Ugly Americans, Mothers-in-Law, Dumb Cowpokes and Young Curmudgeons
Plus: What do you call the time between slipping on a peel and smacking
A bad case of turista.
. . This "true, almost
sad story takes the 'Ugly American' to a new level," says new correspondent
who shares it nonetheless:
"As I traveled as an advisor/photographer
with a group of professor types from Indiana State University, we made
a group decision to experience and photograph Chaco Canyon. Indeed,
it is a rather long, dusty ride into the site over a semi-washboard
road. However, the end result is well worth the trip.
"After a rather long day of walking and
photographing, we decided to rest and watch the sunset before we started
back to wherever we were staying that night. Our group fell silent,
reflecting on the ancient ruins and leaning on the rails of an overlook
some modern park service had so thoughtfully constructed.
"Behind us approached a group of four tourists,
dressed in their flowered shirts, walking shorts, straw hats and sunburned
"One of the tourists piped up, breaking
into our meditations: 'This is a great place to visit. Too bad they
didn't build it closer to the main road.'
"We looked at each other, turned, left
and started our trip back to wherever—in silence."
Your own tales of tourism gone awry are of course
welcomed at Desert Diary, PO Box 191, Silver City, NM 88062, fax 534-4134
or send by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
With vacation season almost upon us again, we also hereby renew our
call for photos of you and a copy of your favorite publication (hint—that
would be Desert
shot on locale.
The joke's on us. .
. Take two aspirin and read this
joke from Ned Ludd in the morning:
"A 75-year-old woman went to the doctor
for a check-up. The doctor told her she needed more cardiovascular
activity and recommended that she engage in sexual activity three times
a week. A bit embarrassed, she said to the doctor, 'Please tell my
"The doctor went out into the waiting room
and told the husband that his wife needed sex three times a week. The
78-year-old husband replied, 'Which days?'
"The doctor answered, 'Monday, Tuesday
and Friday would be ideal.'
"The husband said, 'I can bring her on
Monday, but on Tuesday and Fridays I golf, so she'll have to take the
The new math. . . You
could categorize this submission from Grumps as
a collection of puns, we suppose, but we find it less painful to think
of it as arithmetic of a sort:
"New Conversion Table
"Ratio of an igloo's circumference to its
"2,000 pounds of Chinese soup=Won ton
"1 millionth of a mouthwash=1 microscope
"Time between slipping on a peel and smacking
the pavement=1 bananosecond
"Weight an evangelist carries with God=1
"Time it takes to sail 220 yards at 1 nautical
mile per hour=Knotfurlong
"16.5 feet in the Twilight Zone=1 Rod Serling
"Half of a large intestine=1 semicolon
"1,000,000 aches=1 megahertz
"Basic unit of laryngitis=1 hoarsepower
"Shortest distance between two jokes=A
"453.6 graham crackers=1 pound cake
"1 million-million microphones=1 megaphone
"1 million bicycles=2 megacycles
"365.25 days=1 unicycle
"2,000 mockingbirds=2 kilomockingbirds
"52 cards=1 decacards
"1 kilogram of falling figs=1 Fig Newton
"1,000 milliliters of wet socks=1 literhosen
"1 millionth of a fish=1 microfiche
"1 trillion pins=1 terrapin
"10 rations=1 decoration
"100 rations=1 C-ration
"2 monograms=1 diagram
"4 nickels=2 paradigms
"100 Senators=Not 1 decision."
Now you do the math! Send your own calculations
and conversions to PO Box 191, Silver City, NM 88062, fax 534-4134
or email email@example.com.
Losing the war between the sexes.
. . Expanding
the gender wars into the mother-in-law realm, Poet
"A man, his wife and his mother-in-law
went on vacation to Jerusalem. While they were there, the mother-in-law
passed away. The undertaker told them, 'You can have her shipped home
for $5,000, or you can bury her here in the Holy Land for $150.'
"The man thought about it and told him
he would just have her shipped home. The undertaker asked, 'Why would
you spend $5,000 to ship your mother-in-law home, when it would be
wonderful to be buried here and you would spend only $150?'
"The man replied, 'Long ago a man died
here, was buried here, and three days later he rose from the dead.
