Whenever Delbert McLain – our chamber of commerce here – gets a new idea, he generally shows up at the Mule Barn for coffee. He likes to try the ideas out on bonafide members of the world dilemma think tank before springing them on the world.
“What I’m thinking, guys, is this,” he said, “We need to bring the Olympic Games here to the valley!”
You could almost hear his balloon of happiness pop when we reminded him of a few drawbacks to his plan: it would cost millions to build all the necessary facilities, there is no place to put all the athletes, and the Olympic parade could march from one end of town to the other in 10 minutes. He sulked in his coffee and then ordered a sweet roll to take the sting out of reality.
But just about the time Herb mentioned there not being a place for all the athletes to spend the night, Bernie was walking behind us, headed back to his table. According to Bernie, he won the European war almost single-handedly, with just a little help from General Patton here and there.
“Olympic athletes?” Bernie said, looking down on us from on high, “You sure don’t want them here. Ain’t safe.”
Okay, so someone had to ask him why not.
“Aliens,” he said. “Ain’t human. This is just their way of taking over our way of life. You know, get themselves on TV and first thing you know …”
“Taking over …?”
“Sure,” Bernie said. “You see those pole vaulters? Those high jumpers? It’s from training where there isn’t as much gravity. And where would that be? Aha …you see now?
“And those little girls who go flippity flippity? You think real girls can do that? Not on your tintype, boys! Just ask Doc here. Doc, can a human being do flippities like that?”
“See what I mean. You don’t want to invite them to come here and flippity flippity, guys. First thing you know, our kids will want to do that and they can’t, of course, and that will give them inferiority complexes … and once we’re inferior …”
He looked up toward the ceiling as if he were searching for spacecraft. There didn’t really appear to be anything to say to logic like that.
The writer is a veteran newspaperman and outdoorsman who is a registered outfitter and guide. He has written novels and nonfiction books based on rural living and he has also been an award-winning columnist for the largest daily newspapers in Alaska and New Mexico. He lives in Albuquerque.