by John L. Fuhring

Fools Have More Fun

     We loaded up in the morning and crossed back into California.  We stopped at the Agricultural Inspection Station at the border where a very bored young man hardly glanced at our papers.  As a matter of fact this was the first and only time we were inspected (if you want to call it that) at any border crossing.  When my good horse Chester was stolen a few years ago, I was hoping that somebody at one of the inspection stations would notice something funny, now I know why my horse was never heard of again.

     At noon we stopped at Barstow again for lunch.  We unloaded the horses, watered them and took turns walking and watching them while others went to lunch.  I got into a conversation with a kind of goofy, but earnest young woman who wanted to talk about our horses.  The poor girl looked like she might be homeless and was somewhat rambling in her speech.  It was impossible for me to be rude to her and it really took no effort to be polite.  Later when we packed up and were on the road, my friend Bob ribbed me about "making new friends."  Lets just say, I would prefer the friendship of a homeless or otherwise outcast person to that of Bob’s.

      Well, we finally got back to Simi Valley by 4:00 PM Wednesday afternoon and we started to drop off each person.  I shook hands with Keith and was genuinely glad to have made his acquaintance, had one last argument about the legal requirement to have functioning trailer brakes with that fool Bob (who’s the greater fool: the fool or the fool that argues with the fool?).

     Finally said goodbye to Dan.  You know, W.C. Fields has warned us all to "never wise up a chump", but I genuinely liked Dan and do not consider him a chump.  I wanted to do something to help one last time and so I gave him some (no doubt unwelcome) suggestions as to who and who not to seek advice from and in what areas he and his friends needed some good advice.  We then parted and I  repeated an often quoted phrase from a Civil War diary: "I have seen the Elephant (meaning: seeing what war looked like) and I don’t never want to leave home no more."   Dan knew what I meant and assured me that I have nothing to worry about as far as he and his friends were concerned.

     So, that was the big adventure.  I am sure, at this point, you are asking - If John thinks he’s so smart hearing alarm bells and seeing red flags and such, why didn’t he have the sense to pull out at the beginning?  Why did he rush in where wise men would rightly have feared to tread?  I’ll tell you why:  fools have more fun.  Yes, it was foolish and it was risky and I knew it, but a person must to be willing to be a fool sometimes so as not to die of boredom.  And that is a fact.

P.  S. Bob paid me $175 in cash for the Vet bill.

P.P.S. Received the pay in the mail on a couple of weeks later.  Like I suspected, they cheated us. They paid us for only one day, not the two days they promised.  Guess I should be grateful for even that much from "movie people."  You know that site where they HAD that really awesome Western Town set (Silverado)?  Well, they built a large brick structure in the town and their plans were to blow it up as part of the story.  When they blew it, the special effects got out of hand and burned down the whole town!  What a shame.  We were told that any damage to the town was to be repaired by the filming company.  I sure hope that they took out plenty of fire insurance.  More than that, I hope the owner of the property had more than a verbal contract .   These movie people have proven to my satisfaction that with them: "A verbal contract is not worth the paper its not written on."

The Great Fire. Silverado, NM 1998
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