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Uncle Barky's Countdown to Christmas: Episode 3

Hey kids, whaddya want for Christmas?

How about a "Roy Rogers Quick Shooter Hat" that probably broke before New Year's Day?

The usually straight shootin' King of the Cowboys assured kids that a miniature pop-up gun in a white cowboy hat is "your secret weapon, even when they think you're unarmed."

Maybe it's not all that outlandish for those who recall the short-lived 1959 CBS western series Hotel De Pardee.

It starred Earl Holliman (of future Police Woman fame) as a prison parolee named Sundance. He was hesitant to use any weapons after being imprisoned for 17 years for accidentally killing a man. So as the new law in town, he blinded troublemakers with sunlight reflected off polished silver discs attached to the hatband of his Stetson. Not sure what he did on cloudy days.

Anyway, the pop-up gun likewise would have been a one-trick pony after word got around. Still, Rogers happily pitched it in his Sunday best western outfit, fringe and all.

Here's how it went down: