Sunday, August 27, 2006

Confederate Flags, Gingerbread Houses, and Citizen Arrests.....

There are stars in the southern sky,

Southward as you go...

There is moonlight and moss in the trees

Down the Seven Bridges Road.....

("Seven Bridges Road", The Eagles)

I got lost today. Now, for a Road Nurse to get lost is not really that big of a deal, usually, because Road Nurses do get lost sometimes. Actually, we get lost all the time--it's the nature of the Road Nurse business in the Wild Wild West. We're used to following bad directions on unmarked roads in the wilderness. We're forever having to navigate through and around overgrown cow pastures, vast acres of farmland, and pissant towns which aren't on any maps. However, there's "lost".... and then there's "big time lost". Today I felt like I was "big time lost". Because every damn road started looking alike. All the roads were endless bumpy rock dirt roads-- and I couldn't find any route markers. I jostled and bounced my way over the rocks in the Jeep for about an hour looking for this one patient's ranch. And let me tell ya, I was in the durn BOONDOCKS. I was so far out in the boondocks that I thought I had accidentally crossed into Oklahoma. (Which has happened before, okay?) (And it's not just me---I have heard stories of Road Nurses who have made wrong turns and ended up in New Mexico or even Louisiana...)

The one comforting thing about getting lost in Texas, though, is that you're perfectly safe in getting out and asking directions. (Unlike when I used to be a Road Nurse in East Kansas City's gang territory...)

Well, let me correct myself--I mean that you're usually safe here in the Wild Wild West. One time I got lost near here and I decided to get out and ask directions. I looked over a couple of places and finally decided on a little farm house sitting next to a huge red barn. It looked harmless enough as there was a tractor parked out front and a bunch of Wrangler jeans flying on a clothesline. Normal, right? On the side of the house was a small pen holding a rude-looking donkey.

I got out of the Jeep and strolled up onto the front porch, only pausing to make my usual statement to the rude donkey. It's the same thing I say to all rude donkeys. "What are you staring at, stupid?" He didn't reply.

It wasn't until the very second I knocked on the front door that I noticed the other side of the nearby barn. To my amazement, I noticed that the entire south side of the barn was custom-painted completely-- in the likeness of the Confederate Flag.

Ho ho, I thought. We've got ourselves a die-hard Confederate here. A little radical in this day and age, but I still felt safe. After all, by birthright I am a card-carrying member of the United Daughters of the Confederacy. My great-great-great-grandfathers on both sides of my family fought in the Civil War. So if any hostile old geezer Hatfield-McCoy type who might still be pissed off at losing the Civil War answered the door, I knew that my southern accent would instantly prove me NOT TO BE a Yankee and make me an instant friend. I had nothing to fear here.

But when I knocked on the door nobody answered at first---and I heard some furious whispering coming from inside...which struck me as strange. Country folk don't usually whisper. Country folk usually yell things like: "Come on IN!", "IT'S OPEN!", or else "Jinny-Lynn, GIT the DAMN door!"

Nobody answered so I knocked again. I heard more whispering. What in the hell is going on in there? I wondered.

And then the door opened suddenly. And I found myself staring at a bunch of adult, tattooed, skin-heads. The aroma of marijuana wafted out the door at me. Oh dang it all to hell! I thought. Of all the damn farmhouses to pick to ask directions, I have to pick the frigging skinheads' place! I sighed in frustration. Because of all the ways I figure that I could depart this earth, one of the LAST ways I want to go is by being kidnapped and killed by skinheads in the middle of Texas ranch country.

Because, you see, I want to go out in a GLAMOROUS way. If I absolutely have to be killed in the line of duty, I want to go out like a Texan version of Florence Nightingale--on a Field of Battle in a star-spangled Rodeo Hoop-Skirt Uniform of red, white & blue taffeta, nursing gorgeous soldiers back to health who look like Southern versions of Dog-The-Bounty-Hunter in handsome uniforms while clutching gold-hilt sabers... as I shield them from cannonballs while holding their hands I swoon in a southern-belle voice: "Oh Ashley, dahling, Ashley, my love! Puh-leeeeeze don't die on me, honey! Big-Daddy's gonna give us Tara to live in after our weddin'.....and I'm gonna name our sons good Texan names like Cash, Tyler, Cody, or Chance, and then we'll have barbecues forevah and evah while we live happily evah after...cuz after all, honey, TOMORROW IS ANOTHER DAY...."

Where was I? Oh yeah, I had just knocked on the door of the skinheads.

Quickly, I decided to just be straight-forward. Hell, I figured, anybody could get lost. Maybe they're good patriotic skinheads who wouldn't kidnap and kill a fellow Confederate sister....

And Texas proved me right--that it is safe around here after all. Because that's exactly what happened. I asked the skinheads for directions to the farm I was looking for. They thought a minute, talked it over amongst themselves, and then finally pointed the way down the road, telling me "It's down yunder a piece, round the bend after you pass the Pentecostal Church."

I thanked them and left. (But not before I stuck out my tongue at the donkey.)

(I don't like donkeys...)

Yep, I've gotten lost lots of times in my Road Nurse career. I took a wrong turn on a country highway in Kansas once when I was a Road Nurse there some years ago. I had just realized that I was "big time lost" when I came upon a road side vegetable stand. I jumped down out of my Jeep to ask directions only to find myself surrounded by Amish people. There were no vehicles there--everybody was driving horse-drawn buggies and wearing black clothing.

And I have no idea what those poor Amish people must have thought about modern nursing when they viewed my get-up....because the particular Road Nurse company I was working for at the time did not require its nurses to wear uniforms. Thus, I was in my regular Road Nurse "street garb" which consisted of Levi's and a short sleeved T-shirt emblazoned with "I put ketchup on my ketchup" on the front of it---along with two cell phones, a beeper, and a Harley-Davidson biker knife clipped to my belt. (Uh...and I'm afraid that my arm tattoos showed, too....)

(Oh well, what the hell-- I happen to like my arm tattoos. I have my "biker name" initials on one arm and a ring of barbed wire on the other arm.) (But in my defense, everybody has tattoos these days, even Road Nurses.) Where was I again? Oh yes---I got lost TODAY, here in Texas. (Lord, my mind does wander these days.....)

I was lost and I was exasperated. "Damn my boss and her crappy directions," I cussed under my breath. I should have KNOWN better than to leave the office with just Lu-Lu's paperwork to work from-- because if there's one thing I've learned in the month that I've worked for her, it's that she is the most absolute WORSTEST direction-writer in the entire world. Lost and frustrated, I asked myself WHY? WHY do I even BOTHER looking at her written directions?? I mean, you'd think I would have learned my stupid lesson by now.

