Things are getting just a tad weird around the ol’ campfire lately. While they try to dodge the smoke, my saddlepals are all gushing over this movie, or that song, or which famous person is speaking God’s honest truth.
Snakebit, the wrangler, pontificates about the movie “Sound of Freedom” and how that flick will go down in history as more important to America that the Gettysburg Address.
He almost chokes on his biscuit as he rejoices that the deep-state lizard-people pizza shop pedos are finally being exposed as a greater threat to the Republic than Communism.
From the other side of the campfire, Snakebit’s sidekick Ricky the night herder says that he saw Taylor Swift’s concert right after watching “Barbie” and his life was changed.
He will, he promises, no longer strut around like a hardass Marlboro cowboy. He has embraced his twerking, rainbow glitter crossdressing inner tween.
Then, out of the smoke and the sparks, Little Willie pipes up and says, “Jason Aldean is Moses leading us out of Egypt’s bondage! Listen to that song, man...just listen!”
To which Rimrock replies, “Cardi B, baby. She tells it like it is and can kick Aldean’s ass.”
Our sundown soiree was about to descend into chaos and political fisticuffs when Cookie stepped over to the campfire from the chuckwagon. With one hand, he raked crumbs from his beard with greasy fingers. With the other, he brandished a butcher knife at our assembly.
“Goldarnit” he growled, “you young whippersnappers have been duped, duped I tell you!"
Cookie never says much, but when he does we listen. He’s older than anyone by about a century and full of cattle drive wisdom. Besides, he feeds us.
“Those melodramas and minstrel shows that y’all are payin’ so much heed to have filled your noggins with nonsense. Them actors and dance hall girls are only after your money, and they know exactly what buttons to push to get it.”
The crew looked crushed at this unwelcome news.
“Those tinhorns have nothing to do with getting this herd to Cheyenne. They’re only good for entertainment. Them flicker shows an’ songs ain’t real life, dammit! They only want to amuse you.”
With all eyes on him, Cookie segued into, “Now, let's look at that word, “amuse."
It comes from Old French, and the prefix “a” means “away from." The root word is “muse” and it means “to think."
Everyone reached into their saddlebags for their dictionaries to check Cookie’s etymology. They found “amuse” right up in the front part and nodded their heads.
The cook continued his exhortation. “Them shows in town, by definition, are makin’ money hand over fist by leading y’all knuckleheads away from thinking with yer own damn brains. They’re replacing your own thoughts with them made-up Hollywood and Nashville thoughts."
Things got quiet around the ol’ campfire while all the hands thought their own thoughts and saw the truth in Cookie’s rant.
To emphasize his last point, Cookie jabbed the butcher knife toward the fire and said, “And you lap that horseshit up like puppies goin’ after pancakes.”
It takes quite a lot to make a cowboy look sheepish, but Cookie's sermon did just that to the circle of hard cases sitting in the smoke. They looked down at their boots and a lip or two began to tremble.
Cookie loved this rough & tumble bunch, and didn’t want anyone to feel too badly about an honest mistake, so he broke the somber mood.
“Who wants coffee?”