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A Dog Named Sex, Finding Jesus
and the Naked Exterminator

Plus more new New Mexicanisms, mixed-up metaphors and what a difference 50 years can make.

You know you live in New Mexico when. . . We pick up where we left off last month with one of our favorite recurring categories, presenting still more ways you know you live in New Mexico, courtesy of JackB:

"All your out-of-state friends and relatives visit in October.

"You know Vegas is a town in the northeastern part of the state.

"You iron your jeans to dress up.

"You don't see anything wrong with drive-up window liquor sales.

"Your other vehicle is also a pick-up truck.

"Two of your cousins are in Santa Fe, one in the legislature and the other in the state pen.

"Your car is missing a fender or bumper (or a turn signal and aligned headlights).

"You have driven to an Indian casino at 3 a.m. because you were hungry.

"You think the Lobos' fight song is 'Louie, Louie.'

"You know whether you want red or green chile.

"You're relieved when the pavement ends because the dirt road has fewer potholes.

"You can correctly pronounce 'Tesuque,' 'Cerrillos' and 'Pojoaque,' and know the Organ mountains are not a phallic symbol.

"You have been told by at least one out-of-state vendor they are going to charge you extra for international shipping.

"You expect to pay more if your house is made of mud.

"You can order your Big Mac with green chile.

"You see nothing odd when, in the conversations of the people in line around you at the grocery store, every other word of each sentence alternates between Spanish and English.

"You associate bridges with mud, not water.

"You know you will run into at least three cousins whenever you shop at Wal-Mart, Sam's or Home Depot.

"Tumbleweeds and various cacti in your yard are not weeds. They are your lawn.

"If you travel anywhere, no matter if just to run to the gas station, you must bring along a bottle of water and some moisturizer.

"Trailers are not referred to as 'trailers.' They are 'houses.'

"Double-wide trailers are real houses.

"A package of white flour tortillas is the exact same thing as a loaf of bread. You don't need to write it on your shopping list; it's a given.

"At any gathering, regardless of size, green chile stew, tortillas and huge mounds of shredded cheese are mandatory.

"Prosperity can be readily determined by the number of horses you own.

"A tarantula on your porch is ordinary.

"A scorpion in your tub is ordinary.

"A poisonous centipede on your ceiling? Ordinary.

"A black widow crawling across your bed is terribly, terribly common.

"A rattlesnake is an occasional hiking hazard. No need to freak out.

"You actually get these jokes and pass them on to other friends from New Mexico."

And, we might add, you know you live in New Mexico when you have more lines like these and pass them along to Desert Diary (in hopes of being rewarded with a Desert Exposure coffee mug!) at PO Box 191, Silver City, NM 88062, fax 534-4134 or email diary@desertexposure.com.

Yes, we shall gather at the river. . . Desert Diary's Department of Spiritual Enlightenment brings you this next one, through the miracle of email by way of Grumps:

"A man was stumbling through the woods, totally drunk, when he came upon a preacher baptizing people in the river. The drunk proceeded to walk into the water and bumped into the preacher. The preacher turned around and, though almost overcome by the smell of alcohol, asked the drunk, 'Are you ready to find Jesus?'

"The drunk answered, 'Yes, I am.' So the preacher grabbed the drunk and dunked him in the water. Then he pulled him up and asked him, 'Brother, have you found Jesus?'

"The drunk replied, 'No, I haven't found Jesus.'

"The preacher, shocked at the answer, dunked him into the water again, this time for a little longer. Then he again pulled the drunk out and asked, 'Have you found Jesus, my brother?!'

"The drunk again answered, 'No, I haven't found Jesus.'

"By this time the preacher was at his wits' end, so he submerged the drunk once more and held him down for about 30 seconds until the drunk began kicking his arms and legs, whereupon he pulled him up. The preacher again asked the drunk, 'For the love of God, have you found Jesus?'

"The drunk wiped his eyes and caught his breath and finally said to the preacher, 'Are you sure this is where he fell in?'"


You're not getting older. . . When we talk about our "far-flung correspondents," we're not kidding. MollyK of Freeport, Texas, 60 miles from Houston, writes, "One day in the summer, my sister and I were passing by your town and had lunch. There were some newspapers so I picked one up and read all the jokes and liked them." She shares the following from "things that I have collected":

"When you're 20, you want to wake up romantic.

"When you're 30, you want to wake up married.

"When you're 40, you want to wake up successful.

"When you're 50, you want to wake up rich.

"When you're 60, you want to wake up contented.

"When you're 70, you want to wake up healthy.

"When you're 80, you just want to wake up."


