Shootin' the Breeze

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Archive for the tag “Big Bronc”

Sharpshooter

This is a re-blog of a story that fits the subject matter of Deadly Dangers at Cross Creek Ranch, yesterday’s post.

Shootin' the Breeze

My trophy wife, Sugar, was outside with the dogs while I watched Chisum.  As it turned out, viewing the John Wayne movie was a good way to prepare for my imminent deadly showdown.

I heard my wife’s alarming scream.  Then she called out to me, “Al, come out here.  Hurry!”  I moseyed up from the couch, ever obedient, ever vigilent.

I still did not know what she was frightened about.  (Girls can be overly dramatic and mysterious).  I empathetically inquired about what was troubling her.  Her response was not responsive to my question.  She uncalmly commanded, “Get a gun.”  Well, that was the main idea.  She was much more eloquent.

As an aside, in order to give some background to the scenario, I want you, gentle readers, to be informed that Sugar grew up in Texas.  Also, she is of Italian extraction.  You may combine your prejudiced stereotypes as you imagine  her emotional communication.

Further, Sugar’s…

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My Station in Life

To those of you who know me only as Big Bronc, the successor King of the Wild Frontier, I hope it does not disappoint you to learn that I also make the world a better place in my role as The Lawman, Advocate for Western Justice.  I work at the World Headquarters for Western Justice, which is located right here in Northern Colorado.

My trophy wife, Miss Sugar, holds the position of Office Manager, awarded to her through a system of nepotism.  Consequently, she is present at The World Headquarters when Big City Lawyers from Denver are obliged to travel to Fort Collins to deal with me in my persona as Just a Country Lawyer.

Miss Sugar, still a handsome woman for her advanced age, was, back in the day, a finalist in the Miss Texas USA pageant, winning the swimsuit competition, leading to a professional modeling career and appearances on an obscure television series called Dallas.  Big deal.

Who says that I wasn’t a professional model too?  For your information, I’ve done a little modeling here and there.  Well, just there, in Omaha, Nebraska, when I appeared in a print ad for the grand opening of the teen department at Nebraska Clothing, which is now out of business, but I do not accept the blame.  You could kind of recognize the back of my head as I tried on a coat.  I was photographed while shopping with my mother.  We are both pretty sure it was me trying on the coat, which we did not purchase.  No wonder they went out of business.  Although we were offered a discount for the coat as compensation for my modeling, when Mom declined anyway, the guy who asked to take my picture compensated me in another manner, by giving me one of the prizes intended for the Grand Opening.  I was awarded a real cool flashlight.  Those of you familiar with legal definitions will recognize that being paid for the publication of my image makes me a professional model.  I have cut back on my modeling career since that particular gig, so I could focus on seventh grade and beyond.

I don’t talk about my modeling in front of Miss Sugar because I am fairly certain that she was never in The Omaha World Herald and I don’t want her to feel inferior.  We were in different niches of the market.  To be fair, I was not in the Dallas Morning News as she was, nor on the cover of any lingerie catalogs, nor did I model at Dallas Apparel Mart  BECAUSE  I was very picky about allowing my image to be “used” to sell products.  The only reason Miss Sugar had to do that stuff was because the Kim Dawson Agency arranged them.  I did not require an agent.  As I described, Nebraska Clothing approached me.

It is generally recommended that being “equally yoked” is a good idea.  As used in the Bible, that means being married to another believer, and we do indeed share our religious beliefs as Christians.  However, both being professional models and all, I liked to think we were equally yoked in that sense as well.

That is what I liked to think.  That is what I liked to think until one of those Big City Denver Lawyers came to my office to spend the day taking depositions for a case we were litigating.  Of course I introduced him to my lovely wife.  As he left at the end of the day, he unkindly volunteered, “Man, you sure married way above your station in life.”

He is absolutely correct.  I married above my station in life by every measure.  Lucky me!

DEADLY DANGERS AT CROSS CREEK RANCH

              It was high noon.  Miss Sugar, my trophy wife, was fussing in the kitchen when she hollered, “Big Bronc, they’re coming!  Lots of ‘em.  You better be ready.  I’m gittin plumb nervous.”

           Soon they commenced to coming up our lane to the ranch house.  Dozens of folks arrived in waves.  We was surrounded.  

