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Lee Pitts: Everythin I Know I Learnt In Collage

Over thirty years ago Robert Fulghum wrote a short essay that overnight made him one of the most beloved writers in America. The essay was called "All I Really Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten." It contained sage advice such as, "Share everything. Play fair. Don't hit. Flush. Take a nap every afternoon. Be aware of wonder." The essay was read into the Congressional Record, recited by Paul Harvey and quoted by Dear Abby and led to a multi-book deal for Fulghum who, by the way, had once been a working cowboy, among other jobs.

I'm afraid if Fulghum's essay was written today to reflect current attitudes it would be called "Everythin I Know I Learnt In Collage" and would contain modern day wisdom such as…

• Go in debt $200,000 to get a BA degree in blog writing and then go back home and live with your parents until you're 35 and try to land a job waiting tables.

• Climate change is real and the earth will self destruct in 20 years if we don't stop cows from farting.

• America is a rotten place and our founding fathers were a bunch of creeps and jerks.

• Success in life is best measured by the number of your Facebook friends and You Tube subscribers.

• Anyone who makes over $100,000 a year should have to pay 90% of it in income tax.

• The energy that powers electric bikes and electric cars is all produced by windmills and solar panels. All coal plants should be shut down and while we're at it, we should tear down all dams.

• The stock market is evil.

• It's a waste of time to learn to spell or write because a computer will do that for you.

• It's not impolite to put your phone on speaker and talk loudly in a crowded restaurant so everyone can hear both sides of your idiotic conversation, nor is it impolite to roll down your windows and turn your car radio up so high the base notes register on the richter scale.

• Joining the Army, Navy or Marines is for suckers.

• Eating too much Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream won't make you fat because its founders were greenies.

• Species didn't start becoming endangered until loggers, ranchers and miners stated wiping them out.

• The only way to get rich in America these days is to buy a winning lottery ticket.

• You should put more thought into the design of your tattoos, your computer passwords and what emojis you use than you do in selecting a "partner". (Notice I did not say spouse.)

• All Americans should be ashamed of themselves for all the evil things our country has done.

• Everyone should be entitled to a free college education, free medical care, a good job and paid maternity leave for both the sperm and egg donors.

• All cops are evil and kneeling during the National Anthem will stop them from killing black people.

• Books are dead, rap is forever, skateboards and social media are the future.

• Humans were never meant to eat meat or wheat, or drink milk. Vegans rule!

• Socialism is much better than capitalism and the best examples of the utopia-like conditions possible under socialism are the havens of Cuba, Venezuela, and the former USSR.

• All men are jerks.

• If a person finds himself or herself deeply in debt for school loans, is presently living out of their van with no job prospects, one can always go back to college for further education and a PhD and then become a highly paid college professor who knows everything.

Lee Pitts: Don’t Let it Snow

I hate snow. I know, I know, every ten inches of snow supposedly equals one inch of rain and we all need rain, but a blizzard seems to me to be an awfully inefficient and dangerous way to get your moisture.

Such is my hatred for snow that I'd go so far to say that I'm a chionophobiac. That means I live in fear of the white stuff. To me there is no such thing as "beautiful snow". The holidays are the worst because at any minute I could walk into a store and the Muzak will be playing that irritating Christmas classic, "Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow." It's gotten to the point that I hate every month with an "R" in it, which means I don't get any relief until May.

I've got a lot of respect for those of you who live in northern climes where it snows, you with the icicles hanging from your nose hairs. I don't know how you do it. Please understand, I'm a southern California kid, born and bred and the only time I saw snow as a child was when me and my buddies went to YMCA snow camp every winter. One year, three weeks before the camp I suffered a compound fracture of my leg playing an unsafe, unsupervised rugby-like game at the Y. The YMCA leaders were so grateful that my family didn't sue them they insisted that I go to snow camp while on crutches, all expenses paid. The minute we got there a blizzard set in for three days and the Y leaders had to carry me out 12 miles on a toboggan. By the time we got to dry pavement I'm sure they'd have wished we'd have just sued them for ten million.

