Laugh Tracks in the Dust 4-5-10 |

Laugh Tracks in the Dust 4-5-10

I left Iowa six years ago mainly to escape the harsh winters and especially to escape shoveling snow. I’ve been pretty successful in that regard – just driving through minor league snow drifts and letting snow on the sidewalks eventually melt.

Well, today is the first day of spring and I’m writing this column watching a driving snowstorm that last night deposited a 3-foot drift right up against our house underneath our deck, which is above a concrete entrance to our walkout basement. Plus, there wuz another equally-deep drift right under the edge of the deck.

When I saw those parallel drifts, I knew I had to start shoveling because when the snow starts melting, the western-most drift will pool up the water from the drift next to the house and likely seep into the basement because the water can’t drain off.

It took a half-hour of heavy lifting to push the snow away from the house and cut a couple of drainways off the concrete, but I think the potential disaster is averted. Adding insult to this situation, yesterday the temperature wuz in the 50s and the sun wuz shining brightly.

Hope it’s at least another six years before I have to touch a snow shovel again.


The occasional coyote helps itself to one of my hens or roosters. Since I’ve lived here, I’ve now shot three coyotes. The most recent, and easiest, wuz a couple of weeks ago.

I wuz sipping a mid-afternoon glass of iced tea at our kitchen table. It wuz a cold, but sunny day. I wuz surprised to spy a coyote nonchalantly moseying its way north between the house and our pond. It wuz in no hurry, so I fetched my 25-06 Savage from storage, found a clip of ammo, and quietly opened the kitchen door onto our deck.

The coyote wuz about 100 yards away and standing broadside, but looking directly at me. I couldn’t get on to the deck without scaring it, so I eased off the safety, braced against the door jamb, and deftly squeezed the trigger.

The concussion rattled the kitchen windows and blasted my ear drums, but the coyote went down for the count. Never knew what hit it. Guess my chickens are safe until another prairie wolf moves into the territory.


My 50th high school reunion is coming up this May. The reunion notice reminded me of a story I heard years ago from an acquaintance, ol’ Manny Akers, about the time he took his wife to her 30th high school reunion. 

Manny noticed that his wife spent a good amount of time talking to a good looking gray haired gentleman. So, on his way home, he asked his wife who the man wuz that had engaged her in conversation so long.

“Why, he wuz a former high school boyfriend of mine,” his wife replied. “I found out he’s a very successful small farmer in northeast Kansas.”

A bit miffed at that explanation, ol’ Manny pressed the issue. “So, are you sorry you didn’t marry the successful small farmer rather than a successful big farmer like me?” he asked.

“Not at all,” his wife smiled back sweetly, “because I know if I’d married him, he’d be a big successful farmer today, just like you are!”



A Congressman, Rep. Fuller Bombast, wuz back in his district to ostensively “listen” to his constituents about what they wanted him to do for them back in Washington.

Mr. Bombast stopped at a small country cafe to eat. When he wuz finished eating, there wuz a long line of customers waiting at the cash register to pay their tabs. Always in a hurry, the Congressman, in a self-important way, elbowed his way to the front of the line waiting to pay.

The proprietor noticed what happened and ignored the Congressman. After an uncomfortable wait, Mr. Bombast loudly rapped on the counter glass top with a quarter. The owner continued to ignore him. When that didn’t work, the Congressman barked, “I’d like a little service here.”

The owner looked up at him and said, “Then you should be happy. I’m giving you as little service as you deserve.”


I’ll close for this week with a notable quote about service from film maker Alex Noble: “If I have been of service, if I have glimpsed more of the nature and essence of ultimate good, if I am inspired to reach wider horizons of thought and action, if I am at peace with myself, it has been a successful day.” Have a good ‘un.

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