Apr 8, 2010

Local Rancher With Un-Rancher-Like Name Never Really Accepted By Other Ranchers

In a tragic episode of a mother's overly exuberant love tinged with delusions of grandeur gone awry and where a passing fancy in the maternity ward half a century or more ago was destined to cause problems for decades to come - an area farmer/rancher, sadly named Bif Balfour, age 52, has had to suffer innumerable slings and arrows from the greater farmer/rancher community because his name "don't sound like us at all!' - thus leading to suspicion, teasing, isolation and oftentimes open hostility from the rancher families themselves. "Well, if there is one thing we know about, it is culling the herd, doggone it!" said Jethro Snopes, a local farmer/rancher with a normal sounding name in these parts, thank goodness. "So when we see some unusual trait or characteristic, regardless of how small or meaningless, we love nothing better than marshaling our forces and sending the offending critter to the renderer or the dog food factory or whatever faster than you can say 'buttered grits'!" (Editorial Note: Does anyone even eat grits in Washington State? That expression thus seems artificially folksy and quite unnecessary somehow!) "Anyway, when that Balfour woman went and done named her only boy 'Bif', we just could not believe our luck! That single event pretty much gave our largely meaningless and mean-spirited lives purpose for the last 50 years! Sure, we could not send him away on one of those cattle trucks or nothing, but we sure could have a heck of a time making him feel isolated and less than he really was. Oh, that was so fun!" said the beaming high school dropout thru a Jack-o-lantern like smile. (Editorial Note: Does he really need to smile that often? I mean, have some pity on those around you, for goodness sake!)

"Well, sure, looking back, if I could have had another name, I am still not sure if I would have done it - but it sure would have made living around here a lot easier, I guess" said the besieged Bif while pulling off his manure covered rubber boots in the naively called "mud room" of his modest 'ranch style house'. (Editorial Note: If you are already a rancher, why would you have to live in a 'ranch style house'? I mean, isn't that just laying it on a little thick? We get it! You buy into the whole 'rancher lifestyle'! You are committed! Okay, let's move on!) I mean, I know the name "Bif" is much more suited for some surfer movie with a bunch of bikini-clad babes cooing all over the place and all of that and doesn't really fit in with being ankle deep in those unfortunate cow byproducts all day long, but it is just a name, for Pete's sake - and I didn't choose it for myself! It does not define me at all. I smell just as bad as any of those Bodines or Snopes or Festoons or Blats - regardless of whether their first names are Festus, Fester, Jethro, Bubba, Moose, Gator, or whatever the cultural elite around here like to name their snooty kids!" said Bif. "And my poor sainted momma regretted that decision her whole dern life. On her deathbed, some of her last words to me were "I'm sorry for naming you Bif, Bif! I should have listened to your papa and named you Festus like he wanted - but half the kids in cattle country were (and still are, for Pete's sake!) named Festus, and I just wanted to make you unique somehow! Please forgive me, son!" - and then the doctors had to drag me from the room as I shouted "I forgive you, momma! I love the name Bif!". That was the first and last time I ever lied to my poor, sweet momma - but she was dying and all. Why hurt the poor woman at that point?" he said pragmatically, wiping away a rare tear.

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