Lee Pitts: Long Gone
You’ve worked, scrimped and saved to put together a ranch for your children only to learn that your kids want no part of the ranching lifestyle. This has created a shortage of slave labor on ranches that could lead to the decline of western civilization. So I’ve developed a little test to determine early on if your children want to come back home to the ranch or move to New York and become a ballet dancer. Please answer “yes” or “no” to the following questions.
(1) Does your son or daughter refuse to wear a cowboy hat and does he or she have a nose ring, tongue stud and a colorful collection of tattoos?
(2) Would you say your child prefers the music of Kanye, Jay-Z, Notorious Mr. Big, Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, 50 Cent and Busta Rhymes over that of Kenny Chesney, Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood?
(3) Does your child attempt to get out of chores around the ranch by insisting he or she is allergic to hay and animal hair?
(4) Would your offspring prefer a family summer vacation going to Lego Land and the Star Wars exhibit at Disneyland over spending a week showing an animal at the county fair?
(5) Does your offspring prefer to wear a black hoodie with Cargo pants instead of Levis, Wranglers and a Carhartt sweatshirt?
(6) On the day of your annual roundup and branding, does your child claim to have a headache or flu-like symptoms and insist on a day of bed rest? Is your child’s affliction that of the 24 hour variety? And does your child seem to prefer drones and robots to cows and horses?
(7) Did your child spend his or her formative years in juvenile hall instead of the FFA or 4-H?
(8) Is there a PETA or a “Save the Wolves” sticker anywhere on your son’s skateboard?
(9) For Christmas would your youngster prefer a new snowboard over a new saddle?
(10) Does your teenager think the initials “NFR” stand for the text message, “Naw, fo real?” instead of the National Finals Rodeo?
(11) Does your son’s taste in footwear lean to Air Jordans instead of Justin ropers?
(12) When asked by the teacher to describe in front of the class what his or her parents do for a living does your child say he or she is an orphan instead of admitting you are ranchers?
(13) After you gave your son a brand new rope did he use it to pull his friend’s dune buggy out of a ditch instead of roping everything that moves?
(14) Would you say your teenager’s only agricultural interest seems to be in growing some species called cannabis and then sampling its leaves, buds and stems?
(15) Does your daughter’s fascination in horses run more to really tall equines that can jump over fences instead of those that only run around barrels? And does she also prefer jodhpurs, a helmet and spurs without rowels over Quarter Horses and silver and gold trophy buckles?
(16) Is your high school senior seriously considering MIT instead of Texas A & M?
(17) When driving your progeny to school does your child insist you drop he or she off a quarter mile away so friends don’t see you in a 4-wheel drive truck covered in mud and manure?
(18) Have you ever caught your child trying to hire an appraiser to find out what your ranch might be worth on the open market if the parents were to somehow come to an early demise?
(19) Did you work your fingers to the bone to scrape up money for college only to discover that once away at college the kids plan to NEVER come home?
(20) Is your child currently pursuing a vegan lifestyle?
If you answered “yes” to ten or more of these questions your child probably isn’t ranch management material and definitely has the anti-cowboy gene. I’d heartily advise that you sell the ranch immediately and spend all the proceeds living lavishly so there will be nothing left for your ungrateful progeny.
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