What's Bugging You?
The creepy-crawlies around — and sometimes on — us

Breaking Away
Todd Anderson keeps Paralympics cyclists rolling

Tugging at Red Sleeve
In the footsteps of Apache chief Mangas Coloradas

Tales of the City
Las Cruces Oral History group is the talk of the town

Living Through the Droughts
Lessons from a one-eyed cowboy

A Spiritual Home in Nature
Sharman Russell's new book about pantheism

A Sense of Place
Guggenheim-winning photographer David Taylor

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Editor's Note
Desert Diary

High Desert Humane Society
Tim McAndrews
Keith Walden
Top 10

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40 Days & 40 Nights
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Arts Exposure

Joseph Wade
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Body, Mind & Spirit
Anger is Your Friend

Red or Green
Dining Guide
Café at the Kumquat
Table Talk

About the cover

  D e s e r t   E x p o s u r e    August 2008

Parents, Witch Doctors, Sailors and Little People

Plus celestial queuing, lessons from mom and creative writing in brief.

Oh, heavenly daze. . . We begin on a celestial note this month, with this morality tale courtesy of Fred in the Garage:

"A bus carrying only ugly people crashes into an oncoming truck, and everyone inside dies. As they stand at the Pearly Gates waiting to enter Paradise and meet their Maker, God decides to grant each person one wish because of the grief they have experienced.

"They're all lined up, and God asks the first one what the wish is. 'I want to be gorgeous,' and so God snaps His fingers, and it is done.

"The second one in line hears this and says 'I want to be gorgeous, too.' Another snap of His fingers and the wish is granted.

"This goes on for a while with each one asking to be gorgeous. When God Is halfway down the line, however, the last guy in the line starts laughing.

"When there are only 10 people left, this guy is rolling on the floor, laughing his head off.

"Finally, God reaches this last guy and asks him what his wish will be. The guy eventually calms down and says: 'Make 'em all ugly again.'

"The moral: Next time you're last in line, be happy.'"

Send your favorite jokes, anecdotes, puns and what-not to Desert Diary, PO Box 191, Silver City, NM 88062, fax 534-4134, or email diary@desertexposure.com

Capital pun-ishment. . . Don't say we didn't warn you about this groaner from Ned Ludd:

"When Mozart passed away, he was buried in a churchyard. A couple days later, the town drunk was walking through the cemetery and heard some strange noise coming from the area where Mozart was buried.

"Terrified, the drunk ran and got the priest to come and listen to it. The priest bent close to the grave and heard some faint, unrecognizable music coming from the grave. Frightened, the priest ran and got the town magistrate.

"When the magistrate arrived, he bent his ear to the grave, listened for a moment, and said, 'Ah, yes, that's Mozart's Ninth Symphony, being played backwards.'

"He listened a while longer, and said, 'There's the Eighth Symphony, and it's backwards, too. Most puzzling.'

"So the magistrate kept listening: 'There's the Seventh. . . the Sixth. . . the Fifth. . .'

"Suddenly the realization of what was happening dawned on the magistrate. He stood up and announced to the crowd that had gathered in the cemetery, 'My fellow citizens, there's nothing to worry about. It's just Mozart decomposing.'"

The sign on the road to the cemetery said "Dead End". . . This twist on our silly signs category comes our way from RobertH, a Silver City native who writes us these days from Fountain Hills, Ariz.:

"When I moved from Santa Teresa, I tried to sell my cemetery plot with this ad — no luck:

"'Are you dying to be buried in Memory Gardens? Retail $4,130, asking $3,000.'"

The world's oldest profession. . . No, not THAT, silly! Before anything else, after all, Adam and Eve were parents. If they'd read this job description sent in by Toni in the Vet's Office, though, the human race might have ended right then and there:

"POSITION: Mom, Mommy, Mama, Ma, Mammy, Dad, Daddy, Dada, Pa, Pop, Daddy-o.

"JOB DESCRIPTION: Long-term, team players needed for challenging permanent work in an often chaotic environment. Candidates must possess excellent communication and organizational skills and be willing to work variable hours, which will include evenings and weekends and frequent 24-hour shifts on call. Some overnight travel required, including trips to primitive camping sites on rainy weekends and endless sports tournaments in faraway cities. Travel expenses not reimbursed. Extensive courier duties also required.

"RESPONSIBILITIES: The rest of your life. Must be willing to be hated, at least temporarily, until someone needs $5. Must be willing to bite tongue repeatedly. Also, must possess the physical stamina of a pack mule and be able to go from zero to 60 mph in three seconds flat in case, this time, the screams from the backyard are not someone just crying 'wolf.' Must be willing to face stimulating technical challenges, such as small gadget repair, mysteriously sluggish toilets and stuck zippers. Must screen phone calls, maintain calendars and coordinate production of multiple homework projects. Must have ability to plan and organize social gatherings for clients of all ages and mental outlooks.

"Must be willing to be indispensable one minute and an embarrassment the next. Must handle assembly and product safety testing of cheap, plastic toys and battery-operated devices. Must always hope for the best but be prepared for the worst. Must assume final, complete accountability for the quality of the end product.

"Responsibilities also include floor maintenance and janitorial work throughout the facility.

"POSSIBILITY FOR ADVANCEMENT & PROMOTION: None. Your job is to remain in the same position for years, without complaining, constantly retraining and updating your skills, so that those in your charge can ultimately surpass you.

"PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE: None required, unfortunately. On-the-job training offered on a continually exhausting basis.

"WAGES AND COMPENSATION: Get this — You pay them! Offering frequent raises and bonuses. A balloon payment is due when they turn 18 because of the assumption that college will help them become financially independent. When you die, you give them whatever is left.

"The oddest thing about this reverse-salary scheme is that you actually enjoy it and only wish you could do more.

"BENEFITS: While no health or dental insurance, no pension, no tuition reimbursement, no paid holidays and no stock options are offered, this job supplies limitless opportunities for personal growth, unconditional love, and free hugs and kisses for life if you play your cards right.

"NOTE: There is no retirement — ever."

Share your life lessons with Desert Diary at PO Box 191, Silver City, NM 88062, fax 534-4134, or email diary@desertexposure.com.

Postcards from the edge. . . Continuing to catch up with the (wonderful) backlog of reader photos from here and there, we present two pictures this month. Above are Lenna and Jack Moody enjoying Desert Exposure at their son's citrus ranch north of Bakersfield, Calif.: "We visit there two or three times a year to visit our son, Jonathan, his wife and our three grandchildren. Also to pick oranges."

And the photo below shows Rex Suba of Las Cruces, holding a recent issue "in front of Radio City Music Hall, toward the end of a great trip to the Big Apple."


Going places? Take us with you on your next trip and send home a snapshot of yourself holding "the biggest little paper in the Southwest." Send to Desert Diary, PO Box 191, Silver City, NM 88062, or by email to diary@desertexposure.com


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