Lu-Lu can't write directions. Lu-Lu couldn't write coherent directions to save her life. Lu-Lu couldn't even write the directions for how to get out of her own closet. Hell, Lu-Lu can't even describe where her own grocery store is MUCH LESS tell me how to get to a dang ranch house which is hidden out in ranch territory 47 miles away from our pissant town!! I cursed myself for not asking my LVN how to get there before I ever left the office. (My LVN knows where EVERYTHING is, bless her little homing pigeon-compass-heart.) But I also knew that part of the fault was mine--because I will admit here that I hadn't been paying attention to things while I was driving until I got lost. I had been busy blabbing on the cell phone with my buddy, Belinda, who still works for my old company.

Belinda and I are "best friends"--and we spend half the day on our cell phones to each other. I have racked up umpteen zillion cell phone hours gossiping with Belinda. But that's a common thing--Road Nurses always use long drives to catch up on cell phone calls. In fact, it's the sign of an experienced and seasoned Road Nurse when she can expertly drive down a rock dirt road, follow crappy written directions, chat on the cell phone with a gossip buddy, eat a hamburger without spilling mustard on herself, jot down patient information on Post-It notes, interrupt her gossip session to answer call-waiting to discuss patient business with doctors or hospital lab technicians.... all at the same time without driving into the ditch. (Knock on wood.....) Belinda had been telling me some goooood gossip. It seems that an old friend of mine from my old company, Bonnie, had blown her stack and verbally "told off" one of the Directors, a woman who soooo totally deserved it-- and the Director had gotten so mad that she'd suspended Bonnie for 3 days without pay to "think about her tone of voice".

When I had heard this little tale I had absolutely cackled my head off! Hoo-Hah! Because 3 days off from work, attached to a weekend, is EVERY ROAD NURSE'S DREAM COME TRUE!!!!!! HEE HEE! Usually a poor overworked Road Nurse can't BUY three days off from work--not for love or money! And the delightful fact that it was little mousy Bonnie who'd lost her temper just cracked me up no end! (Remember Bonnie? She was the girl in the Rav4 I had herded cows with at the Rickenbocker Ranch that time....) Anyway, Belinda had sassily told me the whole tale and had then finished with the statement: "Now just WHAT do you think about THAT?" I had laughed my head off and replied that I wanted to "buy Bonnie lunch". (Especially because I was jealous that I'd never had the courage to tell off that Director myself.....) Anyway, back to being lost because I had been gossiping on the cell phone instead of watching my directions....

I was lost and so I finally did what all lost Road Nurses do---I got on the cell phone. I called the office and whined to the secretary: "Where in the HELL is the McDaniels place? And hurry up and tell me because my stupid cell phone's going in and out of Roam Mode..." She started asking me what landmarks I was near. I replied: "I'm near a 'T' in the road where there's a big stump--but it's about 40 feet high." "Let me find one of the other nurses who's been there and I'll call you right back with some directions," she promised.

I didn't mention to her that I was starting to get a little spooked. Sometimes Road Nurses get spooked when they're lost. Road Nurses can only take being lost in the middle of nowhere for SO LONG before they start imagining things.... Because not only do we know that it's entirely possible to get so lost that you might not EVER find where you're going--but we're always afraid that....okay I'll admit it....we're always afraid....I've never really discussed this outside of Road Nurse circles before....but...


You know, one of those scary movies like "The Hills Have Eyes" or "Children of the Corn" or something. The kind of movie where the poor, unsuspecting people get lost on the road but don't realize that they're not just lost in an innocent country wooded area--but that they're actually lost in some godforsaken monster territory without knowing it....and that it's only a matter of time before the monsters begin stalking them... and killing them.... one by one... in a horrible, bloody fashion...until the end of the movie!!

This was one of those situations. Because I got spooked. And gradually the trees started looking menacing.... and the shadows grew longer--and gnarly looking..... and I didn't see any other humans.... and the songbirds went away.... and I started seeing vultures and buzzards circling the Jeep.....

And soon enough the hair started standing up on the back of my neck.

Oh no! I thought to myself. It's happening! That fear! The old Road Nurse fear. I just knew I was lost in the Scary Movie Place!! And Lord have mercy on my soul, but I just KNEW that some monster was peering at me from behind one of the scary looking trees. I knew that it was a matter of time before I was hatcheted or something---or dragged into the woods---and that nobody would ever hear from me again!! Nobody would ever find hide nor hair of me---except maybe someday a farmer might come across my burned out Jeep in the back forty of a haunted cattle ranch....

STOP IT, I told myself. Get ahold of yourself, Nurse! (I thought about slapping myself but didn't.)

I grabbed my cell phone and stabbed in the numbers of my office to call that blasted secretary back. "Dammit!" I yelled when she answered. "Where the hell am I? I will flat run out of gas if I keep on driving around like this--and there ain't no gas stations. I tell you what, but I'm so damn lost here that I feel like Hansel and Gretel! Would somebody PUH-LEEZE tell me where in the hell I am!?"

"Oh, Lori's here now," she replied. "I asked her and she says she knows where you are if you're by that stump at the 'T' in the road. She says to just go to the left of it--and then keep going for about 2 more miles until you see a pond on the left. Take a right on a little hidden road behind another tree a little further down. When you start seeing black cows grazing all over the place you'll know you're getting close. And it's a little further down on the left. You'll see some white fencing and a gate. Go over the cow guard and keep going up the road--you'll see the ranch house after that. There's a bunch of red-bud trees in their yard--but it ain't red-bud bloomin' season right now so they won't really look like red-bud trees..."

Onward I plunged. I thought briefly about leaving a trail of bread crumbs behind in order to find my way back out of this damn mess--but then I remembered that this trick hadn't worked for Hansel and Gretel.

And then I thought to myself that if I came across a damn Gingerbread House with a friendly witch beckoning me from the front door that I would go absolutely stark raving mad.....

But then finally, after I bumped and jounced my way over a few zillion more miles of rock dirt roads, I found where I was going at last. (Which was a good thing, because I was about to get on the cell phone and call that county's Sheriff to come find me--and I didn't care HOW pissed off he would get.)

