Nov 29, 2008

Cow With Ugly, Undersized Calf Attempts Brazen "Switcheroo" With More Handsome, Healthy Calf – Resulting Brawl Engulfs Palouse

The sound of heads colliding could be heard for miles as tempers flared into actual combat across the Palouse after the mother of an undersized calf not worth a bucket of chicken feathers attempted to stealthily abscond with a bright, chipper, downright handsome calf belonging to another cow, late Tuesday. "Well, we had finally got the whole mother/calf bonding situation under control and were worried about winter feed and our pasture rotation plan - and the next thing you know the whole herd is up in arms and acting like a “Best Of” episode of the Jerry Springer Show, for Pete's sake!!!" said Flem Snopes, an area rancher. "That poor mother took one look at that new, thin, nerdy-looking calf down there trying to nurse and began bawling to beat all I ever seen. Next thing you know the cows had divided up along bloodlines and the stage was set for real trouble. Although this should have only involved the two mothers, as is typical, cows by there very nature are always looking to rumble and love nothing more than a good fight and it does not take much for complete pandemonium to descend out of nowhere" said the unfortunate rancher. "Heck, we even had neighboring herds knocking down fences to come join the ruckus to try to get a few licks in! It was like a 4-legged, bovine version of the dadburn Arab/Israeli conflict.” Cows, although seemingly docile, are known for holding grudges that make even the most bitter mother-in-law look like the saint of forgiveness - so long simmering rivalries and feuds can exist right under the surface for years until just the right spark comes along. “And if that darn neighbor thinks I am going to pay to put that fence back up that his half-starved rabble stamped into the ground, he has another thing coming" said the peeved yet cost-sensitive rancher.

Order was restored after the respective calves were returned to their rightful mothers, alfalfa was sprinkled ¼ mile from the sight of the melee to draw off the combatants and the rancher, for his part, agreed to do a better job at removing the manure from around the saltlick and to get a new feeding trough behind the barn. Renewed sensitivity training will also be provided so that the entire herd understands the importance of the mother/calf bond so that this is less likely to occur in the future. No charges were filed but the mother of the nerdy, undersized calf will more than likely be placed on the cull list this year where she belongs.

As if the world needed any more examples, this serves to remind us of the hazards of coveting thy neighbors calf (golden or not), even if yours is undersized and nerdy and probably won't sell for more than $200 at the big auction in the Tri-Cities in the Fall.

Nov 27, 2008

Thanksgiving Update: Area Dog ‘Thankful’ After Being Given Cat Food Sandwich During Halftime Celebration

Although the Seahawks were getting soundly throttled, the potatoes were lumpy again this year and Uncle Jethro brought his new 'girlfriend' to the family-oriented celebration, at least one member of the Snopes household was happy and thankful this day – the beloved 2 year old mixed breed and decidedly mediocre watchdog Boomer. “Well, being a dog, he does not know the meaning of the word 'chewing', so it is kind of counter-productive to give him anything good. All he ever does is woof it down and look up with those sad, sweet eyes like I am some sort of doggie treat machine and he is a nickel short of correct change. So, to give him his favorite thing in the world – wet cat food, does not make much sense given that it takes longer to open the can than it does for him to eat it. Why should I even bother?” said Boomer’s food provider and designated pooper-scooper (and mother of 3). “Although to him this mysterious concoction is the forbidden ‘nectar of the gods’ since we feed the cats on top of the dryer, all he has been able to do up to now is smell it as the cats look down on him and hiss. So, instead of throwing away the last 2 pieces of stale Roman Meal, I decided to make a quick sandwich with the leftover cat food (which more or less turned me away from a second piece of pumpkin pie, thank goodness) and gave it to him. I could not believe it!! It was like he died and went to doggie heaven. I haven't seen that much rump shaking since my high school prom only a few short years ago." said the woman who graduated in the 1980's. "It looked like an actual human sandwich (which he loves but gets very rarely) but smelled like what the cats eat and what he has always been, according to him, so unfairly denied. Although our day was indeed ruined by the common potato and that presumptuous, know-it-all hussy with the bad dye job (come on, does anyone think that color of red occurs naturally in nature? I mean get real!) that Uncle Jethro brought into our home, at least Boomer gave proof to the age old adage – every dog does indeed have his day – although tomorrow he is back on dry food - regardless of how many sad, pitiful looks he throws my way!!” she said firmly.