It's a dog's life. . . Another new far-flung correspondent, RobertH, writes all the way from Fountain Hills, Ariz., with this saga:

"What to Name Your Dog

"Everybody who has a dog calls him 'Rover' or 'Boy,' I call mine 'Sex.' Now, Sex has been very embarrassing to me. When I went to City Hall to renew his dog license, I told the clerk I would like to have a license for Sex. He said, 'I would like to have one, too.' Then I said, 'But this is a dog.' He said he didn't care what she looked like. Then I said, 'You don't understand. I've had Sex since I was nine years old.' He said I must have been quite a kid.

"When I got married and went on my honeymoon, I took the dog with me. I told the hotel clerk that I wanted a room for my wife and me and a special room for Sex. He told me that every room in the hotel was for sex. I said, 'You don't understand, Sex keeps me awake at night.' The clerk said, 'Me, too.'

"One day I entered Sex in a contest, but before the competition began, the dog ran away. Another contestant asked me why I was just standing there, looking around, I told him I had planned to have Sex in the contest. He told me that I should have sold my own tickets. 'But you don't understand,' I said. 'I had hoped to have Sex on TV.' He called me a showoff.

"When my wife and I separated, we went to court to fight for custody of the dog. I said, 'Your Honor, I had Sex before I was married.' The judge said, 'Me, too.'

"Last night Sex ran away again. I spent hours looking around town for him. A cop came over to me and asked, 'What are you doing in this alley at four o'clock in the morning?' I said, 'I'm looking for Sex.'

"My case comes up Friday!"

Far-flung or right next door, you're invited to become a Desert Diary correspondent. Write PO Box 191, Silver City, NM 88062, fax 534-4134 or email diary@desertexposure.com.


The joke's on us. . . You'll notice that the following two funnies sent our way by Ned Ludd pick up on certain themes from the previous yarn. First, the dog:

"Muldoon lived alone in the Irish countryside with only a pet dog for company. One day the dog died, and Muldoon went to the parish priest and asked, 'Father, my dog is dead. Could ya be sayin' a mass for the poor creature?'

"Father Patrick replied, 'I'm afraid not. We cannot have services for an animal in the church. But there are some Baptists down the lane, and there's no tellin' what they believe. Maybe they'll do something for the dog.'

"Muldoon said, 'I'll go right away, Father. Do ye think $5,000 is enough to donate to them for the service?'

"Father Patrick exclaimed, 'Sweet Mary, Mother of Jesus! Why didn't ya tell me the dog was Catholic?'"

And then there's this tale about, well, er, sex:

"A woman was having a passionate affair with an inspector from a pest-control company. One afternoon they were carrying on in the bedroom together when her husband arrived home unexpectedly.

"'Quick,' said the woman to her lover, 'into the closet!' and she pushed him into the closet, stark naked. The husband, however, became suspicious and after a search of the bedroom discovered the man in the closet.

"'Who are you?' he asked the naked man.

"'I'm an inspector from Bugs-B-Gone,' said the exterminator.

"'What are you doing in there?' the husband asked.

"'I'm investigating a complaint about an infestation of moths,' the man replied.

"'And where are your clothes?' asked the husband.

"The man looked down at himself and said, 'Those little bastards!'"


The future isn't what it used to be. . . This glimpse into the perilous present day through the lens of yesterday comes to us courtesy of Toni in the Vet's Office. Amazing how much can change in just 50 years, isn't it?

"Scenario: Jack pulls into school parking lot with rifle in gun rack.

"1957–Vice Principal comes over, takes a look at Jack's rifle, goes to his car and gets his to show Jack.

"2007–School goes into lockdown, FBI called, Jack hauled off to jail and never sees his truck or gun again. Counselors called in for traumatized students and teachers.

"Scenario: Johnny and Mark get into a fist fight after school.

"1957–Crowd gathers. Mark wins. Johnny and Mark shake hands and end up best friends. Nobody goes to jail, nobody arrested, nobody expelled.

"2007–Police called, SWAT team arrives, arrests Johnny and Mark. Both are charged with assault, both expelled, even though Johnny started it.

"Scenario: Jeffrey won't be still in class, disrupts other students.

"1957–Jeffrey sent to office and given a good paddling by Principal. Sits still in class.

"2007–Jeffrey given huge doses of Ritalin. Becomes a zombie. School gets extra money from state because Jeffrey has a disability.

"Scenario: Billy breaks a window in his father's car and his Dad gives him a whipping.

"1957–Billy is more careful next time, grows up normal, goes to college, and becomes a successful businessman.

"2007–Billy's Dad is arrested for child abuse. Billy removed to foster care and joins a gang. Billy's sister is told by state psychologist that she remembers being abused herself and their Dad goes to prison. Billy's mom has affair with psychologist.

"Scenario: Mark gets a headache and takes some headache medicine to school

"1957–Mark shares headache medicine with Principal out on the smoking dock.

"2007–Police called, Mark expelled from school for drug violations. Car searched for drugs and weapons.

