WESTERN WISDOM, Season 5, Episode 16, "Hollow Horns and Hotheads" audio podcast by award-winning western author Stephen Bly. Sponsored by BlyBooks.com Legacy Series. "A Hollow Horn Hothead" blog post article found here: https://www.blybooks.com/2023/05/hothead/
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OUGHT TO BE BORED FOR HOLLOW HORN
I parked my rig at the hardware store, planning on buying ten pounds of zinc 16 penny nails. But the activities of a car next to me diverted my attention. A man about 35-years-old was having quite a hassle trying to get one of his babies fastened into the infant seat in the back seat.
It was a small red car and there were two baby carriers in the back, both loaded with kids. His wife was standing on the right side of the car reaching into to care for one kid and this man stood on the left. He was cussing and fuming and flailing around. Both babies were crying, and the missus was trying to bring order to the whole situation.
A Loud Thud
Just as I piled out, I heard a loud thud and a baby scream. My first thought was the guy had hauled off and slugged one of the kids. That’s when I heard the woman shout, “Don’t you ever, ever hit me like that again!” This was followed by more curses from the red-faced man.
I tipped my hat at the obviously upset lady and asked if she needed any help. She shook her head and crawled into the front seat. The man glared at me without speaking, then glanced over at the gun rack in my rig. He slung himself into the driver’s seat and ripped out into the street like a drag racer with a green light.
Stand and Stare
All I could do was just stand there and stare.
Witnessing a pure and undiluted jerk like that doesn’t happen to me every day. In the Old West, he’s the type they would have said “ought to be bored for the hollow horn.” It was a cowboy’s expression describing one who has a frightfully low supply of brains.
It comes from the early day when a cow became ill and it was suspected she had hollow horn. They drilled a small hole in the horn as a treatment for the malady. It became a phrase describing anyone who demonstrated obvious ignorance of foolishness or both.
The Bible says a wise man fears the Lord and shuns evil, but a fool is hotheaded and reckless (Proverbs 14:16).
It’s hard to know what to do about a man like the one parked at the hardware store. He’ll have to pay the consequences of his actions both with his wife and his children. But the sad part is they will have to live with the results of his anger as well.