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Sagebrush Sven

Jim Hicks: Friday Let’s All Make Some Noise About 7 P.m. And Feel Better . . .

in Column/Sagebrush Sven

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By Sagebrush Sven, (translated by Jim Hicks)

BUFFALO – At first, we were having a hard time remembering time it was. Had to look at the clock in the kitchen because the hours were either dragging or flying by. 

After a couple more weeks were found ourselves trying to determine which day of the week it happened to be.

And then, this week Maudie caught me studying the calendar that hangs in the hallway. 

“What are you doing?” she asked.

“Trying to figure out what week of the month it might be.”

This was last weekend when the wind was blowing, the temperature was in the low teens and we were getting five inches of snow.

“I really thought maybe it was still February,” was my excuse.

So, the “stay-at-home” and “isolate” continues. For those who really like to be left alone, this may actually change some attitudes. 

I’ve talked to so many spam callers we are starting to get less and less of them.

It can be fun if you go ahead and listen to the recorded pitch and then punch the number to talk to the “IRS Agent” or the “Social Security Representative” or even the lady who wants to sell you an alert system in case you fall and can’t get up.

Believe it or not, if you sound dumb enough, they will spend 20 minutes trying to explain why you should take all your money out of the bank, wrap it with foil and overnight it to their headquarters in California.  Just make sure you invent bank account numbers and a social security number as well. 

You can get such satisfaction to drive them crazy while you are keeping them from calling some other poor sucker.

And this week Barb Mueller and some of her friends came up with a great idea (she says it’s been done in other places). She wants everyone to come out of their house at 7p.m. sharp, and get rid of a lot of pent-up emotion by “whoopin’ or hollerin’ or banging on pans or blowing a bugle if they have one. 

“It will relieve a lot of stress at the end of a day of isolation.”

They have scheduled he first “Isolation whoop-up” for 7p.m. this Friday, and will continue every evening at 7 sharp.

“It will make us all feel better,” says Barb and her co-conspirators.

So, get the dishpan and a big spoon out and head for the front porch Friday evening. 

And the “stay-in-place” humor just keeps coming if you are on the “net” or have a cell-phone. Every new idea goes around the globe instantly. But the Bench Sitters still like to pick a few special ones to share.

Their “picks of the week include –

Frustration is trying to find your glasses without your glasses.

Blessed are those who can give without remembering and take without forgetting.

The irony of life is that, by the time you’re old enough to know your way around, you’re not going anywhere.

I was always taught to respect my elders, but it keeps getting harder to find one.

Every morning is the dawn of a new error.

And so, the Bench Sitters have agreed to send their best wishes, a bag of patients and a bowl of brotherly love to help you handle the nest week . . . whatever week that might be.

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Jim Hicks: Social Isolation Up In Buffalo Derailing Its Most Prominent Benchsitter

in Column/Sagebrush Sven

By Sagebrush Sven, (translated by Jim Hicks)

BUFFALO – Your friend Sven is sitting at his old Royal upright typewriter with a blank stare on his face this week.  He won’t speak. Not even blink. We think he is either in a mind-numbing trance or might be semi-comatose.

We are not sure. But we are pretty certain it has to do with “social isolation” which, until just recently, was not classified as a mental disorder.

So, a couple of the Bench Sitters have volunteered to “fill in” for a week until his condition improves.

We’ll do our best to write what we think he may have wanted to say . . . but in reality nobody ever knows what might come out of that moldy old mind and twisted sense of humor.  We can only do our best.

Before he went silent, Sven said the “stay-at-home” thing was easy for some and damned hard for others. “They might have as well outlawed smoking, drinking, sex, and a few other things as well. Let’s get over it all at one time.”

He had earlier mentioned that being cooped up was only part of his problem. Reading the newspapers and watching television has made him into some kind of “germ-a-phoebe” who was starting to actually see those little virus bugs on his box of cornflakes in the morning.

Maudie caught him trying to put cereal in the bowl using one knee and both elbows.  Big mess on the kitchen floor. He peels the banana and then washes his hands before slicing it up on top of the cornflakes.

When groceries are brought to the house by a very kind person or two, he insists they be left outside next to the front door.  After a half hour he cracks the door open, reaches out with his old three-iron to lift the bags one-by-one and carry them to the kitchen counter. Then each item will be wiped down with a cloth soaked in 10 percent bleach before being put away.

At least he stopped doing that to raw chicken since serving Maudie some “teeth whitening” home-made chicken noodle soup that tasted mostly like laundry detergent.

Last week he put the family dog, “Muffin,” in the sink in the laundry room and gave her a full-body scrub down. 

Now every time Sven gets that Clorox rag out . . . old Muffin either hides behind the couch or runs out the dog-door.