"Scenario: Johnny takes apart leftover firecrackers from the 4th of July, puts them in a model-airplane paint bottle, blows up a red ant bed.

"1957–Ants die.

"2007–BATF, Homeland Security, FBI called. Johnny charged with domestic terrorism, FBI investigates parents, siblings removed from home, computers confiscated, Johnny's Dad goes on a terror watch list and is never allowed to fly again.

"Scenario: Johnny falls while running during recess and scrapes his knee. He is found crying by his teacher, Mary, who hugs him to comfort him.

"1957–In a short time Johnny feels better and goes on playing.

"2007–Mary is accused of being a sexual predator and loses her job. She faces three years in State Prison."


Block that metaphor! We can't vouch for the following, but enjoyed it nonetheless. Supposedly, every year, English teachers from across the US can submit their collections of actual analogies and metaphors found in high-school essays. These excerpts are published each year to the amusement of teachers across the country. Here, we are told, are last year's winners:

"1. Her face was a perfect oval, like a circle that had its two sides gently compressed by a Thigh Master.

"2. His thoughts tumbled in his head, making and breaking alliances like underpants in a dryer without Cling Free.

"3. He spoke with the wisdom that can only come from experience, like a guy who went blind because he looked at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it and now goes around the country speaking at high schools about the dangers of looking at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it.

"4. She grew on him like she was a colony of E. coli, and he was room-temperature Canadian beef.

"5. She had a deep, throaty, genuine laugh, like that sound a dog makes just before it throws up.

"6. Her vocabulary was as bad as, like, whatever.

"7. He was as tall as a six-foot, three-inch tree.

"8. The revelation that his marriage of 30 years had disintegrated because of his wife's infidelity came as a rude shock, like a surcharge at a formerly surcharge-free ATM machine.

"9. The little boat gently drifted across the pond exactly the way a bowling ball wouldn't.

"10. McBride fell 12 stories, hitting the pavement like a Hefty bag filled with vegetable soup.

"11. From the attic came an unearthly howl. The whole scene had an eerie, surreal quality, like when you're on vacation in another city and Jeopardy comes on at 7 p.m. instead of 7:30.

"12. Her hair glistened in the rain like a nose hair after a sneeze.

"13. The hailstones leaped from the pavement, just like maggots when you fry them in hot grease.

"14. Long separated by cruel fate, the star-crossed lovers raced across the grassy field toward each other like two freight trains, one having left Cleveland at 6:36 p.m. traveling at 55 mph, the other from Topeka at 4:19 p.m. at a speed of 35 mph.

"15. They lived in a typical suburban neighborhood with picket fences that resembled Nancy Kerrigan's teeth.

"16. John and Mary had never met. They were like two hummingbirds who had also never met.

"17. He fell for her like his heart was a mob informant and she was the East River.

"18. Even in his last years, Granddad had a mind like a steel trap, only one that had been left out so long, it had rusted shut.

"19. Shots rang out, as shots are wont to do.

"20. The plan was simple, like my brother-in-law Phil. But unlike Phil, this plan just might work.

"21. The young fighter had a hungry look, the kind you get from not eating for a while.

"22. He was as lame as a duck. Not the metaphorical lame duck, either, but a real duck that was actually lame, maybe from stepping on a land mine or something.

"23. The ballerina rose gracefully en pointe and extended one slender leg behind her, like a dog at a fire hydrant.

"24. It was an American tradition, like fathers chasing kids around with power tools.

"25. He was deeply in love. When she spoke, he thought he heard bells, as if she were a garbage truck backing up."


Finally, the prize (yes, a much-coveted Desert Exposure 10th anniversary coffee mug) for recognizing our December Desert Diary reference to "the wisdom of Solomon" plus Hercules, Atlas, Zeus, Archilles and Mercury goes to Dr. Kurt S. J. Anderson, professor of astronomy at NMSU and site director of the Apache Point Observatory in Sunspot, NM. Prof. Anderson's astronomical viewpoint no doubt gave him an edge, as he correctly made the acronym connection to "SHAZAM!"–the magic word spoken by young Billy Batson to turn himself into Captain Marvel. (Now for a real toughie! What magic words were spoken by the captain's young protege, Captain Marvel Jr., to turn himself into a less muscle-bound, blue-clad version of the "Big Red Cheese"?)

The far-sighted professor, showing the wisdom of Solomon himself, adds, "Great paper!"

You can help keep this a great paper–or, at any rate, keep Desert Diary a great part of it–by sending your jokes, heartwarming anecdotes and ponderings to: Desert Diary, PO Box 191, Silver City, NM 88062, fax 534-4134, email diary@desertexposure.com. Remember, the best submission each month gets a highly collectible Desert Exposure coffee mug.


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