Salazar's horse sensitivity
Idaho: No return policy on this one ... For good reason. Courtesy Ron Spiewak
Should you bump into Interior Secretary Ken Salazar anytime soon, you might ask him about his future plans, his family's well-being, or even his hat. (How does he decide whether to wear black or white?) But whatever you do, don't mention wild horses. Colorado Springs Gazette reporter and High Country News contributor Dave Philipps found this out when he brought up Bureau of Land Management wild horse policy at an election day rally. After the informal interview, Salazar turned to Philipps and accused him of setting him up: "You do that to me again, and I'll punch you out, OK?" A wild horse advocacy group immediately sent out an alert, and the news went viral, to many a conservative blogger's heartfelt glee. Salazar apologized to Philipps by phone and offered him a formal interview, which is all Philipps wanted in the first place. For the record, Salazar -- who is typically mild-mannered to a fault -- was wearing his white hat on the day he made the threat.
If you want to flush the crazies out of the woodwork, just hold an election. A woman in Gilbert, Ariz., ran over her husband with a car, leaving him in critical condition, because she believed his failure to vote caused Romney's loss. In a case of 2008 déjà vu, gun sales again went bonkers as soon as Obama was re-elected, "with weapons retailers reporting AK-47s flying off shelves 'like hotcakes,' " reports The Telegraph. A Montana state legislator demanded he be paid in gold and silver, saying he believes Obama's re-election will cause a currency collapse. And citizens of all 50 states filed petitions to secede from the Union.
Given all this, can it be a coincidence about the Ding-Dongs? The other Ding-Dongs, that is -- the ones made by Hostess, which announced it would shut down just days after the election. Such news would be tragic at any time, but it caused extra anxiety in Colorado and Washington, where voters had just chosen to legalize marijuana. Foreseeing an epidemic of the munchies, entrepreneurs hungrily stockpiled Twinkies, planning to sell them at a steep profit later, perhaps on eBay. But now it appears that another company -- Pabst Brewing, for example -- will likely buy Hostess, including the Twinkies brand, and continue to make the creme-filled cakes.
This edition of Heard around the West was guest-edited by Jonathan Thompson.
Tips and photos of Western oddities are appreciated and often shared in this column. Write email@example.com.