Dude Ranch Nation

  • Young angry guys in big powerful pickup trucks that are jacked way up and shod with knobby tires, everything meticulously clean, shiny differential even, with “Cowboy Up!” stickers, en route from shopping mall to shopping mall, riding the range that never was.
  • Middle-aged pear-shaped dads in $50,000 luxury SUV’s with military accessories, powerful engines, and smooth soft leather seats, able to ford swift rivers or charge up muddy embankments, rolling up to the valet parking at the movie theatre.
  • Ecotourists decked out in perfect canvas hats, multipocketed shirts and shorts, wealth-preserving money belts, Gore-Tex boots over yak wool socks, and $1000 in tropical medicine gear and Sharper Image navigation instruments, tromping happily over the shrinking rainforest.
  • Gun enthusiasts filling the magazines and working the bolts on their Special Operations Certified Combat Commando Stealth Rifles and Special Edition S.W.A.T. Concealed Carry High Power Pistols, sighting them coolly out the window and dreaming of singlehandedly defeating armies of terrorists who will never arrive.

If you have the gear you can be anything as long as you do nothing.

Real cowboys rode their asses raw, got killed and injured on the job a lot, were cruel to animals all day, drank themselves to death, smelled bad, were poor. Life is better in Dude Ranch Nation.

6 thoughts on “Dude Ranch Nation

  1. And the 4wd Pickup truck owners whose biggest obstacle is the Curb at 7-11 and ask for the Delivery Option at Home Depot so they won’t scratch the bed.

  2. We are currently suffering through the Vancouver Folk Festival here, which I’m sure is nifty but for a resident it means being crowded up against all of the above as well as a deluge of hippies leaving garbage everywhere and tipping over mail boxes, presumably to stick to some Man or other. Was nearly run over twice this morning by enormous trucks woth Ontario license plates. On the upside, local businesses like the Dharma Kitchen (a new vegetarian not really Indian place that no local has yet braved) and Banyen Books (a respected reseller of popular psychoceramics) are booming, packed to the rafters with preganant hippies sporting hennaed outies.
    The sad exotic meat seller is bravely barbecuing buffalo, ostritch, and some kind of reptile in the hopes of garnering new business. The hippies are secretly attracted but peer pressure forces them to scoff and move on. The fact that this roasting exotica is between the festival and Banyen Books is no doubt creating the seeds of a civil war in hippidom, and at least a few marriages are at risk.

  3. Re-readsing this, it reminded me of your flashlight saga.
    On the Dude Ranch they use Night Vision and portable FLIR units instead.

  4. Another aspect of this is the popularity of knobby-tired mountain bikes with complicated suspension systems that are almost never ridden off road. Knobby tires are worthless on the road where they slow the rider down and cause problems cornering hard.
    Almost everybody who rides a mountain bike should be riding a touring bike, but most bike stores don’t even carry touring bikes anymore.

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