A Ponderosa New Year's Resolution
By: Michelle Denson
Like most family's on this festive night the Cartwright's sat by the warm fire in quiet thought of each one's resolution of the New Year. Ben the patriarch of the masculine clan was quite content with how things were running on the ranch and it seemed even his social life was up to par. There wasn't much that old Ben thought needed changing. Well perhaps there were a few things. So Ben decided to include his boy's and make this a family discussion. Perhaps each could contribute some ideas on what could use some changing and improving. "Boy's we need to have a very serious talk."
Adam couldn't help but roll his eyes, when his father used that tone there was no telling how long the 'serious talk' would last. It was new years eve and he just wanted to enjoy the book he had been reading. He closed the book, marking his place with his finger and looked up at his pa. "Sure Pa"
Ben gave his son a disapproving look he caught the roll in his son's eyes and figured there was one resolution that needed to be addressed. "Little Joe, Hoss"
The two boys looked up from their studying of the floor. "Yes Pa"
"Boy's its New Year's Eve and I believe we should have a chat about what kind of resolutions we would like for the New Year."
The three boys' couldn't help but look at each other in dread before returning a smile to their father with a cheery "Sure Pa" for a response.
"Well what would you boy's like to resolve in the New Year? Adam why don't you start?"
"Well Pa I sure would like to have a side arm. I am a man now and well all the other guys are laughing at me."
"Adam we have discussed this before. Beth doesn't like young men with guns. I'll see what I can do, is there anything else?"
"Well Pa I sure would like to romance LS without her over protective brother breathing down my neck all the dang time."
Ben coughed into his hand, "Well son perhaps in the coming episodes, didn't you know big brother will be leaving the show?"
"Yeah Pa, but I'm afraid she will honor his memory too much and do the respectable thing."
"Hmm that is a problem. Perhaps we could send Carlos on a trip and that would give you time to swoon his sister before he returns."
"You know Pa, that just may work! LS just bought a brand new blue dress and there's a social in town we could attend soon."
"That's great Adam, is there anything else you would like to resolve in the New Year?"
"Well Pa I sure would like to go to college, perhaps we could get one of those mail order courses?"
"I'll give it some thought son. How about you Hoss, what would you like to resolve?"
"Well Pa, I sure would like to see some of Lake Tahoe. I haven't seen much of it up here lately."
"Well Hoss it's a bit of a problem, you see we're really filming in Australia."
"That's the other thing Pa, it's so danged cold here, couldn't we move back to Nevada?"
"Wish we could son, but it's much more cost efficient for the show to be filmed here."
"I see Pa. It sure would be nice to see those real Ponderosa pines that this ranch is named after."
"You're right son it sure would be. Have you any more resolutions?"
"Yes sir I sure do. I would like to have my brand removed by plastic surgery if I might. I'd also sure like to get my first real kiss from Tess. Oh Pa did I tell you she bought a beautiful blue dress too? She already said she'd go with me to the social, but I gotta learn how to close my mouth and not let it hang open so much. You know I caught a fly in my mouth the other day pa?"
"No son, but Tess is right you should start closing your mouth more often. How about you Little Joe? Little Joe? Hoss, Adam did you see where Little Joe went?"
"Um Pa he had to go home, something about child labor laws and him not being able to work for more than five minutes per episode. You used up that time earlier in this scene when he and Hoss were sitting on the floor and then when he said 'Yes Pa' that fulfilled his daily contract. He did however say that he sure would like a checker's board so that he and Hoss can do something at night besides look at the floor." Adam helpfully chimed in.
Ben couldn't help but smack himself in the head as he slumped down into the hard wood chair. "That's it! It's my turn for resolutions! I want a better hat, I can't see a damn thing with this brim hanging down to my nose."
"Yeah Pa that sure would be an improvement." Hoss laughed.
"About this Little Joe thing. I'm his Pa and I want to call him Joseph, not Little Joe. That's another thing, he's my favorite son and I spend absolutely NO time with him. He only got hurt once and it just isn't enough. We need more Joseph; there I said it! Joseph, Joseph, Joseph! Bite me BS."
"Pa. Are you okay?" Adam was flabbergasted. Was that his Pa that dropped his golden jewels and was going to stand up to BS and her politically correct version of Bonanza?
"Adam, I'm better than okay. This is our New Year's resolution! We will make this show worthy of being called Ponderosa! I will no longer be called fake Ben. Instead I will be a young vibrant Ben. Adam and Hoss you both will have side arms. I we will also move back to Nevada onto the real Ponderosa. I'm sorry Adam and Hoss but Tess and LS will have to go we will now use the blue dress as a symbol of a love that will never be. I'll get my faithful buckskin and a real pinto for JOSEPH. Come on boys let's go celebrate the New Year."
"Yahoo Pa that's the way!" Hoss couldn't help but be excited this was just what they needed for the coming New Year.
"Sure is great Pa. Hey look it's just about midnight!" Adam pointed to the large grandfather clock that had mysteriously appeared.
They counted down to the chime of the New Year. A loud knock came from the door. As Hoss opened it his younger brother collapsed inside, his head bruised from a scuffle and blood dripping from his shoulder and head, no doubt where he had been shot. "JOSEPH" screamed Ben as he ran to his fallen son. "Quick Hoss, Adam, help me get him on the settee."
In the corner of the real Ponderosa ranch house a young Chinaman clicked his ruby red slippers together while chanting "There's no place like home." Over and over again.
Happy New Year!!