            Me and Texas Bob took our stations, him by the cantina, me peeking out from inside the house.  We was ready, providin’ there warn’t too many of ‘em.  I lost count at 65.  That seemed about right for me and the little woman and Texas Bob.

            Also, Texas Bob had brung a woman with him, as was his way.  She was a spunky redhead, a fancy dresser, name of Ginger.  I’d seen her before.  Once down in Fort Worth Stockyards, at the Cattlemen’s Club, Bob and Ginger was there with me and Sugar and we had a good old time.  Now we four was going to have a different kind of party.

            The womenfolk tried to help, but they was just gals.  Bob and me would have to “do the heavy liftin” as far as taking care of the situation.  The way I looked at it was, we’d done it before so there was no need to think we couldn’t handle this situation just like we done other times.  As you can tell, I don’t scare easy.

             So what are you’all thinking we was facin’?  The people surrounding us had been invited to our annual John Wayne party, this one to celebrate the 105th anniversary of his birth.

              We had a band.  Karen aka Sugar had been preparing food for weeks, baking and freezing a score of pies and all.  She done what she could, but of course I was  the one who set up the folding tables and chairs.  I unloaded the keg.  I dished out the barbequed pork.  Karen only made a dozen or so sidedishes and her special Texas  barbeque sauce.  I appreciated that minor assistance.  Like I said, she done what she could. 

             Texas Bob manned the cantina bar, like the experienced barkeep he is.  He served beer, margaritas, sangria, sweet tea, and lemonade.  He was very popular.  But the meat was my department.   A feller ought not to delegate the biggest job.  That buck cain’t be passed if Big Bronc wants to keep his title of King of the Wild Frontier, assumed by him after the untimely passing of Davey Crockett.

            Anyways, I expect none would argue when I tell ya’all that a good time was had by all.  No brag.  Just fact.

            After the crowd thinned out, Bob and me loaded the chairs and tables into my Ford F250 Supercab shortbox pickup truck.  We picked up the garbage bags too while the little ladies messed around in the kitchen on account of they ain’t no dang good at loading pickups. 

            Sugar and Ginger got along like peas and carrots.  Some say Ginger made her way out West by way of Jugtown Mountain, New Jersey.  If that ain’t true, it should be.  It is well known that Texas Bob is Miss Sugar’s Daddy.  The DNA results proved that.  As for that Ginger woman, the rumors are that she might be Sugar’s biological mother.   Regardless of whether the rumors are true, Sugar treated Ginger just like kin.

            You might be wondering why this tale is called Deadly Dangers at Cross Creek Ranch.  I’m fixin to tell you why or I’ll be a blue-nosed gopher. 

             Recall what I said awhile back about Miss Sugar making a bunch of side dishes.  Well, one of them was something called Three Bean Salad.  (This writing technique is called foreshadowing.)

            I reckon I might not have done a proper job of securing those garbage bags.  A couple days later, Max, our ten year old yellow lab, seemed bloated and was having trouble breathing.  We speculated that he might have been bitten by a rattlesnake.  (See also Sharpshooter blog.)  We took him to a veterinary emergency room where x rays showed that it was not a bite by a snake, but rather, lots of bites by Max as he consumed “leftovers.” 

           He had surgery.  The doctor told us that she recovered from his stomach a couple pounds of deadly Three Bean Salad. 

            As a result, I’m betting that our next party menu will not include Three Bean Salad.

           

Sharpshooter

My trophy wife, Sugar, was outside with the dogs while I watched Chisum.  As it turned out, viewing the John Wayne movie was a good way to prepare for my imminent deadly showdown.

I heard my wife’s alarming scream.  Then she called out to me, “Al, come out here.  Hurry!”  I moseyed up from the couch, ever obedient, ever vigilent.

I still did not know what she was frightened about.  (Girls can be overly dramatic and mysterious).  I empathetically inquired about what was troubling her.  Her response was not responsive to my question.  She uncalmly commanded, “Get a gun.”  Well, that was the main idea.  She was much more eloquent.

As an aside, in order to give some background to the scenario, I want you, gentle readers, to be informed that Sugar grew up in Texas.  Also, she is of Italian extraction.  You may combine your prejudiced stereotypes as you imagine  her emotional communication.