I just can't take that chance.'"
Pondering the imponderables.
. . We hear that up
north it's finally thawing out enough so that the Internet signals are
no longer frozen in mid-ethernet. So we welcome the return of Barb
Up North, who emails this collection of deep thoughts:
"My mind works like lightning. One brilliant
flash and it is gone.
"The difference between the Pope and your
boss? The Pope only expects you to kiss his ring.
"The only time the world beats a path to
your door is if you're in the bathroom.
"I hate sex in the movies. Tried it once.
The seat folded up, the drink spilled and that ice, well, it really
chilled the mood.
"It used to be only death and taxes were
inevitable. Now, of course, there's shipping and handling, too.
"A husband is someone who, after taking
the trash out, gives the impression that he just cleaned the whole
"My next house will have no kitchen—just
vending machines and a large trash can.
"The dumb blonde/brunette/redhead (your
choice) said, 'I was worried that my mechanic might try to rip me off.
I was relieved when he told me all I needed was turn signal fluid.'
"I'm so depressed. My doctor refused to
write me a prescription for Viagra. He said it would be like putting
a new flagpole on a condemned building.
"My neighbor was bitten by a stray rabid
dog. I went to see how he was and found him writing frantically on
a piece of paper. I told him rabies could be cured and he didn't have
to worry about a will. He said, 'Will? What will? I'm making a list
of the people I want to bite.'"
The cowboy way. . . Putting
a new spin on the dumb blonde joke (for which we again apologize to all
those brilliantly savvy blondes out there), Birdman
of Deming brings
us the dumb-cowboy joke (for which we duly apologize to the vast majority
of cowboys who are in actuality of genius-level IQ):
"The sheriff in a small town walks out
in the street and sees a cowboy coming down the walk with nothing on
but his cowboy hat, gun and his boots, so he arrests him for indecent
exposure. As the sheriff is locking up the cowboy, he asks, 'Why in
the world are you dressed like this?
"The cowboy replies, 'Well, it's like this,
sheriff. I was in the bar down the road and this pretty little redhead
asks me to go out to her motor home with her. So I did. We go inside
and she pulls off her top and asks me to pull off my shirt. So I did.
Then she pulls off her skirt and asks me to pull off my pants. So I
did. Then she pulls off her panties and asks me to pull off my shorts.
So I did. Then she gets on the bed and looks at me kind of sexy and
says, 'Now go to town, cowboy!'
"'And here I am.'"
Capital pun-ishment. . . . As
if we haven't apologized enough already this month, we're dreadfully
sorry for inflicting the following puns on you, our unsuspecting readers.
"Energizer Bunny arrested—charged with
"A pessimist's blood type is always b-negative.
"Practice safe eating—always use condiments.
"A Freudian slip is when you say one thing
but mean your mother.
"Shotgun wedding: A case of wife or death.
"I used to work in a blanket factory, but
"Marriage is the mourning after the knot
"A hangover is the wrath of grapes.
"Corduroy pillows are making headlines.
"Is a book on voyeurism a peeping tome?
"Sea captains don't like crew cuts.
"A successful diet is the triumph of mind
"A gossip is someone with a great sense
"Without geometry, life is pointless.
"When you dream in color, it's a pigment
of your imagination.
"Reading while sunbathing makes you well-red.
"A man's home is his castle, in a manor
"Dijon vu—the same mustard as before.
"When two egotists meet, it's an I for
"A bicycle can't stand on its own because
it is two-tired.
"What's the definition of a will? (Come
on, it's a dead giveaway!)
"A backwards poet writes inverse.
"In democracy your vote counts. In feudalism,
your count votes.
"A chicken crossing the road is poultry
"If you don't pay your exorcist, you get
"With her marriage, she got a new name
and a dress.
"Show me a piano falling down a mine shaft,
and I'll show you a flat minor.
"When a clock is hungry, it goes back four
"The man who fell into an upholstery machine
is fully recovered.
"Local Area Network in Australia: The LAN
"He often broke into song because he couldn't
find the key.
"Every calendar's days are numbered.
"A lot of money is tainted. It t'aint yours
and it t'aint mine.
