Yield: I’m ugly and I’m proud
March 10, 2017
Someone told me recently that you are what you eat. After some thought about that statement, I guess I'd have to agree since one of my favorite foods is jerky.
Back in the days when I traveled the U.S. and parts of Canada giving hopefully humorous speeches to rural audiences, I used to tell folks truthfully that I grew up on a poor farm in southeast Kansas.
And then I used to tell them how poor I wuz growing up — and that's when I used to stretch the truth … a lot.
“All us kids had lots of chores to do. I wuz 10 years old before I realized that my real name wuzn’t ‘Fetchwood.’”
I said that when I wuz born I just weighed 5 pounds and wuz weak and jaundiced. When the doc who delivered me came out of the delivery room to tell my dear old dad, Czar E. Yield, the not-so-good news about me, he wuz surprised to hear dad whoop and holler in glee.
The doc asked dad how he could be so happy about an underweight, weak and jaundiced son. Dad replied, "Doc, when you farm in southeast Kansas like I have all my life, you're elated just to get your seed back."
I told my audiences that I wuz such an ugly baby that my dear old mother used to feed me with a slingshot. And my folks used to rent a baby when they went to church.
The neighbors told me that when I was a baby my folks put me up for adoption. But, after a week, the adopting family brought me back and my folks were stuck with raising me.
We were such a poor family that when the wolf came to our home for a free meal all he got to eat wuz the putty from around the windows.
I told them that I grew up in a big family. We had so many kids that my folks turned to drawing names out of a hat for the newborns.
I considered myself lucky to get the name "Milo." I could have been my little brother. He got named "Size Seven."
All us kids had lots of chores to do. I wuz 10 years old before I realized that my real name wuzn't "Fetchwood."
It bothered me as a kid because my folks used to pay all my brothers and sisters a quarter for their allowance every time they did their chores and went a week being good. But, they never gave me any money for doing my chores or being good. When I asked them about that, they explained that they never paid me because they knew I'd be good for nuthin'.
My dad, Czar, wuz quite a sportsman. He used to take me hunting down on the Marmaton River quite often.
Dad loved to hunt ducks and geese. But, I noticed that every time he went waterfowl hunting he didn't even take a gun, but always came back with a bag limit. When I asked him how he killed ducks and geese without a gun, he explained that he wuz such a homely man that he simply looked up out of his duck blind when the birds flew over and killed them with ugly. They took one look at his face and simply fell out of the sky stone-cold dead.
That sounded exciting to me, so I asked him if I could go with him the next time he went waterfowl hunting.
He said, "I'd like to take you, son, but I'm afraid you'd tear the meat up too bad."
One time our family went to the state fair in Hutchinson and I got separated from the rest of the family. I wuz a smart little kid though so I found a uniformed security guy and told him I wuz lost and needed to find my parents.
He took one good look at me and said, "Well, don't get your hopes up, kid. It's a big fair and there's lots of places for them to hide."
Then, when I got to be in my early teens, I thought I knew everything just like every teenager. And, in my know-it-all years I decided I wuz old enuf to start smoking cigarettes. So, I snuck a cigarette from a friend and went out behind our barn to have my first one.
There wuz a slight breeze blowing and I hadn't much more than lighted up when Czar smelled the drifting smoke and caught me red-handed.
He tanned my hide so badly that I never wanted to have anything to do with cigarettes the rest of my life. When I got older, I finally realized just how lucky I wuz that Dad caught me that day. No, I wuzn't lucky because I quit tobacco, I wuz lucky that he didn't catch me behind the barn with my first girlfriend. I might have lived a life of celibacy.
All the above information should help you understand why I am the way I am today. I got off to a slow start and ain't never caught up.
I love bumper snickers. Here are some about pet dogs:
"If your dog doesn't like someone, you probably shouldn't either."
A sick dog in bed says, "I'm sick. Would you chase the cat for me today?"
"My name is 'Stopthat,' but sometimes my owners forget and call me 'Getbackhere.'"
A dog looking at a plate of freshly cooked hotdogs says, "Do you want yours licked or not licked? Just kidding. They're all licked!"
Well, that licks this column for this week. Have a good 'un. ❖