Laugh Tracks in the Dust 5-11 |

Laugh Tracks in the Dust 5-11

This story stretches my credibility a bit, but it’s true as far as I can determine, and it has a tenuous aggie connection. That’s all I need to share it with you good readers. A former farm boy turned pilot and a gal veterinarian fell in love. They planned a lovely wedding, and it went off without a hitch (well, there wuz a hitching becuz that wuz the purpose of the whole event), with a huge crowd of family and friends in attendance. For their honeymoon night, they booked the bridal suite in a fancy downtown hotel, complete with round bed, plasma television, Jacuzzi, champagne, and mood-enhancing candles. When the newlyweds arrived at their nuptial digs, the bridegroom went about creating a romantic atmosphere, including lighting all the candles. But, when he tried to light the first candle, the wick wuz hard to light. However, after keeping the fire to the candle for quite a stretch of time, it finally lit, but, alas, it emitted not a fragrant romantic aroma, but an acrid-smelling black smoke. So, he tried the second candle, with the same result. All the while, the romantic ambiance of the suite was rapidly turning into all the aromatic ambiance of a landfill fire. Finally, in exasperation, the bridegroom snuffed out the candles. That’s when he turned one over and discovered the electrical on/off switch. Yup, he’d lit a pair of plastic electric candles. Needless to say, the romantic atmosphere instantly turned into one of hilarity as the bride and groom laughed and laughed as they tried to “air out” their smoky honeymoon suite. That is a funny story that I predict will be retold in the family for generations. I’m pretty sure I’ve never written about a candle story before in my column, so I’m gonna go for an unbreakable record and tell a second true candle story in this week’s column. It comes from the father of the groom in the above story. Back when he wuz a country boy college student going to a Christian junior college in northeast Missouri, the school had a chapel, remodeled out of an old gymnasium, fully equipped with an altar, complete with candles and candelabras. Each candle wuz topped with a metallic cover to hold the melted wax and the wick stuck up through the center of the metal cover. And, one of the alternating jobs for the male students wuz to light all the candles before any of the lessons or services started. Well, just because it was a Christian school didn’t mean that the school didn’t have a full complement of ornery students. That fact wuz proved when a couple of the ornery youngsters (my source insists he wuzn’t one of the conspirators) found an unlocked window in the chapel. They made an stealthy entry through the window before the school day began and set up their practical joke. First, they removed the metal covers from some of the candles and placed under them a firecracker with the wick pulled up through the center of the cover. Then they replaced the covers, with the neatly concealed firecrackers beneath, left out the window, and later came to class or services with the rest of the students. When the unsuspecting candle-lighters traipsed to the front of the chapel to light the candles, you can just imagine the pandemonium that broke out among the students and the teacher when the candles exploded and sent the metal candle covers “ceiling-ward” amidst a splatter of candle wax. I’ll bet you that none of the students “confessed” to committing that sin. And, I’ll bet the story is still being told somewhere to folks other than me and you. I’m not vouching for the veracity of this story. But, here’s how it wuz e-mailed to me by a worthy reader. A young cowboy walks into a seedy cafe in Saratoga, Wyo. He sits at the counter and notices an old cowboy with his arms folded staring blankly at a full bowl of chili. After 15 minutes of just sitting there staring at it, the young cowboy bravely asks the old cowpoke, “If you ain’t gonna eat that chili, mind if I do?” The older cowboy slowly turns his head toward the young wrangler and in his best cowboy manner says, “Go ahead. Help yourself.” Eagerly, the hungry young cowboy reaches over and slides the bowl over to his place and starts spooning it in with delight. He gets nearly down to the bottom and notices a dead mouse in the chili. The sight was very shocking, and he immediately barfs up the chili back into the bowl. The old cowboy looks over at him and quietly says, “Yep, that’s as far as I got, too.” Well, that’s as far as I’m going with this column, too. So, I’ll close with these patriotic words of wisdom from our first president George Washington: “Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples’ liberty’s teeth.” Amen, George! Are you listening Congress? Have a good ‘un.

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