Weekly Posting of the Conservative Cow Doctor


      Gift Suggestion for Christmas 2016

Because this will take time, this suggestion is for next Christmas.  This is a gift idea from grandfathers to their descendants and I offer family values advice with trepidation as previous columns outlining such simple suggestions infuriated the leftists.  For example, my column entitled “Selecting a Wife” was filled with useful tidbits on finding a trophy wife, but my remarks so enraged the progressives they purchased a display ad in the local paper so as to thrash me.  In spite of this, I am going to plow right into this and let the chips fall where they may.  Here we go. 

In terms of bonding and establishing a meaningful tradition, the best gift grandfathers could give their families is a wagon and mule team.  I bought my first in July of 1994.  They were jet-black with four white socks and were named Amos and Andy after the main characters in a popular radio sitcom of the 1920s who apparently also had white socks.  To be politically correct, I should have changed their names to appease the Mizzou, White Socks Matter crowd, but I didn’t.  This was my first team and their harnesses, collars and sleigh bells were a package deal.  Guy, the seller and local horse trader, showed me how to harness, hitch and drive and although it was a hot Sunday morning in July, the ringing sleigh bells were mesmerizing. 

For the next decade, Amos and Andy spent their summers pulling a chuck wagon in my cattle drive business.  Every December, I hauled them north to Laurel, where they pulled Santa around town in a “one-horse open sleigh.”  On weekends when Santa was off duty, I hitched them to a rubber-tired, hay wagon I rebuilt specifically to haul people afflicted with the Christmas spirit.  Properly loaded with Christmas cheer, the wagon could haul 15-20 celebrants. 

I make it sound like driving a mule team is all kicks and giggles, but Amos and Andy did have their brushes with the law.  One New Year’s Eve, I hitched them and hauled revelers through the tavern district of downtown Laurel.  Keeping drunks off the street is a great idea, but loading them all on the same hay wagon, not so much.  We left the Palace after midnight and headed to a friend’s house for breakfast.  This is when I discovered that given enough New Year’s cheer everyone secretly wants to be a blinker.  “Right turn” I hollered as we approached Eighth Street and everyone on the wagon did their rendition of a blinker with their antics capturing the attention of a city patrol car.  Unfortunately, our route to breakfast necessitated four more turns plus one stop sign and the performance of my blinkers and stop lights were so inspiring the nice officer followed us home.  At our destination, I hopped Amos and Andy over the curb and onto the lawn before tying them to a chain-link fence.  With them secured, I approached the police car and asked, “Is there a problem officer?” 

“No,” reserve officer Mike responded.  “I was just curious who it was and I wanted to make sure no one ran into you.”   

Amos died four years ago and this summer, Andy joined him.  I have since purchased another mule team I named Martha and Abigail after America’s first two, First Ladies.  There were behavioral issues on our first few hitches, but all the kinks have been straightened, riveted and repaired, so we are back on the holiday circuit.  If any grandfather wants to cultivate holiday memories, buy a mule team, wagon, sleigh bells and load up the family.  Because government schools have replaced Christmas carol instruction with Muslim chants you will need to be your family’s choir director.  It will not be easy, only worth it.  Merry Christmas!                      

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