I think you have to be born in the snow and grow up with it to be able to drive in it and I freely admit that I'm no snowman. This was a big problem because my job description required that I drive 50,000 miles per year and much of that during the winter in the northlands. But the minute I see a snowflake I lose my ability to drive. Making matters worse, I never took my 4 wheel drive pickup nor did I have studded tires which meant I had to chain up a lot. My personal record was the winter I had to chain up 28 times and three times were on the same day!

My wife and I did spend one year in New Mexico but had to move back to California because I didn't have the clothes for the Land of Enchantment. I added up what a Carhartt jacket, cap with ear muffs, long underwear, woolen socks and Sorrell boots would have cost and figured I could live in an ocean front house back home where it never snows and the term "winterize" merely entails rolling up your car windows. Oh sure, we have deadly fog where you can't see two feet in front of you but at least you never see what kills you and your teeth aren't chattering and knees knocking because it's 20 degree below zero!

One problem with living in California is if you want to escape the state to the north you either have to drive over Donner Pass where you can get trapped like we were for three days in a Shell gas station with 20 other folks. (It's a good thing the road reopened because we were starting to size people up to see who we ate first.) Or you can head due north into Oregon via Mount Shasta which holds the record for the single greatest snowstorm in history: 189 inches!

I think I was there that day.

Our worst trip was actually in Oklahoma's panhandle where we got stuck in a blizzard on the way to a bull sale in Guymon and my wife had to open her passenger side door, look at the edge of the asphalt and tell me which way to steer the car. Later I was informed by a grizzled survivor of 89 ruthless winters that I should have just swerved into a snowbank and stayed in the car because that makes it a lot easier to identify the bodies after all the snow melts.

Lee Pitts: Here and There

I've been in every state but feel most at home on the left side of the Mississippi. I've climbed all over the 17 western states, floated the Rogue, rode horseback on the Borderlands, know how to pronounce the capital of South Dakota, visited Cabelas in Nebraska, watched a rodeo in the Astrodome and the first World Series game ever in Kansas City. I froze my butt off in Aberdeen, been to a 4th of July rodeo in Prescott and the parade in Cayucos. I've never been to the Egyptian Pyramids but I've been to the one in Las Vegas where I also visited Paris and Venice, albeit with slot machines ringing.

I've haggled with Indians selling their jewelry at Four Corners, been to the castle in Castle Rock, slept out with the cowboys on the Bell, been to the top of the Space Needle, unknowingly fed the bears in Yellowstone and fished in the shadow of Half Dome. I've seen and felt the west's haunting beauty in the Grand Canyon, Bryce and Zion and I know you can't possibly understand my part of the world by just visiting Disneyland on vacation.

This doesn't mean I don't appreciate the East. I spent a week on the beautiful beach in Rehobeth, traipsed all over Florida and visited my brother at West Point on the Hudson. It may be a glittering generality but there are more symptoms of civilization in the East, more tall buildings, toll roads and government offices. The East is more about history while the West is more about the landscape. The East is Arlington and Gettysburg, while the West is the Little Bighorn.

Nature's handiwork is more on display in the West. It's Carlsbad Caverns, the Badlands, Black Hills, the Redwoods, Mt. Whitney, Lake Tahoe, the Oregon seacoast, and the Great Empty, a name given to Montana that could apply to the entire West. It's God's backyard. While the East was built by people like the Amish, the pilgrims, the millionaire's on Jekyll Island and the great southern plantations. The East is architecture, history and all the wonderful monuments in DC. There's more things to do in the East. The West is the oil patch, cowboys and farmers. The East is more inside, the West more outside.

The East is brick, the West is adobe. The East has more and better museums and high brow culture. I've spent days at the Smithsonian, been to Ford's theatre and saw Henry Fonda in a play at the Kennedy Center, but I also thoroughly enjoyed the barb wire museum in Emporia, Kansas, and Georgia O' Keefe's home in New Mexico. The East has Cooperstown. The West has the Cowboy Hall of Fame. I've never been to a Superbowl in New Orleans but I don't see how it could possibly compare with Friday night lights in Texas. I liked Mark Twain's cramped and dusty office at the Territorial Enterprise in Virginia City, Nevada, better than his eastern mansion.

