The Run ’n’ Gun Offense

BY TIM SANDLIN
ILLUSTRATIONS BY BIRGITTA SIF

As the Hole Deepens

I TOOK MY Letter to the Editor over to St. John’s Hospital to show Clyde Walsowski-Smith, who was recovering from a hemorrhoid operation because he spent too much time on a horse.
Westerners refuse to post—it’s wimpy, like an Englishman riding to the hounds—so, at a trot, our bottoms whack the saddle like clapping hands at a concert. Hard on hemorrhoids.

I found Clyde sitting up in bed in a painkiller fog doing what everyone does in bed these days—reading stuff off his phone.

He looked up at me and said, “Did you know a castrated moose won’t drop his antlers come winter?”

“I’d rather know how they figured that out.”

“I think it was from natural castration causes, like jumping a barbed wire fence.”

“Even so, I’ve watched moose through binoculars a lot in my life, and I never could tell if they were castrated or not.”

Clyde peered down at his phone. He said, “Old-timers called them Devil’s Horns.”

“Maybe old-timers had nothing better to do than castrate moose just to see what would happen. Here, read this. It’s my Letter to the Editor.”

Clyde went into a narcotic nod. I could tell he was faking; he hadn’t been nodding before I asked him to read my letter.

“Is it about politics? I don’t believe in politics.”

“It’s about guns.”

He looked unhappy. “Even saying the word ‘gun’ in Wyoming can get you bashed. I don’t want anything to do with it.”

“Read the letter.”
As the Hole Deepens

Here is my letter:

Dearest Editor,

I have a prediction: When House Bill 114, the “Wyoming Repeal Gun-Free Zones Act” passes, and it will eventually, the Wyoming Cowboys football team will never lose another home game.
Imagine you are the Colorado State quarterback and you drop back to zip a pass to your wide receiver in the end zone and you realize that at a minimum, you are surrounded by 20,000 rabid, screaming fans, in many cases, drunk fans, in some cases, with the impulse control of ten-year-olds—heck, this is Wyo-ming, some of them will be ten-year-olds—and all these insane people are armed to the teeth. Are you going to complete that pass?

My feeling is most of the actual shooting will take place within the stands. You have to remember the Colorado State fans—stoned to the gills on legal marijuana—will also be armed. That shoot-out at the Border War that journalists love to write about will no longer be a metaphor. It will be legal.

The bill also grants those with a permit to carry guns in government buildings, public schools (no more F’s in social studies!), and public events, such as Fourth of July fireworks displays (another get-together of 10,000 drunks).  

But think Star Valley. Those folks aren’t about to pass a local law that infringes on their Second Amendment rights. Will our basketball team be relaxed knowing everyone in the gymnasium hates their guts for being filthy-rich environmentalists and, what’s worse, Democrats, from the despised Teton County? And all these angry yet fine people have guns. Heck, they won’t have to shoot us. Just wait till our guard stands at the free-throw line and the entire student section behind the basket starts waving semi-automatic weapons—all legal. See if our free-throw shooting percentage doesn’t go down.

Sadly, this is not satire or paranoid ramblings. I recall a few years ago when a concerned Star Valley mother charged onto the mat at a wrestling match and physically attacked a referee. Now, think what would have happened had she been packing iron. Or the referee had been armed. Or the coaches. The wrestlers on the bench. The opposing team’s parents.

For those of us who enjoy life when it is interesting as opposed to safe, this bill is wonderful news. For the rest of you liberals, I suggest you purchase a sports package from ESPN and stay home.

This bill will make Wyoming famous. It is the best thing we have done since we passed the bill last year making it illegal to teach science in science class.


Clyde looked up from my letter. “Can I have your TV when they shoot you?” Clyde covets my flat screen.

“I’m not about to get shot.”

“You will if you print this letter. You’ll meet the same angel I did when I was coming out of the anesthesia.”

This was interesting. Clyde doesn’t believe in extrasensory beings. “You met a real angel?”

He nodded. “A true messenger from God. I never met an angel before. She was pretty.”

“Tell me about it.”

“They had me by myself in a holding room where they take you after the operation till you wake up. I opened my eyes before I was supposed to and there she stood, next to my bed.”

“How could you tell it was an angel?”

“She shimmered with translucent blue skin, a white satin bikini, and wings. She carried a walnut case in both hands, like a cigar box. She had on glass slippers.”

I said, “Glass slippers is Cinderella, Clyde. Not the Bible.”

“It was a vision. I didn’t make it up. She glided to my side and whispered, ‘That doctor just ripped out your backside.’

“I said, ‘Yep.’

“ ‘Would you care for a replacement?’ She opened the box to show me six anuses in velvet slots. Six different sizes and shapes, from the vertical crack with a pencil piercing to an asterisk like Kurt Vonnegut drew in whichever book he drew anuses in. There was also a cross, like cartoonists draw eyes on people who have been knocked silly. And a curl, like a seashell or galaxy.  There was another one, but it didn’t look like anything but a bull’s-eye.

“The angel crooned, ‘Take your pick.’

“I studied them closely, knowing I’d be living the rest of my life with my answer. None were perfect. They just didn’t seem like me.

“ ‘Is this all the choices?’ I asked.

“The angel smiled like, well, like an angel. ‘Oh, no,’ she said. ‘Don’t you know, there are an unlimited number of ass***** in America.’ ”

I hit the nurse’s button and had them bring Clyde more morphine.

| Posted in JH Living