Category Archive 'Tall Tales'
30 Nov 2021
He’d hunted big game for years all over the United States. Hunting was a way of life to him. But, in all those years, he’d never shot a buffalo. He’d put his name in for the lottery that gave out yearly licenses to shoot buffalo, but year after year the winning number had eluded him. As he failed, again and again, his need to add a buffalo, an American bison, to his life bag grew to obsessive proportions. Finally, he could stand it no longer. He determined that he would buy a couple of young buffalo, raise them, and then shoot them. It seemed like a plan.
When the buffalo purchase was completed the question arose about where these buffalo were to be raised. He wasn’t a rich man and the cost to two baby buffalo maxed out his credit cards. The only viable option was to raise them on his front lawn in Moab, Utah. Accordingly, the buffalo were delivered and put out to pasture, or “out to lawn” as the case may be.
Besides grass the lawn also contained, courtesy of his kids, a couple of soccer balls. Shortly after the buffalo became his lawn ornaments, he was out walking among them when one of them discovered a soccer ball and butted it over to him with its nose. Without thinking he kicked it back towards the other buffalo, who passed it to the first buffalo who butted it back to him. An hour or so of passing and kicking the soccer ball between man and buffalo ensued.
When he went out on his lawn the next morning, they were waiting for him. One seemed to be playing midlawn while the other hung back by the water trough which had become some sort of goal. The forward buffalo butted the ball towards him. Without thinking he returned the kick over the head of the forward. No good. With a speed belying its bulk, the defensive buffalo moved quickly and butted it through his legs to the porch. When it bounced off the barbecue, they seemed to do a brief victory prance. The game was afoot.
Day after day, week after week, the strange lawn ritual with the soccer ball went on and on. In truth, he had long since pulled far ahead of the buffalo in goals, but what do buffalo know about keeping score?
In time, however, the hunting season came around. He looked out of his house on the first morning and saw the buffalo waiting for him, the soccer ball in front of the forward, the defensive buffalo pacing slowly back and forth by the water trough. It came to him then that he could never shoot them. It would spoil the season — and the soccer season, in the deserts of Utah, is never really over.
On a hot afternoon soon after, he looked out his window and discovered, much to his delight and his neighbors’ shock, that the two buffalo on his lawn were indeed male and female.
Now it is two years later and he has four buffalo on his lawn. He doesn’t hunt anything anymore. Says he’s lost the taste for it. His old hunting buddies come by every so often and razz him about the buffalo.
“You started with two and couldn’t shoot them,” one said. “Now you got four, and next year you’re gonna have five. What are you going to do then?”
He went to his garage and came back with a basketball.
I hate to quarrel with a great story, but…
1) No serious hunter would consider shooting domestically-raised game animals as a satisfactory form of sport.
2) Buffalo are really really strong, and really really disposed to wander. You couldn’t possible keep two buffalo on your lawn without fencing on a scale adequate to stop a tank.
I don’t have a problem with picturing buffalo playing with a soccer ball. I’ve seen horses playing with balls.
UPDATE: Gerard van der Leun writes to tell me that he took the above photo himself and got the story from the horse’s mouth. I’ll be….
21 Apr 2021
King Harv steps on Mars.
King Harv’s offers “coffee from absolutely everywhere,” including one surprising venue.
There are many things mankind is not meant to know about. One of these is the fact that Mars has been settled since 2002, specifically for the purposes of coffee cultivation. King Harv’s Imperial Coffees Mars to be precise.
It started long, long ago. I am the son of King Harv, well known coffee tycoon and millionaire philanthropist. I was just a recent Chemistry graduate and Software engineer who had been tinkering for years on the topic of space travel. Specifically with the use of the metal wires steaming out of the Army’s Hellfire missiles being used not for destruction, but as a dynamic bridge to the planets. Now each missile has a wire capacity of about 2.5 miles. The closest Mars would appear would be 34.8 million miles. Hence with only 13.92 million Hellfire missiles, with the wires spliced together, they could make it to Mars. Now, removing the explosive shaped charge of each missile, and extending the wire length accordingly, I figured we could get by with only 9 million Hellfire’s. The next step was where to acquire or manufacture them. Or something similar to them.
This turned out to be much easier than expected. By substituting strong fishing line for the wires, and utilizing solar wind for additional acceleration, we were able to construct a single shot fire and forget missile for under $87.00. (We utilized used fishing line). The budget did not allow for any testing, but we were confident. We just aimed that sucker at Mars one night and “boom”, you could see the giant spool of line flying out faster than you can eat a bag of habanero Doritos. Yeah, that fast. So anyway, it turned out we “forgot” that little bit about celestial mechanics and planetary movement, so we were bound to miss mars by a by millions of miles… had we not fortunately got tagged by one of them there pieces of space junk from the top secret Mercury Blue missions of the 1960s. Anyway, it hit us just right and targeted our little rocket straight to Mars, where it landed with a dignified womf and implanted its space anchor. And the American flag.
