My father was a very stubborn Norwegian, and, according to my wife, the wing nut didn't fall far from the crankshaft.
Speaking of being stubborn as a mule, I am hot on the trail of the history of Mules in the American West. And, if I have my way (see first paragraph), we are going to do an entire issue on these incredible, impotent, under appreciated, beasts of burden.
Thanks to Stuart Rosebrook, I was able to talk to the legendary Baxter Black the other day and we got to talking about mules. Baxter lives just down the road in Benson, and although he claims to be retired, he is busier than mere mortals like myself. Here is Baxter's take on how to stop a mule:
How Do You Stop A Big, Bad Jack?
People ask me how can you stop a mule. Well, out in California my Uncle Jack let Lon ride one of his mules. In no time they were kicked into overdrive in spite of the fact that Lon had the mule’s head pulled clean back to his boot top! The road turned right. The mule never noticed. He ran smack dab, flat into an orange tree! From Jack’s vantage point, it looked like the orange tree had been struck by lightening! A terrible crashing sound ensued as Lon flew off the mule and shot through the branches like a six-foot smoked salmon fired from a battle ship! It stopped that mule, but they say you can still see pieces of Lon’s hat, shirt and glasses embedded in the bark.
A funny bit, but to me, here's the line that kills:
"Lon flew off the mule and shot through the branches like a six-foot smoked salmon fired from a battle ship!"
Now THAT is some funny imagery and is damn near poetry, to boot. And, finally, coming full circle on the stubborn Norsky subject: