Because being blogorific just isn’t enough, I give you column samples:

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Duck and cover — it ain’t rain

published in Havre Daily News September 23, 2011

If you are enjoying your life as normal today, don’t look up — maybe skip going outside altogether and just hole up in a basement — because Chicken Little was right about the sky.

OK, technically the sky itself isn’t falling, but I’m sure you’ll find no comfort in knowing that it’s a dead NASA satellite the size of a school bus that’s tumbling down from space.

Being dead and all, the satellite is sinking from orbit into Earth’s atmosphere where it is expected to break into pieces, some of which will burn up during that transition. Some pieces, like the 300 pound ones, will most likely survive to fall through the sky to the Earth’s surface … somewhere.

So, sure, it’s not the sky falling, but the whole large-pieces-will-survive-to-crash-who-knows-where thing is not comforting.

This is NASA, home to a bajillion scientists and excessively smart people with big computers and expensive technological doohickeys, and they can’t project the expected trajectory of an object they put into space.

It just makes me think of my mother. Doesn’t NASA have a mother?

Can’t our president or the leader of some international space regulatory agency say: “NASA, I swear, you’d lose your head if it wasn’t screwed on tight.” And then cuff NASA upside the head and bark: “Learn to keep track of your stuff!”

Oh well, NASA. It didn’t work for me either.

Now the space junk is raining down, and it begs the question: What are the odds that one of us might get struck?

NASA told the folks at LifesLittleMysteries.com that the odds are 1 in 3,200 that one of the 7 billion humans on Earth will get beaned by a piece of this satellite. Not good. But the odds that you specifically will get hit are 1 in several trillion. Not bad.

Those numbers inspire the standard-issue comparison to the likelihood of getting struck by lightning this year: about one in 100,000. That makes us feel better about NASA, but worse about Mother Nature.

There’s also your chance of winning the Powerball lottery this weekend: one in 195,249,054. Not good. Yet I still hope.

And your lifetime odds of dying from a poisonous spider bite: about one in 593,000. Oddly more likely than one would think. And, of course, if you live in or plan to visit Australia, the continental home of the greatest concentration of poisonous creatures per human capita, then your odds worsen significantly — as do your odds of dying from a poisonous bird bite, strangely enough.

All that makes the one-in-several-trillion odds of getting conked by space crap look even more survivable. But before you get too casual about the imminent storm of space debris missing your parade, remember that in 1997 a Tulsa, Okla., woman was struck by a piece of a Delta II space rocket. Sure, the space garbage was the size of a DVD and fluttering on wind currents, but struck is struck and proves that it does happen.

So what am I doing to protect and prolong my life today? I’m playing the odds — fumigating for spiders and tethering myself to a lightning ground rod, with my lottery ticket stored safely in my pocket.

 

And, just in case the whole cry of “A satellite is falling! A satellite is falling!” is NASA code-talk for a UFO invasion, I made a tinfoil skull cap to protect myself from the alien brain waves.

(Did you hear the one about the guy who read that odds are you’re most likely to die in a car crash within 3 miles of home? Yeah, he moved … to https://viewnorth40.wordpress.com.)

 

 

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Life and death here on the punchline

published in Havre Daily News November 19, 2010

I am a cold-blooded killer.

Just thought I’d put that out there before telling this joke:

A group of researchers decided to study the effects of culture on ingenuity. To conduct their study, they gave two Russian military specialists a couple of metal bars and locked them in a room for one week. When the Russians were let out, they emerged with a missile that they’d made out of the metal bars.

Amazed, the scientists then gave two metal bars to two engineers from Japan and locked them in the room. After a week, the Japanese guys emerged with a precision milling machine they’d made from the metal bars. The scientists were stunned and eager to see what the two Americans who were next in line for the study could do.

After a week, the Americans stepped out of their room with nothing. The scientists, dumbfounded, asked the American pair why they hadn’t made something from the metal bars they were given.

“Make something?!” one of the men said. “If you wanted something made then you shouldn’t’ve picked a couple of cowboys.”

“Yeah,” said the other one. “Cuz right off we broke one of them metal bars and then lost the other.”

Meanwhile, back in my private kill zone.

I’d decided, after long and agonizing deliberation, to pull a willow tree out of one of my horse corrals. I love trees. Out here on my little piece of the prairie, they are precious life forms scraping out a living in this gumbo world. I can barely make myself trim the dead limbs off them in case I’m disturbing their Zen-like peace.