Further, Sugar’s desire that I bring a gun was not unrealistic.  I possess several firearms, including a pair of Colt .45s in a quickdraw holster, various rifles, and a couple shotguns.  They are part of the decor of our mountain cabin and readily available.  The NRA sends emails to me daily concerning unconstitutional threats to gun ownership.  I also am a member of the Single Action Shooting Society (SASS) which sponsors cowboy shooting competitions.  My SASS alias is Big Bronc.  Her’s is Miss Sugar.  Clearly, it was not unreasonable for her to ask me to get a gun.

So I emerged from the front door unarmed.  Sometimes I opt for hand-to-hand combat.  I wanted to assess the enemy’s strength before selecting a weapon.  I try to make it a fair fight.  No sense wasting ammo.

“Who needs killin’?  It don’t make me no nevermind.”   I stated the obvious.  “Womenfolk got nothin’ to fear when Big Bronc is around.  I will fight to the death anyone that threatens you and them yeller dogs.”   This little gal surely knew she could count on me.

“Oh, Big Bronc, there is an evil rattlesnake down there.  Please protect me and our precious pets.  You are so brave and strong and handsome.”  Those were not her exact words, but I knew that was what she desired to tell me.

“Get the shotgun with the snakeshot shells!,” Miss Sugar daintily suggested.  “Shoot it from up here on the porch so you don’t git yerself kilt.  I ain’t in the mood to call no hearst.”  She doesn’t talk like that either, but it would sound more like an authenic western story if she would have.

So I went to the toolshed and got a shovel.  I know she wanted me to use a gun, but this particular shovel is a narrow type of spade known in these here parts as a “sharpshooter.”   It is a weapon with which I have beheaded unfortunate snakes in the past.  Yes, this was fixin’ to be a fight to the death.

Miss Texas noticed what I had selected.  “You dang fool!  That rattler is going to bite you.  They can strike further than that little shovel.”  I wish she didn’t talk like that.

So I walked over to the snake, carrying only the sharpshooter shovel.

It was coiled and shaking its rattles.  It was a mean one, poised to strike.

Women are no help at a time like this.  I didn’t need some girly girl weeping about me.  I can take care of myself.  Still, through it all, I could hear Sugar’s sweet voice.  “Watch out, you idiot.  He is going to strike.”  I supposed that she was addressing the snake, giving him one last chance to retreat.  That is certainly how I took it.

Members of the general public are not usually quick enough or coordinated enough or brave enough to attempt what I was about to do.  That mean old snake probably did not recognize who he was facing.  He probably thought I was a member of the general public.

Instead, he was dealin’ with Big Bronc, the toughest hombre north of the Pecos, or at least the North Poudre Irrigation Canal.

I met his steely glare.  He didn’t show any fear as he hissed and rattled, but I had a feelin’ that, deep inside his cold heart and reptile brain, he knew this showdown would be his last.

My calloused hand was ready for action.

“Say when.”  I confidently offered him that advantage as I smirked.  (I have found that smirking intimidates.)

The tension grew.  Then Old Snake Eye made his move.  It was the moment of truth.   Or consequences.  One of us would soon be dead as a doornail.  He had my vote.

A blood-curdling scream broke the tense silence.  (Sometimes smirking alone is not intimidating enough.  One has to be adaptable when engaged in a fight to the death.)  I should not have called it a scream.  It was more like a war-cry.  A manly war-cry.

Well, I’m here to tell you that with one lightning fast blow, I pinned that coiled snake to the ground.  The blade of the sharpshooter got it right behind its open-mouthed head.  I did not let up until I cut its head clean off. Sugar warned that the venom is still dangerous, even after it was beheaded.  Like I don’t know that.

I scooped the detached head into the shovel and proudly showed her the proof of my victory, waiting for her to praise my skill and courage.  She did not express her admiration in words, but I could see it in her eyes.

“Shucks, M’aam.  It weren’t nothing any old hero wouldn’t do.”

I could tell she longed to reward me with a kiss.  There was things I had to take care of first.  After disposing of my vanquished foe, I put my trusty sharpshooter back in the shed and quietly rode off into the sunset.

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