Milo Yield: Laugh Tracks in the Dust 9-24-12 |

Milo Yield: Laugh Tracks in the Dust 9-24-12

Hallelujah, my treasured pocket knife is like a cat with nine lives and it has used up three of them. I always carry a pocket knife and I’ve set a record with the one I’m carrying now. First, I’ve carried it for at least seven years, which is a record. Second, I’ve “lost” it three times and have “found” it all three times. That’s also a record.

This pocket knife is my favorite because it is engraved with a picture of a flying quail. It’s a single-blade that stays sharp with minimal honing. It’s also small and lightweight.

The first time I “lost” it, I forgot to take it out of the pocket of some dress slacks that I seldom wear. It wuz “lost” for several weeks before I had to go to a funeral and dragged those dress slacks out of the closet, stuck my hand into the pocket and “voila” there my knife wuz.

The second time I “lost” it wuz when I took a flight from the Wichita airport to Casper, Wyo., for a cattleman’s gig and airport security confiscated it. It took me almost two months of constantly haranguing the indifferent airport security folks before they mailed my knife back to me.

“The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn’t said.”

This third time I “lost” it wuz about 10 days ago. I knew I’d stuck the knife into my pocket before I left the house to do chores one morning. When I got back to the house, my quail knife wuz gone and I discovered a little hole in the bottom of the pocket. I wuz sick. I knew the knife wuz somewhere on Damphewmore Acres, but I knew the odds of finding it again were slim.

Imagine my delight when about a week later I wuz feeding the chickens in the chicken house, and freshening up the waterers when I just happened to glance down and discovered my favorite knife laying in plain sight down amidst the chicken manure. I couldn’t believe my luck, manure or not! Now I wonder how long it will be before I “lose” my knife again? I can only hope it has nine lives.


My good buddy Rollin Birds and I have a communications problem. The problem is he’s nearly deaf and I can’t hear worth a lick. He wears hearing aids all the time and I hardly ever wear mine becuz they’re a nuisance and really only make the confusion of noises entering my ears LOUDER and more confusing.

Well, this little communications problem of ours manifested itself in a funny way yesterday. I decided yesterday afternoon that it might be a good time to try dove hunting again at our usual spot for this year — a picked corn field close to a watershed lake.

So, I gave ol’ Rollin a phone call. The call went something like this:

Me: “Hey, wanna go dove hunting this evening?”

Rollin: “Sounds good to me.”

Me: “Let’s try our spot by the watershed lake, but throw your fishing rod in so if the doves aren’t flying, we can try our luck at fishing.”

Rollin: “What time you gonna get there?”

Me: “The neighbor kid gets home from school a little before 4 o’clock. I’ll wait and pick him up and get there around 4:30. Oh, by the way, I stopped by that catfish pond that’s going dry yesterday and those big ol’ fish are gonna die pretty quick unless we get a gully washer. We need to see if we can catch some.”

Rollin: “Sounds like a good idea. I’ll probably get there ahead of you.”

Me: “See you around 4:30.”

Well, I picked up the neighbor kid. We had our shotguns and each threw in a fishing rod, just in case. But when we got to the dove field, Rollin wuz no where to be seen. So, we set up our dove decoys and began hunting. After an hour, Rollin still hadn’t shown up. So, I called his cell phone and Mrs. Birdz answered and told me that Rollin had forgotten to carry his cell phone — again — but had left their house around 3:30.”

I wondered if ol’ Rollin had pickup trouble, but since I couldn’t reach him, we just kept hunting. Then, around 6:30 my cell phone rang and it wuz my wife Nevah. She said Rollin wuz at our house and wondered where I wuz.

Bottom line was our miscommunications. Rollin, an old river rat who grew up in Missouri, had been fishing in the drying-up catfish pond while I wuz dove hunting. He caught a nice catfish and the neighbor and I had a few doves. But we each did it separately becuz neither of us can hear or understand very good.

I guess it’s another of the trials and tribulations of getting old. In the future, he and I are gonna have to start listening more acutely to each other.


It’s appropriate that I close this column with a couple of famous quotes about hearing. Peter Drucker said, “The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn’t said.” American poet Ralph Waldo Emerson said: “Happy is the hearing man; unhappy the speaking man.” Rollin and I can identify with both.

Have a good ’un. ❖

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