This particular tree didn’t need to be in the corral. I knew this. It was actually a burden for it to be in there, and I’d spent years sighing at it for growing in an inconvenient place. I’d had to build a barrier fence around it to protect it from the powerful destructive forces of equine evil-doers. And it made the approach to the big gate tight for a tractor. Besides, it was half dead anyway, I told myself.

Removing the tree was a logical thing to do, and needed to be done to accommodate other changes made this fall. I felt wretched and diabolical, like, y’know, a really bad, bad person.

I apologized to the tree constantly as I used the forklift to rip it from its place on the Earth:

While wrapping the chain around a branch of the trunk that I knew was dead: “I’m sorry.” After ripping that dead trunk off: “I’m sorry.” Then going in for the smaller of two live branches of the trunk (groaning): “I’m sooorry.” And when it came to wrapping chains around the large, main trunk: “Forgive me, tree. I’m so sorry.” Then, when it didn’t come out right away, and I had to repeatedly slam the weight of my mighty machinery against it: “I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m sooorrryyyy!”

So the willow tree is gone now. I killed it. The carcass of its once noble and twisted self is wilting on the to-be-burned pile.

It suits my lingering internal agony that the willow tree did get some measure of revenge in the process.

The chains I used while killing it? Yeah, somewhere during the slaughter, I lost one chain and broke the other.

(I live life as the punchline of one joke or another at https://viewnorth40.wordpress.com.)

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Neon Yellow: Oops, the new color of money

published in Havre Daily News November 5, 2010

When one ponders the connection between the terms “safety first” and “street-walking prostitute,” the obvious conclusion to draw is “neon yellow reflective vest.” Right?

British newspaper The Telegraph reports that the mayor of Els Alamus in northern Spain has mandated that prostitutes touting their services along a rural highway outside of town wear the safety vests to comply with a 2004 law that says pedestrians on “major highways and hard shoulders must wear the high visibility garments.”

Despite the fact that prostitution is legal in Spain (I know, how weird is that?), the Els Alamus town council voted to ban prostitution in the town’s urban areas. The Oct. 25, 2010, article by Fiona Govan, says that Mayor Josep Maria Bia has been “accused” of campaigning to rid the area of its sex workers. This implies some dissension among the residents — not unexpected in a country in which one in four men admits to having a sexual encounter of the purchased kind.

Certainly, there seems to be some validity to the accusations since the mayor drove the sex workers out of town and then made them wear those hideous colors, but I think this could work out to the girls’ advantage — thus completely backfiring on the mayor.

First of all, yes, the reflective vests will make the girls safer out on the roads. Not quite as safe as if they were standing well off of the road under the sheltering eve of a warm hotel or if they had, like, a regular job, but probably the best they can ask for within their present employment status and legal constraints. Assuming that a roadside sex kiosk is out of the question.

Second, the vests will actually provide an advertising advantage. If the guys can see the prostitutes to avoid hitting them, they can see them well enough to find them when they want … well, y’know, any port in a hormone storm, apparently. And if the port is well-lit, all the better to see the, uh, docking berth. Or something like that.

In fact, if I were out there walking the major highways and hard shoulders of Spain, I’d be getting myself a matching reflective skirt to raise my visibility even more. I took art classes and understand advertising. I know how it works. I don’t think the mayor does. But this’ll learn him.

The human brain is wired for visual stimuli and highly adaptive, especially given the right inspiration — and I think one in four Spanish men has admitted he has the right inspiration. Those prospective customers will be just like Pavlov’s dog who got fed every time a bell rang so, even if food wasn’t provided, every time it heard a bell the dog slobbered. It’s true.

The highly reflective vests will catch the men’s attention, then they’ll purchase a little somethin’-somethin’. Before you know it, those horn-dogs will be noticing reflective vests on every street-repair crew member, construction worker and emergency services provider they drive by. And each neon-glance will act like a subliminal cue for them to think “sex for hire, sex for hire, sex, sex, sex, gotta buy me some of that.” Not really what the mayor’s trying to accomplish.

Then they’d see me in my highly reflective ensemble of glaring matching skirt and vest, maybe have sleek racing stripe running up my highest-heeled boots. I’d be irresistible, like a strutting neon billboard telling them to bring their paycheck on down, I have the goods for sale. Well, OK, maybe they’re not goods, just mediocres, but still for sale.

