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Smokey Briggs


By Smokey Briggs

Marriage in TV land - pure fantasy

Satan lives in expectations. I have seen unrealistic expectations kill some really good things. Things that were great, but could never live up to the expectation.
That is why television can be so evil. Every time you turn on the tube you are bombarded by images from an alternate universe disguised as reality.
This is a universe with the boring, unattractive, not-quite romantic, and really tough situations edited out.
I think a lot of marital discontent begins in front of the television set.
In general, Hollywood paints a pretty picture of marriage. Or, I should say, of what a good marriage is, or is supposed to be. Hollywood also has a good time running down the institution of marriage in general.
But, if a marriage is a "good" one on the screen, you can bet it is filmed in an alternate universe. Unfortunately there is no disclaimer at the beginning of the show stating _ "The only similarity between the relationship in this show and real life is the fact that the fictional relationship depicted in our show is called marriage, and there is a word called marriage in the English language. Please seek counseling from a psychoanalyst before allowing your spouse to watch."
If you think you have a good marriage, and watch enough television, you may start wondering _ If my marriage is good, why isn't it more like that? After all, those Hollywood marriages reflect the norm in our society, right?
I pretty sure they do not.
For instance
TV marriage - wife manages to always have makeup on, and sexy hairdo.
Real marriage - wife puts on makeup and curls her hair to go shopping, and then takes it off just before suppertime. Husband learns shortly after wedding that she is actually allergic to the stuff and does not plan on wearing it much in the next 30 years.
TV marriage- show spends 2 hours documenting romance before marriage and two minutes showing happy bliss after honeymoon. The show ends before second week of marriage.
Real marriage - somebody calls King's X as soon as the I do's are said and you start all over. Spousal habits that were cute the day before become annoying immediately. Men immediately lose the ability to remember dates relating to wedding, Valentines Day, etc. Women start using sexy lingerie catalogues for fire starters.
TV marriage - high heels, pearls, and pork chops every day when Hubby gets home at 5:30.
Real marriage - sweaty, tired wife wearing sweats looks at you like you are nuts when you ask, "What's for supper, sweetheart?"
TV marriage - couples apparently always have a spare couple hours a day to workout and maintain great physique.
Real marriage - kids, jobs, and keeping the house from falling apart will make you tired but does not do much for your six-pack.
TV marriage - a weekend hunting trip is a chance for a little comic relief that ends with the couple making up and smooching at the hunting cabin.
Real marriage - weekend hunting trip that was fine when you were dating becomes cardinal sin second only to spending money on another woman. Making up does not involve any smooching, only groveling.
Yep, if you watch enough of it you might start wishing your marriage was a little more like the Hollywood version.
Well, some folks might.
But not me.
If I had the Hollywood version, then I would have missed out on the very real, and very wonderful wife and marriage that I do have. There is simply no comparison.
Happy Valentines Day Sweetheart.
(Top that guys.)
EDITOR'S NOTE: Smokey Briggs is the editor and publisher of the Pecos Enterprise whose column appears on Tuesdays. He can be e-mailed at:

Constitutional Minute

A weekly passage from our Constitution.

 Section 10.
[1]No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation; grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal; coin Money; emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts; pass any Bill of Attainder, ex post facto Law, or Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts, or grant any Title of Nobility.
[2]No State shall, without the Consent of the Congress, lay any Imposts or Duties on Imports or Exports, except what may be absolutely necessary for executing it's inspection Laws: and the net Produce of all Duties and Imposts, laid by any State on Imports or Exports, shall be for the Use of the Treasury of the United States; and all such Laws shall be subject to the Revision and Controul of the Congress.
[3]No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any Duty of Tonnage, keep Troops, or Ships of War in time of Peace, enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power, or engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay.
EDITOR'S NOTE: The Constitution of the United States is the foundation of the great nation we live in. For 200 years we have lived within its framework of government and law and have preserved a level of freedom never equaled in history.
It is an amazing document. That it has served for so long is testimony to the brilliance of our nation's fathers.
It is not a complicated document. It is written in plain English. You do not need a lawyer or judge to interpret it for you.
And everyone of us should have read it once, and should read it again from time to time. It is the basis of our freedom.
When a court pronounces a law as either constitutional or unconstitutional, we should have valid opinions as to that court's interpretation of our Constitution. The first step is reading it, something far too many Americans have never done.
It is your Constitution. Not the government's, not the courts', not the lawyers'.
By reading it, you become its master - master of your destiny and our country's destiny.
In an effort to promote Constitutional literacy the Pecos Enterprise publishes a portion of the Constitution each week on this opinion page.

