Friday Fun: Santa is a Cowboy by Slim Randles

I’ve been battling Covid since last Saturday and my head is currently filled with all those little Styrofoam pellets used for packing, so my brain is rather useless at the moment. Takes forever to pull a thought or a word out, which leaves me no choice but to let my friend, Slim Randles, entertain you with a fun story.

Grab a cookie, read on, and enjoy.

The subject came up spontaneously at a recent meeting of the New Mexico Cowboy Curmudgeon Coalition, where our motto is: “If we actually existed, would anyone really care?” It came about because of the time of year and the spirit of Christmas, and was encouraged by other spirits, of a more … well … bottled variety.

“I think it’s time,” said one member, “we gave credit where credit is due. Santa Claus … hear me out now … is a cowboy.”

This met with derisive outbursts in the House of Commons, which is more the Bunkhouse of Commons here. Why? Because being a cowboy is the pinnacle of human achievement, and those who reach these heights tend to jealously guard the gates. It was quickly pointed out that Santa is a bit … chunky, to make much of a hand. And what did we know of his ranching background?

But then a miracle happened. The clouds of doubt pulled away from the argument and the light of sense and reason shone round and about like dawn on a thistle. The coalition member who had suggested membership for Santa spent the next half hour laying out why Santa is really a cowboy.

Let us examine his points with care, in hopes that enlightenment soon will be there.

Cowboys selflessly dedicate their lives to helping others and protecting women and children from evil, naturally, and no one could argue that if anyone were to threaten a kid, he’d get a Santa whuppin’ in no time flat. This was as clear as the moon on the crest of new fallen snow, so, from a valorous point of view, S. Claus was well on his way to cowboydom.

A true cowboy loves animals, too. In fact, a true cowboy will feed completely useless stock long after they have outlived their usefulness, just so he can go out and feed something. Naturally, if a guy were to feed … oh, say eight reindeer all year long just so he’d have some transportation for a single night?

Oh yes, the luster of midday to objects below was beginning in force.

Then, too, Santa spends all year long discovering new ways of having fun, without once giving heed to the family exchequer. It’s as though money were no object in a year-long pursuit of happiness for others.

And then, when a year’s hard work is completed, what does Santa do? He gives it all away in a single night! Yea, verily, it makes a guy lay a finger aside his nose with glee.

But is all this truly the essence of being a cowboy? Well then, consider this: Santa has the ability and desire to get into literally millions of tight places in a single night on the town! And somehow he manages to get himself out of these tight places, as well, as he makes his way back to the stock.

Add it all up, Santa’s life is impressive, but simply blowing the fruits of a year’s work on a single night of selflessness doesn’t carry with it the élan, the Santa savoir faire that fans have credited to genuine New Mexico cowboys all these years. Surely there must be more.

Well, there is. And this is what put the cherry on the whole Cowboy Santa brouhaha.

Santa has, for eons now, spent all night out, gallivanting around here and there on a marvelous and miraculous worldwide toot, and is still able to convince Mrs. Claus he is just going out for milk and cookies.

“Now there,” we said in a spontaneous toast to the jolly old elf, “is a real cowboy.”


Slim Randles has driven Alaska’s Iditarod Race with seven dogs, and has done enough other idiotic things to qualify for membership in the New Mexico Cowboy Curmudgeon Coalition. Slim and his wife, Catherine, live in Albuquerque.


Before you go, check out the great End of the Year Sale going on at Smashwords. Many of my mysteries are available for 50% off the regular price and Open Season is free. Lots of other great titles there, too, so you can load up for reading when the holidays are over.

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