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

Last Call
Our reporter takes alcohol servers' training

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


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Desert Diary

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Body, Mind & Spirit
The Change We Need
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About the cover

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

Desert Diary banner

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.'"


Next up is Old Grumps:

"Sister Mary Ann, who worked for a home health agency, was out making her rounds visiting homebound patients when she ran out of gas. As luck would have it, a Texaco gasoline station was just a block away. She walked to the station to borrow a gas can and buy some gas. The attendant told her that the only gas can he owned had been loaned out, but she couldn't wait until it was returned.

"Since Sister Mary Ann was on the way to see a patient, she decided not to wait and walked back to her car. She looked for something in her car that she could fill with gas and spotted the bedpan she was taking to the patient. Always resourceful, Sister Mary Ann carried the bedpan to the station, filled it with gasoline, and carried the full bedpan back to her car.

"As Sister Mary Ann was pouring the gas into her tank, two Baptists watched from across the street. One of them turned to the other and said, 'If it starts, I'm turning Catholic.'"

Dying to add your own story to the, er, march of the penguins? Send your jokes, anecdotes, puns and musings — nun but the best, please! — to Desert Diary, PO Box 191, Silver City, NM 88062, fax 534-4134 or email diary@desertexposure.com.



Postcards from the edge. . . This month's reader photo comes from Sharleen Daugherty, who writes: "Lynn and I returned from a three-week stay in Ecuador and Peru. We were on a tour with Natural Habitat that began in Quito, Ecuador. After touring the surrounding countryside, we flew to the Galapagos Islands and spent nine days on a small yacht exploring the various islands. On returning to Quito, we flew to Lima, Peru, and then to Cuzco to board a train that traveled through the Sacred Valley to the town of Aguas Calientes at the foot of Machu Picchu. We opted not to hike into the ruins on the Inca Trail, but traveled by bus up to the Machu Picchu Sanctuary. Here we took the picture holding a copy of the Desert Exposure. It was a great trip!"


Diary Pic: Peru



Whether you're traveling halfway around the world or on a weekend getaway, take us along 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



The future isn't what it used to be. . . In honor of the New Year, we take a backward look at what looking forward was like back in the mid-1950s, courtesy of Jess Hossinaround in Arenas Valley, who says, "I can remember older people making many of these statements when I was a kid."

"I'll tell you one thing, if things keep going the way they are, it's going to be impossible to buy a week's groceries for $20.

"Have you seen the new cars coming out next year? It won't be long before $2,000 will only buy a used one.

"Did you hear the post office is thinking about charging 10 cents just to mail a letter?

"If they raise the minimum wage to $1, nobody will be able to hire outside help at the store.

"When I first started driving, who would have thought gas would someday cost 29 cents a gallon. Guess we'd be better off leaving the car in the garage.

"I never thought I'd see the day all our kitchen appliances would be electric. They are even making electric typewriters now.

"It's too bad things are so tough nowadays. I see where a few married women are having to work to make ends meet. It won't be long before young couples are going to have to hire someone to watch their kids so they can both work.

"I'm afraid the Volkswagen car is going to open the door to a whole lot of foreign business.

"The drive-in restaurant is convenient in nice weather, but I seriously doubt they will ever catch on.

"There is no sense going on short trips anymore for a weekend, when it costs nearly $15 a night to stay in a hotel.

"If they think I'll pay 50 cents for a hair cut, forget it!"

Good help is hard to find. . . Speaking of the minimum wage, there's this little economics lesson sent in by JackB:

"The maid asked for a raise. The wife was very upset about this and asked, 'Now Maria, why do you want a pay increase?'

"Maria: 'Well, there are three reasons why I want an increase. The first is that I iron better than you.'

"Wife: 'Who said you iron better than me?'

"Maria: 'Your husband said so.'

"Wife: 'Oh.'

"Maria: 'The second reason is that I am a better cook than you.'

"Wife: 'Nonsense, who said you were a better cook than me?'

"Maria: 'Your husband did.'

"Wife: 'Oh.'

"Maria: 'My third reason is that I am a better lover than you.'

"Wife (really furious now): 'Did my husband say that as well?'

"Maria: 'No, the gardener did.'

"She got the raise."

Annals of inebriation. . . And finally, if you're still hung over from New Year's Eve, you'll especially appreciate this story from Toni in the Vet's Office:

"A man and his wife are awakened at 3 a.m. by a loud pounding on the door. The man gets up and goes to the door, where a drunken stranger, standing in the pouring rain, is asking for a push. 'Not a chance,' says the husband. 'It's 3 in the morning!' He slams the door and returns to bed.

"'Who was that?' asks his wife.

"'Just some drunk guy asking for a push,' he answers.

"'Did you help him?' she asks.

"'No, I did not. It is 3 in the morning and it is pouring rain out there!'

"'Well, you have a short memory,' says his wife. 'Can't you remember about three months ago when we broke down, and two guys helped us out? I think you should help him, and you should be ashamed of yourself!'

"The man does as he is told, gets dressed, and goes out into the pounding rain. He calls out into the dark, 'Hello, are you still there?'

"'Yes,' comes back the answer.

"'Do you still need a push?' calls out the husband.

"'Yes, please!' comes the reply from the dark.

"'Where are you?' asks the husband.

"'Over here on the swing,' replies the drunk."

Send your favorite jokes, puns 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 — while they last!

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