Nov 26, 2008

The Nature Of Human Nature Or The Benefits Of Belonging

A man from Sprague is driving down the road and breaks down near an ancient monastery just outside Lamont. He goes to the monastery, knocks on the door, and says, "My car broke down. Do you think I could stay the night?" The monks graciously accept him, feed him dinner, and even fix his car. As the man tries to fall asleep, he hears a strange sound; a sound like no other that he has ever heard. The next morning, he asks the monks what the sound was, but they say, "We can't tell you. You're not a monk." The man is disappointed but thanks them anyway and goes about his merry way. Some years later, the same man breaks down in front of the same monastery. The monks again accept him, feed him, and even fix his car. That night, he hears the same strange mesmerizing sound that he had heard years earlier. The next morning, he asks what the sound was, but the monks reply, "We can't tell you. You're not a monk."

The man says, "All right, all right. I'm dying to know. If the only way I can find out what that sound was, is to become a monk, how do I become a monk?" The monks reply, you must travel the earth and tell us how many blades of grass there are and the exact number of sand pebbles. When you find these numbers, you will become a monk. The man sets about his task. Some forty-five years later, he returns and knocks on the door of the monastery. He says, "I have traveled the earth and devoted my life to the task demanded and have found what you had asked for. There are 371,145,236,284,232 blades of grass and 231,281,219,999,129,382 sand pebbles on the earth." The monks reply, "Congratulations, you are correct and now you are a monk. We shall now show you the way to the sound.The monks lead the man to a wooden door, where the head monk says, "the sound is behind that door." The man reaches for the knob, but the door is locked. He asks, "May I have the key?" The monks give him the key, and he opens the door. The man is relieved to no end. The man turns the knob, (holding his breath) and behind the door he is astonished to find the source of that strange, wonderful sound. It is truly an amazing and unbelievable sight and provides the secret of why Lamont is such a wonderful place. But I can't tell you what it is because you're not a monk. (hey folks, we just publish 'em here! Don't blame us for a lack of closure)

Nov 20, 2008

Animal Update: Local Skunks Slighted As Lavish Attention Showered On Lamont Raccoons

In spite of their numerous acts of mischief and general “bad boy” reputation, the burgeoning Lamont skunk population is largely overlooked as undue attention is devoted on their natural rivals – the equally mischievous yet remarkably cute raccoon population. “Well, although their destructive behaviors are indeed similar, raccoons tend to capture the popular imagination to a greater degree than the lowly, largely misunderstood skunk” said Dr. Wilma Pinkerton, a local animal behaviorist. "Indeed, both species tend to get into the garbage, eat cat food in the garage and screech like banshees during their brief yet memorable mating seasons. So why is one hunter/scavenger universally loved while the other is associated with any number of unpleasant social references? That is truly puzzling” she said. “Sure, skunks are stigmatized because of their unfortunate odor, but on average they only produce that frightful, life-changing stench when cornered, scared and/or confronted by overly pushy Jehovah’s Witnesses. Raccoons just tend to hiss, charge in groups of 8-10 and generally make one heck of a racket. Maybe that has something to do with it” she said reflectively.

“In spite of the obviously obnoxious yet admirable qualities of both mammals and their inherent behavioral similarities, the cute, fluffy, adorable, devil-may-care raccoons, unlike the skunks, have human-like eye patches and, either fortunately or unfortunately, no sane man (including that trail blazer and American icon Daniel Boone) ever considered making a “skunk-skin cap” because of the obvious negative associations held by human females for such head gear. And unlike more than 96% of the human population, raccoons always wash their hands before each meal. So, although unfair, man’s natural preference for and overall interest in raccoons over skunks is not only logical and rational – it is based on our deep-seated need for social acceptance and belonging to the community at large. We tend to gravitate towards those human characteristics in animals that we like and shy away from the ones that make us less comfortable or remind us of that uncle from Idaho that no one ever talks about and who regrettably invited himself to Thanksgiving again this year” she said.

