It is often said that Bluff is a place where everyone has strong opinions. Community issues universally get a thorough vetting, and arguing is a passion, not just a pastime. When I was a child growing up in this community of 250 residents, it was frequently noted that Bluff had the highest number of Ph.D.'s per capita of any community in the United States. It had a grand total of one, but with our small population that was enough to distinguish us from the rest of the country.
Steve with Nellie's O-Pinon Cream @ Twin Rocks.
We now have numerous inhabitants holding doctorates, including a distinguished public service lawyer who attended Harvard Law with President Obama. Countless others have undergraduate and graduate degrees. Bluff is without a doubt the most intelligent community I have ever seen; even the dummies are smart. Well, most of them anyway.
One might rightfully ask how Barry and I exist in such an enlightened environment. As a means of survival, we have learned to listen carefully, nod our heads often and say things like, “right on,” “okay” and “yes, I understand.” While that strategy has been mostly successful with our spouses, it has created more than a few problems at the trading post.
The latest concern arose when Nellie Tsosie came into Twin Rocks to sell a batch of her world renowned Pinon Cream. Nellie wanted to know when the economy might improve. She was not worried about broad economic indicators, this was personal. Apparently things had been slow at the pinon refinery and her cash reserves had run out. “Well, right on,” I said. “Yes, sure, we understand,” Barry agreed, nodding his head.
Nellie let us know in no uncertain terms that our responses were unsatisfactory. She wanted concrete answers, not platitudes. It seems things were about to get serious, and Nellie knew hard times demanded decisive action. Barry and I finally had to admit we did not have an opinion on the matter. In frustration, Nellie stormed out. “Well, right on,” Barry said.
Less than 48 hours later Nellie returned with her latest invention, O-Pinon Cream. “This stuff is guaranteed to work,” she declared. “If you hard heads can’t independently form an idea, O-Pinon Cream is what you need! You’ll have more damn opinions than you can possibly express!” “Does it really work?” I asked. Without hesitation she shot back, “Does my Miracle Cream work?” We had to admit she had a point, her Miracle Cream is, well, a miracle.
Wondering how you might apply this new invention, Barry and I gave her obviously confused looks. “Well, how do you think?” she asked. We had to admit we really did not know. “You rub it on your head,” she whispered as if disclosing a closely guarded secret. “That’s the complication,” she continued, “We’ll have to shave your heads.”
“Well, right on,” Barry said. Within minutes we had rounded up a shaver and Nellie began removing our locks. Once the job was complete, she dug into her gallon jug, took two big hands full and massaged the goo onto our newly exposed pates. “You can’t wash your head for 72 hours,” she cautioned. “Guaranteed to work!” she again declared.
“Now,” she said “that’ll be Five Hundred Bucks, Seven Fifty if you want the jar. Opinions are expensive.” Knowing Nellie’s reputation for creating powerful salves, we gladly paid the tariff. “See, the economy is already improving,” she said. Stuffing the cash in her pocket, she ambled out, whistling Another One Bites the Dust.
With Warm Regards,
Steve, Barry and the Team.