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Aces And Eights

September 14, 2009



I want to ride to the ridge where the west commences
And gaze at the moon till I lose my senses
And I can’t look at hovels and I can’t stand fences
Don’t fence me in.

–Words and Music By Cole Porter


Bounty hunter: You’re wanted, Wales.

Josey Wales: Reckon I’m right popular. You a bounty hunter?

Bounty hunter: A man’s got to do something for a living these days.

Josey Wales:
Dyin’ ain’t much of a living, boy.

–Clint Eastwood, The Outlaw Josie Wales (1976)

As a way of softening you greenhorns and tenderfeet up for my long promised Clint Eastwood piece, I thought we might have poems on a Western theme…so saddle up an’ let’s get this herd to the railhead at Abilene. Git along, little dawgies…

The Saddle Tramp’s Lament

Come gather ’round boys an’ I’ll tell you my story
A tale of adventure an’ heartbreakin’ woe
How a bright boy left home an’ went lookin’ fer glory
From broad plains of Kansas to ole Mexico.

Oh, the life of a cowboy’s a sad lonely tale
You bust up, you bust out, you land right in jail
Yer out in all weathers, in the storm an’ the gale
It’s a hard life an’ a short life on the ole Chisolm Trail.

Well, my Ma waved me off on that long ago day
She cried and commenced right to sobbin’
“Don’t get no young girls in the family way
An’ don’t take to thievin’ an’ robbin’.”

Well, I thought to myself she was wastin’ her breath
The ole West weren’t no place for a saint
An’ I weren’t afeared of no hellfire nor death
An’ I’d take my lumps without complaint.

Oh, the life of a cowboy’s a poor one an’ hard
You might git yerself shot at the turn of a card
An’ doors are all bolted an’ gates are all barred
Agin a cowboy the townfolk are all on their guard.

Well, I soon took up with a desperate crew
An’ I fitted right into their ranks
I tell ye, boys, there weren’t much I wouldn’t do
Took right smartly to robbin’ them banks.

But a man’s luck has only got so long to run
Afore the dice come up snake-eyes each time
If you live by the Colt then you’ll die by the gun
Else it’s jail an’ get hung fer yer crime.

Oh, a life in the saddle is weary an’ short
Don’t believe them tall tales of romance
An’ punchin’ them cattle ain’t no kind of sport
As fer women? You ain’t got a chance.

Let’s mount up an’ ride out an’ hope fer the best
An’ pray that the herd don’t stampede
An’ play all yer cards right up close to yer vest
If’n you cain’t hope fer luck, hope fer speed.

  1. September 15, 2009 8:19 AM

    Thank God my survival
    Isn’t dependant on the cowboy film revival.
    Director’s imaginations have gone skint
    The last good one was by Clint.

    This poem isn’t as long as I would have chosen
    But I’m buggering off to a festival a la Michael Rosen.

  2. mishari permalink*
    September 15, 2009 8:38 AM

    Have a good time in Spain, Al.

  3. mishari permalink*
    September 15, 2009 5:14 PM

    Am I becoming a megalomaniac? Answers on a postcard to the usual address…

    BTW, MM…I popped the latest two episodes of Mad Men and the opening episode of the new season of Sons Of Anarchy in the post today. There was space left over so I burned The Complete Django Reinhardt – HMV Sessions (1936-1948) as well.

    Despite your brutish indifference to beauty, even you can’t be so benighted as to be immune to the glory of Django Reinhardt…

  4. pinkroom permalink
    September 15, 2009 5:57 PM

    Last of The Bobbersmill Cowboys

    “Abilene, Abilene,
    prettiest little own that I’ve ever seen…”
    warbles Hamilton Four
    as the regulars practice
    their fastest draw
    at the “Burning Waggon” night.

    Every week a smaller number.
    Who now dresses-up like a cowboy?
    Even here upon the fringes
    of Radford and Hyson Green;
    the Last Chaperall of Stetson Hat
    boozers. Chidren point and laugh
    it seems.

    Silver haired men
    their thin hair brylcreemed
    to a vague approximation
    of Ladd or Elvis
    or their much younger selves

    “In a three-way stand-off between
    Eastwood, Wayne and Cooper
    who would walk away
    the victor?”

    Whole pints supped to consider
    the same question they had been asking
    for over forty years.

    “Well, Wayne is without
    doubt the complete and finished
    cool, strong-willed and if it were
    down to fists alone. Wayne would reign

    “But Cooper? With a gun to hand,
    wouldn’t say much
    but he simply wouldn’t miss either
    for gun-play alone, our Gary would carry
    the day.”

    “But… if you absolutely
    had to stake your very own life –
    and that of your grandkids –
    upon one of the three,
    surely it would have to be

    For sneaky, play-
    Eastwood would come good
    for you.

    More pints swallowed
    and it was agreed
    Clint was still king
    of ther dying

  5. September 15, 2009 5:58 PM

    I wish you people would stick to the right thread. I’ve been checking here all day – nothing. Then I look back and there’s a whole set of revelations and I’ve missed the moment. A little discipline, please.

    And atf male? I’d be surprised. She sometimes – at surprising moments – takes a rather old-fashioned let-boys-be-boys attitude to the unchivalric behaviour of poets etc under discussion (unless they play guitars, of course), which has surprised me but which reminded me of things I’d heard said by women I know, rather than men.

