Autumn is upon us, with its crisp fall air that makes a person want to long trot several miles first thing of a morning. Ahh, those frosty mornings – wild rags are fluttering in the breeze, cotton gloves are holding the reins, and guys are getting bucked off at the Span.
I have decided that the American cowboy population constitutes a subculture,and not just because I substitute teach in the winter and cowboy in the summer. (Get it…SUBculture? Nevermind.) There are notable cultural differences. When fall arrives, other demographics in America (the blue-collar working class, the white-collar working class, celebrities) hold football parties in each others’ homes. Cowboys (the dirty-collar working class) hold shipping parties at Basque restaurants.
Mainstream American citizens (hereafter known as “regular people”) enjoy getting themselves purposely lost, and hopefully subsequently found without dialing 911, in corn mazes.* Cowboys (hereafter known as “cowboys”) could do the same thing with willow patches. How fun would that be – an exciting adventure of thrashing around in the willows, wading through mud bogs, swatting mosquitos, and getting your hands bloody with scratches! Before entering, participants would receive a list of inventive cuss words, as they’re sure to use all the ones they already know, and a Border Collie. Hey, you never know when they might find a remnant steer.
By this time of year, regular people’s children have been back in school for several weeks. Cowboys’ children are back in school, too. We’re brushy, not dumb. Plus, it’s a federal law.
In a couple weeks, regular people will hand out gobs of candy to neighborhood children. Cowboy-type people, not having any neighbors (no, the pack rat in the mud room doesn’t count), will watch Good Old Boys and eat all the stale Snickers bars left over from last Halloween, when (big surprise) no trick-or-treaters arrived.**
Right now, regular people are carving pumpkins. Right now, cowboy people are, too. Dude, they sell ’em at Raley’s.
Regular people are currently raking fallen leaves. Cowboys have leaves to rake, too. Except they won’t actually rake them because 1) the 3 total trees on the high desert don’t generate too many leaves and 2) that’s rawzin-jaw work.
As we plod through fall (aka “the fall works,” aka “no sleep ’till Thanksgiving”), I am overcome with an urge to bake fresh apple pies on a regular basis – like, every 3 hours. Elko County residents have to purchase apples at the grocery store like lowlife scum, unlike in my native California where we picked them freely at will from the tree in the front yard/back yard/cow pasture up the road. Purchasing fruit goes against the grain of my moral being; it’s worse than voting for a Democrat or wearing sunglasses indoors. I won’t do it!
Okay, maybe I will. I really want an apple pie.
*Am I the only one who thinks it’d be more fun, if not somewhat redundant, to call them “corn maizes”? Get it….MAIZE? Nevermind.
**Avoid eating the ones with obvious pack rat teeth marks in the wrappers. Unless you’re really craving chocolate. Then, pretend you didn’t see them and chow down.