OK, the snail mail and e-mails to me have reached the point that I need to clear them out. So, here goes.
In response to my column notice that I recently passed my 71st birthday, my old Missouri buddy Willie Joe sent me a birthday card which read (at least the parts I can print):
“Another birthday? Time for you to take the ‘Old Guy Oath.’ So, raise your right hand and repeat the following: ‘I, Milo Yield, being of questionable mind and aging body, do solemnly declare myself an Old Guy, and am hereby officially permitted to scratch any place on my body in public, drive forever with my left blinker on, belch (or worse) loudly on an elevator and not excuse myself, mumble incoherently to myself, snore like a chainsaw, wear hats of all kinds, wear overalls everywhere, constantly complain about the present while glorifying the past, complain every day about some body ache or pain, don’t let work interfere with play, and fall asleep with absolutely no warning.’”
There, I’ve taken the Old Guy Oath, but I’ve got to confess I’ve been living under these old guy rules for more than a decade.
And, E.O.N. from Oklahoma acknowledged my 40 years of column writing with some pleasant compliments about my column (he’s been reading it for 37 years), but then he rapped me crisply on my knuckles by saying, “I also must say that you cause a lot of indigestion on my part with your rants on the government, especially relating to health care and guns. To say I disagree with you would put it mildly. However, I will continue to read all your works and congratulate you on 40 years of hard work.”
I appreciate the letter and take the criticism as a realistic part of the writing gig. I’ll only say I wish I didn’t feel the need to make negative comments about our government and I promise to stop when it starts complying with our Constitution as written by our Founding Fathers and quits putting my kids and grandkids in future jeopardy.
To G & KK in Colorado, thanks for your post card and these kind words: “I usually don’t get real reactions from my holiday cards, but this year was a landslide of compliments! Unbelievable! Thanks again for letting us use your great Christmas poem.”
You’re more than welcome. Glad I could help.
And to Jay Esse in Colorado, thanks for sending the excellent poem “A Born Cowboy,” written by your nephew. He’s got a way with words. He must have gotten that trait from you. Your poem, which follows, certainly fits in with the kind of winter we’ve been having.
Lawn Mower Blues
When the weather is hot outside,
And the sun is shining bright,
I can crank my mower all day long,
And, well into the night.
It may go “putt, putt” now and then,
But it isn’t about to start.
All that strain is bad for my back,
And it can’t be good for my heart.
But, one winter day below freezing,
When the snow was stacked up high,
I gave the lawnmower rope a pull,
And it started on the very first try.
Of course, my darned snow blower
Will never start on a winter day.
But, it will fire up every time
I tug after the first of May.
I think that little piece of poetry illustrates “Murphy’s Law of Small Engines.”
Jay also sent along this little piece of about his family life:
“My wife said procrastination it the cause of all my sorrow.
I don’t know what that big word means, so I’ll look it up tomorrow.”
I live by the same creed.
I split a can of dog food, initials of the company “GT,” with my bird dogs, Annie and Liv, every day by mixing it with their dry dog food. I’ve been wondering when the price would go up since the price of all meats have gone up. Recently, I figgered out how the company kept the price the same. The can used to be filled to the top. These days it’s filled a half-inch from the top. So, I’m paying the same for 5-10 percent less dog food. Oh, well, that’s successful merchandising.
Here’s a good merchandising quote to end with. It’s from some dude named Morris Hite. He said, “Advertising moves people toward goods; merchandising moves goods toward people.” Also, dogs. Have a good ’un. ❖