Thursday, October 30, 2014

You Just Might Be a Graduate Student If . . . . can analyze the significance of appliances you cannot operate.
...your office is better decorated than your apartment. have ever, as a project, attempted to track the progress of your own joke across the Internet. are startled to meet people who neither need nor want to read. have ever brought a scholarly article to a bar. rate coffee shops by the availability of outlets for your laptop. secretly read Wikipedia to get an overview of a topic. have to dress somewhat conservatively to fit the department's standards for teaching assistants.
...everything reminds you of something in your discipline. have ever discussed academic matters at a sporting event. go to the beach and actually do research there. have ever spent more than $50 on photocopying while researching a single paper.
...there is a microfilm reader in the library that you consider "yours." actually have a preference between microfilm and microfiche. can tell the time of day by looking at the traffic flow at the library. look forward to summers because you're more productive without the distraction of classes. regard ibuprofen as a vitamin. consider all papers to be works in progress.
...professors don't really care when you turn in work anymore. find the bibliographies of books more interesting than the actual text. have given up trying to keep your books organized and are now just trying to keep them all in the same general area. have accepted guilt as an inherent feature of relaxation. find yourself explaining to children that you are in "20th grade". start referring to stories like "Snow White et al." often wonder how long you can live on pasta without getting scurvy. look forward to taking some time off to do laundry. have more photocopy cards than credit cards. wonder if APA style allows you to cite talking to yourself as "personal communication."


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Amanita Muscaria

Among the large number of species of mushrooms. Amanita muscaria (fly agaric) has received considerable notice because of its striking appearance, color, and the fact that it has considerable hallucinogenic properties.  Supposedly the shamans of the Chukchi tribe in Siberia used it in their rituals, and unsuspecting individuals sampling this attractive mushroom growing in the woods got more than they bargained for in terms of major disturbing hallucinations as well as poisoning!

This is a dangerous hallucinogen, and should not under any circumstances be ingested due to its toxicity!  Supposedly, parboiling it sufficiently makes it safe, but I wouldn't risk it.

The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics depicted it on a postage stamp before it separated into Russia, Ukraine, and the other nations formerly of the USSR.

In Walt Disney's Fantasia, the sequence of the Chinese dance from The Nutcracker Suite utilized mushrooms colored suspiciously like Amanita muscaria as the dancers.  This part of it was non-creepy, unlike Night on Bald Mountain and The Sorcerer's Apprentice.

It is also occasionally depicted as a place for fairies or even toads to rest.  I find this to be a particularly charming image and thought I would share it:

Monday, October 27, 2014

More Medical Slang, N - Z

Here's some more medical slang.  Often dark humor is the product of being in an occupation with serious possibilities.

n=1 trial - polite term for experimenting on a patient
NAD - Not actually done
Nectar of the Gods - coffee; without which many hospital services would shut down
Negative Wallet Biopsy - (US) patient transferred to cheaper hospital because s/he has no insurance/funds
NPS - New parent syndrome

Osteocephaly - boneheaded
Ostrich Treatment - pretend it's not there and hope it goes away
Pan-man Scan - Whole body scan (e.g. after car crash)
PFH - Parent(s) from Hell (custodians of BFH - Brat From Hell)
PFO - Pissed [Drunk] and Fell Over

Pharmaceutically Enhanced Personality - stoned or medicated
Pharmaceutically Gifted - admissions with altered mental states as a result of drug use
PHALS - Post-Harmless Accident Lawsuit Syndrome
Pinky Cheater - Latex finger cover used in gynecological and proctological examinations.
Pit - the emergency room

PITA - Pain in the ass
Positive Gobbler - turkey i.e. faking illness to get out of drill (used by army medics)
Positive Hilton Sign - demanding patient expects Hilton Hotel luxury; indicates patient well enough to leave!
Positive Suitcase Sign - patients who are repeated admissions for prolonged periods with no physiological cause of their problems. They turn up at hospital with packed suitcases ready for admission
Pumpkin Positive - a penlight shone into the patient's mouth/ear would encounter a brain so small that the whole head would light up

Retrospectoscope - instrument of hindsight
Rheumaholiday - rheumatology (considered by hard-pressed juniors to be a less busy dept)
Ringo – (after Beatles drummer Ringo Starr) an expendable team member
Roasted Goober - tumor after intensive cobalt treatment.
Rooters - indigents and hangers-on who gather in big-city emergency rooms in order to be entertained by legitimate cases.

