Laugh Tracks in the Dust
By Milo Yield
Last weekend ol’ Nevah and I braved the Covid-gauntlet in the greater Kansas City area and traveled to Platte City to visit our friends Canby and May Bea Handy. Our purpose wuz two-fold: One, just get a respite from Damphewmore Acres for a spell, and, two, to pick up a quarter of beef that Canby had stashed in his deep freezer for us.
A couple of months ago we agreed to purchase a half-of-a-half of an Angus steer that Canby found growing in a feedlot near Savannah, Mo. The rancher regularly raised “locker” beef in a small feedlot and he had an inside track with a locker plant in St. Joseph, Mo., to do the processing.
The steer went to its demise on July 3, spent a couple of weeks aging in the locker plant’s cooler, and the meat wuz ready for pickup on July 17. Canby picked it up. Then, we arrived on July 19 to bring it home on the 20th.
After we arrived at the Handys on Sunday afternoon, ol’ Canby and I spent a couple of hours driving the rural roads around Platte City to admire the fine corn and soybean crops growing there. They’ve had regular and plentiful rains to keep their crops growing. We visited his sweet corn patch to bring home a few ears for supper. And, since his property adjoins a golf course, we drove up and found a couple of dozen wayward golf balls in his recently-baled hay meadow.
Our final stop was at the ranchette belonging to Canby’s daughter and son-in-law, ol’ Tom D. Keewee, who grew up in New Zealand. It wuz his family with whom I wuz sharing a half of beef. Since New Zealanders are closely aligned with the British and since the British are known for their meals made out of the internal organs of a beef critter, I jokingly offered him all of my share of the tongue, brains, liver, kidneys and heart in exchange for all of his loin-steaks. Sadly, he declined.
I haven’t had a chance yet to eat any of our new beef, but I hope it’s tasty, because it cost close to $6 per pound of wrapped beef in our deep freezer. At least I know my dollars went to a rancher and a local locker plant rather than a corporate beef giant. That’s worth a lot in my book.
My “Coon War” is on-going. I’ve caught one more mature raccoon in a trap. They’ve killed no more baby chickens, but some critter made off with a mature rooster and a hen. Raccoons are the hottest suspects, although the chickens disappeared during daylight. Could have been a coyote or a bobcat.
However, the field of battle has shifted from the chicken house to the sweet corn patch. The raccoons raided my little corn patch before the corn ears were even mature enough for me to eat. So, I moved my traps and bait to the corn patch last night and nuthin’ happened. No corn damage. No raccoons. I’ll give it another go tonight.
We got a nice 1.7-inch rain three days ago. It wuz welcome and put a smile on all the farmers and ranchers’ faces for a day or two.
July rains mostly good except for one negative. Rains keep the chiggers alive and they love to feast on me.
The fish have quit biting here at Damphewmore Acres. At first, I couldn’t figger out why they quit biting. But, then, one evening I peered into the clear water off my fishing jetty and the answer was right before my eyes.
I spied a big bass, a big catfish and a big bluegill and they all were wearing a Covid mask over their mouths. Nuthin’ can eat with a CV-mask on.
A rancher wuz hauling a cull cow to town when his rig broke down and he wuz walking on the highway shoulder for help when an over-the-road cattle hauler stopped his semi and offered to give the rancher a ride. As he climbed into the truck cab, and the road-weary driver said, “Perfect timing. You’re just like Archibald.”
The puzzled rancher said, “Who?”
Trucker: “Archibald Smith. He was a guy who did everything right all the time. Like my coming along just when you needed a ride. Things happened like that to Archibald every single time.”
Rancher: “There are always a few clouds over everybody.”
Trucker: “Not ol’ Archibald. He was a terrific athlete. He could have won the Grand-Slam at tennis. He could golf with the pros. He sang like an opera baritone and danced like a Broadway star. He owned a race horse and it always won.”
Rancher: “Sounds like he was something really special.”
Trucker: “There’s more. He had a memory like a computer. He remembered everybody’s birthday. He knew all about wine, which foods to order and which fork to eat them with. He could fix anything. And, he never, ever forgot to put the seat down. He wasn’t like me,” he continued. “I change a fuse, and the whole street blacks out. But ol’ Arch could do everything right.”
Rancher: “Wow, some guy, then.”
Trucker: “Arch always knew the quickest way to go in traffic. But, Arch, he never made a mistake driving. Didn’t even need a map or GPS. Really knew how to treat a woman and make her feel good, too. His clothing was always immaculate, shoes highly polished. He was the perfect man! He never made a mistake. No one could ever measure up to Archibald Smith.”
Rancher: “An amazing fellow. How did you meet ol’ Archibald?”
Trucker: “Well, I never actually met ol’ Archibald. He died and I made the mistake of marrying his widow.”
Words of wisdom: Always marry a women who knows and accepts your faults. Have a good ‘un.