100 Hikes in a Year
What one hiker learned along the way, and some of her favorites for you to try

A Little Night Music
Still playing at 86, Silver City musician Dane Dexter knew all the greats

Mining Santa Rita's History
Terry Humble has a passion for the mining district's past

A Real Hoot
Meet the burrowing owl, Frank Sinatra of the owl clan

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What Do You Need?

About the cover


Rx for Living, Redneck Etiquette

and the Missing 710

Plus the truth about Goldilocks and the Three Bears.



Annals of medicine… First off, here's a new prescription from the Silver City Greek:

"I recently picked a new primary care doctor. After two visits and exhaustive lab tests, he said I was doing 'fairly well' for my age. (I just turned 65.) A little concerned about that comment, I couldn't resist asking him, 'Do you think I'll live to be 80?'

"He asked, 'Do you smoke tobacco, or drink beer, wine or hard liquor?

"'Oh no,' I replied. 'I'm not doing drugs, either!'

"Then he asked, 'Do you eat ribeye steaks and barbecued ribs?'

"'I said, 'Not much. My former doctor said that all red meat is very unhealthy!'

"'Do you spend a lot of time in the sun, like playing golf, boating, sailing, hiking or bicycling?'

"'No, I don't,' I said.

"He asked, 'Do you gamble, drive fast cars, or have a lots of sex?'

"'No,' I said.

"The doctor looked at me and said, 'Then, why do you even give a damn?'"


Fractured fairy tales… This "far more accurate account of the events of that fateful morning" comes courtesy of Shanty Shaker:

"Baby Bear goes downstairs, sits in his small chair at the table. He looks into his small bowl. It is empty. 'Who's been eating my porridge?' he squeaks.

"Daddy Bear arrives at the big table and sits in his big chair. He looks into his big bowl and it is also empty. 'Who's been eating my porridge?!?' he roars.

"Momma Bear sticks her head through the serving hatch from the kitchen and yells, 'For God's sake, how many times do I have to go through this with you idiots? It was Momma Bear who got up first. It was Momma Bear who woke everyone in the house. It was Momma Bear who made the coffee. It was Momma Bear who unloaded the dishwasher from last night and put everything away. It was Momma Bear who swept the floor in the kitchen. It was Momma Bear who went out in the cold early morning air to fetch the newspaper and croissants. It was Momma Bear who set the damn table.

"'It was Momma Bear who walked the dog, cleaned the cat's litter tray, gave them their food, and refilled their water.

"'And now that you've decided to drag your sorry bear-arses downstairs and grace Momma Bear with your grumpy presence, listen carefully, because I'm only going to say this once….



Submit your own takes on fairy tales, along with your favorite jokes, anecdotes and life lessons, to diary@desertexposure.com.



Pondering the imponderables… These "Five Rules to Remember in Life" were passed along by Guitar Guy:

"1. Money cannot buy happiness, but it's more comfortable to cry in a Corvette than on a bicycle.

"2. Forgive your enemy, but remember the jerk's name.

"3. If you help someone when they're in trouble, they will remember you when they're in trouble again.

"4. Many people are alive only because it's illegal to shoot them.

"5. Alcohol does not solve any problems, but then neither does milk."



Losing the battle of the sexes… Two tales from the front lines of the gender wars (with, as you'll see, something in common). The first is from Old Grumps:

"Mowed the lawn today, and after doing so I sat down and had a couple nice cold beers. The day was really quite beautiful, and the brew facilitated some deep thinking on various topics. Finally I thought about an age-old question: Is giving birth more painful than getting kicked in the testicles?

"Women always maintain that giving birth is way more painful than a guy getting kicked in the testicles. Well, after another beer, and some heavy deductive thinking, I have come up with the answer to that question. Getting kicked in the testicles is more painful than having a baby, and here is the reason for my conclusion:

"A year or so after giving birth, a woman will often say, 'It might be nice to have another child.'

"On the other hand, you will never hear a guy say, 'You know, I think I would like another kick in the testicles.'"


Then there's this story of marital bliss sent our way by The Santa Claran:

"After being married for 40 years, a wife asked her husband to describe her. He looked at her for a while, then he said, 'You're A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K.'

"She asked, 'What does that mean?'

"He said, 'Adorable, Beautiful, Cute, Delightful, Elegant, Foxy, Gorgeous, Hot.'

"She smiled happily and said, 'Oh, that's so lovely. What about I, J, K?'

"He said, 'I'm Just Kidding!'

"The swelling in his eye is going down and the doctor is fairly optimistic about saving his testicles."


Ask Miss Manners, y'all… Rednecks seem to have shot right up there with blondes and Norwegians as the butt of Desert Diary jokes. Here, to the relief of blonde Norwegians everywhere, GeraldH shares, "Tips From the Redneck Book of Manners":

"Never take a beer to a job interview.

"Always identify people in your yard before shooting at them.

"It's considered poor taste to take a cooler to church.

"If you have to vacuum the bed, it is time to change the sheets.

"Even if you're certain that you are included in the will, it is still considered tacky to drive a U-Haul to the funeral home.

"Dining Out —

"If drinking directly from the bottle, always hold it with your fingers covering the label.

"Avoid throwing bones and food scraps on the floor, as the restaurant may not have dogs.

"Entertaining in Your Home —

"A centerpiece for the table should never be anything prepared by a taxidermist.

