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When Britney Cagle of Hot Springs, Alabama won first place in the individual meet of her kindergarten potato sack race, her father’s face beamed with pride.

“I thought the sky was the limit for my little Brit. I knew that her future in hopping-related sports was bright,” said Britney’s father Ralph Cagle as he choked back tears.

“We had already paid a substantial down payment on hopscotch camp and paid a retainer for a private coach to help her with her lemon-on-a-rope jump roping skills– you know, where you swing the lemon on the rope with one foot and jump over it with the other? She’s showed a lot of promise at that thing. But now, I don’t know. I just don’t know.”

Only hours after Britney took first place in a record shattering 7.2 seconds, the parents of her most bitter rival — Jamie McClellan — accused Britney of using a sugar-based dietary aid or, as it is more commonly known, candy.

“Did you see how that child was hopping? She looked like she’d been shot out of a cannon or had a family of fire ants stirred up in her pants. There ain’t been a 5-year old yet who could break 7.5 in the potato sack race. All of sudden we’re supposed to believe this Britney kid can do it in 7.2? Nah uh. Something’s up,” declared Earl McClellan, Jamie’s father.

Asked to provide evidence of his scandalous claim, Mr. McClellan pointed to numerous Jolly Rancher and Now And Later wrappers found in Britney’s cubby. “They ain’t allowed that many sweets during the day. Maybe an animal cracker or two, but nothing like this. The kid has definitely been dopin’.”

Mr. McClellan continued, “Another thing. Look at her form. She ain’t even a good hopper. She stands too far upright to be that fast. Throw in the fact that they was runnin’ into the wind and it’s clear — that kid was high as a kite.”

Mr. Cagle vehemently denies the doping allegations asserting that Mr. McClellan is behind the candy wrappers. “I think this is a plant. Not like a fern or a daffodil, but, I mean, I think he planted them candy wrappers. Brit don’t even like Jolly Ranchers. Not grape ones anyway.”

Mr. Cagle says he’ll fight any efforts to strip his girl of her first place ribbon. “If they want to take this up to the school district, we’ll see them there. My baby has worked too hard to give up that ribbon without a fight.”

The school district declined comment except to say, “The school district has a zero tolerance for doping. Candy-aided records are not recognized and the offending children are immediately disqualified from the race. Further, the guilty child is forced to write Bad Bunnies Don’t Win Races 1000 times.”

Mr. McClellan said the doping has to end now. “This here’s a slippery slope. Allow them to get all hocked up on Jolly Ranchers now and they’ll be free-basin’ Tootsie rolls and M&M’s before they hit second grade.”

“The only hocked up person here is Mr. McClellan. I ain’t gonna say he’s a meth head; I’ll just point out he’s a weird kind of skinny,” Mr. Cagle said in a parting shot. “And his little hyena better watch her back.”

Britney Cagle’s blue ribbon is safe for now even if it’s mired in scandal. Asked about the incident, 5-year-old Britney whispered in a sing-song voice, “I so love Justin Bieber. And purple butterflies.”

There’s nothing like a good cow story to get the week started right. Hat tip to Harmony for finding the article.

Reward Offered After Cattle Rustlers Hit The Northstate

Ranchers are beefing up security  after some cattle rustlers went to work in Tehama County.

This lead off sentence is quite telling. Not only is this journalist reporting the news, but he/she isn’t scared of a pun. Cows. Beef. “Beefing up security.” I get it. Witty. Go ahead and make room in your trophy case for that Pulitzer.

One Northstate family had more than a dozen calves stolen right from their property. A reward of up to $12,000 is being offered for information in the case.

Up to $12,000? You’re doling out partial payments for info? I assume crappy info won’t net you much:

“I think they’re male.”

“Great, thanks. Here’s 75 cents.”

Be careful or you’ll find yourself with only $3.82 to give to the person who positively IDs the thief.

Candace Owens and her husband John say that sometime between April 15th and now, someone stole 15 cows from their ranch west of Red Bluff.

You mean for a month you didn’t notice missing cows?

“Candace, it’s weird. Normally, when I’m out riding the range, I have to maneuver around these big blocks of living things that are moving around and taking up space.”

“You mean the cows, John?”

“Yeah, I guess so. But lately I’ve noticed that there are less of these things to maneuver around.”

“John, are you saying we now have less cows?”

“I guess so. You think I should count them?”

“I think there’s specialized fellas that are tying to make a quick buck,” said Candace Owens. “They’ve got to be knowledgeable at livestock in some fashion.”