(Which I would have really been reluctant to do.... because that Sheriff's been mad at me ever since the time he caught me flirting with two of his deputies at the Dairy Queen... whereby I'd asked one of them in all earnestness how to make a "Citizen's Arrest".... and then he'd obliged by showing me how to handcuff him with his own handcuffs while we were ordering our ice cream cones...which I guess was against the rules or something...because the Sheriff had suddenly walked in just in time to witness the whole thing and overhear me say sweetly: "Why Deputy, sir, if you ever hurt your little ole darlin' self in the line of duty and need a nurse, then all you have to do is knock on my door and say "OPEN UP IN THE NAME OF THE LAW!!" .... which pissed off that Sheriff no end....)

(Okay, big deal, so he got mad. Okay, and so the Deputies got in trouble, too. But I'll tell you what--it was fun as hell to go back to the office and tell everybody all about how I'd handcuffed one of the best-damn-looking Deputies in the entire county while the other Deputy laughed his fool head off, which means that I'll SURELY NEVER EVER get a traffic ticket around here for SURE...)

Where was I? Oh yes, I finally found the ranch house.

And actually, it turned out to be a great patient visit. The lady I went to see is a big-time crocheter. She makes the coolest granny-square afghans. She also makes tons of what she calls "her big doilies".

"Don't leave here without me giving you some big doilies for yer house," she told me. "Everybody needs big doilies." She took me to a closet where she had a big garbage bag full of big doilies she'd crocheted out of worsted weight yarn.

"Cool!" I cried, delightedly. If there's one thing I love, it's getting things from patients. So I picked out some doilies. And then I hugged her neck.

"But you can't have the Christmas ones," she apologized. "Because I put them all out at Christmas time. But you can have any of the other ones--why don't you pick yourself out one? Or two? Or three? Some of them even have buttons sewn into the middle."

I picked myself out three big doilies (including one with a button sewn into the middle of it) (which she really told me to give to my mother but I'm keeping it anyway) and I left her home feeling like the luckiest Road Nurse in the world. I will tell you the truth--something like that gives me a warm glow for the rest of my day.

Because I love getting presents from patients. So far this month I've gotten these doilies, a cross-stitched coaster, some vegetables, and an ice-tea glass. These presents are more precious to me than all the diamonds in Africa. And I will USE these items--I will put them all around my home to remind me of my beloved patients.

My patients are my life.

Speaking of which, I just remembered that I'm on call tonight---ACK.

But actually, my boss Lu-Lu was as good as her word when she offered me this job and promised me a "lower stress level". Because being on call in this company is nothing like how it was at my old company. Most of our patients are "like family" and simply refuse to call us after hours. They wouldn't dream of interrupting our sleep or having us make an extra trip to see them, even though we nag them all the time to call us for problems. So far this week I've only had one call after hours. It was last night, from Mrs. Reed. She was worried because she thought she'd "mis-taken one of her pills".

"Mis-taking a pill" around here means exactly what it says....the patient took the wrong pill. Or at least Mrs. Reed thought she had. But she wasn't really sure. She's "getting on in years", after all, and couldn't remember what she'd done because her daily routine had been interrupted by a visit from family.

"Which pill was it, Mrs. Reed?" I questioned.

"I'm not sure--it might have been the little white one with the numbers on one side, I think," she answered. "But then again, it might have been that funny pink one that looks like half of the vitamin pill I used to take before I switched pharmacies when Medicare made me change everything."

"Sweety, I have no idea which pill that would be," I replied patiently. "Do you remember which side of the kitchen you got it on? You know you keep your blood pressure pills by the sink, but you keep your nerve pill on top of the refrigerator."

"No, I sure don't remember," she replied worriedly. "I was just beginning to take my usual evening pills when I thought I took a wrong one.... Do you think I'm going to be alright? What if I took a wrong one? I'm so sorry that I did this--but I was nervous, you see. My great-grandkids had come over and their new baby was a'squawlin'. And ever since I got old I get nervous when babies go to squawlin'. I love my great-great-grandbaby but I surely do get nervous when he squawls like that. I don't think my great-grand-daughter-in-law feeds him enough biscuits. And you know she makes hers out of Bis-Quik...."

I knew she was frightened that she'd done something dangerous. So I took a quick look at her records and medicine list in my "Master Patient Book", a gigantic volume in which I keep all the records for every single patient our company has. (This book goes EVERYWHERE with me.) I quickly calculated her body weight and all the various pills in her medicine regimen. I weighed the risk of her accidentally taking an extra pill for any of her various medicines. And after analyzing the whole picture I calculated that most of her medicines are twice-daily pills anyway--in which case taking an extra pill of one of them was the exact pill she needed for her evening dosage anyway. And the couple of pills which are once-a-day pills taken in the morning only were not of such dosages that an extra pill in the evening would be life-threatening.

But I knew she was frightened, being a lonely widow-woman without anybody to look after her or reassure her. I wanted her to feel better and not worry. And I wanted her to know that I would take care of her should a problem arise. And I knew that she felt foolish--a lot of elderly patients feel ashamed when they make mistakes. I wanted her to know that it was a mistake that anybody could make--not just an "elderly" person.

"Don't you worry your pretty little head, Sugar Pie," I told her. "That's what the On-Call Nurse is here for--we're here for you, honey. And you're going to be alright. If you have any problems I'll fix everything right up. I've got your next door neighbor's numbers if need be, or I can come by there if need by. Just don't you worry. And I completely understand about the baby squawlin'. Babies can squawl awfully loud, can't they? Tell you what--I'll call you every half hour tonight just to make sure you're okay, how about that?"

"Oh, Nurse, that would be wonderful!" she cried, hugely relieved.

And so I did.

I called my patient every 30 minutes or so until her bedtime. We had the most wonderful talks about her great-grandkids and great-great-grandbabies. We talked about the movie she was watching. We talked about the movie I was watching. We talked about how her errant great-grand-daughter-in-law cheats by using Bis-Quik to make her biscuits because she'd been "raised in a barn" and doesn't even know how to roll out decent "scratch bis-kits". We talked about how her great-grand-son is the light of her life and drives the biggest pick-up truck in the entire town. We talked about how her son fought in World War II and met the President of the United States of America. We talked about how her sister is a 1st cousin-second-removed of Bonnie, of "Bonnie & Clyde". It was a most enjoyable evening.

Finally, at her bedtime, I called her again and she told me that she was getting ready to go to bed. "I'm just now fixin' the bed-covers," she told me. "I feel much better now and I think I'll get a good night's sleep--because having company today sure wore me out."

I told my patient to be sure and have "sweet dreams"-- and I assured her that if she had any further problems that all she had to do was pick up the phone and I'd be right there....

