D  e  s  e  r  t     E  x  p  o  s  u  r  e  May 2006

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Wage War
The fight to raise the minimum wage moves to the local level.

Birth of the Blues
Behind the scenes of the Silver City Blues Festival.

Inside Stories
Voices from the Southern New Mexico Correctional Facility.

Going with the Flow
Get your feet wet at the Gila River Festival.

Magic Flute
Las Cruces musician Randy Granger plays his way to the top.

Getaways: Strip Tease
Can you have fun in Las Vegas without gambling? You bet.



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Ugly Americans, Mothers-in-Law, Dumb Cowpokes and Young Curmudgeons

Plus: What do you call the time between slipping on a peel and smacking the pavement?

 

A bad case of turista. . . This "true, almost sad story takes the 'Ugly American' to a new level," says new correspondent BillB, 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 skin.

"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 diary@desertexposure.com. 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 Exposure) 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 husband.'

"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 bus.'"

 

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 diameter=Eskimo Pi

"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 billigram

"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 straight line

"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 diary@desertexposure.com.

 

Losing the war between the sexes. . . Expanding the gender wars into the mother-in-law realm, Poet Lodge sends the following:

"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 house.

"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. Blame JS:

"Energizer Bunny arrested—charged with battery.

"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 it folded.

"Marriage is the mourning after the knot before.

"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 over platter.

"A gossip is someone with a great sense of rumor.

"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 of speaking.

"Dijon vu—the same mustard as before.

"When two egotists meet, it's an I for an I.

"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 in motion.

"If you don't pay your exorcist, you get repossessed.

"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 seconds.

"The man who fell into an upholstery machine is fully recovered.

"Local Area Network in Australia: The LAN down under.

"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 beat.

"He had a photographic memory that was never developed.

"Once you've seen one shopping center, you've seen a mall.

"Those who jump off a Paris bridge are in Seine.

"Bakers trade bread recipes on a knead-to-know basis.

"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 diary@desertexposure.com.

 

The good old daze. . . Finally, Writer Bill (whom 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 your options!

"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, mister!

"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 diary@desertexposure.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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