Laugh Tracks in the Dust 2-1-10 |

Laugh Tracks in the Dust 2-1-10

My friend from high school days, ol’ Canby Handy, who lives near Platte City, Mo., recently ran across an interesting commercial object from the past. Canby’s wife wuz rummaging through some sewing materials, that once belonged to Canby’s mother, when she found a little snap-top tin container.

The tin wuz about a 1/2-inch deep, 1-1/2-inches wide, and 3-inches long. On the top wuz printed information about the contents and recommendations for use. It said:

Rexall Dyspepsia Tablets. Fifty tablets for prompt relief of dyspepsia and gas in stomach. Take two tablets each meal – before and at close. Guaranteed to give satisfaction or go to the store and get your money.

Made in St. Louis and Boston.

Canby said there wuz no date on the Rexall tin, but he guesses it dates back into the 1940s or 1950s.

I thought it wuz proof that the rigors of farming for a living back then brought on heartburn and stomach gas – just like today! Also, I thought the guarantee was cutely worded. Just “come to the store and get your money.”


Every once in a while I hear or read in the news about cases of abuse of the elderly. I never thought I’d be the victim in an elder-abuse case, but I am. My card playing buddies have been abusing me recently every time we get together at the “Old Boar’s Den” to play cutthroat pitch. They’ve abused me by taking all my money.

I guess all I can do is fight back.


I heard a true story about a southeastern Kansas cattleman who recently invested in a new flatbed truck and equipped it with an automatic cube feeder and a big round bale handler.

He’s a busy guy, so he figgered the major investment in new “reliable” equipment would be a wise move. During the recent spate of cold, snow, and mud, that “figgering” proved wrong.

One morning just as he’d completed his chores and entered his driveway, his new truck’s lights began to flicker, the horn began honking, the windshield wipers began banging away, the windshield washers were squirting de-icer liquid each direction and the radio wuz blaring. In short, everything electrical on the truck had gone berserk.

Well, this cattleman did the logical thing. He pulled the keys from the ignition. To his amazement, nothing changed. So, he got outside and opened the hood. To his consternation, he noticed a wisp of smoke under the hood.

Now major alarmed, he quickly called the dealership where he’d bought the rig and asked for some quick advise. The dealer said to unhook the battery cables.

The rancher did and still nothing turned off. That’s when the dealer said the rig had two batteries. Well, when the rancher disconnected the second battery. Everything shut down – apparently just before it all wuz going to explode into flames.

His new “reliable” feed truck is now in an authorized company repair shop getting fixed and he’s back to feeding with whatever he can get to do the job that day.


A Wyoming oilfield worker recently did some simple mathematics about the results of the government’s “Cash for Clunkers” program. Here’s his reasoning:

Think of it this way: A clunker that travels 12,000 miles a year at 15 mpg uses 800 gallons of gas a year.

A vehicle that travels 12,000 miles a year at 25 mpg uses 480 gallons a year.

So, the average Cash for Clunkers transaction will reduce U.S. gasoline consumption by 320 gallons per year.

The government claims 700,000 vehicles were involved in the program, so that’s 224-million gallons saved per year. That equates to a bit over 5 million barrels of oil. Now, five million barrels is about five hours worth of U.S. consumption.

More important, five million barrels of oil at $70 per barrel costs about $350 million dollars

So, the end result is this: the government paid $3 billion of our tax dollars to save $350 million. We spent $8.57 for every dollar we saved on the Clunker program.

I didn’t recheck that oilfield worker’s math, but I’ll bet his numbers are closer to the truth than the “official” government numbers.


An Arkansas friend e-mailed me this bit of senior advice: First you forget names. Then you forget faces. Then you forget to pull up your zipper. It’s worse when you forget to pull it down.


I’ll close for this week with these patriotic words from former Democratic presidential candidate Adlai Stevenson: “A hypocrite is the kind of politician who would cut down a redwood tree, then mount the stump and make a speech for conservation.”

Have a good ‘un.

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