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Cowboy manners
It’s the Pitts
By Lee Pitts

Yet another installment of the guide to proper cowboy manners.

DEAR CRABBY: At a recent big shindig in Winnemucca, I swear there was more silver on the banquet table than was taken out of the Comstock Lode. How’s a simple fella like me supposed to know which fork to use?

Signed... Forkless in Elko

MY DEAR FORKLESS: Some snobs think that a bird in the hand is bad manners but I’d recommend you just eat with your fingers. This works really well with chicken and beef but not so good with soup. DEAR CRABBY: The invitation to my reunion said to dress “casual” but when I showed up wearing my least faded Wranglers and most colorful wild rag I was totally overdressed. What is considered “casual” now days?

Signed... Horse Face Martin

HORSE FACE: Do you have relations named Pitts? Anyway, back to your question. The old “casual” is now the new “formal.” Casual means comfortable footwear, a sweatshirt and jeans with rips in them. In other words... work clothes.

DEAR CRABBY: My old compadre got hitched last week and I went to the wedding, only now he’s not speaking to me because I kissed his bride in the welcoming line at the reception. What’s a lonely cowpoke who lives by himself 12 months of the year supposed to do these days upon meeting a woman? Do you shake her hand, whack her on the back or air-kiss both cheeks like the fancy folks do?

Signed... Lippy in Laredo

LIPPY: It was perfectly acceptable for you to give the new bride a small peck on the cheek, however, mugging her down and kissing her for longer than two minutes is not okay. Which is what I suspect you did in this case and I don’t blame your buddy for not speaking to you.

DEAR CRABBY: It’s Forkless again. I have a follow up question. How do I know which plate and glass is mine? At that fancy dinner I told you about the fella on my left stole my bread plate and the gal on my right took my glass.

Signed... Your Friend Forkless

DEAR FORKLESS: Just like a dog, you must mark your territory. When you first sit down at your place setting take a big gulp out of the glass you think is yours, place your chew on your plate and put the silverware in your shirt pocket. Some folks might think that you are crude and disgusting but at least they won’t steal your dinnerware.

DEAR CRABBY: So what’s the deal, is it all right for me to wear my hat in a restaurant or not?

Signed... “Baldy”

BALDY: I think I know why you’re asking for I too am getting a little thin on top. Basically you have three choices: you can hang your Resistol on a hatrack and get it stolen, place it in a chair and have some fatso sit on it, or you can leave your lid on top your head where it belongs.

DEAR CRABBY: Should a man still offer his seat to a lady? The reason I ask is in traveling to Cheyenne Frontier Days I had to get on a courtesy bus at the airport and every time I would get up some woman would insist that I sit back down. I was four airlines past my stop before I could sneak off that bus. And should a man still open a car door for a woman?

Signed... Ballpoint Parker (That’s my pen name)

BALLPOINT: Before marriage open the door for the lady. After you’re married it’s no longer necessary.

DEAR CRABBY: I hope that you can settle an argument that my wife and I have every time I take her out in public. In social situations is it okay for me to drink my beer out of the bottle or must it be poured in a glass?

Signed... Kettle Belly

MY DEAR KETTLE BELLY: It’s okay to drink your beer out of the bottle, just don’t cover the label with your fingers, especially if it’s an imported beer. Uppity people are real sensitive about this sort of thing. I would advise however that when wine is served do not drink it out of the bottle... or the box. It is considered tacky in some circles. Not my circles mind you... but some circles.

This farm news was published in the Nov. 8, 2006 issue of Farm World, serving Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan and Tennessee.