And, bingo, I’d be paying off my custom-made, highly visible, neon-yellow skirt in no time. It’s all pure profit after that, baby.

I know, a lot of readers are horrified to think of it. Some people just don’t look good in those greenish neon yellows, but that can be fixed too. The law simply says “highly visible,” so if one’s color palette runs more to autumn colors or pastels, just wear reflective neon orange or hot pink.

Safety might come first, but fashion follows its own laws.

(Or something like that at https://viewnorth40.wordpress.com.)

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Hottest trends in Halloween fashion, 2010

published in Havre Daily News October 29, 2010

Halloween poses no costume quandaries for me. Every year I go as myself. It’s scary enough, and I’ve practiced all year on how to complete the look. Small children cry when they see me.

That said, The Wall Street Journal reported this week that a new hot costume has surpassed the Lady Gaga look, which was No. 1 in 2009. Normally, I’d be thankful for this, but according to Elizabeth Holmes in her article “Ghosts aren’t nearly as frightening as these characters,” costumes modeled after the 20-something Italian-Americans featured in the MTV reality show “Jersey Shore” are the in thing for 2010.

“Jersey Shore”? All you need — whether you’re male or female — is tight, revealing clothes, big brunette hair and an endless supply of gum to smack like an Everlasting Gobstopper. But still, ew, seriously?

I just can’t believe that costume will hold the top spot, so for my money, I think there will be a last minute challenger for No. 1 Halloween costume of 2010: Hiccup Girl.

Think about it.

Jennifer Mee, 19, gained global attention, and the nickname Hiccup Girl, in 2007 because she had developed a condition which caused her to hiccup up to 50 times a minute. She appeared on local and national television — a lot — and radio, then after almost six straight weeks of hiccuping, Mee’s 15 minutes of fame were over with her last *hic.*

But, as the saying goes, when one door closes, another door opens, or you’re forced to kick a hole in the wall to let the limelight shine in.

Mee was arrested along with Laron Raiford, 20, and Lamont Newton, 22, on Sunday, Oct. 24, in Florida. All three are charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of Shannon Griffin, 22. According to the arrest report read by CBS News, Mee used an online flirtation to lure Griffin into a robbery where he was ambushed by Raiford and Newton. But the gig went sour during a scuffle, and Griffin was shot several times.

Mee’s mother told a Florida radio station that she blamed the incident on “the curse of the hiccups,” but her lawyer reported to MSNBC that he intends to say during Mee’s grand jury hearing that she suffers from Tourette Syndrome.

Research shows that people with Tourette Syndrome most often display some variety of tic, like a muscle twitch or a vocalization like a short hum. However, its notoriety is for the minor number of sufferers who burst out with a string of obscene words or socially inappropriate or derogatory remarks.

I’m obviously not a lawyer, but I can see that they have an overwhelming amount of evidence to support the possibility of Mee’s Tourette Syndrome. I just don’t see how she’ll be able to use it as a defense even if she stands up in court and says: “Your #$%&! honor, I’m innocent. The #^&* hiccups made me do it.”

See? I don’t know. But maybe this whole Halloween costume angle will help soften her public image during her current, dark, 15 minutes of fame.

I envision throngs of young people flocking to the giant box store down the street to bug the sales clerk for a Hiccup Girl costume.

I also envision the savvy clerk saying, “A Hiccup Girl costume? No such thing, but this shirt and these pants are very popular among her socio-economic age group.”

“But we want to trick-or-treat as a hiccuping, betrayal-friendly, media hound!” the kids cry.

“If you want to look just like her, then you must dress in these everyday clothes,” the clerk says, dropping her voice to the theatrical whisper appropriate for ghost stories on a dark night. “Because there’s a secret to the Hiccup Girl look,” and her whisper gets harsher and slower as she leans in and glances quickly at the kids’ faces. “The secret is the same one that aaaall serial killers and aliens use. They live in our neighborhoods. They go to the same stores we do. And they look. Just. Like. Us.”

The smallest children run screaming in fear as the clerk laughs maniacally, but the tweens and teens raised on Justin Beiber, Miley Cyrus and zombie movies shrug and say, “Cool. I’ll take the sparkly T-shirt and those #^*&% jeans.”

*Hic.*

(Trick or treat, indeed, at https://viewnorth40.wordpress.com.)

