According to Sam and Jim Commenting on things that irk us off, make us laugh out loud or just seem too weird too believe According to Sam and Jim: Cowboy up all you dudes and dudettes. Giddyyup little doggies

Friday, June 10, 2011

Cowboy up all you dudes and dudettes. Giddyyup little doggies

Howdy pardners. Sam and I wonder if you’ve been in touch with your inner cowboy lately?  Seriously.  You know, “Gee haw little doggie,” or “Draw you rascally varmint,” or “Howdy ma’am, you the new school marm in town?”

I was telling Sam that I read an article titled True Grit by Susan Hack in the April 2011, issue of Conde Nast Traveler, while waiting to see my doctor this morning. Ms. Hack chronicles her spiritual experience saddling up, wrangling bison, drinking vintage whiskey and getting in touch with her inner cowboy in the article, telling us how her hands shook and her heart caught in her throat when she saw a herd of buffalo.   So, Sam and I thought it would be fun to lasso this gestalt of the inner cowboy and take a closer look at it.

First of all, let me say with real genuine empathy for all you cowboy wanna-be’s (me included), there is no Out West, Old West or American West anymore – if there ever was. The American West is more a myth of folklore than reality. The American West is nothing more than an iconic metaphor for the virtues of rugged individualism, self-reliance and a longing for the wide open spaces.

Magazines like the aforementioned Traveler, and periodicals like American CowboyCowboys and IndiansTrue CowboyMontana Quarterly and others, attempt to keep the myth of the American West alive, catering to us cowboy wanna-be’s who think we’re missing something. These publications feature pictures of grizzled old boys in tawdry old saloons, reviews of movies, books and music, and all manner of gee-gaws, artifacts and Chinese-made copies of western things for sale. Unfortunately, the Old West was pretty much gone by 1890. The automobile and asphalt highways took care of that.

I’ll  never forget the time years ago when a foreign exchange student from Europe proudly showed me the Stetson hat and bullwhip he’d bought upon arrival in the States. I had a really hard time convincing him that the Old West he’d seen in movies simply didn’t exist in Oakland, California. 

The thing Sam and I don’t understand is why anybody would spend money – pay someone else – so they could work at a “real” ranch - like Billy Crystal and friends did, in City Slickers – just to get in touch with their inner cowboy.  Man, when Sam and I go on vacation we want to get away from work. We like the outdoors and adventure and all that, but we prefer a soft bed at night rather than the cold hard ground. A suggestion I read, that you wear padded bicycle shorts under your Wrangler jeans should warn anybody off riding a horse all day on a cattle drive.  And don’t you just know those ranch owners and wranglers are busting their guts over the stupid things the wannabe’s did during the drive; they’re laughing all the way to the bank.

But you’ll have to excuse Sam and me now because we’re on our way to Murdoch’s in Bozeman, Montana, to buy new cowboy boots, a hat, and a genuine cowboy-looking belt (made in China) with a big silver buckle.

Git along now!

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