After telling her goodnight, I put the cell phone by the head of my bed so that I'd hear it if it rang.

And I slept pretty good, too...

(But I dreamed about that gorgeous Deputy. I can't help myself because I DO love a Man in Uniform, okay? I just simply can't help it. And I like men in all kinds of uniforms---Cop Deputies, Paramedics, Sheriff's, the Guys at the Recruiting Station, and Firemen. In fact, if I see a man in uniform I will flirt AT THE DROP OF A HAT ... I appreciate Eye-Candy, yes I do--and some of these guys are simply SCRUM-DIDDLE-EE-UMPTIOUS, um um!! Yessiree-Bob.....)

(In fact, next week there's a Pancake Breakfast at the Fire House and I fully intend to go.....)

There are stars in the southern sky

And if ever you decide you should go...

There is a taste of time sweetened honey

Down the Seven Bridges Road.........

* * * * * * * * * *

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

T'was a Texan Who Saved Prince Rainier's Castle

Here's one of my favorite friends--who just happens to be the prettiest paint pony I know. I go talk to her every chance I get. She belongs to the daughter of one of my patients. She's looking a little peeved at me on this occasion because I forgot to bring her some pears. Sigh....some days I get so busy that I forget to feed myself, much less my friends. But I think she's going to forgive me because I told her that she's waaay prettier than the any of the paints at the Rodeo Star's place--she makes them look positively drab. (Yes, she's a little on the vain side, if you want to know the truth.) There's a lot of talk lately about the new movie "World Trade Center". I have not seen it. And I also noticed that there's lots of programs about "September 11" running on the television this week. And then, sigh...there's also the daily news programs which continue to give play-by-play accounts of the various wars that are ongoing. War, war, war... It seems like all the world is at war. I have my own sadness about the wars and unrest in the world--and about September 11. I keep it to myself usually, but sometimes that sadness is re-awakened by a chance experience in my daily work. It has happened several times this week, as a matter of fact, because I have several patients who used to be soldiers. They were soldiers in another, earlier, war.... World War II. And their stories cannot be ignored. They were young boys then. Ages 16 to 20. Two of them were Air Force fighter pilots. One of them was a "covert" military pilot. One of them was in the Army infantry. All of them were severely injured during the war--but they lived to return home and tell the tale. Whenever I see patients such as these I am filled with gratitude. I am so very grateful that they fought the terrible war which saved our country from foreign invaders. I am grateful that they made the sacrifices they made--so that my family could live and thrive, without fear, in the country of my birth. I firmly believe that it is because of the soldiers of World War II that I have the things I have today. And let me tell you, I have so much to be grateful for. Because I am free. I am free to work where I please. I am free to contribute to causes I approve of-- and I am conversely free to disagree with causes I don't approve of. I am also free to worship where I please. And my country treats me pretty well. They gave me a lot of free education. And when a company I worked for once went bankrupt--they gave me unemployment money for awhile. These days my country provides me good roads to be a Road Nurse on. (Although I do wish they'd tell all the road-hog truckers that it's MY road just as much as it's their road....) I am so grateful to the elderly soldiers of World War II that I consider it a supreme privilege to be their nurse. I want to do anything I can to repay them for their service. It is my duty. And I also seize the opportunity to hear their stories. I love to hear their remembrances. Where others may see an old person who is feeble and slow, I see someone who once wore a uniform--someone who was once young and proud-- someone who fought furiously for his Texas. A person who risked his very life on the battlefield yet beat the odds and survived, coming home battered and injured with war stories to tell his grandchildren. When I have a chance to hear a war story, I will plop down into the nearest seat and put aside my nursing bag for awhile. I will sit before an old soldier and ask: "Tell me about The War..." And so they tell me. One of my patients lied about his age. He joined the Army Infantry when he was 16 years old. He went to war as a child. "We were all very patriotic in those days," he explains. He fought in the war for two years until he was wounded by enemy gunfire. He got shot up in both his feet during the Battle of the Bulge. His injuries were so extensive that he was sent home to the United States, where his feet were never the same. He walked again but with a limp. And now, in his old age, his damaged feet are curled and twisted into near-useless arthritic stumps, and he must use a walker to hobble around as best as he can. But he won two--not one, but two--Purple Hearts for his bravery during his two years of battle. As a teenager. I asked him one day if he ever thinks about the war and he admitted to me that he's had pretty bad flashbacks ever since then. He has endured 60 years of repetitive nightmares which still cause him to jump out of his bed screaming in the middle of the night. It's always the same dream, he told me. He dreams that he's in a foxhole--and an enemy soldier jumps into the foxhole to kill him with a bayonet. I asked him: "Is this just a dream or did it really happen?" He answered: "It really happened--but one of my buddies killed the guy before he could skewer me." I then asked: "How many of you and your friends made it back to the United States alive?" He paused a minute before replying slowly: "About half of us...." I have another patient who was a fighter pilot in The War. He was injured once when the Germans sabotaged their planes. He said they didn't realize that the Germans had sneaked onto their airfield during the night to do the damage. The next day, when all the pilots took took off in those planes, several of them promptly crashed. "I was about 100 feet off the ground when my airplane lost power," he told me. "And I crashed right into the ground. I was burned all over my neck and face, and had a lot of broken bones." He was in the hospital for 7 months, where they patched him up and healed his burns. Then he was given another fighter airplane and sent back to do air battle for the remainder of the war. His face still shows the burn scars. I have another old soldier patient who'd also been a fighter pilot in the war. He had been stationed on an aircraft carrier ship. He told me harrowing tales of having to take off and land on that ship while at sea--which was extremely difficult to do. He said they used a big catapult to fling the airplanes off the side of the ship. "I tell you what, Nurse," he told me. "They'd sling-shot us off that ship like Davy and Goliath! But even then some of the planes still couldn't get up enough speed to take off--so those planes ended up getting slung right off the side of the ship and into the ocean!" "Did you ever get shot at?" I asked him. "Sure I did!" he replied. "I got shot at all the time. I'd return to the ship with bullet holes all over my plane. But I always brought that damn plane back...yes, I always brought it back..." We left unsaid the fact that not every flier had been lucky enough to stay alive and bring his plane back... One gentleman patient I see is in his 80's. His wife has Alzheimer's disease and no longer recognizes anybody in her family. She must be tied to her bed at night so that she will not jump out of bed and fall down, injuring herself in her confusion. She is agitated most of the time and is constantly asking: "What am I supposed to do?" My company takes care of her as well as her husband. They live on a small cattle ranch in the town my father was born in, a tiny farming hamlet in the middle of nowhere. Yesterday I sat and talked with