Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Security not made for cowboys

Shorty got his name when he was a 2-year old squirt they didn’t think would grow tall at all. He’s 6-feet-4.

Awhile back he ended up having to go to court over an enviro-induced question of law. You know — one of those deals where they decided he should move his cattle because a cute little animal that had been getting along with the cattle real fine for 65 years might be endangered by those very same cattle.

So Shorty got in his old pickup and trekked to town — actually a city complete with concrete, pavement and tall buildings. Shorty finally found a parking place and walked into the federal courthouse — one of those tall buildings.

There in the lobby, big as life, was one of those airport security-type deals with a peefy, sniffy-acting little guy directing traffic through it.

So Shorty got in line behind several city folks. It moved along fairly fast. When it came Shorty’s turn Mr. Sniffy looked up and said, “Oh, no. Not another cowboy.”

The machine buzzed and carried on when Shorty walked through. He’d been in airports lately, so he emptied his pockets into the guy’s little dish. He wished he’d known ahead of time what was going on when Mr. Sniffy confiscated his good Barlow pocket knife.

Again, the machine had a hissy fit, so Mr. Sniffy got out his little wand. It sounded off all the way up and down Shorty’s body.

“It’s probably my belt buckle,” Shorty said, and took off his belt, hoping his pants didn’t slip down.

No luck. The thing made just as much racket. Mr. Sniffy stopped at his boots. “Do those boots have steel shanks?” he wanted to know. Well, yes, they did, so off they came, which wasn’t easy with no bootjack. That quieted the wand when it passed by Shorty’s feet, but it still didn’t like the rest of him.

Mr. Sniffy insisted Shorty empty his shirt pockets. Didn’t help. Finally, he looked closely at Shorty’s Western shirt with pearl snaps. “Those things have metal parts. Better just take off your shirt,” Mr. Sniffy said.

By then an audience had gathered, and suggestions were coming fast, some of them not really wholesome. Shorty now had on socks, underwear, sagging britches and his hat. The wand didn’t like his hat.

“What’s in that?” Mr. Sniffy asked suspiciously.

“Nothing. It’s just a regular old Bailey U-Roll it straw hat,” Shorty said. Before he got the last words out he knew — the wire in the hat’s brim. So that came off, too. At last, the wand didn’t screech — but a few folks in the audience did.

Shorty has been thinking about this and he has an idea, which I’m passing along. Next time the feds and enviros get together for a court case, all the cowboys and cowgirls should make sure they are first in line when the building opens in the morning, and insist that the judges pass through the security deal just like everyone else — in the interest of political correctness, of course. They can’t win these farces, but they could sure cause a bunch of disruption and delay.