Home On The Range

Because I like to be informed and because I had time to kill, I ventured forth, found my place on the couch, and after perusing the many channels offered by the good folks at Xfinity, was soon learning about life in the middle of nowhere. It turns out, the middle of nowhere is in Oklahoma. I discovered this while watching The Pioneer Woman.

Now, growing up, it had been pressed upon me, by school marms, historical societies, and museums, that life on ye old frontier was a tough hardscrabble business.

Boy, were they wrong.

Turns out, it quite upscale, certainly by my standard of living. The woman in question, one Ree Drummond, lives on a ranch, the Drummond Ranch, in the aforementioned middle of nowhere. And, based upon the images presented to me on this program, that whole hardscrabble thing was a load of hooey.

Makes you wonder how much of the other historical stories they feed us as kids was hooey too!

But let’s set that aside for a moment.

If the show is an accurate portrayal of life as a pioneer, then, as I said earlier, it’s pretty sweet. There’s the big ranch, 433,000 acres (676 square miles), the lodge, where the Pioneer Woman cooks for all those ranchers and cowboys, I assume a formal home (I don’t remember ever seeing it on the show), various buildings in town, and late model trucks, naturally, for tooling around. It’s all quite fantastic.

Which means it’s all fantasy, but is that really important?

Of course not. Who truly wants to watch the deprivations of sodbusters and tired worked to death women, when we can sit back and wallow in the dream land known as the middle of nowhere. It’s like those fabulous apartments in New York that people without any real means of support somehow can afford, but only on TV or in the movies. Whether I have the time, interest, and inclination to actually construct one of the meals Ms. Drummond so easily conjures up on her show is irrelevant. Plus, there’s no marital strife, no political turmoil, no unwanted pregnancies, and no burnt and inedible meals to be tossed in favor of a frozen pizza. We get enough of that in our own lives!

So it doesn’t matter if my life sucks, I can always find succor in the make believe world of The Pioneer Woman out in the middle of nowhere.

Now a few wags may feel that I’m being unkind to Ms. Drummond. Nonsense. I’m sure she’s well aware of the artifice of the show, and if she’s not, then bully for her. Besides, she’s making out like a bandit. Sure, it’s possible some day, one of the Drummond kids will pen a nasty tell-all that will shock and dismay, or a disgruntled former staff member will, quell horror, reveal that Ree Drummond was mean.

But until then, all of us couch cowboys can sit back and wonder how one woman can feed so many people so much without ever being late, the food being bad, or any of her hair falling in her face.

That, dear friends, is the essence of modern life.

©2019 David WIlliam Pearce

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