Wednesday, September 30, 2009

THE LEGEND OF 20 TRICKS

Cowgirl Sass & Savvy Julie Carter

The story has been told around campfires, roping arenas, beer coolers and white tablecloth restaurants with an ongoing hilarity that is enhanced only by knowing the players personally.
It was the early '90s, California and a cowboy and his bride had been to a high-fallutin' paint horse sale. Conversation, a barbeque and alcohol energized the crowd and encouraged hand raising and check writing.
Paul had been drinking some, but not a lot, and his wife Ineta had only a beer before they left the party and headed home. Paul was driving when they were pulled over by the flashing blue and red lights, with a second patrol car behind the first.
The police officer told Paul he was speeding and also noted the open container of beer between his legs. He told him to get out of the pickup and proceeded to take him around to the squad car to begin the field sobriety test.
From her side of the pickup, Ineta could see Paul performing the clap, clap, clap, followed by a ballerina pose, a walk the line and touch his nose performance.
Passing the field test, Paul stayed with the officer while Ineta remained in their vehicle on the orders of the two patrolmen "guarding her," one a "buffed-up blonde cop" as she described him.
She watched as they put Paul in the other patrol car and then she saw one of the officers hit him with his flashlight. It lit a fire in the cowgirl.
As Ineta attempted to leave the pickup, a cop slammed her back and told her to keep her backside (expletive down played) in the vehicle.
Ineta's cowgirl-tough instincts came to life. With her knee, she rammed the cop and took him to the ground. This tiny 5'4" cowgirl, was on the fight and had lost any of her good sense in the fray.
The other cop, standing by, jumped in and even with two, they couldn't take the kicking wildcat down.
They called for back up and the other two cops attending Paul joined in. It took all four of them, but they finally had her in cuffs on her legs and her hands and then threw her in the back seat of the squad car.
Her only question was, "What are you doing?"
The officers ignored her, talking on the radio and the words "assault on an officer" were heard.
She and Paul were separated and she wouldn't see him again until the next day.
Ineta was put in an isolation cell for booking and fingerprinting. Later she was taken to the cell where she'd spend the night.
With the slamming of the cell door, Ineta looked around, now smarter than she'd been a few hours before.
She could see she was in a cell full of prostitutes that had been in the night's roundup. There was a bench on the wall and a toilet in the middle of the room.
The urge to pee that had seemed an emergency earlier, left her as fear moved in.
Giving her an appraising eye, the tattooed, dressed-up "ladies of the night" resumed their conversation about the events of the evening and the tricks they'd turned.
This was business as usual for them.
Ineta's hair, clothes and general appearance looked like, well, like she'd been wrestling with cops. At some point, one of the girls turned to her and asked, "What about you, what did you bring in tonight?"
Ineta, once again in possession of her full mental faculties that had escaped her earlier, stuttered briefly, recognizing that for her safety, she needed to fit in. This was a very intimidating, mean-looking bunch of women.
"Hmmmm," she thought, "what's a good number, one they'll believe."
"Twenty," she said. "I did 20."
It seemed to satisfy the group of chippies and they accepted her as one of them for the night.
As the story was told and retold in cowboy gatherings across four states, both to the entertainment and embarrassment of the couple who did best in laughing at themselves, Ineta was forever tagged with the nickname, "20 Tricks."
Almost two decades later, her debut as 20 Tricks remains legendary.
Julie can be reached through her website at www.julie-carter.com.

THE 89 CENT PIZZA

Cowgirl Sass & Savvy Julie Carter

Cooking has always been a challenge for our boy Dan the Team Roper. He seems to focus on the shortcuts and then wonders why he has a 99-percent failure rate, that he still has to eat.
Dan has established a running record of blowing up tator tot casseroles in the microwave and a subsequent serious failure with his attempt at cornbread in the Crockpot.
His latest venture has been the acquisition of a brand new "deeeluxe" toaster oven and last week's attempt to make a nice supper for himself when he got in from the roping arena.
"They looked real good in the picture on the box," he said his slow Texas cowboy drawl accented with a touch of his happy-hick personna.
"I bought a couple of them 89-cent frozen pizzas and thought they would make a right good supper for me and Mary Margaret."
Mary Margaret is Dan's newest dog who is the replacement for a few "good'uns" that went on to their great reward. She's one of those little dogs that is half a dog high and three dogs long - a black, tan and white Corgi who quickly established her adoration of Dan.
They all - the dog, cat, horses and cowboy - live happily at Dan's place in the woods. The smaller critters 7share the comfort of his trailer house where he has put the bed in the kitchen "where it belongs," he said. I was afraid to ask the logic on that one.
Mary Margaret has her own recliner that she occasionally shares with the cat named Gato. She is not allowed in Dan's recliner and he isn't allowed in her's. It's an understanding they reached early on and it keeps the household orderly.
To give Dan his due, he hasn't always been school-ed in the finer points of dining. One time he and some of his kin headed over to Joe Allen's barbeque joint in Abilene - world famous, at least in those parts.
The waitress that appeared, had on a very low-cut shirt, and was showing an ample amount of cleavage. One of the male kinfolk zoomed right in and was quickly lost in the staring. The waitress gave her spiel of the day's specials and as she wrote the orders, this mesmerized cowboy, still staring, said, "I'll have one."
They waited awhile and lunch appeared. He looked at whatever it was they brought him, unable to identify it, and tells his wife, "Mama, next time we go somewhere and the waitress has more cleavage than I do butt crack, you do the ordering."
Dan's nearly a celebrity now. His following of fans down at the tractor store gathers on Fridays to read the latest of the Dan stories.
When the last cooking adventure showed up in print, they began offering their treasured bachelor cooking recipes, although not all are single. The best one involved tuna, jalapenos and mustard on tortillas and for breakfast, stale Fritos with beer to moisten them.
That particular guy had been rodeoing for a week or so, came home to a Mother Hubbard pantry, woke up hungry and remembered a bag of Fritos in the truck from the last road trip. And, of course, he had beer.
Dan hasn't quite figured out what happened inside the toaster oven but related that the pizzas came out tough enough "to use for new soles on his boots."
"They just didn't look like the picture on the box," he lamented.
He offered them to Mary Margaret and the last he saw, she was tossing one around like a plastic Frisbee and wasn't quite sure it was something she should eat.
Dan said soon after he was headed out to find some pliers to try to get the cheese off that "thing" in the bottom of the toaster oven.
I hope he remembered to unplug it first.
I'd say it might be a real hair-curling event, but with Dan, there would be no evidence of that.
Visit Julie's Web site at www.julie-carter.com. Her books are available there..

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