As I drove to my aunt's restaurant a few weeks ago, cell phone glued to my ear as always, I came upon a big black man in a turquoise western shirt, galloping on his gallant horse upon the paved city road. Before I even saw his face, I knew who it was -- my father's lifelong friend Ricky. When I say big, I mean BIG, well over 6 foot and built like a concrete refrigerator. And, when I say turquoise, I freakin' mean turquoise, blind-you-in-the-dark turquoise. I'm sure the sight of a man no smaller than the average NFL linebacker riding his horse all over town has made many a passer-by stop and gander throughout the years. But, Ricky has been riding his horses in town for as long as I can remember and he is far from alone in that. Just off the top of my head, I can think of a handful of families who do the same. Yes, periodically you might stumble upon a little horseshit in the roadway, but that seems to evaporate into nothingness after a few vehicles have driven over it. The rear-end exhaust may smell a little worse than that of a Chevy Trailblazer, but it's much better for the environment. Plus, it gives the feel of the Wild, Wild West and God knows we are all about that.
So when the headline "One Horse Town Squabbles Over Banning Horses" on msn.com, I clicked on it figuring it was set in some suburb cresting upon a booming metropolitan. But, holy shit was I wrong.
Yes, apparently the city council of some Nebraska community called Hickman City (for real? Hickman? Not even a great fiction writer could make this up) voted last night to keep an ordinance that bans all horses within city limits.
For me, this would be no problem. I haven't ridden a horse since I got bucked off this wild bastard owned by a local attorney in 1995. The mishap resulted in a concussion and, much to my ornery husband's disappointment, I haven't been on one since. Oh wait, that's a lie. I did get on one 5 years ago at Packsaddle long enough to have a full blown panic attack. But, I don't think that counts.
Anyways, the article on msn will definitely pluck your heartstrings. A 76-year-old Hickman resident Harley Scott (awesome name, right?) and his 32-year-old horse Peter Rabbit are at the center of the controversy. If the ordinance remains in tack, Peter Rabbit will be forced to leave the farm he was born on over 30 years ago or Harley will face a fine of $100 a day.
So, good luck to you, Harley. And Hickman City Council, chill out, bitches. You may or may not have noticed that this Hickman City isn't a big tourist trap. The glitterati isn't descending to your non-existent resort in swarms. In fact, your "western" charm has probably been the only draw you've had and now you are biting the hand that feeds you. Oh wait, that's the wrong pun. You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink. Is that it? Or is it, don't look a gift horse in the mouth? Screw it, you know what I mean.