a Republican before that? Mornin, Frenchy, Beans.” “Yeah,” Dewey said. “I do anyway – dunno about Hoss He sniffed the air like a wolf. “Whew!” he said. “Somethin here. But you guys are just pullin my chain. I don’t want here smells like what the cow did on the flat rock.” no gover’mint at all. We gotta have enough gover’mint to “Morning, boys,” said Frenchy. He drew off a big insuenforce our standards of decency and all that.” lated pitcher of “Black Bart’s Demise” while they arrayed “You mean you don’t want those capitalists runnin themselves noisily around the big table in the middle of wild?” prodded Hoss. the room. He took the coffee and a tray of cups over, put “I mean I don’t want those – those druggies and aborit down in front of Hoss who poured for the others. tionists and gays and eviros runnin wild!’ Dewey was Beans swung around on his stool at the counter to face them. “What’s up at the Busted Flats, gentlemen?” he getting passionate. “The capitalists don’t bother me at all. I hope to be one a them myself someday!” asked, although he knew well enough. “Who’s keepin you from bein that today?” asked Hoss. “Hay’s down,” said Hoss. “You just need to save your pennies, and someday you “Ah,” said Beans. “Guess we’ll finally get some rain then.” can buy the Busted Flats from that Texican who owns it “Ha ha,” said Hoss, pouring cups and passing them now.” around. He held up his cup of coffee, swirled it around in “Careful, Hoss,” said Beans. “That Texican who owns the cup. “What is this stuff, Frenchy? It pours more like the Busted Flats is the reason why you got six hands plus motor oil than your usual kerosene.” a foreman doing what old Hank Brown used to do alone.” “Black Bart’s Delight,” said Frenchy proudly. “Drink it “Yeah,” said Luke Hopkins fervently – a father of two. at your own risk.” He smiled fondly at the activity around “God bless the boutique ranchers. They keep the Old the giant economy size sugar bowl in the middle of the West alive.” table; he liked putting out a product that separated the “Amen,” Hoss acknowledged. “Keep spreadin that oil cattlemen from the cowboys. money.” “Well, back to the discussion topic of the morning,” “If Texas ever runs outa oil,” Beans prophesied, “Colosaid Hoss, after he recovered from the full body shudder rado’s gonna run outa gas.” inspired by his first sip of Black Bart’s Demise. “Maybe “Well, I want to get back to this woman who’s runnin you can give our young friend Dewey here some sage adfor president,” said Hoss, turning to Dewey. “You said vice, Beans; he thinks that woman from Wisconsin is –“ comin in the door that she was, and I think I quote, a “Minnesota,” said Dewey sullenly. Republican before she was a woman. What the hell does “Wherever,” said Hoss. “He thinks she’s fit to be president.” that mean?” “I was just sayin bein a woman don’t disqualify her,” Dewey thought for a moment. “I said that?” said Dewey. Hoss looked around the table. “He’s right enough, there, Hoss,” said Pete Granger. “That’s what I thought I heard you say,” said Pete. “Anybody can be president – any citizen of the U.S. anyway.” “So are you sayin bein a Republican is a – genetic “Got to be 45, or something like that,” put in Luke thing?” Hoss pressed. Hopkins. “All I’m sayin is, she’s not runnin as a woman; she’s “I’m not saying a woman can’t be president,” said Hoss, patiently for Hoss, “I’m sayin this particular woman runnin as a Republican.” “Huh,” said Hoss. “You’re telling me, when I look at isn’t fit to be president.” them up there on the stage at one a their comedy hours, “Why’s that?” asked Beans. all I’m seein is half a dozen, or maybe a dozen, Republi“’Cause she’s crazy, is why,” said Hoss. “Well, that don’t disqualify her either, does it?” mused cans? I don’t see a bunch of old men in suits and neckties and one pretty sharp-lookin woman?” Beans. “I mean, look what she’s up against. If she don’t at “Well, she can’t help that,” Dewey said. least act a little crazy, she wouldn’t stand a chance in that “She could put on a suit and tie if she wanted to run as bunch.” a Republican ‘stead of a woman.” “I don’t think she’s actin,” said Hoss, venturing an“Me,” put in Pete, “I wish that other one was runnin other sip. too, that Alaska chick. She’s hotter.” “But you have to put that in context,” said Beans. “Is “Maybe she will,” said Hoss. “She’s almost rich enough she unusually crazy? Dangerously crazy? Or just the kind of now to run as a real Republican. As well as a woman.” crazy you got to be if you got ambitions to be president?” “It’d be more fun if she’d just keep runnin as a real “You got a point there, I guess,” said Hoss, thinking woman,” said Pete. about it. “Just wantin that job puts you a special class, “Yeah,” Luke added. “a hot woman who likes to hunt. I don’t it.” still got that magazine cover of her with all that hair, and “Especially if you want to be a Republican president,” a shotgun over her shoulder and a big come-on smile.” put in Pete Granger. “Somebody hung that one in the outhouse,” Dewey reminded them. “Before the Texican built us a real bathroom and burned down the outhouse.” “There’s days when I miss that old outhouse,” mused Pete. “Prop open the door on a summer morning.... Old Hank knew how to frame a view.” “Then there was the winter mornings,” Hoss reminded him. “Yeah,” acknowledged Pete. “Just listen to this conversation,” Hoss grumped. “If this ain’t what’s wrong with America - we’re electin a president, not a beauty queen. But we can’t even stay on topic of which candidate is hotter. Never mind smarter, better able to run the country.” “Well then,” said Pete, “I’ll cast my vote for the Alaskan; she’s way hotter.” Food 11:30 am to 9 pm But it was at that moment that the mysterious but predictable effects of Frenchy’s Bar open later x coffee interacted with the labyrinthian Steak • SandwicheS but equally predictable mysteries of Lefty Seafood • comfort food Forbish’s digestive tract, and tapped into an apparently rich deposit of something x Sunday Brunch really sulphurous, enabling Lefty to roll a gaseous expansion that got everyone, x extenSive wine LiSt out including Frenchy and Beans, heading for the door and the great open spaces of the gh West. Lake city “Okay,” said Hoss. “Time to get back to 300 3rd Street that hay anyway. But this discussion is a long way from over.” 944 -0300 “Unfortunately,” sighed Beans, waving them off as they piled back into the truck. check out our menu at: www.restlessspiritssaloon.com ***
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UNDER THE TREE Here is our quintessential inventory of the more innovative gift ideas for Christmas this year. American made Yuletide alms that, while not always tasteful, are affordable at least on the Black Market or from the foul-mouthed troll down under the bridge. Plunge ahead through mounds of sugar plum diversions and stocking stunners that might just jingle someone’s bells. Remember: All live items require proof of inoculation and may involve lengthy quarantine procedures. Our suggestions... BILLY BOB’S Y’ALL LOG - Embrace the Panhandle Look this Christmas with the Free Burning Y’All Log from Alaskan Wilderness Explorers. Never be dependent on foreign or domestic firewood again. Natural gas, bark included, cream cleaned upon installation. Compatible with window air conditioning units made prior to 1960. Perfect for those visitors from the South, deep or otherwise. Caution: Contains wood fly-products. Self-lighting, odor-free, simulated flame. $235.99 with one-year warranty. Recla Metals, exclusive dealer PILTDOWN COMFORTER - Chase away winter’s chill with overstuffed chunks of Piltdown fabric from Eoanthropus Brothers of Pireus. Contains actual skull fragments, grizzle and cloning scraps from the laboratory floor. Seems to be fire-proof too. And the best news is that this chemically induced product will survive everything from baby’s next accident to a full-fledged nuclear engagement. Only $145. Test drive one today at Roll Me Over I Think I’m Done Boutique or any local parachute dealer RIDE-EASY WIRELESS DUI MACHINE - Do you know someone still stupid enough to drink and drive? Why let them waste precious holiday shopping moments on roadside tests and backward alphabets? It’s cold out there along the side of the highway. Have you been drinking? Of course not! It’s the holidays. Everyone should be ready when the next officer comes to call. Complete digital response, activated charcoal-clip friendly. Never overheats except in the summer. Comes in single malt or blended. Not recommended for dirt bikes. Watch one work at all Highway Patrol Auto Parts Stores and all local jails. HIBERNATION HELPER - Know a recluse who won’t even leave the house even to buy a lottery ticket or take out the trash? Give them a case of this stuff and they might not even leave the bathroom. Mixed powder substitute with chrome-glaze finish. Pretty colored bag that’s almost impossible to open thanks to tamper-proof defoliant. Vegetable-free with estimated shelf life of a little over a decade. Odorless cord on industrial alarm may frighten children but makes this an easy gift to keep wrapped till the end. All you add is a layer of stored body fat and a pinch of fur. Individual packets insure privacy. Available at all Solar Foods and at Life Preserves at the sprawl. POCKET TABLE SAW - Perfect for the carpenter on the move. How many times have you heard them say, “Boy, if I just had a table saw...” Now the excuses are over. Folds up to 3 square inches for practical use. Metric sensitive. Inflatable for nautical application. Safe for use with most
lumber products due to attachable fuel injection pump. Sucks up its own sawdust for a tidy exit. Dominant eye goggles not included. $500 w/ tiny matchbook case and file. Waferboard Paradise. LOUIS XIV HEAD TRELLIS - Just like the one the silly French king wore to the guillotine. Let them say “I have delusions of grandeur” with one of these hanging off their throne. One size fits all. 100% organic, living material that blends with the scalp to create that peruke look for holiday parties. Compatible with all airline security systems and most cowboy hats. Shampoo lubricant and body hair nuclear steam iron sold separately. No shed guarantee pending. Only $75 at Wigs and Figs. Cart ride and basket extra. SUNNY MORNING BREAKFAST WINE SAMPLER - Lots of delicious vintages for holiday chillouts. Remind them that breakfast is indeed the most important meal of the day. Arrives by third-class mail in a phony goat-skin in draped holly substitute. Find the right wine for each of your favorite breakfast meats. The December selection features a slim, irritating burgundy that is an sleazy remedy when served on a stick with fried baloney and cornmeal mush. Other holiday drinking ideas spelled out on the side of the case. $19.95 for holiday assortment. December collection available exclusively at liquor stores everywhere. THE WINDSURFER MATTRESS - It’s hard to believe that Western man has survived so long without this technology and the concept is so simple. For added security outside the home this fully-lined anti-inflammatory floatation disc is almost invisible in or out of the water. And if this isn’t enough its uni-sex, pet safe and washable. Buy early as we project that they’ll be out of stock quickly. $800 - $1600 at Sleep and Booty or check us out on the web at www. edsbeds.com.
