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Manners, Merger Mania and Tuna Sandwiches in Heaven

Plus how not to throw away whiskey. . .
and what we could learn from dogs.


Miss Manners. . . This tale of etiquette in our time comes courtesy of RCH in Arizona. You are, however, certainly invited to submit your own stories, jokes and anecdotes along the theme of "Miss Manners":

"Two nicely dressed ladies happened to start up a conversation during an endless wait in the LA airport. The first lady was an arrogant California woman married to a wealthy man. The second was a well-mannered elderly woman from Texas. When the conversation got around to whether they had any children, the California woman started by saying, 'When my first child was born, my husband built a beautiful mansion for me.'

"The lady from Texas responded, 'Well, isn't that precious?'

"The first woman continued, 'When my second child was born, my husband bought me a beautiful Mercedes-Benz.'

"Again, the lady from Texas commented, 'Well, isn't that precious?'

"The first woman continued boasting: 'Then, when my third child was born, my husband bought me this exquisite diamond bracelet.'

"Yet again, the Texas lady said, 'Well, isn't that precious?'

"The California woman then asked, 'What did your husband buy for you when you had your first child?'

"'My husband sent me to charm school,' declared the Texas lady.

"'Charm school?' the California woman cried. 'Oh, my God, what on earth for?'

"The Texas lady replied, 'Well, for example, instead of saying, 'Who gives a crap?,' I learned to say, 'Well, isn't that precious?'"


You know you live in New Mexico when. . . We continue our litany of ways you really know you're a resident of the Land of Enchantment with this listing from Blue Moon. You know you live in New Mexico when. . .

"You're amused when visiting relatives seem to think a creek should have water in it.

"You think of a scrub oak as nature's way of providing a pit stop on those long drives.

"Your children's names are Harley, Jesus and Boxcar Willy."

"Driving all day without seeing the end of your property is the sure sign you need to see your mechanic.

"You think you've seen that caveman from the Geico ads walking around town. In fact, your pretty dang sure you have.

"You've used the phrase 'circling vulture' to actually refer to a circling vulture and not to your mother-in-law.

"You've spent more money at Wal-Mart than you have for your house."


The joke's on us. . . This tale of entrepreneurship gone wrong south of the border was sent by JMRealOne:

"Linda says to Frank, 'You know, we could make a lot of money running our own bungee-jumping business in Mexico.' Frank thinks this is a great idea, so they pool their money and buy everything they need: a tower, an elastic cord, insurance, etc. They travel to Mexico and begin to set up on the plaza.

"As they are constructing the tower, a crowd begins to assemble. Slowly, more and more people gather to watch them at work. When they finish, there is such a crowd, they think it would be a good idea to give a demonstration.

"So, Linda jumps. She bounces at the end of the cord, but when she comes back up, Frank notices that she has a few cuts and scratches. Unfortunately, Frank isn't able to catch her and she falls again, bounces, and comes back up again. This time, she is bruised and bleeding. Again, Frank misses her.

"Linda falls again and bounces back up. This time, she comes back pretty messed up — she's got a couple of broken bones and is almost unconscious.

"Luckily, Frank finally catches her this time and says, 'What happened? Was the cord too long?'

"Barely able to speak, Linda gasps, 'No, the bungee cord was fine. It was the crowd! What the hell is a piñata?'"


Postcards from the edge. . .

We continue to be delighted with the pictures that folks are sending us of themselves and their favorite publication (we do not mean People magazine) on trips far and wide. This photo comes from reader Jeanette Giese, who writes, "My husband Dale snapped it in Monument Valley, Utah. We had just completed a 3.2-mile walk around the formation in back of me. I slowly made it back to the trailer and grabbed your publication. This was such a great spot for a picture. We are now back home after RVing around our local Southwest. There is nowhere more exciting than our own backyard!"

Take us with you on your next trip — to the other side of the world or just to Hoboken — and send home a snapshot of yourself holding "the biggest little paper in the Southwest"! Send it to Desert Diary, PO Box 191, Silver City, NM 88062, or by email to diary@desertexposure.com.


Paving the road to hell. . . We reproduce here verbatim this confession about good intentions gone awry, sent our way by RH of Silver, whom we hope knows a good hangover cure:

"I had 12 bottles of whiskey in my den. My wife, who had never cared much for my whiskey supply, suggested one day that I throw the whole supply down the kitchen sink. Knowing my wife to be a reasonable sort, I decided to go ahead as she suggested.

