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


Borderline Insanity
Is America's battle against illegal immigration backfiring?

Pie in the Sky
Are New Mexico's space-entrepreneurial plans science fiction?

Familiar Haunts
Getting to know the ghosts of Silver City, just in time for Halloween.

Going Deep
Local spelunkers share the fun of clambering into caves.

Hiking Apacheria
A former warrior sets off on foot to explore the land and legacy of the Apache.

Columns & Departments
Editor's Note
Desert Diary
Snap Decisions
Man Without a Country
Tumbleweeds in Brief
Top 10
Henry Lightcap's Journal
Celestial Cycles
The Starry Dome
Kitchen Gardener
Ramblin' Outdoors
40 Days & 40 Nights
Clubs Guide
Guides to Go
Continental Divide

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Arts Exposure:
Weekends at the Gallery
Arts News
Gallery Guide

Body, Mind & Spirit
Orientation Tour


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Mining-Camp Commandments, Driving Texans Crazy, Cat Washing and Two-Minute Management Lessons

Plus fractured fairy tales, bare essentials and a mega-dose of man-bashing (sorry, guys).


Fractured fairy tales. . . We hereby officially invite your submissions of updates of fairy tales and fables, as we fondly recall the "Fractured Fairy Tales" we used to enjoy on the "Rocky and Bullwinkle Show" in our long-ago, black-and-white youth. We begin with this modernized take on "The Little Girl and the Wolf," submitted by RH of Silver:

"One afternoon, a big wolf waited in a dark forest for a little girl to come along carrying a basket of food to her grandmother. Finally, a little girl did come along and she was carrying a basket of food.

"'Are you carrying that basket to your grandmother?' asked the wolf. The little girl answered that, yes, she was. So the wolf asked her where her grandmother lived, and the little girl told him. The wolf then disappeared into the woods.

"When the little girl opened the door of her grandmother's house, she saw that there was somebody in bed with a nightcap and a nightgown on. She had approached no nearer than 15 feet from the bed when she saw that it was not her grandmother but the wolf-for even in a nightcap a wolf does not look any more like your grandmother than the MGM lion looks like Calvin Coolidge. So the little girl took an automatic out of her basket and shot the wolf dead.

"Moral: It is not so easy to fool little girls nowadays as it used to be."


Contemporary commandments. . . Inspired by last month's litany of additional, updated commandments, CharlesC sends along "some mining camp commandments that I remember:

"The 10 Commandments ain't suggestions.

"Don't argue with God, 'cause he's smarter than you.

"Don't take up lying because you ain't smart enough to cover your tracks.

"Don't get a girl pregnant or I'll hold the shotgun at your wedding.

"Don't let your little head do the thinking for the big head.

"Don't go where trouble is and you'll miss most of the trouble in life.

"Don't let your mouth get your butt whipped. Do you want me to kick your butt until your nose bleeds?

"Have fun with the toys you have instead of wanting what you do not have. No self respecting person will stoop to stealing.

"Don't argue with God when He's fixing what's broke inside you."

Your own additions and updates to commandments for modern living are of course welcome at Desert Diary, PO Box 191, Silver City, NM 88062, fax
534-4134 or email diary@desertexposure.com.


The yellow roads of Texas. . . Frequent correspondent Aironot returns with the latest from our neighbors to the east-several short stories, all having to do with driving the Lone Star State:

"A Richardson, Texas, policeman had a perfect spot to watch for speeders, but wasn't getting many. Then he discovered the problem: A 12-year-old boy was standing up the road with a hand-painted sign, which read "RADAR TRAP AHEAD." The officer then found a young accomplice down the road with a sign reading "TIPS" and a bucket full of money.

"A motorist was mailed a picture of his car speeding through an automated radar post in Plano, Texas. A $40 speeding ticket was included. Being cute, he sent the police department a picture of $40. The police responded with another mailed photo-of handcuffs.

"A young woman was pulled over for speeding. As the Texas state trooper walked to her car window, flipping open his ticket book, she said, 'I bet your are going to sell me a ticket to the Texas State Police Ball. He replied, 'Texas state troopers don't have balls.' There was a moment of silence while she smiled and he realized what he'd just said. He then closed his book silently, walked back to his patrol car, got in and left. She was laughing too hard to start her car."


Don't leave home without. . . Going American Express one better, BonnieD recalls an experience a few months back that taught her a lesson about what's truly essential in life:

"I thought I had made it through April Fool's Day unscathed-then April 2 hit. I decided to take a drive up Bear Mountain to my dad's old mine to get what ore I could pack out. Setting out to the mine, I prayed I would get there and back safely.

