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


Columns and Departments
Editor's Note
Desert Diary

Jennifer Cervantes
Shakespeare's Future
Business Beat
Tumbleweeds Top 10

The Starry Dome
Ramblin' Outdoors
40 Days & 40 Nights
The To-Do List
Guides to Go
Henry Lightcap's Journal
Continental Divide

Special Section
Arts Exposure

Arts News
For the Love of Art Month
Molly Ramolla
Gallery Guide

Body, Mind & Spirit
Spirit Ranch
Why Diets Fail
Energy Medicine

Red or Green

La Iguana
Dining Guide
Table Talk

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.'"


Disorder in the court From the world of medicine we turn to the legal profession, with these very cross cross-examinations sent our way by Dave in Mimbres:

"Attorney: 'Are you sexually active?'

"Witness: 'No, I just lie there.'"

"Attorney: 'What gear were you in at the moment of the impact?'

"Witness: 'Gucci sweats and Reeboks.'"

"Attorney: 'What was the first thing your husband said to you that morning?'

"Witness: 'He said, "Where am I, Cathy?"'

"Attorney: 'And why did that upset you?'

"Witness: 'My name is Susan!'"

"Attorney: 'How was your first marriage terminated?'

"Witness: 'By death.'

"Attorney: 'And by whose death was it terminated?'

"Witness: 'Whose do you think?!'"

The spirit of the back stairs This true tale of a well-aimed retort comes from Music Man:

"I suspect that most of us have had the experience of thinking of the perfect comeback to a conversation — after we've already left the party, maybe just down one flight of stairs. Such a situation occurred way back in 1989, when I was living in Nevada City, Calif., the richest town of the gold rush era, and so well preserved that it became a tourist attraction, ruining what had been the local hip culture that existed when I'd arrived 10 years earlier.

"This story is true, I swear, with few if any embellishments. The occasion was on my birthday in July that year (well, every year, actually). I had taken a date, whom I'll remember as Donna, for lack of recall, to an expensive restaurant, the Country Rose. We were seated in an outdoor patio area, complete with flowers, a creek running through, and overhead beams, holding up a fake wooden flume.

"I had worked at the Rose a few months the previous winter, playing my old Martin D-28, and singing old-time songs — 'Red River Valley,' 'Any Old Time.' The cuisine was French, and the menu written in chalk on blackboards, in French, of course. Tres cool.

"The waiter that night, Bobby, if I remember correctly, seated us at a small table by the creek, and placed a menu/blackboard against a nearby rock wall. Bobby's every hair was in place, beard trimmed to perfection, smilingly confident, self assured. Ready for a fall, maybe just needing one.

'When he returned to take our order, he asked if we knew what we wanted, or did he 'have to run it all down for you?' I was of course familiar with the menu from getting a meal with my prior gigs there, but my date said she neither knew French nor what the items were. Bobby asked, 'Which ones don't you know?'

"It went on like this. Smiling hostility. Donna: 'I'd like my salad dressing on the side.' Bobby: 'Oh, you don't want too much? I just won't put as much on.'

"It was way past time to do something short of homicide, but I felt more like a spectator, taking it all in on my birthday. No reason to get uptight.

"A standard hurricane candle was on our small table, and it was turning slightly dark by the time the main course arrived. I thanked Bobby, and resumed conversation with Donna. After a few seconds, Bobby interrupted me, asking: 'Would you like another candle?'

"I've always really hated to be interrupted, especially for something trivial. The resulting sudden flash of anger must have awakened something deep down inside, and I said to myself: 'I've got this SOB!'

"I looked down at the table, reflecting: 'That would be nice, but there's not much room here, and I wouldn't want to have to hold it' — extending my right arm over the table in his direction, hand loosely clasped around an imaginary hurricane candle. Bobby took the bait: 'Then, I'll hold it for you!' he said, holding out his left arm towards me, hand around, presumably, a different, imaginary candle.

"I waited just the right amount of time and said: 'No, you can't hold a candle to me...'

"Donna shrieked with laughter. Bobby folded over at the waist, literally, and slunk off, knuckles dragging on the used-brick walkway. Okay, one slight embellishment. The look on his face just prior to the fold was worth the price of the meal, and he really did fold at the waist. I've never seen anything like it.

"When it came time for dessert, Bobby walked back, shoulders slightly bent over, and queried: 'Dare I approach the table?' Obviously a good sport, though his game was thoroughly beaten. He seemed, finally, real. I even left a good tip. Can't remember much about dessert, except that it was just."

Send your own tales of comebacks and retorts, timely or after the fact, to diary@desertexposure.com

When Irish eyes are smiling Funny as it is, this joke from Ned Ludd is even better if you read it aloud in your broadest fake Irish accent:

"Mrs. Donovan was walking down O'Connell Street in Dublin when she met up with Father Flaherty. The priest said, 'Top o' the mornin' to ye! Aren't ye Mrs. Donovan and didn't I marry ye and yer hoosband two years ago?'

"She replied, 'Aye, that ye did, Father.'

"The priest asked, 'And be there any wee little ones yet?'

"She replied, 'No, not yet, Father.'

"The priest said, 'Well now, I'm going to Rome next week and I'll light a candle for ye and yer hoosband.'

"She replied, 'Oh, thank ye, Father.' They then parted ways.

"Some years later they met again. The priest asked, 'Well now, Mrs. Donovan, how are ye these days?'

"She replied, 'Oh, very well, Father!'

"The priest asked, 'And tell me, have ye any wee ones yet?'

"She replied, 'Oh yes, Father! Two sets of twins and six singles, 10 in all!'

"The priest said, 'That's wonderful! How is yer loving hoosband doing?'

"She replied, 'E's gone to Rome to blow out yer bloody candle.'"

Send your favorite jokes, anecdotes, puns and tall tales to Desert Diary, PO Box 191, Silver City, NM 88062, fax 534-4134, email diary@desertexposure.com The best submission each month gets a brand-new Desert Exposure mouse pad, scientifically proven to take the strain out of emailing jokes to Desert Diary.


Postcards from the edge Our first vacation photo comes from Lin and Jim Townsend, who write: "We FORGOT to take this GREAT paper with us on our trip to the Dakotas this September. But we remembered to have it in tow on our Texas trip in November. This was taken on the Strand, in Galveston, Texas. Our only cold day."


dairy a



Our second snapshot was sent by Judy Wuthrich, who writes: "When visiting my parents, Richard and Ann Wuthrich, in the Alton/Wood River, Ill., area, I always take a copy of Desert Exposure. They love the Silver City area and are always interested in what is happening here. Alton, Ill., is most famous for the birthplace of Robert Wadlow. He is recorded as the tallest person ever. His height measured 8 feet, 11.1 inches shortly before his death in 1940 at age 22. So, here I am reading the Desert Exposure to Robert Wadlow. I don't think in his short life that he made it out to the Southwest, so I thought I'd share some of the stories with him. Thanks for always cranking out a good read."


diary b




Here's the deal: We'll keep cranking out a good read as long as our loyal readers take Desert Exposure along on trips near and far. Snap a picture of yourself holding "the biggest little paper in the Southwest" and send it to PO Box 191, Silver City, NM 88062, or diary@desertexposure.com

Return to Top of Page