"Do not allow the dog to eat at the table no matter how good his manners are.

"Personal Hygiene —

"While ears need to be cleaned regularly, this is a job that should be done in private using one's OWN truck keys

"Proper use of toiletries can forestall bathing for several days. However, if you live alone, deodorant is a waste of good money.

"Dirt and grease under the fingernails is a social no-no, as they tend to detract from a woman's jewelry and alter the taste of finger foods."


Paraprosdokians… Responding to our call for "paraprosdokians" (figures of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected), here's KaraN, who writes, "This is a favorite of mine. I believe I stole it from Groucho Marx years ago. It's an oldie but a goodie!

"Time flies… like the wind,

"Fruit flies… like a banana."



Annals of inebriation… A pair of yarns set in imbibing establishments, beginning with this from Aletteration:

"Barney had been the bartender at the Squire Inn for the 30 years since it had opened. He'd weathered many promotions as managers and owners changed, sometimes twice in a single year. Despite his misgivings, Barney kept his mouth shut and thus kept his job.

"The latest ploy was by the owner-manager, Gunner Gunsalis, who had visions of drawing an upscale clientele. Toward that end, he'd invited the most regular patrons to a whiskey tasting to be preceded by a sumptuous buffet. Hoping to encourage a full house, the owner announced that he'd invited Tom Cushing, the area's foremost booze expert, to join the patrons in a blind tasting-judging.

"The big evening arrived and while guests were eating, Gunner lugged assorted whiskey bottles to the bar and instructed Barney to fill multiple shot glasses and line them up in a specific order.

"Deciding to add a demented twist to the festivities, Barney had secretly peed into a bottle, then poured into one shot glass, which he placed halfway down the line up on the bar.

"The expert started down the line, proclaiming one whiskey after another, 'that's Carstairs, that one is Old Smuggler...,' and so on. When he came to Barney's special glass, he sipped, wrinkled his brow and proclaimed, 'That's a new taste, let me think on it.'

"After every couple of new tastes, he'd go back for another sip of the strange one.

"According to the chart Barney had laid out, the connoisseur identified all of the whiskeys except THAT one.

"Admitting defeat, the expert said at last, 'All right, I don't what it is, but I can tell you one thing: It'll never sell!'"

Next, raise a glass with Pop Hayes:

"I was in a pub last Saturday night, and drank a few, and noticed two very large women by the bar. They both had pretty strong accents, so I asked, 'Hey, are you two ladies from Ireland?'

"One of them chirped, saying, 'It's WALES, you friggin' idiot!'

"So, I immediately apologized and said, 'I'm sorry. Are you two whales from Ireland?'

"That's pretty much the last thing I remember…."


Age before beauty… Speaking of smart remarks, there's this tale from Ned Ludd:

"I took my dad to the mall the other day to buy some new shoes (he is 66). We decided to grab a bite at the food court. I noticed he was watching a teenager sitting next to him. The teenager had spiked hair in all different colors — green, red, orange and blue. My dad kept staring at her. The teenager kept looking and would find my dad staring every time.

"When the teenager had had enough, she sarcastically asked, 'What's the matter, old man, never done anything wild in your life?'

"Knowing my Dad, I quickly swallowed my food so that I would not choke on his response; I knew he would have a good one. In classic style he responded without batting an eyelid: 'Got stoned once and had sex with a parrot. I was just wondering if you might be my kid.'"


Persons of the blonde persuasion… On the subject of hair color, redneck jokes or not, it just wouldn't be Desert Diary without a hair-hue joke. As always, feel free to substitute brunette or redhead (or, heck, bald) in this funny from the Packrat Out Back:

"A few days ago I was having some work done at my local garage. A blonde, about my age and hair color, came in and asked for a 'seven-hundred-ten.' We all looked at each other and another customer asked, 'What is a seven-hundred-ten?'

"She replied, 'You know, the little piece in the middle of the engine. I have lost it and need a new one.' She added that she did not know exactly what it was, but this piece had always been there.

"The mechanic gave her a piece of paper and a pen and asked her to draw what the piece looked like. She drew a circle and in the middle of it wrote '710.' He then took her over to a car just like hers that had its hood up and asked, 'Is there a 710 on this car?'

"She pointed and said, 'Of course, it's right there.' The mechanic fainted.

"The blonde was pointing to the top of the cap labeled 'OIL.'"


Vote early and often… Finally, short but sweet, we close out this election season (thank goodness!) with this commentary from CharlesC:

"A recent survey discloses that the number-one problem is voter apathy.

"Another survey indicates that 99% don't care about voter apathy."



> 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… We still have some catching up to do with reader photos sent in response to our invitation to submit photos of themselves on vacation holding “the biggest little paper in the Southwest.” But that’s a happy problem to have, so keep them coming!


diary a



In the meantime, here are Satoko and Ray Goellner, visiting northern Japan earlier this year. He writes, “The picture was taken at a traditional Japanese inn in the northern part of the main island with friends, still in winter’s grip in late April.”




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Going all out, Lyle and Susan Sedlacek shared not one but three snapshots he took of her with Desert Exposure on a recent cruise to the Mediterranean and Europe—at the
Parthenon in Athens, the Colosseum in Rome and, shown here, at the ancient city of Ephesus in Turkey.



Whether you’re vacationing in Turkey or TorC, 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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