Kathy Bassett: Cops and cowboys

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Kathy Bassett

Kathy Bassett's column, "The View from Maybell," appears in the Saturday Morning Press.

I have friends who are cops, and I have friends who are cowboys. Do cowboys have to be cops? Do cops have to be cowboys? Heck no!

We need cops, and we need cowboys.

It's OK if a cop is a cowboy, but I ain't holding it against him if he ain't. I've known lots of cowboys and cops. Cowboy'n is hard work, and Cop'n is hard work. I know guys who wish they were cowboys, and I know guys who wouldn't make a good pimple on a real cowboy's hiney.

I've known good cops, and I've known bad cops.

So now you ask, what brought all this about?

It's easy. This past week, I met the "love of her life" middle daughter's friend. He is a dream! He is a cop. He was very nervous about "meeting Marilyn's side of the family." I told Marilyn to let him know that it was OK and I'd leave my gun in the truck.

Of course, that was before I realized the full extent of his profession. As it turned out, he left his gun in his outfit also, and I might add, his gun was bigger than my gun. Plus, he had a big badge to compliment his gun.

He was born in the city, raised in the city, never been outside the city and doesn't know anything except the city. He is a good cop. He is not a cowboy. He had never been on a farm, so Marilyn took him to Jeff's family farm. Jeff is the "love of her life" youngest daughter's friend. He is a dream also.

So here is Kevin, all fresh from the city, first time visiting a farm where Jeff and Jane show him around. They eventually get to the cows. But Kevin wasn't too sure that the cow wouldn't bite him. Kevin is serious. The cow has huge teeth. The cow might bite.

Jane looked at him, and everyone who knows Jane will know that words never did hide in her mind but always fly right out where everyone can hear them.

That is probably why she is a much sought after popular radio personality in Wisconsin.

"So, let me get this straight. You are a big tough cop who can chase armed thugs down dark streets in the middle of the night, but you can't pet a cow?" Jane actually got Kevin to pet a cow.

As Kevin later related the incident to me, I told him about the time my brother got a cow to lick his hair because he'd heard that it would cure "curly hair" and my brother had gorgeous curls which he abhorred. I told him about the time that I thought chocolate milk came from brown cows. When one is not raised in the country, one has no idea how things work out there.

He was totally amazed that Jeff went over to the chicken's nest and brought out some eggs. He said, "Jeff put them in a carton for me and they still had dirt and stuff on them. I took them home and made an omelet and it was the most wonderful tasting omelet I'd ever eaten."

We explained that fresh eggs are much tastier than the three- or four-month-old ones you buy at the store.

Kevin told me that he didn't think he would make a very good cowboy. I tried to tell him that it didn't matter. We probably have enough cowboys in the world anyway. Can you just picture in your mind Kevin chasing an armed thug down a dark alley, yelling "Stop! Or I will get Jane's cow to bite you!"

I think Kevin's pistol makes a better impression than a lariat rope when chasing an armed crook.

Now, if I could just convince him to come visit us in Colorado, I could show him country life that he doesn't even dream about existing. Maybe I could get him up on a horse. I did mention it in passing, but he changed the subject. I didn't tell him that out West, some cops even use horses when patrolling their beat. I didn't tell him that horses actually will bite. I didn't want to scare him away.

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