Rule of Five - if more than five of the patient's orifices are obscured by tubing, he has no chance
Running Towards the Light - dying
Silver Bracelet Award - patient is a prisoner brought in wearing cuffs
Silver Goose, Silver Stallion - proctoscope
Smurf sign - Patient turning blue
Space cadet - confused patient (dementia or drug-related)

Stream team - urology department
Taxidermy Consult - call for a taxidermist's consultation i.e. person about to die 
TBD - total body dolor i.e. complains of pain everywhere
TBP - Total body pain
TDS - Terminal deceleration syndrome (e.g. RTA death, high-rise syndrome, jump-suicides and parachute-failed-to-open)

TEC - Transfer to Eternal Care (i.e. dead)
TEETH - Tried Everything Else, Try Homeopathy
The Garden - neurological ICU where the vegetables (coma patients) live
The Promised Land - private practice/final year of medical school
Therapeutic Monitoring - monitoring a patient purely because it makes the doctor feel better.

Thorazine shuffle - the slow, lumbering gait of psychiatric patients dosed up on phenothiazines
Two beers - the number of beers every patient involved in an alcohol-related automobile accident claims to have drunk before the accident
Two Dudes - a patient who was in a fight "Two dudes jumped me for no reason" (implying the patient would have a reason with one assailant)
Vitamin M – Morphine
Vitamin P - Lasix (diuretic) given to stimulate urination (peeing) in post-operative patients; can also mean Prozac

Vitamin V - Valium, Diazepam or any intravenous sedative
Vitamin Z – Zoloft

UNIVAC - Unusually Nasty Infection, Vultures are Circling
UPF - Un-Passed Fart (gaseous distended abdomen)
Urban Outdoorsman - Homeless person

WWI - Walking while intoxicated (and fell over)
Wrinkly - geriatric

YAVIS - Young, attractive, verbal, intelligent, successful. 
YOYO - You're on your own; see "amyoyo" and "solomf yoyo" (also message passed from one doctor to another regarding problem/mystifying cases)
Zebra - an unusually strange or unexpected disease (from the saying "When you hear hoofbeats, the smart money is on horses, not zebras")


Saturday, October 25, 2014

A Reckoning in Chapel Hill

By now I'm sure you've seen some version of the whole sordid story: how the University of North Carolina had a set of fake classes in the Department of African-American Studies that were taken by  3100 students, especially athletes, over an 18-year period.  While it was largely the doing of the department secretary, who established and "graded" the classes, her boss was complicit.  Who was minding the store?  The See No Evil monkey department chair and the Hear No Evil monkey dean?  Anyway, the big dude newspapers like the New York Times and the Washington Post are riding on UNC's case like a rented pony, and I'm afraid the fall out or flying material is going to adhere to other surfaces like academics and research as well.  Holy academic schadenfreude, Batman!  

I'll scrape my UNC sticker off my ride for the trip back home in December and come back with a righteous LSU one..

Friday, October 24, 2014

New Frontiers in Religious Headdress

Freedom of religion is Constitutionally protected in the United States; and it is good when people mark solemn occasions with reflections of their religious beliefs.  In the case of oath-taking for public offices, it is a recognition that the person is taking his elected or appointed role seriously.

Unlike several countries, notably France, we usually don't have qualms about people wearing religious headdress, whether they're Sikhs, Muslims, Hindus, Orthodox Jews, or members of other faiths.

Christopher Schaefer, newly elected to the town council in Pomfert, New York, took his oath of office before the Town Clerk while wearing a colander on his head.  He did so, he explained, because he was a minister of the Pastafarian religion, in which they worship the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

I think that the good people of Pomfert should be confident that Council Member Schaefer will be diligent in his duties and that he has a sense of humor, unlike the typical politician.

