Laugh Tracks in the Dust 10-26-09 |

Laugh Tracks in the Dust 10-26-09

My wife, ol’ Nevah Yield, has been wanting a new floor covering in her kitchen, so we finally splurged and now have new a sparkling new kitchen floor.

While the installers were working, we started up a conversation about “bad situations” they’d encountered in all their years installing carpets and other floor coverings.

Their tales about cat and dog urine-soaked carpets and floor-to-ceiling dirty dishes were none too appetizing, but this true story topped them all.

They were working in a cluttered kitchen and they had to remove a bunch of stuff from the kitchen table so they could move the table. Imagine their surprise when they moved the sugar bowl and discovered in it a momma mouse with a big nest full of pink baby mice!



Reminds me of the time back in my callow youth when I worked summers as an electrician’s helper. We had to install an electrical plug for an air conditioner in a little home that had a beautiful exterior – complete with chain-linked fence covered with lovely blooming roses.

But, when we entered the house, we found it covered in cats – wall-to-wall and floor to ceiling. There were cats on the furniture, cats sitting in the kitchen cupboards, and cats sitting on every shelf of corner knick-knack shelves.

There were even two litters of kittens – one in the bathroom tub and the other on the living room sofa where the middle cushion had been removed to make room for the new kittens.

Oh, I forgot to mention. Those folks apparently never ate anything but TV dinners and watermelons. The empty TV dinner trays were stacked nearly everywhere in the kitchen and the watermelon rinds were stacked every place the TV trays weren’t.

Yuk! To each his own!


My fall sweet potato crop wuz a failure. The vines were magnificent. A month ago the soil beneath every plant wuz bulging with sweet taters. I could already taste them during the upcoming winter.

But, last week, after our early frost, when I went out to dig those delicious yams, I sadly discovered that the field mice and rats apparently love them more than I do. They had almost completely eaten the entire crop. They had eaten their way into each tuber from the top and hollowed out almost every spud.

I expected to get at least two 5-gallon buckets of sweet taters. But I had to settle for less then half a bucket of rodent-nibbled potatoes.

Now that’s a garden loss that I don’t know how to solve with future sweet potato crops.


A rural kindergarten teacher gave an assignment to her class to draw pictures of their daddies at work.

She saw the daughter of a small animal veterinarian draw a stick man walking in a big room filled with circles drawn on the floor.

Intrigued, she asked the youngster what her daddy did for a living.

The child replied, “He operates on doggies and kitties and then he makes rounds.”


An old high school friend of mine from Kansas City wuz recently going through an “heirloom wooden chest” she inherited from her parents to see what she could find of historic value.

One thing she found wuz an official catalog of the 36th annual American Royal in Kansas City, dated Oct. 20-27, 1934 – back in the middle of the Great Depression. Knowing my interest in all things agricultural, she forwarded the catalog to me. It wuz priced at 25 cents – no small price back in those days. It’s contents are very interesting.

An ad from the Drovers National Bank contains a line that says, “Better Live Stock Means Added PROSPERITY.” Same is true today if the prices stockmen receive are profitable.

Of interest to me, all of the market animals were judged as “fat” steers, lambs, and barrows. No mention of “lean” back in those days. There wuz also a “Million Dollar Parades of Horses” to the accompaniment of orchestra music. Of course, there were plenty of draft horses judged. The trade show wuz named the “Industrial Exposition, Manufacturers’ and Jobbers’ Exhibit, and Farm Machinery and Implement Exhibit.” Wordy, but accurate.

All in all, it wuz quite interesting.


I’m sure by now all you’re interested in is settling back and taking that evening nap in front of your TV, so I’ll close with these patriotic words from the late newsman Walter Cronkite: “There is no such thing as a little freedom. Either you are all free, or you are not free … We are not educated well enough to perform the necessary act of intelligently selecting our leaders … When you’re bringing in a fairly unknown candidate challenging a sitting president, the population needs a lot more information than reduced [news] coverage provides.”

Have a good ‘un.

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