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New Silver City poet laureate Bonnie Maldonado

Kingston's Myth of 7,000 Souls
Was it really once the biggest town in NM Territory?

Putting Heads Together
Border Partners' bright ideas to help Palomas

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About the cover

D e s e r t   E x p o s u r e  June 2012


True Stories, Senior Moments

and Canny Critters

Plus insurance, politics and pregnancy.



Our pets, ourselves… As much as we adore the jokes you pass along for our amusement, we love the occasional true story that makes us chuckle — like this one from The Packrat Out Back:

"Several years ago we had two indoor cats, both of whom have since died of old age. As you can imagine, we accumulated a lot of used kitty litter over a week's time. One of my husband's friends at work, John, started complaining that gophers were taking over his yard and garden, and he needed to get rid of them ASAP. He said that he had read somewhere that gophers will not tolerate used cat litter in their territory and asked my husband to start saving our used kitty litter for him, which we gladly did. John came by our house periodically to pick up used litter, which he was spreading liberally all over his property.

"About a month later, John came to work happily reporting that his gopher problem was solved. His gophers were gone! However, a week or two after that, John came to work laughing. He said he had received a call the evening before from a nearby neighbor asking John if he knew how to get rid of gophers. The neighbor's yard had for some unknown reason recently become infested with them!"


While we're on the subject of pets (and neighbors), here's equal time for pooches courtesy of Ned Ludd. The easily offended might want to look away:

"A dog lover, whose dog was a female and ‘in heat,' agreed to look after her neighbor's male dog while they were on vacation. She had a large house and believed that she could keep the two dogs apart. However, as she was drifting off to sleep, she heard awful howling and moaning sounds, and rushed downstairs and found the dogs locked together, in obvious pain and unable to disengage, as frequently happens when dogs mate.

"Unable to separate them and perplexed as to what to do next, although it was late, she called the vet, who answered in a very grumpy voice. After she explained the problem to him, the vet said, ‘Hang up the phone and place it down alongside the dogs. I'll then call you back and the noise of the ringing will make the male lose his excitement and he will be able to withdraw.'

"‘Do you think that will work?' she asked.

"‘It just worked for me,' he replied."

Whether it's raining cats or dogs, anecdotes or jokes, send your stories to Desert Diary at diary@desertexposure.com.

Persons of the redneck persuasion… In case your travels this summer take you to less-sophisticated sections of our fair land, keep this list from GeraldH handy:
  • "You know you're a redneck when…
  • "You take your dog for a walk and you both use the same tree.
  • "You can entertain yourself for more than 15 minutes with a fly swatter.
  • "Your boat has not left the driveway in 15 years.
  • "You burn your yard rather than mow it.
  • "The Salvation Army declines your furniture.
  • "You offer to give someone the shirt off your back and they don't want it.
  • "You have the local taxidermist on speed dial.
  • "You come back from the dump with more than you took.
  • "You keep a can of Raid on the kitchen table.
  • "Your wife can climb a tree faster than your cat.
  • "Your grandmother has ‘ammo' on her Christmas list.
  • "You keep flea and tick soap in the shower.
  • "You've been involved in a custody fight over a hunting dog.
  • "You can spit without opening your mouth.
  • "You go to the stock car races and don't need a program.
  • "You know how many bales of hay your car will hold.
  • "You have a rag for a gas cap.
  • "Your house doesn't have curtains, but your truck does.
  • "You wonder how service stations keep their restrooms so clean.
  • "You consider your license plate personalized because your father made it."

You're only as old as you feel… Moving on to aging gracefully, we share this tale of romance from the Silver City Greek:

"He was a widower and she a widow. They had known each other for a number of years, being high school classmates and having attended class reunions in the last 20 years without fail. This 50th anniversary of their class, the widower and the widow made a foursome with two other singles. They had a wonderful evening, their spirits high, the widower throwing admiring glances across the table, he widow smiling coyly back at him.

"Finally, he picked up courage to ask her, ‘Will you marry me?' After about six seconds of careful consideration, she answered, ‘Yes, yes, I will!'

"The evening ended on a happy note for the widower. But the next morning he was troubled: Did she say yes or did she say no? He couldn't remember. Try as he would, he just could not recall. He went over the conversation of the previous evening, but his mind was blank. He remembered popping the question, but for the life of him could not recall her response. With fear and trepidation, he picked up the phone and called her.

"First, he explained that he couldn't remember as well as he used to. Then he reviewed the past evening. As he gained a little more courage, he then inquired of her, ‘When I asked if you would marry me, did you say yes or did you say no?'

"The widow replied, ‘Why, you silly man, I said, "Yes. Yes, I will." And I meant it with all my heart.'

"The widower was delighted. He felt his heart skip a beat.

"Then she continued, ‘And I am so glad you called, because I couldn't remember who asked me!'"




Then there's this senior moment passed along by Teresa O:

"I very quietly confided to my best friend that I was having an affair. She turned to me and asked, ‘Are you having it catered?'

"And that, my friend, is the definition of ‘OLD'!"


Life in a state of nature… Still on an aging theme of sorts, it's back to the animal kingdom with Farmor the Swedish Grandma:

"One day an old German Shepherd starts chasing rabbits and before long, discovers that he's lost. Wandering about, he notices a panther heading rapidly in his direction with the intention of having lunch. The old German Shepherd thinks, ‘Uh-oh! I'm in deep trouble now!' Noticing some bones on the ground close by, he immediately settles down to chew on the bones with his back to the approaching panther. Just as the panther is about to leap, the old German Shepherd exclaims loudly, ‘Boy, that was one delicious panther! I wonder if there are any more around here.'

"Hearing this, the young panther halts his attack in mid-strike, a look of terror comes over him and he slinks away into the trees. ‘Whew!' says the panther. ‘That was close! That old German Shepherd nearly had me!'

