Milo Yield: Laugh Tracks in the Dust 6-6-11 |

Milo Yield: Laugh Tracks in the Dust 6-6-11

Milo Yield
Damphewmore Acres, Kan.

It’s not often that I get a phone call from someone wanting to self-nominate himself for “Milo’s Dumb Screwup of the Week Award.” But that’s what happened last week when my old Missouri buddy, Canby Handy, called and volunteered for the fictitious award.

Here’s his story: Last summer he and his son-in-law bought five Angus steers to feed out for their extended family. It worked so well that this year they bought another batch.

But, as Canby related, “When we got rid of the steers last year, we had three bags of protein pellets and three bales of alfalfa hay left over. My first screwup was putting the pellets into a less-than-varmint-tight shed. So, the raccoons promptly ate up the pellets and crapped all over the shed.”

“My second screwup was deciding to mulch my tomato plants with the leftover alfalfa hay.”

Now, I must mention that ol’ Canby’s garden is smack in the middle of his pasture and fenced off with a real good electric fence. Last summer that fence even kept the deer and coons out of his sweet corn.

Canby’s telephone conversation continued, “Well, last Sunday afternoon the missus (Mae Bea Handy) and I took those alfalfa bales – which had been stored in my garage since last fall – and mulched the tomato plants. The garden looked perfect when we left.”

“But, it didn’t look so good the next day when I discovered that our new steers had somehow torn through the electric fence and eaten the alfalfa mulch and tromped all over our tomato and potato plants. Talk about a screwup.”

Yep. I agree with Canby’s assessment. He’ll get his Milo Screwup Award next time he comes to visit. I’ll give him a dozen farm-fresh, non-mulched eggs.


Then I got this thoughtful e-mail from a faithful Kansas reader.

Although we were being married out-of-state, I wanted to add a touch of my home state, Kansas, to the wedding. So, my fiancee and I decided to have wheat, rather than rice, thrown on us newly-weds.

After the ceremony as we prepared to leave the church, one of my good friends thought for a moment, then he said to me as the bride and I raced by him on our way to the car, “You’re lucky she’s not from Idaho.”


And, another rural wedding story:

The bride came down the aisle and when she reached the altar, the cowboy groom was standing there with a saddle, bridle and rope at his side.

She said, “What’s your roping stuff doing here?”

He looked her right in the eye and said, “This ain’t gonna to take all day, is it?”


And, this letter from an another good reader:

Good morning, Mr. Yield.

I spend time every morning out in the pasture with loppers, saw, and Tordon. Lately I have developed an obsession with one recurrent thought while I’m eliminating cedars and locusts so they won’t eliminate the grass. With no intentional assistance, the chestnut blight exterminated the chestnut tree, Dutch Elm disease wiped out the American elms, the pine beetle killed pine trees everywhere. I’m now told to anticipate that the ash tree borer and black walnut canker will soon make ash trees and black walnut trees past history.

It seems like a no brainer that if it’s so easy to inadvertently take out useful trees, just a tiny bit of applied effort could create a plague of red cedar eaters or locust crispers that would take care of my pasture problems and let me use cup holders for something other than Tordon.

I bring this to your attention in high hopes some of the bright scientists you know could make this happen. Please talk it over with your friends Gene Splicer and ‘Bugs’ B. Reeder and let me know whether to expect a solution this year or next.

With Gratitude,

D. N.

I promise to give Gene and Bugs a heads-up on this problem. But don’t throw away your loppers, saw and sprayer just yet.


Last week, my ol’ New Mexico buddy, Albie Kirky, came to Damphewmore Acres for an extended fishing vacation. We had a great time and goodly fishing success. He even caught a 9-pound channel catfish that about pulled him into the pond since he’s got a bum leg. Plus we had plenty of time for shooting the bull and reminiscing about old times. It’s always sad to see him return to the Land of Enchantment.


Well, guess it’s time to put this column to bed for the week. So, I’ll close with these words of wisdom about fishing from a few “experts.” An ol’ boy named Don Marquis said: “Fishing is a delusion entirely surrounded by liars in old clothes.” Columnist Dave Barry said: “Fishing is boring, unless you catch an actual fish, and then it is disgusting.” Former president Herbert Hoover said: “Fishing is much more than fish. It is the great occasion when we may return to the fine simplicity of our forefathers.” Edgar Watson Howe said: “Fishing seems to be the favorite form of loafing.”

That’s my favorite. Have a good ‘un.