Great Expectorations
Silver City was ground zero in the early-1900swar on public spitting

Looking Up in Ascension
Three years after lynchings,the Mexican town is quieter but still troubled

Below Cooke's Peak
Exploring the history and prehistory of this New Mexico landmark

Columns and Departments

Editor's Note
Desert Diary
Henry Lightcap's Journal
100 Hikes
The Starry Dome
Talking Horses
Ramblin' Outdoors
Guides to Go
Continental Divide

Special Sections

40 Days & 40 Nights
The To-Do List

Red or Green

Dining Guide
Table Talk

Arts Exposure

Sight Hound: Daniel Gauss
Arts Scene
Gallery Guide

Body, Mind
& Spirit

Yoga: A Path to Well-Being
Qi Gong: Ancient Healthcare

About the cover



Speeders, Preachers & Ex-Marines

Plus holy wit and solutions to stress.


Losing the battle of the sexes… No question who wins the gender-war skirmish in this opening salvo from The Packrat Out Back:

"A police officer pulls over a speeding car. The officer says, ‘I clocked you at 80 miles per hour, sir.'

"The driver says, ‘Gee, officer, I had it on cruise control at 60; perhaps your radar gun needs calibrating.'

"Not looking up from her knitting. the wife says, ‘Now don't be silly, dear — you know that this car doesn't have cruise control.'

"As the officer writes out the ticket, the driver looks over at his wife and growls, ‘Can't you please keep your mouth shut for once?!!'

"The wife smiles demurely and says, ‘Well, dear, you should be thankful your radar detector went off when it did or your speed would have been higher.'

"As the officer makes out the second ticket for the illegal radar detector unit, the man glowers at his wife and says through clenched teeth, ‘Woman, can't you keep your mouth shut?'

"The officer frowns and says, ‘And I notice that you're not wearing your seat belt, sir. That's an automatic $75 fine.'

"The driver says, ‘Yeah, well, you see, officer, I had it on, but I took it off when you pulled me over so that I could get my license out of my back pocket.'

"The wife says, ‘Now, dear, you know very well that you didn't have your seat belt on. You never wear your seat belt when you're driving.'

"And as the police officer is writing out the third ticket, the driver turns to his wife and barks, ‘WILL YOU PLEASE SHUT UP?'

"The officer looks over at the woman and asks, ‘Does your husband always talk to you this way, ma'am?'

"She replies, ‘Only when he's been drinking.'"


On the flip side, in a way, here's this manly tale from Gee­Richard:

"Two men are out ice fishing at their favorite fishing hole, just fishing quietly and drinking beer. Almost silently, so as not to scare the fish, Mel says, ‘I think I'm going to divorce my wife. She hasn't spoken to me in over two months.'

"Earl continues slowly sipping his beer, then thoughtfully says, ‘You better think it over, Mel. Women like that are hard to find.'"



The great reward… Then there's this from GeraldH:

"Morris Schwartz is on his deathbed, knows the end is near, and is with his nurse, his wife, his daughter and two sons. ‘So,' he says to them, ‘Bernie, I want you to take the Beverly Hills houses. Sybil, take the apartments over in Los Angeles Plaza. Hymie, I want you to take the offices over in City Center. Sarah, my dear wife, please take all the residential buildings downtown.'

"The nurse is just blown away by all this, and as Morris slips away, she says, ‘Mrs. Schwartz, your husband must have been such a hard-working man to have accumulated all this property.'

"The new widow replies, ‘Property? The schmuck has a paper route!'"


Comparative religion… This little theology lesson came our way courtesy of Beadlady:

"A Catholic priest, a Baptist preacher and a rabbi all served as chaplains to the students of Western New Mexico University. They would get together two or three times a week for coffee and to talk shop.

"One day, someone made the comment that preaching to people isn't really all that hard; a real challenge would be to preach to a bear. One thing led to another, and they decided to do an experiment. They would all go out into the woods, find a bear, preach to it, and attempt to convert it to their religion.

