Monday, June 12, 2006

The Song of Tivens Roundelby

Hello, this is the advanced computer program that has been programmed to display a previous entry when Latigo Flint cripples himself with booze and expired deli meats. I was programmed to only select the stories that might yield the author fortune and fame--but Latigo Flint doesn't have any such, and so I picked this one because it's silly and sad.

From the archives - 1/18/06:


The Song of Tivens Roundelby

Cattle stampedes were a big problem in the squinty-eyed American Old West. Think how frequent and annoying traffic jams are, even the minor ones, in your day-to-day life. Now imagine that statistically, every fifth traffic jam you find yourself in results in your gruesome death.

Cowboys tried singing to the herd at night to keep them calm. Being exceptionally lonely young men, the cowboys would tend to sing achingly sad songs about love lost and faraway women who had surely married by now. But it didn't make a difference, the cattle stampeded anyway--mostly because the cattle weren't afraid of loneliness--the cattle were afraid that mountain lions were going to come in the night and eat their faces off.

(Which of course, if you want to get transcendent about it, is at its core, nearly identical to the fear of loneliness. But cows are relatively shallow thinkers.)

The stampedes were gettin' pretty bad and our young nation was on the verge of scrapping the whole beef thing and switching to soy-based products as our primary protein source, when one day a young man by the name of Tivens Roundelby crossed the Mississippi and rode west into the annals of cowboy lore.

Tivens Roundelby was an assistant schoolteacher and amateur stamp collector from Saint Louis. He should have been utterly unfit for life on the brutal range were it not for two seemingly disparate attributes:
One, he possessed a singing voice so lovely that angels gnashed their teeth in envy, and two, ever since the circus accident he'd witnessed as a young boy, he had always known how frightened cows were of mountain lions.

Tivens Roundelby went on to become the greatest sonic preventer of cattle stampedes the world has ever known. It is common knowledge that every spring, Trail Bosses would routinely square off in the barns and corrals outside Abilene and shoot at each other for the right of his employ.

Today you can't find a museum within a hundred miles of the historic Chisholm Trail that doesn't display a bronze placard inscribed with the lyrics to Tivens Roundelby's most famous cattle calming song:

Don't fret my gentle cows. Put aside your snorty scares.
No mountain lion prowls, and these plains are free of bears.
And even if they were about, I'd surely shoot them down,
for I'd sooner swallow scorpions than let a lion hurt my cows.
So don't fret my gentle cows. Put aside your snorty scares.
No mountain lion prowls, and these plains are free of bears.


One night in late September 1884, just two day's ride from the trail's end at the stockyards in Kansas, Tivens Roundelby came down with laryngitis and was unable to sing to the herd. His replacement forgot the words, and Tivens was trampled to death in his sleep by the subsequent stampede.

Rugged cowboys the world over wept like children when they heard the news.


At 1:49 AM, Blogger Sam, Problem-Child-Bride said...

A weepy grey Wednesday of a tale, to be sure.

I think there is still more to this tale though: messages hidden, Da Vinci Code style. For "Tivens Roundelby" is none other than an anagram of "Destiny Burn Love". And also "Bluster Envoy Din" which
resonates nicely with the story too.

But also "Delivery Snot Bun" and "Bindery Oven Slut" work too. If they carry hidden meanings from the text then I shall be horrified and bid you a good day Mr. Flint.

And what's more Tivens Roundelby also descrambles as "Investor Lend Buy" which leads me to believe that Latigo Flint is a mere front for subliminal advertisers to suck us in. A sham. Well, Mister "so-called" Latigo Flint, what do you and your squinty eyes have to say about it?

At 3:30 AM, Blogger Helga von porno said...

Golly! Mrs Bride has opened a whole new branch of interpretation for this classic tale.

At 12:17 PM, Blogger OldHorsetailSnake said...

I don't know, Mr. Flint. I think this would have put me onto soy right quick.

At 12:53 PM, Blogger Lightning Bug's Butt said...

Ah, I remember it well. But it's just as entertaining the second time.

At 7:10 PM, Blogger Sam, Problem-Child-Bride said...

OldHorseTailSnake - are you kidding? have you seen how they force-feed baby soys these days? It's abominable.

At 12:15 AM, Blogger Latigo Flint said...

You are nothing short of spectacular Sam, Problem Child Bride... or should I say: A Scribble Led Dr Hip Mom?
(Tivens Roundelby was the greatest sonic preventer of stampedes the world has ever known. He died tragically young and you'd turn his name into some sort of parlor game... I'm furious of course! That's what I have to say about it!)

I died that day Helga Von Porno, and you can too for all I care...

Soy doesn't moo when you cut its throat Old Hoss.

Thanks LBB. I'm going out with a sneer and a whimper--the only way to go.


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