Of course. “Specialized fellas.” That must be it. Generalized fellas couldn’t pull off a caper like this. Generalized fellas stick to stealing chickens and things of that sort; rabbits perhaps. Cows are no cakewalk. You have to be Tom Cruise dangling from a wire to pick off some bovine booty.

But why do you have to be “knowledgeable at livestock in some fashion” to be able to steal a cow? I’ll bet you can do it without knowing much at all about cows.

“Frank, let’s steal a cow.”

“Jimmy, you don’t know nuthin’ about cows.”

“So?”

“Well, you got to know yer subject matter before you haul off and start stealin’.”

“Uh, I disagree.”

“Do you know what kind of feed to give to a cow?”

“Besides grass, no.”

“Do you know how they came to be domesticated?”

“No.”

“Then you’re not qualified to be cow rustling.”

“I was going to put a rope around the cow’s neck, lead it into a stolen horse trailer, and then drive off. What’s wrong with that plan?”

Frank thinks for a while. “I guess nuthin’. Let’s go.”

John Suther is the senior special investigator for the Special Investigation Bureau of Livestock Identification. Suther said more than 1,800 cattle were stolen in California last year and they’ve already received 762 theft reports this year. Suther pinpoints ways to protect precious livestock. “Branding their cattle, that’s the number one thing,” said Suther. “And counting your cattle when you go through them when you’re missing them”

Special Investigator Suther inspires a great deal of confidence. When you’re missing cattle and you go through them, you should count them. Ah, so there’s where I keep messing up. [Hand to forehead] I had 4 cows. Now I just have this one staring at me. I couldn’t figure out what was awry. When I count them, I see that 3 are missing. I didn’t take them. Shazam! My cows have been rustled!

Spiders And Kick It Dogs

This morning I took my kids to school and then came home to get ready for work. It took me all of about 30 minutes to get ready and head out the door. As I walked the 5 steps from my side door to my car door, I ran through a spider web. We’ve all done it, I know, but here’s my question: what is it with these super-ambitious spiders? By encircling my carport, WTF is this spider trying to catch? A flipping condor?

I can’t even begin to understand the 1% of the spider population that decides the basic web isn’t good enough.

“Larry, where are you going?”

“I’m going to launch myself into the air and try to reach that car door.”

“Why?”

“I’m going to try to catch a flipping condor.”

“They’re practically extinct, dumbass. Plus, the owner is going to drive away any minute and there goes your web.”

“Maybe I’ll catch an owl before the owner goes anywhere.”

“An owl? A single strand is not going to catch an owl. You’re wasting your time.”

“Ha. What do you know?”

Five minutes later, I walk through the single strand and hear a tiny spider voice shriek, “Crap!”

This past weekend I was mowing my yard and 20 feet from the side of my house and another 20 feet from the nearest tree, I walked through another spider web strand. Was the bastard building a volley ball net? Did I just ruin the arachnid summer olympics?

_____________________

I have a kick it dog. What’s a kick it dog? It’s a little crap dog and it makes you want to kick it. Each morning, I sit on the stairs and put my socks and shoes on. Yesterday, kick it dog came up and licked me a single time on my 3rd toe, and then walked away as if nothing strange had just occurred. Explain that to me.

“I don’t want to lick him multiple times. That might send the wrong signal. You never know about these Southern boys. They say the sheep lie, but it sounded like they were telling the truth to me. On the other hand, he feeds me. I need to show some gratitude. I’ll just give a single lick. A single lick says, ‘Hey, thanks for the food, but I’m not coming on to you.’ Do I go for the big toe or one of those others? Shit, this is difficult. My brain is the size of a small orange. How the hell am I supposed to know which toe to give a single lick to? Screw it, I’ll just make contact, and walk off.”

Easter

Stained glass at St John the Baptist's Anglica...

Image via Wikipedia

This weekend, we Christians celebrate the risen Christ. Next to Christmas, it don’t get no holier than this weekend. Folks who haven’t thought about God since Christmas will break out their best, shiniest clothes and head out to be seen their local church.

Though none of the Gospels make note of it, Jesus, while suffering excruciating pain on the cross, thought to himself, “I hope my followers will remember me and celebrate this day by wearing lots and lots of pastels.”

Later, after awakening from a pain-induced lapse of consciousness, Jesus prayed, “Father, I know not what rabbits and hidden chicken eggs have to do with all this, but I bid my children well.”

As if on cue, Mary was heard to say, “I’m getting the hankering for a bit of chocolate. This seems to be a rather odd time for that, don’t you think? Jesus, son, guess what I’m fancying?”

