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IT’S THE PITTS: Take my Advice

by Wyoming Livestock Roundup

By: Lee Pitts

I must look like I need some advice because I’ve been  getting a lot of it lately. This cattle business is getting harder and harder to figure out. I can’t decide if I should be buying or selling. 

I read all of the livestock newspapers, and they said prices were going up. Then I had my palm read, and the palmist said, “Don’t believe anything you read.” 

The tax man said I shouldn’t sell because I haven’t owned cattle long enough for long-term profit. But, the futures market made sure there wasn’t any profit.

I sought advice from my accountant, and he said to buy a better computer and to use Quickbooks. 

I paid $2,000 for a computer, and it advised me, “A fool and his money are soon parted.”

I called up a stockbroker, you know, the one who talks and everybody listens? I listened all right. He left me on hold from 8:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m.

The weather man said, “Dry weather ahead.” We got three wet inches of “partly cloudy.” 

The optimist said, “Cheer up, things could be worse.” 

And the pessimist said, “They soon will be.”

The banker suggested I sell. After much deliberation, I decided the smart move would be to sell, so I did. Immediately after the auctioneer said “SOLD!” on my cattle, the market immediately jumped five bucks.

The psychiatrist said, “There are two things you should never do alone – make love and sell cattle.” 

So, my wife went with me to the auction for moral support and so I wouldn’t do anything foolish – like buy more cattle. 

My wife suggested we sit way back in the shadows so no one would notice she was the only female in the place. 

Halfway through the proceedings, the auctioneer made the comment, “It sure looks like a good time to buy some cattle. You can’t play the game if you aren’t holding some cards.”

Then my trucker came up and suggested he needed a backhaul, so I figured I might as well buy something.

Two friends, John and Jack, came up and sat right behind us. Every time I would start to bid, one of them would comment, “Those steers are too full,” or “Those steers are not very green.”

The wife sitting next to me had her adding machine working, and she would chime in, “Too high.” 

It seemed every drive of cattle had something wrong with it.

I was getting frustrated and realized this was why most ranchers don’t go to the auction market to see their cattle sell. Then at last, a load came in everybody agreed was just right. 

“They sure are green,” said Jack. 

“They sure are empty,” said John. 

“They sure are cheap,” said my wife. 

I bid one time, and the auctioneer hammered his gavel down. My trucker had himself a backhaul.

Then my wife advised me, “You idiot. You just bought back the cattle we sent over here to sell.”

My mouth dropped open as I realized the possibility existed she might be right. I tried to look nonchalant. 

“Yes, but they were green, empty and such a good buy. I couldn’t pass them up,” I said.

I ended up taking a tongue lashing from the wife all the way home and got the silent treatment for a week afterwards. As my wonder horse Gentleman and I were admiring our newly-purchased, vaguely familiar set of calves, the long-languishing cowboy poet in me screamed for all the world to hear…

The moral of this story is plain to see.

Take this advice from me:

Don’t take any, even if it’s free.

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