Winter 2011 • San Juan Horseshoe • Page 13 LIMITED EDITION THIRD REICH SWISS ARMY KNIFE - Recently released technology has made these keepsakes available once again for another holiday season. Signature red handle hides the true intentions within. Rational accessory to any venture whether fiscal or utilitarian. Comes with over 40 combinations. Perfect for the history head or someone who likes salami. From Location Is Everything Cutlery at fine stores around you. REMOTE-CONTROL EGGPLANT PERUKE Authentic replica of the ones worn by our founding fathers. With this fine addition bad hair days will be a thing of the past. Fits most heads and even stays in place during high winds and other periods of natural disaster or mental anxiety. Made of 100% Canadian eggplant fiber with builtin remote control that keeps locks in place. Organically pleasing too. $500 firm CLOSING TIME COLOGNE - Radiate the seedy side of life. This perfume doesn’t attract much of anything, since the recipient of this gift will smell like a stale, smokey bar. Why spend all that money trying to be somebody? Now you can achieve that loathsome odor right in your own bathroom! Comes in pint or quart for overkill. About $90 in the lotion section of your favorite liquor store. Sorry: No sales over the bar. TWINKIE CAR PHONE AND DECORATIVE CANDLE ENGINE HEATER - Security is the name of the game these days and this kit is sure to confuse the car thief or the back seat driver. The phone mounts right to the dash, looking like a discarded Twinkie. The engine heater candle fits right under the oil pan and ignites when the temperatures drop below zero. What a gift for the motor head. Coming in January: The Trash Bag Car Stereo, an innovatively disguised audio system that appears to be nothing more than a litter bag. It even has a quart of milk and coffee grinds sticking out of the top for affect.
RUBBER CHICKEN WINDOW DRESSING - Just like going to Chinatown without the mess. This was my favorite gift from last year and it’s still up! Looks great next to the Christmas lights. Smaller version for the tree or mantle. Almost the right last minute gift. Not appropriate for pets. Comes plucked or au natural. Great to take camping, through X-ray machines or prop up in the rear window of your car. And rest assured the manufacturer has been in business since the Ming Dynasty. Lord and War Lord’s, Goley’s and Victoria’s Rubber Chickens. Under $10 new. CLOSE RANGE ASSAULT POTATO LAUNCHER - So many uses it’s senseless to discuss. Just like the ones given to the Northern Alliance/Taliban in Afghanistan by the CIA back in 1982. Comes with frontal target fetish, ammo plunger, assortment of fuses and flare packages. Capable of neutralizing small Japanese cars. Can be camouflaged to look like an everyday cucumber case. These are not toys and will not be sold to minors without someone’s consent. $2000 with chrome beadwork. Slightly less when you use your Salivation Army card. Potatoes...They’re not just for vodka anymore.
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Page 14 • San Juan Horseshoe • Winter 2011
By Mercy Savage, History Editor
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A journal written by a Ute man between 1640 and 1711 was found in a cave high in the San Juan Mountains recently. One of the most momentous discoveries in decades, the chronicle is partially in Spanish, but mostly in Ute phonetically spelled through Spanish pronunciation. Carbon dating and eight independent historians and archaeologists have authenticated the document. “This is an incredibly exciting find,” said Dr. Bartolomé Romero, the foremost authority on Uto-Aztecan languages, particularly the dialect of Southern Numic, or Ute. “No other recording of the Ute language exists before the late 1800s. This diary gives voice to the Utes of the distant past.” The journal begins in Spanish: “En el año del Señor de Mil Seiscientas cuarenta, esto es escrita por un buen Indio y un buen cristiano – un buen cristiano porque he olvidado a mis dioses morenos…” This translates as: “In the year of Our Lord 1640, this is written by a good Indian and a good Christian – good Christian because I have forgotten my dark-skinned gods.” This is immediately followed by phonetic Ute, translated here by Romero: “At least the gluttonous greasy padres think I have forgotten my own God, when I only converted to their ludicrous worship of a man nailed to lodge-poles so I could have a better diet. They feed their converted slaves much better than they feed their ‘heathen’ slaves. So I converted.” The author of the journal, calling himself Ontsoh (Snake), was a boy of about twelve when he was captured by the Spaniards. He was taken to Santa Fe de Nueva Mexico as a slave. There he quickly learned Spanish and the ways of the Spaniards. By the time he was 14, On-tsoh had learned to write Spanish, and began his secret journal, at which
time he recorded his previous capture and loss of his family. His father was a Ute shaman who had been tutoring On-tsoh in the mystical arts. The family had traveled to Taos Pueblo in the winter of 1638 to trade skins for food items, when they fell prey to Spanish soldiers. On-tsoh’s father was killed. Bound and gagged, On-tsoh was slung over a packhorse for the journey to Santa Fe. He saw a Groove-billed Ani flying alongside him, wearing a frog amulet. “I don’t know if it was a fantasy on his part,” Romero explained, “but it is clear he believed it was real.” On-tsoh claimed the bird was actually his father who had achieved shape-shifting. The bird told him not to fear, giving him the amulet. If Ontsoh needed him, he was to take two peyote buttons and call him at dawn, using the sound of the Crested Caracara. “As remarkable as this sounds,” said Romero, “On-tsoh’s accuracy of this bird and other unknown details of the time can convince one that he knew something of the spiritual world long since forgotten.” According to Romero, the captain sold Ontsoh to Governor Luis de Rosas, a “beast who ravaged women and tortured and disemboweled his slaves.” During his time with Rosas, On-tsoh witnessed the beating of slaves and friars, the destruction of villages and a church, and the theft of the church bells. Ontsoh was one of the slaves made to carry the bells. “He has an intriguing conversation with the bells when they were stored in a granary,” Romero explained. After Rosas was deposed and arrested, he was slain by Ortiz in January 1642, events which On-tsoh witnessed and recorded in detail. “These details not only match what the Spaniards had written, but clarify who was guilty of what and when,” said Romero. History has been dumb to the identity of Ortiz’s co-conspirators, but On-tsoh names them all, said Romero. One was Don Juan Bautista de Hormigos, who seized On-tsoh as his own property after the assassination. In Hormigos’ household, On-tsoh became an interpreter for expeditions to the Shining Mountains,
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Winter 2011 • San Juan Horseshoe • Page 15 known today as the San Juan Range. Most of these expeditions were raids on Ute camps for more slaves, as well as prospecting for gold. On-tsoh knew the land from his childhood, could speak Ute and several Puebloan dialects, thus his status was raised from slave to “servant,” which “amounted to the same thing,” On-tsoh wrote, “except now they assume I speak good of them.” On-tsoh was about seventeen by this time. In order to get along better with the Utes, Hormigos asked On-tsoh to give him a Ute name that meant “Great Shining and Benevolent One.” On-tsoh obliged, confessing in his journal that the name he gave Hormigos invoked waves of laughter from Ute traders, because it actually meant “Man-walks-likerodent-with-corn-ear-lodged-in-exit-vent.” From that point forward, On-tsoh gave Ute names to numerous Spanish soldiers and officers who requested them. Most thought the names spoke of their intellect and prowess, but On-tsoh said he named them anything from “Man-with-swine-droppings-incranium” to “Limp-willielike-a-roasted-chili.” He also dubbed Hormigos “Lord Horny,” (Don Arrecho) because of the Spaniard’s excessive carnal appetites.
