DESERT GULCH, AZ—Saying the incident had led him to fully reconsider his past behavior, town drunk Gus McCord told reporters Thursday that a bender culminating in him kissing a mule in a wedding dress right on the lips had served as a major wake-up call. “Heck, I reckon there’s no bigger eye-opener than lifting the bridal veil of what I thought would be a pretty lady, leaning in for a smooch, and opening my eyes to find out I’d done fixed my lips to old man Hoover’s mule—that’s when I guess I hit rock bottom,” said McCord, adding that he knew his alcoholism had become a problem after he stumbled backwards in surprise, tripped over a bucket of pig feed, and landed rear-end first in a horse trough. “So long as I live, I’ll never forget the shame I felt when that darn mule trotted over and started licking my face like she was my rightfully wedded betrothed. The whole town done started hootin’ and hollerin’ at me! Next morning, I washed my face in the nearest crick, threw away my clay moonshine jug, and sought rehabilitation at the local chapel with Reverend Blanchard. I’m proud to say I ain’t touched a drop of hooch since.” McCord added that he was especially sensitive about such behavior given that his father had done died in the exact same way.