Here's a volleyball team, possibly wearing religious headdress to reflect their spirituality:

Some people may go over the top with religious headdress. These products are actually marketed.  I don't think that the typical rabbi would approve.

But some forms of religious headdress are intrinsically funny, like miters.  But you can wear one when you play Cardinal Puff!

Friday, October 17, 2014

A French Euphemism

The French have a charming euphemism:  "Une femme ne pète pas ... Elle murmure dans ses culottes." 

["A woman does not fart ...  She whispers in her panties."]

Thursday, October 16, 2014

St. Cletus Parish's Halloween Festival

It's a common problem of voluntary organizations: there's a continuous turnover of those who might lead them or manage their activities from season to season.  Father Devereaux, Pastor of St. Cletus Parish, had this problem with regard to the annual Halloween Festival committee: the Old Guard gradually eroded, much like the land in the Mississippi River Delta.  So he did what any administrator would do: snare some innocent into serving on the committee until he or she could gracefully beg off of this parish duty.

Part of the problem was Hilda Walspurgis.  Now this lady had definite opinions about what is acceptable and what is not.  Little in the way of innovation was allowable during her tenure as Chairperson.  However, Hilda scheduled a Caribbean cruise in defiance of hurricanes; therefore she could not chair the committee any longer.  (The hurricanes cooperated.)

So Father Devereaux roped Crazy Chester into running things since the local racing season hadn't started.  And over time other parish unreliables had been roped into this sort of duty.  There was Al Gautreaux and Missy Chauvin, local television personalities (just so they could get away in time to read the 10 P.M. news.)  There was Suzanne the Existential Stripper, the Prophetess Madeline, Clotilde Badeaux,  the Lucky Dog Guy, and other New Orleans characters of dubious orthodoxy.  Perhaps the concept of critical mass applies to groups as well as nuclear fission.  

Anyway, this motely group continued some of the old standbys for Halloween Festivals and added a few new ones too.  The old, reliable, well-loved activities included the Half Court Basketball Shoot, the Cakewalk (which became a quasi-contact sport), the Parish Pie-Eating Contest, the Horror House, the Ring Toss, the Kissing Booth, and others  were continued.  Among the new ones for the year was the adult only Cocktail Booth.  There, the Lucky Dog Guy managed to get the recalcitrant adults into both literal and metaphorical good spirits.  And the booth turned a tidy profit!  

Now the old Best Halloween Costume contest had occasional bits of sensationalism, particularly when pre-adolescents participated.  It always resulted in a gratifying shock on the part of the remaining shock-prone people when some boy dresses as a satire of a holy saint or a girl wears a faux strumpet costume (Hilda Walspurgis's term).  However, Madeline reasoned that Halloween involved mischief anyway; so why not have a Best Saint Costume?  In that way they could harness the adolescent proneness to shock with uplifting examples.  It's a time-honored fact that any formerly-forbidden action loses its temptation value when it becomes approved.  "Oh sensationalism, where is thy sting?," as St. John Bosco was supposed to have said.  But there was another element to the costume contest with some over the top acting: who could do the best imitation of the archbishop?

Speaking of uplifting examples: Suzanne proposed a Guess Her Bra Size Contest, in which players would try to guess what was underneath the clothes of seven participants.  Suzanne and three other committee members were among the subjects in this contest; each one walking on the stage while holding a number.

Now Father Devereaux was wont to enjoy a restorative glass of Jameson's in the evening while doing the parish paperwork.  Truth to tell, he wasn't disposed to read very carefully the turgid committee reports very carefully, so these innovations slipped through the cracks.

Several of the Old Guard had hissy fits on seeing the changes, particularly the Bra Size Guess and the Cocktail Booth; and Father Devereaux did a double take as well.  But he did visit the Cocktail Booth and made his guesses in the Bra Size Guess.  However, he did not win a prize.  Being celibate can do that to guys.

