Column readers know my fondness for practical jokes that don’t do nuthin’ except spread a little humor. Usually, those kind of practical jokes are amongst members of like generations — old guys tricking old guys or young guys pranking their youthful brethren.
But, occasionally I hear of a good inter-generational practical joke. Here’s one that happened in our community recently that is worthy of retelling.
An established farmer/rancher in our neighborhood, ol’ Hap E. Goluckie, earnestly set upon the onerous task of cleaning out a tangled mess of living trees and flood debris alongside a well-traveled gravel road. Hap worked tirelessly until the entire plot of land was slick as a kitchen table. He wuz well satisfied with the results of his efforts.
All the while that Hap wuz clearing out the trees and debris, his work was closely watched by Ben Plotten, a quiet, but mischievous, young agriculturist who traveled the road daily doing feeding chores. Ben regularly joins in our weekly Old Boar’s Breakfast Club — the youngest by far, and a most welcome member.
Hap, too, is a regular at that post-dawn get-together of community philosophers, historians, gossipers, and pure BS’ers.
At any rate, Ben decided one morning that Hap’s cleaned-out area wuz in need of some landscaping. Accordingly, he selected a nice straight cedar tree in a pasture, cut it down, and trimmed the trunk. They he arduously dug a post hole in the frozen ground and “planted” the cedar tree right smack in the middle of Hap’s land-clearing project.
I wish I could tell you the results of that good practical joke. But, I haven’t seen Hap to gauge his response. And, as far as I know, the cedar tree Ben planted is still standing, gathering snow and waiting for the next flood to wash it out or a tractor to pull it out.
Speaking of something that needs pulling out, I’d say the stock market needs to pull out of its headlong southward plunge. A “correction” was to be expected but in my estimation the stock market has corrected itself enuf.
While I’m on the topic of big money, I’m sad to say that I’m still poor because I wuzn’t one of the lucky winners of the big Powerball drawing. I wuz planning on the winnings to fund a lavish retirement for ol’ Nevah and me, but, since I’m unlucky, I guess we’ll have to continue to eke out our retirement day by day just like we’re accustomed to.
I recently received a welcome e-mailed story from a loyal reader, Anonymous Steve. He wrote: “I enjoy reading your columns. I have recently noticed several ads on craigslist farm/garden in the Colorado front range area for wiener pigs for sale. I found an ad with a phone number in the reply, so I sent this text: ‘I would like to politely inform you that there is no such thing as a wiener pig. Wiener is slang for hot dog or a dachshund dog. What you have are weaner pigs, meaning they have recently been weaned from their mother. Enjoy the country life.’
“I got this reply text: ‘I put this ad up to sell my pigs, not to have some English major waste my time with his @^#%$ opinion.’
“I responded: ‘It is not an opinion. It is fact. Sorry to waste your time (again). I am not an English major, just a savvy country kid.’
“I received no reply, but I know where you can buy some weaner pigs and make wieners.”
I like this story. A Spanish professor at a land-grant university wuz explaining to her class that in Spanish, unlike English, nouns are designated as either masculine or feminine.
A student asked, “What gender is ‘computer?’”
Instead of giving the answer, the prof split the class into male and female groups and asked them to decide for themselves whether ‘computer’ should be a masculine or a feminine noun. Each group was asked to give four reasons for its recommendation.
The men’s group decided that ‘computer’ should definitely be of the feminine gender (‘la computadora’), because: 1. No one but their creator understands their internal logic; 2. The native language they use to communicate with other computers is incomprehensible to everyone else; 3. Even the smallest mistakes are stored in long term memory for possible later retrieval; and 4. As soon as you make a commitment to one, you spend half your paycheck on accessories for it.
The women’s group, however, concluded that computers should be masculine (‘el computador’), because: 1. They won’t do a thing until they’re turned on; 2. They store a lot of data, but still can’t think for themselves; 3. They are supposed to help you solve problems, but half the time they ARE the problem; and 4. As soon as you commit to one, you realize if you’d waited a little longer, you could have gotten a better model.
My bumper sticker words of wisdom for this this week: “Why do people need more ammunition than their guns can hold?” Answer: “For the same reason people don’t buy toilet paper by the sheet. If things get messy, you wanna be prepared.” Have a good ‘un.