Saturday, January 28, 2012


Postoffice Divan, Laramie City, W. T.,
October 1, 1883.
To the President of the United States:


I beg leave at this time to officially tender my resignation as postmaster at this place, and in due form to deliver the great seal and the key to the front door of the office. The safe combination is set on the numbers 33, 66 and 99, though I do not remember at this moment which comes first, or how many times you revolve the knob, or which direction you should turn it first in order to make it operate.

There is some mining stock in my private drawer in the safe, which I have not yet removed. This stock you may have, if you desire it. It is a luxury, but you may have it. I have decided to keep a horse instead of this mining stock. 

The horse may not be so pretty, but it will cost less to keep him.

You will find the postal cards that have not been used under the distributing table, and the coal down in the cellar. If the stove draws too hard, close the damper in the pipe and shut the general delivery window.

* * * *
Acting under the advice of Gen. Hatton, a year ago, I removed the feather bed with which my predecessor, Deacon Hayford, had bolstered up his administration by stuffing the window and substituted glass. Finding nothing in the book of instructions to postmasters which made the feather bed a part of my offical duties, I filed it away in an obscure place and burned it in effigy, also in the gloaming. This act maddened my predecssor to such a degree that he then and there became a candidate for justice of the peace on the Democratic ticket. The Democratic party was able, however with what aid it secured from the Republicans, to plow the old man under to a great degree.

* * * *
You will find the key under the door-mat and you had better turn the cat out at night when you close the office. If she does not go readily, you can make it clearer to her mind by throwing the cancelling stamp at her.
If Deacon Hayford does not pay up his box rent, you might as well put his mail in the general delivery, and when Bob Head gets drunk and insists on a letter from one of his wives every day in the week, you can salute him through the box delivery with an old Queen Anne tomahawk; which you will find near the Etruscan water pail. This will not in any manner surprise either of these parties.

* * * *
Mr. President, as an official of this Government I now retire. My term of office would not expire until 1886. I must, therefore, beg pardon for my eccentricity in resigning. It will be best, perhaps, to keep the heart-breaking news from the ears of European powers until the dangers of a financial panic are fully past. Then hurl it broadcast with a sickening thud.


Thursday, January 26, 2012


Try this to see if you are the flaming ecologistic genius you think you are:

The Green Thing

Checking out at the store, the young cashier suggested to the older woman, that she
should bring her own grocery bags because plastic bags weren't good for the

The woman apologized and explained, "We didn't have this green thing back in 
my earlier days."

The clerk responded, "That's our problem today. Your generation did not care
enough to save our environment for future generations."

She was right -- our generation didn't have the green thing in its day.

Back then, we returned milk bottles, soda bottles and beer bottles to the store.
The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled,
so it could use the same bottles over and over. So they really were recycled.
But we didn't have the green thing back in our day.

Back then, We walked up stairs, because we didn't have an escalator in every store and
office building. We walked to the grocery store and didn't climb into a
300-horsepower machine every time we had to go two blocks. But she was
right. We didn't have the green thing in our day.

Back then, way back when some us really older geezers lived, we did not have inside
toilets. We walked out back, rain or shine, and sat on a cold wood seat and took care
of business. We thought that sort of stinky stuff needed to be kept out of the house so it
 not require loads of water and polluting chemicals and sprays to be able to tolerate it.But, of course, we primitives back then did not do the green thing.

Back then, we washed the baby's diapers because we didn't have the throw-away
kind. We dried clothes on a line, not in an energy gobbling machine burning
up 220 volts -- wind and solar power really did dry our clothes back in our early
days. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always
brand-new clothing. But that young lady is right; we didn't have the green thing
back in our day.

Back then, we had one TV, or radio, in the house -- not a TV in every room. And the
TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief (remember them?), not a
screen the size of the state of Montana . In the kitchen, we blended and stirred
by hand because we didn't have electric machines to do everything for us.
When we packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, we used wadded up old
newspapers to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap.
Back  then, we didn't fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut the lawn. We
used a push mower that ran on human power. We exercised by working so we
didn't need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity.
But she's right; we didn't have the green thing

Back then, we drank from a fountain when we were thirsty instead of using a cup or a
plastic bottle every time we had a drink of water. We refilled writing pens with
ink instead of buying a new pen, and we replaced the razor blades in a razor
instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull. But
we didn't have the green thing back then.

Back then, people took the streetcar or a bus and kids rode their bikes to school
or walked instead of turning their moms into a 24-hour taxi service. We had
one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen
appliances. And we didn't need a computerized gadget to receive a signal
beamed from satellites 2,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest
pizza joint.
But isn't it sad the current generation laments how wasteful we old folks were
just because we didn't have the green thing back then?

Don't make old People mad!

We don't like being old in the first place, so it doesn't
take much to tick us off.

Saturday, January 21, 2012


BALED HAY is a satire from long ago in the style of Bill Nye of Laramie, Wyoming, Art Buchwald, and Harry Golden.

When I get back from Mars, where I have a cottage on the orange lake, I will be serving up the hay in generous portions.

Steve Van Nattan