Now some complaints reached the Archdiocese; but the financial report of the Halloween Festival indicated that the profit turned from this activity was three times higher than from previous years!  A wise administrator does not inquire too closely on how this kind of windfall comes about, particularly if the Archdiocese is bottom-line oriented.

Princess Peach costume for Halloween.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Alternatives to Grad School

I suppose it's inevitable at times.  Grad students get tired of the unending grind of doing classes, writing papers that no one seems to read, and teaching classes of introductory courses for slim wages.  When this occurs, a life style change becomes increasingly tempting.

Now some may go the corporate route, some may (horror!) get a real job, and some may find creative ways of getting money.  For example, for those with terpischorean skills, there's stripping.  This pays very well; but dancing on stage can be hard work; and the clientele is sometimes very critical of your efforts.  And there's the book salesperson route, which I was in for a while.  However, there's little attraction in being a road warrior in the long run.

There's the lower level job along this type: being a used textbook buyer.  Now, given the costs of new textbooks (typically $100 - $150 apiece for typical ones), it's not surprising that sales of used textbooks led to an extensive parasitic set of companies.  However, the used textbook buyer is generally regarded as lower on the hierarchy than the company representative for new textbooks, much like the used paperback book stores are regarded.  And, darn it, you have to carry the books to your car!

Some twentyish women of above average looks and savior faire have even gotten sugar daddies while in grad school.  However, there's the temptation to say To heck with it and become an outright kept woman!  Needless to say, things are more complicated than that: the typical sugar daddy chooses his companion based on smarts, presentableness, and intelligence as well as looks and grands nénés!  In other words, she is not supposed to look like a bimbo but passably like a prestigious protege! (In other words, a trophy girlfriend.)

But wait!  There's an eighteenth century approach to making a living by other means: piracy!

No, not the piracy that the F.B.I. scolds about with regard to copying DVDs or the like; but actual Cap'n Blackbeard piracy!  

The trick is, like in real estate, location, location, location.  The horn of Africa and around Indonesia is too crowded; plus there's a déclassé sort of maritime asset reallocation specialists around there; and you would not get much respect at all from your clientile.  Plus the U.S. Navy is on their case.  And the Caribbean is largely given over to cruise ships and tacky tourist traps.

But wait!  ¡Mire a los locos turistas!  Because of the insatiable demand for bored tourists in the Caribbean plus the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, it is possible to be a "pirate" and not worry about being pursued by irate navies and being hanged from the yardarm if they still have any yardarms around.  Just be part of a crew on a pirate tour vessel.  And for those lucky enough to be on a pirate party boat, so much the better!  A free grog ration for the crew!  Now that's incentive!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Why Not Other Regional Flags?

Last year Mike had a post reporting on the results of a survey conducted on over 1000 people regarding their views of other states other than their own: which one was perceived as the hottest, the smartest, dumbest, drunkest, most boring, and which one would they most wish to see kicked out of the Union.

It's very clear that people form definite opinions of people living in other places.  Xenophobia is as American as apple pie!  And, to a certain degree, we egg each other on in these views. 

On the other hand, there are states that draw relatively little notice.  I'm afraid that some of us don't have an idea about South Dakota or New Hampshire.  For all I know, they might eat cats as staples there, and speak some foreign language.  But probably not.  Someone would have published a New Hampshire cookbook by now, I suppose.

The obvious example of a sectional flag is the Rebel flag.  While very few Southerners nowadays have it in their heads to secede from the Union, some display it as a token of their heritage, like barbecue, white lightning, grits, and bluegrass music.  Not to mention the Fall obsession with football!  For some, it's to identify possibly with other Southerners.  It's a regional thing.  Southerners are attached to the region.  Some would say overly much.  As a result, some don't transplant very well.  When dining in the West Coast you can actually undergo grits withdrawal!

