Laugh Tracks in the Dust 9-20-10 |

Laugh Tracks in the Dust 9-20-10

Had a funny thing happen to me recently that would only happen in a small rural community. But, first a little background is in order.

I’ve got a neighbor, ol’ Beltson Blades, who is a whiz-bang on small engine repair – which is just the opposite of me. I’m so mechanically-challenged that I have difficulty changing oil in a motor, let alone keeping my lawn mower in tip-top running shape. I joke with folks that I’m a wordsmith, not a blacksmith.

So, soon after I moved back to Kansas six years ago from a multi-year sojourn into Iowa, I met Beltson and we struck up a deal. I gave him a worn-out golf cart that I couldn’t keep running – but that he soon had running in fine order – in exchange for his providing the labor and expertise to keep my self-propelled Country Clipper lawn mower running and maintained for me.

Down through the years that arrangement has worked well for both of us, plus he gets to use my tractor, front-end loader, and tiller any time he needs them.

Well, last week one of the main belts on my lawn mower shot craps on me, so I called Beltson and asked him to order a new belt and put it on the mower for me. He agreed.

So, he went to the local hardware store operated by ol’ Nutson Boltz, who is a known practical joker, and placed the belt order and asked Nutson to charge it to my account.

I’m told that without breaking a smile, Nutson said, “Can’t do that. He ain’t good for it.”

That response took Beltson by surprise, but before he could think of a response, Nutson continued, “But, Milo’s good friends with Lon G. Horner and Lon’s got an account with me, too, and I know he’s good for the money. So, I’ll just charge Milo’s belt to Lon’s account.”

That’s about the time when Beltson’s practical-joke light came on brightly and he knew he wuz being pranked with.

So, everyone in the store had a good laugh at my expense and so did my buddy Lon when I told him about it. In fact, Lon said that he’d just pay half of his monthly bill at the hardware store the next month and have Nutson send me a bill for the other half.

I said that wuz OK, but I wuzn’t good for the money.


I’m in another predator war here at Damphewmore Acres. Some critter caught one of my old hens who had nine baby chicks with her. But I can’t figger out what kind of critter caught her because I could find no feathers anywhere like coyotes, foxes, raccoons, hawks and owls leave when they catch a chicken.

The chicks are big enough to survive without their mama, but I know predators well enuf to know they can’t leave well enuf alone and will be back for second and third and fourth helpings until I put an end to their thieving ways.

Guess I’ll put out my live trap and see if I can catch the mystery predator.


It’s been awhile since I’ve had a story to tell about my old gambling/drinking buddy, A. C. Doocey, from Asbury, Mo. So, I gave A.C. a call last week to get an update on his ne’er-do-well life.

As per normal, A.C. said his most recent wife has separated from him and gone back to work to support herself since A.C. couldn’t and wouldn’t. Plus, he said his boss is mad at him, his pickup is broke down, the deer destroyed his garden, the pigs he’s raising to butcher got out into the neighbor’s lawn, and his roof is leaking on his home.

In short, he wuz pretty depressed and considers himself a complete failure. I asked him if he wanted to talk about it and he said “yes” it might be helpful. And then A.C. started talking. He said:

“Milo, last night I was sitting at the bar staring at my drink when a big, ugly, hairy, trouble-making biker steps up, grabs my drink and gulps it down in one swig. I looked at him and burst into tears. ‘This is the worst day of my life,’ I said to the biker. ‘I’m a complete failure. I came to this bar to work up the courage to put an end to it all.’ “

“‘I buy a drink, I drop a capsule in and sit here watching the poison dissolve; then you, show up and drink the whole thing! But enough about me, how’s your day going?”


While I’m on the subject of depression, I might as well close this week with a wise – and appropriate for the times – quote from Geoffrey Norman about depression. He said, “A lot of what passes for depression these days is nothing more than a body saying that it needs work.”

True! True! Make that stable, good-paying, honest work.

Have a good ‘un.

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