Since Hormigos spent many months among the Pueblo people whom he used for suppliers for his expeditions, On-tsoh became friends with a Puebloan sorcerer. The Puebloans slew such sorcerers without trial, thus this man whom On-tsoh called Ko-nop-quip (Blow the Fire), practiced his art in secret. On-tsoh told him he was the son of a shaman and wanted to learn shape-shifting, like his own father. Ko-nop-quip enthusiastically embraced the idea. “He apparently learned quite quickly,” Romero said, “because he speaks of several incidents where Hormigos caught him as a partial bird. He convinced Hormigos that what he saw was merely the result of peyote in his wine.” On-tsoh had met a Ute slave woman in Hormigos’ household whose Ute name was Ta-wa-wi (Chipmunk). “She is so beautiful,” he wrote, “that it makes me forget I am a slave.” Hormigos, who had a pregnant Spanish wife and a few Mestizo concubines, fancied Tawa-wi, and tried to force himself on her one night when On-tsoh was nearby. “I hadn’t yet acquired the full knowledge of the mystical arts from Ko-nop-quip,” On-tsoh wrote, “but I knew I had to stop Horny that moment. Tawa-wi was
terrified, knowing that if she refused him, he would simply kill her. I was terrified as well, knowing that if I physically attacked Horny, he would cut me open and nail my intestines on his stable wall.” “So I blew the sacred peyote smoke over the fire,” On-tsoh continued, “and said the words, letting them rip out from my very bones and sinew, until they spilled over Horny like liquid fire, enveloping him in fur and feather, and he went gallomping out of there like a lascivious jackrabbit, half running, half humping, his face still that of a man, but with long ears; furred from cheeks to shoulders to buttocks, and a tuft of tail on his hind end. He was discovered by his captain later that night doing kinky rumpy-pumpy with a prairie dog. Ta-wa-wi and I laughed our fears away in each others arms.” Since On-tsoh and Ta-wa-wi engaged in a wee bit of rumpy-pumpy themselves, On-tsoh knew he had to get his new wife back to their people in the north. He created a diversion wherein Hormigos’ Spanish wife gave birth to a litter of piglets. While the entire household raced after the piglets in a frenzy, On-tsoh slipped away with Ta-wa-wi. He turned her and himself into hummingbirds, flying deep into the Shining Mountains. For years afterward On-tsoh flew back into the custody of the Spaniards, slipping away to freedom with Ute slaves one at a time. His journal describes those escapes, the hideous hangings of the Puebloans in 1675, the Pueblo Revolt of 1680, the second Revolt of 1696, and the machinations of the Spaniards and their priests until his last entry in the winter of 1711. On-tsoh was 85 years old, a revered shaman of the Ute, father and grandfather of many, when he wrote, “I am alone in these Shining Mountains, winged and aloft forever. I will always watch over my people until the mountains are no more. They will know me by the frog amulet, and I will bring them home.”
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Page 16 • San Juan Horseshoe • Winter 2011
RATING THE HOLIDAY MUSTARDS
For decades good mustard has been synonymous with the holidays. In keeping with the desire to present pertinent feature material, crossed with slow news days, the Horseshoe has spent hours and dollars in an attempt to concoct a roster of functional mustards for glazes, sandwiches and salads. One for each of the Twelve Days of Christmas. How nice. Save this handy article to go with the Rating the Ketchups in our January issue. Warning: Mustards are meant to be enjoyed with a variety of foods and this article in no way condones substance abuse by the spoonful. Mustard plasters are covered in our Medicine on the March page later in this issue. 1. Plochman’s Premium - A delightful blend of whatever they’ve put in the jar. Low in chemicals yet lacking in fiber. Mildly exotic texture. Dances in your mouth. Direct from the Mosel-Saar-Ruwar region near Milwaukee. The finest sipping mustard in the world, in our opinion. Open the lid and let it breathe. May have low cholesterol too. Not suggested for use with other stimulants. 2. Maille Dijon - Light, chilly, not too serious with a special zest that cries out from inside the refrigerator. Great quaffing blend of complexity and spirit. Who told you that all the great mustards come from France? Best with sausage, onions and kraut, or for a special surprise pour over vanilla ice cream. Comes in glass jar and convenient spray dispenser. 3. Sierra Nevada - A young mustard. Exhibits enough character to serve with food or enough charm simply to
drink on its own. Very flinty, often nosy. Slightly fizzy. Zesty herb, kimono or mesquite are just a few of the flavors available. Suited for higher altitudes. Freeze-dried for an end to soggy bread. Promotes regularity. 4. Westbrae Natural - Crisp, citrusy, somewhat earthy. Great with Portuguese foods. We like to take a jar out mushroom hunting in the summer or as part of our winter survival kit (not recommended for goat skins). Delicious with poached salmon or elk. Clears stuffy noses, sneezing and itchy eyes. Prescription only. Ask your doctor. 5. Grey Poupon - The overrated classic holds its own in this lineup. Eat it and you’ll feel rich? What does mustard choice have to do with net worth? An asset on any table. Goes especially nice with either the Louis XII or an orange crate. Makes tantalizing sauce on pet foods too. Visit web site at www.squirt.com. Dig trendy? This is the spread for you 6. Mady’s Old Tyme - The Pinot Gris of mustards. Perfect with goat cheese, black olives, pesto, walnuts and lemon wedges. Relish its ripeness with a touch of curry. Gives a lift to dips! Earn bonus miles with purchase. (See label inside jar). Popular with tattoo artists and wallpaper designers. Rare cases of overeating result in tooth discoloration and slight fever. 7. New Organics - Made from volcanic debris with a splash of white Riesling. Fruity and fresh, yet dry. Perfect with seafood, especially if it’s turned just a bit. Big enough to stand up to saltier dishes like squid and octopus. Mustard greens are not fed hormones during growth. Reminiscent of the ball park with just a touch of grapefruit and tart green apples thrown in. 8. McCaffrey’s - He can catch a pass but will the mustard hold up under the blitz? Why do wealthy
Planned Again for 2012
(New York) With the final approval of federal and state funding it appears that consumers will again undergo the holiday season next year. As recently as one week ago, with the private sector dragging knuckles on promises to match the assets accrued from a system of floating bonds, things looked bleak. Supporters of Christmas have been accused of using ancient guilt techniques and playing into fears of impending social disorder in the attempt to raise consciousness and, in turn, money toward the goal. They say that since the holiday has been around so long, it would only follow that it should be preserved both from a religious and a secular approach. “Without the continued assistance of our state and federal bureaucracies, Christmas would be relegated to the status of say,Thanksgiving or the Fourth of July, at least from
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athletes feel the need to diversify and increase their profits on products as unlikely as mustard? Maybe it resulted from a test marketing case at Stanford. Blue collar mustard. An over achiever to be sure. Great hands. 9. Beaver - Direct from Oregon, the mustard capital of North America (and they don’t use the stuff much in Mexico). Great with grilled vegetables or hamburgers. Doused with virgin olive oil for those steamy winter nights! Recommended by Martha Stewart or someone who looks like her. Rustic. Makes a thoughtful stocking stuffer throughout the year! 10. Mister Mustard - Try some with Jello or Waldorf Salad. Even though you’re probably a bit skeptical spread it on sheets and pillow cases for a midwinter night’s dream. Antibacterial. Kills viruses, bacteria, mold and mildew on cheap hot dogs. Eliminates odors. Turns even paper products and discarded dairy cartons into a hearty meal. Yellow or brown to match your outfit. 11. French’s - Even the label reads like a corporate memo. If you like brand names and the mundane pick up a jar of this stuff. It tastes like all of the rest of the foods mass produced under this recognizable name. We suggest the complete avoidance of yellow mustard anyway. A drop of industrial glue in the recipe holds sandwiches together for an eternity. 12. Kraft - Owned by tobacco company and tastes like it. Bargain basement experience at just about the same prices as the more erotic types. Have you tried the separately wrapped cheese product slices? How about the cardboard macaroni and cheese? Thanks to abundance of chemicals this stuff will last for up to three years in the cupboard or chilled in the ice box. - Uncle Pahgre an economic viewpoint,” said Melvin Toole, founder and treasurer of Christmas ‘11. “Now we realize that these kinds of holidays are just as important in an esoteric sense but that economically speaking Christmas consistently kicks butt.” Toole explained that year after year more money is circulated during the holiday season than on all the other holidays combined. “I don’t care how many bags of charcoal or Butterball turkeys go through the checkout stand at the grocery.That figure,” he smiled, “does not even come close to the money spent on worthless junk during the Yuletide. In addition, people will go without fireworks or cranberry sauce but then Christmas rolls around and the same people adopt an oh what the hell attitude and spend money they may not have.” Toole thanked the credit card companies, the elevator Christmas carol pushers, the lumber industry, the makers of an assortment of pine sprays, the weather, the replacement Christmas light bulb concerns, Charles Schultz, the wrapping paper giants, the clever card writers union, Bing Crosby and Belle, his wife of 133 years, for his recent ascension to greatness in the field of Christmas marketing concepts. Although the exact amount of money needed to pull off Christmas next year has not been disclosed, conjecture has it that it is a whole lot more than was needed for Christmas 2011. “It’s just more expensive to pull off than back in the Fifties,” harped Toole. “Why, insurance on Santa’s sleigh, reindeer rights, elf unions and the type of presents coveted by little kids puts the fiscal motion of the celebration into outer space. Do people really think that just because Christmas is sacred that it can side-step reality? It’s a business, son. Nothing more and nothing less, at least from our perspective,” he frowned. Toole added that Christmas ‘11 would kick off on or about Thanksgiving Weekend and run through December, culminating on December 25, with the following week dedicated to getting over the entire experience in time for a New Year’s celebration. “We hope to hold New Year’s on January 1 again so as to be in compliance with all the calendars printed in August,” he said. - Al Kahall
