Show pony shutdown

Time to saddle up! Be warned, it’s a rambling piece this week, detours and tangents aplenty as we take an armchair slow ride to nowhere in particular. That being said, with no topic or destination in mind, how will we know there’s been a detour? Anyway, I’m allowed to be off topic and tangential – squirrel – I’m not a president. Just saying…

High noon, Kneehill County

I got an email from a friend yesterday morning, describing how he’s coping with lockdown in London. Some brief background? Ok. My buddy is a young man, only a year older than me. We met over 30 years ago, when I started my first proper job, working for a government department in central London. I can’t say exactly where, or name the department, all very hush hush. Regular readers know I can be trusted with the truth. Hank (not his real name, but one he wishes was) still works for a government department, and he’s currently plotting, I mean working, from his small apartment in North London. He’s fine, the evidence being he’s taken to dressing up in C&W clothing, complete with Stetson, and is listening to “Honky Tonks and Cheap Motels” by Whitey Morgan and the 78s. (Good cover there of a great song – what do you think?) Cowboy duds and country music – that’s normal for North London these days, isn’t it? He’s doing this as preparation for a (now postponed) road trip we were due to take this summer. I might have dodged a bullet there…

High plains drifting

Sticking with the Western theme, Scout and I were moseying down the middle of 10th Street at high noon yesterday. As with all good, and not so good, Westerns, townsfolk scurried indoors as we passed, shooing their children ahead of them and peering out through the gap in the curtains. Showdown! Hairy and mean looking varmints (squirrels) moved from tree to tree, trying to get the high ground and a clear view of the sheriff (Scout) and her good looking and trustworthy young deputy (me, of course – how could you even ask?!) We faced them down, made it out of there.

The sheriff, tracking

‘Scuse me while I take a moment, spit my chewin’ baccy into the ol’ tin at my feet. Well sh*t, now I gone done made a mess on my boots. Shee-it. New old timey story? Ok. Okey dokey. You bet. I pardnered up with a law-abiding school master from Red Deer a few years back. He was principal of a Junior High School that had even more than the usual share of middle years miscreants, rebels, and wannabe outlaws. Education badlands, allegedly, but in truth, not at all bad, these were spirited and lively young people. Sheriff Duane was excellent at his job, corralling and educatin’ his young steers with great good humour. He was never overly fond of a meeting, preferring to be in the field teaching, rather than pushing darn papers. He’d always start a meeting with “Let’s get this dog and pony show on the road!” This young buck never quite understood what that meant, but I do think of Sheriff Duane every time I drink a Last Best Show Pony pale ale. Yup, all that just so I could use this photograph:

No dog, all pony. Cheers, Duane!

Well, I think that’ll ‘bout do it for now. I gotta get me a glass of something to sip slow and steady as I sit on my rocking chair, watch the sun set, dog at my feet, with Whitey Morgan and his boys crooning quietly in back. So long!

Goodness, what is going on? Where did all that come from? You’re doing something similar, yes? Or is it just me? Is this what happens when an old PlaidCamper is in a long term shut down. Or decline? Neural pathways rewiring themselves in new and not so interesting ways, and make believe takes over. It’s not all make believe. I am actually growing (or trying to grow) a fine “sad cowboy” moustache, for when Hank and I finally take that Western road trip. We’ll look (and sound, haha) completely authentic. You have been warned, small town bars of Alberta, Montana and Wyoming. That fast moving cloud of dust on the outskirts? Two thirsty show pony buckaroos riding into town…

Thanks for reading, I hope you’re well, safe, sane enough, and ready to enjoy your weekend!

PS I’ve just finished listening to “Honky Tonks and Cheap Motels” for the second time. It might (or might not) be a great way to plan a road trip, but it is definitely a fun old school country album. You’ll be growing your own sad cowboy moustache, or drawing one on. My thanks to Hank, the North London urban cowboy, for the recommendation.

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I am a would be outdoorsman - that is if I had more time, skills and knowledge. When I can, I love being outdoors, just camping, hiking, snowboarding, xc skiing, snowshoeing, paddling a canoe or trying something new. What I lack in ability, I make up for in enthusiasm and having a go. I'd never really survive for long out there in the wild, but I enjoy pretending I could if I had to...

