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Advertise on the Tentacle

May 1, 2005

Different Times, Different Folks, Same Scene

Tom McLaughlin

Humor by Tom McLaughlin Abilene Kansas 1870: Two cowboys fresh from the cattle drive up from Texas. A red scarf around their necks, hats covered in dust from the trail. Their boots are scuffed while their rough cotton checkered shirts hold a tint of smoke from the campfires. (Gunsmoke, April 15 episode, T.V. Land)

They smell of manure, hides and horse. Chaps and spurs still on, they shove the swinging doors of the saloon open and yell whiskey! The barkeep pours three fingers of Mad Dog into a dirty glass.

One grabs the bottle and bangs it to the center of the nearest table. They remove their side arms and slam them down, against any enemy and begin to guzzle. They get drunker and drunker and throw a chair at the piano player and demand he pound the ivories.

One grabs a gal of the evening and begins to nuzzle, keeping an eye on his partner. He staggers with the lady to the rooms upstairs. Jealous, his friend shoots off the tops of the bottles which line the back of the bar barely missing the white shirt clad barkeep who suddenly brandishes a double barrel shot gun warning that three bottles was enough.

Frederick City Maryland 2005: Two guys, fresh from commute on 270, up from Capitol City. One is wearing a three button linen jacket from Best of Class by Robert Talbot. The other a burnt orange leather coat by John Varvatos.

“Both of these outfits show the usefulness of neutral colors and white as a sort of palette cleanser amid the kaleidoscopic array of colors and patterns of the season.” (Playboy, April 2005)

They smell of Obsession Night, a new fragrance for men from Calvin Klein. Government ID tags dangling, they pull open the door to Starbucks and yell coffee!

Gliding to the counter, they both order a Gold Coast Blend, “a sophisticated coffee with waves of flavor that evolve as the coffee cools.”

They remove their cell phones and slam them down on the table in front of them. One of the phones rings, chatters, chirps, plays music or blinks. Both grab at their communication instrument but only one is the victor.

A lady has called to make plans for the evening. The other, a jealous loser in the woman war, listens in, as does the whole café. He opens his phone and plays the games hoping his phone will be next to ring, chatter, chirp, play music or blink.

Weight loss advice: Always park as far away from your destination as you can. Enjoy the walk. When possible carry your purchases to the car. Take the stairs and not the elevator. Walk slowly and steadily behind the lawn mower using your calf muscles. Take the dog for a brisk walk. You and the dog could use the exercise. Take one lap around the field with your son or daughter before the game.

Observed Reality: Driver circles the parking lot at the health spa searching for a place as close as possible to the entrance. Distance spaces remain empty.

Driver arrives at the curb of the grocery store and allows the Social Security recipient to load the $350 worth of groceries into the back of the SUV.

Races to the elevator and sticks hand into the slot as the doors close then squeezing into the packed car. Pregnant women moan.

Frantically calls a Lawn Care outfit to mow, rake and fertilizers his farm.

Opens the door to the fenced backyard and yells at the dog to “Go Poop!”

Tells son or daughter to run three laps around the field while he/she rests in a lawn chair.

Yellow Cab
The Morning News Express with Bob Miller
The Covert Letter

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