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Winter 2011 • San Juan Horseshoe • Page 17
Tommy, We Won’t Fire
On Christmas Eve on 1914 we were in the support line, about two hundred yards inside Ploegsteert Wood. It was freezing. Our overcoats were stiff as boards, our boots were too hard to remove, but we rejoiced. The mud was hard too! Also, happy thought, we would be able to sleep that night - inside a new blockhouse of oak-boughs and sandbags called Piccadilly Hotel. No bed but the cold earth, no blankets even; but sleep. Sleep! Then came a message from brigade headquarters, brought, I think, by SecondLieutenant Bruce Bairnsfather of the Warwicks. Wiring parties were required in no-man’s land all night. And there would be a moon. We would have to work only fifty yards from the German machineguns in the White House opposite the eastern edge of the wood. Two hours later, we filed out of the dark trees, into the naked moonlit terror of no-man’s land, holding shovels beside our faces, in hope of protection against the expected blast. The moon was high and white among frozen cloudlets. We were visible. Someone slipped, with a clank of spade or rifle. We flung ourselves on our faces. We waited. The battlefield was silent as the moon. For an hour we worked in silence, in a most mysterious soundlessness. What had happened? We began to talk naturally as we drove in stakes, and pulled out concertinas of prepared wire. There was no rifle-fire either up or down the line, from way up north beyond Ypres to south beyond Armentieres and the French Army. At midnight we were laughing as we worked. We heard singing from the German lines - carols the tunes of which we knew. I noticed a very bright light on a tall pole, raised in their lines. Down opposite the East Lancs trench, in front of the convent, a Christmas tree, with lighted candles, was set on their parapet. The unreal moonlight life went on, happily. Cries of ‘Come over, Tommy! We won’t fire at you!’ A dark figure approached me, hesitatingly. A trap? I walked towards it, with bumping heart. ‘Merry Christmas, English friend!’ We shook hands, tremulously. Then I saw that the light on the pole was the Morning Star, the Star in the East. It was Christmas morning. All Christmas Day gray and khaki figures mingled and talked in no-man’s land. Picks and spades rang in the hard ground. It was strange to stare at the dead we had only glimpsed, swiftly, from the trenches. The shallowest graves were dug, filled, and set with crosses knocked together from lengths of ration-box wood, marked with indelible pencil. ‘For King and Country.” ‘Fur Vaterland and Freiheit.” Fatherland and Freedom! Freedom? How was this? We were fighting for freedom, our cause was just, we were defending Belgium, civilization ... these fellows in gray were good fellows, they were strangely - just men like ourselves. ‘How can we lose the war, English comrade? Our cause is just, we are ringed with enemies who would crush us economically, we asked only for a place in the sun, and now we are defending our parents, our homes, our German soil. No we cannot lose the war - for Right is on our side.’ A most shaking, staggering thought that both sides thought they were fighting for the same cause! The war was a terrible mistake! People at home did not know this! Then the idea came to the young and callow soldier, that if only
A ROCKY MOUNTAIN CHRISTMAS It was another quaint scene of rural Rocky Mountain Americana, long before the beautiful people landed here. A clothesline, heavy with a fresh wash, was stretched from the propped up hood of a black ‘54 Chevy to the corner post of the flimsy front porch. A spotted mutt lay in the mud chewing on an old sneaker as three dirty-faced children ran halfnaked through the snow and mud frolicking among the goats and chickens. Grandma sat glum-faced in an old rocker on the front lawn bundled in a stained blanket. A dip of snuff lay soggy between her lip and gum. Brown spittle drooled down her chin, spotting the bosom of her Goodwill dress. Mary Jane looked from the kitchen window as she kneaded dough for the Christmas baked goods. She watched as the warm sunshine melted snow from the old barn roof sending its cool droppings into a rancid mound of garbage and rotting deer hides. A mouse scurried from the pantry and into the corner. Mary Jane quickly finished her last slug of Keystone and hurled the empty at the unsuspecting rodent, shattering glass against the stove. The mouse ran back into the pantry, a sprig of parsley clutched fast between its teeth. It’s only parsley, thought Mary Jane. The kids won’t eat it anyhow. Gus, Mary Jane’s husband, stumbled from the barn. His eyes were red from drink and blinded by the afternoon sun causing him to trip over an old rusty transmission. He fell headlong into the mud and snow cursing bitterly. On the horizon came a fleet of pickups and vans. Here come the do-gooders, mused Gus. Then he smiled, for in the deep recesses of his foggy memory a thought emerged. Old Melvin Toole was playing Santa at the Grange today. At least he would have someone to drink with after all. The visitors parked in the rutted road’s ankle deep mud and gathered at the gate. Phony smiles adorned their scrubbed faces. Beneath the holy he could tell them all at home what was really happening, and if the German soldiers told their people the truth about us, the war would be over. But he hardly dared to think it, even to himself. The next day was quiet, and the next. Waving hands from the trenches by day; singing and reflected blaze of trench bonfires at night. It was a lovely time. On the third afternoon came a message from the Germans. ‘At midnight our staff officers visit, and we must fire our automatic pistols, but we will fire high, nevertheless, please keep under cover.’
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At 11 p.m. - Berlin midnight - we saw the flashes going away into the air. Two days later, an Army Order came from G.H.Q. to the effect that men found fraternizing with the enemy would be court-marshaled, and if found guilty, would suffer the death penalty. And again in that place the Very lights soared over no-man’s-land at night, and bullets cut showers of splinters from the trees, and sometimes, human flesh and bone. - Henry Williamson, 1895 - 1970
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makeup of a shaky Santa was the smug, devil-maycare Toole. He stepped from his pickup, hoisting a sack of toys over his skinny shoulder. He swallowed the last swig of his drugstore bourbon and tossed the empty bottle into the back of the truck, the melting snow muffling the sound of the breaking atop his jack, other bottles and a huge piece of petrified cottonwood. “I use that for ballast,” he slurred. But not a creature heard him. Next the county sheriff marched through the gate dragging a fresh-cut spruce. Behind him was a procession of the righteous carrying boxes of decorations and food. “Ya got anything to drink in there?” asked Gus whose request was promptly ignored by the pilgrims. The children, stone-faced and perplexed, stood next to Grandma as she rocked and chewed her cud. Gus lit a Viceroy. In the kitchen Mary Jane opened another beer, looking out of the window in disgust at the procession in her field. All at once a rusty piece of barbed wire, hidden beneath the snow, caught the shiny patent leather toe of Santa’s boot sending him down the hill, gliding on his red Gore-Tex suit and crashing into Gus. The impact sent both men rolling into the pile of garbage and deer hides, causing a roar of laughter and cheer. On the back of the pickup a guitar player strummed while a chorus from Al-Anon sang that famous old Buck Owens classic, “Santa Looks A Lot Like Daddy.” Everyone just stood their in the yard wondering what to do next when it began to snow. In the distance silver peaks glistened like white marble against a powder-blue sky. The green pines shuddered, the sun met the land and once again another Christmas arrived in the glorious Rockies. - Jose Katu
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Page 18 • San Juan Horseshoe • Winter 2011
THE SUBURBS with Muriel Armbruster
Hello and Happy Holidays to everyone out there in credit card land! As most of you have discovered from watching television, it’s Christmas time once again. Last week we talked about what to buy for family pets and, as usual, we were flooded with letters asking for further advice. It is one of these letters, of a rather dark variety, that I wish to undress today. First of all I’d like to remind readers that I open every bit of correspondence that comes my way. In addition, I consider each one important, its contents sincere. That’s why I’m perplexed over the following: Dear Muriel, We have long enjoyed your crisp appraisal of life in the suburbs. Last week’s theme “Buying Gifts For Family Pets” was particularly exciting but did not cover purchases for exotic pets, like mountain lions. Actually the mountain lion in question is not a household pet but more a previous resident, one who we think roamed the foothills before tract homes were moved in about two years ago. In the year that we have lived here our “pet” mountain lion has eaten three poodles and an assortment of other less than attentive mammals. What should we buy him for Christmas? Granted, the hungry lion will probably stiff the entire family when it comes to presents but we feel that, in the spirit of the season, everyone deserves to be remembered on Christmas morning. The food chain in these parts was established long before the Brown Cloud. Do you think it’s in bad taste to give our feline neighbor what he/she really wants for Christmas? Are we breaking any laws or creating a precedent that will come back to haunt us down the road? You are the only person we can think of that is asinine enough to write a column about homogenized living in the shadow of urban decay. Please help. Wow! There are some twisted minds out there but in keeping with our policy: Would you buy a fiveyear-old a hunting rifle or a man with no teeth a box of peanut brittle? If the answer is yes then maybe you can rationalize holiday gift giving along the lines of natural selection. Hint: Why not wrap up a nice ham or some antelope scraps. The mountain lion will be just as happy and the neighbors less offended. Let predators be predators and that includes Friday night bingo.