  6. September 15, 2009 8:42 PM

    This is getting interesting. Everybody takes turns slagging off fellow bloggers, Mish shuts down the thread, XB reminds us we haven’t finished slagging off. I see his point. Why be low and petty and gossipy only for a few dozen comments before getting back to the commodities. Consistency in all things was the aim of who was it, Demosthenes or was it Solon? No, that was Moderation. Perish the thought! Here come atf, deadgod, wordnerd, des, osama, and fifty serial killers. Moderate! Moderate!

    A world class sprinter was recently “stripped” of “her” medals when it was revealed “she” has
    undescended testicles.

    Who gives a bloody fuck. Let’s have one-sex-fits-all competitions. Who cares who wins who loses. Everybody loses. It’s an infinite game. It’s called life. The only thing that matters is to keep playing.

  7. mishari permalink*
    September 15, 2009 8:51 PM

    A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, according to Henry T. Anyway, I shut it down purely in my function as a traffic-cop. The new thread was alone and palely loitering. Don’t care much who slags who as long as it’s amusing. No plaster saints here, I’m afraid….

    Nice one, PR…I used to live near a boozer in Camberwell that had a weekly ‘Western’ night. It was, frankly, very weird. All the Sarf Lunnun sorts would turn up dressed like The Cisco Kid while a band of geriatric C&W fakers would murder ‘Tumblin’ Tumbleweeds’ in the background. The whole scene had hallucinogenic qualities. I enjoyed it immensely…

  8. pinkroom permalink
    September 15, 2009 9:30 PM

    Howdy y’all

    Yes there was a whole c and w subculture, very strong for a while with much of the emphasis on “and western” … very working class, quite a bit kitcsh… basically kids who had grown up in the 50s/60s with rawhide/gunsmoke/bonaza/the Virginian etc who no doubt loved Clint Eastwood in their teens and twenties and then as soon as their own kids had grown-up got out their chaps and six-shooters again, except now they could afford really swank gear rather than woolworths rubbish. Problem was the gradually world passed them by. Who makes/watches Westerns anymore???

    Back in America C and W re-invented itself as rootsy “country”… lost the rhinestones and gunfighter ballads to be replaced by godawful whining about being behind on the rent on your trailer while your daddy’s loving some other gal. The real fun was lost imho.

    Since then there have been spasms of a revival… various hat acts… that ridiculous craze for line dancing, but never again will an overweight middle aged man and his good lady wife be allowed to walkdown to their local in his n’ hers expensively matching cowboy suits, buckle, spurs etc without risk of utter ridicule or the suspicion that he is setting off for the gay disco and she’s on a hen night.

    I think the world’s a sadder place for that.

  9. September 15, 2009 9:32 PM

    Point well taken Mish, just that the parochialism is, dare one say, not all THAT amusing outside the Poster Poem orbit and after all I thought this blog was a renegade development from the Gruntiad, not a continuing exegesis of its customer maintenance features. Like, perhaps pretending to have a “life”–I mean as opposed to a holiday–now that might stand the world on end as the next “topic”. Not that “rock” wasn’t going to bring down the house, or the landslide, etc.

    But I suppose Western night in Camberwell qualifies as life.

    Lately people I know are dying at too rapid a rate to permit me to be so bored as to have time for doggerel and dirt. To get back to the Cowboy theme it’s the Last Chance Saloon. But uh-oh, here come the gumshoes from last week tracking us down, trying to make us believe we are actually intelligent adults with feelings. Dang!

  10. mishari permalink*
    September 15, 2009 10:05 PM

    Well, Tom, my approach is basically a ‘hands off’ one. People can chat about whatever the hell they like. Anyway, a constant diet of ‘elevated’ talk and ‘great’ poems isn’t what life is actually like, in my experience. If an online world is to resemble the offline one, one has to accept the picayune with the weighty, the serious with the frivolous, the petty with the noble. Just my take…

    I’m not sure if you’re right, PR. I think there’s been a slow but sure revival of the Western in Hollywood, with films like Appaloosa, 3:10 To Yuma etc. and it’s easy to see why. I think there’s something about the Western that satisfies our desire for straight-forward story-telling, for swift retribution and a longing for a freer, more fluid society.

    When I was growing up, Westerns were far and away the most popular films in Kuwait (and, indeed, the whole Arabian Peninsular).

    Men on horseback, herds of livestock, guns, revenge, raids, fueding, vast arid landscapes…these were all things that my people (not far removed from an existence of pastoralism and raiding and blood-feud) could instantly identify with.

    Ask any desert Arab of my generation who Cary Grant or Rock Hudson were and like as not, you’ll get a blank look. Mention Gary Cooper, John Wayne, Clint Eastwod or Randolph Scott and they’ll reel off a list of films.

  11. InvisibleJack permalink
    September 15, 2009 10:09 PM


    His hair is thick with sand.
    Watch the sun crawl,
    a white spider down the sky.
    Minor spades,
    a Jack of clubs, time to die.

    The spittoon’s full
    of cowboy phlegm,
    while straw and splinters
    seed the air.
    An injun woman pours
    a scorpion’s dream,
    and in his lung
    that hidden knot of hair
    she’d twisted in
    will tie him to the chair.

    An Ace lies hidden
    at his crotch;
    he fumbles in his waistcoat
    for his watch.
    Eyes bright as whiskey
    see through to his lie,
    feel the sun crawl,
    a white spider down the sky.
    Minor spades,
    a Jack of clubs, time to die.

  12. mishari permalink*
    September 15, 2009 10:13 PM

    Great stuff, Jack. I could smell the sawdust and feel the oppressive, crushing heat, hear the sound of slapped leather as a man goes for his Peacemaker…

  13. InvisibleJack permalink
    September 15, 2009 10:18 PM

    Apologies Mishari

    I composed this straight onto the comment box and missed the typo in the final line of the second stanza. I wonder if the good Ed would change “tied” to “tie”. ……..Jack Brae [Done–Ed.]

  14. September 15, 2009 10:50 PM

    The Western is just one costume worn by a kind of story which has been told since way, way back. I dimly recall at university studying the 12th century French chansons de geste and thinking “Hang on a minute: lone stranger rides into town, defeats evil barons, rides away leaving townsfolk wondering who he was – sounds familiar.” You can tell those stories in Western dress or modern or set them in outer space, people will still want them for the foreseeable future.

  15. MeltonMowbray permalink
    September 15, 2009 11:04 PM

    I ain’t looking for fame
    it means nothing to me
    I’m the man with no name.

    I don’t make any claim
    on ballad or story
    I ain’t looking for fame.

    I stay out of the frame,
    I watch on quietly:
    I’m the man with no name.

    Young or old, dude or dame,
    if I think you’re guilty,
    I ain’t looking for fame,

    I ain’t playing a game,
    and you’re going to see
    I’m the man with no name

    and I’ll kill you the same
    rancher, cowboy or Cree.
    I ain’t looking for fame,
    I’m the man with no name.

  16. mishari permalink*
    September 15, 2009 11:16 PM

    You’re absolutely right, of course, Zeph. You can see the bare-bones of any Western in the stories of antiquity. I think what perhaps makes Westerns especially appealing is that it’s a period almost within living memory.

    I mean, we actually have photographs of Billy The Kid, etc. Consequently, people (including me) rather simplistically regard the Old West as something of a lost Elysium…

    Bravo, MM…the first cowboy villanelle.

  17. MeltonMowbray permalink
    September 15, 2009 11:32 PM

    I don’t think it really makes sense.

    How did Lawrence of Arabia go down in Kuwait? The film, I mean.

  18. mishari permalink*
    September 15, 2009 11:38 PM

    LOA was viewed with great amusement. Lawrence is hardly known in the Arab world and his and Britain’s playing kingmaker (the Al-Hashemi family of Mecca ended up on the thrones of Iraq and Jordan) was a bit of a sideshow for us, quite frankly.

    Of far more interest and consequence was the career of Abdul-Aziz ibn Al-Saud, who we (the Kuwaitis) sheltered when he was a hunted man and supported in his subsequent conquest of the country he gave his name to. The Al-Hashemis were regarded (rightly) as mere British puppets.

  19. September 15, 2009 11:55 PM

    Great shots of the desert, though.

    Funnily enough, I think part of the appeal of LOA for Brit audiences is that it is a kind of Western – lone warrior on quest in wide-open and dangerous land. The scene where the Omar Sharif character first appears could easily be the black-clad young gunslinger riding in off the plains. Nobody ever remembers the politics, they just enjoy the getting-across-the-terrifying-hot-place bits and the battles with thousands of real, non-CGI extras.

  20. mishari permalink*
    September 16, 2009 12:05 AM

    Oh, don’t get me wrong, Zeph…it’s an absolutely gorgeous film to look at, quite ravishing. I think that deserts almost always film well. I think they have that elegant, minimalist beauty that transcends time and place. I’m sure you’re right and that its appeal to a British audience was very similiar to that of a film like Shane or The Searchers…only the cowboys have tea-towels on their heads…

  21. MeltonMowbray permalink
    September 16, 2009 12:20 AM

    Some of the filming was impressive, though I’ve always found O’Toole unbearable. I’m glad it provoked amusement rather than outrage. Seeing it now I’m sure it would be fairly cringeworthy.

    Catching up I just saw your very generous dispatching of Mad Men etc. Thanks very much. I don’t know Reinhardt’s stuff well, so should be interesting.

  22. September 16, 2009 12:20 AM

    I think there might be a future for the desert Western. (perhaps there’s already a whole genre of which I’m ignorant, in which case apologies). A few years back I saw a great documentary which included some very cool young Bedouin whose business was smuggling. Wearing traditional dress, living in tents, but they said the most useful thing from the modern world was the Toyota Land Cruiser because you could shift more cigarettes. Definitely living the frontier life and not too bothered about the law.

  23. September 16, 2009 12:24 AM

    MM, I’ve seen it a few times in recent years for various reasons – it’s the casting which embarrasses now, the script is ‘of its time’ and creaks a bit but is but still OK, but Anthony Quinn! even Alec Guinness, great actor but please…

  24. mishari permalink*
    September 16, 2009 12:36 AM

    I watched Omar Sharif as Ghengiz Khan the other day (hungover Sunday viewing). He was risible enough but the other Mongols, Stephen Boyd and others, looked like California beach bums and Robert Morley as the Emperor of China had me giggling.

    Mind you, I seem to remember John Wayne playing Ghengiz…priceless,…as was Quinn playing Nanook of the North. Actually the subject of mis-casting is worth a post of its own…

  25. September 16, 2009 12:46 AM

    Hollywood didn’t know what to do with Sharif, did they, obviously a star but inconveniently Egyptian.
    As for Quinn, it seems as if they thought being a bit Mexican he could play any kind of, y’know, foreigner… blimey, I just looked him up to check the Mexican bit and discovered he studied architecture under Frank Lloyd Wright.

  26. pinkroom permalink
    September 16, 2009 12:52 AM

    Liking that one Jack… I have just noted a correlation between the decline of the Western genre and the decline in playing cards socially (as oppossed to all that internet poker malarkey.)

