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Now displaying: Page 1
Mar 1, 2016

Producer/Engineer: Bill Pollock

Editors: Sarah Rendo/Robert J. Baumann

Cover: Rob Mitchell

 

Before Ernest Hemingway handed out cigarettes and candy to Italian troops in World War Uno, he worked as a cub reporter for The Kansas City Star. It didn’t matter if the story was about church farts or missing sewer lids – no street went unpaved by his narrative.

Soon thereafter, Hemingway took a trip to the Kansas City stockyards. The dust of the West Bottoms swirled with a whirlwind fueled by a thousand cow farts as Hemingway approached the corrals. Although it was like standing in the furnace of a great booty bomb factory, Hemingway followed his internal journalistic compass deep into the bowels of the stockyard.

Suddenly a gust of cow toots blew the cap off his grand noggin and sent it tumbling down a cattle shoot. Ernest hopped down from the corral and snatched his hat, hundreds of bulls racing closer and closer, their snorts and grunts ringing in his ears.

Maddeningly close to his person, young Ernie began to scream, “Help me! Anybody! I want to be a famous writer! I’m going to reinvent the form!”

Finally a one legged cattle hand named Elmer popped open a gate and the young writer leaped into the pen. Hemingway’s chest heaved up and down. Elmer spit tobacco juice on the ground and said, “Stick to scribbling, ya bozo. Best stay clear of the running of the bulls. If their farts won’t kill you, their hooves will.”

No one knows if Hemingway’s near trampling would inspire him to greatness. However, it has been said that on a slow news day, if you go to the stockyards and rub your ear against the old wooden planks of the corral, you can hear the sound of Ernest Hemingway screaming and it smells like a stampede of ghost butts.

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