D  e  s  e  r  t     E  x  p  o  s  u  r  e      february 2005

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Biker Dogs, Hog Trapping & Hallmark Cards from Hell

Plus the really new math and sex in Texas.

It's a dog's life. . . New correspondent RonS enlightens us on the characteristics of a good "Biker K9":

"A biker who carries his pooch along when heading out onto the byways reaps the benefits of companionship (a dog is man's best friend, after all), and the bonus of cycle security. Indeed, the right biker dog may rival the best human buddy seat rider you've ever shared a saddle with. A biker dog will earn a place of honor in the eyes of his master:

  • By accepting—but not insisting on—a share of his master's liquid refreshment at the end of a long riding day.
  • By rustling his own grub, if necessary, when camping out on the trail.
  • By not talking your head off at the end of a run.
  • By liking your particular brand of bike touring scenery.
  • By being into speed, or into dawdling , as his master sees fit.
  • By leaning with the bike on turns, contrary to some well-meaning passengers.
  • By, if you treat him right, licking your cold, handlebar-gripping hands on a freezing day when you went off and forgot your gloves.
  • And by not screaming if you happen to take both hands off the bars for whatever reason.

But more than that, a truly top cycle canine will manifest many—if not all—of the following very admirable traits:

  • He'll be able to smell a highway oil slick a mile off and give the appropriate warning;
  • Hear a motorist coming around a mountain bend, even with his helmet on, and advise his master not to cut the corner;
  • Wag his tail in friendly approval when you beat out a fellow rider in a friendly heat;
  • Give you no more than a baleful stare when you accidentally park your heavy machine on an inclined parking space that you can't turn around in or back out of;
  • Have discipline enough to keep his eyes straight down the road when passing a foxy-looking cocker spaniel female at curbside;
  • Will catch flying insects in his teeth before they reach your eyes;
  • Won't shake rainwater off his fur until after disembarking from the bike;
  • Will, on command, jump down and madly pursue turkey motorists who pull out in front of you suddenly;
  • Will never bark to give your location away when you're camped overnight in an area of questionable legality;
  • Won't allow his toenails to scratch the prized sheen on the tank whereon he may sit;
  • And finally, the really top cycle dog will never, never deign to lift his leg on his rig, no matter how tempted he may be.

Your own tales of biking, pets or both are of course welcome at Desert Diary, PO Box 191, Silver City, NM 88062, fax 534-4134 or email diary@desertexposure.com.


Kids say the durndest things. . . Combining our ongoing quest for funny stories about kids with our occasional pondering of our neighbor to the east and south, Aironot passes along what she titles "Old Favorite Texas Joke," though we're not exactly sure where the Lone Star State comes in:

"8-year-old son: 'Dad, Mom said you would tell me where I came from.'

"Father: 'Well, uh, okay, although it seems a little early for this kind of talk.'

"Son: 'I'm ready.'

"Father: 'Well, uh, you were brought to the hospital where your mother went by a big stork that carried you in its beak.'

"Son: 'Holy cow! Are you saying that our family has gone dozens of generations without having sexual intercourse?!'"


The good old daze. . . Speaking of kids and Texas also brings us to this yarn from yesteryear, served up by BD and entitled "A Curious Kid":

"I don't know if kids in other states were as curious why things were as they were but I always wanted to know why. Being raised in rural Texas, you had to keep yourself entertained. Sometimes you would just sit and wonder.

"Once I put two eggs in my front pockets of my Levis and climbed over a six- foot plank fence. For some reason, when you swung your legs over the top, the eggs broke. Not to be bested by two stupid eggs, I went to the house, put on another pair of Levis, got two more eggs, and tried 'er again. Same result but this time I figured it out. My pants tightened when I swung my leg over! OK, that makes sense.

"Someone said that hogs would eat anything. I threw my new boots over the fence and guess what, they were right! Another question answered.