    Back in the day most people enjoyed a decent horse opera, a few drinks/smokes and a game of cards… where did that all go?

    Haven’t seen those two recent Westerns… last I saw was “Tombstone” I think… a good 10/15 years ago. it was ok but the moustaches didn’t look right. They all got too gritty for me. The Westerns I liked were the good guy, bad guy (even better if they were brothers or old pals) good gal (blonde curls, teaches sunday school), tramp with a heart type. Throw in a bad ass Mexican, an old-timer and a trigger happy punk kid, together with stock footage of Commanches massing and I’m there. Each to their own but Clint was the end of the line, rather than some brave new beginning for me me… from 70s on much preferred him in Dirty Harry’s polyester suits than a poncho.

    An Actress’s Obituary

    Within the genre of the Western film
    she had seen it all
    having played the old maid,
    chaperone or old-lady by-stander
    from stock casting
    in over one hundred Westerns straight.

    Almost invisable
    in her Victorian organza,
    or homespun and hand-knit
    frontier garb; a variety
    of fans and pince-nez
    and one serviceable carpet-bag.

    Sharing wagon trains, storefronts
    and stagecoaches
    with Roy Rogers through
    to Clint Eastwood,
    her moments of dialogue
    seldom amounted to much
    beyond a line per film.

    Forty-two “How dare you’s”
    Sixteen, “Well don’t just sit there’s”
    Ten, “Well aint yer gonna kiss her’s”
    and one, very famous “Dagnabbit!”

    She knew her role well.
    To pad out the cast.
    To provide a foil
    to the young male lead
    an opportunity for him
    to look virile and impudent.
    To add moments of humour
    and pathos
    and heart-warming approval.

    My job, she once said,
    is to sit right down in the audience
    with the paying folks
    onlt when I give permission to kiss the girl
    or shoot down the villain like a dog
    can they truly enjoy
    those moments.

    John Wayne had been her favourite
    of course;
    he had a way of taking her
    by the waist
    to a place of greater safety
    or to allow him greater freedom
    to seize the girl
    in a single swing.

    “Yep.. The Duke was special…
    no ways around that.”

    Initially playing women far older than herself,
    she eventually grew into
    the roles she played,
    but never lost that signature twinkle,
    that were she forty,
    or even thirty, years younger…

    After a brief illness
    she died, as she did in thirty-seven
    of her films
    not from an indian arrow
    or a stray round from a gunfight
    but peaceably
    in bed.

  27. mishari permalink*
    September 16, 2009 1:28 AM

    Quinn studied under FLW? Wow…that’s a real startler.

    We’ll have to disagree, PR. I like the grittier Westerns. I think the move towards, if not ‘realism’ then at least a stab at authenticity, is the way to go.

    I’m afraid Roy Rogers et al and all those clean-living cowpokes who behaved like they’d been to Miss Manners School For Etiquette were long past their sell-by date. I absolutely loved Deadwood, a show I suspect Roy and Audie and Big John and Randolph would have rather died than appeared in.

    Love the poem, PR. It sounds like it might be a synopsis of the career of Joan Blondell or Agnes Moorehead, someone like that. Great stuff…funny and touching.

  28. InvisibleJack permalink
    September 16, 2009 2:13 AM

    Nice poem PR, good to find it here before retiring for the night. I got stubborn this evening with Poster Poems as I’ve been finding the subject of rocks simply uninspiring, and I forced myself to compose a villanelle. Just posted it awhile ago, but now it’s definitely way past my bed time. I won’t sleep but I need the rest anyway.

    Jack Brae

  29. September 16, 2009 7:18 AM

    I’m mostly a Leone man; he was left out – for some reason – of Rich Hall’s entertaining documentary on the changes in the western mirroring the American c20th. I’ve seen High Plains Drifter (not one of SL’s, I know) a dozen times and could watch it a hundred more. Saw Pale Rider the other day, after maybe 15 years. Remembered it as a near-copy of HPD but it’s more like Paint Your Wagon – comically gentle, perhaps an attempt at atonement for Dirty Harry?

  30. mishari permalink*
    September 16, 2009 8:33 AM

    It’s worth pointing out that the first proper movie made in America was a Western. This is from

    One of the milestones in film history was the first narrative film, The Great Train Robbery (1903), directed and photographed by Edwin S. Porter – a former Thomas Edison cameraman. It was a primitive one-reeler action picture, about 10 minutes long, with 14-scenes, filmed in November 1903 – not in the western expanse of Wyoming but on the East Coast in various locales in New Jersey (at Edison’s New York studio, at Essex County Park in New Jersey, and along the Lackawanna railroad).

    The precursor to the western film genre was based on an 1896 story by Scott Marble. The film’s title was also the same as a popular contemporary stage melodrama. It was the most popular and commercially successful film of the pre-nickelodeon era, and established the notion that film could be a commercially-viable medium.

    The film was originally advertised as “a faithful duplication of the genuine ‘Hold Ups’ made famous by various outlaw bands in the far West.” The plot was inspired by a true event that occurred on August 29, 1900, when four members of George Leroy Parker’s (Butch Cassidy) ‘Hole in the Wall’ gang halted the No. 3 train on the Union Pacific Railroad tracks toward Table Rock, Wyoming. The bandits forced the conductor to uncouple the passenger cars from the rest of the train and then blew up the safe in the mail car to escape with about $5,000 in cash.

