Canadian poet, writer, and playwright , Author Grant Guy spins an amusing yarn about a cantankerous cowboy in the old west.
Will Rogers Had No Sense Of Humor
Will Rogers had no sense of humor. He was born a mean, mangy cuss. Because of this everyone from the dry grocer to the undertaker dreamed of pulling off a prank on Will.
Nick, who worked at the stable on the edge of town could not understand anyone not having a sense of humor. It was the greatest gift God gave mankind. In Nick’s child-like mind, God was a prankster. How else could genitalia be explained? Will Roger had to have a sense of humor somewhere. All a soul had to do was mine for it.
On the eve of Founders’ Day in Black Well, Nick partially sawed the legs of Will’s favorite chair at the Bottoms Up Saloon on Allen Street. It was the only chair Will sat in. From there he could observe the entire bar. If someone ever switched the chair he plumb well knew, trounce across the saloon, grab his chair (did not matter if someone was sitting in it) and drag it to his table.
If a stranger who arrived in town and unknowingly sat in Will’s chair, Will towered over him with his intimidating six foot four frame. If his size did not persuade the stranger to move a Navy Colt did. The stranger slinked to another table.
Nick was eagerly anticipating Will’s arrival. He drummed his finger on a table in the corner. Will was unusually late arriving at Bottoms Up. Nick was beginning to lose spirit and became antsy. Shortly after nine thirty Will arrived. He strode to his chair and landed his full weight onto the chair. He crashed to the floor.
After landing on his ass, Will jumped up and took Nick by the scruff of his neck. He took Nick’s head into his Goliath hands and was about to slam it into the bar. Pete Allmand, the blacksmith pulled Nick free. Will went for his gun.
Goldie Robb, the saloon keep, lowered a bottle of whiskey across Will’s wrist, sending the gun to the floor. Although Pete and Goldie believed Nick deserved a good chiding, they knew Will was capable of killing the young lad.
“Goddamnit, Will, get a sense of humor, will ya,” said Goldie.
“When ya stop watering down the whiskey,” Will fired back.
“Ah think Bowering has a sale on humor this week in his general store,” said Pete.
“Ah’m plumb sold out,” informed Bowering from the end of the bar. “And the ones Ah had ain’t in his size.”
“Ah meant no harm, Will. It was meant as a joke,” Nick said in a weak voice.
Will looked at his gun on the floor, then at Nick. He approached Nick and leaned over him.
“Ya have until tomorrow at four to find me a suitable replacement chair. To my satisfaction. If not, ya’re a dead man.”
Will allowed Nick to slip pass and out. Nick gingerly stepped backwards before turning and scurrying out the door and into the night.
When Nick returned to the stable he spooked a horse. The horse hoofed Nick in the head. He fell dead like a sack of nails.
Nick’s funeral was the following Friday.
Nick did not find a suitable replacement.
Grant Guy is a Canadian poet, writer and playwright. He has over one hundred poems and short stories published in internationally. He has five books published: Open Fragments, On the Bright Side of Down, Blues for a Mustang, The Life and Lies of Calamity Jane and Bus Stop Bus Stop. His plays include an adaptation of Paradise Lost and the Grand Inquisitor. He was the 2004 recipient of the MAC’s 2004 Award of Distinction and the 2017 recipient of the WAC Making A Difference Award.