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Old December 18, 2002, 07:56 PM   #1
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The LawDog Files - The Definitive Collection

I had been out west of town, settling a dispute concerning the paternity of a litter of puppies and was heading back to the SO on one of those lovely Panhandle fall afternoons.

I had the window down, just generally enjoying myself, when I was passed by a 1958 Chevy pickup doing approximately twice the legal speed limit.


About ten miles later, I get this Chevy pulled over, when the driver gets out and sprints back to the cruiser. Long Path will tell you that I have a real dislike for people doing that, so I promptly tear into him;

"Bobby, what the hell are you doing?"

"Well," he says, scrunching and fidgeting with his gimme hat, "I done murdered Earl, and I thought I might oughta find a doctor for him."

"Do you realize how fast you were going? All four of these tires are so bald that they're showing wire, the passenger side front fender is going to fly off in the wind...You did what?"

Bobby's expression kind of wrinkles up, and he mauls his cap a bit more. "I kilt Earl."

Oh, God. This I don't need. I find myself speaking very slowly and carefully, "Bobby, are you sure you killed Earl?"

"We-eeell, I shot him in the face with a shotgun."

Oh, yeah. That'll do the trick. I feel a headache tip-toeing it's way up my spine with all the dainty grace of a rhino in steel-toed combat boots.

"Bobby," says I, still in that slow, calm voice, "Think carefully now. Did you mean to shoot your brother?"

He abruptly takes on a hunted expression. His hands clutch convulsively at the John Deere cap -- he knows there's a legal trick somewhere in my words. He seeks a neutral, non-condemning answer, an answer which won't violate his Fifth Amendment Rights -- he has it!

"You mean, this time?"


"One felony at a time, Bobby. And where's the body?"

Bobby looks at the truck, "He's in the back."

I point at Bobby, "Don't go anywhere!", vault onto the rear bumper of the truck, and sure enough we have a body laying on a bed of fish poles, beer cans, oil jugs, shotgun shells and other assorted detritus necessary for the proper operation of a country truck. And, even better, the corpus has slid forward until everything from the armpits up is hidden under the toolbox.

Oh, joy. I swallow a couple of times, take a deep breath, latch onto the ankles of the cadaver and begin to pull him out from under the toolbox, when the Deceased promptly spasms violently in my grip, such spasm together with the deep, sonorous tone of a bell sounding in a place where there weren't any bells, causes me to turn loose of the ankles of the Dearly Departed and tumble into the bar ditch.

Okay. No problem.

I'm laying there in the bar-ditch, pulling goat-head stickers out of my limbs and very carefully not wondering about how much a face being slammed into the bottom of a stainless-steel toolbox sounds remarkably like a church bell, when said face appears over the edge of the pickup bed and peers down at me in an accusatory fashion.

"Ju brogd by dode."

I concentrate on a particulary ambitious sticker.

"By ond brugga choosts be in de ged, and deen de gops breg by dode."

I roll to my feet, and carefully amble back to the cruiser, and fish around in the back seat until I find a handkerchief, walk back to the pickup and hand it to Earl.

"Thakds" he mubbled, dabbling the blood flowing down his face and revealing several dozen dark grey (one might even go as far as to call them lead-colored) pimples.

I sit on the bumper, fishing around in my vest for a badly needed stick of gum, "Hunting accident?" I hazard, minutely studying a paleolithic stick of Juicy Fruit clutched in my ever-so-slightly trembling paw.

"Dumg fezant tookt off betweeg us, and by dumg chit brugga wagn't looging where he was chooging..."

"Quail, Earl," I say very firmly, "Pheasant season is still a couple of weeks away."

"Dugn't magger. By dumg chit brugga goodn't git a bull in de bugt widt a figgle angyway."

I look at Bobby, who is cogitating intently, "That about what happened, Bobby?"

"I'm pretty sure it was a pheasant," opines Bobby, carefully, "It had a long tail, and a ring around it's neck and it was a lot bigger than one of them little quail."

"Bobby, don't say anything. Now, nod your head. No, keep nodding. Did you accidently shoot your brother while hunting birds? Good. Take Earl to the doctor and get him patched up."

"Dumg chit brugga goona neeg a goctor agger I gicg his bugt."

"Oh, yeah? You and which army?"

Which was the last thing I heard as I went in search of a badly-needed, soothing cup of tea.

"The Father wove the skein of your life a long time ago. Go and hide in a hole if you wish, but you won't live one instant longer."
--The 13th Warrior

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The LawDog Files

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Old December 18, 2002, 07:57 PM   #2
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One of the nice things about working in small towns is the...unique...problems that you learn to solve. One such problem belonged to a sweet little old lady who lived in big, old mansion over in the old section of town. She had a (ahem) ghost infestation.

Now, most of the time this was all right (I think she liked the company), but once in a while the ghosts would get a wee bit rowdy. Thereupon, she'd call the S.O. and one of us would be dispatched to take care of the situation. We'd show up, she'd let us into the huge old house, the officer would go upstairs and read a stern warning to the ghosts.

I found that if you took George C. Scotts' speech from Patton, complete with pacing back-and-forth and gestures, and cleaned up the language a bit, the ghosts would normally be impressed enough to keep quiet for a week or two.

Once you were done, you'd go back downstairs, where the lady would stuff you full of homemade cinnamon rolls and iced tea, and you'd swap gossip for a while.

One day the Sheriff gets a bright idea: we'd take care of this situation once-and-for-all. Plans are made. People are notified. We wait for the call.

And one Friday evening, she calls. Not only are the ghosts rowdy, it sounds like they're having a party. And (delivered in whispered tones) she thinks she heard some girl ghosts giggling up there, and this Wasn't Right.

The call goes out. We load up our full-time officers (all four of them), we get our Reserves (mostly guards from a local Federal facility), we don our Ninja gear, we mount our Trusty Steed (re-worked, Korea-era Ambulance) and we sway and sputter and backfire and shudder and creak our way up the hill.

Once on location, a hasty conference took place. Who looks the least threatening? That would be Yours Truly having hysterics in the back.

Up I go, I knock on the door, tell the little old lady that we're here to solve her problem and seat her on the porch swing with a blanket.

CRASH. Twenty SWAT rhinos in full gear hit the door, clear the bottom floor tactically, flow the stairs, and then the shouting starts.