    The film used a number of innovative techniques, many of them for the first time, including parallel editing, minor camera movement, location shooting and less stage-bound camera placement. Jump-cuts or cross-cuts were a new, sophisticated editing technique, showing two separate lines of action or events happening continuously at identical times but in different places.

    The film is intercut from the bandits beating up the telegraph operator (scene one) to the operator’s daughter discovering her father (scene ten), to the operator’s recruitment of a dance hall posse (scene eleven), to the bandits being pursued (scene twelve), and splitting up the booty and having a final shoot-out (scene thirteen).

    The film also employed the first pan shots (in scenes eight and nine), and the use of an ellipsis (in scene eleven). Rather than follow the telegraph operator to the dance, the film cut directly to the dance where the telegraph operator enters.

    It was also the first film in which gunshots forced someone to dance (in scene eleven) – an oft-repeated, cliched action in many westerns. And the spectacle of the fireman (replaced by a dummy with a jump cut in scene four) being thrown off the moving train was a first in screen history.

    In the film’s fourteen scenes, a narrative story with multiple plot lines was told – with elements that were copied repeatedly afterwards by future westerns – of a train holdup with six-shooters, a daring robbery accompanied by violence and death, a hastily-assembled posse’s chase on horseback after the fleeing bandits, and the apprehension of the desperadoes after a showdown in the woods. The steam locomotive always provided a point of reference from different filming perspectives.

    The first cowboy star, Gilbert M. ‘Broncho Billy’ Anderson played several roles: a bandit, a wounded passenger, and a tenderfoot dancer. The remarkable film was greeted with the same kind of fanfare that Sam Peckinpah’s violent The Wild Bunch (1969) received many years later.

  31. mishari permalink*
    September 16, 2009 9:41 AM

    I’ve just received an email from Al’s old FBI pal Robert S. Meuller III. It’s so (unintentionally) amusing that I thought it worth posting in full. I am not kidding or joking:


    DATE: 10-14 2009
    Attn: sir

    We got your mail, we are not kidding or joking as Federal Commission we are here to protect your interest and of all the United State citizens as well as World at large, so we are not joking or kidding. You have been investigated as the beneficiary of the said fund that is why you are in touch with the FBI for a solid proof before the fund will be release to you.

    The said funds is now in U.S Bank in your name which has been placed embargo under the custody of the FBI for further verification and proof before releasing the fund to you. You do not have this document in your files; if you did the fund would not have been hold. We did not believe this at first, but when we saw the transfer we had no option than to contact you.

    We have gone through your Identification record and also the information’s received from you, we have verified a lot of things about you. It has come to the attention of our Money Trafficking Investigation Department (MTID) that you have some fund valued at U.S $10 Million to your name; the said payment is awaiting adjudication and crediting to Sasha Pinkard instead. This fund is from Inheritance ‘willed ‘ from C.B.N Bank Nigeria precisely.

    With full concern of The F.B.I and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) wish to remind you of the consequences of remitting such huge sums of money without complying fully with the provisions of the Financial and Allied Matters Decree 5 as amended in sub-section C (6) of 2003, which stipulates that any monitory transaction been done in the United States Of America, must have proper records, which duly guarantees and covers the transaction as legitimate and legally acquired and not criminally or terrorist associated funds. This is due to ongoing terrorist activities/economic crimes and against the United Nation (UN).

    Note that with the information’s we have here, the fund in your name here was release from Federal Republic of Nigeria. To this regard you are to contact the EFCC Nigeria where the fund was release from so that they will issue you the required document because they are the only people that can issue you the document. Nobody else have the right or privilege to issue you this document unless the EFCC Nigeria. You are under an observational /Investigational in connection with money laundering. If your funds comes from a legitimate and legal source, the proper guidelines for you to recover the right of transaction is for you to provide the official monitory transaction release document so that your funds will be legally processed and recorded and accounted for and then finally released to you.

    FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION (ANTI-TERRORIST AND MONEY LAUNDERING DEPARTMENT) is here to wipe out terrorism, and will stop at no length in doing our duty for the World. You have 72 hours to produce legal proof of the below frozen wired transaction number coded: SPinkard008 owned. You do not have any rights to receive this fund if the documented legal wire information is not complete.

    For your own good and benefit, you are advice not to send your money to anybody accept the below person that will get the document for you. It has come to our notice that scammers are online looking who to devour regarding the present transaction, with the power imposed on us as a High Federal Commission, you are hereby warn and instruct to terminate your involvement with any body or individual contacting you regarding this present transaction. The said funds is now in our custody in your name as the beneficiary, your dealings should be channel to this office alone, if we find out you are still communicating with imposters we will not be responsible for any money to sent to them.

    The very heart of FBI operations lies in our investigations–which serve, as our mission states, ‘to protect and defend the United States against terrorist and foreign intelligence threats and to enforce the criminal laws of the United States.’ So follow our instructions properly to avoid any action before you. We currently have jurisdiction over violations of more than 200 categories of Federal Law. So you can see that we can track any incoming fund down through our Investigative programs. We have your address and the evidence and status of your wired funds.

    You don’t have the required document on your possession, this document are only to be issue to you from the paying country Nigeria, to this regards you are advice to contact the EFCC Nigeria to obtain the document from them to enable the immediate release of the funds in your name.

