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Jinxed

I should have known better than to jinx myself by bragging two weeks ago about a “mechanical miracle” happening when our forced-air furnace conked out at night during a cold blast — only to apparently “fix” itself before my repair guy — A. Justin deBerner — could get here.

Well, last week the “mechanical gods” decided I needed to be taught a lesson about bragging. So, during last week’s mini-blizzard, the furnace went on the fritz again during the night and we awoke to a 58-degree home.

Again, I called Justin to come to the rescue, but, once again, the furnace came on all by itself. This time I just called it luck, not a miracle. When Justin arrived, this time he ran some diagnostics on the furnace, pinpointed the problem and put in some kind of new pressure switch in the furnace.



The furnace has operated without a hitch since his fix. But, we did get a bill for the repair. That’s okay. A furnace that won’t run in cold weather is better called “a cold, complicated hunk of steel.”

***



The blizzard wuz bad enuf last week that we old geezers called off the “Saffordville Gentle Men’s Club” Wednesday breakfast. We had our regular breakfast this morning and the temperature wuz above freezing. Both yesterday and today the temps got up into the 60s and all the ice melted on the pond and only sketches of snow drifts remain.

***

An agribiz friend of mine, ol’ S. Teddy Duzzit, has to do a lot of traveling to make sales pitches for his seed company to groups of farmers and ranchers. He recently told me he had to travel about 250 miles to a meeting. Since the weather was bad, he said he left early and, having no trouble, he arrived early and drove around the area for awhile.

When the time came to talk to the crowd, he thought he should make some opening remarks. Teddy is a pretty quiet guy for a salesman and not one to tell jokes, but he thought he would make some nice statements about the area.

First, he congratulated them for having so many “Century Farm” signs in the community. As you know, this means that the farm has been in one family for at least 100 years. But when he said, “You should be proud that you have so many Century Farms,” a boisterous fellow man in the back spoke up and said, “Shucks, that just means we haven’t had a decent offer for 100 years.”

That took Teddy aback a bit, but he pressed on by then pointing out that he was impressed by all the fine stone houses in the community. That’s when another man spoke up and said, “After the stone fences were built back in olden times, we had to do something with the stones and stone is cheaper than bricks.”

Teddy, says the rest of the meeting went well, but he decided on the way home that at his next meeting, he would just tell a joke so he could at least have the punch line.

***

Teddy also told me that after the seed meeting, he hung around for a while and heard this practical joke about farmers and homegrown seed. The practical joke happened back in the horse and buggy days. Here’s the story:

“A young, energetic farmer was always in all the pranks, inventing many of them. And, he loved to tell and retell about all his practical jokes. He never let up.

“So, some of Joker’s neighbors thought it should be his turn, so five of his friends waited until Joker left his home for the evening. Then they went to his barn. He had his seed wheat in an old wooden wagon and the pranksters took the seed out and put it in bags, then took the wagon apart, and somehow hoisted it up to the hay loft, where they put it together again, and put the wheat seed in it again.

“From that night on, the original practical joker was much quieter about his practical joke exploits.”

What a great story. Imagine how much fun it would be today to have recorded the Joker’s reactions when he found his seed wagon in the loft, with all the seed in it. I imagine there was another untold story about how he got the wagon and seed out of the hay loft.

***

I recently read about a now-defunct magazine that before it went under sponsored a contest on “theories.” Some of it’s readers came up with some unusual “theories.” Here are three of them:

• The Redneck Theory: “If an infinite number of rednecks riding in an infinite number of pickup trucks fire an infinite number of shotgun shells at an infinite number of highway signs, they will eventually produce all world’s great literary works in Braille.”

• The Yawning Theory: “Proves that yawning is contagious. You yawn to equalize the pressure in your eardrums. This pressure change outside your eardrums unbalances other people’s ear pressure, so they must yawn to even it out.”

And, because the Olympics are being held now, I’ll close with these words of wisdom about The Deforestation Theory, which is: “The Earth spins faster on its axis due to deforestation. Just as a figure skater’s spin rate increases when the arms are brought closer to the body, so does cutting the tallest trees cause the planet to spin faster and faster.”

Have a good ‘un.

Milo Yield

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