This is my first post from the newly improved Executive Cowboy Lounge, high atop Coburn Mountain, Alabama.

It is raining, with thunder and lightning. The PC should not even be plugged in. I’ve already lost one hard drive to lightning. (Did I learn my lesson the last time I lost all my data? Do I now take great pains to back everything up? Nope. I’m what mental-health professionals and ex-girlfriends refer to as an idiot. Shoe. Foot. Shoe on foot.)

But this week has been a real doozey, as we say in polite company, and the deadline looms. Yes, I take risks. Because I care, gentle readers. I’m afraid if I don’t show up on time every week, all six of you will forget about me. And, shoot, I’m sworn to fun.

The old Executive Cowboy Lounge – well, I just added “Executive” in honor of Bob Johnson, the President of the United States of Dogs (POTUSOD) – the old ECL was, I admit, a rather homely affair, cobbled together from the ancient and not-so-ancient furnishings of my ancestors, who have been hanging out in the vicinity since the late 19th century.

The old lounge was sad evidence of a middling biological fail. Apparently, the interior-decoration gene can skip several generations.

The old look – let’s call it Hillbilly Casual – featured everything except a stuffed buzzard. (I would like to have a stuffed buzzard, but only if it’s been frozen in the attitude of flight and I don’t have to pay for it.)

The newly improved ECL is a stately, streamlined marvel. Gone are the snake-coils of cables and cords. There is order and style.

The first time I sat down in my comfy new swivel chair, I felt better immediately. Long-suffering readers know I’m always on the lookout for ways to Feel Better Immediately (FBI).

Don’t wait around, that’s my advice. The sooner one feels better, well, the better.

A humorous anecdote always makes one FBI. Friends, you are in luck, because I have not one but three of those suckers.

And they all involve the drive-thru window at McDonald’s.

That’s right. Mickey D’s. The House That Ronald Built. Mirth Central. Don’t eat that stuff.

I heard Anecdote One last week. A pal of mine was in the process of moving, and his car was full of clothes.

The young lady working the drive-thru window was impressed.

“You sure got a lot clothes in there,” she said.

“Yeah,” my buddy said. “I’m a gigolo.” (His gigolo career is strictly imaginary. He’s just a fun-loving American.)

The young lady nodded. She was sympathetic.

“Pimpin’ ain’t easy,” she said.

Anecdote Two stars the POTUSOD himself.

When the weather is warm, Bob Johnson sleeps outside. Since BoJo’s brain is basically a food calculator, he’s always waiting for me on the porch when morning rolls around.

One morning last week, Bob Johnson was not on the porch when I opened the front door. The last time this occurred, we ended up taking a very expensive trip to the vet.

At first, I was concerned. I whistled, clapped and called. Nothing.

After a few minutes, I began to assume the worst. But just when I was ready to start freaking out, the Mutt Nut came bounding out of the woods, grinning like a naughty schoolboy.

I was so glad Bob Johnson had not shuffled off the mortal doggie coil that I decided to take him for a ride in the truck. He loves a ride in the truck almost as much as he loves destroying the lawn.

Long anecdote short: We hit the drive-thru. Coffee for me, a plain biscuit for BoJo.

Bob Johnson is not the kind of chief executive who likes to wait for his treats. So I pulled into a parking spot and fed him the biscuit. Crumbs fell on me. Crumbs flew all over the dang place.

I stepped out of the cab to brush myself off, leaving the driver’s door open.

A yellow flash. Suddenly, Bob Johnson was loose in the parking lot of Mickey D’s!

He made a beeline for the restaurant. Fortunately, business was slow. The parking lot was almost empty.

I had no difficulty rounding him up. Bob Johnson was sitting at the drive-thru, staring up at the window with the concentration of a chess champion.

Anecdote Three features yours truly. I’d hit the drive-thru for an iced tea. (To be fair, I enjoy McDonald’s coffee and iced tea. Hard to beat when they’re fresh.)

I’d been having a hell of a day. Not a happy camper.

The young man working the drive-thru handed me the tea and did a double take.

“Are you Ted Nugent?” It wasn’t really a question. It was an exclamation of wonder.

I was laughing so hard I could only wave goodbye.

Yes, young man. Yes, I am.

_______________________

John Hicks has cat scratch fever.

John Hicks lives outside the city limits, where eagles dare.

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