    We have done our verification on your FBI Identification Record with fund Security Number, the only document left is the required Diplomatic Immunity Seal Of Transfer (DIST) which should be issue to you from the paying country of the said fund, you are to contact the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) Nigeria to obtain the above required document, find below their contact information’s:

    Contact Person: REV DR PAUL ADAMS
    Open phone number: +44 7024028664

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    Warning: Failure to produce the above requirement in the next 72 hours, legal action will be taken immediately by confiscating your fund, justification and if found illegal, your fund will be confiscated for terrorism, drug trafficking and money laundering is a serious problem in our World today. The F.B.I will not stop at any length in tracking down and prosecuting any criminal who indulge in this criminal act. Forward the document to us via email attachment as soon as you obtain it.

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    So, ‘You are under an observational /Investigational in connection with money laundering’…shit…time to grow a beard and head for Rio, I guess.

  32. parallax permalink
    September 16, 2009 2:22 PM

    Ah yes TC, the only game is to keep playing. For sure.

    So, before we go back to saloon doors, cacti, and Clint – I just want to commend Mishari for creating a coffee shop that accommodates art and gossip.

    TC, how do you reckon Keats became renown for his poetry – or Byron for that matter? – it wasn’t just determined by the wealth of their words surely? What they had to say was compounded by/with the notoriety of their soap-opera-lives, and then (whoa) out of the blue the combination created *celebrity*

    Anyway, sorry if dg is known to you and you’re being chivalrous.

    MM – it doesn’t matter if dg is a professor of World Cryptic Lit- at the Notre Do[n Brown]mination University or if I’m a comfortable incumbent of Sydney UniSilver Budgie Chair of Lit*: it’s more to do with what we/you/they say in blog disguise, not who you/we/they are that taps it on the key board. Academic success is not immune to the cream rises/shit floats phenomenon.

    As for atf’s gender re-alignment – I’m more inclined to believe Des than say … Wordy, for example.

    Ten bucks to whoever asks atf outright and gets a straight answer.

    Right – back to thinking cowboys … yeehah!


  33. mishari permalink*
    September 16, 2009 2:47 PM

    Well, that was my point, para…Pol Hom is not the Grove of Academe or even the foothills of Olympus…it’s more like your neighbourhood bar. Yer gets yer high-falutin’ lit crit-type chat and yer gets yer gossip and petty point scoring.

    Terence would have understood-‘I am a man, and whatever concerns humanity is of interest to me.’

    Likewise, I’m sure…

  34. parallax permalink
    September 16, 2009 3:24 PM

  35. parallax permalink
    September 16, 2009 3:42 PM

    There’s spaghetti westerns, there’s Hotel California … and then there’s Antonio Banderas playing Desperado:

  36. mishari permalink*
    September 16, 2009 8:37 PM

    There’s spaghetti westerns and then there’s:

  37. MeltonMowbray permalink
    September 16, 2009 11:39 PM

    Well now, it must have been a Saturday,
    When Brewster and his wife rode out to pay
    A visit to his Daddy’s place, which stands
    Somewhere close by those Comanche lands.
    They should a got back on that Sunday night,
    But their ranch-house never showed a light.
    A week went by, and then another one,
    No-one knew where Brewster and his wife had gone.
    Then Brewster came riding back into town,
    Went in the saloon and sat himself down,
    Where you bin? we yelled, and got him a drink,
    He took a massive slug that made him blink.
    It’s like this, he said, we was on the trail
    When we found some Injuns was on our tail.
    They took us back to their wickiups,
    Gave us a meal and goshdarnit great cups
    Of vintage maize wine. What, no castration?
    No, he said, it was a cool situation,
    And we would a stayed longer given the chance,
    But they had to do their annual ghost dance.
    Anyways, the chief says he’ll let us go,
    But Injun lore says he has got to show
    That the Great Spirit has received his divs
    By removing something from the captives.
    But, since we’ve got on very amiably,
    He’s going to leave the choosing to me.
    Yee-hah! we all shouted with one voice,
    Come on now, Brewster, so what was your choice?
    Then he said, without a trace of remorse,
    Well, I like my wife… but I love my horse.

  38. freep permalink
    September 16, 2009 11:58 PM

    Mind How You Cross Elk Creek
    (after Ogden Nash and whisky)

    I say old chap, I’m in rather a hurry
    Might you inform me, (O, what an exquisite and unconscionably large revolver) of the time of the next stagecoach to Byfleet, Surrey?
    I’ve never been in these rugged and uncultivated parts before;
    Pleased to meet you. Name’s Charles Augustus Henry Leveson-Gower.

    This here’s the road to the bone orchard.
    It’s kinda rocky, kinda awkward.
    Round these parts we only got cowskulls and tumbleweed for mulch
    And the place youse in we call Dead Man’s Gulch.

    Deeply obliged to you. How picturesque!
    I must say how grotesque-
    ly entertaining I find your language.
    Would you know where, as it appears I may have to wait a while, a fellow might toddle off to and get hold of a tolerable toothsome sandwich?

    All you kin get round here is grits or wilderness pie
    An you better kiss yo stagecoach theory goodbye

    Delectable phrasing. What a workmanlike nag you have there, with such a colourful embroidered throw, emphasizing its qualities both lean and athletic;
    I suppose you are an enthusiast of the unadorned, forceful – and, perhaps we might venture, Doric – Western aesthetic?

    Mister, I kinda taken a dislike to the words that come a-treacling outa your bazoo,
    So I’m a-gonna take your neck and put it inside of the cruel ring of my lasso.
    Take the wig off your foolish head and place the latter inside of this here noose.
    I’m unofficial assistant deputy acting marshal in these parts and (if I don’t string you up on the bough of that dead cottonwood tree), I’m a-goin’ to consign you to the inside of my most insanitary calaboose.