We found a note Sven had written to his cousin in Florida the other day.  Imagine it was good that this bit of correspondence didn’t get mailed.

He wrote: “Dear Katy, I heard a doctor on TV say to have inner peace we should always finish things we start and we could use calm in our lives. “I looked through the house for things I had started and hadn’t finished. “So, I finished off a bottle of Crown Royal, a bottle of Tequila, a bodle of some old pinot, a butle of wum, tha mainder of Valiumun srciptuns, anda box o chocletz. Yu haf no idr how fabulous i feel rite now!”

We doubt that.  Sven gets ill after the third Keystone Light and we know that’s a fact.

So, this week we’ll pass along a few more “corona-one-liners” you may have already read in your e-mails. 

Half of us are going to come out of this quarantine as amazing cooks. The other:

— Half will come out of this with a drinking problem. 

— I need to practice social-distancing from the refrigerator.

–Every few days try your jeans on just to make sure they fit. Pajamas will have you believe all is well in the kingdom.

–Homeschooling is going well. 2 students suspended for fighting and 1 teacher fired for drinking on the job.

–I don’t think anyone expected that when we changed the clocks, we’d go from Standard Time to the Twilight Zone.

–This morning I saw a neighbor talking to her cat. It was obvious she thought her cat understood her. I came into my house, told my dog . . . we laughed a lot.

–So, after this quarantine . . . will the producers of “My 600-Pound Life” just find me or do I find them?

–Quarantine Day 5: Went to this restaurant called THE KITCHEN. You have to gather all the ingredients and make your own meal. I have no clue how this place is still in business.

–My body has absorbed so much soap and disinfectant lately that when I pee it cleans the toilet.

–Day 5 of Homeschooling: One of these little monsters called in a bomb threat.

–I’m so excited — it’s time to take out the garbage. What should I wear?

–Classified Ad: Single man with toilet paper seeks woman with hand sanitizer for good clean fun.

And so it goes this week without old SVEN. Maybe he’ll improve by next week.

Positive Thoughts While Staying Close To Camp . . .

in Column/Sagebrush Sven

By Sagebrush Sven, translated by Jim Hicks

The Bench Sitters have been trying hard to come up with positive thoughts during these days of “sheltering in place” – or as we were told back in the days of our youth — “YOU ARE GROUNDED!”

If you consider the poor people living in small apartments in the big cities, we really have good conditions. And we see a lot of people getting exercise by walking on local trails.

There is room to spare here so it’s easy to keep that six-foot space from others.

And the Bench Sitters don’t miss the news about the latest threats from North Korea, bad news from the Middle East and all the talk about extreme weather, climate change and a host of other worries that seem to be kept in front of us each day.

All that still exists, but the Covid-19 threat is closer and personal to each of us. Most of the Bench Sitters realize they wouldn’t be good candidates to survive this virus, so you don’t see many of them out and about these days.

To keep their sanity, people often try to use humor to make a bad situation more bearable. 

Some of the favorites collected by the Bench Sitters include—

 –They said a mask and gloves were all you needed to shop at the grocery store. They lied. Everyone else had clothes on.

 –Our thoughts and prayers go out to all those married men who had been telling their wives – “I’ll do that when I get time.” Even worse it’s time for the spring yard cleaning.

 –I used to give that toilet paper roll a spin like “Wheel of Fortune”, but now I move it like I was cracking a safe open.

 –We haven’t decided where to go for Easter.  Either the bedroom or the living room.

 –This is the first time I’ve had a chance to save humanity by laying on the couch in front of the TV.  Let’s not screw this up.

 –Just noticed the lady next door has stopped posting Facebook notes about her “awesome and wonderful” kids. She just discovered the problem was not with the teacher.

 –A month ago we worried about time change, full moon and Friday the 13th. We didn’t have a clue.

 –Now that everyone is washing their hands correctly . . . next we’ll work on turn signals.

 –We are three weeks from knowing everyone’s true hair color

 –Everyone says a baby boom will come in 9 months. How about divorces and justifiable homicides.

 –No toilet paper, so I bought dryer sheets.  No wrinkles in my butt anymore.

 —While everything is shut down maybe the city should pave some streets.

 –Gas is down to almost $2 a gallon, and we can’t go anywhere.

 –We are not all that bored, but wondered why one bag of rice has 7,456 kernels and another bag of the same brand has 7,398.

 –Told my husband to help stock-up on vital things from the store. Now we have 15 cases of beer in the garage.

 Not too much else to report this week other than ranchers may be wondering how the branding might go this year. Hard to wrestle caves and stay six feet apart.

 We join with everyone else in praying this pandemic soon starts to evaporate and we can start moving back to normal lives. 


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