OBITUARY WRITER FACES TOUGH TIMES OVER HOLIDAYS (Montrose) For decades Merv Ditchwater has been compiling obituaries. He has written notices on persons famous and infamous as well as sad biographies celebrating the lives of the obscure. Open 10-4:30 pm Monday -Friday
But, every holiday season Ditchwater faces long dark days alone in his chilly attic stronghold far away from the joys of the Yuletide, family (who would marry a guy who writes obituaries?), bright lights and feasting with friends. He sits alone pondering his next melancholy chore, while the band plays Jingle Bells. On Christmas morning he rises to tepid herb tea and dry toast before sneaking up on his paltry typewriter to begin the search for subject matter. His time spent on the internet in search of human demise has left him with webbed feet and nearsightedness. Even his mom, Darla Ditchwater, 99, won’t call him. She only sends scribbled daily instructions and assorted recipes ever since he presented her with a premature obituary on her birthday three years ago. As the morning disappears Ditchwater will journey down to the local mission to do a little research. Depending on the fare he will either lunch there or travel across the festive avenue to his favorite mall cafeteria for a bowl of weak lentil soup and some stale crackers. Then it’s a walk in the park where he will carry on multiple conversations with ducks swimming on the lake. In the afternoon he will stare at football games on his big screen TV and prepare for the next day’s work happy, at least, that tomorrow is a work day.
The Tarzan and Jane Dialogues
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THE ORIGINS OF UNGOWA The scene: A treehouse in East Africa Tarzan: Ungowa! Ungowa! See Jane, lion just need little convincing. Things be peaceful now. Jane: Amazing, Tarzan. I’ve never seen anything like it. What’s the secret? Is it your body language? Is it your loincloth? Is it that word...what is it? Foongowa? Tarzan: Ungowa, Jane. But don’t ever say unless lion out of hand. Jane: But I’ve heard you say it to the elephants, the zebras, even Cheetah. Tarzan: Jane mistaken. Jane: Tarzan, I’m not mistaken. Lord knows there’s not much to occupy my time up in this tree house. I don’t miss major developments like this. I don’t miss the banana harvest, the spring rains, the migration of the rhinos, the spear ceremony with the Tamurundis... Tarzan: Tarzan get picture, Jane. Jane: So what does Ungowa mean exactly, dear? Tarzan: Ungowa mean...Get back! Jane: Get back? I hardly think so. Level with me, Tarzan. I want to know about the origin of Ungowa! Tarzan: Ungowa, Jane! Jane: That’s not amusing. Now tell me or you sleep on the couch. Tarzan: We not have couch. Jane: It’s just an expression. Why won’t you tell me about Ungowa? Tarzan: Tarzan not know about Ungowa. Ungowa just word. Ungowa something make lions and elephants listen to skinny ape man, not trample, eat him. Jane: You mean to say you just say Ungowa and you don’t know what it means, where it comes from or how it became part of the language? Tarzan: It slang. Jane understand? Jane: So you’re telling me you don’t know what it means or why it has come into favor? Tarzan: That just way it is. Jane: The magic word for any situation. Too much. Oh well, I guess there’s nothing to do now but eat your lentil soup. Tarzan: Lentil soup again! Ungowa! Tarzan calling out for pizza! THE END
249-3444 w w w. m o n t r o s e p r e s s . c o m
Standing over the hot stove cooking supper, the colored maid, Arcie, was very tired. Between meals today, she had cleaned the whole house for the white family she worked for, getting ready for Christmas tomorrow. Now her back ached and her head felt faint from sheer fatigue. Well, she would be off in a little while, if only the Missus and her children would come on home to dinner. They were out shopping for more things for the tree which stood all ready, tinsel-hung and lovely in the living room, waiting for its candles to be lighted. Arcie wished she could afford a tree for Joe. He’d never had one yet, and it’s nice to have such things when you’re little. Joe was five, going on six. Arcie, looking at the roast in the white folks’ oven, wondered how much she could afford to spend tonight on toys. She only got seven dollars a week, and four of that went for her room and the landlady’s daily looking after Joe while Arcie was at work. “Lord, it’s more’n a notion raisin’ a child,” she thought. She looked at the clock on the kitchen table. After seven. What made white folks so darned inconsiderate? Why didn’t they come on home here to supper? They knew she wanted to get off before all the stores closed. She wouldn’t have time to buy Joe nothin’ if they didn’t hurry. And her landlady probably wanting to go out and shop, too, and not be bothered with little Joe. “Dog gone it!” Arcie said to herself. “If I just had my money, I might leave the supper on the stove for ‘em. I just got to get to the stores fo’ they close.” But she hadn’t been paid for the week yet. The Missus had promised to pay her Christmas Eve, a day or so ahead of time. Arcie heard a door slam and talking and laughter in the front of the house. She went in and saw the Missus and her kids shaking snow off their coats. “Ummm-mm! It’s swell for Christmas Eve,” one of the kids said to Arcie. “It’s snowin’ like the deuce, and mother came near driving through a stop light. Can’t hardly see for the snow. It’s swell!” “Supper’s ready,” Arcie said. She was thinking how her shoes weren’t very good for walking in snow. It seemed like the white folks took us long as they could to eat that evening. While Arcie was washing dishes, the Missus came out with her money. “Arcie,” the Missus said, “I’m so sorry, but would you mind if I just gave you five dollars tonight? The children have made me run short of change, buying presents and all.” I’d like to have seven,” Arcie said. “I needs it.” “Well, I just haven’t got seven,” the Missus said. “I didn’t know you’d want all your money before the end of the week, anyhow. I just haven’t got it to spare.” Arcie took five. Coming out of the hot kitchen, she wrapped up as well as she could and hurried by the house where she roomed to get little Joe. At least he could look at the Christmas trees in the windows downtown. The landlady, a big light yellow woman, was in a bad humor. She said to Arcie, “I thought you was comin’ home early and get this child. I guess you know I want to go out, too, once in awhile.” Arcie didn’t say anything for, if she had, she knew the landlady would probably throw it up to her that she wasn’t getting paid to look after a child both night and day. “Come on, Joe,” Arcie said to her son, “let’s us go in the street.” “I hears they got a Santa Claus down town,” Joe said, wriggling into his worn little coat. “I wants to see him.” “Don’t know ‘bout that,” his mother said, “but hurry up and get your rubbers on. Stores’ll all be closed directly.” It was six or eight blocks downtown. They trudged along through the falling snow, both of them a little cold But the snow was pretty! The main street was hung with bright red and blue lights. In front of the City Hall there was a Christmas tree-but it didn’t have no presents on it, only lights. In the store windows there were lots of toys-for sale. Joe kept on saying, “Mama, I want ...” But mama kept walking ahead. It was nearly ten, when the stores were due to close, and Arcie wanted to get Joe
One Christmas Eve Langston Hughes
some cheap gloves and something to keep him warm, as well as a toy or two. She thought she might come across a rummage sale where they had children’s clothes. And in the ten-cent store, she could some toys. “O-oo! Lookee....,” little Joe kept saying and pointing at things in the windows. How warm and pretty the lights were, and the shops, and the electric signs through the snow. It took Arcie more than a dollar to get Joe’s mittens and things he needed. In the A. & P. Arcie bought a big box of hard candies for 49¢. And then she guided Joe through the crowd on the street until they came to the dime store. Near the ten-cent store they passed a moving picture theater. Joe said he wanted to go in and see the movies.” Arcie said, “Ump-un! No, child! This ain’t Baltimore where they have shows for colored, too. In these here small towns, they don’t let colored folks in. We can’t go in there.” “Oh,” said little Joe. In the ten-cent store, there was an awful crowd. Arcie told Joe to stand outside and wait for her. Keeping hold of him in the crowded store would be a job. Besides she didn’t want him to see what toys she was buying. They were to be a surprise from Santa Claus tomorrow. Little Joe stood outside the ten-cent store in the light, and the snow, and people passing. Gee, Christmas was pretty. All tinsel and stars and cotton. And Santa Claus a-coming from somewhere, dropping things in stockings. And all the people in the streets were carrying things, and the kids looked happy. But Joe soon got tired of just standing and thinking and waiting in front of the ten-cent store. There were so many things to look at in the other windows. He moved along up the block a little, and then a little more, walking and looking. In fact, he moved until he came to the white folks’ picture show. In the lobby of the moving picture show, behind the late glass doors, it was all warm and glowing and awful pretty. Joe stood looking in, and as he looked his eyes began to make out, in there blazing beneath holly and colored streamers and the electric stars of the lobby, a marvelous Christmas tree. A group of children and grownups, white, of course, were standing around a big jovial man in red beside the tree. Or was it a man? Little Joe’s eyes opened wide. No, it was not a man at all. It was Santa Claus! Little Joe pushed open one of the glass doors and ran into the lobby of the white moving picture show. Little Joe went right through the crowd and up to where he could get a good look at Santa Claus. And Santa Claus was giving away gifts, little presents for children, little boxes of animal crackers and stick-candy canes. And behind him on the tree was a big sign (which little Joe didn’t know how to read). It said, to those who understand, MERRY XMAS FROM SANTA CLAUS TO OUR YOUNG PATRONS. Around the lobby, other signs said, WHEN YOU COME OUT OF THE SNOW STOP WITH YOUR CHILDREN AND SEE OUR SANTA CLAUS. And another announced,