    My dear sir, I’m sure you’re familiar with the fundamentals of the criminal law which suggest that a chap should, rather than endure a presumption of guilt, be deemed a trifle innocent;
    I would be in your debt if you will enlarge upon the reasoning which has led you to regard me as some kind of ill-deserving and criminal miscreant.

    Over yonder is Cow Canyon. It’s dark and it’s deep.
    You’ll find it’s a good place to moan and to sleep,
    It’s a place where nobody will hear none of your words;
    You can lie there and wait for the stagecoach of the Lord.


  39. mishari permalink*
    September 17, 2009 12:04 AM

    Pardner, you steal a feller’s wife he might shoot you or buy you a drink, no tellin’ which…but you steal a man’s horse and they’ll hang you sure as shit. Great stuff.

    BTW, lots of extra space on the DVD so I burned a couple of films (Sunset Boulevard, which you can never see too many times in my opinion and District 9, which I haven’t watched but my boys liked and has had excellent reviews) and a 1997 JJ Cale 2-CD anthology called Any Way The Wind Blows.

    Great new (as far as I know) coinage by Jonathan Meades: snoutcasts i.e. all those people like me that you see standing outside pubs, restaurants, etc, sucking on ciggies…

    Brilliant, freep…Bertie Wooster meets Judge Roy Bean…

  40. MeltonMowbray permalink
    September 17, 2009 12:31 AM

    Thanks. It’s been a while since I watched SB. Okie is often on the turntable, but it’s the only Cale I have.
    I don’t find it particularly soporific, which I remember was a major cause of complaint in the long-ago.

    Top-class, freep.

  41. mishari permalink*
    September 17, 2009 11:06 AM

    Hell For Leather

    Wanted-young, skinny, wiry fellows, not over 20. Must be expert riders, and are willing to risk their lives for the job. Orphans preferred. Wages twenty five dollars a week.— Ad placed by Central Overland California and Pikes Peak Express Company in California Newspapers, March,1860

    A banner hangs across the crowded lot:
    “Happy 90th Birthday, Johnny Fry!”
    A vivid splash of red, white and blue
    Against a paler Sacramento sky
    “Central Valley’s Biggest Ford Dealership.
    Serving Sacramento 1910-1935”

    His eyes may be dulled and filmy but
    He can see the past clear as day;
    Even now he can hear old Murdo say:
    Next of kin? and his 15 year-old self
    Reply Ain’t got none. The catechism:
    Weight? Around 110. Kin ye ride?
    Anything on legs.
    Through time’s prism
    Murdo nodded: Well, we’ll see.

    Out to the corral, Murdo in his old
    Union cavalry hat said Pick one.
    He saw barely broke broncs and
    Picked a piebald filly with a long neck.
    Murdo tossed him a lariat and pointed
    To a pile of cracked saddles and worn
    Saddle-cloths: Git to it, son.

    He roped her and turned, he made
    To walk away from her, giving her slack
    Her ears pricked up, she looked at his back
    And took a few steps toward him. He began
    To speak softly, like a man soothing a griping
    Baby. Come on , honey, I’m yer friend, sure
    That’s right, I ain’t gonna hurt you, you can
    Bet to that
    , drawing her towards him.

    Later, Murdo said $25 a week, we provide a gun
    And a Bible an’ if’n you don’t get scalped
    Or bushwacked or elected President, I reckon
    You’ll do
    and gave him a $5 gold coin, the first
    He’d ever seen. Reckon you’ll have a thirst.
    Go on, git. I’ll see you in the mornin’.

    In the saloon, a man in a fancy weskit told him
    He was a herald of progress and though he didn’t
    Rightly know what that meant, he liked the sound
    Of it; if anyone asked, that’s what he’d say:
    You a Pony Express rider, son? No, sir, I’m a herald
    Of progress
    . It sounded special, like something fine.

    He thought of the time he got jumped by a Commanche
    Raiding party, coming through South Pass, how he prayed
    To a God he didn’t much believe in that the roan mustang
    Wouldn’t founder or spook or step in a gopher hole and how
    He’d come over the rise and seen Fort Bridger up ahead
    And almost cried with relief as the shouts and cat-calls
    Of the braves faded behind him and he rode through the gates
    And fell into the arms of a cavalry sargeant who said:
    You’ll be wantin’ a fresh mount, I reckon.

    Mr. Fry? His secretary, nice lookin’ gal.The guests are here, sir
    He stands up slowly and straightens his back, creaking and popping
    Like an old wagon.Can anyone else hear those noises or is it just me?
    He sees his sons, elderly men now and his grandsons and their placid
    Dull-eyed wives and his great-grandchildren itching to get at the cake.

    And he wishes he were young and poor and hungry again, just to take
    The old trail: Fort Laramie, Wyoming, then along the Sweetwater River,
    Past Independence Rock, Devil’s Gate, and Split Rock, to Fort Caspar
    To feel a good horse beneath him, a world away from today, the today
    Of overwhelming softness: soft people, soft lives, weak desires and then
    He smiles: oh, don’t you worry, son; that horse’ll be along presently
    To carry you off to a place you ain’t never seen before. Bet to it.

  42. MeltonMowbray permalink
    September 17, 2009 11:45 AM

    Winchester 73 of a poem, pardner: Little Big Man rides again.

  43. mishari permalink*
    September 17, 2009 12:08 PM

    Thanks, MM. I never thought Cale was soporific, just understated. Some critic, back in the 70’s, called him the ‘ghost of electricity’. He’s a virtuoso guitarist but you have to listen.