"Hey, you! YES, YOU! OUT, OUT, OUT!!"

"One here! Out, out, out! CLEAR!"

"Where do you think you're going? OUT, OUT, OUT!"

And our throughly scared and cowed (albeit invisible) subjects were herded to the front lawn, where the Sheriff is standing on the roof of the ambulance--excuse me, SWAT vehicle-- delivering his patented fire-and-brimstone, straight-path/crooked-path speech. Complete with finger-pointing, arm waving and emotional entreaties to what only a absolute cynic would consider an empty lawn.

Watched with great interest by all the neighbors, heck, most of the town, who promptly got out the lawnchairs, the sodas and the snacks and basically started a block party.

*sigh* Small towns.

Once we were done, and had allowed the thoroughtly chastized spirits back upstairs, we sat in her kitchen (in black BDU's, rifles, shotguns, etc.,) and ate cinnamon rolls and drank iced tea.

During this last part, the lady whispered to me that we had "Missed one."

Never said I wasn't fast on my mental feet. I whispered back that he was too young to be subjected to such a scary action. She examined him closely and declared that I was probably right.

It took the ghosts almost three months to go back to their rowdy ways.

"The Father wove the skein of your life a long time ago. Go and hide in a hole if you wish, but you won't live one instant longer."
--The 13th Warrior

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Old December 18, 2002, 07:58 PM   #3
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In late 1994, we had a Lady who developed a stalker problem. We busted the stalker, and got a Protective Order for the Lady. It worked for a couple of days, then she reported that the critter was sneaking into her garage and moving stuff around.

The Sheriff went ballistic and decided that we'd ambush the critter and send him off for a long time. Guess who got volunteered for the ambusher duty? Yep.

Now, this Lady lived at the top of hill just outside the Southwest city limit, in a big old two-story house with an apricot orchard out back, and shrubbery everywhere.

I show up that evening, check in with the Lady and set up an ambush. The driveway led from the road up to the garage and was bordered on both sides by a pyracantha hedge.

I settled down under a tree, and lined up on a gap in the hedge near the house. My plan was to wait until the critter was well up to the house, before dashing through the hedge and arresting him.

I'm bellied down under the tree and I wait. And wait. And wait.

Along about 1AM, an armadillo wanders up from the orchard behind the house where he's been feeding on fermenting apricots all night, and bounces off my foot. I hear the question now: How did I know it was a 'he' armadillo? Simple kids. The drunken little sod promptly, and aggressively, fell in love with my left boot.


He'd sidle up to my boot, murmuring, "What's your sign, baby?" in armadillo-ese, and I'd shove him away, whereupon he'd sleeze back in, crooning armadillo love songs.

And so the evening went. I'd kick him across the lawn, and he'd hiccup and oil his way back.

About two hours later, I have had it. I'm just about to stand up and drop kick the Armoured Menace into the next State, when I hear the crunch of tippy-toed feet coming up the gravel driveway.

I freeze, locking in on that gap in the hedge (the armadillo took the opportunity to sneak in a grope. Chauvenistic bastard), and I see a shadow move in front of the gap. I take off like a shot--to find out that some commie pinko liberal moved the gap in the hedge.

I also found out that Pyracantha is a Latin word that means, "Deadly Demon Vampire Bush from Hell." I don't know who screamed louder: the armadillo, when his lady love disappeared; the critter, when I snagged a good handful of his shirt; or me, when I crashed into a brisket-high wall of thorns.

The Lady of the house hears the triplicate scream, decides that the unthinkable has happened, dials 911 and screams, "That Deputy is getting killed!"


Meanwhile, I'm half bent over the thornbush, trying to hold on to a panicked critter with my right hand, and a walkie-talkie with my left hand. We struggle, and I end up halfway over the hedge, upside down, and I look down the road and all I see are lights. Red lights, blue lights, yellow lights, white lights, flashing lights, strobe lights, wig-wags--you name it. All coming up this road.

About that time, the critter twists loose and hot-foots it down the road leaving me with a shirt.

I get on the walkie-talkie, wait for a pause in the traffic from the SO, DPS, EMS, and game warden all demanding to know what has happened to me, and say, "I'm all right. Subject is a white male, no shirt, Northbound on foot."

I suppose, in retrospect, I may have sounded a little ...emotional... on the radio. Apparently the Deputies, firemen, EMT's, park rangers, security guards, DPS troopers and LEO's from all eight surronding counties and towns heard my voice and thought: the Dog sounds panicked. The Dog don't ever panic. Therfore the Dog has obviously been shot/stabbed/gutted/burned/run over/abused/whathaveyou and is, no doubt, in immediate danger of expiring.


Anyone who wasn't coming before, is now. The critter is spotted halfway down the road and becomes the subject of a multi-jurisdictional pigpile.

There I am, upside down and helpless in the grip of this fiendish hedge. And what do my friends, my brothers, my comrades-in-arms do, my drinking buddies do to help me in my time of need?

"Hey! Who's got a video camera?! We have GOT to get video of this!"

Took them thirty minutes to get me loose from that plant. I never did see that armadillo again. Good thing, too.

"The Father wove the skein of your life a long time ago. Go and hide in a hole if you wish, but you won't live one instant longer."
--The 13th Warrior

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Old December 18, 2002, 08:00 PM   #4
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There I was, parked in the Allsup's lot with a Extra-Jumbo Dr. Pepper in one paw and a chimichanga in the other. Somewhere in the county a rookie officer was doing his first solo patrol. Life was good.

"SO, car 14."

*Chomp, chomp* "Go ahead."

"Car 14, car 20 requests backup at *****. He's nekkid."

I paused, for a moment, eyeing my chimichanga suspiciously.

"Car 14, SO. Say again your last?" Please, please let me be hallucinating...

"SO, Car 14, I'm just relaying what I was told. The kid needs help and said he was nekkid."

I high-tail it to the location, look frantically for the rookies cruiser and spot it parked beside a big corral. I whip in beside the corral, leap out and start looking for my newbie. All I see is a rancher leaning against the corral, chewing on a stalk of something and staring with bemused fascination into the corral. I look into the corral, and it's full of chickens. Six foot tall chickens.

"T'ain't chickens," grunts the rancher before I could say anything, "Emus."