the husband. He was sitting in his recliner, a handmade quilt covering his lap, his wife sitting quietly nearby in her wheelchair. His daughter had brought us some ice tea. Speaking of tea, here's a pic of one of my fringed cotton "tea-cloths" that I knit, a-la-EZ Zimmerman's method for knitting in the square (or round), adding little touches of eyelets and other yarn-over variations just for fun. (Notice that I do it "on the fly", which means that I don't count where I put things on every round--I just eyeball it and throw them in. (But then, I always was an undisciplined soul....) (And I will say here that I DEFY anybody to come to one of my tea-parties and be so impolite as to point out that my tea-cloths' eyelets are not placed "exactly" correct....) Where was I? Oh yes, I was visiting my old soldier patient and his wife. Anyway, as is my custom whenever I go to the town that my father was born in, I asked my patient if he ever knew my father. My father had lived in the town as a young boy but had left when his father moved the family to Houston to start buying gas stations. "Yep, I think I knew him in school," he replied. "Your family is Scotch-Irish descent just like we are. I'll show you our family crest. And you must bring us your own family's crest the next time you visit." I promised to bring the family crest, of which I am now the custodian. (I did not tell him that I have often heartily wished that I took more after the stable Scotch-Irish side of the family --rather than the wild and unfettered nature I have always displayed. Which may perhaps be the Cherokee Indian thread of the family-- or else some other hot-blooded nationality which was sprinkled into my family's gene pool at some point in the past...) (Did I tell you that one of my ancestors was a Pony Express rider? The Love of The Road must be in my blood.....) Anyhoo, I then asked my inevitable question, "What happened in The War?" And when he obliged me with a story I sat back contented and enthralled, as he told me a frightening--yet hilarious--tale of one of his "war adventures". "Well, Nurse," he began, "There I was in The War. And one time me and my co-pilot, Pie, were flying a covert mission over the Mediterranean. We were right in that area where the tip of France is across the water from Northern Africa." "Really?" I asked. "What were you doing there?" "Can't tell ya," he replied with a twinkle in his eye. "If I told ya--I'd have to kill ya!" "And he's not kidding," his daughter piped up. She was sitting at her computer, looking up the weather to see if we were going to get a much-needed rain. I laughed and he went on with his story. "I called my co-pilot 'Pie' because he could play the pi-aner. Yankees all seem to be able to play the pi-aner. Anyway, so there we were, me and Pie, flying towards France, trying to make it back to our rendezvous point. But we'd been hit by enemy fire--and something was going wrong with the plane. I was frantically fiddling with the controls, looking all around trying to see what was wrong-- and I was horrified to figure out that the enemy fire had hit something that caused us to have a fuel leak. And that fuel was leakin' so fast that I knew we didn't have much time! I knew that we'd most likely blow up in any minute. So I yelled at Pie that we had to GIT OUTA there as fast as we could!" "Heavenly mercies!" I cried, gripping my ice tea glass. "What did you do?" "I put on my parachute and told Pie to git his'n on. But Pie had always been chicken. That dang idiot was too scared to jump! He'd always been rather puny anyway--he's not from Texas, you see." "Go on--what did you do?" I asked him, sitting a little closer to the edge of my seat. "Well, the problem was, I knew that before we could jump I had to steer the plane towards a different direction--because the unfortunate fact was that we were flying straight towards Prince Rainier's castle just off the coast of Monaco! You know--that fancy schmancy place where all the rich people go to gamble. Anyway, we were headed directly towards that castle--in fact we were already in sight of it--and I just knew that I couldn't let that damn plane blow up right on top of that purty thing. An explosion like that would have just plumb destroyed the whole place. Can you just imagine what kind of damage would happen if an American military plane blew up smack on top of the castle? I didn't figure Prince Rainier would be too appreciative of that, if ya know what I mean." "Goooo-oood night!" I exclaimed. "Whatever did you do?" He paused, took a sip of ice tea, and continued. "I yelled again at Pie to git his damn parachute on. He was still sitting there in the co-pilot seat, staring at me all petrified, with his eyes so wide that he looked like a gigged frog! I got my chute on and then I turned the plane, aiming it t'other way around so that it would fly back out over the water, away from the castle. And then I told Pie: 'Pie, you idgit! Put yer eyeballs back into yer head and get your dadblame parachute on. I'm gonna jump out of this damn plane--and you had better foller me if you don't want to blow up!' But Pie kept whining at me that he thought maybe the plane wasn't going to blow up. But I kept on tellin' him he was a durn fool if he didn't jump. So finally I just opened the port behind the flight deck and jumped out! We were flying so fast that when I jumped it knocked me for a loop--and that's why my back hasn't been so good ever since then." "You jumped?" I asked breathlessly, "Were you scared?" "Shoot, no, child!" he replied, "I wanted to git the hell outta there. I just yelled 'GERONIMO'! and out I went! I landed in the water." "Gooolleee-gee!" I cried in admiration. "So what happened to Pie? Did he ever jump?" "Oh yeah, he jumped," he replied. "Bless his yellow-belly heart but he jumped out right after me, he did. And then that damn plane blew up, sure eee-nuff, not three seconds later." "Git outta town!" I exclaimed, wide-eyed. "The plane really blew up? Were you guys alright? And how long did it take for somebody to come rescue you?" He took another sip of tea and continued. "Yep, that plane blew up to smithereens, and all the burning pieces fell into the Mediterranean. It rained fire for the longest time. And yes, Pie and me were okay. I'd radio'd our position before I jumped. And so some of our forces in Morocco ended up coming to fish us out of the drink. We only had to wait about 3 hours." "So you saved Prince Rainier's castle!" I laughed. "And you saved stupid ole Pie, too!" He laughed again and replied: "Yep--that chicken hearted Pie jumped outa that plane. And he actually yelled 'GERONIMO!' when he did, which sure suprised me, him being a Yankee and all. I figured Yankees would yell something ridiculous like 'COCKTAIL MARTINI!' or something. And what's more, my captain told me a few days later that Prince Rainier said he was 'extremely grateful' that we'd aimed the plane to fly towards another direction for it to blow up at instead of letting it destroy his family's home. And you know, I don't think he had any cattle over at his place--I guess royal princes are rich enough to buy all the steak they want!" We all sat laughing about this story and I continued my nursing visit for both him and his wife. I also had a good chat with his daughter, who walked me out to the Jeep when I left. She talked with me about how hard a decision it had been to move in with her parents and take care of them. She showed me her hibiscus plants and a potted lemon tree with 7 lemons growing on it. As much as I loved his entertaining story, I knew that it really wasn't very funny, truthfully. I knew that he'd been a scared 20 year old kid, making life-and-death decisions in the Great War. I also knew that he'd been seriously injured in that incident--because his back had been pretty well racked up by that jump. He'd had endured back problems for the rest of his life and lives in the daily agony of chronic back pain to this day. But no matter how many times a nurse ever asks him if he's experiencing back pain, he will never admit it. And he won't take any pain medicine. I love my old soldiers. They are my heroes.

