Pete's News


Howdy folks! This here's ol' Pete and Rosebud comin' at you again!

This ol' mule of mine is about to drive me square up the wall. If you'll recollect, last week I was tellin' you about how I saw her out behind the barn drawin' pitchers of hot air balloons and figgered she was fixin' to try and make her one. Now I ain't got nothin' against flyin' in hot air balloons, mind you. Not as long as it's you that's doin' it. Not atall. But I've got series problems with it if it's Rosebud that's fixin' to try and fly off somewheres in one.

That's why I pulled that guitar down outta the loft and took it out there where she was at. I started strummin' on it, hopin' it'd spark her innerst and get this flyin' out of her head. Guitar pickin' might not be as much fun as flyin', but it's a whole lot safer. You ain't never heard of nobody hurtin' theirself playin' the guitar, but you hear about them balloons fallin' out of the sky all the time. They was one run into a 'lectric line and caught on fire two or three weeks ago.

Well, to get right down to it, my plan worked. She took to guitar pickin' like a duck takes to water. I ain't no guitar picker, but I walked out there and strummed it a time or two, just makin' noise, y'know, and next thing I know she's lookin' over my shoulder wantin' to give it a try. The rest was easy. I thought I'd have to get ol' Denver down here to show her a thing or two about pickin' it, but there was some books with it up in the loft showin' how to chord it, how to play, and a hour hadn't gone by 'til she'd got 'em out and was practicin'. And she's good at it. You wouldn't think it, her bein' a mule and all, but she's got a natcheral gift for guitar pickin'.

Okay, you say, that's what you wanted. Get her mind off flyin' around in hot air balloons. Problem solved. Yeah, I guess, but there's another problem. Rosebud, see, she don't like country music. That's what I was pitcherin' up in my head when I first thought it up. You know, the Grand Ole Opry, stuff like that. That's what you'd think a mule would want to play. But no, not her. She's gotta be different. So, okay you say, rock'n roll. That ain't too bad. Some of it ain't, anyway. So she can play rock and roll, you say. That'd be alright. I ain't crazy about it, but I can put up with it. It's better'n her tryin' to fly around in a balloon she's sewed together outta bed sheets.

The trouble is, she don't like rock and roll either. But what she does like is worser—that Spinach guitar pickin'. You know, that flamdango stuff, like where they stand there with a rose in their mouth, pick the guitar and stomp their feet. And the guitar pickin' part ain't too bad. I can sorta put up with that. It's the foot-stompin' that's about to ruin me.

Even that wouldn't be so bad if she'd stay outside and do her dancin' out there. But she won't. She said it wouldn't be right, doin' flamdango guitar pickin' on the dirt. She said you couldn't hear yourself stomp good enough, that you've got to have a wooden floor to do it right. So now I've got a mule in the middle of the livin' room with some kind of weed clamped between her teeth—it ain't no rose, that's for shore—pickin' the guitar and stompin'. And stompin'. And stompin' some more. And I'm about to go crazy. I'm either gonna have to go to the barn to get away from it or shoot me a mule.

Why can't life just be simple? Why is it I've always got these weird things poppin' up? There ain't nobody else has to put up with stuff like this. Who else do you know that's got a mule that even picks the guitar, much less one that stomps around like some kind of Spinach dandy while she's doin' it? It ain't right. And the worst part is that I brought it on myself. Remember? It was my idea to get her to pickin' the guitar in the first place. How do I manage it?

But I guess it could be worser than it is. What if she'd decided to take up pickin' and singin' both? Did you ever hear a mule sing? There might be mules somewhere that can sing, but take my word for it, Rosebud ain't one of 'em. Her singin' sounds kinda like a train squealin' its wheels on the tracks, tryin' to stop. Throw in the noise it makes when you scratch your fingernails across a blackboard and you're gettin' close. Pore thing, she couldn't carry a tune in a wheelbarrow.

But I ain't through with her yet. Tomorrow I'm gonna go down to Silas' store and see if I can't find one of them phony-graph records of that feller Chet Akins pickin' the guitar. He's a real good guitar picker and, as far as I know, he don't stomp or sing neither one. Well, he's dead now, so he couldn't if he wanted to, but I don't think he did much singin' when he was still alive. All I ever heard him do was pick. And he was real good at it. I'm hopin' Rosebud will listen at his pickin', see how good it sounds and will want to practice up on just the pickin' part.

So, that's what I'm gonna do. I'm gonna go down there and get her a Chet Akins record first thing in the mornin'. Well, not the first thing. First I've got to fix that broke plank in the middle of the floor in there. But I'm goin' right after I get through with that.

You can contact Pete and Rosebud by email at