I was about to ask what an Australian bird was doing in North Texas, then I noticed that about four of these mutant chickens were in one corner of the pen, crawling all over each other, trying to get away from a man in the center of the pen.

A man who was on his knees, arms held out in supplication to the terrified mega-fowl, begging in alcohol-sodden tones: "Birdie want a Benny?"

And utterly, completely and totally bare-butt nekkid as the day he was born.

On the other side of the corral, was my rookie. Crawling frantically for the corral fence, while an enraged, six-foot chicken jumped up and down on his back.

It was a Prozac moment.

"Frank," Could those calm tones belong to me? "Would you mind getting out here? Thank you. Benny, come here. Now."

Benny turned and shuffled towards me with an air of: I've-done-something-wrong-but-I-don't-know-what-it-is-yet, and staying well out of grabbing range.

Still wondering where this remarkable calm came from, "Benny, what are you doing in that chicken coop?"

"T'aint chickens. Emus" grunted the rancher.

Benny warbled, hiccuped and waved his arms at me.

"You're doing what Committing suicide? BY CHICKEN?"

About that time, Frank (who had managed to reach the top bar of the corral) was jerked loose and suplexed back into the corral by the emu, who seemed to have World Wrestling Federation asperations.

That nice, calm feeling totally evaporated.

"Frank! Quit screwing around with that chicken and get out here! Benny, Get. Over. Here. Now!"

"T'aint a chicken. Emu."

Benny, still on his knees, shuffled towards me an inch at a time, with his lower lip quivering pitifully. As soon as he was close enough, I got an arm around him and...slipped off. I stard at my suddenly-greasy arm, looked at Benny and noticed that he was covered in...bacon grease.

Arm waving, hiccuping, emphatic nodding from Benny.

"You wanted to taste good when they pecked you to death."

Bloody considerate of him. Odd, I never noticed that I had a twitch before. The rancher stared at Benny for a moment, then collapsed against the fence, pounding it with his fist and howling with laughter.

Frank crawled out from under the lowest bar of the fence, just in time to catch an airborne Benny as I removed him from the corral.

"The Father wove the skein of your life a long time ago. Go and hide in a hole if you wish, but you won't live one instant longer."
--The 13th Warrior

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The LawDog Files
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Old December 18, 2002, 08:01 PM   #5
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In the mid-90's or so, we got a call from a task force located way, waaaay down US287 to inform us that they had received a search warrant for a certain car. Unfortunately, they had (ahem) lost track of the car, however they had information that the car was due to drive through our county sometime that evening, and they suggested that we really, really wanted to search that car.

The Sheriff contemplated over a cup of coffee and decided that I was going to be bored that night, so I wound up running traffic on the major highway through our county.

A little after midnight, I see said described car blow through a red light in town, so I swing in behind it, verify the plate, and turn on the lights. Ten or so miles later, he pulls over and I wander up to talk to him. The Sheriff and a back-up officer arrive just after the driver signs the ticket, I ask him for permission to search the vehicle, the driver vociferously declines, the Sheriff agrees that that is his right, but mentions that a K9 unit is on the way. Things get a bit rambunctious; the driver winds up in the backseat of my cruiser in handcuffs.

The girlfriend of the driver and her cousin, both being students of the Federalist Papers, demand to know the reason for the search. We inform them that we have good reason to believe that 210 grams of crack cocaine wrapped in Cling Wrap and green ninety-mile-an-hour tape, and further sealed in a pink Ziploc bag (quart size), is located somewhere in or about the vehicle.

The girl promptly takes off running like she's training for the Summer Felony Games, with the Sheriff in hot pursuit, while her cousin (rather professionally) prones himself out on the asphalt before the other deputy and I could blink.

This was one of the cases where even if you weren't able to define Probable Cause, you knew it when you saw it.

Anyhoo, we're waiting for the drug dog to show up, and I decide to search the two male subjects (pay attention, 'cause this is important), and I don't find anything on them other than the usual pocket litter.

Being the only bit of excitement in the area, several officers from other jurisdictions show up about the same time that the K9 and his handler get there, out comes the coffee, and we have a gossip session as the K9 and his buddy go around and through the car. Wouldn't you know it, but the K9 gives a good alert on the drivers seat of the car.

We search the car -- don't find anything. We search the car again -- nothing. We tear the car apart -- nada.

Finally, the Sheriff puts the girl and her cousin in the car, uncuffs the driver and walks him up to the car while delivering a stern lecture, and something just isn't right about the driver. I'm not talking about a little warning bell going off in my mind, I'm talking a full Japanese drum, gong and bell chorus. I just have to pat him down again -- and this time I hit something.

I spin the driver around, grab the suspicious object, and I yelp: "What the hell is this?"

Critter says: "Man, that's my [graphic description]."

My brain kicked into high gear, as everything else slowed down. I remember thinking something along the lines of: That's a hammer and breech end of an semi-auto pistol/I missed a gun/I wonder who'll tell Mandy/feels like an cutaway slide/I missed a GUN/that trigger happy idiot is behind me with the M2/got to be a Berreta/he's going for it/I'm going to get shot from both sides/why didn't I propose to Mandy/I. Missed. A. #%$@ing. GUN./fall backwards, get out of the line of fire, idiot - do something!

All this and more is going through my head, my normally closely guarded mouth is on auto-pilot, and I respond:

"That's the hardest [graphic description] I ever felt."

Just before the critter becomes ground zero for a pig pile.


Mind you, I don't remember actually saying that, however, several of my brother officers felt it was germaine enough to the case that they included it in their narratives of the incident.

Double sigh. And it turned out not to be a gun, nor his [graphic description] -- it was the rock of cocaine, hidden in his jockey shorts.

During the trial, the judge had to call an hour recess so that the jury could quit laughing.

"The Father wove the skein of your life a long time ago. Go and hide in a hole if you wish, but you won't live one instant longer."
--The 13th Warrior

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The LawDog Files
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Old December 18, 2002, 08:06 PM   #6
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In late 1995, a critter in our town twisted off and hit his ladyfriend in the head a couple of times with an axe. Not one to leave a job half-done, he dragged her out to the lake, wired her up to a cinderblock and shoved her off into the water.

Wonder of wonders, she survived. Even bigger wonder, she came into town and filed charges on her boyfriend.