10 thoughts on “Show pony shutdown”

  1. Enjoyed meeeting your C/W avatar, pc. These times are so strange, all kinds of weird things happening, including my friend the plaidcamper’s alter ego slipping out. You’re right, it’s okay for you to do, but not the president. Great read, PC — and keep up the fun times.


    1. Howdy, Jet! I’ll stop that now…
      Mrs PC is keeping a close medical eye on me, in her professional capacity – I’m not too far gone, but maybe she’s just saying that, to keep the weird in check?
      I hope you’re both well and enjoying the week so far. Take care!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. “We’ve been expecting you, Mr. Stanton!”
      Oh, if only. Not a glamorous or mysterious government post, but I’m not going to let the truth get in the way. I mean, what would Boris/Donald think, if govt started to be truthful…
      Hope all is well with you!


  2. I’ve decided after these last two posts that your shutdown should last a few more months so you can keep writing and entertaining us with these fabulous tales!! Loved moseying along with you and Scout and was very happy to read of the wise decision to make her the sheriff (beautiful shot of Scout). Next up, I’m expecting a tale about your consulting role with the 007 movies and that you have inside information that Idris Elba or Tom Hiddleston will be the next Bond. Before I begin another rant you triggered, I thought Whitey Morgan and the 78s did a great cover of Springsteen’s song, but, of course, they’re from Michigan (although, I did not actually know that until just now). Now for another rant, I’ve lost track over the last few months how many times I have threatened to take the remote control away from my husband as I’ve completely lost track of how many times I’ve seen Clint Eastwood movies, especially The Outlaw Josie Wales (so glad to read you spit on your shoes instead of the dog), High Plains Drifter and the Dollars Trilogy. He claims his reason for watching them so often is that he has to flip the channel quickly from the news whenever I walk in the room to save him from another rant and for some reason one of these movies is always on some channel. Although, for some reason the music from the Dollars Trilogy playing throughout the day and evening somehow works as a good soundtrack for these strange days locked up in the house. Another western I love is Open Range with Kevin Costner and Robert Duvall and I was reminded of that movie laughing at your description of children being shooed inside at the sight of you and Scout. I managed to steal the remote and we watched Bad Boys For Life and Extraction (Netflix) this weekend. I hope things improve quickly so you and Hank can have that Western road trip and absolutely entertain the Montana and Wyoming locals. Thanks for another great tale with plenty of laughs and enjoy that rocking chair on the balcony, but be careful that Mrs. PC doesn’t lock the door until you promise to shave the sad cowboy mustache and ponytail!


    1. Thank you! Who knew Michigan is a hotbed of country talent?! I’ve enjoyed listening to the Whitey Morgan album, pretty funny set of songs.
      Mrs PC would be very happy if either Tom or Idris is the next Bond. Especially Idris.
      I can understand your husband watching the old Clint westerns, solid classics. My favourites are OJW, and Pale Rider. Unforgiven is also a fine one. I’m going to track down Open Range and watch it again, I remember enjoying it enormously.
      Looking forward to watching Extraction this week, looks like just the thing for unplugging my brain for a couple of hours. Watched Chris Hemsworth in 12 Strong not long ago, and he was very good, as was the ever dependable Michael Shannon. Dodgy politics, like many a military movie, but what a story.
      Yeah, both Scout and Mrs PC have frowned, quite rightly, on my new spitting tobacco habit. Especially Scout! Can’t be hygienic, pandemic or not.
      If the ongoing shutdown is extended into the next however long, I’m going to have to start writing about the time aliens abducted me. I think that happened, or maybe it was the many times I fell asleep watching The X Files, back when we were young parents trying to watch TV after 9pm but were too tired to stay awake. No, I think I was abducted.
      Have a good week! Clint made many, many westerns. And when those have been exhausted, there’s the Dirty Harry collection. You might want to keep the remote hidden a bit longer…

      Liked by 1 person

  3. It was fun to saddle up with ya, partner, ridin’ past the honky tonks & cheap motels, watchin’ all the kids & school marms runnin’ off & hiding behind their doors & curtains. Now I need a Pony Ale & hope to grow a cowboy mustache for a summer ramble West. Thanks for the inspiration, Adam!


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