"Where have all the good men gone,

And where are all the gods?

Where's the street-wise Hercules

To fight the rising odds?

Isn't there a white knight upon a fiery steed?

Late at night I toss and turn and dream of what I need,

I need a hero......"

(Bonnie Tyler, "Holding Out For A Hero")

* * * * * * * * *

Monday, August 14, 2006

Rodeo Dogs, Won't You Come Out Tonight.....

Some days I don't want to come back. My new company's territory requires me to cover a huge area into which I go much deeper into the ranch and farm lands than I've gone in a long time. I hop from small town to small town, getting lost in the vast acreage of the cattle ranches, horse breeding operations, or chicken farms which separate these towns. And I love it out there.

Although I still want to liberate the poor chickens. I swear, one of these days I'm going to wait while a chicken-truck driver stops to take a leak at a convenience store. And then I'm going to sneak out to the truck and do what I've fantasized about doing for two years, which is to throw open the back of the truck and yell: "Run for your lives! Did you hear me? I said RUN!"

Anyway, this is the land of my forefathers, the land of my heritage. And I feel comfortable here. Very comfortable. I understand these people and they understand me. Rich or poor, black or white, Hispanic or Native American---they are my fellow Texans. I love each and every one of them--and I feel connected to them. I feel safe and comfortable here, lost in a simpler life, in a simpler time.

In the years since I fled the big-city life and have settled into this self-imposed exile, I have become permanently attached to this way of life. I find myself wondering why I ever left in the first damn place. I don't even think of the big cities any more. I couldn't care less if I see the gargantuan urban wastelands of Dallas, Austin, or Houston any time soon. I have settled comfortably into the down-home, folksy comfort and familiarity of this lifestyle and culture--which is that of my present-day kin as well as that of my ancestors. And I have never looked back. Each day as I press onwards, streaking through the countryside in my trusty Jeep, time seems to go backwards, faster and faster, until it no longer feels like I'm even IN the twentieth or twenty-first centuries anymore. If I drive long enough the layers of time peel away, one by one, until I find myself in locations which still look like the Old West-- places where if I listen carefully... to the wind... I can almost hear the hoofbeats of long-dead Pony Express riders.... or the faint, echoing shots of an ancient shoot-out... or the whistle-blow of a locomotive as it tries to outrun masked train-robbers on fast horses... Some days I go so far into ranch country that I leave the smaller towns behind--I go so far out that there's just small scatterings or groups of small businesses and residences sprinkled hither and yon in the shadows of the green rolling hills of vast cattle or horse ranches, or perhaps acres of the endless inter-connected pens of livestock "sale barns".

Some days I get so far out into the more sizeable ranches that I can drive literally 15 or 20 miles and not ever see a human--but yet I am surrounded by animals. And when I finally arrive at whatever ranch house I'm aiming at, that ranch's family life is completely centered on those animals' upkeep and maintenance. And amazingly enough, some of the smaller places are right on the main streets of the tiny towns--literally next door to the grocery store or something. Some of these places have been there so long that the state built the Interstate right through their property.

And thank God for Texan manners because in this horrible heat I would simply fall down and die if it wasn't for my patients constant offerings to me of that magical Texan refreshment--a "glass a' tea". That famous ice-cold, brewed tea, heavily sweetened (called "sweet tea"), which every Texan drinks daily from birth. It is the only elixir which can revive me on those most damnable of hot days--those sweltering days when it's so damn hot and sticky that I can't even catch my breath and I feel like I'm about to keel over. These "dog days" of August are so damn hot that you can fry an egg on the sidewalk-- and even the flies won't buzz. It's so damn hot right now that the cows won't stand out in it, either. They all just kind of clump together under whatever available trees there are or else they will wade into the nearest pond and just stand there, hoping things will cool down soon. (Yes, the cows do hope for better weather--I know this because the Message Goat translates cow-speak for me.) Because despite what people think, cows aren't totally dumb. See? The cows below (to the left) are smart. They found the shade. Versus the idiot cows on the right who don't know there's a perfectly good tree with some leftover shade over there....

Here's a smart mama cow and some calves:

(Do you think they're talking about me? I mean, you'd THINK the gossip would have made it down to this territory that I am that strange Road Nurse Who Wears IPod Headphones and Takes Her Camera out with her on visits....)

(You know, if they truly wanted to be neighborly, they'd pose for me--but I guess I can't expect too much at this early stage.) (I'll have to get to know them better first--give me time....give me time....)

But let's not talk about the damn heat and the dumb cows. Let's talk about the triumphant highlight of my week: I MET one of my TRUE AMERICAN IDOLS, yee-hah!!! I met someone I've been dying to meet! Someone I've been hearing about for a long time and was excited as all get-out to finally meet in person. However, let me warn you---I sort of make a fool of myself in front of this person. Okay, I met one of the most famous female Rodeo Stars of Texas!!!!! LORD, I was excited. Her mother is my company's patient, which means I am her case manager. The patient is the matriarch of a famous Texan "horse family", her daughter being the famous Rodeo Star (who I'll just call "Rodeo Star" here...) Anyhoo, the Rodeo Star is a legend in Texas. She owns a very exclusive horse-training and horse-breaking business. The entire family helps run this business. She also competes regularly in all the state's largest and most famous rodeos and livestock shows, both for riding skills and the "showing" of horses. She is constantly winning prizes and high-dollar purses by "clocking out" in barrel races, riding in Western and English style dressage events, "placing" high in livestock shows, and she's regularly featured in a lot of ceremonies and events. Her picture is always in well-known magazines and livestock publications---and young riders mount colorful posters of her on their bedroom walls.