John placed a reproachful hand on Mary. “Let us not worry Jesus with that right now. I’ll tell you what. In about 3 days, we take a walk in the garden.” Almost as an afterthought, he added, “I’ll also hide some eggs from you and you can then try to find them. How about that,” he asked with a smile.

“Eggs? Why would you hide eggs from me?”

John looked genuinely puzzled. “Well, I don’t rightly know.”

“And what kind of eggs would you be hiding?”

John scratched his beard. “Chicken eggs. Yes, chicken eggs.”

“Yes, naturally. Ok, I look forward to it. Everyone, everyone gather round. In 3 days, we’re all going to eat chocolate and find chicken eggs that John will hide.”

Eggs

Image via Wikipedia

“Oh, fun. Can we make the chocolate in the shape of little chickens?”

“Don’t be ridiculous. Chicken-shaped chocolate. That beats all I’ve ever heard. They’ll be in the shape of rabbits, you silly.”

Nothing In Particular

Look at this picture. Two young daughters alternate use of my phone and now I have 20 of these. I have a recurring nightmare in which I’m charged with some horrific child molestation crime. Of course, I’m innocent, but the police search my phone and, lo and behold, there are 20 pictures of Barbie wearing fashionable dresses with matching accessories. I awake screaming, “That proves nothing!”

And with no transition or segue, here’s the Golden Retriever I recently adopted. His name is Sam.

Test Drive

I’m trying out a new iPad blogging app. It seems real cool. I can drag and drop pictures and videos. Here’s a good one:

Okey dokey. That took about 4 minutes. Now, where’s the “make me interesting” button?

Uh, what’s going on with y’all?

A Cow That Wows

Given that cows work their way into posts of mine on a routine basis (here, here, here and here), I couldn’t pass up this little nugget. Meet Luna the Jumping Cow.

Yeah.

I Think That . . .

1. Scorned women designed urinals, which is the only explanation for the ridiculously engineered, splash-inducing angles and contours.

2. You can’t love jazz but hate wind chimes. And vice versa.

3. There should be a cosmic safe word. People who engage in sex games have a safe word (or so I’m told) when things get uncomfortable or go too far. Well, I want one for life. I want to be able to shout out, for example, “Job!” and make things ease up for a while. By the way, that’s “Job” from the Bible, not a scream for employment. I have a job. It often causes me to shout, “Job!”

4. Chubby should be fashionable.

5. People on Facebook have to quit telling me how much they love God. These are the same people who were hell-bent on destruction back in high school and college. Declaring to your 937 friends how great God is may be a sure-fire redemption strategy, but, dammit, why should I have to be bothered with it?

The New Gun Screening Test

1. Do you smoke pot? If so, here’s your gun. We can’t imagine you doing anything violent with it. If your answer is no, proceed to Question 2.

2. Do you take meth? If so, why do you need another gun?

3. Do you hear voices? If so, indicate the type of voices you hear:

A.  Oh crap, I forgot the milk.

B.  This classmate/congressperson/pop star MUST DIE!!!!!!!

4. If you answered A to the preceding question, here’s your gun. And get the milk for goodness sake. If you answered B, proceed to Question 5.

5. If you think the rapper/pop/rock star must die, is it because he/she is on the Disney Channel nonstop singing sugary sweet pop crap? If so, here’s your gun. You’re perfectly normal.

6. If you think the rock star/rapper/pop star must die because if you don’t stop him/her then emus will take over the world and all the ladybugs will die, proceed to the next question.

7. If you’ve come this far, this is probably a stupid question (because we know the answer), are you friendless?

8. Do you have bad hair or no hair?

9. Do you wear black on black on black on black with black socks?

10. Do you wear a trench coat even though it is 88 degrees?

11. Do you listen to any musical group that DOESN’T enlist the use of a pentagram or skull?

12. Does your mom often whisper the words, “He’s just shy” to people after introducing you?

13. Did you make it to this question? If so, here’s your gun. The NRA prohibits us from restricting the sale of a firearm of any type to anyone at any time under any circumstance.

14. Do you want an automatic or semi-automatic? A billion rounds or a gazillion?

God help us all.

Why did 1000 birds fall from the sky dead in Arkansas?

1. Merely crapping on cars wasn’t good enough
2. Jonestown bird cult
3. It’s Arkansas
4. Don’t know, but seconds before, 1000 girl birds heard, “Hey, y’all watch this!”
5. 1000 bullets
6. Some cat discovered magic