"I seen a movie where some guys in India caught a tiger by digging a hole in the ground and baiting above it and concealing the hole; the tiger fell in it and they had him! Well, there's no tigers in Texas, at least none I knew of, so I wondered if a hog would fall for that trick? I convinced my younger brother that this would be a neat thing to do, so we started digging a tiger/hog trap in that lot. We worked hard most of the day and toward evening we had a really nice trap and now for the bait. I bet young, green, tasty weeds would entice those hogs to get into our trap. Worked like a charm and so we went to the house satisfied that those tiger/hog traps really worked.

"When Pop came in from the field and saw those hogs in that hole, well, he didn't have the same enthusiasm about our trap as we did. He suggested strongly that we get those hogs out of that hole and do it before supper. Now this became a problem of physics. How can two boys of about 50 or 60 pounds get hogs of about the same weight out of a hole? Being inspired by Pop's strong suggestion, I got in that hole and the younger brother got a hold of the business end of those hogs and we got them out of there. The younger brother wasn't really happy about being on the biting end but we accomplished the task anyway. The next day we had to fill that hole back up per dear ol' Dad's suggestion, but it did answer my question.

"I found a magneto in the barn one day and wondered if it still worked. I told the younger brother to hang onto those two wires and let's give 'er a turn. After that, he went to the house and wouldn't play with me for two days. I guess he didn't have the same curiosity as I did."

Send your recollections of times gone by to Desert Diary, PO Box 191, Silver City, NM 88062, fax 534-4134 or email diary@desertexposure.com.


The joke's on us. . . We continue to welcome submissions of your favorite jokes, as long as they're more or less clean—like this from JackB:

"A cop is patrolling late one night in a well-known spot called Lovers' Lane. He sees a couple in a car, with the interior light brightly glowing. The cop carefully approaches the car to get a closer look. Then he sees a young man behind the wheel, reading a computer magazine. He immediately notices a young woman in the rear seat, knitting. Puzzled by this surprising situation, the cop walks to the car and gently raps on the driver's window.

"The young man lowers his window. 'Uh, yes, officer?'

"'What are you doing?' asks the cop.

"'Well, isn't it obvious? I'm reading a magazine, sir.'

"Pointing towards the young woman in the back seat, the cop says, 'And her, what is she doing?'

"The young man shrugs. 'Sir, I believe she's knitting a pullover sweater.'

"Now the cop is totally confused. A young couple alone, in a car, at night in a lovers' lane—and nothing obscene is happening! 'What's your age, young man?' the cop demands.

"'I'm 25, sir.'

"'And her—what's her age?'

"The young man looks at his watch and replies, 'She'll be 18 in 20 minutes.'"

School of hard knocks. . . Frequent correspondent Doctor Diane sends along the following speculation on the changing educational scene, which gives new meaning to the term "math anxiety":

"Last week I purchased a burger at Burger King for $4.58. The counter girl took my $5 and I was digging for my change when I pulled eight cents from my pocket and gave it to her. She stood there, holding the nickel and three pennies, while looking at the screen on her register. I sensed her discomfort and tried to tell her to just give me two quarters, but she hailed the manager for help. While he tried to explain the transaction to her, she stood there and cried.

"Why do I tell you this? Please read more about the 'history of teaching math':

"Teaching Math in 1950: A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is 4/5 of the price. What is his profit?

"Teaching Math in 1965: A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is 4/5 of the price, or $80. What is his profit?

"Teaching Math in 1990: A logger sells a truckload of lumber for $100. His cost of production is $80 and his profit is $20. Your assignment: Underline the number 20.

"Teaching Math in 2005: By cutting down beautiful forest trees, the logger makes $20. What do you think of this way of making a living? Topic for class participation after answering the question: How did the birds and squirrels feel as the logger cut down the trees? (There are no wrong answers)"


What a card. . . Perhaps as you ponder the greeting-card choices this Valentine's Day, you will get a chuckle out of this, shared by Barb Up North:

"Things That Hallmark Cards Don't Say

"1. My tire was thumping. I thought it was flat when I looked at the tire. . . I noticed your cat. Sorry!

"2. Heard your wife left you, How upset you must be. But don't fret about it. . . She moved in with me.

"3. Looking back over the years that we've been together, I can't help but wonder. . . What the hell was I thinking?