"A boiled egg in the morning is hard to
"He had a photographic memory that was
"Once you've seen one shopping center,
you've seen a mall.
"Those who jump off a Paris bridge are
"Bakers trade bread recipes on a knead-to-know
"Santa's helpers are subordinate clauses.
"Acupuncture is a jab well done."
A pun is only painful until it's shared, we're
told. So send your groaners to PO Box 191, Silver City, NM 88062, fax
534-4134 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The good old daze. . . Finally, Writer
we happen to know is almost a decade beyond "the ripe old age of
40") turns back the clock with this curmudgeonly reminiscence of
those thrilling days of yesteryear:
"When I was a kid, adults used to bore
me to tears with their tedious diatribes about how hard things were
when they were growing up; what with walking 25 miles to school every
morning—uphill BOTH ways—through year 'round bli--ards. Carrying
their younger siblings on their backs—to their one-room schoolhouse,
where they maintained a straight-A average, despite their full-time,
after-school job at the local textile mill, where they worked for 35
cents an hour just to help keep their family from starving to death!
"And I remember promising myself that when
I grew up, there was no way I was going to lay a bunch of crap like
that on kids about how hard I had it and how easy they've got it!
"But now that I'm over the ripe old age
of 40, I can't help but look around and notice the youth of today.
You've got it so easy! I mean, compared to my childhood, you live in
a damn utopia! And I hate to say it, but you kids today don't know
how good you've got it! I mean, when I was a kid we didn't have the
Internet. If we wanted to know something, we had to go to the library
and look it up ourselves! In the card catalog!
"There was no e-mail! We had to actually
write somebody a letter—with a pen! Then you had to walk all the way
across the street and put it in the mailbox and it would take like
a week to get there.
"There were no MP3s or Napsters. You wanted
to steal music, you had to hitchhike to the damn record store and shoplift
it yourself. Or you had to wait around all day to tape it off the radio
and the DJ would usually talk over the beginning and screw it all up.
"And talk about hardship? You couldn't just
download porn! You had to steal it from your brother or bribe some
homeless dude to buy you a copy of Penthouse at the 7-11. Those were
"We didn't have fancy crap like call waiting!
If you were on the phone and somebody else called, they got a busy
signal, that's it! And we didn't have caller ID boxes either. When
the phone rang, you had no idea who it was. It could be your school,
your mom, your boss, your bookie, your drug dealer, a collections agent,
you just didn't know! You had to pick it up and take your chances,
"We didn't have any fancy Sony Playstation video games with high-resolution
3-D graphics. We had the Atari 2600! With games like "Space Invaders" and "Asteroids," and
the graphics sucked. Your guy was a little square! You actually had
to use your imagination! And there were no multiple levels or screens—it
was just one screen forever. And you could never win. The game just
kept getting harder and harder and faster and faster until you died.
Just like LIFE!
"When you went to the movie theater, there
no such thing as stadium seating! All the seats were the same height.
If a tall guy or some old broad with a hat sat in front of you and
you couldn't see, you were just screwed!
"Sure, we had cable television, but back then
that was only like 15 channels and there was no onscreen menu and no
remote control. You had to use a little book called a TV
Guide to find
out what was on. You were screwed when it came to channel surfing!
You had to get off your butt and walk over to the TV to change the
channel. And there was no Cartoon Network either. You could only get
cartoons on Saturday morning. Do you hear what I'm saying? We had to
wait ALL WEEK for cartoons, you spoiled little bastards!
"And we didn't have microwaves. If we wanted
to heat something up, we had to use the stove. Imagine that! If we
wanted popcorn, we had to use that stupid JiffyPop thing and shake
it over the stove forever like an idiot.
"That's exactly what I'm talking about!
You kids today have got it too easy. You're spoiled.
"You guys wouldn't have lasted five minutes
back in 1980."
Go ahead, set the younger generation straight. Send your curmudgeonly
lectures, favorite jokes, awful puns and anecdotes, heartwarming or otherwise,
to Desert Diary, PO Box 191, Silver City, NM 88062, fax 534-4134, email
email@example.com. Remember, the best submissions get one of our
new 10th anniversary mugs—an exclusive collector's item we expect to
see on eBay any day now.
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