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Pride goeth like a little girl screaming, but the lesson sticks

published in Havre Daily News June 18, 2010

Maybe you’ve caught yourself saying something that starts with these words: “Oh, young people these days … .” And then you go on with something like: they don’t know how to work, they’re too soft, they’re too chubby, they’re too arrogant, they don’t know nothing, they’re always blah blah blah, until you sound like a cantankerous old fart.

Frankly, many statistics and much media coverage give weight to a lot of these complaints. And who among the over-30 crowd can’t say that they thought they were much smarter than they really were during their teens and early 20s. Ah, the hubris of youth, we might say.

Do not fear for this new lost generation, though. A 22-year-old matador in Mexico City is here as a shining beacon of worthiness for today’s youth among the stodgy.

Christian Hernandez of Mexico worked hard to learn and be worthy of his chosen trade: professional bullfighter extraordinaire.

He honed his muscles so he could fit into a standard-issue, gaudy, tight matador uniform and pit himself one-on-one against those angry-for-being-stabbed-repeatedly bulls. He learned all the psychological and physiological bull-stuff to understand the rage and the capacity for mayhem of his opponents, who come to the arena complete with horns and a half-a-ton of gangster attitude even before some idiots taunt them and stab them with swords. (What’s that all about?)

Hernandez knew how to work hard. He was neither soft nor chubby. He was never, or at least rarely, blah blah blah. He earned a spot in one of the prestigious bullfighting arenas in Mexico City at the height of bull-stuff season. That had to’ve made him a proud young man.

However, about 10 seconds into his big-time bullfight Sunday, he swirled his standard-issue bullfighting cape at the rampaging bull, then threw the cape into a heap of red silkiness on the dusty ground and ran for his life for the five-foot high arena wall, which he cleared in a single bound. Screaming like a little girl.

And, apparently, that’s a crime in Mexico City.

According to the June 15, 2010, Associated Press article, “Terrified matador arrested after fleeing bull,” Hernandez was, in fact, arrested for breach of contract and released only after paying a fine.

Apparently, he was contractually obligated to entertain the crowd with feats of testosterone-laced manliness taunting and then killing the bull. No lily-livered chickenness, no matter how logical, is allowed. Bullfighting crowds do not find this amusing. Ole.

Pride goeth, you might say, before the charge of 1,000 pounds of muscle, sinew and nostril-flared, cloven-hoofed fury.

But where pride goeth from, even at a dead run, wisdom may flow in, even if it comes in screaming. Like a little girl.

“There are some things you must be aware of about yourself,” Hernandez was reported saying in a post-flight television interview. “I didn’t have the ability, I didn’t have the (um, Rocky Mountain oysters), this is not my thing.”

Now that he’s retired from cape-twirling and blood-letting, Hernandez has partnered up with the infamous, peace-loving Ferdinand the bull. The pair will be selling daisies at the Mexico City farmer’s market on Saturdays.

Ole, for sure, dudes.

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Pamville Editor’s Disclaimer: This column is not meant to endorse threat by means of a good, old-fashioned goring by bull horn as a means of properly educating and inducting into adulthood the youth of any age. Rather, it is meant to serve as a metaphor for encouraging and allowing young people to meet life’s challenges head-on to learn important life lessons and to grow as a person. Even if it means suffering mortal fear and international humiliation. It’ll learn ’em.

(We’re also just sayin’ that, given a sturdy red cape and the proper incentive, even we can learn to fly over a five-foot protective barrier at https://viewnorth40.wordpress.com.)

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Death of a winning streak, rebirth of the war

published in Havre Daily News June 11, 2010

Out of the blue, someone acquainted with my longstanding offensive against the guerrilla units of rodents that frequently overrun my white trash estate said to me: “I haven’t read any columns about mice lately — you haven’t had any problems with them this spring?”

What?! Shhh! Shut your pie hole, fool. I wanted to say.

What kind of question is that? I mean, really, does this person, this harbinger of ill luck and doom, not understand how the universe works? You don’t go drawing attention to some things, like really good things that have the potential to morph into really bad things, especially if the bad thing is the norm and the good thing is a joyous surprise.

For example, you don’t walk up to a normally sucky sports team and ask a bunch of questions about their current freakishly good winning streak. You might as well pick up their luck like it’s an overripe pumpkin and drop kick it into a festering cesspool of waste water. I’m just saying. It queers the mojo, man.

And in the world of me, you don’t talk about mouse infestations — especially if, through some divine intervention or cosmic oversight, the normal and expected infestation has thus far not occurred. I know these things.