I feel closer to nature in the West. I felt the ground shake when Old Faithful erupted and witnessed the destruction when Mt. St Helen's blew her lid. I was also present when my wife did likewise when I lost the car keys in Death Valley in July. She didn't speak to me for days after I insisted we take a plane ride and dive bombed the Grand Canyon.

Whenever I visited the East I felt a divide between the North and South that still exists 150 years after they supposedly settled their differences. The same can be said about how the West feels towards the East. That's because the feds own far too much of the west and have too much say on how we Westerners must live our lives. The West is far less dense and people are more spread out here so that when we do make human contact we tend to be friendlier. Westerners are also more independent, have a stubborn streak and tend to mind their own business. That's why we resent Congressmen and eco snobs from New York City, who've never earned an honest day's wage, trying to rid the world of Oregon loggers, Utah miners and cowboys and cows lest they supposedly destroy the world with their flatulence.

The only disgusting aroma Westerners smell emanates from the much-too-powerful people on the Potomac.

Lee Pitts: Women’s Suffer-Age

If I was a woman I'd be a radical feminist and darn tired of sick jokes like, "My wife ran off with my best friend and I miss him." Or, "women have smaller feet so they can stand closer to the sink," or a sign on the door of a hardware store, "Gone to wife's funeral. Back in half an hour."

Women have long been oppressed. In the 1400's a man was allowed to beat his wife as long as the stick he used was smaller in circumference than his thumb. That's where we get the phrase, "as a rule of thumb." And listen to Napoleon Bonaparte's feelings about the fairer sex: "Nature intended women to be our slaves… they are our property; we are not theirs. They belong to us, just as a tree that bears fruit belongs to a gardener. What a mad idea to demand equality for women! Women are nothing but machines for producing children."

It's only been in the last 100 years that women have been looked upon as anything other than babysitters and housecleaners. James Fargo, brother to the founder of American Express said, "When the day comes that American Express has to hire a female employee, it will close its doors." If I was a woman I think I'd tear up my American Express card upon hearing that.

If you think women are discriminated against in the workplace now consider that in 1900 for a woman to be a telephone operator she had to be between 17 and 26 and be unmarried. Up until Pearl Harbor half of the then 48 states had laws making it illegal to employ a married woman!

I used to be proud that we in the west were more open-minded because we were the first to give women the right to vote, initially in Wyoming and then Colorado, Idaho and Utah. Then I learned the real reason wasn't that we were thinking with our brains but another part of our anatomy, as men often do. In the west in 1850 it's estimated there were only 3,000 women to 70,000 men and the sight of a woman was a rare treat. Of the 36,000 people who arrived in San Francisco in one Gold Rush year only 2,000 were women and it's estimated that females made up only 2 to 4% of the entire population of San Francisco. At a dance in Gold Country there were 150 men and only 9 women.

The west's politicians and newspapermen laid awake nights trying to devise schemes to lure more women westward and one was to give them greater legal freedoms than they enjoyed east of the Mississippi. For example, California passed a law that all assets a woman accumulated prior to marriage and during her marriage were hers to keep. Giving women the right to vote was just another one of those enticements and it had nothing to do with we westerners being more fair.

Honeymoons didn't last long in the west. If a man did manage to find a wife soon she was being treated like a hired hand or a piece of furniture. The western man was open-minded only in that he was more than willing to let his wife do her half of the chores… and his too. Any man's topic of conversation was more important than anything a female might say and women were being mistreated in Hollywood long before Harvey Weinstein and Bill Cosby came along. Roy Rogers' horse Trigger got higher billing than Roy's wife Dale Evans did.

It all makes you wonder what women ever liked about men to begin with.

I was President of the California Association of the FFA in 1970 when females were allowed to be members. I was all in favor of the move then but had I known that in just a few short years they'd be beating the boys at every turn I might have been of a different mind. But the genie is out of the bottle now and I agree with the anonymous sage who said, "any woman who seeks to be equal to man lacks ambition."