"I started my task by pouring myself a good-sized glass and drinking it up. I proceeded to pull the cork on the second bottle and poured it out in the sink, with the exception of one glass, which I drank.

"I then pulled the cork on the third bottle and poured out a glass with the exception of the contents, which I drank.

"I picked up the fourth bottle, pulled the cork, poured the bottle in the glass, which I drank.

"I picked up the fifth bottle and pulled the cork out of the glass, poured the cork in the bottle and pulled out the glass.

"After removing the cork on the next bottle, I poured the sink in the bottle and put the cork in the bottle with the glass and poured the whiskey on the bottle.

"When all the bottles were empty, I held the house with one hand while I counted bottles, corks and glasses with the other. It amounted to 29 exactly, but to be certain I counted one more time. This second time it added up to 79 again. When the house went by I counted the whole thing one more time and finally all the houses, bottles and sinks with the exception of one cork which I poured in the house and drank."

Send your own confessions, sober or otherwise, of good intentions that didn't turn out so well to Desert Diary, PO Box 191, Silver City, NM 88062, fax 534-4134 or email diary@desertexposure.com.


Stupid is as stupid does. . . We share the following funny, sent our way by Southpole, with the usual caveat that readers may feel free to substitute the hair color of their choice for "blonde" herein. (Just don't substitute "bald" — they've suffered enough.)

"Three girls all worked in the same office with the same female boss. Each day, they noticed the boss left work early. One day the girls decided when the boss left, they would leave right behind her. After all, she never called or came back to work, so how would she know they went home early?

"The brunette was thrilled to be home early. She did a little gardening, spent playtime with her son and went to bed early. The redhead was elated to be able to get in a quick workout at the spa before meeting a dinner date.

"The blonde was happy to get home early and surprise her husband, but when she got to her bedroom, she heard a muffled noise from inside. Slowly and quietly, she cracked open the door and was mortified to see her husband in bed with her lady boss. Gently, she closed the door and crept out of her house.

"The next day, at their coffee break, the brunette and redhead planned to leave early again and they asked the blonde if she was going to go with them. 'No way!' the blonde exclaimed. 'I almost got caught yesterday.'"


U-turning on Wall Street. . . We welcome back Toni in the Vet's Office, who sends along this investment advice:

"For all of you with any money left, be aware of the next expected mergers so that you can get in on the ground floor and make some BIG bucks. Watch for these mergers:

"Hale Business Systems, Mary Kay Cosmetics, Fuller Brush and W. R. Grace Co. will merge and become: Hale, Mary, Fuller, Grace.

"Polygram Records, Warner Bros. and Zesta Crackers join forces and become: Poly, Warner Cracker.

"3M will merge with Goodyear and become: MMMGood.

"Zippo Manufacturing, Audi Motors, Dofasco and Dakota Mining will merge and become: ZipAudiDoDa.

"FedEx is expected to join its major competitor, UPS, and become: FedUP.

"Fairchild Electronics and Honeywell Computers will become: Fairwell Honeychild.

"Grey Poupon and Docker Pants are expected to become: Poupon Pants.

"Knotts Berry Farm and the National Organization of Women will become: Knott NOW!

"And finally, Victoria's Secret and Smith & Wesson will merge under the new name: Titty Titty, Bang Bang."


Just because you're paranoid. . . doesn't mean they aren't out to get you! Taking up the gauntlet thrown by Bert of the Burros in his recent rant about those sneaky Swiss, Charles of Cruces spins his own paranoid web:

"Just what has the government done with all the daylight we've saved over the decades with Daylight Savings Time? Has anyone seen any of it deposited to our winter days when it would be most welcome? Or has it been stored in the same warehouse where they stored the Ark that Indiana Jones found?"


Oh, heavenly daze. . . Not to neglect things spiritual, we pass along this yarn from PoetLodge:

"Mother Teresa dies and goes to Heaven. God greets her at the Pearly Gates. 'Are you hungry, Mother Teresa?' says God.

"'I could eat,' Mother Teresa replies.

"So God opens a can of tuna and reaches for a chunk of rye bread and they share it. While eating this humble meal, however, Mother Teresa looks down into Hell and sees the inhabitants devouring huge steaks, lobsters, pheasants, pastries and wines. Curious, but deeply trusting, she remains quiet.

"The next day God again invites her to join Him for a meal. Again, it is tuna and rye bread. Once again, Mother Teresa can see the denizens of Hell enjoying caviar, champagne, lamb, truffles and chocolates. Still she says nothing.

