from December 15, 2006
If it’s not one thing, it’s another, as the folks back in Panhandle County used to say.
We used that sentence a lot, probably because bad luck was our stock in trade. We were known far and wide for our bad luck. From Dodge City to Lubbock, Pan Count was frequently mentioned as “The County of Bad Luck.” In fact, it got to the point where the town mayor of Slackville voted to put a quartet of road signs at the city limits. Two of them read, “Entering Slackville, City of Misfortune.” The other two read, “Leaving Sackville, City of Misfortune.”
There was a mixup, of course. A month after my pa put up those signs—Pa was then the town street-sweeper, as well as the leading beg-off consultant—a traveling salesman moseyed into one of the local bars and pointed out to the bartender that somebody had screwed up. Somebody had invited travelers into town with the “leaving” sign and then sent them packing with the “entering” sign.
Well, Pa happened to be tending bar that day. Pa was always quick with the mind, so he told the salesman, he said, “Musta been some prankster from outta town. Playing a Halloween trick.”
This was on the Fourth of July, a fact that the salesman was quick to point out.
Pa chuckled and said, “We don’t get a helluva lot of visitors in this city. Must be because of our reputation. ‘City of Misfortune’.”
The salesman chuckled right back and then ordered another mug of “your best stuff.”
Anyway, as I was beginning to say, if it’s not one thing, it’s another. A couple of months ago my computer developed a bad case of writer’s block. Now it refuses to get on with the damned fine story I’d promised to write in my last column. The one about Pa’s affair of the heart with the doctor’s wife.
Or was it the dentist’s?