Here's an idea: maybe some of the other regions could come up with regional-specific banners to indicate their regional pride: in the Mountain West, in Appalachia, in New England, in the Upper Peninsula*, in the Northwest . . . .   And display these on the beach while drinking too much beer, hanging out at rock concerts, and on automobile bumpers.  I can imagine the slogan: "Get your Heart in New England or get your Ass out!"  As a matter of fact, I'm gonna copyright that expression. (c)

I think this is a good idea.  After all, those Washington State and Oregon people need a banner to wave to taunt those ubiquitous Californians, those in nearby states need to have theirs to irritate those Greenies (Colorado residents), and those Yoopers need to have theirs to make the people from the Mitt, not to mention those Ohioans, feel like outsiders.

And Arkansasans need more than their timid state flag and their proclivity to wear hats shaped like hogs to proclaim their individuality!  Come on, guys: make up a banner that proclaims, "I am from Arkansas and I'm proud of it!"  Who knows, even Hillary Clinton may display it!

*Of Michigan.  The Yoopers need their own flag to counter the rash of Yooper Jokes.

Friday, October 10, 2014

The Control of Nature

This inscription on the College of Engineering building at the University of Wyoming urges humans to strive on to control nature in various ways.  It is a very apt inscription for a college of engineering, a profession oriented to improving on nature.*

I found it mentioned in John McPhee's fine book, The Control of Nature.  This book describes three large-scale instances in which humans are engaged in a titanic effort to control nature if possible.  These are: (1) The attempt by the people of Heimaey, Iceland to protect their harbor from volcanic lava by spraying it with water. (2)  The Army Corps of Engineers trying to prevent the change of the flow of the Mississippi from its present path into the Atchafalaya, and (3)  The residents of the San Gabriel Mountains trying to prevent debris from destroying their homes.

McPhee's book is excellent non-fiction; and well-worth your reading.  Each of the sections contains extensive descriptions of undertakings on a mammoth scale.  I found his description of the regulation of water into the Atchafalaya River to be particularly interesting, as the river commerce of the Mississippi would be impossible beyond a point, and New Orleans and Baton Rouge would face a wide but more shallow stream.

Humans have audaciously controlled nature in unusual ways.  For example, the construction of massive dams has allowed the control of flow of large rivers and the settlement of places that otherwise would be impossible.  Extensive causeways such as the one across Chesapeake Bay have linked areas that once were thought impossible to bridge.  We should not overlook the impact that girder-reinforced concrete structures have played in making high-rise cities possible.  And there are the remarkable developments in semiconductor physics which have made possible the computer and android technology.    

Some recent developments as genetically modified organisms, stem-cell research, space exploration,  developing new variants of plants, new breeds of dogs, cats, and ruminants as daring expansions of what humans are capable of; while others see these as dangerous and ill-advised.

This can even seen in the legends of antiquity and more recent times.  Daedalus's flight and Prometheus's stealing fire to benefit mortals can be viewed as cautionary tales against exceeding some ill-defined boundaries as to what's acceptable.  Likewise, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein can be seen as a warning against attempting to create life.  Some people might construe this as a warning against genetic surgery or in vitro fertilization.

In my opinion, it is our species' birthright to push the boundaries of possibility: to not just simply live in nature but to attempt mastery over it.  And, by and large, WE HAVE TO DO THIS!  Because of our numbers, and because of the various problems we face, we've lost the option to let things remain static.  Unfortunately, it's also part of our species' nature to be wary of too much change.  In that way, some of us have an unfortunate lack of nerve or gumption.

*As a joke has it, an optimist sees the glass as half full; the pessimist sees it as half empty; and an engineer sees the glass as twice as large as it needs to be,

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Thibodeaux's New Hunting Dog

Thibodeaux was visiting with his friend Boudreaux one day. Boudreaux asked Thibodeaux what he had been up to lately. Thibodaux says, "Well, I just came back from Lafayette."

"What were you doing in Lafayette?" asked Boudreaux.

"I went up there to buy me a new hunting dog," replies Thibodeaux.

Boudreaux says, "Mais, Thibodeaux, what's wrong with the hunting dogs from around here?"

