When we saw a copy of the Boobyprise out of Cody, Wyo., we thought: "That's it! This endangered species stuff has gone too far." For there was a photo of a flying dinosaur carrying off a human being.
Worse than the photo was the
headline - -Dinosaur reintroduction in Yellowstone Park has gone
better than anyone expected," and the caption - -The reintroduced
pterodactyls quickly learned that large numbers of plump,
slow-moving prey liked to habituate the steamy geothermal areas."
Photographer Dewey Vanderhoff, who is behind the Boobyprise,
explained that every few years he spoofs his home town and state.
This summer, in honor of Cody's centennial celebration, which he
says "was pretty much a dud," he published his eighth spoof in 22
years. Copies (of the spoof) are available for $3.50 from The
Boobyprise, Box 1271, Cody, WY 82414.
The Wallowa Chieftain out of eastern Oregon is
one of the West's more conservative newspapers. Nevertheless, there
in black-and-white was hard-line environmentalist Andy Kerr, who
was hung in effigy in the area not so long ago, debuting as a
columnist. That surprised Imnaha rancher Larry
"And where did Andy
Kerr learn so much about the beef industry... at Earth First!'s
ecoterrorism school? He certainly didn't learn it on the land,
since he's never done an honest day's work in his life." Carpenter
ends his letter to the editor with a rhyme: "Andy Kerr is a
disgrace, to the whole human race." Carpenter is not the only
cranky person in the tiny town. One Imnahan told the Chieftain of
the Forest Service fire-fighting efforts: "Hell, let it burn. What
good is it? We can't log the timber, we can't graze the grass, we
can't cut firewood ..."
It's not just Imnahans who are out of sorts. The U.S. Immigration
and Naturalization Service in Jackson, Wyo., is usually
good-natured, staying out of sight until after Labor Day tourists
have departed. But this year, on Sunday, Aug. 25, with the town
packed, INS agents raided scores of motels and restaurants,
deporting 109 workers and wrecking the Labor Day weekend for many
So far, the INS's crankiness hasn't
spread over Teton Pass to Idaho. Reporter Jennifer Liberto writes
in the Idaho Falls Post Register that deportation in rural Idaho
generally "follows the farming season." INS representative Randy
Robinson, out of Helena, Mont., told her: "When the spud sheds
close down, they become more mobile and have less to do. We arrest
ones that start to get involved in criminal activity."
In addition to keeping down crime, INS keeps
down unemployment. U.S. Department of Labor analyst Phil Bowman
said, "When there's surplus (labor) and no work, Immigration kicks
The Old West is
remembered as wild, what with train robberies, rustling and High
Noon shoot-outs. But the New West makes the Old West look dull and
predictable. What could Zane Grey write to compare with Christina
Erminy's adventure in Vail, Colo.? The Venezuelan visitor told the
Denver Post that her hot-air balloon ride was over almost before it
started, and that it never got above tree level. Where were the
panoramic views of snow-capped peaks she had expected for her $99?
Rather than complain to the Better Business Bureau, she simply
grabbed the balloon's basket as it was starting its next ascent,
expecting to delay the flight. But the Balloon America Pilot was
determined to soar, no matter what.
Ms. Erminy was dangling 20 to 90 feet above the ground, depending
on whose story you believe, finally getting the adventure she had
paid for. In the end, no one was hurt. Vail police declined to
bring criminal charges, telling everyone to hire lawyers and go to
the civil courts.
can also be dangerous for wildlife. A grizzly that mauled South
Carolina visitor Ken Larson in Glacier National Park this summer
will apparently be let off with a slap on the paw, but for awhile
it faced execution. AP reports that park officials finally decided
the animal "had merely displayed the natural surliness of a grizzly
whose personal space had been invaded." (Another example of the
West's mood this summer.) Although badly wounded, Larson was
pleased the grizzly was let off.
70-year-old, early-morning jogger isn't going back to Glacier,