Sunday, February 27, 2011

Hearing Aid

A man once came to me complaining that his hearing was too slow.

"Doc, I'm in trouble" he said, "I supply cattle to several markets back East. Every time I go to the cattle auction in Tucson I get beat out by men who bid quicker. That auctioneer just talks so darn fast that I can't tell where the price is. I once bid three dollars a head for 20 head of cattle only to find out that the bidding had closed five minutes before I chimed in. What can I do?"

"What you need," I said. "Is a little Wizard Water©. Take a bottle with you to the next auction, and right before it starts, put a drop in each ear."

He did so and sure enough, his hearing speeded up. Now he can not only follow what the auctioneer says, but his ears work so fast that he can hear how far the other cattle agents are willing to bid. He shouts out their highest offer before they can open their mouths, and while they are thinking over whether or not to proceed further, the auctioneer's gavel comes down and he buys the beef.

"I've got another problem now, Doc," he said. "The other day I met a lovely young woman and I already know that if I propose she'll say yes."

"There's a drawback to everything," I told him. "Wizard Water© can certainly help you to hear faster, but sometimes that only speeds up your mistakes."

copyright ©2011 Laurie J. Anderson, all rights reserved.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Wind Advisory

Canyon Diablo - Volz trading postIf you ever visit Canyon Diablo out in Arizona, beware of the wind. Locals say it once blew the devil's shadow against a saloon and held it there so firmly that he couldn't walk away. The building began to heat up, flames erupted, and Old Scratch only managed to free himself after his shadow was burned off. The fire also took down the saloon. After that they called the road through town Hell Street.

No one misses the saloon -- they have 14 more, plus 10 gambling houses and eight brothels on a two-block stretch. They need them; the citizens are mostly cattle rustlers and stagecoach robbers and favor lively entertainment. You can tell when you're getting close to town by the increasing frequency of gunfire. The marshals there all die unquiet deaths within a month of taking office.

On second thought, never mind the wind in Canyon Diablo -- beware of the town.

copyright ©2011 Laurie J. Anderson, all rights reserved.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Shaking the Cat, Or How To Predict Marriage

Ladies who wish to divine who among them is soon to marry may try an old method known as "shaking the cat." Take a new quilt, fresh off the frame, and place a cat in the center. Enjoin all unwed females present to stand in a circle and each take an edge of the quilt. On the count of three, quickly lift the edges of the quilt and toss the cat into the air. Take care to catch the feline again upon its return. Do this several times, each time lifting the cat higher. After the animal has reached the rafters, continue to toss it overhead, but allow it to retire from the activity if it so desires. Whoever is nearest the cat at the point where it vacates the textile will soon be wed.

This may sound like a frivolous and unscientific method to predict marriage, but it has been a tried-and-true practice for generations in the Appalachian mountains. I myself have seen it work. My spinster aunt Ada, age 43, participated in one such cat-shaking at a quilting bee, using her own newly completed quilt. I -- a young boy at the time -- was enlisted to supply the cat from a neighbor's barn. All went well until the animal reached the rafters. At that point the cat decided it was tired of the aerial life, and upon its return gripped the quilt deeply with all 20 claws, simultaneously losing control of its bodily functions. The quilt, torn and stained, was ruined. Aunt Ada was furious. She confronted the cat's owner and demanded reimbursement in the amount of one hundred dollars.

"It is," she claimed, "a fair price, as I sold a similar quilt to a New York dealer for the same amount last year." The owner of the cat, a bachelor farmer, refused to pay. She sued him for damages and won. Rather than sell his farm to cover the costs, he married her.

"It seemed the lesser of two evils," he said, "-- at least at first."

So if you wish to know when you will marry, try shaking a cat in a quilt. If you wish to know who you will marry, make sure the cat belongs to your intended, and is full of cod liver oil.

copyright ©2011 Laurie J. Anderson, all rights reserved.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Wizard Water Strengthens Poultry

chickensWizard Water© is excellent for strengthening poultry, if you give them enough motivation. I had a customer near Pikeville, Kentucky who kept his liquid corn production facility in a chicken house, in order to mask the smell of fermenting sour mash. One day he decided to add a little Wizard Water to give it an extra kick. The chickens got into the mash and nearly devoured his entire product. He moved the still, but the birds found it. Now every fall after the corn harvest he must place the equipment in a different location. The birds always return. He moves it further upstate each time, but the chickens are determined, and they have been strengthened by my elixir. You may doubt me, but it's true. If you happen to be in eastern Kentucky this fall, just look for a flock of chickens flying north.

copyright ©2011 Laurie J. Anderson, all rights reserved.