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Winter 2011 • San Juan Horseshoe • Page 19 GEM THEATRE MAKES IT’S CUSTOMERS HAPPY - SEE OUR SANTA. And there was Santa Claus in a red suit and a white beard all sprinkled with tinsel snow. Around him were rattlers and drums and rocking horses which he was not giving away. But the signs on them said (could little Joe have read) that they would be presented from the stage on Christmas Day to the holders of the lucky numbers. Tonight, Santa Claus was only giving away candy, and stick-candy canes, and animal crackers to the kids. Joe would have liked terribly to have a stick-candy cane. He came a little closer to Santa Claus, until he was right in the front of the crowd, And then Santa Claus saw Joe. Why is it that lots of white people always grin when they see a Negro child? Santa Claus grinned. Everybody else grinned, too, looking at little black Joe-who had no business in the lobby of a white theater. Then Santa Claus stooped down and slyly picked up one of his lucky number rattlers, a great big loud tin-pan rattle such as they use in cabarets. And he shook it fiercely right at Joe. That was funny. The white people laughed, kids and all. But little Joe didn’t laugh. He was scared. To the shaking of the big rattle, he turned and fled out of the warm lobby of the theater, out into the street where the snow was and the people. Frightened by laughter, he had begun to cry. He went looking for his mama. In his head he never thought Santa Claus shook great rattles at children like that - and then laughed. In the crowd on the street he went the wrong way. He couldn’t find the ten-cent store or his mother. There were too many people, all white people, moving like white shadows in the snow, a world of white people. It seemed to Joe an awfully long time till he suddenly saw Arcie, dark and worried-looking, cut across the sidewalk through all the passing crowd and grab him. Although her arms were full of packages, she still managed with one free hand to shake him until his teeth rattled. “Why didn’t you stand where I left you?” Arcie demanded loudly. “Tired as I am, I got to run all over the streets in the night lookin’ for you. I’m a great mind to wear you out.” When little Joe got his breath back, on the way home, he told his mama he had been in the moving picture show. “But Santa Claus didn’t give me nothin’,” Joe said tearfully. “He made a big noise at me and I runned out.” “Serves you right,” said Arcie, trudging through the snow. “You had no business in there. I told you to stay where I left you.” “But I seed Santa Claus in there,” little Joe said, “so I went in.” “Huh! That wasn’t no Santa Claus,” Arcie explained. “If it was, he wouldn’t a-treated you like that. That’s a theater for white folks - I told you once - and he’s just a old white man.” “Oh . . . .,” said little Joe.
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(Prince of Whales Island) It couldn’t have come at a more difficult time. Christmas was in the air, deadlines were nailed on the wall. The holiday crunch was breathing down the necks of elves and reindeer, of Santa himself. That’s probably what did it. It all started when Red Sayles advertised reindeer on the menu over at the Arctic Cafe. He bragged about fried reindeer, reindeer stew, even escalloped reindeer. It was supposed to be a joke, to lighten things up prior to the Thanksgiving madness but it backfired. Lines of reindeer picketed Red’s place, not only disrupting his lucrative trade but causing a void in the local work force over at the sleigh barn. The word is that Red won’t take down the signs and the herds continue to protest his political insensitivities. He hasn’t sold but a few of the featured items either. Of course, if the Yuletide muscle teams don’t have enough to worry about, their self-imposed leader, Rudolph, is victim to reoccurring ego trips. He has apparently attempted to get his fellow reindeer to pledge allegiance to King Rudolf. He has fashioned a system of whistles and mirrors so as to better show off his nose, and he insists on landing first on each and every roof, so as to be the primary subject of every child’s sleigh viewing. “It’s bad enough we have to haul the fat boy around all night,” said Prancer, a soft-spoken reindeer, of unidentified gender. “Then we have to listen to Rudolph giving orders. It’s enough to make me go back to work in the tundra fields.” The reindeer aren’t the only ones upset with the size of Santa. “Hey, it’s not like we pay first class for sleigh rides,” said Groppo, an elf of low degree, “nor is it a matter of spending the night delivering presents with the old fart. It’s just that he takes up so much room once aboard. There’s no room for presents so we have to follow the main sleigh around with smaller orbiting sleighs. Besides, we spend a lot of time testing his sleigh for safety. It operates great when he’s not bogging things down.” Many elves insist that Santa doesn’t listen to them. “Just because we like body piercing and smoke cigarettes (94% of elves smoke at least four packs of cigarettes per day) he turns his back on us. We settled with the tobacco companies. Santa (himself an elf, though a non-smoking one) got his piece of the pie,” continued Groppo. “You’ve no doubt noticed how television portrays the average American male as an overweight, stupid, football mad, infantile, suburban sheep? Santa passes us off to other cultures in much the same way only he paints us with tobacco juice on our chins, rings in our noses, and a pint in our back pockets. It’s not so, not these days anyway. He thinks he’s the big kahuna, the don, the Norse king. Well, he ain’t. nothin’ but an elf who was in the right place at the right time.” Other elves say the wedge with Santa has to do with poor test scores. “Sure our test scores are down from a few years ago but most of us have to keep a second job to survive. I deliver pizzas. My kids work at the car wash. My brother takes tourists for snowmobile rides,” said Rasputin, a skinny elf with a dark beard and beady eyes. “Most of us can’t even afford a ski pass even though the ski areas are located on public lands,” added a third elf, named Elsie. “We used to sneak on to the lifts disguised as kids but deeper voices Liz & Patty - Stylists and facial hair give us away these days. Even us girls.” FAMILY HAIR CARE - Kashmir Horseshoe 310 8th Ave. Ouray, CO 970-325-0757
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GIANT FRUITCAKE SCULPTURE ON LAST LEG IN OURAY
(Ouray) The massive fruitcake sculpture that has graced the beach at the Ouray Pool is falling down, according to underwater sources here. Conservative projections suggest that the sculpture will melt and/or have seriously eroded by the weekend. “Hey, it looked great while it lasted,” said a lifeguard. “One can’t expect something as fragile as fruitcake to last more than a few weeks up here. The daytime sun could burn the hide off a mountain goat and the nighttime temperatures are dropping.” The fruitcake sculpture has been a common sight around the holidays for decades since snowpack has been unstable and often present in insufficient amounts to construct more traditional Rocky Mountain snow structures. A committee has been formed to study the feasibility of erecting next year’s fruitcake indoors so as to ensure longevity.
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(Tomichi) The overnight emergence of gangs of reindeer this time of the year has never been taken lying down by local wapiti. This possessive species not only resents the seasonal invasion, which results in damage to the local ecosystem, but feels that the rowdy reindeer are setting a bad example for younger members of the herd. The most recent bugaboo centers on the miles of tasteless graffiti left all over trees, walls and roadways in the reindeer’s wake. The elk, backed up this time by longtime adversaries the mule deer, are calling for mass deportations. They say the reindeer would not belong here even if they were behaving themselves and that the graffiti and constant flashing of gang signals is only the beginning of the chaos to follow. A legal counsel for the elk told The Horseshoe that local herds do not appreciate interference on the part of aliens. Calling the reindeer “animals,” he said that their recognized leader, an elf named Santa Claus, was no more than a two-bit warlord. Police have promised to monitor reindeer behavior but complain that they are frustrated by the situation in the courts and by chronic overcrowding in penal institutions. In a related story, there is still no word on the elf reconnaissance team that lost radio contact while on routine patrol in the Stinking Desert last Tuesday. The highly skilled group was sent out in search of a rare perennial cactus that is said to cure rampant stupidity when ingested as a potent tea.
