Tomorrow marks the official end of the Dog Days of summer. This Dog Day thing dates back to ancient Greece and Rome and was thought to be a time of drought, bad luck, and unrest. In other words, when dogs and men alike would be driven mad by the extreme heat.

Hmm…that sounds about right.

At any rate, we’ve got the weekends cut out for us the rest of the month and into September with the county fair.

There’s Hot August Nights and the big Community Yard Sale still to come this month, but this weekend there’s something that sounds like it will be a real hoot, as in, if I may, Hoot Gibson.

It’ll be cowboys and cowgirls with pistolas and rifles with the return of the New Mexico Territory Cowboy Mounted Shooters event this Saturday night at the rodeo arena. They’ll be firing specially prepared blank ammunition to see who can burst the most balloons to win a prize.

Between you and me, I don’t own a gun, but frankly, that sounds like a hoot. And a holler.

Shooting a firearm while on horseback conjures up visions of the Old West, at least in my mind – the same mind that grew up thrilled by the exploits of TV cowboys like Roy Rogers, Hopalong Cassidy, The Lone Ranger, and Wild Bill Hickok. Plus, all the great sidekicks, from Gabby Hayes to Andy Devine, who was always shouting, “Wait for me, Wild Bill!” while bouncing along on his horse.

Back then, there were so many westerns on the three networks that the Emmys had a separate category: Best Western. Ya reckon that’s where the hotel chain got its name? Nah.

At any rate, as kids, we watched ‘em all and had our favorites, which boiled down to who was the coolest sheriff, cowboy, or gunslinger. There were the fast draw types like Wyatt Earp, the debonair types like Bat Masterson, the clever types like Elfego Baca, or the palsy-walsy types like Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid. Still, the one thing they all shared in common was that none of them – not one – was anywhere close to being historically truthful.

You can still watch them today on places like YouTube and such. I’ve clicked on a few of the old favorites to see if they hold up today, and actually, some are not half bad, like Wanted Dead or Alive and Have Gun Will Travel – which I got my grandson hooked on. I mean, what 21st century kid couldn’t like tough guy Steve McQueen’s sawed-off Winchester or the chess knight on Paladin’s holster? I think I’m getting déjà vu… Correct me if I’m wrong, but I seem to remember one time last year writing about the distinctive hats those cowboys wore.

Of course, some of those old series are real stinkers, looking through my 2023 eyes.

It occurred to me that they were basically the cop and crime dramas of their day, but with one handicap — they were in black and white. On the other hand, they were only 30 minutes long. Perfect for short attention spans.

I realize many under the age of 60 may not know what the heck I’m talking about, but I’m sure they can find some of those old westerns streaming, and like I say, they’re all over YouTube in some shape or form.

But hey, don’t look watch them on your cell phone while walking, especially while crossing the street. I was reading that in a handful of states and cities, you can get a ticket just for looking at your cell phone while crossing the street. Yes, it’s come to that. They call it distracted walking.

Honestly, I had a hard time “just looking” at my phone while driving, much less answering it. And forget texting. I’m not that multi-taskable, so I’ve given up trying to. That’s plain crazy.

I’m thinking that’s one of those things people do when they know no one’s looking.

You know, besides using the cell phone while behind the wheel, things like:

  • Eating something off the floor after the five-second grace period.
  • Googling your own name.
  • Picking something from your ear and then looking at it.
  • Sniff a shirt to see if it’s clean enough to wear again
  • Having an imaginary conversation with yourself while driving.
  • Not closing the bathroom door when no one else is home.
  • Groaning loudly for no reason at all
  • Eat standing at the fridge
  • Type LOL without laughing or even smiling
  • Have conversations with inanimate objects

Wait, I know what you’re thinking. I left a couple of obvious ones out, but I’m sure no one reading this ever, ever, ever picks their nose. Or passes gas. Alone in an elevator.