"The following day, mealtime arrives and another can of tuna is opened. She can't contain herself any longer. Meekly, she says, 'God, I am grateful to be in Heaven with You as a reward for the pious, obedient life I led. But here in Heaven all I get to eat is tuna and a piece of rye bread, and in the Other Place they eat like emperors and kings! I just don't understand.'

"God sighs. 'Let's be honest,' He says. 'For just two people, does it pay to cook?'"


Chicken soup for the cynic's soul. . . This heartwarming story comes our way from frequent correspondent Ned Ludd:

"In 1986, Mkele Mbembe was on holiday in Kenya after graduating from Northwestern University. On a hike through the bush, he came across a young bull elephant standing with one leg raised in the air. The elephant seemed distressed, so Mbembe approached it very carefully.

"He got down on one knee and inspected the elephant's foot, and found a large piece of wood deeply embedded in it. As carefully and as gently as he could, Mbembe worked the wood out with his hunting knife, after which the elephant gingerly put down its foot.

"The elephant turned to face the man, and with a rather curious look on its face, stared at him for several tense moments. Mbembe stood frozen, thinking of nothing else but being trampled. Eventually the elephant trumpeted loudly, turned, and walked away.

"Mbembe never forgot that elephant or the events of that day. Twenty years later, Mbembe was walking through the Nimbia Zoo with his teenaged son. As they approached the elephant enclosure, one of the creatures turned and walked over to near where Mbembe and his son Tapu were standing. The large bull elephant stared at Mbembe, lifted its front foot off the ground, then put it down. The elephant did that several times then trumpeted loudly, all the while staring at the man.

"Remembering the encounter in 1986, Mbembe couldn't help wondering if this was the same elephant. Mbembe summoned up his courage, climbed over the railing and made his way into the enclosure. He walked right up to the elephant and stared back in wonder.

"The elephant trumpeted again, wrapped its trunk around one of Mbembe's legs and slammed him against the railing, killing him instantly.

"Probably wasn't the same elephant."


Send us your own "heartwarming" stories: Desert Diary, PO Box 191, Silver City, NM 88062, fax 534-4134 or email diary@desertexposure.com.


Northern exposure. . . Sorta-new correspondent Bob in the Garage brings us this sordid tail of life in the frozen north:

"Tom had been in the liquor business for 25 years. Finally sick of the stress. he quits his job and buys 50 acres of land in Alaska as far from humanity as possible. He sees the postman once a week and gets groceries once a month. Otherwise it's total peace and quiet.

"After six months of almost total isolation, someone knocks on his door. Tom opens it and a huge, bearded man is standing there. 'Name's Lars, your neighbor from 40 miles up the road. Having a Christmas party Friday night. Thought you might like to come. About 5:00.'

"'Great', says Tom, 'after six months out here I'm ready to meet some local folks. Thank you.'

"As Lars is leaving, he stops. 'Gotta warn you — be some drinkin'.

"'Not a problem,' says Tom. 'After 25 years in the business, I can drink with the best of 'em.'

"Again, the big man starts to leave and stops. 'More 'n' likely gonna be some fightin', too.'

"'Well, I get along with people, I'll be all right. I'll be there. Thanks again,' Tom says.

"'More'n likely be some wild sex, too,' Lars adds.

"'Now that's really not a problem,' says Tom, warming to the idea. 'I've been all alone for six months! I'll definitely be there. By the way, what should I wear?'

"'Don't much matter,' Lars replies. 'Just gonna be the two of us.'"


Our pets, ourselves. . . Finally, on a completely different note (!), we leave you with this sage advice, which comes our way courtesy of Energy Guy:

"If a dog were your teacher, you would learn stuff like this:

"When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.

"Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride. Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure ecstasy.

"When it's in your best interest, practice obedience.

"Let others know when they've invaded your territory.

"Take naps.

"Stretch before rising.

"Run, romp and play daily.

"Thrive on attention and let people touch you.

"Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.

"On warm days, stop to lie on your back on the grass. On hot days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree.

"When you're happy, dance around and wag your entire body.

"No matter how often you're scolded, don't buy into the guilt thing and pout. Run right back and make friends.

"Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.

"Eat with gusto and enthusiasm. Stop when you have had enough.

"Be loyal.

"Never pretend to be something you're not.

"If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.

"When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by and nuzzle them gently."


The only thing that feels as good as a nuzzle is sharing with the whole world via Desert Diary! Send your jokes, puns, heartwarming anecdotes and cosmic 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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