"Meanwhile, a squirrel who had been watching the whole scene from a nearby tree figures he can put this knowledge to good use and trade it for protection from the panther. So off he goes. The squirrel soon catches up with the panther, spills the beans and strikes a deal for himself with the panther. The young panther is furious at being made a fool of and says, ‘Here, squirrel, hop on my back and see what's going to happen to that conniving canine!'

"The old German Shepherd sees the panther coming with the squirrel on his back and thinks, ‘What am I going to do now?' But instead of running, the dog sits down with his back to his attackers, pretending he hasn't seen them yet, and just when they get close enough to hear, the old German Shepherd says, ‘Where's that damn squirrel? I sent him off an hour ago to bring me another panther!'

"Moral of this story: Don't mess with the old dogs. BS and brilliance only come with age and experience."


You're in good hands… It's all in how you define things, as you'll see in this yarn from CharlesC:

"A man and his wife moved back home to Tennessee from Ohio. The husband had a wooden leg, and to insure it in Ohio cost them $2,000 per year! When they arrived in Tennessee, they went to an insurance agency to see how much it would cost to insure his wooden leg.

"The agent looked it up on the computer and said, ‘$39.'

"The husband was shocked and asked why it was so cheap to insure in Tennessee compared to $2,000 in Ohio.

"The agent turned his computer screen towards the couple and said, ‘Well, here it is on the screen. It says, "Any wooden structure, with a sprinkler system above it, is $39.'''"


Chicken soup for the politician's soul… Correspondent Bill in the Mimbres writes, "In light of the upcoming political season, I thought this most appropriate." We're sure our Jewish readers won't mind. (It's better than being blonde our Norwegian in our pages!)

"The year is 2016 and the United States has elected the first Jewish president, Susan Goldfarb. She calls up her mother a few weeks after election day and says, ‘So, Mom, I assume you will be coming to my inauguration.'

"‘I don't think so. It's a 10-hour drive, your father isn't as young as he used to be, and, please, my arthritis is acting up again.'

"‘Don't worry about it, Mom, I'll send Air Force One to pick you up and take you home. And a limousine will pick you up at your door.'

"‘I don't know. Everybody will be so fancy-schmaltzy, what on earth would I wear?'

"‘Oh, Mom,' replies the president-elect, ‘I'll make sure you have a wonderful gown custom-made by the best designer in New York.'

"‘Honey,' Mom complains, ‘you know I can't eat those rich foods you and your friends like to eat.'

"‘Don't worry, Mom. The entire affair is going to be handled by the best caterer in New York, kosher all the way. Please, Mom, I really want you to come.'

"So Mom reluctantly agrees and on Jan. 21, 2017, Susan Goldfarb is being sworn in as president of the United States. In the front row sits the new president's mother, who leans over to a senator sitting next to her: ‘You see that woman over there with her hand on the Torah, becoming president of the United States?'

"The senator whispers back, ‘Yes, I do.'

"Says Mom proudly, ‘Her brother is a doctor.'"




Uff-da!… Speaking of Norwegian jokes, as we were parenthetically just above, here's one from Jess Hossinaround in Arenas Valley. Our Norwegian in-laws can pretend Ole and Sven are Swedes:

"Ole says to Sven, ‘I'm ready for a holiday, only dis year I'm going to do it a bit different. Three years ago I vent to Spain and Lena got pregnant. Two years ago I vent to Italy and Lena got pregnant. Last year I vent to Majorca and Lena got pregnant.'

"Sven asks, ‘So what are you going to do dis year?'

"Ole replies, ‘I tink I'll take her vith me.'"


Annals of law enforcement… This yarn from GeeRichard may or may not be another true tale. We prefer to believe it is:

"Late one afternoon, soon after I'd bought the car, I was tooling along the freeway when I noticed a state trooper on a motorcycle tailing me. I figured he was hoping to catch me over the speed limit. Half an hour later, he was still back there, so I tromped the pedal, getting my speed up over the limit. In the mirror, there he was still tooling along behind me. I accelerated a bit, he stayed with me, so after the fourth spurt, I decided to go all out. I tromped the gas pedal and my car shot ahead like it was out of a cannon.

"I watched the rear view, but no motorcycle. I couldn't believe he'd given up. So I made a U-turn and retraced the run.

"Five miles back, I couldn't believe what I saw: There was the motorcycle crashed against a tree, and, above the machine, there was the trooper draped over a branch in the tree.

"I got out, helped the trooper down, and couldn't resist asking, ‘What the heck happened to you?'

"‘Well,' said the trooper, ‘I was keeping up, waiting to see just how fast you intended to go. But that last time, you sped away so fast, I thought my motorcycle had died, so I got off to see what was the matter.'"



The last word… Finally, this letter from I Don't Compute wraps up this month's themes of true tales and aging in one neat little package:

"I'm getting so old, few people, especially younger generations, get my jokes. Recently, I told an old joke to a group and they died laughing, so a few days later I tried it again and that group again laughed heartily. I thought, ‘At last, I've got something to send to Desert Diary!'

"Now I can't remember the joke."



Don't forget to send your favorite anecdotes, jokes, puns and tall tales to Desert Diary, PO Box 191, Silver City, NM 88062, fax (575) 534-4134 or 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… Answering our call to send in photos of yourself on vacation posing with "the biggest little paper in the Southwest," Joyce and Jim Kelly of Las Cruces sent along a batch of pictures from a recent visit to Costa Rica. This one shows them on the border between Costa Rica and Nicaragua with their favorite reading material.






Whether you're in Costa Rica or Corrales, snap a picture of yourself holding Desert Exposure and send it to PO Box 191, Silver City, NM 88062, or diary@desertexposure.com.


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