Laugh Tracks in the Dust 10-25-10 |

Laugh Tracks in the Dust 10-25-10

One day last week wuz the day of reckoning for 16 of the excess roosters I had running around Damphewmore Acres. My friend, ol’ Rollin Birdz, and I spent a couple of hours one cool morning converting roosters into chicken-and-noodles-in-waiting. For helping with this onerous task, Rollin got half the bounty to take home to his freezer.

Seven of the ill-fated roosters were old, mature rascals that will probably require a couple hours in the pressure cooker before they’re edible. The rest were roosters-of-the-year that will be great for roasting.

One of the benefits of butchering old roosters is that I end up with a goodly amount of chicken mountain oysters – which when coated with my favorite coating mixture and deep-fat friend to a golden brown, yield “manna” from the chicken yard. There just ain’t much better eating to my way of thinking.

However, this year one of the old roosters got partially even with me for his untimely demise. As I wuz deep-fat cooking that batch of chicken oysters, one oyster exploded in the scalding oil and spattered my neck – leaving a nice red blister the size of a dime as a result. But, I still enjoyed the meal immensely.

It’s fun to watch what happens to a flock of chickens when you dispose of all the roosters at the top of the social pecking order. The very next morning (I caught the birds off the roost at night) all the young roosters that I picked to survive awoke to a new world. 

They could get to the top roost, they could crow to their hearts content, they could chase and mate with all the hens they wanted to without getting their feathered butts kicked. In short, it took but a few short hours for them to realize they were the new top “cocks” of the henhouse.

When I told my friend Mocephus what happened, he had the best analogy in human terms. … He said it wuz about what would happen in a high school if all the top jocks suddenly disappeared and all computer geeks found themselves the top dogs in the social order.

But, boys will be boys and chickens will be chickens, it didn’t take long for the new young roosters to begin fighting amongst themselves to determine a new top chicken and a new pecking order. Within a week, I’m assured that new pecking order will be complete from top to bottom.


I don’t get a chance to do new book reviews very often, but a couple weeks ago a new book arrived in the mail. Its title is “Building Our Dream in Remote Colorado” by Stephen L. Wood. Mr. Wood claims to enjoy my columns.

His book is a nice little read about he and his wife Jan who took several decades to build themselves an ultimately comfortable, relatively self-sufficient, off-the-grid acreage not far from Buena Vista, Colo., at an altitude of about 9,000 feet where the summers are short, the winters long and harsh (think minus 50 degrees F), the people are great, and the views are spectacular.

The family’s trials and tribulations – and the sheer amount of hard work the Wood family members expended and home-engineering problems they faced and solved – will temper the ardor of anyone aspiring to live away-from-it-all. 

However, Mr. Wood’s solutions to the multitude of problems he encountered along his epic adventure contain useful information for better, more efficient living, regardless of where you live.

Mr. Wood’s book is published by iUniverse, Inc., Bloomington, Ind. The web address is 


I guess I’ll wind up this column with some thoughts about country living from three very disparate folks. 

Sportsman Joe Lando said, “I love the Midwest. I think about it every day. I wonder if I would rather have a little farm in the Midwest, in Illinois or Wisconsin, or would I rather have a little getaway up in the mountains of Colorado.” 

Actor James Earl Jones said, “I think the extent to which I have any balance at all, any mental balance, is because of being a farm kid and being raised in those isolated rural areas.” 

Frenchman Antoine de Saint-Exupery said, “Only he can understand what a farm is, what a country is, who shall have sacrificed part of himself to his farm or country, fought to save it, struggled to make it beautiful. Only then will the love of farm or country fill his heart.”


I’ll fill your heart with thankfulness and quit right here for this week with this one observation. I notice gasoline prices have begun to rise again. It makes me recall the “good ol’ days” of the Jimmy Carter presidency when gas wuz rationed. Those were the days when it wuz illegal for me to buy gas on one day and I couldn’t afford it on the other.

Have a good ‘un.

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