Nov 15, 2008

Town of Lamont Adopts CB Radio Slang As Official 'Second Language'

In an effort to embrace differing cultures and reach out to a long underserved but substantial segment of the citizenry, the Town of Lamont has agreed that all future communications held within the Town limits will also be conducted in that All-American slang form made famous in such movie classics as “Smokey and the Bandit” and “Smokey and the Bandit II”. “That’s a big 10-4” said the Mayor. “Although we are a small town, we might as well be Spokane when it comes to miscommunications and verbal snafus. Given the differing education and demographic levels that we have, it was determined that what we needed was a unifying communication standard that cuts across all socio-economic barriers - barriers that can naturally lead to strife and discord” he said expansively. “At first we pondered the classic, unifying languages like Latin or Esperanto, but that would require a lot of book learning - and that is how we got into this mess in the first place. Then we considered the ‘Queen’s English’, but we have a hard enough time with the regular kind so that was just asking for trouble. So, after a process of elimination, we agreed that the only thing that would work is some form of abbreviated communication style – preferably derived from some time-tested aspect of the popular culture – and since every family in town had dozens of those cheesy, predictable (yet highly inspirational) trucker movies from the 1970’s, it seemed like the logical choice” he said proudly. “Plus, all it takes is one trip to the pawn shop and $10, and you can communicate across town and around the Palouse with a real CB radio without getting out of your long-johns and fuzzy slippers. In many ways it will help Lamont become more 'cosmopolitan'. "

"Oh, look at the time. I lost track of the 'big hand'. I better put the hammer down", said the Mayor as he dashed off to cut the ribbon at the new 6th street extension that has brought so much joy to the town. “I’ll keep ‘my ears on’ so ‘the Bears” don’t start breathing down our necks, come on back!! If I see 'cherries in bloom' (flashing lights), I'll check my '20' and point my chariot towards 'Bean Town'. The 'Big Bear' (Sheriff) tends to frown at large, unruly mobs milling around aimlessly in the middle of the street, 10-4. Over and out.” he said as he marched off, attempting to form an ad hoc 'convoy' to drive over to the new road grand opening before finally giving up and walking over alone in the rain..

Nov 13, 2008

Gov. Palin Tours Lamont’s New Road Project: “Holy cow! It’s like a dream!!” She Says

Alaska Governor and future hope for the Republican Party (and thus America) Sarah Palin was spotted checking out the new road project in Lamont as she made her way by car back to the frozen hell that is Alaska in November. “Well, the buzz in the power circles of Washington D.C. was all about the wonderful use of tax dollars in Lamont and the fantastic design and implementation by Century West Engineering” said the beaming Governor. “I have seen a lot of construction, but the professionalism, engineering excellence and attention to detail demonstrated by Century West in Lamont is profoundly amazing. That Dennis Fuller and his core team are true national assets! It really gives me hope for the future of this great nation!” said the new American icon who can gut a moose in under 30 minutes. “I just wish there was some way to entice Century West to bid on contracts in Alaska in addition to focusing on Washington, Oregon and Idaho” said the Reagan-esque mother of 5 and true feminist role model. “And by the way, that new extension of 6th street was bold and innovative – and was a clever way to utilize excess dirt from the excavation phase of the road bed preparation process” she said. “And that hydro-seed was applied evenly without too much clumping. Nice!!!” (parody)

Nov 11, 2008

Area Teen Discovers "Over-The-Counter Remedy ” In Trick-Or-Treat Bag – Older Sister Considered Prime Suspect

After a vigorous night of trick-or-treating in the outrageously well-managed and forward-looking town of Lamont, a local youth made a disturbing discovery as he surveyed the loot from the night’s visitations. “Well, I know I am getting a little old to go door to door, but I am short for my age and figured I could pull it off one last time. So, needless to say, this Halloween experience was important to me and I was looking forward to a night that I could cherish for the rest of my life!!!” said the traumatized teen. “When I came home, I set my bag down for just a minute to see if there was any good candy left in our bowl – and that is when it must have happened. Until that brief moment, the bag was never out of my sight!! I can't even feel safe in my own home, for Pete’s sake!!!” he fumed. “I can’t imagine anyone else in town who would do this, so all signs point directly at my stupid sister. Only she would stoop so low!!! Why couldn’t I have been born in another family?” he said despairingly.

The sister, age 16, proclaims her innocence in the strongest terms and says she was in the backyard with the dog at the time of the alleged “incident”. “Oh, he is such a whiner!!” said the sister. “The first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem, and as long as he is in denial there is just no hope. I can think of 20 people who would have loved to slip some ‘Beano’ in his candy bag - like the whole doggone school bus!! Hello!!! I am just sad that it doesn't come in handy 55 gallon drums – why beat around the bush with half measures?” she said sympathetically but with an eye on economies of scale. "As we all know, desperate times require desperate measures - but that is just supposition on my part - given my air-tight alibi and all" said the thoughtful, obviously protective sister. Sadly, the male youth is still recovering from the troubling discovery of ‘acne medicine’ in last years Halloween bag. The above referenced sister was also accused in that incident – although charges were dropped for lack of evidence.

