The Horse Whisperer
Teach the person and the horse will follow.

The Red-or-Greening of New Mexico
How Fabian Garcia began the red-or-greening of New Mexico.

Soup's On
Lending a hand at El Caldito soup kitchen.

Body of Evidence
"CSI: New Mexico"? Not exactly.

The Greatest Work You Will Ever Do
Voice of a Ranch Woman, part 2.

Michael Kunz
Playing the flute for the Hell's Angels.

Letters from Exile
What became of the Chiricahua removed from the Southwest?

Happiness is a Warm Blanket
For local kids, happiness is a warm blanket.

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Speed Thrills, Stupid Survivors and Mortuary Tricks

Plus the gender-specific dictionary, drinking alone and career lowlights.

Life in the fast lane. . . We get off to a fast start this month with this cautionary tale about speed, sent our way by Ned Ludd:

"A doctor goes out and buys the best car on the market, a brand-new Ferrari GTO. It is also the most expensive car in the world, and it costs him $500,000. He takes it out for a spin and stops at a red light. An old man on a moped, looking about 100 years old, pulls up next to him. The old man looks over at the sleek shiny car and asks, 'What kind of car ya got there, sonny?'

"The doctor replies, 'A Ferrari GTO. It cost half a million dollars!'

"'That's a lot of money,' says the old man. 'Why does it cost so much?'

"'Because this car can do up to 250 miles an hour!' states the doctor proudly.

"The moped driver asks, 'Mind if I take a look inside?'

"'No problem,' replies the doctor. So the old man pokes his head in the window and looks around. Then, sitting back on his moped, the old man says, 'That's a pretty nice car, all right, but I'll stick with my moped.'

"Just then the light changes, so the doctor decides to show the old man just what his car can do. He floors it, and within 30 seconds, the speedometer reads 150 mph. Suddenly, he notices a dot in his rearview mirror. It seems to be getting closer! He slows down to see what it could be and suddenly, WHHHOOOOOOSSSSSHHH! Something whips by him going much faster. 'What on earth could be going faster than my Ferrari?' the doctor asks himself. He floors the accelerator and takes the Ferrari up to 175 mph.

"Then, up ahead of him, he sees that it's the old man on the moped. Amazed that the moped could pass his Ferrari, he gives it more gas and passes the moped at 210 mph. WHOOOOOOOSHHHHH! He's feeling pretty good until he looks in his mirror and sees the old man gaining on him AGAIN! Astounded by the speed of this old guy, he floors the gas pedal and takes the Ferrari all the way up to 250 mph. Not 10 seconds later, he sees the moped bearing down on him again! The Ferrari is flat out, and there's nothing he can do!

"Suddenly, the moped plows into the back of his Ferrari, demolishing the rear end. The doctor stops and jumps out and, unbelievably, the old man is still alive. The doctor runs up to the mangled old man and says, 'Oh, my gosh! Is there anything I can do for you?'

"The old man whispers, 'Unhook my suspenders from your side mirror.'"

Share your own tales of life in the fast lane, favorite jokes and funny yarns! Send to Desert Diary, PO Box 191, Silver City, NM 88062, email diary@desertexposure.com or fax 534-4134. The best submission each month gets a highly collectible Desert Exposure coffee mug.


You're only as old as you feel. . . Continuing the theme of, shall we say, spry old age, we share this one from Old Grumps — with the warning that the easily offended might want to skip ahead:

"Upon hearing that her elderly grandfather had just passed away, Katie went straight to her grandparents' house to visit her 95-year-old grandmother and comfort her. When she asked how her grandfather had died, her grandmother replied, 'He had a heart attack while we were making love on Sunday morning.'

"Horrified, Katie told her grandmother that two people nearly 100 years old having sex would surely be asking for trouble.

"'Oh no, my dear,' replied granny. 'Many years ago, realizing our advanced age, we figured out the best time to do it was when the church bells would start to ring. It was just the right rhythm. Nice and slow and even. Nothing too strenuous.'

"She paused to wipe away a tear, and continued, 'He'd still be alive if the ice cream truck hadn't come along.'"


Stupid is as stupid does. . . Our favorite mechanic, Fred in the Garage, sends along these chronicles of stupidity in our times with the question, "How do these people survive?"

"Recently, when I went to McDonald's I saw on the menu that you could have an order of six, nine or 12 Chicken McNuggets. I asked for a half-dozen nuggets. 'We don't have half-dozen nuggets,' said the teenager at the counter. 'You don't?' I replied. 'We only have six, nine or 12,' was the reply. 'So I can't order a half-dozen nuggets, but I can order six?' 'That's right.' So I shook my head and ordered six McNuggets.

"I was checking out at the local Wal-Mart with just a few items and the lady behind me put her things on the belt close to mine. I picked up one of those 'dividers' that they keep by the cash register and placed it between our things so they wouldn't get mixed. After the girl had scanned all of my items, she picked up the 'divider,' looking it all over for the bar code so she could scan it. Not finding the bar code, she said to me, 'Do you know how much this is?' I said to her, 'I've changed my mind. I don't think I'll buy that today.' She said, 'OK,' and I paid her for the things and left. She had no clue to what had just happened.

"A lady at work was seen putting a credit card into her floppy drive and pulling it out very quickly. When I inquired as to what she was doing, she said she was shopping on the Internet and they kept asking for a credit-card number, so she was using the ATM 'thingy.'

"Several years ago, we had an intern at work who was none too swift. One day she was typing and turned to a secretary and said, 'I'm almost out of typing paper. What do I do?' 'Just use copier machine paper,' the secretary told her. With that, the intern took her last remaining blank piece of typing paper, put it on the photocopier and proceeded to make five 'blank' copies.

"I was in a car dealership a while ago, when a large motor home was towed into the garage. The front of the vehicle was in dire need of repair and the whole thing generally looked like an extra in Twister. I asked the manager what had happened. He told me that the driver had set the 'cruise control' and then went in the back of the motor home to make a sandwich.

"My neighbor works in the operations department in the central office of a large bank. Employees in the field call him when they have problems with their computers. One night he got a call from a woman in one of the branch banks who had this question: 'I've got smoke coming from the back of my terminal. Do you guys have a fire downtown?'"

Seen something stupid? Get it off your chest and onto the pages of Desert Diary, PO Box 191, Silver City, NM 88062, email diary@desertexposure.com or fax 534-4134.


Losing the battle of the sexes, part I. . . This tale of a dedicated fisherman comes our way from Toni in the Vet's Office:

"Saturday morning the fisherman got up early, put on his long johns, dressed quietly, made his lunch, grabbed the dog, slipped quietly into the garage to hook the boat up to the truck, and proceeded to back out into a torrential downpour. There was snow mixed with the rain, and the wind was blowing 50 mph. He pulled back into the garage, turned on the radio, and discovered that the weather would be bad throughout the day.

"So the fisherman went back into the house, quietly undressed, and slipped back into bed. There he cuddled up to his wife's back, now with a different anticipation, and whispered, 'The weather out there is terrible.'

"His loving wife of 20 yrs replied, 'Can you believe my stupid husband is out fishing in that downpour?'

"He still doesn't know if she was joking."


Losing the battle of the sexes, part II. . . For more on the gender wars, we turn to JackB, who bring us this vocabulary lesson about "Words with Two Meanings":

"THINGY n. Female: Any part under a car's hood. Male: The strap fastener on a woman's bra.

"VULNERABLE adj. Female: Fully opening up one's self emotionally to another. Male: Playing football without a cup.

"COMMUNICATION n. Female: The open sharing of thoughts and feelings with one's partner. Male: Leaving a note before taking off on a fishing trip with the boys.

"COMMITMENT n. Female: A desire to get married and raise a family. Male: Trying not to hit on other women while out with this one.

"ENTERTAINMENT n. Female: A good movie, concert, play or book. Male: Anything that can be done while drinking beer.

"FLATULENCE n. Female: An embarrassing byproduct of indigestion. Male: A source of entertainment, self-expression, male bonding.

"REMOTE CONTROL n. Female: A device for changing from one TV channel to another. Male: A device for scanning through all 375 channels every five minutes."


Postcards from the edge. . . This month's reader snapshot comes all the way from sunny Italy: Richard Deaton and Amanda Yaryan Deaton took their Desert Exposure along for a gondola ride in Venice.

Whether riding in a gondola or flying in a zeppelin, take us with you on your next trip 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.


