Changing Your Mind
The Heartsong Center offers a tune-up for your brain

Crap Shoot
New Mexico's multimillion-dollar bet on legal gambling

Salsa Days
The night the lights went out on Jessie's Café

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Our reporter takes alcohol servers' training

The Songs of the Land
Modern-day Apache Joe Saenz teaches ancient lessons


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About the cover

  D e s e r t   E x p o s u r e   January 2009

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Reelin' in the Years, Latitude Lesson and a Change of Habit

Plus the test of a real friend, inviting a stranger into your home and giving a fella a push.

You're only as old as you feel. . . We start the New Year with sort of our own take on Father Time, if you will. This tale of three generations comes our way from Aletteration:

"Results of death and divorce has a teen living with Dad and Granddad. One Friday evening, the teen goes out on date and doesn't roll in until about 3 a.m. next morning. Dad and Granddad ask why so late?

'''I was out with a blonde,' the teen explains, 'and wow, was she passionate.'

"Saturday night, Dad goes out on a date, and son and Granddad are eating Sunday breakfast when he walks in. Without waiting for the questioning, Dad explains, 'I was out with a redhead and, yes, she was passionate.'

"Sunday evening, Gramps goes out with a date, and doesn't come home until Wednesday evening.

"Anticipating the question, he volunteers, 'I was out with a redhead and, boy, was she patient!'"

Penny wise. . . Another take on carpe diem, of a sort, this one via BillH:

"Morris and his wife Esther went to the state fair every year, and every year Morris would say, 'Esther, I'd like to ride in that helicopter.' Esther always replied, 'I know Morris, but that helicopter ride is $50, and $50 is $50.'

"One year Esther and Morris went to the fair, and Morris said, 'Esther, I'm 85 years old. If I don't ride that helicopter, I might never get another chance.'

"To this, Esther replied, 'Morris, that helicopter ride is $50, and $50 is $50.'

"The pilot overheard the couple and said, 'Folks, I'll make you a deal. I'll take the both of you for a ride. If you can stay quiet for the entire ride and not say a word, I won't charge you! But if you say one word, then it's $50.'

"Morris and Esther agreed and up they went. The pilot did all kinds of fancy maneuvers, but not a word was heard. He did his daredevil tricks over and over again, but still not a word.

"When they landed, the pilot turned to Morris and said, 'By golly, I did everything I could to get you to yell out, but you didn't. I'm impressed!'

"Morris replied, 'Well, to tell you the truth, I almost said something when Esther fell out, but you know, $50 is $50!'"

Losing the battle of the sexes. . . We present two brief entries in this ever-popular category, the first from the Silver City Greek:

"Who is your REAL FRIEND? This really works! Just try this experiment.

"Put your dog and your wife in the trunk of the car for an hour.

"When you open the trunk, who is really happy to see you?

And this, from GeeRichard:

"Adam and Eve had the ideal marriage:

"She didn't have to listen to him rave about his mother's cooking.

"He didn't have to listen to her rave about the other men she could have married."

Fire your own volley in the gender wars! Send your jokes, anecdotes, puns and musings to Desert Diary, PO Box 191, Silver City, NM 88062, fax 534-4134 or email diary@desertexposure.com.

Parables for our time. . . In a rather different vein, we pass along this intriguing pass-along from new correspondent Mrs. G:

"A few years after I was born, my Dad met a stranger who was new to our small town. From the beginning, Dad was fascinated with this enchanting newcomer and soon invited him to live with our family. The stranger was quickly accepted and was around from then on.

"As I grew up, I never questioned his place in my family. In my young mind, he had a special niche.

"My parents were complementary instructors: Mom taught me good from evil, and Dad taught me to obey. But the stranger, he was our storyteller. He would keep us spellbound for hours on end with adventures, mysteries and comedies. If I wanted to know anything about politics, history or science, he always knew the answers about the past, understood the present, and even seemed able to predict the future! He took my family to their first major league ball game.

"He made me laugh, and he made me cry. The stranger never stopped talking, but Dad didn't seem to mind.

"Sometimes, Mom would get up quietly while rest of us were shushing each other to listen to what he had to say, and she would go to the kitchen for peace and quiet. (I wonder now, if she ever prayed for the stranger to leave.)

"Dad ruled our household with certain moral convictions, but the stranger never felt obligated to honor them. Profanity, for example, was not allowed in our home — not from us, our friends or any visitors. Our longtime visitor, however, got away with four-letter words that burned my ears and made my dad squirm and my mother blush.

"My Dad didn't permit the liberal use of alcohol. But the stranger encouraged us to try it on a regular basis. He made cigarettes look cool, cigars manly and pipes distinguished.

"He talked freely (much too freely!) about sex. His comments were sometimes blatant, sometimes suggestive, and generally embarrassing.

"I now know that my early concepts about relationships were influenced strongly by the stranger. Time after time, he opposed the values of my parents, yet he was seldom rebuked — and NEVER asked to leave.

"More than 50 years have passed since the stranger moved in with our family. He has blended right in and is not as fascinating as he was at first.

"Still, if you could walk into my parents' den today, you would still find him sitting over in his corner, waiting for someone to listen to him talk and watch him draw his pictures.

"His name?

"We just call him, 'TV.'

"He has a younger sister now. We call her 'Computer.'"

Kids say the darnedest things. . . Meanwhile, back in the classroom, little Johnny is at it again, in this yarn sent our way by SteveL:

"The teacher of the school geography class was lecturing on map reading. After explaining about latitude, longitude, degrees and minutes, the teacher said, 'Suppose I asked you to meet me for lunch at 23 degrees, 4 minutes north latitude and 45 degrees, 15 minutes east longitude?'

"After a confused silence, little Johnny volunteered, 'I guess you'd be eating alone!'"

Force of habit. . . And then we have not one but two tales involving nuns. Don't ask us — could be coincidence, could be an answer to our prayers. The first comes via CC in Cruces:

"A cabbie picks up a nun. She gets into the cab, and notices that the very handsome cab driver won't stop staring at her. She asks him why he is staring.

"He replies, 'I have a question to ask you but I don't want to offend you.'

"She answers, 'My son, you cannot offend me. When you're as old as I am and have been a nun as long as I have, you get a chance to see and hear just about everything. I'm sure that there's nothing you could say or ask that I would find offensive.'

"'Well, I've always had a fantasy to have a nun kiss me,' says the cabbie.

"The passenger responds, 'Well, let's see what we can do about that. Number one, you have to be single and, number two, you must be Catholic.'

"The cab driver is very excited and says, 'Yes, I'm single and Catholic!'

"'OK.' the nun says. 'Pull into the next alley.'

"The nun fulfills his fantasy, with a kiss that would make a hooker blush. But when they get back on the road, the cab driver starts crying.

"'My dear child,' says the nun, 'why are you crying?'

"'Forgive me, but I've sinned,' the cabbie says. 'I lied and I must confess. I'm married and I'm Jewish.'

"The nun says, 'That's OK. My name is Kevin and I'm going to a Halloween party.'"

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