S K Y B E A M
Kevin J. Haley email@example.com P. O. Box 1209, Ouray, CO 81427 Colona
Punta del Diablo
Winter 2011 • San Juan Horseshoe • Page 21
Global Warming May Dictate Pole Evacuation
DA WIDDOWEST CWISMAS TWEE
(North Pole) Increased global warming and melting of polar ice caps here may dictate an end to the Santa Dynasty which has dominated the economics and politics of the region for the past 500 years. Rumors circulating among the general elf population say that the benevolent monarchy, put in place by Fenian sailors in the early 16th Century, is living on borrowed time. Doomsdayers here go further saying that this holiday season could be the last for Santa and his henchmen, the elves (or elfes as they are often called). “It was never a picnic to manufacture and distribute all this loot,” said one of these creatures. “Now we can’t even manipulate our equipment. Snow slides are dusty, and sleighs don’t work well on thawed out lakes and rock fields. Our basement toy making shops have been flooded and now even Santa admits that the reindeer are exhibiting neurotic tendencies such as the unseasonable shedding of fur and horns in the face of rising temperatures. “Even though most of us gave up driving cars years ago the pollution levels from down south are staggering, said the elf. “One can actually sit here and see ice caps diminish and the water rise in epic proportions. It’s nobody’s fantasy. It’s real.” As many of us fail to realize, the holiday cult cannot just move anywhere and retain the charm of a frozen utopia...at least on this planet. “The way I see it we have two options,” said the elf, his pointy slippers and bony ears twitching, “either we build a big dome or move the whole show down to Vegas for 2012.”
by Donahed Powahs
Once upon a time, way out in de fowest, deah was a widdow twee. He was a pwetty widdow twee, wid bwanches in just da wite pwaces, and his mamma and awe his widdow fwends weah vewy pwoud of him. And den one day, into da fowest came a big man wid an ax oveah his shoudah and a widdow boy. He was wooking fow a twee to cut down, because it was getting cwose to Cwismas. When da man saw da widdow twee he said to da widdow boy, “Son, dat’s da twee we want. Wook how pwetty it is.” And da widdow boy wepwied, “Oh I see how pwetty it is. Awe da bwanches awe in just da wight pwaces.” Da man unshowdahed his ax and appwoached da widdow twee. “Stop! Stop! scweamed da widdow twee,” who was shuddowing wid appwehension. “No! No!,” cwied da momma twee twuu da teahs dat wah fawwing fwom hew eyebaws, but dat man wid da ax didn’t heaw dem, and in just a few shoat stwokes of his ax he had feowed da widdow twee. Dwagging it behind him, he and da widdow boy wetahned twuu da fowest to da pwace weah dae wived. When at wong wast dey emeahged fwom da fowest at da pwace weah dey wived, deah was a wovwy wady deah waiting fow dem. She saw da widdow twee and said, “Oh, what a pwetty widdow twee! It has awe da bwanches in da wite pwaces! We weih decowate it wit awe ob oah wovwy oahnaments and pwace awe ob oah pwetty pwesents bewoe it, and den we will hab a woneahfoe Cwismas!”
And so dey decowated da widdow twee wid awe da pwetty oahnaments, and dey stwung da widdow twee with stwing aftah stwing ob pwetty wites, and when dey pwugged in da stwings of wites da twee gwoed and gwimmahed and was vewy pweased wid himself. Den de man and da widdow boy and de wovwy wady bwought in wots of pwetty pwesents awe wapped up in wovwy wappings and pwaced dem bewoe de widdow twee. He saw himself in de miwah obah da fiwapwace and he knew dat dis was da most beautifoe he had ebah been in his whoea wife, and he smioed a gwin dat weached fwon bwanch to wovwy bwanch. De man, de widdow boy and de wovwy wady den went to de taboe wheah a wondeahfoe Cwismas dinnew was spwead out befoe dem. Deah was sawad to staht wid, fouwhoed by tewkey wid dwessing, potatoes wid gwavey, cwanbehwies, tewnips, and wime gewatin. Foe dessaht de wovwy wady bwought in chockwit covahed ecwaihs wid vaniwah ice cweam. Dey awe ate fwom da wondeafoe wepast befoe dem untio deah was fowe, and den dey embwaced each oddah Mawie Cwismas and went off to sweep in de bewief dat Santa Cwaus wouad awwive befoe mahning. And dat night a stwange ting happened. Da widdow twee heaud a noise obah by da fiwapwace, and wooking in dat diwection he saw dat Wovah, da famwie dog, had awisen fwom a deep sweep. As da widdow twee watched wid some awarm, Wovah came cwosah and sniffed awe awound. Den Wovah wifted his weg and peed awe obah da widdow twee, wid awe da bwanches in da wight pwaces, and awe da pwetty oahnaments, and awe deah beautifoe wites, and even obah deah pwetty pwesents wid deah wovwy wappings. And, you know, it kind of spoyed Cwismas foe da widdow twee.
It’s not for puppies anymore! Home
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Page 22 • San Juan Horseshoe • Winter 2011
(General Horseshoe, incorruptible alchemist, star gazer and slave to the solar system looks to the winter skies in an attempt to find some explanation, however flimsy or juvenile, for the state of affairs on the planet. For status report of current life on other heavenly bodies simply follow gov’ment directives, go directly to the conjunctive constellation and take a hard left.)
members keep in mind that they operate on similar misconceptions. Persons born under this sign can expect to pitch wool this month but watch out for roundhouse curves and sheepish grins. Although you lost your virtue many years back it keeps following you home. Tonight: Build a cage for it.
when those noisy trucks are in that neighborhood. Fixing things that are not broken may net unexpected results in the early morning. Perfume and candy make great stocking stuffers but long legs are better. Go ahead and lie to yourself. Everyone else is doing it. Tonight: Examine the roots of rap music.
(November 23 - December 21)
When dealing in financial matters keep a stiff upper lip or you could get caught
Amphibious landings may fall victim to the sands of time. Stay downwind from the monkey cage. Personal magnetism could get you in trouble with large metal objects. Stay away from dumpsters and parked cars. Be erratic in someone’s attic. Keep tabs on bothersome holiday knick-knacks. It’s tough to fill your dance card while wearing snowshoes. Don’t trust elves. Traveling to the beat of a different drummer may require a foghorn. Drastic decisions can be made calmly by the flip of a weighted coin. Tonight: Dame Fortune at twenty paces.
Ill-gotten gains still look good on a ledger sheet. Potential investors won’t roll over for the tuna salad plate. It may take champagne, exotic shellfish and a well placed threat to secure financial backing. Small minds and large groups are compatible through the end of the year. Success will be more enjoyable than failure in most endeavors. Aim for lofty targets today. Anyone can break into a ground floor apartment. Separate yourself from the everyday holiday burglars and go for the penthouse. Launder all cash on the gentle cycle. Tonight: Buy a new ski mask.
(December 22 - January 19)
(March 21 - April 19)
face down. The potential for a long, happy life awaits you but first you must make it through this afternoon. Spend equal time contemplating your inevitable destiny and your increasing density. Take advantage of insomnia. The world is open all night and there’s nobody out on the golf course at two in the morning. Using words you don’t understand is all right if you’re only talking to yourself anyway. Improvise despite inclinations to bull forward. Tonight: Torpedo the dams.
(April 20 - May 20)
December store mannequins seem self-absorbed. Don’t count on much social interaction until after the holidays. Some seek the limelight while others seek the gutter. An over-fertile imagination may hold off conflicts with reality. Avoid time-shares in clock factories and birth control devices made in India. Desperate associates may attempt to end it all by shooting at you. Long underwear may be shorter than expected. If you were born on the cusp it is high time to consider surgical options. Tonight: A chimney of wood will not stand the test of time.
It may be getting dark early and the cold winter wind doth blow but it’s only for six or seven months. You will perform best today by staying out of the mainstream. Buying people off could be better than putting them on for size. Embrace the wee hours. Today is a great day to have your picture taken with a sultry bowl of oatmeal. Those rubber bed sheets are not conducive to romance. Quit beating up on yourself...Anyone could have lost his Christmas money playing cards. So many Santas and so little thyme. Tonight: Enlightened strolls and ignorant romps.
The person who said: “Two heads are better than one” was not out shopping for designer hats. Let’s go surfin’ now, everybody’s learnin’ how. Come on a safari with me. Thus far you have managed to waltz through life without ever considering the importance of where you came from and where you’re going. Good job. If you can keep cruising at this pace you should achieve true enlightenment any day now. Shroud all disclosures. Use caution when working with unfamiliar tools such as your intellect. Household decisions should always be made right there in your house. Tonight: Howl at the darkness.
Holiday dinner diplomacy is never sweeter by talking with a mouth full of candied yams. Cult hero status could be in jeopardy due to seasonal competition. You may not work well under pressure this month. Try letting the air out of your ego. Learn the difference between on the street and in the street. Invest in twoended candles. After extreme retail exposure that case of single malt scotch is a legitimate business expense. OK, maybe Santa doesn’t believe in you either. Spider man covets your web page. Get into the holiday mood... Christmas lights do so much for a crawl space. Tonight: Go Caroling with Sue.