So men, don't be surprised that someday soon revenge-seeking women will take over the world. And when they do, just like in the west, it too will be a far better place.

Lee Pitts: My Best Idea Yet

I've tried everything to make a living in the cow business. I bought expensive replacement heifers when the grass was green and the price was high only to have to sell them for beef eight months later when the grass and the market both dried up. I tried the registered business but the paperwork drove my wife nuts and four different breed associations invited me to quit due to the genetic damage I was doing to their breed. I even tried the hunting and taxidermy business but the only wildlife on the place is squirrels and you'd be surprised how few interior decorators see the beauty in a dead squirrel hung on a wall. But now I think I really have found a way to make money in the cow business: Lee's Everlasting Pastures Cow Spa, Hoof Salon and Memory Garden.

Currently one of the hottest business concepts is the spa business which gave me my latest and greatest idea yet. No, I'm not thinking about sending my wife to a spa, after all, who'd be left at home to do all the work? Here's my latest get-rich-scheme. We all have old and loyal cows who stood quietly in the squeeze chute, never got sick, didn't tinkle on the hay, always calved during daylight hours without any assistance and never failed to bring a heavy calf to the weaning pen. But in the twilight of their lives how did we reward their years of service? We loaded them up, hauled them to the sales yard and sold them to ruthless cow buyers.

I don't know about you but I always felt guilty doing this. So, to ease your guilty conscious, and help me make some money for a change, why not send your worn out cows to Lee's Everlasting Pastures, Hoof Salon and Memory Garden. For only $300 per month per cow, you can send those favorite toothless mommas to my place where they can sleep in late, drink spring water and eat hay so good it's usually reserved for Holsteins and horses. For the first time in their boring lives they won't have to sleep on hard ground nor will they be chased by horny bulls, barked at by pain-in-the-patoot Border Collies or harassed by wolves. There will be no snotty-nosed-calves tugging at their flanks either.

On their first day at the spa all cows will be deloused, dewormed, treated to a cleansing foot bath and be misted with fragrant fly spray. Optional treatments for your favorite cows include seaweed body wraps and feedlot mud facials. Cows can spend the day lazing around the hay shed or standing in pond water to rid themselves of pesky heel flies. There will be stretching, cow yoga and bovine pilates and what cow doesn't dream of an exfoliation by prickly pear cactus that will open their pores for a delightful eucalyptus oil body rub applied by my wife twice a day?

Our staff of scissor-hand-like clipper pros was recruited from only the best steer jockeys at Denver and they will comb, clip, and fluff the tails of your VIP cows. At great expense we've also employed Holstein hoof trimmers who will sand, paint and apply Swarovsky crystals to their hooves. And every cow will go home with their very own photograph standing in front of a banner heisted from the Fort Worth stock show so that for at least once in their lives your special cows will know what it feels like to be a Grand Champion.

There will be moo-tivational speakers to help your extra special cows get in touch with their inner bovineness and celebrity guest chefs Baxter Black and Mad Jack Hanks will barbecue psychodelic mushrooms for your cows while they chew their cud around a bonfire xof burning tires.

Should one of your old cows pass away while a guest at our spa you can rest easy knowing she'll be treated with dignity while being buried in our Everlasting Pastures Memorial Garden with a black draped backhoe. For an additional fee we can even arrange for a short non-denominational service by pastor Pitts.

Lee's Everlasting Pastures Cow Spa, Hoof Salon and Memory Garden was rated the number one cow spa in America by the Wyoming Livestock Roundup and The Ozona Stockman, Tri State Livestock News and Gulf Coast Cattleman.

Lee Pitts: Save The Ice Cube

I have lived for most of my life within 10 miles of San Luis Obispo, CA, or SLO as it's known. Normally I hate cities, long lines and traffic jams so I tend to stay away from places with stoplights, but as towns go, SLO isn't so bad. In 2010 National Geographic proclaimed SLO "the happiest town in America" while at the same time it was also named the third best place to live in the country. I wouldn't argue with that but the town is also known for some pretty kooky stuff.

