Cowboy story

A Cowboy Story:

On the way home from the District of Columbia tonight, I ran into a massive thunderstorm out Manassas way. I cut off the highway and stopped in at a "Grill & Bar" for dinner. Since I was alone, I didn't ask for a table, but went in to dine at the bar.

I was wearing my grandfather's Stetson -- the finest thing ever invented for a T-storm is a beaver-felt hat. There was no place to set the hat, so I just left it propped on my head while I climbed on the stool. Although it was early in the evening, three fellows arranged at the end of the bar had obviously gotten there well ahead of me. They were, in a word, drunk.

So I sat down, picked up a copy of the Washington Post, and put in my order. Just a moment later, the drunk in the middle shouted down the bar:

"Hey! That hat needs a bullet hole through it! That'd be great!"

I just ignored him, and kept reading. Another shout:

"Hey, buddy! I said your hat needs a bullet hole through it! Har, har!"

Not the first drunk I ever met, so I kept reading.

"Hey, bartender, gimme yer pistol! I'm gonna shoot a hole in that fella's hat!"

At this point I glanced over to the end of the bar, took the fellow's eye, and said:

"This hat belonged to my grandfather. I'll thank you if you don't shoot at it."
And I went back to my paper. It got a lot quieter at that end of the bar. I heard the fellow mutter something about his grandfather, but I'm not sure what.

A moment later, the closest of the men came down to me.

"Listen, sir," he said, "we're just having some fun with that other guy. He's a Cowboy's fan, and this is Redskins country. He didn't mean any disrespect to the hat."

He honestly said that. I told him it was fine, and he thanked me, and went on back to what they were doing. Fellows seemed to be having a good time, and good for them.

Never had a man apologize to my hat before. They seemed like good guys, though.

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