I had been out on a date, and wandered back into town about the time that the search was really getting wound up. First thing in the door of the office and the Sheriff hits me with three conflicting orders on where to go. (One of those places would require asbestos underoos...) Anyhoo, I'm trying to find my spare set of armour and a call comes in: one of our local merchants has spotted the critter climbing in a back window of an abandoned building used for storage.

The Sheriff grabs me and a luckless Highway Patrol Trooper who had come in for a coffee refill and off we go.

The other two deputies were hell-and-gone on the other side of the county, so it was just the three of us.

For those of you who don't know how to search a large building with only three people, it's really quite simple: two officers place themselves on opposite outside corners of the building so that they can see all four sides (to catch the critter trying to escape) and one officer goes inside.

Three guesses who got to go inside, and the first two don't count.

Yep. Let me tell you, that place was darker than the Earl of Hells waistcoat and stacked floor-to-ceiling with shelves. On those shelves was the collected knick-knacks of 20 years of Main Street stores. And not a lightbulb anywhere.

There I was, with a snubbie .357, a five-cell Maglight and a Handi-Talkie, and me only having two hands. About the fourth time I tried to answer the Sheriff's: "Have you got him yet!?" while trying to cover a suspicious patch of darkness and juggle the Mag-Lite, I stop in the feeble light of the moon shining down through a hole in the ceiling. I'm busily trying to figure out which I needed more: the Mag-lite or the Handi-talkie, when the SOB jumps me.

I'm here to tell you, folks, things went rodeo from there.

He lunged out of a shadow, trying to grab for my throat, and me--reacting totally instinctively--I whack him a good one across the forehead with the Maglight.

Bulb, batteries and assorted electonic parts arc gracefully into the darkness. Critter takes one step back and jumps at me again.

Things are not looking good in Dogville.

I've got the snubbie back with my right hand, trying to keep it away from this goblin, and I'm trying to stiffarm him away with my left when I step onto what was later found to be a D-cell battery from my Maglight.

Down I go. And the allegeded axe-murderer lands on top of me. Hoo boy.

The gloves really come off then. We roll on the cold cement, I'm hitting him in the head with the butt of my revolver, elbow smashes to the jaw and brachial plexus, knee strikes--the whole enchilada. And he keeps grabbing at my throat.

Fianlly, we roll into a patch of moonlight--and the bastard has a knife!

Folks, I hate knives. No, I really hate knives. He's on top of me, and he has to weigh three-hundred pounds, and that damn knife is coming down in slow motion...

...about the same time that the barrel of my snubbie rams up under his chin and I squeeze off two rounds.

Blowing the electronic brains and assorted stuffing of the Animatronic Life-Like Talking Santa Claus belonging to the local Thriftway halfway to Oklahoma City.

You don't want to know what a couple of .357 rounds will do to hydraulics.


There I am. Staring at the robotic Kris Kringle whom I have assaulted, aggravated assaulted, and finally murdered, when the Sheriff and the trooper come crashing through the place looking for me.

The Sheriff looks at me and the fallen Jolly Elf and begins to stare fixedly at the ceiling, while tugging his moustache. Gary (the trooper), holsters his SIG, gets out his pipe, looks around the crime scene, picks up a piece of flaming hat trim and uses it to light his pipe.

Gary: (puffing pipe into life) "Obviously an assault candy cane. Bet it ain't registered."

Sheriff: "Dangerous things, assault canes."

Gary: "Obviously, a good shoot." Puff, puff.

Sheriff: "Don't worry boy. I'll call the Marshals first thing in the morning.

Me: "Duh, puff-pant, huh?"

Sheriff: "Boy, there's gonna be several million kids after your hide come Christmas. Witness Protection Program is your only chance."

Smart ass.

That was the only time I have ever used the Universal Peace Gesture to my fellow LEOs.

And the critter was caught in New Mexico an hour later. *Sigh*

"The Father wove the skein of your life a long time ago. Go and hide in a hole if you wish, but you won't live one instant longer."
--The 13th Warrior

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Old December 18, 2002, 08:09 PM   #7
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There I was: book in paw, a comfy chair, a huge mug of tea and good music in the CD. Two quiet days off tend to be a rarity in small departments -- especially if you happen to be the only single officer in the department. I intended to enjoy that weekend to the fullest.

*ring, ring*

I don't want to answer the phone, I am not here, I died and..."Hello."

"Boy, the Shamu Squad are turning some jerk in a pink car loose 'bout 12 miles west of town. He's been speeding since California, and I want you to get out there and slow him down afore he hits town."


Small towns. We only had one radar unit in the department and it was installed in the night deputies cruiser to keep him awake during the wee hours of the morning. Guess who was the night deputy?

Being used to situations like this, I customarily kept a denim vest with a badge stuck to it hanging on a chair by the front door along with a shoulder holster holding a pistol, reload and a pair of cuffs. Mind busily trying to plot where to intercept this guy, I dress on the bounce out to the car, start the cruiser, fire up the radar, hit US287 -- just in time to see the unit light up.

98 in a 45.

I whip a U-turn, catch up to the driver and get him pulled over.

Now, I admit at the time I looked fairly youngish, so I was pretty used to odd looks when I walked up on a car during a traffic stop.

I walk up to the drivers side, knock on the window and the man behind the wheel gives me a startled look. Matter-of-fact, he just looks at me through the glass for the longest time. Finally I rap on the glass again, make a winding motion with my hand and down goes the window.

"Sir, my name is Deputy ****. I'm with the **** County Sheriff's Office. The reason I stopped you is that I clocked your vehicle doing 98 in a marked 45MPH zone. Is there an emergency that I need to know about?"

He looks at me awhile, then says, "No, I'm just in a hurry to get back to Massachusetts."

"Ah," I respond, "May I see your drivers license, registration and proof of insurance please?"

He kind of frowns. "Are you an officer of the law?"

"Yes, sir. Deputy Sheriff."

He gives me this really wierd look, then digs out his info. I go back to the cruiser, and I see him with his head out the window, looking back at me and his eyebrows are kind of crawling up and down his forehead.
I write up the ticket and walk back up to the car.

"Sir, would you sign this here, please. Your signature is not a plea of guilty, it is merely a promise to appear in court."

He looks down at the ticket, and back up at me and says, "Are you sure you're a cop?"


I pointed at the badge: "I've got a badge," I open the vest, "I've got a gun," other side of the vest, "I've got handcuffs, and I can show you the jail, if you'd like."

