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Quotable Quotations from Around the West

Brief by Betsy Marston

Miscellany – April 1998 – Colorado Central Magazine

Mysteriously emerging from the Internet recently came this note from “the trees”: “StoP tHE LoGGing or wE WiLl coNtInUE to Kill oNe CeleBriTY Each WEek. TheRe ARe nO SkIing accIdenTs.”

In Montana recently, a couple of dozen hunters dined on cougar roasts at a banquet sponsored by an outfitter. Afterwards the Missoula Independent claimed the cougar meat resembled turkey mixed with ham and was so tasty one man said it made him want to “roast his house cat.”

In Wyoming, the Fund for Animals tried to lure rural youngsters away from hunting by promising a $1,000 bike to the first kid who gave up shooting an elk in a special season. None of the kids who drew permits gave up their hunt, reported Colorado columnist Ellen Miller, who added: “Bless their little hearts.”

Why did a logging company “rape 30,000 acres of virgin forest?” A satirical magazine on the Internet, The Onion, says the answer can be found in the provocative behavior of the trees themselves: “If you’re going to tease, openly flaunting your abundant natural resources, don’t be surprised by the consequences.”

In Phoenix, Arizona, the city’s former vice mayor said if she were elected secretary of state, she’d make sure the government produced evidence she believes it is concealing, that alien beings have arrived on earth. Her campaign manager said her campaign is not just “the road less traveled: This campaign is going to be the road never traveled.”

In the days of the Old West, water filings were to grow alfalfa or run a mine. But times change. A Jan. 31 Public Notice in Grand Junction, Colo.’s Daily Sentinel included filings not only for a golf course but also for “a polo field.”

This headline in the Idaho Mountain Express made the Tonight Show “Headlines” gaffe segment, because it apparently said — or didn’t say — it all: “DOE to do NEPA’s EIS on BNFL’s AMWTP at INEEL after SRA protest.”

Drenching rain, slip-sliding houses on the edge of eroding cliffs, with not a glimpse of sun for weeks — blame the rotten weather on Al Niño. Many do, but Niño, a retired Navy man in San Luis Obispo County in California, says he’s getting a little tired of complaining phone calls.”It’s always something like, `Why are you doing this?’ And I say, `Well, I really didn’t have nothing else to do,'” he told the San Jose Mercury News. Another Californian, Eliseo Niño, says he’s also asked when he’s going to turn off the storms. But he’s always happy to sound upbeat and authoritative: “Maybe the weekend.”

Department of Energy employees in Washington, D.C., may want to go — they may even have to go — but going to the bathroom could pose a risk. Trapped air in plumbing lines in one of the agency’s buildings has caused problems such as “exploding urinals,” reports the Washington Post. After two people were injured, the agency issued a warning to be “extremely careful when flushing.”

A Heard Around the West reader who lives in a semi-rural area tells us she recently heard that a new neighbor called the county to request the removal of a “Deer Crossing” sign on their dirt road. The reason: Too many deer were being hit by cars and she no longer wanted them to cross there.

Another reader reports that his daughter went to a local Taco Bell and ordered a taco. She asked the person behind the counter for “minimal lettuce.” But the counter man said he was sorry; they only had iceberg.

Betsy Marston is the editor of High Country News, a newspaper based in Paonia, Colorado, covering natural resource and community issues in the western United States.