Monday, November 16, 2009

Ox Carts in the News

When the Dark Age meets the Info Age, the Info Age will always screw it up. Below is an actual press release from an incident that occurred here in western Kansas last week.

Semi collides with wagon pulled by oxen

COLBY -- A semi collided with a cart pulled by two Scottish Highland oxen driven by an 86-year-old Gem man 7 miles northwest of Colby on Thursday. The driver, Lon E. Sowers, was taken to Citizen's Medical Center in Colby and later flown to another hospital after the collision at 5:01 p.m. on Thomas County Road 27, said Tod Hileman, public resource officer for Kansas Highway Patrol Troop D. Sowers' condition and location could not be confirmed. The oxen, which Sowers has driven in several area parades, apparently were not badly injured, Hileman said. He said one of the animals fell down but got back to its feet, and the team was walked back to Sowers' farm. He said a trooper checked on the animals later and found them eating. According to a highway patrol report, Sowers was driving his cart north on Road 27 when the semi driven by Terry M. Wendell, 62, Colby, attempted to pass on the left. Sowers began to turn the cart left as the semi attempted to pass, and they collided. Some details of this incident were incorrectly reported in Friday's Hays Daily News.

Since my computer will not allow me to read just exactly what it is that was not reported in Friday's Hays Daily News, I can only speculate. Here are probably some of the facts reported incorrectly:

1) The ox cart was NOT driven by Theodoric of York, as earlier reported, but instead by Lon of Gem, son of Logar of Gem.

2) Lon of Gem was NOT treated by the local medieval barber as reported in the Hays newspaper earlier, nor were several dozen leaches applied, nor was Lon of Gem wrapped in wolf wort and moss and dunked in cold pond water for half an hour; Lon was in fact purified by white hot pokers for several hours until the demons in his wounds were finally driven out.

3) Although the oxen were indeed, not injured, the cart, made of sticks and mud and carrying a load of peat from the local bog was a total loss--it was later burned by a village shaman to remove evil rhythms and spirits embedded in the wood which may have contributed to the accident; the fire was also used to heat up the pokers used on Lon of Gem.


Olive Oyl is Dead

Olive Oyl (below), the original anorexic, still can be heard on countless "Popeye" reruns but the voice itself passed to that great sound room in the sky long ago. Yes, that nagging, annoying voice we all learned to hate was finally shut up in 1988 when its owner, Marilyn Schreffler, died of liver cancer. Didn't we all love the cartoon but a thousand times didn't we also hope that this skinny cartoon broomstick would be killed by JUST ONE speeding train, JUST ONE sinking ship or even by Bluto's bone-crushing embraces, and NOT saved by that imbecile Popeye and his can of spinach? Instead, of a thousand and one perils she faced every week, seems the sauce finally claimed Ms. Oyl. Could it be that she was driven to drink because of her indecision on whether to choose between the weekly would-be rapist, Bluto, or the ugly, misshapen gnome, Popeye? Olive Oyl's voice was born in Wichita, Kansas, and attended Washburn University in Topeka. It won't be missed.