Hunters Kill Attacking Pair Of Javelina

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Dan Cowell revels in retelling the tale of a recent javelina hunt with his two friends Larry Varney and Lyn Hall.

His yarn is spun this way:
"We spotted them (the javelina) early in the morning about 15 miles from Payson.

"We sneaked up on them in the high grass -- suddenly they attacked us. We beat them off with our rifles and kicked at them as we lay in the grass," he said. "We were surrounded.

"But finally we got shots off and bagged two javelina which saved our lives."

Wait a minute, does Dan know that April Fool's isn't until Thursday?

After being confronted about the odyssey, Dan recanted.

"Actually, it's all lies except we did bag two javelina and had an enjoyable hunt," he confessed.

I don't know about our readers, but Dan had me believing there for a while.

Loof Lirpa
With April 1 rapidly approaching and Cowell's story fresh, an April Fool's joke which baseball coach Teddy Pettet and I hatched up a number of years ago has to go down as a classic.

The joke was contained in the lead story on the Roundup sports pages published April 1, 1992.

It was spring break in the school district and not many officials were around to immediately verify the story.

Seems that Pettet announced a high school baseball phenom from Florida had transferred to Payson High to play baseball. He was said to be leaving Florida to escape the pressures of professional and college scouts who were hounding him for his services.

He wanted a quieter environment away from the pressure.

Pettet's description of the player was mind-boggling -- power home-run hitter who could run the bases in record-time, all the while hurling no-hitter-after-no-hitter on the mound. His ERA was minuscule, his defensive exploits rivaled the basket-like catches of "Say Hey Kid" Willie Mays.

Payson's new star could bench press an 18-wheeler, was good-looking enough to be a movie star, a homecoming king at his former school, had biceps the size of most people's thighs and was a certain bet to be a first-round pick in the professional baseball draft.

We even went so far as to picture Pettet guarding the high school weight room door with a baseball bat. Supposedly, he was trying to protect his new star -- who was working out in the weight room -- from a media circus that had invaded Payson in search of interviews.

As clever as we pretended to be, I don't think Teddy or I ever thought anyone would fall for this joke -- especially after we named his high school coach in Florida "Loof Lirpa" -- April Fool spelled backwards.

But, oh my goodness, some fell for it like a spawning bass wide-mouthing a lure.

Some who swallowed it went out of their way to drive by the high school hoping to get a glimpse of the new baseball star.

Two high school girls called me at home and asked how they could get a date with him.

A local car salesman told friends that Payson now had the player needed to lead the team to the baseball promised land.

Having dinner at the Mormon Lake restaurant with my wife and Winslow baseball coach Art Griffith, a patron spotted my Payson shirt and approached our table.

"Hey, you're from that school that got that new hot-shot player from Florida. Lucky you," he said.

Good thing those of us at our table weren't swallowing a bite of steak -- we might have choked.

Our baseball prank set off a round of April Fool jokes between Roundup employees that pale in comparison to what we hammed up .

But let's not retell those. They're good enough to be recycled for another year.

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