"Upon my return, I found my Pathfinder had a flat. Not having a cell phone, I dug out my spare and all the 'necessary' equipment to change the tire. I had everything I needed-except the jack handle. Since I had just walked two miles, the last with a loaded backpack of ore, I WAS NOT walking three more miles for help.

"A local contractor came by and tried to assist. He also realized he didn't have his jack handle, either. But he had a cell phone. I called AAA (I had joined on a lark). They dispatched a tow truck out to help me. After 10 minutes I was on my way back to civilization and Big O, where they replaced my destroyed tire and sent me on my way.

"Of course, the moral of this story is forget your American Express card-never leave home without your jack handle!"

Send your tales, true or otherwise, of life's true essentials to Desert Diary,
PO Box 191, Silver City, NM 88062, fax 534-4134 or email them to us at diary@desertexposure.com.


Capital pun-ishment. . . Why, oh why, we ever requested your favorite puns is beyond us. But here we go, with this response from Ned Ludd. You have been warned!

"A couple lived near the ocean and used to walk the beach a lot. One summer they noticed a girl who was at the beach almost every day. She wasn't unusual, nor was the travel bag she carried, except for one thing: She would approach people who were sitting on the beach, glance around furtively, then speak to them. Generally, the people would respond negatively and she would wander off, but occasionally someone would nod and there would be a quick exchange of money and something she carried in her bag.

"The couple assumed that she was selling drugs and debated calling the cops, but since they didn't know for sure, they just continued to watch her.

"After a couple of weeks, the wife said, 'Honey, have you ever noticed that she only goes up to people with boom boxes and other electronic devices?' He hadn't, and said so. Then the wife said, 'Tomorrow I want you to get a towel and our big radio and go lie out on the beach. Then we can find out what she's really doing.'

"Well, the plan went off without a hitch and the wife was almost hopping up and down with anticipation when she saw the girl talk to her husband and then leave.

"The man then walked up the beach and met his wife at the road.

"'Well, is she selling drugs?' she asked excitedly.

"'No, she's not,' he said, enjoying this probably more than he should have.

"'Well, what is it then? What does she do?' his wife fairly shrieked.

'The man grinned and said, 'She's a battery salesperson.'

"'Batteries?' cried the wife.

"'Yes,' he replied. 'She sells C cells by the sea shore.'"


Our pets, ourselves. . . Who else but Toni in the Vet's Office would pass along this set of instructions for bathing your cat?

"1. Put both lids of the toilet up and add 1/8 cup of pet shampoo to the water in the bowl.

"2. Pick up the cat and soothe him while you carry him towards the bathroom.

"3. In one smooth movement, put the cat in the toilet and close both lids. You may need to stand on the lid.

"4. The cat will self-agitate and make ample suds. Never mind the noises that come from the toilet; the cat is actually enjoying this.

"5. Flush the toilet three or four times. This provides a 'power-wash' and rinse.

"6. Have someone open the front door of your home. Be sure that there are no people between the bathroom and the front door.

"7. Stand behind the toilet as far as you can and quickly lift both lids.

"8. The cat will rocket out of the toilet, streak through the bathroom, and run outside where he will dry himself off.

"9. Both the commode and the cat will be sparkling clean.

"Sincerely, The Dog."


Climbing the corporate ladder. . . As a special service to those of you just beginning your careers in corporate America, Desert Diary presents this "Two-Minute Management Course," courtesy of Doctor Diane:

"Lesson 1:

"An eagle was sitting on a tree resting, doing nothing. A small rabbit saw the eagle and asked him, 'Can I also sit on my ass like you and do nothing?'

"The eagle answered: 'Sure, why not?' So the rabbit sat on the ground below the eagle, and rested. All of a sudden, a fox appeared, jumped on the rabbit and ate it.

"Management Lesson: To be sitting on your ass and doing nothing, you must be sitting very high up.

"Lesson 2:

"A turkey was chatting with a bull. 'I would love to be able to get to the top of that tree,' sighed the turkey, 'but I haven't got the energy.'

"'Well, why don't you nibble on some of my manure droppings?' replied the bull. 'They're packed with nutrients.'

"The turkey pecked at a lump of manure, and found it actually gave him enough strength to reach the lowest branch of the tree. The next day, after eating some more dung, he reached the second branch. Finally, after a fourth night, he was proudly perched at the top of the tree. Soon he was promptly spotted by a farmer, who shot the turkey out of the tree.

"Management Lesson: BS might get you to the top, but it won't keep you there.

"Lesson 3:

"A little bird was flying south for the winter. It was so cold the bird froze and fell to the ground in a large field. While it was lying there, a cow came by and dropped some dung on it. As the frozen bird lay there in the pile of cow dung, it began to realize how warm it was.