"No, no, sir, that'll be alright." He scribbles his name on the ticket, and I hand him his documents and the courtesy letter, and wish him a safe trip.

It takes him a while to finally put the car in 'D' and leave, and I follow him to the city limits to make sure he keeps it to a reasonable speed.

I guess as soon as I was out of sight, he crammed his foot into the gas tank and took off again. Anyhoo, he hits my Mom's hometown of Electra, and the Electra cops aren't fooling around: they snatch him up and take him directly before the judge to plea his case.

He gets done paying the fine, and goes to the Dairy Queen there in Electra, whereupon he begins airing his gripes to the world. The locals, being bored, listen sympathetically.

"What is it with the cops in Texas?" Everyone nods sagely, and refills his coffee cup.

"I mean, here they all look like they were cloned from the same mustache." Smiles and nods all around.

"I hit the Texas State line, and I got pulled over by a mustache with a pair of nunchuks hanging off his belt. (That would be Vega.)

"Little later, I get ticketed by a bleach blonde grandmother." (Sheriff in Armstrong County)

"But the absolute worst time," he sputtered, almost in tears, "Is X number of towns back where I got pulled over by a redheaded kid wearing a Sheriff's badge pinned to a BUGS BUNNY T-SHIRT!"

It was not a Bugs Bunny T-shirt. I emphatically deny owning a Bugs Bunny t-shirt.

It was a Tazmanian Devil t-shirt.

Well, how often do you think about what you're wearing on your day off?

Wait, the worst of it is yet to come.

Every person in the diner starts counting towns on their fingers...X towns kid...Sheriff's badge...everyone turns and looks at Mom, sitting in the back.

Who, of course, made it a point the next time she visited me, to tell the whole wretched story to a resturaunt full of gossips in my town.

I caught hell about the 'Bugs Bunny T-Shirt' for years after that.

"The Father wove the skein of your life a long time ago. Go and hide in a hole if you wish, but you won't live one instant longer."
--The 13th Warrior

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Old December 18, 2002, 08:11 PM   #8
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Big Mama was the matriarch of what passed for a crime family in our neck of the woods. She was responsible for most of our crime, until she got too big, then she left it up to her family.

Anyhoo, I was on duty one day when the word came in: Big Mama had Passed On. We were in the middle of a Moment of Silence ("Thank God", murmured the Sheriff) when the ambulance crew requested help.

We had a problem. Hoo boy, did we have a problem. When I say Big Mama was big, I mean she overloaded the 300 pound weight limit on the stretcher by a good bit. We couldn't even get her off the bed. After a couple of hours, we worked out a plan: someone scooted over to the local monument company and borrowed their forklift and a spare pallet, the volunteer fire department got out the Jaws of Life and popped the exterior wall off of Big Mama's bedroom. Six of us rolled her onto the pallet, then we raised the pallet and put it (and Big Mama) onto the hosebed of a firetruck. Voila!

Off we go to the funeral home, where the Director (Bless his heart), had dug out a portable embalming outfit (I didn't even realize there was such a thing) and did the deed on Big Mama in the garage.

Which, in retrospect, was probably responsible for what happened later.

The day of the funeral arrived. I had to be there, because--true to form--four of Big Mama's nephews, cousins and grandkids were in jail on various charges. My handcuffed, shackled and leg-ironed charges and I showed up early, and let me tell you--I was impressed. Someone, somewhere had found a casket big enough, and Big Mama was laid out in her Sunday Finest with a peaceful smile on her face.

Which in and of itself was shocking. I had only ever seen Big Mama when she was fighting and cussing fit to make a sailor blush. Never saw her smile until she was gone. Looked downright odd.

Anyhoo, we're there early, and I'm listening to the gossip, which was all based on whether Big Mama's youngest daughter would show her face. Big Mama had, years earlier, attempted to rearrange her daughters' giblets with a set of pinking shears, and daughter had run off to California, vowing Never to Return.

Well, she came back. And that performance should have gotten her an Oscar, I'm here to tell you. But I'm ahead of myself.

Four, count 'em, four Baptist preachers got up behind the pulpit and lied their butts off about the Deceased. Three different people got up to sing muzak versions of pop songs. The Eulogy was a masterpiece--bore no more resemblance to the Dearly Departed than a toady-frog resembles a polecat--but it sounded nice.

Then, finally, it was almost over. The family rose up and walked past the casket in saying their Final Farewells (and stealing any jewelry left on the body), with the entire congregation looking on and sniffling. And last in line was Baby Daughter.

Like I said--a masterpiece. Baby Daughter had to be supported by two cousins in her time of grief. She was bravely fighting back tears, as she tenderly touched the frozen features of Big mama, then she'd turn to leave, and then wail: "Oh, Big Mama, why'd you leave us!?" And the two cousins would gently lead her away, but she'd turn back to the casket, and blubber, "But I can't leave her!"

Someone get that girl an Emmy Award.

Anyhoo, This went on for about five minutes, until finally, Baby Daughter flings herself across Big Mama and wails, "Come back, Big Mama, come back!"

And Big Mama did. Sort of. Well, actually, she kinda flopped a bit and made a 'song of the humpback whales' kind of noise, as a glowing green ball appeared over the casket.

I remember thinking: Aha! That's what an air bubble in a corpse looks like. I always thought that was an Urban Myth. Fascinating.

And then I noticed that I was the only person left in the church. Everyone else was sprinting down the hill.

With the Head Preacher and my four leg-ironed prisoners leading the pack. And the glowing green ball was the tritium insert in my front sight.

I also noticed, about that time, that I was in a Weaver stance that was so solid that it took me about five minutes to bust my knees loose enough to sneak down the aisle to make sure Big Mama was well-and-truly deceased. (There are rumours floating about that I actually poked the Departed with stick during my examination. I deny these allegations. I couldn't find a stick. So I stood at the Amen Pew and tossed flower arrangements instead. )

"The Father wove the skein of your life a long time ago. Go and hide in a hole if you wish, but you won't live one instant longer."
--The 13th Warrior

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Old December 18, 2002, 08:16 PM   #9
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Many, MANY moons ago (don't even ask, 'cause I won't tell you) when I was still a pup, the family lived in Nigeria. We had a bungalow at the Odibo Estates, out near the Biafran border. Every evening peddlers (called 'traders') used to walk up and down the main road, offering to sell or trade various knick-knacks and merchandise.