"Seven days later, they all came together to discuss their experiences. Father Flannery, who had his arm in a sling, was on crutches, and had various bandages on his body and limbs, went first. ‘Well,' he said, ‘I went into the woods to find me a bear. And when I found him, I began to read to him from the Catechism. Well, that bear wanted nothing to do with me and began to slap me around. So I quickly grabbed my holy water, sprinkled him and, Holy Mary Mother of God, he became as gentle as a lamb. The bishop is coming out next week to give him first communion and confirmation.'

"Reverend Billy Bob spoke next. He was in a wheelchair, had one arm and both legs in casts, and had an IV drip. In his best fire-and-brimstone oratory, he exclaimed, ‘WELL, brothers, you KNOW that we Baptists don't sprinkle! I went out and I FOUND me a bear. And then I began to read to my bear from God's HOLY WORD! But that bear wanted nothing to do with me. So I took HOLD of him and we began to wrestle. We wrestled down one hill, UP another and DOWN another until we came to a creek. So I quickly DUNKED him and BAPTIZED his hairy soul. And just like you said, he became as gentle as a lamb. We spent the rest of the day praising Jesus. Hallelujah!'

"The priest and the reverend both looked down at the rabbi, who was lying in a hospital bed. He was in a body cast and traction with IVs and monitors running in and out of him. He was in really bad shape.

"The rabbi looked up and said, ‘Looking back on it, circumcision may not have been the best way to start.'"


Capital pun-ishment… New correspondent MikeB chimes in with another view from the pews:

"There was a Scottish painter named Smokey MacGregor who was very interested in making a penny where he could, so he often thinned down his paint to make it go a wee bit further. As it happened, he got away with this for some time, but eventually the local church decided to do a big restoration job on the outside of one of their biggest buildings. Smokey put in a bid and, because his price was so low, he got the job. So he set about erecting the scaffolding and setting up the planks, and buying the paint and yes, I am sorry to say, thinning it down with turpentine.

"Well, Smokey was up on the scaffolding, painting away, the job nearly completed, when suddenly there was a horrendous clap of thunder, the sky opened and the rain poured down, washing the thinned paint from all over the church and knocking Smokey clear off the scaffold to land on the lawn among the gravestones, surrounded by telltale puddles of the thinned and useless paint. Smokey was no fool. He knew this was a judgment from the Almighty, so he got down on his knees and cried: ‘Oh God, oh God, forgive me! What should I do?'

"And from the thunder, a mighty voice spoke: ‘Repaint! Repaint! And thin no more!'"


Join MikeB in our pages, with or without the puns! Send your jokes and yarns to diary@desertexposure.com.



Lock and load… Share this one from Old Grumps with your favorite NRA member:

"This morning I lucked out and was able to buy two boxes of ammo, because I just knew it was getting scarce! I placed the boxes on the front seat and headed back home. I stopped at a gas station, where a drop-dead gorgeous blonde in a short skirt was filling up her car at the next pump.

"She glanced at the two boxes of ammo, bent over and leaned in my passenger window, and said in a sexy voice, ‘I'm a big believer in barter, old fella. Would you be interested in trading sex for ammo?'

"I thought for a few seconds and asked, ‘What kind of ammo ya got?'"



Annals of education… Salute this tale from the Silver City Greek:

"A former sergeant in the Marine Corps took a new job as a high school teacher. Just before the school year started, he injured his back. He was required to wear a plaster cast around the upper part of his body, but fortunately, the cast fit under his shirt and wasn't noticeable.

"On the first day of class, he found himself assigned to the toughest students in the school. The smart-aleck punks, having already heard the new teacher was a former Marine, were leery of him and he knew they would be testing his discipline in the classroom.

"Walking confidently into the rowdy classroom, the new teacher opened the window wide and sat down at his desk. When a strong breeze made his tie flap, he picked up a stapler and stapled the tie to his chest. Dead silence.

"The rest of the year went very smoothly."



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