Nov 10, 2008

Local Rancher Shocked To Discover Long Forgotten ‘Hillbilly Herd” In Distant 'Holler' At Far End Of Ranch

An area rancher made a disturbing discovery late Tuesday as he was exploring the long forgotten and largely inaccessible “Moonshine Creek’ (pronounced ‘crick’) portion of his sprawling 2000-acre ranch on the edge of the Palouse. The rancher, searching for a lost dog at the insistence of his daughter, Mabel, age 8, decided to venture into a forbidding and largely unproductive corner of the ranch in the hopes that the dog, never the smartest one in the litter, might have chased a rabbit back there and was too stupid or lazy to find its way back.

“Well, I was back there looking for that stupid, lazy, good-for-nothing dog when all of a sudden I saw strange, unnatural cattle signs – you know – strangely shaped hoof prints and bizarre, circular cow trails. Then, over the wind, I was just able to pick up the subtle ‘mooing’ that sounded eerily like the 'rebel yell'” said the mortified rancher. “Needless to say, the hair stood up on the back of my neck – and it was like I was transported to a Palouse version of the movie 'Deliverance'. That was just plain creepy” he shuddered.

“The only way I can figure it happened was that time my dad lost those cows back in the blizzard of ’46. We just assumed they got lost in the drifts – never to be seen again. Who would have guessed that they would have developed an entire bovine subculture based on close inter-breeding, twangy, annoying mooing melodies and illegal, homemade silage? Now I can see why a good, solid ‘bull rotation” is essential for the health and welfare of any herd” he said stoically. "I am just thankful that the price of beef jerky is so high so that it is not a total loss" he said optimistically. “And I should have known that lazy dog was off sleeping behind the hay bales in the barn and didn’t have the sense to wake up and come get supper. I’m beginning to wonder if that dog is a victim of careless breeding, too!!”

Nov 6, 2008

Local Dog Tricked Again By Above-Average IQ Lamont Raccoons

A local pooch was foiled again after falling for the classic “no, you go first” trick that seems to be favored by the highly intelligent and manipulative raccoons that have been plaguing Lamont for the last several months. The dog, one of the beautiful animals that was saved from a ‘puppy-mill-gone-bad” in Adams County, is adapting well to Lamont – although it is having a hard time adjusting to the unusually smart raccoons that live here. “Well, the average raccoon in Adams County is pretty stupid” said Dr. Pete Marshall – Animal Behaviorist at BSU. “So, it is easy for dogs in that county to realize they are being tricked or duped and not fall for the shenanigans that raccoons are known for. But when they come to Lamont/Whitman County and are faced with the smooth talking, worldly, highly polished, narcissistic raccoons that seem to thrive here – their natural defenses are torn down and they tend to get outsmarted time and time again. It’s really quite unfortunate. That dog fell for the oldest trick in the book - and allowed the raccoon to polish off the catfood in the garage undisturbed. It was all so senseless, really" he said.

If anyone would like to help support the fantastic group of individuals (Adams County Pet Rescue) who helped save these lovely dogs (they need a lot of help in a variety of ways, folks) or would consider adopting a wonderful animal, please take a minute and visit their website. The Palouse is known for people with big hearts – and nothing proves this more than taking in a dog that has been mistreated and giving it the love that it needs and deserves. The love you get back in return will more than repay any effort extended. These mini-Aussies need your help. (talk about cute, smart dogs!) All they need is a chance at the wonderful life you can provide them. If you cannot adopt a dog, financial support is much needed, too.
(click here for more information)

Nov 3, 2008

Local Ranchers Demand Reforms After Tragic 9-Cow Pile-Up Occurs At Area Ranch

Area ranchers are up in arms after a tragic yet preventable accident occured in the largely unregulated and dangerously overburdened "cattle shoot" segment of the US transportation system, late Tuesday. "Well, this is outrageous!!" said Festus Martin - area rancher, wheat farmer and 'Scrabble' enthusiast. "We pay all these taxes to the government and place the hopes and safety of our herds in their hands and it seems like the least they could do is properly fund and staff our nation's "Cow Traffic Controllers', for Pete's sake. What is this - some sort of third-world nation where cows are no more than beasts of burden? We just can't have a bunch of American cows running amok and crashing into each other as they go for their yearly shots before being sent out to winter pasture. I can see that happening in countries like Ethiopia, Chad or Canada - but not in the good old USA!" said the grieving rancher. "What if there had been calves present? Where is the government when you need them most?" he fumed. "Someone needs to be held accountable!!"