When I was assigned to manage her mother's care, I practically drooled at the thought of getting to meet her daughter, the Rodeo Star. And it's always fun to go out there. It takes me an hour to get out to their ranch but it's worth every mile. And when I get there I get to play with their rodeo dog--a chihuahua named "Pinto Beans" who rides on horseback. That dang dog will jump right up onto a horse's back and ride it for laps and laps around the round pen--and it can even ride while standing up on it's hind legs while waving its front paws in the air, never falling off!

Also, these people raise their own breed of miniature spotted donkeys who are no taller than your knees. They have little custom-made harnesses for the little donkeys so that they can pull little miniature carts during parades and rodeos-- while Pinto Beans rides in the cart and waves at the crowd! It's a magical visit for me and I never want to leave. Anyhoo--- Finally, day when I went to see my patient, the Rodeo Star was home! She answered the door herself and I was dumbstruck. This lady is an Amazon. Nearly 6 feet talk, totally tan from working outdoors all the time, lanky, with wild hair askew in a top-knot on top of her head. That day she was wearing jeans & cowboy boots and a huge silver rodeo buckle on her belt. When she opened the door she thundered: "Come on in, darlin!"

I walked in but stumbled over a huge Western saddle that was lying on the porch--and I ended up FALLING over the threshold.

(Which reminds me of a funny story that my father told me once. He was on the committee which verbally interviews potential candidates for the United States Foreign Service, the Diplomatic Corps. He told me once that one poor guy was entering into the interview room and suddenly tripped over the threshold, landing in a heap in front of the startled interviewing committee. The guy never batted an eyelash. He simply raised his head up off the floor, crooked his right arm into a questioning pose, and (still lying on the floor) calmly asked the committee:"Well, Gentlemen. Are we ready to begin?" He was hired on the spot.) Anyway, I was not so graceful. I lumbered to my feet, picked up my nurse bag, dusted myself off, and then hemmed and hawed around a bit before beginning my visit with my patient, the Rodeo Star's mother, who was sitting on a settee in the front room giggling at my embarassment. I was glad that the Rodeo Star's attention had suddenly been diverted by her cell phone ringing. It's ring was a "Prince" song and she grabbed the phone off her belt answering: "Don't you EVER hang up on my ASS again!"

While I wondered who in the Sam Hill was fool enough to have hung up on the Rodeo Star, I began my assessment on my patient, all the while DYING to talk to the Rodeo Star.

The Rodeo Star gabbed on the phone for awhile and then piddled around with some paperwork on a big oak desk. I finished up my visit on her mother and then sat on the couch to chat while I played with Pinto Beans. "That damn dog is a mess," my patient told me. "I pulled my boots on this morning and found a buttermilk biscuit in one of them. Had to change my socks. I give that dog biscuits every morning at breakfast, with butter and jelly in 'em, but d'ya think he'd TELL me when he's full? Nooooo, he jest hides 'em." I got up to admire the picture wall. One long wall of their living room is covered with pictures of the Rodeo Star and her rodeo escapades, showing her in action on strikingly beautiful horses in the midst of racing barrels or carrying flags in parades. There's also loads of still-shots of her receiving prizes for her show animals. I was especially impressed with a picture of her with the mayor of Houston. I stood there looking at the pictures, green with envy, wishing to High Heaven that I was a famous Rodeo Star.....


Speaking of Rodeo Clowns, have I ever told you my story about the Rodeo Clown who came to my emergency room once? I was working along one day, minding my own business while working in an emergency room here in Texas, and the rodeo was in town. Suddenly the two-way radio crackled on, calling us to let us know that the paramedics "had one". I answered the call and the paramedics announced that they were bringing in a Rodeo Clown who had gotten gored by a bull while trapped in a barrel during the rodeo.

Sure enough, they brought the poor Rodeo Clown in. A bull had indeed gored him, tearing a 6" round piece of his scalp right off of his head, which his fellow Rodeo Clowns had kindly picked up and saved for him. The Rodeo Clown was bringing the scalp piece to the ER with him so that the ER doctor could sew it back onto his head. He needed this piece of his scalp back because it still had his hair on it and everything. Plus, he was just plain pissed off that the stupid bull had gored him in the first damn place. So he wasn't in the greatest of moods when he arrived.

I checked him in when he arrived at the ER. I was kind of excited to take care of a real Rodeo Clown. These guys are legendary for their braveness as they save the cowboys from angry bulls every day.

But he wouldn't cooperate. He flatly REFUSED to tell me his real name or take off his Rodeo Clown clothes. And then he wouldn't take off his big red Rodeo Clown Nose so that I could wash him up and get him ready to be stitched. And I was in no mood for a sassy Rodeo Clown. ER's are busy places. And the paperwork simply MUST be done correctly. And busy ER nurses don't have time to argue with people wearing purple polka-dotted overalls, big floppy shoes, and BIG RED NOSES.

"Look here, Mr. Clown," I stated, "You've got to give me your real name so that we can submit your bill to the insurance company. And you've got to take off that damn Red Nose so that I can clean your whole face and head up so that the doctor can sew your damn scalp back on."

"The name's Mr. Jingle, and I NEVER take off my Nose!" he retorted, honking his Big Red Nose loudly. "WONK WONK!"

When he saw that I wasn't impressed, he continued sarcastically: "Can't you see that there's kids in here? Whaddya want me to do? Take off my Nose and let those children see who I really am? Do you want them to find out that I'm not really Mr. Jingle? Do you want them to find out that the great Mr. Jingle, Rodeo Clown, is really just stupid old Joe-Bob Cludstrom? What are you, some kind of monster?"

I realized that I really couldn't argue with his logic. It was kind of like the time a department store Santa Claus came into the ER to get his leg X-Rayed after he'd fallen down an escalator at Dillards. So I simply shrugged and.....

What was I talking about? Oh yes, I was looking at the Rodeo Star's picture wall, wishing I was a glamorous Rodeo Star.

That's when I blew it. Because I should have quit while I was ahead. I mean, I hadn't done anything stupid yet except trip over that saddle on the front porch...

But could I keep my mouth shut? Noooooooooo. I just couldn't resist trying to talk with the Rodeo Star. I swear if there's a way to make a fool of myself, I'll do it. Sure shootin', I'll do it.... Now, let me just say first that although I hung up my riding gear a couple of years ago, I've ridden horses since I was a little girl. For years I trained in dressage, riding English style. To be honest, I'm not very good at it. I am way too reckless and wild--preferring to hack madly through fields, jumping tree stumps and whatnot, instead of riding daintily through a show ring. And since I never could resist jumping anything under 5 feet of height I've gotten tossed a lot. Which hurts.

