This here’s Stretch Coyote talkin’ at ya.

I was born in the little bitty town of Paint Rock, Texas, and later moved to Waco where I was trained for a promising career at the local asbestos factory. But then a bunch of guys in iron lungs got together with some government researchers and lowered the ceiling on asbestos (The Fiber Of The Future) so I decided to hightail it to Southern California.

You might just be wonderin’ about my high-tone moniker and how I come by it. It ain’t exactly my real name and I suppose you figured that out pretty near the end of the second paragraph. It’s my stage name. I use it when I perform with my band, Stretch Coyote and the Palaverin’ Polecats. Our particular style of music is my own personal invention, the world’s first country-western rap group. The Polecats and I sound kinda like inner-city square dance callers.

In-between gigs, I am mostly involved in lawn care — a great source of gigs for the Polecats. We play mostly weddings and bar mitzvahs for people who share a keen respect for the way I can handle an edger. You ain’t really explored the outer dimensions of your thought processes ‘til you’ve heard the Polecats play “Hava Nagila,” the “Beer Barrel Polka” and “Turkey In The Straw,” all mixed up together. It’s kind of like my girlfriend Petuda’s meat loaf surprise: It don’t go down too easy, but it satisfies somethin’ mysterious in the pit of my soul.

~ Stretch Illustration by John Sherffius
~ © All Rights Reserved

Goin' To Extremes

This here’s Stretch Coyote talkin’ at ya.

Seems like the whole wide world is at war with them extreme suicide bomber-type folks, or should I say it seems like they’re at war with the whole wide world.

I kinda understand religious fanaticism, seein’ as how I grew up with a few Holy Rollers in the neighborhood. Some of these Type A Christians would have prayer meetin's in this old barn on the edge of town what no one could remember who it belonged to.

(Note to my English teacher, Miss Templeton: Yes, I remember what you said about endin’ a sentence with a preposition, but dang it, you’re dead and grammar has moved on!)

Anyway, these here Holy Roller folk would get so worked up over the Bible and the Holy Spirit and whatever else was in the air that some of them would roll around on the floor like gravity was suddenly too dang strong for them to resist, while others started makin’ weird sounds like a raccoon caught in a trap. More than once did I peek through a knothole in back of the barn, tryin’ to determine if these highly animated parishioners were possessed by the Holy Spirit or the devil.

But then my folks explained to me how plain, ordinary folks just have to go nuts once in a while. At least they were goin’ nuts for the Lord. Now as scary as these folks were to my eight-year-old brain, I knew on Monday they would go back to their regular lives at the tire plant and other employments.

So I kinda understand religious fervor. But just cause you’ve been filled with the Holy Spirit doesn’t mean you gotta kill those folks who have a little different point of view. How about tryin' a good old-fashioned argument? We don’t need any kind of religion to turn us into killers. We can do that pretty well on our own. Mabye we should use religion to teach folks not to kill. How about killin' your enemies with kindness?

I just can’t figure how being a murderer qualifies you for heaven. It sure as hell ain’t the kind of heaven I wanna go to.

(Sorry again Miss Templeton, wherever you are.)

~ Stretch Illustration by John Sherffius
~ © All Rights Reserved

The Man In The Moon

The man in the moon is a cowboy
Ever since I smoked that rope.
The man in the moon is a cowboy
And the moon is a cantaloupe.
Gotta pair a pantaloons in the gravy
But the chicken upstairs is not home,
And I think I’m gettin’ kinda lazy,
Here on the range on the home.

My Garage

This here’s Stretch Coyote talkin’ at ya.

Sooner or later, a guy has gotta do what a guy has gotta do.

Anyhow, that’s what my domestic partner in wedded bliss, Petuda, said to me last Sunday as I stood contemplatin’ the cavernous and multifaceted abyss that is my garage.

She thinks it’s about time for a garage overhaul, a suggestion that kinda’ makes me shiver all the way down to my thermal boot socks. Had it not been for her gettin’ clunked on the head by my stuffed mongoose and cobra tableau, I suppose I could have avoided the garage cleanin’ subject altogether.

The innards of my garage are kinda’ like the throbbing, pulsating mass of my subconscious — somethin’ I am fearful of tinkerin’ with, lest it upset the primal forces which so far have left me relatively free from global concerns.

Among the assorted petro-plastic paraphernalia I cannot bring myself to either use or discard are mementos of a life I left behind 29 years ago in Waco, Texas, where I was trained for a promising career at the local asbestos factory. But wouldn’t you know it, this bunch of guys in iron lungs got together with some government researchers in space suits and lowered the ceiling on asbestos — The Fiber of the Future! So I hightailed it down to Southern California in search of somethin’ deep at the heart of life’s mystery that I have yet to find at a price I can afford. I no longer have room for my beehives or much else in my stucco-covered, pre-war hovel, so my garage is as stuffed as a wild warthog in a chocolate shop.

What with America in a giant compost pile of economic uncertainty, the state of my garage makes me think we all could probably do with a lot less. Do I really need this electronic barking key finder anyhow? I can’t help but ponder that what these here yuppie-ti-yi-yo-yos need most is the simple life of shuckin’ cowpeas on the front porch in the hot summer sun. They need to swat bugs with a fly swatter. And such.

Anyhow, I have yet to embark on the quest of the tidy garage. I’m still kinda busy workin’ out the philosophical implications of it all, even though Petuda is a hankerin’ for me to get on with it. I am tryin’ to convince her that our garage is kind of like her meat loaf surprise: It ain’t too pretty, but it satisfies somethin’ mysterious, deep in the pit of my soul.

~ Stretch Illustration by John Sherffius
~ © All Rights Reserved