Although the case is still under investigation, sources close to the Administration are saying that early indications point to some sort of software glitch or computer malfunction and a crack team of computer nerds with few if any social skills are being rushed to the scene to begin a preliminary investigation. "Well, this is one of the hazards of living in the computer age and relying on the whims of technology" said Thurston Marshall - Assistant Director of the Livestock Logistics Administration. "Although we have redundant systems across our networks, there is always a slim chance of a tragic meltdown. The only thing we can do is diagnose the problem, fix it and be more vigilant." said the puzzled pencil-pusher. "Our deepest sympathies go out to the herd during this difficult, trying time" he said.

Nov 1, 2008

Flashback: Councilman Placed In Eye Patch After Minor Injury; Threatens To “Keel-haul the Scallywags”

After being placed in a temporary eye patch after receiving a minor scratch to the eyeball during a hailstorm, a Council Member is quietly recovering at home on a treatment plan of limes, grog, hardtack and salt pork. “Well, I’ll shiver his timbers if he calls me a galley wench one more time!!!” said his loving, perplexed wife. “He just struts around all day, slashing the air with the yardstick shouting “Aarrrgh” and ‘Shiver me timbers’. I keep hiding that fake bird he thinks is a real parrot before anyone sees it on his shoulder – but he says he won’t tell me where he hid the treasure – or worse, he’ll leave me stranded on some place called 'Skeleton Island' if I don’t give it back. Oh, what do I do?” said the confused wife who prefers sappy romance novels.

“Well, I came by to check on him to see how the eye was and I was shocked by the transformation” said a local pastor. “He kept saying something about putting a broadside into my rigging and how rogues don’t need no fancy church talk. And I won’t even mention all of the holes he dug in the back yard while reading some worn, dirty piece of paper written in what he said was ‘land-lubber blood’. So I just said a quick prayer with his wife before he could pin me to the yardarm with Black Beard’s cutlass or send me to visit Davy Jones’ Locker” said the concerned pastor who enjoys reading a good Western and, of course, the Bible.

“Anyway, we go back to the doctor on Tuesday to get the patch off – and I sure hope I can keep him from making the poor dog walk the plank until then” said the sweet wife. “I just wish he had watched “Fantasy Island‘ and not ‘Treasure Island’ on TV that day. He could have been Mr. Roarke or Tattoo. That would’ve been so much easier” she said.

Entire Town Confused/Impressed After Local Man Uses Outdated Expression In Heated Argument

The Town of Lamont was thrown into a tailspin of confusion and profound misunderstanding after a local man used an obviously well worn expression with its roots in our distant, murky past. “Well, I was having another talk with him about his dog’s unnatural inclination to answer the hourly call of nature in my front yard when, out of the blue, he just dropped that verbal bomb on me. I was so pole-axed by its obviously profound yet mysterious origins that all I could do is slink off back to the house and hit the bottle” said a local retiree and neighbor. “I have been around a lot of years and consider myself well-versed in the finer arts of verbal fencing and crushing one-liners, but there was nothing else to do but concede defeat gracefully and regroup to fight another day” he said.

The situation escalated rapidly as innocent bystanders were drawn into the unfortunate melee. “Well, in order to listen to what they were saying and not appear to be snooping, I was acting like I was checking the lid on my garbage can for the third time that day so I could overhear their usual argument about that sweet dog and his totally reasonable desire to go to the bathroom on well-tended grass. Then when the owner of that dear, sweet dog muttered that cutting comeback he just silenced the whole argument right there. I darn near dropped the trash can lid and gave myself away” said a local snoop, busybody, outrageous gossip and humble housewife. “The sheer simplicity and sweeping nature of it drew my breath away with its panoramic implications and crushing tone of finality” she said. “The only thing I could do is go inside and nag at my husband for never using deep, moving expressions like that so I could be proud of him for once.”

Sadly, in retrospect, the expression had little bearing on the situation at hand. Although versatile; the retort “Don’t measure my wheat with your bushel”, has little bearing on the dog problem because the pithy one-liner refers to measuring something – and not some spoiled house pet with bladder control issues.