"The dung was actually thawing him out. He lay there all warm and happy, and soon began to sing for joy. A passing cat heard the bird singing and came to investigate. Following the sound, the cat discovered the bird under the pile of cow dung, and promptly dug him out and ate him.

"Management Lessons:

"1. Not everyone who craps on you is your enemy.

"2. Not everyone who gets you out of crap is your friend.

"3. And when you're in deep doo-doo, it's best to keep your mouth shut!"


Losing the battle of the sexes. . . Finally, our ongoing coverage of the gender wars gets a bonus-sized installment (note how we resisted calling it "man-sized") with this collection forwarded by Barb Up North:

"Woman's Perfect Breakfast

"She's sitting at the table with her gourmet coffee. Her son is on the cover of the Wheaties box. Her daughter is on the cover of Business Week. Her boyfriend is on the cover of Playgirl. And her husband is on the back of the milk carton.

"Women's Revenge

"'Cash, check or charge?' I asked, after folding items the woman wished to purchase. As she fumbled for her wallet, I noticed a remote control for a television set in her purse. 'So, do you always carry your TV remote?' I asked. 'No,' she replied, 'but my husband refused to come shopping with me, and I figured this was the most evil thing I could do to him legally.'

"Marriage Seminar

"While attending a marriage seminar dealing with communication, Tom and his wife Grace listened to the instructor: 'It is essential that husbands and wives know each other's likes and dislikes.' He addressed the man, 'Can you name your wife's favorite flower?' Tom leaned over, touched his wife's arm gently and whispered, 'It's Pillsbury, isn't it?'

"His arm cast will come off in about three more weeks.

"Wife vs. Husband

"A couple drove down a country road for several miles, not saying a word. An earlier discussion had led to an argument and neither of them wanted to concede their position. As they passed a barnyard of mules, goats and pigs, the husband asked sarcastically, 'Relatives of yours?'

"'Yep,' the wife replied. 'In-laws.'

"Creation Story

"A man said to his wife one day, 'I don't know how you can be so stupid and so beautiful all at the same time.' The wife responded, 'Allow me to explain. God made me beautiful so you would be attracted to me. God made me stupid so I would be attracted to you!'

"Who Does What

"A man and his wife were having an argument about who should brew the coffee each morning. The wife said, 'You should do it, because you get up first, and then we don't have to wait as long to get our coffee.' The husband said, 'You are in charge of cooking around here and you should do it, because that is your job, and I can just wait for my coffee.' The wife replied, 'No, you should do it, and besides, it is in the Bible that the man should do the coffee.' The husband said, 'I can't believe that! Show me.'

"So she fetched the Bible and opened the New Testament and showed him at the top of several pages, that it indeed says, 'HEBREWS.'

"The Silent Treatment

"A man and his wife were having some problems at home and were giving each other the silent treatment. Suddenly, the man realized that the next day, he would need his wife to wake him at 5 a.m. for an early-morning business flight. Not wanting to be the first to break the silence (and LOSE), he wrote on a piece of paper, 'Please wake me at 5 a.m.' He left it where he knew she would find it. The next morning, the man woke up, only to discover it was 9 a.m. and he had missed his flight. Furious, he was about to go and see why his wife hadn't wakened him, when he noticed a piece of paper by the bed. The paper said, 'It is 5 a.m. Wake up.'

"Men are not equipped for these kinds of contests. God may have created man before woman, but there is always a rough draft before the masterpiece."


Send your tales from the front, favorite jokes, rants, reminiscences, anecdotes (heart-warming and otherwise) and such to: Desert Diary, PO Box 191, Silver City, NM 88062, fax 534-4134, email diary@desertexposure.com. Remember, the best submission each month earns a piece of spiffy Desert Exposure gear.


The sign on the road to the cemetery said 'Dead End'. . .

Responding to our call for silly sign sightings, Mimbres Ken sends this photo. He writes, "The enclosed photo was taken at Forest Lake, Pagosa Springs, Colo., several years ago. It obviously had been altered somewhat by a creative mind! I could think of a good number of captions, but none of them would be fit to print."

Send your own signage sightings to Desert Diary, PO Box 191, Silver City, NM 88062, email diary@desertexposure.com.


Go on. Go a little crazy. Send your favorite jokes, rants, reminiscences, anecdotes heart-warming and otherwise and anything else you want to share with the world (at least our little Southwest New Mexico corner of it) to Desert Diary, PO Box 191, Silver City, NM 88062, fax 534-4134, or email diary@desertexposure.com. Remember, the best submission each month earns a piece of spiffy Desert Exposure gear!


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