It’s like administering the kiss of viral sleeping sickness meningitis encephalitis death on the lush lips of happiness. Kills it dead, leaving only a dark void that fills with unhappiness and misery and sometimes, mouse-times, even a killing rampage of anger.

I’m totally not kidding about this.

The dude asked me the question and that very day the mice moved into my horse tack shed. Seriously.

Unfortunately, I didn’t see the signs because the first wave of destruction was carried out by a stealth raiding party that sneaked between a doubled saddle blanket and the pad over it and pillaged an 8-inch hole out of the middle layer. I’m assuming they used my nice, new saddle blanket remnants to make a secure and homey base of operations for their reign of destruction.

I found the evidence only after I finished riding — with the defective padding under my saddle. That night the entire force of enemy mouse-troopers attacked and ate my saddle. They. Ate. My. Saddle.

I know, you’re saying that they couldn’t eat my whole saddle over night and, yeah, sure, you’re right. However, they did eat about two pounds of leather from some of the most crucial straps that, y’know, keep the saddle, and thus me, firmly and safely attached to the horse. Without those straps all I have is a ragtag, saddle-like ornament suitable for display purposes only.

Besides, it’s not your saddle and most favoritest birthday present ever so shut up about it because you don’t know my pain and loss.

And, yes, this would be the pain and loss that drove me to rain terror down on this destructive force of rodents. I rigged a mine field of traps that wiped out 15 saddle-eating mice in 72 hours. Certainly not a record here on the white trash estate, but an impressive body count in an 8-by-8-foot kill zone for this timespan, nonetheless.

I’m not naive. The battle is not over. It will never be over because the enemy is resilient and always gathering its forces, breeding more rodent raiders. For now, though, I hold the high ground. Just don’t say anything more about it. You could start something bloody that I don’t want to have to suffer through this soon.

(Don’t even talk to me about the weather at https://viewnorth40.wordpress.com.)

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Weights and balances

published in Havre Daily News Feb. 19, 2010

Cooper, the scourge of wild cottontail bunnies, had to be coaxed and towed into the vet’s office last week for his annual vaccinations. I felt bad for the little dude. It’s hard to maintain your dignity, let alone look like the scourge of anything except dust bunnies when you’re stuffing yourself under a chair in the doctor’s waiting room.

I’m almost absolutely positive he hates going to the doctor for the same reason I do: the scale.

Seriously, why do doctors of every persuasion have to weigh you every time you walk in the door? I’ll bet psychiatrists do it too: “Hey, before we weigh your emotional balance today, let’s weigh your big ol’ backside right here on my handy scale of shame.”

“Hey, I think I’d rather be depressed for the rest of my life. How do you feel about that?”

It’s not as if any weight-measure acquired after the first meal of the day has any validity to it, or as if our weight has anything to do with the price of horse-milk wine in Mongolia. I’m just saying. There are more legitimate concerns in the world than my, or my dog’s, fat content. Y’know what I mean?

I mean Cooper gained three pounds this winter. I’m a little sensitive about that.

Technically, according to Cooper’s medical records — which one cannot believe — Cooper has gained 3.2 pounds. Apparently, the point-two is important to point out to the humans. It means the weight gain is accurately recorded and the scale police didn’t round up to 3 pounds from, say, 2.8.

“Oh, I see Cooper gained some weight. Hmm, 3.2 pounds,” they said.

“Thank you for that information. But, y’know, Cooper hasn’t been shaved yet this spring.”

“Mmm-hmm.”

“His hair is really thick. It’s like weighing me in a parka and muk-luks.”

“Mmm-hmm.”

“This has been a long winter. For all of us. Alright!?”

“Mmm-h—”

“Whatever.”

So now Cooper’s on a diet. We had to cut back on his kibbles and limit his daily intake of calories amassed through treats and scraps.

With the new restrictions in place, my husband John and I find ourselves saying things like “that’s enough food for you” and “this all you get, so eat slowly” and “quit begging, you had your supper, no treat, that’s it, please stop staring at me.”

I know John feels guilty, like I do. What strikes me as even harder to bear, morally, is the fact that I can’t imagine a single instance in my life or some alternate plane of existence in which I would tolerate someone else having absolute control over my own food intake.

If John were to tell me, “That’s enough food for you, honey,” he might as well end that statement by making a business date with the nearest divorce attorney, or undergoing a thorough examination in Area 51 — because either I’d married the wrong man by mistake and I needed to rectify the problem, or the right one had been abducted by aliens and a clearly inferior clone had been sent to replace him.