Thibodeaux says, "Well, this hunting dog can walk on water; his name is Hay-sus."

Boudreaux laughs, "Thibodeaux, you got fooled. Hunting dogs can't walk on water."

Thibodeaux says, "I'm telling you. My new hunting dog can walk on water. You want to see?"

So Boudreaux and Thibodeaux go out on the lake with Thibodeaux's new hunting dog. Pretty soon, Thibodeaux brings down a duck. The dog immediately walks out across the water, retrieves the duck, and jumps back in the boat.

Thibodeaux turns to Boudreaux, "So what do you think of dat?
Boudreaux replies, "That dog can't swim, can he?"

Monday, October 6, 2014

Medical Slang

Medicine has its own irreverent slang.  Here's a sampling of a few between A and M.

Acute Lead Poisoning - Gunshot wound
AGA - Acute Gravity Attack - Falling over
AHF - Acute Hissy Fit
Angel lust - a male corpse with an erection (not uncommon). Is also sometimes used to mean death that occurred during intercourse.
AOB - Alcohol On Board

ART - Assuming/Approaching Room Temperature - Dead
Baby catcher - obstetrician
Bobbing for apples - unblocking a badly constipated patient with one's finger
BOHICA - Bend Over, Here It Comes Again
Bone Break Need Fix - derogatory term for Orthopedics

Boneheads - orthopedics
Bordeaux - blood in urine
Bottle return - removing a bottle lodge in the anus
Bugs in the rug - pubic lice
Bull in the ring - blockage in the large intestine

Code Yellow - urinary incontinence emergency
Coffee and a Newspaper - Patient is Constipated (i.e. long time sitting on toilet with drink and reading matter)
Coffin Dodger - survived against expectations, or a very old person
CRS - Can't remember s**t.
Dirtball - patient who enters the emergency room filthy and smelling badly

Discharged downstairs - transferred to the morgue
FLK - funny looking kid (suggests rural inbreeding)
Frequent flyer - A person who makes repeated visits to the E.R., so he or she is known by name
Grape Sign - grapes at a bedside, denotes patient has a supportive family and might be candidate for early discharge
Grapes - hemorrhoids

Hypoxanaxemia - patient with anxiety symptoms (Xanax deficiency)
Icing on the Cake - lethal tumor discovered in the X-rays of a heart attack victim.
Last Flea To Jump Off A Dead Dog - Oncologists (sometimes other disciplines) who seem unable to let people die with diginity
Laying Crepe - dismal prognosis (i.e. prepare the coffin)
LDF - Lying Down Fit

Leave 'Em Dead - Levofed (aka norepinephrine) , the drug given to cardiac patients to prop up their blood pressure until they die in the ambulance
Leeches - those who take blood samples, e.g. lab techs
Lerner/Bernstein Fracture - the injury suffered by a patient who is intent on suing someone over his trip or fall (Lerner/Bernstein are a pair of ambulance-chasing lawyers in one region).
LFTWM - Looking for 3 Wise Men (applied to young pregnant females who deny having had intercourse)
LGFD - looks good from door (but not closely examined, possibly an obnoxious patient)

LGFTC - looks good from the corridor (but not closely examined)
MARPs - Mind Altering Recreational Pharmaceuticals
Marriageable Monster - young female patient who has successfully undergone major plastic surgery.
Masochist - Trauma surgeon; Sadomasochist - Neurosurgeon
Matern-a-taxi - when a pregnant woman calls an ambulance because the contractions are every 2 minutes, but she doesn't have a single contraction during a 30 minute journey to hospital


Saturday, October 4, 2014

An Uplifting Decorative Scheme

In some rowdy settings women are encouraged to donate their bras as decorative items, as remembrances of good times there.  For example, the Florabama Lounge near Orange Beach, AL has large numbers of bras hanging from the ceiling of this Gulf Coast dive.  There's the existential question for an occasion like this: do you wear an old, tired or cheap one for a possible donation occasion, or go for the pretty and distinctive.  Bras, after all, are expensive for impecunious grad students without sugar daddies.  Is donating a polka dot one too gauche?

