Milo Yield: Laugh Tracks in the Dust 4-22-13 |

Milo Yield: Laugh Tracks in the Dust 4-22-13

It’s fishing time again in the Flint Hills. I’ve only gone fishing once, with little success, but my friends are reporting the bass and crappie are biting. So, I spent a day this week getting my fishing tackle organized from the mess I left it in last fall and making sure my reels are lubricated and equipped with good line.

Although I haven’t really gotten into the swing of spring fishing yet, I’ve already heard a funny fishing story. My preacher friend, ol’ Saul M. Reeder, says he went fishing recently and put on a brand new artificial lure.

It didn’t take many casts until a good-sized “keeper” hit the lure. But, when Saul got it close to the bank, the fish flipped off back to freedom. He attributed that happenstance to bad fishing luck. But, then the same thing happened again, and again, and again.

So, that many fish in a row escaping his new lure, prompted Saul to take another look at the lure. Imagine his surprise, and chagrin, when he discovered that the tip of the hook on his fancy new lure was covered by a neat little plastic shield to protect him from accidentally hooking himself — and, since he hadn’t removed it — to protect the fish he wuz trying to catch.

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As I recall it, we learned great life lessons about personal safety in the school of hard knocks. I never once fell out of the pickup bed while riding in the breeze. I discovered that a pocketknife is sharp. If I mishandled a gun a smidgeon, Dad made it disappear for awhile.

After he safely removed the plastic “safety” shield, the lure worked perfectly.


Saul’s experience got me to thinking about all the ways the government is trying to protect us from ourselves. I’m sure that little fishing lure safety device wuz government mandated — just like the idiotic little safety tags on everything from bed mattresses, to step ladders, to fuel can lids, to toys, and about everything else we buy.

Heck, in New Yawk City, mayor Bloomberg is even protecting his citizens from carbonated sodas and fattening foods. Makes me wonder where it all will end. Also, it makes me wonder how folks in my generation survived without superfluous, intrusive government interference in our daily lives. As I recall it, we learned great life lessons about personal safety in the school of hard knocks. I never once fell out of the pickup bed while riding in the breeze. I discovered that a pocketknife is sharp. If I mishandled a gun a smidgeon, Dad made it disappear for awhile.


Ol’ Nevah and I watched on TV the Academy of Country Music awards program held in Las Vegas. After the show was about half over, I turned to ol’ Nevah and asked, “When did country music turn into half rap?”

The only songs that didn’t sound like country rap to me were performed by George Strait and Garth Brooks.

Now I admit that I’m an old fogy and I realize that today’s new country artists are recording music that sells to a younger generation than mine and fills auditoriums in live concerts at preposterous ticket prices.

More power to them, but they’ve, by and large, passed me by. So, I came up with a name for this new genre of modern country/rap music. I call it “C-Rap!”


Moving on to another communications/educational device in the digital age that I get along with, we bought ol’ Nevah a new I-Pad for Christmas. It’s a handy device to own for numerous reasons.

She uses it to find new recipes online and then simply sets her I-Pad on the kitchen counter and follows the recipe as she cooks new dishes for us. And, she uses it to find all sorts of handy stuff for her crafts projects. Plus, it’s handy to have to track weather systems as they move into our area.

The Google Earth feature lets us find geographic features all over the country. Funny thing, the Google Earth picture of Damphewmore Acres plainly shows ol’ Nev and me out on our utility vehicle watering our young trees last summer.

And, last but certainly not least, ol’ Nevah plays online Scrabble with our daughters, grandkids, friends and family. Heck we usually have a game going between ourselves. All in all, the I-Pad was a good investment to keep Nevah occupied in her retirement. I call it an “economical wife babysitter.”


Had a migrant hawk help itself to a chicken last week on its way north. Since it moved on after the single kill, I had no alternative but to share and frown.


Well, guess I’d better “RAP” up this column for the week. Next week, I’ll be reporting on the sights and experiences of The Old Boars’ Mindless and Meandering Tour of the Southern Flint Hills on Gravel Roads — unless bad weather makes ol’ Canby Handy and me postpone it.

So, until that time, I’ll close with a few words of wisdom about the digital age we live in. Wag Dave Matthews said, succinctly, “I’m a bit of a caveman. I don’t go out into digital space very often. Rather, I lie facedown on the grass and count how many bugs I can find.” I’m not quite that bad, but close.

Have a good ’un. ❖

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