Ali Cheap-Cheap was one of the busier traders, and he spent a lot of time on our front porch haggling with Mom. Now, Ali Cheap-Cheap was very proud of his ability to get just about anything you might want or need.

One evening, Mom was visiting on the front porch with the visiting wife of one of the English engineers. Said wife had never been outside of London before, and as a consequence, loathed Africa. She and Mom are chattering and griping when along comes Ali Cheap-Cheap. Old Ali Cheap-Cheap doesn't have anything Mom or the English lady want, so, before he wanders off, he asks if, "Madams want for anything?"

English lady gets a funny look in her eye, taps her snakehide purse and says, "I want one of these."
"Yes, madam," replies Ali, and off he wanders.

'Bout three weeks later, Mom and the English twit are on the front porch, and along comes Ali Cheap-Cheap. With a friend. Ali and friend have a cane pole slung over their shoulders with a burlap bag hanging from said pole.

Now, on the front porch, we had a Mongoose-a-minium in which lived our pet kusimanse (Pygmy mongoose). This Mongoose-a-minium had a PlexiGlass ceiling which Dad had assured us was unbreakable.


Up to the porch comes Ali Cheap-Cheap and his buddy.

Mom is eyeing the burlap bag with some trepidation, having had some nasty experiences with what the locals tended to store in burlap bags, when Ali and buddy proudly lift the burlap bag and announce, "Oh, madam! We have your beef!"

I should interject here, that "Beef" is bush slang for any animal. Wait for it.

Mom has risen to her full height, and is about to order Ali to get his beef away from her house, when Squeaker (the Pygmy mongoose) wanders out of his apartment, and screams in sheer rage. (It was always amazing how much sheer volume that little hairball could put out) Ali and buddy are startled by the shriek and drop the burlap bag onto the Plexiglass roof of Squeaker's residence.

The 'unbreakable' Plexi shattered and dropped the burlap bag into the Mongoose-a-minium. Inside said burlap is one 15 foot, rather scared python. (Did I mention that he was still alive?)

Squeaker, who was about the size and girth of a tennis ball, offers up a brief prayer to the Mongoose God for the meal he is about to partake of, and latches onto the snakes tail, with tooth and claw.

The snake has discovered that he has been dumped into a place which reeks of mongoose, panics and pours himself up the side of the Mongoose-a-minium and down to the porch--with Squeaker not only still firmly attached to his tail, but bracing all four legs to prevent his meal from getting away. I should probably mention that the snake was approximately fifteen feet long. However, Squeaker didn't even slow him down.

The snake hit the porch floor with Squeaks gnawing away at his tail like a chipmunk on speed, and notices that the sliding glass door in the front of our house is open about six inches (for ventilation).

Yep. You guessed it: in goes the snake.

Now, Dad and one of his Brit buddies were sitting in the house, drinking whiskey-and-sodas. Brit buddy looks down and sees several yards of snake whip by, shrieks, and makes a flat-footed, sitting-down leap from the sofa to the top of the bar. Whereupon, he begins to utter genteel curses at the top of his lungs.

Dad looks down, lifts his feet, insures that his drink doesn't tip over, and watches the snake haul scales with bemused interest. (Dad didn't ruffle easily) In one corner of the living room was The Chest. The Chest was a great huge hand-carved teak box, that weighed approximately the same as an early 60's Buick. Guess where the snake went?

Yep, slithered under that chest slicker than grease (knocking Squeaks off in the process), wrapped about 13+ feet of coils around the solid teak legs of The Chest, tucked his head back into the darkness and muttered nasty things.

Mom sails into the house at full speed, Ali Cheap-Cheap and buddy hot on her heels.

Mom (as she scooped up Squeaks): "Where is it?"

Dad: "Hmm?"

Brit Buddy: "Under the bloody chest!"

Ali Cheap-Cheap: "Dis beef, 30 Niara!"

Mom: "Get it the hell out of my house! 30 Niara? I don't want the damn thing!"

Dad: "It'll probably leave on it's own after things calm down..."

Brit: "Good God, the thing is bloody huge!"

Ali: "Oh, madam, you take the food from my childrens' mouths! 25 Niara!"

Brit: "25 Niara for a snake?! Are you daft?!"

Mom: "OUT! I don't want the damn snake!"

Brit: "I should say not. Must be charging by the pound."

Ali (tearing at clothes): "20 Niara! Not a kobo less! You are evil woman!"

Snake: "Hiiiiiiiisssssssss!"

Squeaks (translation): "As God is my witness, I'll never go hungery again!"

Mom: "Get. That. Thing. Out. Of. My. HOUSE! Ali! Get out of my house!"

Ali (much offended): "Madam, you have my beef. You give 20 Niara."

Dad: "Thief man, this beef 10 Niara--no more."

Ali: "Ah! Boss! Is good juju--make you strong like bull! 15 Niara!"

Brit (still on top of the bar): "I say, do you really think so?"

Dad: "Well, Tom, if you've got 12 Niara, you can find out."

Mom (dreadfully quiet): "Why is that thing still in my house?"

Ali: "13 Niara!"

Part 2 to follow.

"The Father wove the skein of your life a long time ago. Go and hide in a hole if you wish, but you won't live one instant longer."
--The 13th Warrior

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Old December 18, 2002, 08:20 PM   #10
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When last we left, Mom was sitting in a chair with an enraged African Pygmy Mongoose in her lap, Tom was standing on the wet bar, Ali Cheap-Cheap was trying to get someone to pay him for 15 feet of perturbed python lurking under the furniture and Dad was...well, contemplating.


Does anybody know how big a fifteen-foot python is?

I can hear the chorus now: "It's fifteen feet!" Yes, but do you realize how big around a fifteen-foot python is? It's bloody huge.

My brother and I had been attracted by the up-roar and, as boy-children will, immediately converged on the snakey parts sticking out from under the Chest.

Dad murmured, "Watch the sharp end, boys" as he pushed the chest out from against the wall, then knelt down and peered under it from the back side. Upon seeing something, Dad promptly slid his arm under the chest and began to feel around.