I don’t want to even contemplate a waitress telling me, “I noticed that big ol’ tire you’re getting around the middle, so I substituted this kid’s meal for the 1/3-pound burger you ordered. This is all you get; eat slowly.”

I’d be telling her, “Sweety, you need to get your head examined, because I think that plate I gave back to you left a mark right there on your forehead.”

Yet here I find myself in the role of food police.

To ease my guilt and display my solidarity with Cooper in his food-loss plight, I’m going to cut back and lose weight along with him. Starting this weekend, I’m ditching the parka and muk-luks and cutting my hair.

(Solutions are simple at https://viewnorth40.wordpress.com.)

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The politics of attractants

Published in Havre Daily News Jan. 22, 2010, and Montana Woman Feb. 2010

In international politics this week, the news is that civilized debate in Taiwan’s parliament erupted into a riotous brawl between at least 70 members of opposing parties.

In the U.S. the big political news is that Scott Brown of Massachusetts was elected to represent his state in the Senate, turning the late Sen. Ted Kennedy’s seat from a Democratic vote to Republican one. The only brawl over this situation so far is a flurry of nanny-boo-booing between the two major parties.

Republicans claim their election success as a sign that the American people are unhappy with the way Democrats have been running the country, and Democrats continue to tout their strong legislative majority. Either way, neener-ha-haw.

However, I don’t think the important difference here is about Republican versus Democrat. It’s about priorities — it’s about sexy.

Remember a few weeks ago when I reported that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had discovered that people in urban areas admire good looks, but rural folks are attracted to usefulness? Well, folks — rural folks, my people — I present to you the evidence of Brown v. Tester.

In the urban corner we have Senator-elect Scott Brown of Massachusetts representing the — whatcha call it? — modern metrosexual urban man. In the rural corner, we have Montana’s junior-Senator Jon Tester representing the modern good ol’ farm boy.

First, Brown beefed up his campaign by driving a “truck” that became one of his campaign calling cards. It’s a mid-size GMC pickup, a practical pickup for the urban man who needs to carry, y’know, a couple boxes and still be able to fit into parking places. It must make him seem quite rugged in Massachusetts.

Tester, on the other hand, might’ve used one of his full-size pickups, grain trucks (now that’s a truck) or farm machines as a campaign device, but he just drove whatever was needed to haul the day’s load or was sitting in the yard with the keys in it. That’s practical, we appreciate that, and we have the 40 acres he needs to turn that rig around.

Second, Brown is a triathlete, an admirable pursuit that provides a healthy example to the people in an era of high obesity. That’s healthy-licious, but what do you do with it? I mean, sure, he can swim, bicycle and run, but what does he have at the end of that race? A ribbon?

If Tester were a triathlete, the three events would have to be motor repair, combining and butchering. The man couldn’t run around a city block on a bet, but when he got done at the end of his triathlon he could drive his newly repaired rig across his freshly cut stubble field and deliver a mess ribs for a barbecue. That’s three day’s work in one, and I’d keep beer on ice to feed the winner of that race.

Finally, it’s no secret that Brown put himself through college (law school, whatever) — paid for in part with his earnings from a stint as centerfold model in Cosmopolitan magazine as winner of their “America’s Sexiest Man” contest.

In the interest of research, I found that centerfold online. You’re welcome. Since the only thing he was “wearing” was one strategically placed hand covering his possibles, I can report that the dude looked, well, I hate to insult him by saying frail, so let’s say quite slender. Maybe that’s great in Massachusetts, but I would fear for him in a strong eastern Montana wind.

Tester, on the other hand, is a large guy and, let’s admit it, he’s got himself a first-class, Big Bud, John Deere, Versatile, Massey Ferguson tractor-sized spare tire around his middle. We don’t want to see him posing naked. Seriously. The guy is like me — we keep fully clothed to do our part to keep America beautiful.

And yet that isn’t all bad.

In the end, the city crowd can keep their lawyer/centerfold. I like knowing that, if a Taiwanese-style brawl breaks out in the U.S. Senate, our Montana man is stout enough to bust some chops and split some wigs. He could be up there tossing around opponents like beef carcasses in for butchering.

Now that’s hot.

(Inanities, 12 for the price of a dozen at http://www.viewfromthenorth40.com.)