BY MARK HOBSON –
One of the things that I have managed to master over the years is the art of keeping my mouth shut. Unfortunately, last Friday, I suffered a serious lack of judgment & didn’t. (I could blame it on the end of a long work week & that I may have relaxed as the quittin’ time whistle was about to blow.) Yes, it was on this day that I chose to address my thoughts on the boss’s editorial in The Pulse. Instead of grabbing my coat, driving home, making a peanut butter sam’ich & taking a siesta, I spoke… “Hey, your editorials are great but can you find a more entertaining topic?” Holy guacamole! I guess I kicked the dog because the claws came out and all the ladies poured from their offices and flooded the hallway. At this point, a clear thinking gentleman would have devised a hasty retreat… I obviously was not thinking clearly… maybe I was experiencing a diabetic funk… I continued, “You know, something other than religion, bunny rabbits, rainbows and purple berry flavored smoke?” My memory is not what it used to be and so the conversation gets fuzzy from here, but in the end, the gauntlet had been thrown & someone said, “If you can do better… yada yada yada”… A dare really… I tried to crawfish but it was too late.
So hear I sit, pen in hand… should I try to save the world? I could fill you in on the story of the bi-polar Mena monkey with an amputated tail… or something about our mountains, clear streams, wildlife or some other generally positive topic. For the biggest bang I could voice my opinion on the local political scene or I could take a shotgun approach & just spray the whole room…
When I was a ‘whipper-snapper,’ I got saved at a summer revival & a few days later was baptized in the Little Missouri River at flood stage… raised on quartet tunes, hunting stories & colorful sawmill language… Yes, I got suspended from school one time for punching that dude behind me in English class. He deserved it & I don’t regret it.. It was this atmosphere that shaped me, some say twisted me, into the fun, bacon lovin’ so and so I am today.
“I been in two wars & one world’s fair but I ain’t never heard nothing like that…” When I was a kid I used to be fascinated by them old farts who sat on the Spit & Whittle Bench. It wasn’t their crusty appearance or their colorful conversation… I was waiting for the wreck… their size 9 work boots, that pile of shavins or the many wads of saliva soaked Red Man on the ground right outside the front door were sure to cause a disruption in traffic flow… I waited for the wreck. Is that why folks listen to me on the radio? Are you waiting for the wreck? This mish mash of gospel music & drinkin’ tunes… my sometimes offensive ramblings mixed with numerous minute messages from those filled with the holy spirit…. colorful locals without a filter & others whose neck swells when I turn on the mic… a wreck will surely happen & when it does there will be boot leather, hand hewn clothes pins & chewing tobacco everywhere! When I told Daddy on that deer stand in 1980 that I wanted to make radio a career I had no idea what I was saying… that it would lead to this… Some say “That goofy ******* ain’t right!” Can you believe they trust me with an open microphone? I mean really… it doesn’t say a great deal about the intelligence of the big wigs at this joint who let me speak with minimal guidelines on the cotton pickin’ radio.
Having said all that, I guess I should focus and get to the point, the topic of my diatribe, which, you may have guessed, I have forgotten at this point. Well, I am sure it will come to me… probably when I go to bed tonight… or tomorrow when I forget where I parked or when I am trying to remember why I came to town in the first place! If you’re lucky, I will write it down so that the next time I open my big fat mouth it will be at my finger tips & I’ll be ready to save the world or at least a few jake leg yahoo’s like me….