Laugh tracks in the dust


    Most folks will read this column post Christmas, but I’m still gonna include a true funny personal Christmas story.

Years ago when I wuz in my prime, I agreed to play Santa Claus for the local elementary school, the local church, and selected family friends. I didn’t have nearly as big a Santa jelly-belly in those days, so the Santa suit that was loaned to me wuz rather ill-fitting and the beard a bit scraggly.

But, still, every of my Santa appearances worked to perfection for several years. But, then, the day came when my Santa appearance at the elementary school went south in a hurry — and I don’t mean to the South Pole.

At the school, I started with the kindergarten class and worked up through the 2nd grade. Well, on the ill-fated day, I “ho-ho-hoed” my way successfully through the kindergarten class.

But, in the first grade class my Santa impersonation got called out loudly by an impertinent little snipe who yelled at the top of his lungs, “There’s ain’t no Santa Claus. It’s all a fake!”

When I tried to assure the little fellow that Santa wuz indeed real, he persisted by yelling, “That’s a fake beard. I can see under it. And, you’re wearing a pillow to make you look fat.”

By this time, my Santa act was deteriorating fast. But, even though the kindly teacher tried to intervene on my behalf, the non-believer kept up his rant. Some of the other first-graders started crying. Others just sat with mouths agape.

Needless to say, my Santa dispersed the gifts from his sack in record time and he/me beat a hasty retreat.

Thankfully, the second grade visit went okay. But, I decided right then and there that my Santa Clause days were over. And, I’ve held true to that pact that I made with myself.


The main Kansas deer season is closed, but I’m happy to say that all the venison I want for the winter is in the freezer — loins and jerky — and my neighbors have all the rest. I’m also glad that this year our venison came from right here at Damphewmore Acres. Damphewmore Acres ain’t very big, but it’s a deer highway during the rut.


While I’m on the subject of deer hunting, I might as well pass along a deer hunting story from “da nort’ country.” A friend from where it always stays frozen in winter, said he wuz in a large hunting party and they all had permission to hunt on an elderly gentleman’s property. Before they left, the old gent informed them, “I’ve got a feral billy goat that’s been helping himself at my hay feeder for three winters. It went rogue from a nearby farm and is seldom seen hereabouts except in the winter. I’d be much obliged if you take that thieving billy out of the picture.”

Well, in the midst of one of their hunts, a youngster in their group spotted Thieving Bill and obliged the property owner. My friend says ol’ Billy would have made quite a Capra aegagrus hircus trophy (that’s Latin for goat.)


Sometime’s it’s so sad it’s funny to experience the years taking it’s toll on one’s memory. And I’ve got a story to prove the point.

My friends C. Faren Wyde and Mocephus were traveling the northern Flint Hills last week when Faren wanted to use his cell phone and couldn’t find it on his person. So decided he must have left the phone at home.

In order for his family to keep tabs on him, Faren borrowed Mo’s cell phone and used it to call his wife and son to give them Mo’s cell phone number — just in case they needed to call Faren.

As they were traveling along, they intermittently heard a faint “beep” that sounded like a cell phone reminder. But, again, a search of pockets revealed no hidden cell phone.

So, finally, Faren borrowed Mo’s cell phone and called his own cell phone number. Imagine their surprise — and chagrin — and laugh — when a loud ring emitted from (where else?) Faren’s cell phone hidden in plain sight right on the dash board in front of Faren’s nose.

I laughed at that story, but then I remembered similar experiences with my cell phone, my hearing aids, and my glasses. Oh, the joy of advancing age!


Several years ago, I got a free, nicely designed cap from a conservation organization that I belong to. Recently, in sorting through my hat assortment in the closet, I uncovered the cap and decided to wear it for awhile. But, when I started to bend the bill into shape, the “stuff” inside the bill crumpled like 1/8th-inch peanut brittle. I mean, the insides of that Chinese-made cap bill disintegrated into a thousand crunchy pieces.

I have no idea what our good friends the Chinese stuffed that cap bill with, but I hope it ain’t lethal. Eventually, I’ll cut it open and find out.


I don’t feel wise at all today, but I am thankful for another Christmas and New Year season with plenty of happiness in it — and sufficient health to enjoy it! I hope you and yours can say the same. I’m hoisting a toast of “Good Cheer” to each and every one of you. I can hear our glasses clink together and the liquid refreshment sure tastes good. Have a good ‘un.


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