Saturday, November 24, 2007

A Good Posse Always Gets Her Woman

My best friend Starr Ann (hi, Starr Ann) was sitting at the foot of my bed staring at me when I woke up this morning. That's always a sure sign it's going to be an innerestin day.

"Margo, we've come perilously close to acting like grownups lately. Don't try to deny it."

I sat up. "Not denying that. I've noticed it too. What do you have in mind?"

Starr Ann rocked her chair to the least safe chair position - resting on the rear legs only. Dang, she was out for danger and it showed! She hooked her thumbs in her belt loops and got real thoughtful. "Only way to lick a situation like this," she said, with a desperate, devil-may-care look in her eye, "is to assemble The Posse."

"Hot dang! Starr Ann, you just gush good ideas, sometime, you know that?"

As it turned out, the entire Happy Hands Ranch Posse, excepting two, were available.

Becky C, who frankly lives to shop, was out, well, shopping. Starr Ann and I had forgotten about the Friday after Thanksgiving being the biggest shopping day of the year. When we reached Becky, she was in the middle of picking out which pair of short shorts she wanted to wear as she shopped the day away.

The other member who couldn't make it was Mimi. Blog Blast for Peace was so incredibly successful, Mimi is still surfing the Blogosphere, finding Peace Blogs to leave her lovely, encouraging comments on.

Anyway, there we were, all saddled up, horses dancing, kinda circling around and high. It was Starr Ann, Sandwriter, Lori, FRoG, Hill Country Gal, Hapless Tigger, and me. We were feeling pretty good about what the afternoon had in store, when the final member, Cap'n Dyke, came flying up out of nowhere on her horse, Plunder.

Starr Ann nodded to the Cap'n and said, "This is all of us, then. Let's break up on even sides."

Hill spoke up first. "OMFG!!!"

I'll just tell you right away that Hill actually says the letters. She really does.

So, Hill continues, "I hope you lezzies don't get all involved with the minutiae of dividing up again. Last fucking time, it was getting dark when we finally got to the chase." But we know Hill well enough to realize she wasn't really mad. Especially when she laughed real hearty and said, "ROTFLMAO!!! As the only straight posse members, FRoG and I should be on separate sides. And let's try to keep that one thing from happening. Starr Ann, you know who the hell I'm talking to."

Starr Ann couldn't deny it, so she just kept things moving along. "Okay, FRoG and Hill on opposite teams. Now, Lori, between the two of them, who are you riding with?

Lori looked at first Hill, then FRoG. "FRoG certainly has all the qualities-"

Hill broke in with, "Cut the shit, Hahn. You with me, or you with FRoG."

Lori said, "FRoG."

FRoG smiled real sweet, but also eyed up the rest of The Posse. We all knew from experience that FRoG, despite having her head in the clouds much of the time, can be real competitive. Vicious, almost. And she likes to ride with the best of the best. Very ambitious. Plus, she moved to the Southwest recently, which just about made the rest of us cowgirls expire with envy.

Right then, Sandwriter whipped out her poetic license and took over. She said, "Lest we lose more daylight, trying hard to be fair, let me divide us up right, and we'll ride without care." Keen-eyed and savvy, Sandwriter surveyed our group. "Hapless Tigger with FRoG, and Margo, you too. Hill, the Cap'n and I are with you."

Everybody bunched their horses in the clusters Sandwriter had assigned. Except for Hapless Tigger. She was on her cell phone again.

I said, "Hey, Triple Secs, can't you just get your bets down all at once so we don't have to stop every five minutes this time?"

Into her phone, Tigger said, "Hold just a minute, please." She muffled the phone to her chest and looked at me. "Margo, I just this minute decided on my trifecta. What do you want me to do? Simply pass it up?"

You can't argue with Triple Secs when it comes to betting horses, so I just shut my mouth. Finally, she turned her phone off and got her horse in position.

While the two groups faced off, Plunder, a stallion black as deep space with stars in his eyes and quite hard to handle, danced beneath Cap'n Dyke as he registered her anticipation. The Pirate Queen smirked in my direction and steadied her horse, saying, "Ease up, Plunder! Th'chase be afoot soon enough."

The coin was tossed and FRoG's team won. We chose to be the Outlaws. That meant Hill's group would be the Law. As always, the Outlaws were granted a ten minute lead. We spurred our horses and raced off toward the cliffs to the north of Happy Hands Ranch. Once beyond those, we could choose a change of direction without the Law seeing which way we went.

Us Outlaws gave those peacekeepers a run for their money, all right. I was the last Outlaw still on the loose, and it was just about dark before they captured me. Actually, it was getting so cold out, I almost didn't mind when I rounded that boulder and ran Trickster right up on Starr Ann and Cap'n Dyke, the both of them sitting there on Oatmeal and Plunder, looking like two cats about to divide up one little mouse. I put my hands in the air, and the game was over. Personally, I think it was uncalled for that they tied me across my saddle and took me in that way, telling everybody how I tried to make a run for it and they had to kill me. But I went along with what they told me to do, because Posse Day rules say when you get captured, you forfeit all choice in how they take you in.

We sat around the fire until late in the night, tired as all get out and real hungry from being outside most of the day. Lori brought over enough food to fill up three posses and we feasted until the wee hours, listening to blog stories and just enjoying the good company.

When everybody left, Starr Ann said, "No danger of turning into a grownup when you ride with women like that."