Milo Yield: Laugh Tracks in the Dust 5-7-12 |

Milo Yield: Laugh Tracks in the Dust 5-7-12

I hang around with a rough crowd, well, at least we make it rough on ourselves. Apparently, it ain’t enuf for us to wait on life to deal us a bad hand, we have to take the initiative and pile on the bad stuff ourselves by being forgetful, unobservant, negligent or just plain careless. 

Here’s what I’m talking about. I’ll start with myself. I’ve got a pickup truck that’s quirky about it’s door locks. Infrequently, it locks the doors all by itself when I shut the door. It happens so infrequently that I tend to forget all about the possibility that it could happen, but I still have a habit of taking the keys out of the ignition when I depart the truck.

Well, last week, for the second time in a year, I forgot and left the keys in the truck and, when I came out from playing cards with my buddies, yep, the keys were locked in the truck. “No problem,” I announced, “I have a spare in a magnetic key holder.” Alas, when I checked for my spare key, I sadly discovered that the magnetic holder had come unhooked and my spare key had disappeared, too. So, nothing left for me to do but bear the brunt of my buddies’ joking and phone ol’ Nevah to bring me her set of keys – which she did in about 15 minutes.

Guess, I’ll have to figger out a new way to carry a spare key to my pickup.


Then, there’s the sad story about what my friend ol’ Lon G. Horner did to himself. He’d been working at one of his farms with a large tractor and a small old John Deere tractor. Well, the large tractor had a weak battery that needed charging and the old tractor didn’t start too easily, so when Lon hitched a ride with a neighbor back to his farmstead, he just left both of them idling.

But, then he got distracted and, lo and behold, forgot all about those tractors. And when he came back two days later, the big tractor wuz still idling, but with the fuel gauge low, and the John Deere had run out of gas completely, and needed to be primed to get started again. Luckily for Lon, the price of diesel has gone down a few cents in recent days.


Next on the list of friends who make it rough on themselves is ol’ Rick Ettyshute, who wuz working his cows in an aging squeeze chute. He’d used the chute for years with no problem. But on this particular day, a rambunctious old cow started doing her best to escape from her “mistreatment” and broke the latch holding the headgate tight.

Yep, ol’ Rick wuz in the wrong place at the wrong time and the headgate bar flew upward at near the speed of light and cracked him squarely on his chin. The blow coldcocked him for a few seconds, but it took a couple of hours for the trip to the doctor for a few remedial medical stitches. Luckily, ol’ Rick’s still got all of his teeth and his jaw and tongue are intact – and I’ll bet he’s got the squeeze chute fixed.


Next in line is my Missouri buddy, ol’ Canby Handy. His small acreage serves as a rotational grazing pasture for a few steers he and his son-in-law raise every year for homegrown beef.

Well, last week, Canby and son-in-law bought four choice Angus steers at the auction in St. Joseph, Mo., and they released the steers in Canby’s pasture. Now, for several years, Canby has gotten by with a “patch job” on the main gate into the pasture. The opening has two metal gates hinged on each end that are supposed to meet in the middle where they are chained together to lock the gate. 

Trouble is, the two metal gates lack about 18-inches of meeting at the middle. No problem for a handyman like Canby. He just “filled the gap” with a short piece of woven wire that he attached to one of the hinged gates with baling wire.

That arrangement worked for two years, but not this year. This group of steers apparently had an Angus Einstein amongst them and he pushed through the “gate gap” and the steers were on the loose in a nearby “jungle” along a creek.

Canby and crew collared two of the steers the first day, one the following day, and located the third in a neighbor’s cowherd.

Canby assures me that the gate to his pasture is now “cattle tight.” It’s a perfect example of shutting the gate after the damage is done.


Two more examples, a few weeks ago, ol’ Parker Loosely, got kicked squarely in the chest by a revenge-minded steer in a sorting alley. For his negligence, Parker spent a couple of days in the hospital with broken ribs and he couldn’t laugh without pain for a week. 

Then, my brother-in-law, ol’ Charl Lay, got an old cow on the prod while driving her with his four-wheeler and, when she’d had enuf of his messing around with her, she played ring-around-the-four-wheeler with him until he made his escape.


All these stories prove one thing. That are all clear indicators that we’re getting old enuf to consider what happened to us as pure signs of the onset of senility and the wisdom of retirement. But, I’ll lay a bet that all of us ignore those signs.


So, I’ll close for this week with a few words of wisdom about senility. Some wag named Paul Erdos said, “There are three signs of senility. The first sign is that a man forgets his theorems. The second sign is that he forgets to zip up. The third sign is that he forgets to zip down.”

Don’t forget the third ‘un and don’t forget to have a good ‘un.

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