(January 20 - February 19)
(February 20 -March 20) Relax: Nobody eats fish for Christmas. The love of the chase is directly related to the size of the hook in your mouth. Try swimming south for the winter. It works for most birds. Playing the waiting game is much safer in the middle of the river. When dealing with family
(May 21 - June 20)
(June 21 - July 22)
Waiting for Santa could take all night. Your intrinsic hunter/gatherer instincts are in full swing this week. Don’t attempt to fight it. Hunt and gather till you puke. Pigeons may mistake you for a statue. Dogs may mistake you for a fire hydrant. Stay away from garbage cans
(July 23 - August 22)
(August 23 - September 22)
As the stars call it a day we have received little indication as to your plight for the month. This could be very good news or a disastrous turn of events depending on your altitude. Take off your clothes. Turn up the bass. Overwater house plants. Wear your brother’s socks. Let us know what happens. You’re going to heaven all right but get to the airport early to go through security. We care. Sharp features are no indication of inner mobility. Let pettiness be your umbrella. Reading want ads in bed may shed light on the employment boom. Tonight: Panhandle at the mall.
(September 23 - October 23)
Sour cream expressions net coal in your stocking...What a mess! Hoarding mistletoe is still a felony. How can you see yourself as a super hero when you don’t even own a decent cape? Wait for blocking before attempting a runback from deep in your end zone. Sometimes it’s better to settle for the sure thing and begin your operations from the 20 yard line. Although the element of surprise is valuable, constant blitzing could leave you with terrible field position later in life. Canned breakfast meats make great gifts. Tonight: Punt on third down.
(October 24 - November 22)
Your large forehead may distract adversaries but only for a while. Neighborhood mongrels will surely water holiday lawn decor. Opening doors for strangers only encourages them to come in. Venus will enter your sign for a three-week stay - Better stock up on toilet paper. If you spend all your money on trivial things you won’t have to worry about that stack of bills screaming for attention. Turn down the volume and enjoy what you certainly cannot understand. Tonight: Totally.
When skiing Crested Butte eat in Mexico! Burritos • Baja Fish Tacos Homemade Tamales Homemade Salsas & Guacamole Variety of Beers and Fresh Lime Margaritas
Lunch & Dinner Open 11 a.m. - 9 p.m. daily Open later on powder days (6” rule applies) 311 1/2 Elk Ave • 349-2005 Dine-in or Take-out
Winter 2011 • San Juan Horseshoe • Page 23 Small engine repair on weekends. Ed at Toys in the Attic, Montrose. See the Lord. Dynamic ganga. Call 808 for recorded message. Gelatin dynamite technician to act as operator for holiday fireworks assault team. Non-smokers preferred. Box 300, Horseshoe. For lease: Nearly new jokes. seemingly tasteful gestures, surprise responses and forgotten scenarios. G. Roscoe Lovinggood, Anchorage.
Lumpy Soup Looking for a factory trained sleigh mechanic to accompany benevolent elves on December 24. Prefer shorter person who can get under things and successfully hang off roofs in the dark. Must be social and possess the ability to get along in high stress situations. Co-workers include sensitive herd animals. Must provide own climbing gear. Call the North Pole switchboard or go on-line at www.kringle.com. Could work into year-round position. Starting up a polka band. Need cash. Somewhere in the neighborhood of $500,000 will do. Stan. Blind Box, Wimpton. Local slaughterhouse seeks outgoing Santa to greet customers over the holidays. Seasonal with higher the average pay and frozen turkey at completion of duties in January. Testosterone Brothers Catering. Will the lady I met the other night please meet me at the same place, same time so that we can do the same thing in a different way. Resort Charles, Taylor Park. Unattractive 101-year-old virgin seeks good times over the holidays. You’re gonna do what with that grocery bag? Money no object. References upon request. Miss Pickle, Permissive Living Shelter #299, Montrose.
For sale: Official 2011 Bronco playbooks. We’re forced to sell at below manufacturer’s suggested retail to make room for the 2012s. John Elway Motors. I can put a full color photograph of your pet or spouse on a common pine cone. How about an original artists’ rendering of your pickup carved onto a slab of sharp cheddar cheese? Laminated bird’s nests, babbling brook room dividers, spawning salmon throw rugs too. Great Christmas gifts. Canadians For Canada, Colona. Lame ducks needed for DNA experiments through 2013. Daily pay and insurance. House of Commons. Learn to breathe through your neighbor’s navel any afternoon this month. Group rates. Transportation provided. Herb the Herbal. Testimonies, electroshock, fashion consultation. Call our 800 number. Classes, grasses. molasses, glasses with mustaches. We sell anything and everything that rhymes! Got a word that rhymes with “Orange”. We’ll buy it for market price sight unseen. House of Rhymes, Whitewater. Punk symphony ensemble seeks digital kazoo improv for semi-annual tour of the Dakotas. Current band consists of mute bagpiper and bass guitarist with skin problem. No surprises from here on out. No surfers. Will consider possible duo or husband and wife
team. Someone possessing valid chauffeur’s license is a plus. Send tape to Fargo Largo, General Delivery, Bismarck Vegetarian cowpuncher needed for struggling cattle venture. Must be willing to sit around campfire eating burned beans and keeping cows out of trouble. Good pay if this were 1910. Walking Jerky Ranch. Don’t freeze this winter. Natural gas delivered to your home or business. Stacked and split. Price based on bulk. Propano Brothers. Local windbag would like initial appointment with registered acupuncturist. Willing to pay for relief. Opinions on the cutting room floor. My lips are sealed. Blackie, Almont Breeze. Public Relations expert needed for Happy Face Mortuary. No former obituary writers. Looking for someone who dresses smartly and follows orders. No druggies. Profit sharing and eternal benefits too numerous to mention in this space. Prefer someone in good metaphysical shape. Tunnel vision helpful. Order the 2012 version of the popular Hambone Christmas Hits by the Crooning Porkers and receive a free CD of The Chipmunks Sing German Military Marching Songs. Offer good while supplies last. Recto Records and Tapes. Come up to Ouray and receive free Flume Shots through the holidays. Ask any city employee for registration form. Feel better in just hours. The annual reunion for all motorists that ran their vehicles through the front window at the former Hadley’s Pool Hall (1948-1980) has been rescheduled for December 27 due to catering irregularities. Please bring covered seating. Lost: White trash. Up to three bags full. Contact Harriet Beecher Stowe. Reward if returned before 1850.
December 15th is the deadline to register for the Couch Potato Pass Run. Minimal entry fee. Lunar eclipse packages available to first twenty applicants. No glass bottles or dogs. or ski or hike or just relax! Golf carts optional. Send Whatever your pleasure when you stay with us data to CPPR, c/o the Ice you stay with the best Park in Ouray.
GO FISH ...
Rita: Marry me now or I will seduce your mother, move into your house, drink all your whiskey, legally adopt you and write you out of mom’s will. Sincerely, Slim. Fly the big rigs! Substitute pilots needed by struggling airline over the holidays. No experience necessary. We will train successful applicants. Excelsior Airlines. We’re at the airport! Did you just win the Lottery but you still can’t find romance? We have lots of attractive singles who would like to meet rich people like you. Life is short. Call us today and enjoy the pleasures of the harbor until your money runs out. Elysian Escorts. Spare parts for board games...Monopoly. Risk, Clue, chess, checkers, Life, Scrabble, Trivial Pursuit.
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Page 24 • San Juan Horseshoe • Winter 2011
Laura A. Ramos, DVM 970-349-1700 100% Recycled
Ryan Loflin 970-596-0723
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For Tickets, Showtimes & Pricing Visit www.crestedbuttearts.org
606 6th Street • Crested Butte
December 11 & 14 On the Trail of Genghis Khan: Part I & Part II
Film: An epic journey by Horse exploring the Steppe nomads of Central Asia
January 6 Hood to Coast (film)
197 grueling miles as a relay from Mt. Hood to the Oregon Coast
January 15 The Infamous Stringdusters with Elephant Revival An Expansive Bluegrass Repertoire
January 26 The Emmitt-Nershi Band
Legends Come Together in a jamming bluegrass band based in tradition-rooted experimentation
February 1 Nicholas Andre Dance
New York Professional Dance Group Revered for dynamic and innovative choreography
February 7 Double Feature Film: Journey of a Red Fridge & Pedal to the Midnight Sun
Recipient of 22 awards including “Best Mountain Culture Film,” “Best Documentary,” and “Best of the Festival Jury’s Choice Award.”
February 9 Tom Rush
The original architect of the singersongwriter era
February 24 The Aspen Laff Festival
A memorable night of stand-up comedy
Feb 17 & 18 Love Letters
A Pulitzer Prize Winning Theatrical Drama by A.R. Gurney
March 2 & 3 Move the Butte
A community dance and performance arts show that celebrates the connection we share through dance
March 6 John Oates
Taking R&B, folk and blues to a whole new level.
March 20 Doubletime (Film)
Film: Follows two disparate competitive jump roping teams
March 25 Cyrano de Bergerac
An award-wining professional theatre troupe bringing opportunities and artistic development to performers with disabilites. Formulated especially for a family-friendly theatre experience.