Laugh Tracks in the Dust 8-9-10 |

Laugh Tracks in the Dust 8-9-10

Well, ol’ Nevah and I took a vacation to Albuquerque, N.M., to see two sets of friends from my college days at Bea Wilder U. We had a great time with both Elpee Peavine and Potter E. Klector and their wives.

So, this column will be mostly about our trip. On our way out, we had a noon meal with ol’ Dusty Trayle, another ol’ college buddy of mine in Pratt, Kan. Then we traveled on to Guymon, Okla., to spend the night.

About 10 miles northeast of Guymon is the little city of Hooker, Okla. On our way into town I noticed a sign for the Hooker Lutheran Church, and immediately saw an opportunity to have a little fun at the expense of my buddy back home, ol’ Rollin Birdz, who is a substitute minister in the Lutheran Church.

I gave Rollin a call on his cell phone and said I’d found the perfect rural church for him to preach at – and I told him I’d found the Hooker Lutheran Church and if any congregation wuz in need of his good messages, that would be the church.

Well, we had a good laugh about it all, but this story has a funny ending. The very next day after my phone call, Rollin wuz eating at the Longhorn Lounge and Cafe in Strong City when in walked an elderly lady wearing a T-Shirt that said in the front, “Everyone Has To Be From Somewhere.”

But when she walked past Rollin, he couldn’t believe his eyes becuz the back of her T-shirt read: “And I’m Proud to be from Hooker, Oklahoma.” What a coincidence!


The second day of our vacation we drove southwest through the flat Texas Panhandle and on to New Mexico. En route to Albuquerque, we stopped at the next-to-nothing town of Newkirk, N.M., to use the bathroom and get something cold to drink. I had to laugh at a sign above the sink in the men’s room. It read: “Wash now or eat it later.” That’s pretty blunt language, but I sure did wash my hands.

A few miles down the road I noticed a ranch sign on the south side of the interstate. I think it wuz for the Bar 7 Ranch, I’m not positive, but I am positive that the ranch owners went to a lot of trouble to put up their ranch sign. They had somehow lifted an entire railroad boxcar about 6-feet into the air and put blocks under it for support. I’d like to know how they managed to lift something as heavy as a boxcar. I’d guess that they did it one end at a time. However they did it, it makes an impressive ranch sign.


Next stop down the interstate wuz at a big tourist trap that advertised on billboards constantly for quite a few miles. I figgered that anyone who went to that expense and trouble deserved some of my tourist money – so we stopped for our noon meal.

I got in line for our meal behind a memorable guy. He wuz a huge fellow with an scalped bald head that wuz tattooed entirely with a spider web, complete with an inked spider. I wanted to talk to him about his tattoo, but something about his demeanor told me, “keep your dumb mouth shut.” So that’s what I did.


When we arrived at Elpee’s a couple hours later, I had a little fun with him. I told him that as a gift for hosting us for the best part of the week that I’d done some online shopping for him and found some high dollar “designer” coffee for him – and I handed him two packets of coffee – one full strength and one decaffeinated.

The packets read on the side: “Columbian Supreme Blend of 100 percent Arabica, Rainforest Alliance Certified and 100 percent Arabica Coffee.” I don’t know what that means, but it sounds impressive.

He looked them over carefully and he must have thought it wuz impressive, too, because he thanked me profusely for being so thoughtful.

That wuz when I broke the news to him that I hadn’t bought the coffee from the Internet, but took the packets from our Super 8 Motel room that morning in Guymon. Elpee had a few choice words for me, but we all laughed about it.

The next few days were spent golfing, sight-seeing, shopping, and eating and drinking too much. The El Pinto Mexican restaurant in Albuquerque gets a high rating from me for both the food and the ambiance of the place.


I’ll finish this vacation saga next week. Suffice it to say, ol’ Nevah and I had a great time and escaped the Kansas heat and mugginess for a few days. However, I also missed our Chase County Fair and the opportunity to visit with friends there. I got home just in time for the fair clean-up day.

I hope you voted in the recent primary elections. Until we meet on these pages next week, I’ll close with these words about vacations from a couple of sources: “Vacation: a period of travel and relaxation when you take twice the clothes and half the money you need.” ~ Author Unknown; and “There is probably no more obnoxious class of citizen, taken end for end, than the returning vacationist.” ~ Robert Benchley.

Well, end for end, have a good ‘un.

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