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A Bridge Too Far
Wednesday, October 12, 2011 • Posted October 12, 2011

My dad had a great sense of humor, but he could only remember a few jokes. Actually, he could remember several jokes, but he could only remember the punchlines of a few of them. Which is kind of necessary for the ending, but there you go.One of my dad’s favorite jokes, which luckily happened to be one of the ones he could remember the punchline to, was about a sergeant who lined up his troops and told them, “Men, I’ve got good news and bad news. The good news is you’re all going to get a change of underwear.”The men all cheered at that. Then the sergeant said, “Here’s the bad news. Jones, you change with Winters. Finney, you change with Davidson . . .”That’s the kind of good news we usually get from our government lately. For example, a while back I wrote about the FDA’s insane claim that Americans should not be allowed to drink milk until it’s been pasturized or homogenized or something else ized. Our government telling us what we can and can’t eat is about as invasive as it gets, unless they start banning certain types of undergarments or something.But the average American, who lives in Kansas someplace, and is named Bill, knows the people at the FDA are nuts, and a rule like that is bound to be changed once normal people hear about it and voice their opinions. Which is what happened. In Wisconsin. Where there are lots of cows.Some families up there decided to each buy a milk cow and board them all at a farm, and drink the milk produced thereof. But the Wisconsin Dept. of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection pitched a crying, hissy fit. Evidently the Wisconsin Dept. of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection peeks over peoples’ fences, and into their sock drawers, and other inappropriate places. How else would it have found out about the illicit cows. Excuse me. Allegedly illicit cows.Anyway, the families filed suit against the WDATCP, which is known locally as the Wassup?, and the case went to court. In Wisconsin. Where there are a lot of cows, and, one would assume, common sense, especially involving cows. Slam dunk for the cow owners, right?Wrong. The judge, who is evidently from Neptune, ruled in favor of the Wassup?, and told the families they do not have the right to drink milk produced by their very own cows, bought with their very own American legal tender. So there.In the interest of being a nice guy, I will not mention the judge’s name, except to say that it was Circuit Court Judge Patrick Fielder and that he is as dumb as a milking stool with one leg. He should be dejudged, or degaveled, or desomethinged, for being too stupid to pour milk out of a boot with the directions written on the heel.The cow families plan to appeal the ludicrous judge’s decision, and if some alert reader somewhere sends me a story about how that comes out, I’ll let you know. Don’t hold your breath.And now, from Wisconsin, we go to New Castle, Pennsylvania, to escape the cows, and the insanity, and visit a much more pleasant story about a stolen bridge. Perhaps you think I made this bridge up. Bear in mind that you would have thought I had made up the illegal milk, if you hadn’t read about it in this very newspaper.There’s a company in New Castle called New Castle Development, and this company had a bridge. It’s kind of like the Old McDonald story, except the bridge just sat there, and was occasionally used to enter the company property from the back. And then, last week, it disappeared. Poof. No more bridge.NCD doesn’t know exactly when the bridge was stolen, but it had to have been between Sept. 27 and Oct. 5. Me, if I had a bridge, I don’t think it would take me a week to figure out I didn’t have it anymore. I guess NCD was a little slipshod in their bridge security.The thing is, this was not just a little walking bridge, made out of lumber or rope or something. It was a great big honking 50-foot-long by 20-foot-wide bridge made out of corrugated steel. Don’t ask me what corrugated steel is. I won’t tell you.Thieves evidently used cutting torches to chop the bridge up into sections and haul it off, probably to sell for scrap metal, but who knows? Its picture may end up on milk cartons before long.The scary thing is, if thieves can steal one bridge, they can steal another, maybe one you drive across every day. They could even steal it while you’re on it. If that happens please report the theft immediately. After a few days few bridges are recovered alive.And for goodness sake, if you insist on drinking milk, do it in the privacy of your own home, and don’t, under any circumstances, let the government find out about it . . .

Kendal Hemphill is an outdoor humor columnist and public speaker who never drinks milk, and never admits it if he does. Write to him at PO Box 1600, Mason, Tx 76856 or jeep@verizon.net

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