Giving a Hoot
Meet the controversial Mexican spotted owl

The Music Man
Brandon Perrault provides the soundtrack for Grant County

Happy Trails
The Gila Back Country Horsemen celebrate 10 years

Ready to SNAP
Is the Spay & Neuter Awareness Program running out of time?

In Loco's Footsteps
Hiking the Peloncillos where Apaches held off the US Cavalry


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About the cover

  D e s e r t   E x p o s u r e  February 2011


Silver City Songs, Foreign Security Levels and Irish Birth Control

Plus cross examinations and getting in the last word.

A song in my heart New correspondent Doctor Vague launches an equally new category with this little game readers are, of course, invited to play along with. He writes, "A friend and I were exchanging emails with the idea of songs about Grant County. I came up with a few ideas for song titles. Some of these are inspired by real-life experiences." Though some of these may risk offense, the good doctor wishes readers to know these "song titles" are offered with the best of intentions and adds, "Have a nice day, OK?"

"Long Gray Beards and Split-End Brooms"

"That One Guy on Bullard"

"Let's Go See Some Hippies, Honey"

"My Home Behind the Co-Op"

"Buffalo Beer at 10 A.M."

"We Still Call It 'The Corner'"

"Out of Big Ditch and Into Your Heart"

"The Fannypack Tourist Season Blues"

"Cowpoke Doesn't Mean That"

"We're Open Sometimes, Sometimes We're Not"

"Se Habla Spanglish, Bro"

"What's in Your Backpack?"

"Oxygen Tank Wednesday at Albertson's"

"Bumper Sticker Philosopher (My Subaru Speaks for Me)"

"Guns and Beer, Let's Shoot Some Deer!"

"That Doo-Rag Dancing Guy"

"The Coffeehouse Opens at Noon"

"Bathroom Tour at the KOA"

"Bad Breakfast for Cheap"

"Was That Really Jesus?"

"You Look Pretty Good for 90"

"Just Hangin' at the Wal-Mart Turn Lane"

"Watching the Paint Peel"

And finally (for now)

"No, But We Can Order It."

C'mon, sing along! Send your song titles to diary@desertexposure.com Of course, songs about other places in Desert Exposure country are equally welcome. Let's see "I Came for the Duck Races But Stayed When I Got Goosed." No?

Taxicab confessions This tale of on-the-job surprise comes courtesy of Toni in the Vet's Office Don't forget the tip:

"A passenger in a hired limousine leaned over to ask the driver for the time and gently tapped him on the shoulder to get his attention. The driver shrieked, lost control of the vehicle, nearly hit a bus, drove up over the curb and stopped just inches from a large plate-glass window.

"For a few moments everything was silent in the cab. Then, the still-shaking driver said, 'Are you OK? I'm so sorry, but you scared the daylights out of me.'

"The badly shaken passenger apologized to the driver and said he didn't realize that a mere tap on the shoulder would startle the driver so badly.

"The driver replied, "No, no, I'm the one who is sorry, it's entirely my fault. Today is my very first day driving a limo. I've been driving a hearse for the past 25 years.'"

Dude, don't touch my junk! Think of this offering from Ceil on "Current Security Levels" the next time you bare all for airport security. It'll at least make you smile as you get scanned and prodded:

"The English are feeling the pinch in relation to recent terrorist threats and have raised their security level from 'Miffed' to 'Peeved.' Soon, though, security levels may be raised yet again to 'Irritated' or even 'A Bit Cross.' The English have not been 'A Bit Cross' since the blitz in 1940 when tea supplies all but ran out.

"Terrorists have been re-categorized from 'Tiresome' to a 'Bloody Nuisance.' The last time the British issued a 'Bloody Nuisance' warning level was during the great fire of 1666.

"The Scots raised their threat level from 'Pissed Off' to 'Let's Get the Bastards.' They don't have any other levels. This is the reason the Scots have been used on the front line in the British army for the last 300 years.

"The French government announced yesterday that it has raised its terror alert level from 'Run' to 'Hide.' The only two higher levels in France are 'Collaborate' and 'Surrender.' The rise was precipitated by a recent fire that destroyed France's white flag factory, effectively paralyzing the country's military capability.

"It's not only the French who are on a heightened level of alert. Italy has increased the alert level from 'Shout Loudly and Excitedly' to 'Elaborate Military Posturing.' Two more levels remain: 'Ineffective Combat Operations' and 'Change Sides.'

"The Germans also increased their alert state from 'Disdainful Arrogance' to 'Dress in Uniform and Sing Marching Songs.' They also have two higher levels: 'Invade a Neighbor' and 'Lose.'

"Belgians, on the other hand, are all on holiday as usual, and the only threat they are worried about is NATO pulling out of Brussels.

"The Spanish are all excited to see their new submarines ready to deploy. These beautifully designed subs have glass bottoms so the new Spanish navy can get a really good look at the old Spanish navy.

"Americans meanwhile are carrying out pre-emptive strikes on all of their allies, just in case.

"New Zealand has also raised its security level — from 'baaa' to 'BAAAA!' Due to continuing defense cutbacks (the air force being a squadron of spotty teenagers flying paper airplanes and the navy some toy boats in the prime minister's bath), New Zealand only has one more level of escalation, which is 'Let's hope Australia will come and rescue us.'

"Australia, meanwhile, has raised its security level from 'No worries' to 'She'll be all right, mate.' Three more escalation levels remain: 'Crikey!,' 'I think we'll need to cancel the barbie this weekend' and 'The barbie is cancelled.' So far no situation has ever warranted use of the final escalation level."

Can you top this? Never try to outdo a rural resident in finding things to complain about. That's the moral of this yarn from Silver City Wes:

"A city cousin was complaining to his country cousin. He said, 'My landlord just raised my rent and I didn't get a raise this year.'

"The country cousin said, 'Is that all? There hasn't been any rain in months and my cotton and corn have died. The hogs got cholera and died. The cow went dry. The hens quit laying. My wife ran off with my neighbor. And the queen bee started fooling around with a horse fly, and now the honey tastes like horse manure! And you think you've got troubles?'"

Annals of medicine Two cautionary tales from the operating room, the first from Charles C

"A motorcycle patrolman was rushed to the hospital with an inflamed appendix. The doctors operated and advised him that all was well; however, the patrolman kept feeling something pulling at the hairs in his crotch. Worried that it might be a second surgery and the doctors hadn't told him about it, he finally got enough energy to pull his hospital gown up enough so he could look at what was making him so uncomfortable.

"Taped firmly across his pubic hair and private parts were three wide strips of adhesive tape — the kind that doesn't come off easily, if at all.

"Written on the tape in large black letters was the sentence: 'Get well soon. From the nurse in the Jeep you pulled over last week.'"

Then there's this one from RobertH:

"An older gentleman was on the operating table awaiting surgery and he insisted that his son, a renowned surgeon, perform the operation. As he was about to get the anesthesia, the patient asked to speak to his son.

"'Yes, Dad, what is it?'

"'Don't be nervous, Son. Just do your best,' the older gentleman said. 'Oh, and by the way, if it doesn't go well and something happens to me, remember that your mother is going to come live with you and your wife.'"

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