SLO was the first city in America to ban smoking in bars and paper and plastic bags in grocery stores. In March it was one of the first cities in America to ban drinking straws in restaurants. If your average over-worked restaurant server who is working two jobs and depending on good tips from persnickety customers to make ends meet, gives you a straw without you first asking for one, he or she could face a penalty of $1,000 and six months in jail. There are actually straw cops staking out restaurants trying to nab the vile straw givers who are terrorizing America. Restaurants can't even substitute plastic straws with paper ones because that might entail cutting down a few extra trees every year, not to mention an outbreak of the much-dreaded soggy straw syndrome (SSS).

The bloated left-coast politicians say the plastic from straws pollutes the environment but if they're so worried about that why isn't California's own Nancy Pelosi put in jail for all the work plastic surgeons have wasted on her?

Personally, I don't think the straw ordinance goes far enough. Why stop with just the straws? How about all the parsley that gets wasted on restaurant plates every year? Is there a single soul in America who eats the stuff and yet why isn't there a garnish gestapo? And how about paper napkins? How many more innocent trees have to die just so you can wipe the mustard off your ugly mug? That's what shirt sleeves are for. If we'd just outlaw all the greasy chicken being served we could save entire forests.

The list of items wasted in restaurants is longer than the menu at Jack In The Box. We could turn the Mojave Desert green with all the water that's served but never drunk and do you really need that after-dinner mint at Olive Garden or the Waverly Wafers in the cracker basket at your favorite steak house? And don't get me started on wasted pickles.

I haven't even mentioned the thing that needs saving the most: ice cubes. How many more must die a slow, agonizing death in the bottom of a drink glass? Are you so deaf that you can't hear their screams? Every year there's enough ice melted in all the Big Gulps to provide the ice for every hockey rink in North America. Ice crunchers like myself should be locked up for ten years before they destroy any more cubes. And talk about climate change! Researchers at the Institute for Junk Science in Hollywood, California, say there's enough ice wasted every year in the bottom of drink cups to create ten icebergs bigger than the one that doomed the Titanic. Their melting is causing the temperature of the planet to plummet by two degrees every year! That's why not a single polar bear was spotted in Hollywood last year, according to Professor Alec Baldwin.

So I say, "Save The Ice Cube!" We can start by demanding that dying ice cubes be rehabilitated by refreezing them. And women's groups should be knitting little tiny sweaters for the disappearing cubes so they don't freeze to death. It's the least we can do.

I beg every small town, municipality and giant city in America, to follow SLO's example and save the straws, save the garnish, save the napkins and for goodness sakes, save the cubes. Why must they suffer a single second more? You can help by sending your tax deductible contributions to Save The Ice Cube (STIC) in care of my bank where I'll stick it somewhere the IRS will never find it. Don't let the little disappearing buggers suffer a single second more or they could soon end up on the Endangered Species List.

Lee Pitts: Everybody Looks Better In A Cowboy Hat

When I taught myself how to engrave silver conchas I practiced on coins. Most of it was foreign coinage but occasionally I'd practice on U.S. coins. And yes, it's legal as long as a person doesn't try to defraud anyone. Turning nickels into quarters would be a good example. This is why little kids who squish pennies on railroad tracks aren't arrested and thrown in the slammer.

Back when homeless people were called "hobos" some tramps used nails to engrave on buffalo nickels and produced remarkable art they'd then trade for a meal. Today such coins are called "hobo nickels" and they can be quite beautiful and very valuable.

While the hobo artists turned the faces on nickels into remarkable likenesses of Marylin Monroe, clowns, skeletons, cats and self-portraits, I turned my nickels into cowboy coinage. You should see the look on people when I hand them one of my coins with the head of a horse where Abraham Lincoln (penny), Thomas Jefferson (nickel), FDR, (dime) or George Washignton (quarter) should be. My favorite coins to engrave on are newer dimes because they haven't been made of real silver since 1964 and if you scratch one your mark will turn to copper and you can get remarkable two-tone effects.