So there we were, with a strong fishing line connecting Mars to Earth, and just King Harv’s Imperial Coffees knowing about it. (it was a transparent fishing line.) Well, our plan was for us to get some decent Harbor Freight line grippers and foot by foot pull up the used Russian submarine we had purchased and converted to a space habitat. Seemed like a straight forward idea at first, but you always know something’ll come up, and it did. Our Russian friends were all for us using their old submarine, and at a killer price, but at the last minute demanded a “nuclear royalty” due to us using one of their famously reliable nuclear power plants in the sub/ ship. Now by this time I was about broke, but realized that Russians like a few things in the world besides Rubles and Vodka. A dang good cup of coffee. So we settled on giving them a perpetual 5% of our Martian coffee harvest. Fair enough. It is the red planet after all.
HT: Sarah Hoyt (and William Jacobson) via Karen L. Myers.
14 Aug 2015
New Falcon Herald:
Pikes Peak was the scene of a fraud perpetrated in 1876 by John O’Keefe, whose job was to take weather readings on the summit and signal them to the city below.
O’Keefe’s tall tale about rats on the peak’s summit was first printed in the Pueblo Chieftain newspaper. The tale then spread to the Rocky Mountain News, which published an articled entitled “Rodents on the Rampage – an Awful and Almost Incredible Story, a Fight for Life with Rats on Pikes Peak.”
In the Rocky Mountain News story, O’Keefe claimed the top of Pikes Peak was overrun by rats the size of cats that fed on “saccharine gum that percolates through the pores of the rocks.”
The story continues:
“Since the establishment of the government’s signal station on the summit of the peak, these animals have acquired a voracious appetite for raw and uncooked meat, the scent of which seems to impart to them a ferocity rivaling the fierceness of the starved Siberian wolf.”
O’Keefe claimed that on his first night at the station, he and his wife were attacked by rats and would have been overwhelmed had they not electrocuted them using electrical wire powered by a battery.
When the battle was over, they discovered the rats had eaten their infant daughter, Erin.
O’Keefe claimed he buried all that was left of Erin (her skull) under a pile of rocks with a marker and this inscription, “Erin O’Keefe, daughter of John and Nora O’Keefe, who was eaten by mountain rats in the year 1876.”
The grave became a popular tourist attraction, and O’Keefe charged 50 cents for tourists to have their picture taken at the site.
O’Keefe was eventually revealed as a fraud. He didn’t have a wife or daughter, and probably buried his dead burro under the rocks.
Via Ratak Monodosico.
03 Jul 2009
James Lewis remarks upon the vanity, pretension, and obvious mendacity of the current leader of the Free World.
The President of these United States recently expressed his love for “the Urdu poets,” a piece of inspired BS that nobody in their right minds believed for a second. But then the P was narrowcasting to Pakistan, he thought, and Americans weren’t supposed to be listening. Yet character is revealed in those little snippets of Obama’s mind — his glorious fantasy life, his everlasting hope that somebody will fall for another piece of schtick, and his essential fraudulence as a human being.
Obama’s biggest audience is himself, and no doubt he preened and pranced in his mind’s eye when he told the nation of Pakistan about his deep love and understanding of Urdu. Love ya, baby! all those sixty million Pakis were shouting, marveling at our polyglot president. Waddaguy! At least in Obi’s fantasy life, that is. Because that Zeppelin-sized ego of his needs to be pumped up a little bit more every single day. …
That’s Obama’s sore spot, his biggest character flaw. It’s right out there for the world to see. It explains everything about this administration, and foreshadows its inevitable comeuppance. Meanwhile all the shrewdies in the world, from Putin to A’jad, are getting it. They’ve seen it before. Been there, done that. All they have to do to seduce the President of the United States is to pump up that beautiful ego balloon a little more, and he will just sag over with abject gratitude. He needs his ego supplies, this guy. He’ll do anything to get just a little bit more.
If you’re China or Russia or a blood-stained mullah you’ve seen this flick before. The last Shah of Iran used to call himself “King of Kings,” a Biblical phrase that goes back to the Persian Emperor Cyrus the Great. Grandiosity is familiar to all the ancient empires of the world. So is the art of flattering kings. They’re pros at this.
It’s just Americans who don’t get it — yet.
But they will, they will. The only question is how much the country will be damaged, by the time the voters catch on.
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