Although I think e-mail is the greatest invention since the Barcalounger or Lazy Boy, I just can't develop a fondness for texting. I am baffled by all these symbols and shortcuts the thumb-typers use to save valuable time they wouldn't be wasting if they just stopped sending all their worthless text messages.

One of the reasons I don't own a cell phone is I don't want to learn all the cutesy letter combinations that people use in their texts. If I wanted to learn an all new language I'd learn something useful, like Spanish. It's bad enough that these texting shortcuts have overflowed into letters and e-mails that people write. I'll give you an example. For years now I've read the letters LOL in e-mails and for some reason I thought it stood for "lots of luck." But one day I asked my brilliant editor-friend Ann just what LOL means and, much to my surprise, she said it stands forÊ "laugh out loud." Which, I must admit, made a lot of the e-mails I've received make a lot more sense than if it was "lots of luck."

Ann said that if I had questions in the future about texting abbreviations that I should go to a web site called Urban Dictionary. I did as she suggested and found shortcuts and keyboard strokes that are supposed to look like animals; no doubtÊ created by people with active imaginations and waaaaay too much extra time on their hands. The problem I had with the Urban Dictionary is that it is just that: urban. So, even though I don't text, I decided to perform a service for the little-served cowboy community by creating texting shortcuts just for them. So from now on, if you see the letters LOL in a cowboy's e-mail it doesn't stand for "laugh out loud," it stands for "lost our lease." Here are some more cowboy texting shortcuts I came up with:

NSBS- New saddle. Butt sore.

UU- Kicked by mule. Funeral Friday (FF).

STARVIN- The wife has been sick for two days now. Can anyone out there in the cloud, or global village, tell me how to turn on an oven?

BITNV- My buddy just got a brand new Mark Dahl bit and I am envious.

EEEOOOOW!- Some snake put a baby rattler in my boots.

RWI- Riding While Intoxicated.

#$@%&*!- My new horse just bucked me off again and I think I may have a concussion. Come and get me. I'm in the big rock pile.

DandG's- Dudes and Gunsels.

GGNCBKI- Gotta go now. Cookie's beans are kicking in.

VETCOT- Does anyone have any Vaseline or KY-Jelly? Our vet was preg checking and his arm is now stuck tight in the reproductive tract of a 550 pound heifer.

IQUIT- My new boss expected me to drive a John Deere and pull weeds in his wife's garden. So I did what any respectable cowboy would do.Ê

CHIPS- This can either mean you're horse bucked you off into a fresh cowpie or your wife just got another job in town. Her third. As in, "We're in the chips now."

PU- I'm on a trail ride and none of us have had a bath or shower in a week.

NOKIDS- My knuckle-head horse kicked me you-know-where and gave me a cowboy vasectomy.Ê

BYOH- Branding Saturday. Bring your own horse.

JACKPOT- I just hit the USTRC jackpot in Oklahoma City and quit my job. I'm gonna rope until the money's all gone.

CANTCOPE- I'm out of tobacco and desperately need a chew.

TRIGTHWITTWMIWBSIIHTBA45¢S-Ê The ranch is going to heck while I text these worthless messages I wouldn't be sending if I had to buy a 45 cent stamp. Ê Ê Ê Ê Ê

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