But I can ride. I can ride Western style, too, and I can even ride bareback.

Although I have never been interested in the finer points of horse breeding (since I have always ridden strictly for pleasure) I'm not entirely stupid about horseflesh. I've ridden many types of horses in my day and can competently compare my various experiences on Arabians, quarter horses, and a few thoroughbreds from all the years that I sporatically trained in hunter/jumper riding. (Once I even had the privilege of training on a magnificent, white Lippizaner.)

Anyway, there I was checking out the Rodeo Star's wall of pictures. And suddenly I noticed a picture which peaked my interest. The Rodeo Star was in the judge's ring, receiving a huge prize while standing next to the ugliest horse I've ever seen. The animal was plain ugly, I tell you. Ugly. What the hell is this? I wondered. Hideous the horse was--and yet it had a beautiful $10,000 saddle on it--one of those ultra heavy tooled leather affairs adorned with gorgeous turquoise conchos and gleaming ivory "Indian bones"-- but that dang horse was ugly. The horse was horribly stocky and it's huge body sat too low. The legs were stump-like with no hint of grace. And the animal's head was too big--and its ears too long. And it's eyes---aargh. The eyes looked sneaky and beady.

This animal just RUINS that saddle, I thought to myself. And those legs---yek--I bet it couldn't even jump a tree stump. And those beady eyes--the animal looked dull and stupid....probably horribly slow for crop commands and dumb enough to shy at a stable dog. And my curiosity got the best of me.

"Umm....Miss Rodeo Star?" I asked, trying to sound nonchalant. "What kind of horse is this one--the one you won a prize for in 2005?" "Hah!" she guffawed. "You talking about Jinxy!"

And then, to my utter mortification and horror, she announced:

"Jinxy ain't no horse! Jinxy's a mule, darlin'!" OH. MY. GOD.

OF COURSE. I'm STUPID STUPID STUPID! I thought to myself....

THAT's why that damn horse was so ugly!

A FRIGGING MULE! And then my tortured mind went crazy. Because mules are half horse, half DONKEY! AAARGH........

God, I just KNEW the Rodeo Star was convinced that I was the stupidest city girl she'd ever seen in her life. And what's worse--it was over a damn MULE! Which is half horse and half DONKEY... Because you all know how much I can't stand DONKEYS!!!! Those self-righteous, obnoxious donkeys who hang out in my territory and stare at me rudely with their beady eyes! Oh, the humiliation. I had embarassed myself in front of the Rodeo Star. I was so horrified at this that I instantly and heartily wished that I could just fall right down through the floor into a big hole and be covered over with cow pies. I deserved to be covered with cow pies. Donkey pies, even. DOG pies even.....

But, I never say die. Quickly I scanned my brain for a way out. I wondered to myself....could I recover from this disaster? "A mule?" I squeaked, as both the Rodeo Star and her mother laughed. " KNEW that horse looked funny....." Desperately, I searched for a saving comment. To her credit, the Rodeo Star tried to save me from myself. "Don't worry about it, darlin'" she said, "A mule is half horse anyway so I can see how it might look a little horsey. Some mules look more horse than donkey anyway."

I managed to stammer out what I hoped was a half-decent excuse for my stupidity: "I just had horses on my mind, that's all. It's because that's all I've ever heard of you riding--horses. I just never expected to see you on a MULE with that wonderful saddle." "You can show and ride mules as well as horses," she continued. "In fact, that particular mule is worth more than most of my show horses." Whatever, I thought to myself. I've said it before and I'll say it again. I hate donkeys. And now I hate those half-breed mules.

Deflated and humiliated, I finished up my visit and left, muttering to myself as I drove away. Since it was a long drive back to town and I had my camera with me, I half-heartedly consoled myself with the decision to take some pictures on the way back.

About 10 miles out of town I noticed that I was coming up on a small ranch and I decided to snap a couple of pics of their animals. And then I noticed them.....

There was a horse and a donkey, grazing together in a pen. Lovely, I thought. Come back next spring and there'll probably be a new mule in town....

(Oh....I forgot to tell you. The ER doctor DID manage to sew the scalp back onto the head of Mr. Jingle the Rodeo Clown. However, Mr. Jingle was very ungrateful and bitched his clown head off after it was all over because he claimed that the doctor had put his scalp back on backwards, causing his cowlick to "face the wrong direction".)

Oh, you want to hear the rest of the story? Okay.

(The ER doctor had bitched right back at Mr. Jingle, saying something to the effect of: "Listen, Clown Man--this is an ER--it ain't no beauty parlor.")

(And Mr. Jingle had then flipped the bird at the doctor while loudly honking his big red Clown Nose,"WONK WONK!!")

So....I guess the moral of the story is this:

If you're ever at the rodeo and you see a Rodeo Clown whose cowlick faces backwards instead of forwards, it's probably Mr. Jingle....

* * * * * * *

Wednesday, August 09, 2006


(fade in.... to music playing in the background as the curtain closes on The First Act....) It is now Intermission.
Coming Soon: Act Two,
The Last American Mustang...
Intermission Music
For Your Pleasure This Evening: Toby Keith and Willie Nelson singing:
"Beer For My Horses" Well, a man come on the 6 o'clock news Said somebody's been shot, somebody's been abused Somebody blew up a building Somebody stole a car Somebody got away Somebody didn't get too far,
yeah, They didn't get too far Grandpappy told my pappy, back in my day, son A man had to answer for the wicked that he done Take all the rope in Texas, find a tall oak tree,
round up all of them bad boys--hang them high in the street
for all the people to see...
that Justice is the one thing you should always find You got to saddle up your boys You got to draw a hard line... When the gun smoke settles we'll sing a victory tune We'll all meet back at the local saloon We'll raise up our glasses against evil forces Singing whiskey for my men, beer for my horses....
We got too many gangsters doing dirty deeds We've got too much corruption, too much crime in the streets It's time the long arm of the law put a few more in the ground Send em all to their maker and He'll settle 'em down You can bet He'll set em down cause
Justice is the one thing you should always find You got to saddle up your boys You got to draw a hard line... When the gun smoke settles we'll sing a victory tune We'll all meet back at the local saloon We'll raise up our glasses against evil forces Singing whiskey for my men, beer for my horses....
Justice is the one thing you should always find You got to saddle up your boys You got to draw a hard line... When the gun smoke settles we'll sing a victory tune We'll all meet back at the local saloon We'll raise up our glasses against evil forces Singing whiskey for my men, beer for my horses.....