    He’s not flashy or loud, he doesn’t grab your lapels and shriek LISTEN TO THIS but he’s wonderful, nonetheless. I think you’ll enjoy the compilation. I have all (I think) of his LPs. I’ll burn them all to a disk and pass them along. Naturally (1971), Really (1972) and Troubador (1975) are really essential, along with Okie.

  44. MeltonMowbray permalink
    September 17, 2009 12:22 PM

    Well, the state of mind of those listening to JJ didn’t help. Mellow isn’t the word.

    Fantastic post from atf on potw. I’ve never felt more proud to be English.

  45. mishari permalink*
    September 17, 2009 12:33 PM

    Jesus…nothing like a balanced, thoughtful assessment, eh? I’m so glad s/he’s not given to witless, bigoted generalisations…

  46. HenryLloydMoon permalink
    September 17, 2009 1:01 PM

    but we gonna win
    the world cup next year in sarf
    africa innit

  47. mishari permalink*
    September 17, 2009 1:12 PM

    Howdy, HLM AKA The Existentialist Kid. I was wondering when you and yer cayuse were goin’ to mosey over to the Bar PH. It gets mighty lonesome out here on the rollin’ blog prairie with just Mowbray AKA The Two Popguns and A Buspass Kid fer company…

  48. freep permalink
    September 17, 2009 1:14 PM

    Great stuff, boys. Orphans preferred indeed. Forgot to include in my poem the phrase ‘ornery critter’ which I assume is the essential marker of true cowboy sensibility. Mish, I loved the Japanese cowpokes who stressed the teamwork aspect of life in the saddle. I must say I agree with atf about the decline in standards since the time of James I. Once the Divine Right of Kings went, well, you couldn’t trust anyone really. In fact I saw a boy reading a comic today, and when I remonstrated with him about the duties and reponsibilities of the young towards both their education and their betters, he revealed that he was concealing a book behind the Dandy – it was the letters of the Elder Pliny. I told him that sort of underhand and furtive behaviour was disgraceful, and sent him on his way. There is no hope for civilisation.

  49. freep permalink
    September 17, 2009 3:03 PM

    Buspass Kid. I like it, you whippersnapper. But off tomorrow to a couple of Hebridean islands, where no buses ply. Barra, Eriskay, Mingulay. Might collect some poems on the wild Atlantic shores. Or more likely aggravate my arthritis, piles, dim vision, hearing loss, gum shrinkage, baldness, senility and bladder failure.

  50. mishari permalink*
    September 17, 2009 4:39 PM

    Plastic surgeons are increasingly seeing once shy men pay out to have their embarrassing ‘moobs’ reduced.

    Latest figures were highlighted by the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) as it met in Cardiff, south Wales, today at the start of its two-day annual conference. –Indy, today

    BAAPS? (hahahah…erm..cough…cough)… really?

  51. pinkroom permalink
    September 17, 2009 9:12 PM

    Cowboy worked the nightshift
    never made a fuss
    Cowboy rode the trail home
    on the 35A bus.

    Cowboy split his wages
    with Maureen, his lady wife
    “…first hundred’s for the missus
    the rest is for my life.”

    Tuesday’s back in Bobbersmill,
    Burning Wagon Night.
    Five pints of mild to start the day
    Clock on and spark a light.

    “Doctor says I shouldn’t smoke
    but too late now to stop,
    I wanted t’be like big John Wayne,
    I’ll die of what he got.

    But funny thing, about The Duke,
    it wa’n’t the fags that killed,
    but location shots for “Ghengis Khan”
    where A’ bomb dust was breathed.”

    Cowboy’s got a cancer,
    Cowboy’s going hoarse,
    “Just patch me up and set me,
    back out upon my course…

    and light me up a lucky,
    at sunrise I will ride,
    back home upon the morning bus,
    back home to Maureen’s side.”

  52. MeltonMowbray permalink
    September 17, 2009 11:40 PM

    It was in the summer of ’63,
    in a heat that was hotter than the sun’s,
    this cowboy and me
    we planted a tree
    in the valley where the Sweat River runs.

    We worked like dogs in that roasting weather,
    we were stripped off near down to the buff,
    all guys together
    in chaps and leather
    we lifted and twisted and stretched and stuff.

    And when the sun had finally flayed
    our hides with the power of its rod,
    we went in the shade
    he pulled out his spade
    and began thrusting it into the sod.

    He dug it, I dug it, we dug it both
    our interest in gardening was clear,
    and we swore an oath
    to personal growth
    and that we’d come out again every year.

  53. MeltonMowbray permalink
    September 17, 2009 11:52 PM

    A strangely touching number, pr. Wayne did seem to be a bit of an obsession with an older generation of Englishmen, no doubt envying his outspoken commonsensicality when contrasted with their own circumscribed lives. I relished Barry Norman’s account of an argument with him, when the Duke lost it after being outfoxed by a pointy-headed liberal intellectual. True grit.

  54. pinkroom permalink
    September 18, 2009 7:20 AM

    yep. Imagine the fur n feathers should The Duke have ever come across atf… a battle of titans to put The Quiet Man punch-up to shame. my money would be on atf for sheer tenacity.

  55. mishari permalink*
    September 18, 2009 7:51 AM

    I don’t feel we did wrong in taking this great country away from them. There were great numbers of people who needed new land, and the Indians were selfishly trying to keep it for themselves.— John Wayne

    For that alone, I hope atf bites his testicles off…

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