In the course of turning George Washington and his cronies into cowboys I made a rather remarkable discovery: all I had to do was engrave a cowboy hat on all the former Presidents and every single one looked much more handsome. This was especially true of Abraham Lincoln who, let's be honest, had a face that could keep the crows out of 100 acres of corn.

I was mesmerized by how much better people look in cowboy hats. I gathered up all my wife's magazines and drew cowboy hats on everyone from Queen Elizabeth to the entire Kardashian clan and they all looked better. Even Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Nancy Pelosi, who both need extra large shopping carts when they shop in the beauty-aid aisle of a drugstore, looked better. And if that isn't conclusive proof that everyone looks better in a cowboy hat I don't know what is.

I even went to the store and bought some magazines for men and drew cowboy hats on all the males which were surprisingly few and far between because most male magazines are filled with photos of guns, trucks and naked women. Everyone from Snoop Dogg to Miss January looked better in a cowboy hat. And I hope this isn't blasphemous but may I say that even the Pope looked better in a Stetson.

Try it for yourself. Get yourself a Sharpie® and some magazines and start drawing hats on everyone. If you can't draw, cut out the picture of a cowboy hat and put it atop everybody and you too will see that everyone looks better in a cowboy hat. It really is an amazing transformation. Although I must warn you to be careful because, speaking from experience, some wives get a little touchy when you defile their Vogue, Family Circle or Good Housekeeping. But they'll get over it. Eventually.

I remember a few years back when the entire U.S. Olympic team was outfitted by Ralph Lauren and every athlete wore a cowboy hat in the opening and closing ceremonies. I don't remember the medal count that year but I clearly recall that we easily won the award for "best dressed" and it was all because of the cowboy hats. I think it would make a great advertising program for Stetson, Resistol or some other hat company to put one of their hats on photos of high profile people. If they did so they could extend their market beyond just selling hats to cowboys, truck drivers and country western singers.

Speaking of country western singers, can we please lose the earrings and pony tails guys? Willie Nelson can get away with it but can you imagine Johnny Cash, Tennessee Ernie Ford or George Strait wearing an earring? Although I don't think anyone looks better in a cowboy hat than George Strait, I still can't get the image out of my mind of him wearing a pony tail in that movie he made. Guys, take it from me, we'd look a lot more manly if fewer of us were wearing earrings, tattoos and pony tails and more were wearing cowboy hats.

Lee Pitts: Name Your Poison

Today's lesson is about poisonous plants, dangerous delectables and fatal feedstuffs. I'm talking nightshade, lupine, milkweed, and the poison used to kill Socrates: hemlock. Water hemlock is said to look a lot like parsnips and a human can die in half an hour just by licking the blade of the knife used to cut a hemlock root. That's why I avoid all feedstuffs that look like vegetables!

Some plants are poisonous only in huge doses. A 500 pound calf would have to eat one and a half pounds of cocklebur seed to die. The preferred plant for cows considering suicide is locoweed, but a bovine has to become addicted to it and eat it for two to three weeks to go nuts, or develop what cow coroners call "wet brain". (Also known as Congressperson brain.)

An old cowboy once told me to just remember that most poisonous plants are yellow and have three leaves; "Three leaves stay clear, 5 leaves no fear." I've never had a cow die from eating a poisonous plant but that doesn't mean there aren't some really dangerous feedstuffs a cow can consume. Here's my list of the worst:

Floral Arrangements: Although I've never engaged in the practice, I understand there are some men who buy their wives, girlfriends, or both, arrangements of flowers at a place called a "florist". If you're a cattlemen you have a good excuse for not buying such things. One time a neighbor threw an old flower arrangement over her back fence and one of my cows ate it and got really sick. Although we could never prove it, the vet and I believe it was the delphiniums.

Alfalfa: I'll never forget the time I saw two dozen bloated carcasses by the side of the road and a rancher sitting on top of one of them bawling his eyes out. He had drug them there to make it easier for the tallow man to put them in his truck. The cows died from instant gasification, you might say. I heard later that the rancher thought a change of pasture was just what the cows needed but the next day there was another batch of dead cows. Prussic acid has killed more cows than your vet and Mad Cow put together.

