2024: Off & Running

Laugh Tracks in the Dust


Well, the new year 2024 has arrived and Nevah and I are off and running into it as well as our ages will let us.

We celebrated New Year’s Eve with just the two of us, but we vowed to stay awake to ring in 2024 and we made it — thanks to late football games and a lengthy country/western music show on TV. Our celebration was not much — a smooch, a “Happy New Year,” followed soon after by snores.


I did gather in a couple of good stories over the holidays. Here’s the first one:

In a small Ozarks town there was a “Nativity Scene” on the town square that showed great skill and talent had gone into creating it — even live camels.

However, there wuz one small feature that bothered the young “up-north educated” new editor of the local paper. She couldn’t figure out why the three wise men were wearing firemen’s helmets and not the tradition holy mens’ garb.

It so perplexed the new editor that she felt compelled to find out the reason for the fireman helmets. So, when she got back to the newspaper office, she put the question to the long-time reporter of all the local news and community columns.

The local old-timer pretty much exploded at the new editor’s question about the helmets. He yelling back at the new editor, “You Yankees never do read the Bible! If you did, you wouldn’t ask such a silly question.”

Taken aback a bit, the new editor assured the local news guy that she did indeed read the Bible, but simply couldn’t recall anything about firemen in the Bible.

The local jerked his dog-eared Bible from behind the counter, ruffled thru some pages, and finally jabbed his finger at a passage. Sticking it into the new editor’s face, he said

“See, it says right here, ‘The three wise men came from afar.”


Here’s the second funny story: Thanks to the faithful reader for e-mailing it to me.

A young farmer, wearing uncomfortable fancy clothes, is speeding down a paved country road when he notices red lights flashing behind him in his rearview mirror. So, he pulls over to the side of the road and rolls down his window.

A deputy sheriff approaches his car and quizzes him, “Son, do you realize how fast you were going?”

The young farmer replies, “Yes, I know I was speeding. I’m really sorry about that officer, but I have to go right this minute or I’ll miss an important meeting.”

The deputy interrupts him, “Not so fast. You’re coming with me. No meeting is worth the danger you were putting the public, and yourself, into. So, just pipe down and follow me.”

The deputy puts the young farmer behind bars and tells him, “You’re going to have to wait for the Justice of the Peace to get back. He’ll be here in a few hours.”

After a few hours have passed, the deputy tells the young farmer, “Well, you’re lucky. The JP radioed that he’s just about here. He’s on his way back from his daughter’s wedding, so he’ll be in a good mood.”

The young man replies, “I doubt it.”

The deputy snaps back, “Why do you say that? I know the JP well.”

The farmer replies, “Because I’m the groom who missed his daughter’s wedding!”


I watched a lot of football over the holiday — both college and pro. I’m happy to report that my two college alma maters — Bea Wilder U I & II — won their bowl games. After the games I came to this conclusion: If your team wins with skill and preparation, it is the most satisfying. But, if your teams wins mainly because of luck, well, that’s the most fun.

Ask the Dallas Cowboys about the fun in luck.

Plus, the Kansas City Chiefs finally won again. I’m gonna take partial credit for the win. Here’s why. During their last three losing games, I wore red Chief gear for the game, even red underwear. So, I decided my wearing red wuz bad luck. So, I didn’t wear red for last Sunday’s game — and the Chiefs won. Go figure.


My hearing wuz finally getting so bad, even with my old hearing aids, that I took the plunge. I went to my hearing professional, Dr. A. Justin deTones, and ended up ordering a set of new hearing aids that will use a smartphone to, hopefully, fine tune my hearing. The danged things cost an arm and a leg, plus I had to buy a new expensive compatible iPhone.

It will be interesting when the new hearing aids arrive. If I can’t hear as well as I could with the demo in Doc’s office, he and I are gonna have words and I’ll be talking loud enuf he’ll be able to hear me.


Just three more columns to go before I reach 50 years of writing it.

My words of wisdom for this week were overheard one morning at the Old Geezer Gang Gathering: The discussion centered upon how our memories get fuzzier and fuzzier as we continue to add on years.

One Geezer, ol’ Tee Raveler, said it best. He said, “Guys, I’m so old that I’ve lost all memory of my teenage and college years … and I’m scared to death that they’ll come back to me some day.”

I think he might still be worried about the statute of limitations. Happy New Year and here’s hoping we all manage somehow to get through it.

Have a good ‘un.


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