Maxey park colors

PECOS, February 13, 2001 - The Enterprise has had several comments recently about the paint job out at Maxey Park.
Nearly every fixture in the park now sports a new coat of paint. It looks good. Picnic tables, the bandstand, trashcans - you name it, it is freshly painted.
The park needed the paint job.
The only problems we can see are the colors. The city may want to rename the park now to better reflect the color scheme of green and white.
Lobo Park is the name that comes to mind.
While aesthetically pleasing, painting the city park in the Monahans' school colors has irked a few residents.
Hopefully, we got a real good deal on the paint.

Pet toys from Hereford's used cow dealer


PECOS, February 13, 2001 - How about a nice pig nose for your dog to play with? Or a horse hoof? You can get them from a place in Hereford called Merrick Pet Foods, Inc.
The company makes pet food and pet treats. The raw material comes from packing houses in the neighborhood. Merrick uses the things that are not fit for human consumption.
"So we do the tails and ears the noses and the chins and the hooves and different bones," says Garth Merrick, president of the company. "It's all processed in such a way that is totally sanitary and safe for anything that would eat it. We're in the middle of cattle country, of course, so it's our hope to continue to utilize everything but the moo."
Garth grew up in the business. He is the third generation of his family to be in this type of work. "We started out real small, just a couple of guys and myself and a couple of pickup trucks." That was thirty years ago.
The company now has some 500 employees in half a dozen states and supplies pet shops, grocery stores and farm stores all over North America and Europe.
"Pets are more prevalent today than they were thirty years ago. People are more willing to buy some sort of a treat. And a lot of people don't have kids, so they want to bring a treat home to their pet. Pets have taken on a level of importance in people's lives. They're part of the family. So folks are always wanting to give them something. These are good options because there's no sugar, no salt, no preservatives. So they can chew on them. Protein-wise and nutrition-wise, it's good for them."
The pet toys are wrapped in attractive packages. Most are sold retail, but Merrick does have a website ( and a product catalog. The Pet Treats Division has experienced a 200 percent growth in the last five years. Merrick Pet Delicatessens are located in shopping malls in Amarillo and Dallas. The firm is now offering franchise opportunities.
Garth says a hoof from a cow or horse makes a wonderful gift for a dog. "A lot of dogs are alone, so you can give them this and it occupies them and keeps them satisfied rather than chewing on the fence or the house or the furniture. And we process them where we leave what's inside so they get a little rawhide, a little bone, a little meat along with the hoof. It's a long lasting chew."
Merrick does a big business in rawhide with people who make drums, chairs, stirrups and whips. The company's dog and cat foods are sold under the BEEF'n MORE and Merrick Premium Quality brands. Merrick sells fresh and frozen beef to zoos and offers special diet food for greyhounds in the racing industry.
"Our researchers and nutritionists are continually working to provide the highest quality nutrition available in great-tasting foods and treats pets will enjoy," says Garth.
The grounds at Merrick are landscaped and filled with animals. It looks like a game park. "We've got peacocks and ostrich and emu and llamas and Indian black bucks. We like animals."

Tell Your Officials

Those who wish to share their opinions with their elected officials are urged to contact one of the following:
U.S. Sen. Phil Gramm/ 179 Russell Senate Office Building/ Washington DC 20510. Phone 202-224-2934.
U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison/ 283 Senate Russell Building/ Washington DC 20510-4304. Phone 202-224-5922.
U.S. Rep. 23rd District, Henry Bonilla/ 1529 Longworth House Office Building/ Washington DC 20005. Phone 202-225-4511.
State Sen. District 19, Frank Madla/ P.O. Box 12068/ Austin TX 78711. 512-463-0119.
State Sen. District 28, (Northern Reeves County) Robert Duncan/ Austin TX 78711.

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