Milo Yield: Laugh Tracks in the Dust 1-21-13

Milo Yield
Damphewmore Acres, Kan.

Growing older is a slow slide into the physical and mental abyss, but sometimes the fall can be fun — especially if you’re on the sidelines watching.

Here’s a case in point. I wuz recently hunting some of our pen-raised quail with my ol’ hunting buddy, Rollin Birdz, and we’d had a really good day, although it was really windy. We were worn out, the dogs were worn out, but we still had two birds that we either needed to release to hunt or take home for a reprieve. I opted to call it a day, but Rollin said we should tough it out and finish what we started out to do.

I acquiesced. So, we tossed out one bird into the wind and marked where it landed some 150 yards away. Rollin stuck the second bird into his hunting vest pocket to release after we hunted the first bird.

Now we needed to decide upon which of our tired bird dogs to use on this final hunt. I released my little Brittany, Liv, and Rollin went to his pickup to release Liv’s daughter Fergie.

Growing older is a slow slide into the physical and mental abyss, but sometimes the fall can be fun — especially if you’re on the sidelines watching.

Then we headed toward where the quail landed. We were about half way there when Rollin asked me, “Have you seen Fergie?”

I replied, “We probably can’t see her in the tall grass, but there’s Liv.”

So we waited, and waited. Still no sight of Fergie. Rollin blew his whistle repeatedly and called the dog. Still no Fergie.

Finally, I asked Rollin, “You did turn her out of the dog box, didn’t you?”

“I’m sure I did, but maybe the wind blew the dog box door shut in her face. I’ll go back and look.”

You guessed it. When he got to his pickup, there wuz Fergie, still securely locked up in her comfy dog box.

When I saw the dog hit the ground, I doubled up laughing and wuz still laughing when Rollin got back to me. I looked at him and said, “You’re pretty entertaining to go hunting with in your old age.”

Then we both got a good laugh. But that ain’t the end of the story. The dogs took quite a bit of time to find the released bird, but finally they pointed it and we harvested the bird.

Then we returned to our pickups, loaded up and headed to our respective homes. About 15 minutes after I got home, Rollin called me on my cell phone and laughingly told me that after he got home, only then did he discover the second poor quail still alive and well in his hunting vest pocket.

We’d BOTH forgot that bird altogether. The bright side of the story is that the surviving quail is still enjoying life among its brethren. Based upon this experience, next time we go hunting, we’ll probably forget our shotguns.


A prospective teacher interviewed for an eighth grade teaching job at a rural middle school. After the lengthy interview by the school administration wuz over, the prospective teacher said:

“Let me see if I’ve got this right and fully understand the job. You want me to spend every weekday with those 40 kids, correct their disruptive behavior, observe them for signs of abuse, monitor their dress habits, censor their T-shirt messages, and instill in them a love for learning.

“You want me to check their backpacks for weapons, wage war on drugs and sexually transmitted diseases, and raise their sense of self esteem and personal pride.

“You want me to teach them patriotism and good citizenship, sportsmanship and fair play, and how to register to vote, balance a checkbook, and apply for a job.

“You want me to check their heads for lice, recognize signs of antisocial behavior, and make sure that they all pass the final exams.

“You also want me to provide them with an equal education regardless of their handicaps, and communicate regularly with their parents in English, Spanish or any other language, by letter, telephone, newsletter, the web, and report card.

“Plus, you want me to do all this with a computer, a whiteboard and marker, a bulletin board, a few books, a big smile, and a starting salary that qualifies me for food stamps.

“And, finally, you want me to do all this, and then you tell me … I can’t pray in that classroom?”


I’m at the end of this column and the subject is prayer. So, I looked up a couple of wise quotes about prayer to end us this week. Victor Hugo said, “To give thanks in solitude is enough. Thanksgiving has wings and goes where it must go. Your prayer knows much more about it than you do.”

And, the French philosopher Voltaire said, “I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one: ‘O Lord, make my enemies ridiculous.’ And God granted it.”

Enuf said. Have a good ’un. ❖