A fence near Cardrona, New Zealand became a depository for over 1500 bras.  This was apparently the result of four girls celebrating the new millennium by hanging theirs on a fence; and other women have hung theirs in celebration of high spirits and fun or because theirs were simply too uncomfortable.  A little Kiwi uninhibitedness in action!

Some more conservative elements there have objected to the bra fence, claiming that it was a traffic hazard.  Others regarded it as a make-do tourist attraction!  Now, to my knowledge, no one near Amarillo, Texas ever objected to the ten Cadillacs partially buried in the prairie and subsequently defaced.  You would think that surreal spectacle would be a major distraction too.  No, apparently, the locals embraced this element of weird America!

I was not aware of this earlier, but a bar and bowling alley in Milwaukee had a 45-year practice of displaying bras from the ceiling!  Last year, a fire marshal objected to this display, claiming that it was a fire hazard and demanded their removal under penalty of a stiff fine!  You would think they weren't flame-retardant.

Fortunately, the city fire marshal hooted after a day, and the bar's decorative harmony was restored.

I don't think that pirate ships would have objected to this kind of color display along with the Jolly Roger; however, brassieres were not to be invented for another 200 hundred years.  Arrr!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Cowgirl Melinda Blows Up Some B.S.

Cowgirl Melinda and her compadres went into this Colorado town named Baker Springs for refreshment and recreation; but the local police made it evident that their company was not welcome.  Actually, Slim Bill and Mountain Walter Wilson were arrested on a D.U.I. charge, Melinda punched a Greenie who made fun of her yoga pants, and the others were forbidden to buy more drinks as they were undesirables from Wyoming.  The cowboys, righteously enough, thought that this was outrageous!  After all, if you're on horseback and you let it do so, the horse pretty much takes you where you should go like you're on automatic pilot. And their buckarette Melinda had serious provocation from having her butt maligned!  Therefore they concluded that this was really an example of anti-cowboy or anti-Wyoming harassment by this town's police.

But what to do?  While the cowpokes were a collective rough lot, they were a few players short of a mob or a riot.  And cowpokes on horses did not push the terror buttons like a bunch of middle aged overweight bikers on outlaw motorcycles did!  No, they were regarded as a bunch of retro buffoons.  So sad!

And the possibility of riding down the street while shooting the place up did not have the impact that it did when Charles Russell was painting his western art!

Finally, one of the cowboys said, "Let's blow something up; we have some old dynamite!"  And different ideas were offered: blowing up the saloon or the water tank were originally raised but dismissed as being too antisocial because of the effect this would have on the community.  They wanted to make a point; but not hurt anyone or cause a drink shortage.  That's not the cowboy way!

However, the offending town, Baker Springs, had a mountainous decoration like many mountainous western towns: the town's initials on a mountain or hillside!  Apparently the residents of Baker Springs never thought of another possible something that B.S. could stand for; Colorado folks did lack a sense of humor, after all!  Hopefully, legalized pot would take some of their uptight edges away, eventually.

Melinda was annoyed at the B.S., proposed that they blow up the double entendre B. S. as a community service.  The cowboys allowed that it seemed like a good idea, and it would likely be seen as a civic improvement, anyway.  So they got a few sticks of dynamite and placed them around the B.S., lit the fuses, and skedaddled!

Well, one of the dynamite charges went off and blew the S up to eternity!  However, the B did not go; leaving the job only half done.

By this time they were hanging out at a drive-in, having the skating servers bringing them buffalo burgers and root beer.  They were a little disappointed, but at least one of the offending letters was gone.

Now the people in Baker Springs were puzzled by the explosion, but adapted to it very well due to the now legal locoweed.  They simply changed the name of the town to Baker.  The doggone spring was too alkaline, anyway. 


Just a little true-life fact:  Colleges and high schools, as well as towns, may go in for doing hillside letters also.  Years ago, some students from one college, I think a College of Mines, blew up a rival college's letter as a prank. 

Cowgirl Melinda, wearing party attire