Hay: Ranchers routinely throw their net worth out of the back end of the feed truck and every flake they throw is one dollar not saved for retirement, or spent on a romantic vacation with the wife. Putting up hay is a leading cause of exhaustion, accidents and divorce. This is why when they hear of an approaching fire most ranchers, instead of saving their herd, their family, or their barb wire collection, will scream, "Save the haystack."

Vegetables: Although there were nine wires on the fence between a rancher's cows and his neighbor's carrot and lettuce fields, the hungry herd broke through and trampled and consumed 40 acres of lettuce and carrots on a $25 per carton lettuce market. Like most vegetarians, the cows were clammy, pasty looking, aloof, smelly, and sickly afterwards. They got the Trotsky Two Step and their cow pies glowed an iridescent orange. The legal settlement was so huge the rancher couldn't even look at a salad bar without upchucking.

Corn: Cheap corn is one of the most dangerous plants in the world. In order to "capture extra profits" that economists opine about, it causes farmer/ranchers to feed their corn to their cattle instead of just taking their lumps and selling the corn and the calves. A farmer friend once told me he would have lost less money if on the day he put his calves in his own makeshift feedlot every one of them would have dropped dead.

Green Grass: Easily the most dangerous plant known to man. It has ruined more ranchers than trich or the BLM. The symptoms of grass fever are a constant smile on the face of cattlemen, an outbreak of new trucks and the sight of ranchers treating their wives to lunch at the sale yard coffee shop. Green grass fever disrupts the cognitive process and regular function of brain cells and causes ranchers to pay crazy prices for old, barren, toothless cows. The prognosis is bad and the sufferer should be quarantined until the market crashes or the brain synapses start firing again.

Lee Pitts: Slow Moving Traffic

If all the cars in the world were placed end to end… they'd probably be behind a slow moving cattle truck.

Everyone is in such a hurry these days they don't have time to waste behind a Gooseneck filled with cattle. So they pass with no visibility or lay on their horns, as if that's going to speed things up. They'll risk their lives hurrying themselves to death so that they can get to their final destination earlier. And when I say "final" I mean final!

I prefer a less hurried pace. I hate life in the fast lane with everyone crowding, shoving, pushing and running over each other. We live in a fast paced world where we brag about the speed of our Internet service and agonize over which would be faster, the escalator or the elevator? Everyone is so stressed out and in such a hurry that I heard of one housewife who quickly loaded her dirty plates and dishes in the microwave before rushing out the door only to discover upon her return that a microwave is not a dishwasher. We have a frenetic friend who loaded her three month old baby in the baby carrier and then went off and left it and the baby sitting on the kitchen table.

I'll never forget my first ranch job out of college when the owner wanted me to take the bobtail cattle truck and bring back a load of feed from the mill. No problem, I'm the son of a long-haul trucker and I know my way around a set of gears. But I was surprised he trusted me that much and that he didn't want to tag along, but I quickly discovered the reason when I tried to navigate the two lane road around windy curves with steep grades and descents. I was soon being followed by a long line of cars and everyone had one hand on their horn.

The average driver will honk a horn 15,250 times in their life and many of the drivers behind me that day were using up half their quota. I'd have given anything for a bumper sticker that said, "Keep honking. I'm reloading."

I subscribe to the theory that you should never drive faster than your age and If I recall correctly I was about 21 at the time. The speed limit in 1905 was 20 miles per hour and I think that was the year the truck I was driving was made. I considered driving in reverse up the steep grades because the reverse was geared lower and would probably have been faster. I was going so slow algae had time to grown on the tire treads.

I pulled over every chance I got but still every sports car or SUV that whizzed by me had a one finger salute thrust out the window. I was embarrassed and couldn't say I blamed them because I had no right to slow them down. But what was I to do, disobey orders from the boss and get fired from my job that paid a whopping $600 a month? There was simply no other way to get to my destination.

Anyone who has driven a tractor on the asphalt or stopped traffic to drive sheep or cattle across a road has experienced the same hatred as I did that day. We ought to form our own victim's group, get ourselves a high priced lawyer and sue someone.

