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Wyatt Earp a.k.a. Wyatt Burp

The day started dry, sunny and full of whirling dust that often became dirt devils sweeping through the town, which led to a late morning of tumble weeds blowin’ through the streets.

The tumble weeds and dirt devils gave way to a stormy afternoon; and when the rain drops the cowboys and skirts head straight to the saloon where they get full as a tick.

Not exempt from partaking of the booze was this guy… ole Wyatt Earp.

It was just another day at the saloon where the townsfolk were having a go at gamblin’ away their loot at poker, bouncing songs off the wooden rafters to Ivory Jimmy’s piano playing, ladies of the day (and night) stacked up on the stair, and pistol toting gunslingers making the bartender work his whiskey.

Then the notorious Billy the Kid sauntered through the swinging saloon doors, crossed the bar floor, and while he slammed his pistol on the bar ordering up whiskey for his soul and beer for his horse he took rest on the barstool beside me, ole Wyatt Earp.

While everyone in the Wild West certainly knew of Billy the Kid, he’d never been round these parts. It was a first for all of us.

I told the barkeep to keep the whiskey comin’ for Billy and I as I wanted to know more about the infamous Kid.

“What do I owe the whiskey?” asked Billy the Kid.

“Just western hospitality Billy,” I said.

“So, you know who I am,” stated Billy. “But, I don’t know the man buying me whiskey.” “What do they call you?” asked Billy.

“I’m the law round these parts; and they call me Wyatt…”

Then it happened. I was about to finish telling him my name, when as I was saying “Earp” I burped at the same time and my last name came out as “Burp”.

I told Billy the Kid that “they call me Wyatt… Burp.”

“Ha! What? Wyatt Burp?” stated Billy. “They call you Wyatt Burp?”

I tried to correct him telling him my name is Wyatt Earp, not Wyatt Burp, but he was so roostered that he wouldn’t hear of it in the least.

Billy started downing the whiskey and six shootin’ and hollerin’ about the saloon telling the townsfolk that he had just met Mr. Wyatt Burp, the law of the town.

As the scene went on and on and on, I was growing with rage.

“Hobble your lip before I haul ya off to the ole hoosegow or bone orchard,” I threatened.

Billy shouted back, “You caint bulldoze me you flannel mouth!”

“Flannel mouth?! I ain’t no flannel mouth you four-flusher!” I told him.

That was that. I proclaimed at that very moment that Billy the Kid was Wanted Dead or Alive!

The townsfolk ran Billy the Kid out of town with guns a blazing.

No one calls me Wyatt Burp.

For an explanation of Wild West terms: http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~poindexterfamily/OldWestSlang.html

© 2012 by James Miller

About James Miller

James Miller is author of Basie & Paisley Children's Books, including "A Spider Lives In My Belly Button," "A Monstrous Smile," and "A Moose In The Basement."


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