Pet Peeves



By Mark Crantz
By Mark Crantz

I loved cowboy shows when I was a kid. My 12 pair of cowboy boots is a testament of my fan devotion even to today. These same 12 pair that are never lined up right in the closet is the opposing testament of my wife’s disdain of cowboy shows. My little wife of the prairie has said countless times, as she churns butter, “I don’t mind the shoot ‘um ups or the beer swilling stuff. It’s the mistreatment of shoes I abhor. Honestly, I wish my husband could be the Marlboro Man. He’d have smoked himself to that great smoking area in the sky by now. That’s 25 feet outside the pearly gates. Then, I could finally straighten up those boots. I believe with the right shoetrees, I’d be happy to be a cowboy show fan, too. Honey, do you need a light?”

Wow. I read in the Indy that three busloads of residents were deputized by Mark Christy and formed a posse to head off and confront the Coastal Commission Cartel. The Coastal Cartel was holed up somewhere in Badport Beach. Mark Christy told the posse that the cartel wanted to take over the deed to the Ranch and open up a nuclear power plant to irradiate sheep. The first busload was filled with concerned sheep, who in their haste, realized that they were in the lead bus and didn’t know how to lead. Sheepishly, they vacated and moved back to the third bus in order to follow someone else’s lead. The posse, who were half made up of town merchants, was concerned about how long it would take to go after the cartel. They didn’t have anybody to watch their stores and it was the First Thursday Art Walk and they wondered if they could maybe reschedule the shootout to a Monday when things were slower. The other half of the posse was residential customers and balked at Mondays because they’d miss out on all the good merchant specials. Guns were drawn. Fortunately, Toni Iseman, Laguna’s own Ms. Kitty of “Gunsmoke” fame, stepped in. “Boys, boys, settle down. Have a drink on the house. We’ve got designated drivers. But leave the sheep outside. They’ll graze me out of bar nuts and never buy a beer. It’s like they were raised in a barn. The wet blankets.”

In a sound of hissing radials, the posse hit the road to Badport Beach. The Coastal Cartel was caught by surprise by the show of support. “We didn’t think there were this many chardonnay housewives in Laguna,” piped up one cartel commissioner. The posse made clear that they wanted the deed back to the Ranch. The cartel said not so fast. “Where did you get on those buses?” asked a commissioner sporting a Snidely Whiplash mustache. Mark “Dudley Do-right” Christy answered, “At the Ranch, of course.” The commissioner explained that the Ranch was in further violation because the buses were equipped with bathrooms and, therefore, constituted additional mobile rooms that were not approved of by the cartel. The posse promised to hold it on the ride back to decommission the additional rooms. The cartel said okay on the condition that the sheep would be sheared for Christmas sweaters needed for the upcoming Badport Beach Christmas Boat Parade. The sheep baaahed disapproval, but followed Christy’s lead to stick together and take one for the team. As to the matter of the Girl Scout Camp dancing floor, Christy further agreed to supply the cartel with Girl Scout cookies into perpetuity, if the cartel agreed to future dancing events. The cartel approved square dancing only.


Happily, the posse dosey doe’d into the sunset singing “My Way or the Highway.”


Mark is a transplant to Laguna from Chicago. He occasionally writes the guest column “Pet Peeves.” His recently deceased Border Collie, Pokey, is his muse and ghostwriter.

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