Saturday, March 17, 2012

Showdown at the OK Corral

It was bound to happen sooner or later in Choteau, Montana, despite all of our cordial ways.

Just for a little back ground. When one grows up in a small town, makes a career in a small town and retires in a small town, much is known about your life. You make friends, enemies, have relatives that fit in both categories and generally all of your political leanings, favorite dessert preferences, and dalliances are well-known. You can fool only the newcomer for so long.

That being said, the round table provides a forum for many long-time residents to gossip, reminisce, make inquires, or, on some days, politely ignore one another, despite being a mere three feet apart on matching chairs. It is amicable in here, most days. People agree to disagree or just sit quietly, thus disagreeing in the most obvious of mannerisms.

A rare treat was had, however when two men, whom have had a long-standing disagreement over whether oil development is good for Choteau, MT, finally let the steam blow. There was not so much as a courteous hello. They came right to succinct verbal blows as soon as their coffee cups were filled.

Left. Right. Left. Right. "Leave." "I will." "Stuff it." "I'll find a place." And so forth.

The irony of the whole thing, as I was discussing over my 5.36pm cold beverage, is that both of these men profit from oil development. One receives royalties and one owns land upon which speculation is occurring. They know this about each other and STILL manage to have an argument.

Ah, small town life. Arguing over nothing. Or the same thing. Whichever.

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