Thursday, August 02, 2007

The Laughter Of The Chicken-Wieners

By Matthew Sanborn Smith

Ziff wanted to be a new kind of gunfighter. Partly to get himself into the gazettes but mostly because he couldn’t fire a gun very well. His angle, as he figured it, would have to be intimidation. Scare the pants off of the other guy so he’d leave town. Ziff would be a hero, no blood would spill, he might even get a little action out of the deal.

The whole bit had to start with the ride into town. It wouldn’t do to ride in on a horse. Everyone did that. And a cow would be silly. Ah, but what if you rode into town on a lizard? Now that would be something. Imagine the rest of those chicken-wieners running for their mothers when Ziff came a-riding into town on a lizard!

Catching the lizard was the easy part, even though no one thought he could do it. Problem was when he climbed on top of it, it didn’t go anywhere. He thought it was just being lazy and he jabbed its sides with his spurs till the moon went down. His big brother Ervin pointed out the problem.

“Whatcha got there, Ziff, is a two-hunert some-odd pound man sittin atop a maybe six ounce lizard. See all all that stuff on the sides of it?”

“What of it?”

“That there stuff is supposed to be on the inside of the lizard.”

But Ziff refused to give up. Again and again he tried until all of his pant bottoms were stained. In just a day or so he had earned the nickname, Shitbritches McAllister, which was doubly irritating because his last name was Williams. Gunfighters from as far away as Montreal rode in just to laugh at him.

Ziff was chagrinned.

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