"4. Congratulations on your wedding day! Too bad no one likes your husband.

"5. How could two people as beautiful as you have such an ugly baby?

"6. I've always wanted to have someone to hold, someone to love. After having met you. I've changed my mind.

"7. I must admit, you brought religion into my life. I never believed in Hell until I met you.

"8. As the days go by, I think of how lucky I am. . . That you're not here to ruin it for me.

"9. Congratulations on your promotion. Before you go. . . Would you like to take this knife out of my back? You'll probably need it again.

"10. Happy birthday! You look great for your age. Almost lifelike!

"11. When we were together, you always said you'd die for me. Now that we've broken up, I think it's time you kept your promise.

"12. We have been friends for a very long time . . . let's say we stop.

"13. I'm so miserable without you it's almost like you're here.

"14. Congratulations on your new bundle of joy. Did you ever find out who the father was?

"15. Your friends and I wanted to do something special for your birthday. So we're having you put to sleep.

"16. So your daughter's a hooker, and it spoiled your day. Look at the bright side, it's really good pay."


This is a test. This is only a test. . . "Exercise of the brain is as important as exercise of the muscles," Writer Bill helpfully reminds us. "As we grow older, it's important that we keep mentally alert. 'Use it or lose it' also applies to the brain, so. . . Below is a very private way to gauge your loss or non-loss of intelligence. Take the test presented here and determine if you are losing it or are still 'with it.'

1. What do you put in a toaster?

Answer: 'bread.' If you said 'toast,' then give up now and go do something else. Try not to hurt yourself. If you said, 'bread,' go to Question 2.

2. Say 'silk' five times. Now spell 'silk.' What do cows drink?

Answer: Cows drink water. If you said 'milk,' please do not attempt the next question. Your brain is obviously overstressed and may even overheat. If you said 'water' then proceed to question 3.

3. If a red house is made from red bricks and a blue house is made from blue bricks and a pink house is made from pink bricks and a black house is made from black bricks, what is a greenhouse made from?

Answer: Greenhouses are made from glass. If you said 'green bricks,' what are you still doing here reading these questions? If you said 'glass,' then go on to Question 4.

4. It's 20 years ago, and a plane is flying at 20,000 feet over Germany. (If you will recall, Germany at the time was politically divided into West Germany and East Germany.) Anyway, during the flight, TWO of the engines fail. The pilot, realizing that the last remaining engine is also failing, decides on a crash landing procedure. Unfortunately, the engine fails before he has time and the plane fatally crashes smack in the middle of 'no man's land' between East Germany and West Germany. Where would you bury the survivors?

Answer: You don't, of course, bury survivors. If you said ANYTHING else, you are a real dunce and you must NEVER try to rescue anyone from a plane crash. Your efforts would not be appreciated. If you said, 'Don't bury the survivors,' then proceed to the next question.

5. If the hour hand on a clock moves 1/60th of a degree every minute, then how many degrees will the hour hand move in one hour?

Answer: One degree. If you said '360 degrees' or anything other than 'one degree,' you are to be congratulated on getting this far, but you are obviously out of your league. Turn in your pencil and exit the room. Everyone else proceed to the final question.

6. Without using a calculator: You are driving a bus from London to Milford Haven in Wales. In London, 17 people get on the bus. In Reading, six people get off the bus and nine people get on. In Swindon, two people get off and four get on. In Cardiff, 11 people get off and 16 people get in. In Swansea, three people get off and five people get on. In Carmathen, six people get off and three get on. You then arrive at Milford Haven. What was the name of the bus driver?

Answer: Oh, for crying out loud! Don't you remember? It was YOU! Now pass this along to all your 'smart friends' and hope they do better than you did.

If you still have any brains left after that, put them to good use by sharing a favorite joke, heartwarming anecdote, philosophical observation or other tale of life in our times to: Desert Diary, PO Box 191, Silver City, NM 88062, fax 534-4134 or email diary@desertexposure.com. You could even earn a reward of stylish Desert Exposure gear like that shown here, presented to the best submission each month. So what are you waiting for? You want this page to be blank next month? We didn't think so. . .

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