Squeaks, fed up with the wait-service, banzai-ed off Mom's lap, hit the floor and in one bounce shot under the chest, shrieking a tremendous mongoose war-cry as he disappeared: "Hah! Feel my wrath! Here is your doom! Prepare to be devoured!"

One of Dad's eyebrows kind of slid up, and he pulled his right arm out from under the Chest, revealing Squeaks clinging to it with all four sets of claws whilst delivering the dreaded Mongoose Death Bite(tm) to the back of Dad's wrist.

"Honey," said Dad, mildly, "Your rat isn't helping all that much."

"Are you sure you need the boys help?" inquired Mom, as she sat back in the chair, with Squeaks firmly anchored to her lap.

"Hmm?" mumbled Dad's voice from behind the Chest.

"Too right, Jim, old boy, I mean, that is a predator after all," chimed in Tom, helpfully.

The head of the python appeared over the top of the Chest, with one of Dad's hands clamped around its neck, "I've got the pointy end. Boys, see if you can find a tail on this thing."

Chris and I began to root about happily under the chest, and with the aid of a couple of Dad's walking stick collection, we pried the south end of the snake out from under the Chest.

"Dad, we found...oh, yuck."

Now, the Discovery Channel will tell you that, when disturbed, some species of snake will: "Secrete a noxious substance from their tails."

They lie.

Folks, I'm here to tell you that if a snake "secretes" that noxious substance, then a firehose "secretes" water. Got a hell of a range on it. Enough range, as a matter of fact, to reach out and paint a mother from her eyebrows down to the mongoose retching in her lap. And her with waist-length hair.

"Eep," said Chris, rather eloquently I thought, as Mom slowly scraped black/green grease off her face with one taloned hand.

"Bad luck," murmured Tom.

Dad popped up like a prairie dog. "What?"

"Dad, it, uh, sprayed..."

"Did any of it get on you?"

"Ah, hmm. On us? No, but, umm..."

"Good, good. Don't let the hind end get back under the Chest. Ali, come here."

Ali Cheap-Cheap, who had been watching all of this with intense fascination, jumped and pointed to his torso, "Boss?"

"Yes, you," One of Dad's hands reached out and got Ali by the front of his dashiki and pulled him behind the Chest. "Hold this. When I tell you, I want you to drag this end towards the door. Boys, when I lift the Chest, drag the tail out from under, okay?"

"Uh, Boss?"

Dad got his fingers under the edge of the chest, puffed a couple of times, and then lifted what I swear to God was half-a-ton of hand-carved teakwood.

"All right, pull."

"Boss, you say 'pull', nah beef, he say 'no'."

"Pull the snake, Ali."


"Bush man, I swear, if you don't..."

About this time, Mom levitated some three feet off her chair and, a bit like a Roman candle, exploded in a flaming mass of eyes, hair, grease and claws: "Pull the blankety-blank snake..."

...Ali took off like he'd been goosed with a cattle prod...

" blankety-blank son of a blankety..."

...Tom's eyebrows crawled up into his hairline as he regarded my rampaging mother...

"...blankety-blank mother of a blankety-blank goat..."

...Ali got to the end of the snake with approximately the same results as a running dog hitting the end of his chain, but he moved the snake about three feet...

"...Blankety-blank snake blankety-blank IN MY HAIR!"

Dad vaulted the Chest, grabbed the python in the middle and heaved him onto the front porch, where he bounced twice and skidded into the yard.

Watching the snake haul scales in the general direction of Port Harcourt, Dad sniffed reflectively, dusted off his hands, turned around and the first thing he saw was Mom.

"Honey," said Dad, somewhat bemusedly, "Why are you covered in grease?"

Mom glared at Dad, whipped around, and with Squeaks still firmly clenched in her hand stomped into the back of the house, muttering explosively and gesturing wildly. Crashing sounds drifted back.

"Redheads," opined the worldly-wise Tom.

Ali was practically dancing in rage, "Boss! Dis beef, fifty Niara!"

"Ali," murmured Dad, as he poured two glasses of Mr. Daniels finest, "You have gold?"

"Ah, Boss! I have gold necklace. A necklace such as only a princess could wear!"

"Seventy Niara."

"Oh, Boss! Seventy Niara is taking..."

"Trader man," Dad contemplated the bourbon, "Madame has gone for to fetch her machete."

"A blessing on your house, Boss." Ali traded the necklace for the money, bowed once and hot-footed it out the door.

Dad gathered up the necklace and both glasses of bourbon, and began wandering in the direction of the destructive noises emanating from the back of the house, "Bye, Tom. See you at the office tomorrow. Boys, go play. Stay away from anything with an appetite."

"The Father wove the skein of your life a long time ago. Go and hide in a hole if you wish, but you won't live one instant longer."
--The 13th Warrior

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Old December 18, 2002, 08:22 PM   #11
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Thanksgiving Day, 1994. Bubba (name changed to protect get the idea) Green heads out to the Oasis Bar north of town. He's feeling a little rambunctious, and proceeds to down large quantities of his favorite libation. So goes the evening until Bubba winds up dancing on top of one of the pool tables.

Now Bubba is (I'm not kidding) six feet, nine inches tall. And he's not what one would call svelte. Matter-of-fact, the town doctor swears that when Mrs. Green delivered Bubba, they heard the scream in Abilene. Big old boy.

The owner of the Oasis, having gone through similar situations in the past, feeds four quarters into the jukebox and punches up "The Yellow Rose of Texas."

Bubba, as was his wont, climbs down off the pool table, removes his hat and stands to attention while the song played. Normally, at this point, Bubba would be eased out the door into a pickup bed or trailer, driven home and poured onto his front porch. Normally.

Bubba, who is weaving a bit towards the end of the song, glances around and sees a young cowpoke who has neglected to remove his chapeau during Bubba's song. Bubba heroically restrains himself until "The Yellow Rose of Texas" winds down, then reaches over and throws the cowboy *through* the wall of the bar.

An older cowboy peers through the gaping hole in the wall and sighs, "Goldurnit, Bubba. That was muh top hand." The bartender says a Nasty Word, dives for the phone and hits the speedial for 911 as the other cowboys from that ranch, obeying West Texas feudal law, pile onto Bubba.

Pandemonium ensues.

Into the fray steps one LawDog. He sizes up the free-for-all and, in a move that generated gossip for nigh-on six months, he jerks a mop bucket from behind the bar and empties it onto the mighty struggle in the center of the room. Sudden shocked silence. Without a word, the lawman grabs Bubba by one ear and drags him out of the bar. Once outside, the minion of the law proceeds to chastize Bubba in fine, rolling language, threatening Bubba with God, Jesus, Mary and all the saints.

According to a witness, the scene looked for all the world, "Like a fire-and-brimstone prarie dog preachin' the Gospel to a Brahma bull."

The the lawman got nasty: He invoked Bubba's Mama. Spoke of the shame that Bubba was bringing down on that goodly lady. At length. Using them three dollar words. Had Bubba in tears by the time he was done.

Which was probably not the best idea the 'Dog ever had, because Bubba, being totally undone by the thought of the horror he was bringing unto his Mama, felt he had to proceed directly to the old homestead and beg forgiveness from his Mama. To which LawDog responds that Bubba is "going to jail, and that's that."

Over the car sails LawDog. Never even touched paint. Hell of a throw on Bubba's part. Set a new World Record in Cop Tossing.

'Dog stands up, brushes the dust off his jeans, stalks back around the front of the cruiser, reaches waaaaa-aaaaaaay up, pokes Bubba in the chest and snarls, "Don't make me hurt you, Bubba."

Bubba's second try at Cop Tossing beat the first by several feet, even clearing the lightbar on this go. Only this time, 'Dog bounces back over the hood of the car with a five battery flashlight and a can of mace. Bubba goes to jail, but it takes LawDog about 10 or 15 minutes to get the job done.

And during that 15 minutes, the local DPS trooper was having hysterics on the hood of his shamu car. Each time he calmed down enough to give 'Dog a hand, he'd whisper, "Don't make me hurt you, Bubba" and start whooping with laughter again.

LawDog swears that he didn't say those words, by the way.
"The Father wove the skein of your life a long time ago. Go and hide in a hole if you wish, but you won't live one instant longer."
--The 13th Warrior

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Old December 18, 2002, 08:24 PM   #12
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Since the 'Dog seems to be *ahem* laying down on the job...

The Sheriff's Office gets a call from the local school. Seems there is a child in class who is displaying traits totally unlike his usual behavior; he is withdrawn, agitated, sleepy during class, won't talk about any problems at home.

Suspecting child abuse, there is an investigator heading for the child's house, and it is felt that an officer should be at hand, just in case.

Out goes LawDog. He and the investigator talk to the child, and it gradually comes out that sometime previously, the parents had been watching one of the horrid movies about homicidal dolls that come to life, not knowing that their child has snuck out of bed and is watching the movie from the bedroom doorway.

This has led to the child deciding that one of his stuffed toys is going to come to life and slaughter the family.

Mama and Daddy freak. 'Dog goes with the child and digs the toy out from under the pile of stuff in the workshop where the child has placed it for safety. Mama comforts the child, Daddy swears the toy is going into the garbage first thing, and the social worker is pontificating about the damage violent movies do to young psyches.

Nobody notices the 'Dog going out to the Super Scooter and getting on the radio.

Just like no one notices the city truck pulling up in front of the big bay window of the house.

The two city workers talking to the 'Dog and firing up the machinery being towed behind the city truck raise only mild curiosity.

*HOWEVER*, the sight of the 'Dog marching out to the truck, with the toy held at arms length with a secure grip about it's throat gets everybodys attention.

Of course, the fact that 'Dog has the muzzle of his pistol rammed firmly between the toys beady little eyes might have accounted for a bit of that fascination ...

And when he solemnly, and with the greatest of care not to allow the demonic toy the slightest chance to overpower him, slam-dunked the malevolent beastie into the chipper/shredder merrily grinding away on the back of the truck, one might say that the 'Dog had everyone's undivided attention.

The *piece de resistance* was when LawDog walked back into the house, tipped his hat to the child and stated: "You have anymore problems, you just give me a call." And headed back out on patrol.

Rumour has it that CPS filed a complaint. Rumour also has it that the Sheriff folded it into a paper airplane and sailed it across the office.
"The Father wove the skein of your life a long time ago. Go and hide in a hole if you wish, but you won't live one instant longer."
--The 13th Warrior

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Old December 18, 2002, 09:47 PM   #13
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LawDog, buddy, you have 2 weeks to churn me out another story.



Get crackin'!

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Old December 18, 2002, 10:35 PM   #14
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Famous words in LE. "Don't make me hurt you Bubba" ROTFLMAO
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Old December 18, 2002, 10:35 PM   #15
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I'm still waiting for the book!
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Old December 18, 2002, 10:51 PM   #16
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Thanks for posting this compendium. Saved it....
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Old December 18, 2002, 10:52 PM   #17
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L.P. beat me to my post!

Get ta work, LawDog!


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Old December 18, 2002, 10:56 PM   #18
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Lawdog, you'd better join Oleg's new venture, or we'll all come over in a body and hijack your *** onto the new board! Those are GREAT stories - we can't do without our regular ration!
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Old December 18, 2002, 11:26 PM   #19
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Lawdog, everybody's been saying for years that there's a good book to be written here.

If you won't do that, at least do a website with your stories. It has a ring to it.

Or, how 'bout
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Old December 18, 2002, 11:27 PM   #20
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I wonder if I can get this "Definitive Collection" on DVD..
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Old December 19, 2002, 09:05 AM   #21
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Memo to self: don't read the Lawdog files while drinking hot coffee. On the plus side, my sinuses have been cleared.

"Don't make me hurt you, Bubba!" ROTFLMELAO
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Old December 19, 2002, 11:21 AM   #22
Gila Jorge
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Damn shame this board is closing....Lawdog those
should be published into a book....its as good as
anything ol Will Rogers or Sam Clemmons ever did.
Maybe better. Fellow Texan.....better plan on continuing with Oleg's new site....hate to lose track of this talent. Blessings this Christmas.
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Old December 19, 2002, 11:39 AM   #23
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hate to lose track of this talent.
That will not be acceptable....
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Old December 19, 2002, 12:36 PM   #24
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More like cauterized nostrils, eh buzz knox? Thanks lawdog - how about trying to get published with a collection of stories - might could make a small fortune - I'll check the shelves at Borders.... Edited: Oops, already suggested.....Good stuff.
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Old December 19, 2002, 01:16 PM   #25
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Hurry up and write the damn book already!
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