One wonders why all those irritated folks were all in such a big hurry anyway. If it was work, a doctor's appointment or an IRS audit, what was the rush? I remember theorizing that perhaps they were all in such a hurry because they had to use the restroom facilities ten miles distant, but I came to the conclusion that all of their bladders couldn't have been that bad. I think it's all just part of the human condition that says anyone who is going slower than you is a hayseed moron and anyone driving faster is a reckless maniac who is, "Going to get us all killed!"

It must have been especially humiliating and galling that day for all the high-speed drivers who flipped me off when I passed them in the slow lane when we all ended up at the same signal light together.

Lee Pitts: Don’t Eat The Bait

The Cigarette Act of 1965 required labels on packages to warn consumers about the dangers of smoking. Although, if people who inhaled smoke all that smoke didn't realize it was unhealthy I doubt they were smart enough to read the labels to begin with. That being said, I think we need similar labels on fake meat to warn folks about the dangers of eating it. Here are some warnings I'd like to see on packages of lab meat, rat stem cell burgers and eco wieners.

WARNING! The Surgeon General warns these bunsen burner burgers are not for internal or external use and may cause mouth ulcers and broken teeth. In fact, eating the packaging material would be far better for you than gagging down this fake meat.

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT! The contents may contain extract of steer juice as a flavor enhancer, otherwise this fake meat would taste just as bad as it smells.

ATTENTION TEENAGERS: Eating this fake meat has been found to destroy brain cells in juvenile delinquents. It is addictive and causes euphoric ecstasy and nauseogenic hallucinations.

CAUTION: These counterfeit wieners cause cancer in lab rats. In fact, after the government mandated that rat and mouse bait manufacturers get rid of all the good stuff in their products this is the only commodity left on the market strong enough to kill mice, rats and other rodents.

CHOKING HAZARD! If you insist on eating this chemical concoction prior to consumption make sure there is someone present who knows the Heimlich maneuver.

DANGER! This fake meat contains squished rutabaga brains. Enjoy your meal!

CDC NOTIFICATION! Store in tightly closed container to eliminate cross contamination. If eaten, take container with you to hospital when you get food poisoning so the Center for Disease Control will know what bacterial strain or poison they are dealing with.

SEX DETERRENT! Not intended for prophylactic purposes, although if you eat this fake meat regularly it will make you uglier than a mud fence and therefore act as a birth control device.

ALERT! Contents of this package may be used as wallpaper remover, swimming pool acid, rust removal or paint thinner. It will disfigure furniture and should be used by trained personnel only.

PRAYERS NEEDED!! If ingested call 911, get down on knees and pray they arrive in time.

BEWARE!! This lab meat contains 100 percent dioxysodiummetatriethyledistillae of mice livers. Aside from being one heck of a Scrabble word that's about the only thing it's good for, other than being a good stink bait for catfish, of course.

RED FLAG ADVISORY! This fake meat will stain and burn holes in your clothes. Can you imagine what it's doing to your innards? Highly flammable! Don't barbecue or hold over an open flame. Has been used to set backfires and hot-shoe horses. Not intended for use for a weed killer in California or Massachusetts but will kill Russian thistle like nobody's business. Not recommended for rehabbing vegetarians.

COAST GUARD NOTICE! Contents are not to be used as a flotation device.

ATTENTION: Side effects may include dropsy, chronic fatigue, blindness, bad breath, high blood pressure, kidney stones, hectic fever, constipation, booming flatulence, diarrhea, cerebral softening and ulcerated credit card balances. For good health NEVER spend your salary on celery.

IMPORTANT! Not intended for use as ear plugs or knee pads although may be highly effective in warning off muggers even better than pepper spray. Do not allow contents to come in contact with skin. In a lab setting it has caused brain defects in newborn spider monkeys.

SERVING SUGGESTIONS: Wear safety goggles at all times. Read all directions on container and DO NOT operate heavy machinery if you've never operated it before. Not dishwasher safe. Not safe around pets. Product will be hot after heating. After eating go outside for some fresh air. Your fellow diners will appreciate it.