Cowboy logic. . . Speaking of drinking beer, as we were about three paragraphs ago, this yarn was sent in, appropriately enough, by Joe at the Corner Bar:

"A cowboy, who is visiting Wyoming from Texas, walks into a bar and orders three mugs of Bud. He sits in the back of the room, drinking a sip out of each one in turn. When he finishes them, he comes back to the bar and orders three more. The bartender approaches and tells the cowboy, 'You know, a mug goes flat after I draw it. It would taste better if you bought one at a time.'

"The cowboy replies, 'Well, you see, I have two brothers. One is in Arizona, the other is in Colorado. When we all left our home in Texas, we promised that we'd drink this way to remember the days when we drank together. So I'm drinking one beer for each of my brothers and one for myself.'

"The bartender admits that this is a nice custom, and leaves it there. The cowboy becomes a regular in the bar, and always drinks the same way. He orders three mugs and drinks them in turn.

"One day, though, the cowboy comes in and only orders two mugs. All the regulars take notice and fall silent. When he comes back to the bar for the second round, the bartender says, 'I don't want to intrude on your grief, but I wanted to offer my condolences on your loss.'

"The cowboy looks quite puzzled for a moment, then a light dawns in his eyes and he laughs. 'Oh, no, everybody's just fine,' he explains, 'It's just that my wife and I joined the Baptist church and I had to quit drinking. Hasn't affected my brothers, though.'"


Death and taxes. . . Again appropriately enough, Bubba in the Mortuary emailed us this funny. We're pretty sure he must be an acquaintance of the aforementioned Fred and Joe:

"A man who had just died is delivered to a Kentucky mortuary wearing an expensive, expertly tailored black suit. Bubba, the mortician, asks the deceased's wife how she would like the body dressed. He points out that the man does look very good in the black suit he is already wearing. The widow, however, says that she always thought her husband looked his best in blue, and that she wants him in a blue suit. She gives Bubba a blank check and says, 'I don't care what it costs, but please have my husband in a blue suit for the viewing.'

"The woman returns the next day for the viewing. To her delight, she finds her husband dressed in a gorgeous blue suit with a subtle chalk stripe; the suit fits him perfectly. She says to Bubba, 'Whatever the cost, I'm very satisfied. You did an excellent job and I'm very grateful. How much did you spend?'

"To her astonishment, Bubba presents her with the blank check. 'There's no charge,' he says.

"'No, really, I must pay you for the cost of that exquisite blue suit!' she insists.

"'Honestly, ma'am,' Bubba says, 'it didn't cost me a thing. You see, a deceased gentleman of about your husband's size was brought in shortly after you left yesterday, and he was wearing an attractive blue suit. I asked his wife if she minded him going to his grave wearing a black suit instead, and she said it made no difference as long as he looked nice.

"'So, I just switched the heads.'"


Capital pun-ishment. . . Finally, Poet Lodge herewith manages to combine our ongoing quest for painful puns with our recent "What color is your golden parachute?" career category. You have been warned:

"My first job was working in an orange juice factory, but I got canned. I couldn't concentrate.

"Then I worked in the woods as a lumberjack, but I just couldn't hack it, so they gave me the axe.

"After that, I tried to be a tailor, but I just wasn't suited for it mainly because it was a sew-sew job.

"Next, I tried working in a muffler factory, but that was too exhausting.

"Then, I tried to be a chef — figured it would add a little spice to my life, but I just didn't have the thyme.

"Next, I attempted to be a deli worker, but any way I sliced it I couldn't cut the mustard.

"My best job was as a musician, but eventually I found I wasn't noteworthy.

"I studied a long time to become a doctor, but I didn't have any patience.

"Next was a job in a shoe factory. I tried but I just didn't fit in.

"I became a professional fisherman, but discovered that I couldn't live on my net income.

"I managed to get a good job working for a pool maintenance company, but the work was just too draining.

"So then I got a job in a workout center but they said I wasn't fit for the job.

"After many years of trying to find steady work, I finally got a job as a historian — until I realized there was no future in it.

"My last job was working in Starbucks, but I had to quit because it was always the same old grind.

"So, I tried retirement and found that I'm perfect for the job."



Send your puns, jokes, heartwarming anecdotes and cosmic ponderings to: Desert Diary, PO Box 191, Silver City, NM 88062, fax 534-4134. Or send email to diary@desertexposure.com. Remember, the best submission each month gets a highly collectible Desert Exposure coffee mug.


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