Thursday, July 24, 2008
Tanya Writes About The Luv Wranglers
There's cowboy heroes in them thar hills near my homestead. Buckaroos from the past building highways, and present-day hotties who wrangle beeves not far from a bustlin' freeway.
We call that wild bunch The Luv Wranglers.
My homeland, Ventura County CA abuts packed, frantic Los Angeles to the southeast, but you'd never know it. Ventura County is full of western lore and rural flavor. There aren't many places in Southern California where you can see the beach, suburbs, strawberry fields and avocado groves, foothills and the Topa Topa mountains in one fell swoop. Our own little cul-de-sac used to be a lettuce field, and it isn't unusual to share a busy street with a tractor.
To the northwest a little deeper into the hills, hearty Western men more than a century ago drove stagecoaches across a "turnpike" built by Chinese laborers and now called San Marcos Pass. They'd pause long enough at Cold Spring Tavern to change horses and let their passengers catch some grub. The structure, built in the 1860s, exists today and serves the best chili burger ever. Every time I need a Western fix, my hubby takes me out to lunch there. Antique Franklin stoves warm us up, and there really is a cold spring tumbling nearby. (That's it in the picture!)
But my real deal today are three real-life, real-time heroes, cowboys who wrangle cattle in the foothills. Brad, Rich, and Tucker.
Now how about those for tailor-made cowboy names? Just how did they get their soubriquet: the Luv Wranglers?
Well, my friend, reporter, Kim Gregory Lamb, features their down-home wisdom in a Dear Abby format every once in a while in our local paper, The Ventura County Star. Kim has kindly let me share some things local inquiring minds presented to the Luv Wranglers not long ago:
Dear Luv Wranglers : What's one thing that a woman does that's guaranteed to tick you off?
Tucker: Bein' late. I hate that.
Brad: They're always late.
Rich: They gotta change their clothes eight times.
Dear Luv Wranglers : Why don't you guys ever put the seat down?
Tucker: When I gotta use the bathroom, most of the time I just walk right outside. We don't have no neighbors.
Brad: I don't even git off my horse anymore.
Rich: Men never go to use the outhouse on a ranch. 'Course, it backfires on you when yer kids drop their drawers in the parkin' lot.
Dear Luv Wranglers: When do you think it's appropriate to bring or send flowers?
Rich: When somebody dies.
Brad: When you're in trouble. I've sent an awful lot of flowers. My florist and I sent two of his kids to college.
When the 78th Annual Academy Awards rolled best flick nominee Brokeback Mountain down the red carpet, the Luv Wranglers had plenty to say, as you can well imagine.
Q: Will you be watching the Oscars?
Brad: What's that?
Tucker: I didn't even know they were on TV.
Rich: I had a dog named Oscar once.
Brad: Oscar's on "Sesame Street.
Rich: He was a good dog.
Q: Have any of you seen the cowboy flick and best picture nominee, Brokeback Mountain?"
Rich: I was happy to hear those guys were not cattle ranchers. They were sheep farmers.
Brad: We all know about sheep farmers.
Q: The shirts worn by the two lead actors in Brokeback Mountain commanded $101,100.51 from a collector. What do you think of that?
Rich: I'll sell 'em every shirt in my closet for $500 apiece.
Q: If you could choose one Hollywood movie actor to play you in the story of your life as a cowboy, who would you choose?
Brad: Mel Gibson. We have a lot in common.
Rich: I'd pick the only actor in Hollywood who still has morals and integrity: SpongeBob SquarePants.
When Valentine's Day came around, Kim trusted her instincts and asked the Luv Wranglers to ride in from the range to help all the local tenderfoots rustle up some romance for their guys and gals. Here's a bit of Valentine's Day advice our favorite cowboys, dished up at Rich's dining room table over Cheez-Its and beer.
Q: What do you think of Valentine's Day?
Rich: I thought Valentine's Day was a take 'n' bake pizza place down on Seaward Boulevard.
Brad: That's Valentino's.
Tucker: Every day, a man screws up, so Valentine's Day is to fix all the screw-ups you do all year.
Q: What was the most romantic thing you've ever done on Valentine's Day?
Brad: Showed up.
Q: What presents should you give a woman for Valentine's Day?
Rich: As a cattleman, I'd say a cross-bred gift: a cross between what she wants and what she gits.
Tucker: Git roses. If you git 'em, like, the night before, you can hide 'em in yer truck.
Brad: I'd hide the roses in the kitchen cuz she'll never look there.
Q: What special rodeo tricks should you master for Valentine's Day?
Rich: We're not sure, but there will be ropes involved.
Tucker: I wonder why Rich doesn't have a date.
Q: If your relationship is shaky and you've been thinking about cutting it off, what do you do about Valentine's Day?
Brad: Work late.
Tucker: If it's shaky and you're gonna dump her anyway, might as well dump her on Valentine's Day. She'll never fergit you.
Rich: I can't even remember last Valentine's Day.
# # #
Their spurs jingled as Rich, Brad and Tucker clumped across a wooden porch in dusty boots after a recent day of cattle-roping.
They settled in chairs on Rich's back porch, which overlooks the Ventura backcountry, and prepared to wax poetic for Kim's latest installment for the Star. Since not one of them has a lick of book-learning about psychology and such, they tapped their common sense and a 12-pack of Coors Light for answers.
Dear Luv Wranglers: What's the difference between the care and feeding of a regular guy as opposed to a cowboy?
Brad: Regular guys are health-conscious. We need carbs.
Brad again: If we put gel in our hair and put on an Abercrombie shirt, we'd just look like every other guy.
Dear Luv Wranglers: Why do guys stay with women who treat them really bad? Do they just like the chase or what's the deal, when there's women (who) want to treat them great?
Tucker: Sometimes guys don't know how to get out of it. They don't know how to whip 'n' spur fast enough.
Rich: Guys always want what's not good for 'em. Like mashed potatoes, chicken-fried steak and gravy.
Dear Luv Wranglers: Women in 40-up category find men of similar age tend to gravitate to much younger women, when like-age women have lots of experience and like themselves much more. Why, guys? Is it the midlife-crisis thing or what'"
(This question came from a group of women from the Red Hat Society that had just attended "Menopause the Musical," which also was made known to the Luv Wranglers .
"What the heck is menopause?" Tucker asked.
"Never mind," Brad warned.
Tucker looked from Brad to Rich and back to Brad, who sighed and answered: "It's when women git crazy in middle age," he said. "It's like when men have a midlife crisis."
"It's why we hardly ever ride mares," Rich added.
As for why older men tend to chase younger women, Brad took a swig of Coors and trained a grin on Rich. "It makes 'em feel younger; that right, Rich?" he said.
Rich grinned back. "It's cuz you can afford 'em," he explained.
Well, I hope you enjoyed Ventura County’s local buckaroos. I consider myself one sure-fire lucky Star subscriber who can't wait for Kim's next installment.
Now, what questions would you like to fire off to the Luv Wranglers?
Let me know!