[dropcap2]I[/dropcap2]f you’re not the sort to hitch up your girth and your only stirrups are on the bottoms of your pants, then you may not be aware that the Cowboy Code (as it is referred to by James P. Owen and not Gene Autry) is already official state code in Wyoming and making news in Montana.
Jumping Jodhpurs! What in the name of John Wayne is the Cowboy Code? And does it mean I’m now required to tip my hat at women? (it’s basic human decency, people. You should be doing it already. And if you’ve gone out and acquired a spanky new sombrero, like me, then I suggest you start tipping it.)
The Cowboy Code before the senate in Montana is referring to a 10-point code taken from the book, “Cowboy Ethics” by James P. Owen. But what are the ten points? And have state senates gone buckaroo banzai by stamping it into law?
1.) Live each day with courage.
2.) Take pride in your work.
3.) Always finish what you start.
4.) Do what has to be done.
5.) Be tough, but fair.
6.) When you make a promise, keep it.
7.) Ride for the brand.
8.) Talk less and say more.
9.) Remember that some things aren’t for sale.
10.) Know where to draw the line.
O.K. These are fine. On the surface I’ve got no problems with cowboys or their code. I’ve sank boot deep in my share of cow slurry over the years and even tasted a bit of it, and for my part, the code passes muster.
But, I ask you, gentle reader. Is this really the way to live? By doing only what has to be done? What happened to going the extra mile? The Cosmic Cowboy might have something to say about that. And always finish what you start? I start stupid crap all the time. My wife would kill me if I took the next 5 years just to finish the crackpot schemes at the very top of the list.
And I’m find with living each day with courage, as long as we understand courage can sometimes take the shape of kindness, gentleness and self-control. Let’s face it. Cowboys aren’t always the most self-aware or compassionate. And while I think “tolerance” as popularly understood is the brand of nincompoops, a little multiculturalism could go along way.
Lastly, society has reached a sad state when it depends on elected officials to prescribe a “don’t be a blathering ninny or whiny twit” law. I don’t know. Is this a unifying sort of directive? or should this make us feel like sniveling wusses at the end of a caning from congress?[divider]
Thoughts? Feelings about the code? For those of you living in Montana and Wyoming, is the code something you support as law?