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Welcome to the
"Hanging onto the Cow's Foot"
web site

  Hanging onto the Cow's Foot is a compilation of columns that I have written during my career as a newspaper editor.
  Some of the columns will make you laugh, some will make you cry, some will cause you to reflect on your own life and some will just cause you to think about the things that go on around you.
  I hope that you will buy a copy and enjoy it. The book is also available in e-book format from Publish America. A couple of excerpts are below.
To order, look on "Favorite Links" page for your preferred store or click on the link at left to order directly from the publisher. Thanks for your patronage.

Carve a Jack-o-Lantern
very, very carefully

  John was on his way home from work on Halloween, when he remembered that he had to stop at Joe's Produce Stand and buy a pumpkin.
  He had promised his children that he would help them make a Jack-O-Lantern.
  He pulled up in front of the produce stand just as Joe was moving his produce inside, so he could close up for the night.
  "Hey wait," John called, "I've got to have a pumpkin."
  "You just barely made it," Joe said. "I would have been gone in another minute. Come on in and select one. I have only 13 left, and I'll be glad to get rid of that thirteenth pumpkin."
  "You are not superstitious, are you?," laughed John. "Thirteen is just another number to me."
  "Maybe," said Joe, "but it never hurts to be careful."
  Later, at home, John helped his children cut a face into the pumpkin and place a candle inside.
  It sure does have an evil grin, thought John, as he placed the Jack-O-Lantern on the window sill.
  After the family finished dinner and John's wife had taken the children out trick-or-treating, John settled down in his easy chair to await the trick-or-treaters, who would ring his own doorbell.
  As he sat there, he happened to glance at the Jack-O-Lantern and thought something seemed different. Then he realized what it was: the Jack-O-Lantern was now facing into the room.
  The kids must have turned it around, thought John, as he got up to face it out again, because he distinctly remembered facing it out when he placed it in the window.
  He was about halfway to the window when he suddenly got the shock of his life. The Jack-O-Lantern was floating toward him!
  For an instant John was frozen in his tracks as his mind raced back to what Joe had said earlier in the evening about being careful with the superstitious number 13.
  John then began to search desperately for a weapon to fight the malevolent grinning Jack-O-Lantern. As his eyes scanned the room, he saw a poker standing by the fireplace.
  Grabbing the poker and gripping it with both hands, he swung it at the Jack-O-Lantern with its terrifying grin. But instead of shattering the pumpkin as he was expecting it to do, the poker went clattering noisily across the room.
  As the Jack-O-Lantern kept coming toward him, John bolted out the front door, wearing a terrified look on his face. Out in the street, the trick-or-treaters looked at John as if he were a crazy man, as he ran wildly down the street.
  As he ran, he began trying to figure out why the Jack-O-Lantern would choose him. Maybe it intended to hollow out his body, as he had done to the pumpkin.
  Whatever the reason, John thought, it would have to catch him first.
  He ducked down a side street trying to lose the terrifying, grinning face; but each time he glanced behind him, there it was hovering in the air grinning at him, although it did not seem to be quite as close behind him as before. Almost to tired to run any further, John turned down still another side street and found himself in front of an all night cafe.
  Maybe, he thought as he ran into the cafe, the Jack-O-Lantern would not know where he had gone.
  Once inside, he stood looking out the window and watching for the terrifying image to appear. But, it never did.
  After a while, John began to feel safe. He went over to the counter and ordered a cup of coffee to help calm his nerves before starting back home.
  After he finished the coffee, he felt much calmer so he left the cafe and began winding his way back home. Although he kept glancing behind him, the Jack-O-Lantern was not following.
  As John turned the corner onto his street, he found himself in front of Joe's Produce Stand and there staring out the window at him were 13 identical Jack-O-Lanterns - all wearing the same fiendish grin.
  John began to run.
  Be careful of how you carve your Jack-O-Lantern this year, folks. You just never know what is going to happen. Ask John - if you can find him.

Don't take everything
so literal all the time

  You know you have to be careful about taking some phrases literally.
  For instance, you have all heard the expression `drive a nail.' Now you absolutely cannot drive a nail - a nail doesn't have a steering wheel, or a motor either for that matter.
  Then there is the expression, `take your time.' Well, who else's time would you take. I am not at all sure that anyone can take time anyway. As I see it, time belongs to nature and there is only so much. You, I, and everyone else gets 24 hours a day, 1,140 minutes a day, or 86,400 seconds a day. There isn't anymore than that no matter how you slice it.
  Many times we are asked, `Do you have the time?' The person asking is wanting to know what time it is, but that is not what they really asked. I usually reply, time for what?
  You have all, at one time or another, had someone riding in a car with you and ask you to `crack your window.' Absolutely not! Those windows are expensive to replace.
  Checkout clerks always ask the same thing, `Will that be all for you today?' I always want to say; no, I need six other items but I am going to bring them up here and pay for them one at a time. Do those clerks think that we would be checking out if we were not finished with our shopping?
  Clerks are also notorious for asking you if you have a work number. Just say `yes' and wait to see what happens next.
Have you ever heard the phrase, `open up a keg of nails and drink the juice.'? Well, you can't do that. Oh, you can open up a keg of nails alright, but there won't be any juice in the keg. I know, I tried.

Go Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe Warriors!!!!
Patrick Liner #36