Laugh tracks in the dust

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Sometimes the opportunity presents itself for pulling off a practical joke that you just can’t afford to go by.

Such an opportunity presented itself to one of my young neighbors, ol’ Will Prank, who is the proud papa of four great kids. Plus, the kids are the proud owners of a friendly little Chihuahua house dog — Bernie.

As with most families with kids, one or more of the Prank youngsters occasionally host a sleepover for their friends. Well, not long ago during the evening meal that began the sleepover, all the family and friends were gathered around the dining table.

And, when the meal wuz finished, but before everyone wuz excused from the table, ol’ Will sat his dirty plate on the floor for Bernie to lick clean. After Bernie licked the plate clean, ol’ Will reached down, picked up the plate, scrutinized it carefully under the light, and said, “Good enuf, Bernie.” And with that inspection completed, Will got up and put the plate back in the kitchen cabinet.

As he left the table, Will sez the looks on the faces of all the children — guests and siblings alike — were priceless.

***

Last weekend, Nevah and I drove to Platte City, MO, to see our friends Canby and May Bea Handy. It wuz the first leg of a trip on to Ames, Iowa, where we overnighted with my ol’ sheep shearing buddy, Nick deHyde, and his wife Tanna.

On Saturday, we and the Handys attended the football game between my alma mater Bea Wilder U and Iowa State University. BWU squeaked out a win, which triggered a post-game party of recollections and storytelling at the deHydes that lasted until almost midnight.

Traveling through Iowa on two different routes, I’ll comment that, barring a weather-related catastrophe, Iowa will once again enjoy bumper corn and soybean crops. I wuz so used to the burnt-green/brown of the Flint Hills that I’d about forgotten how vibrantly green Iowa can be in late summer.

I will mention that the ISU football fans were generous and kind to us “foreigners” on their soil. We were invited into a tailgate party — both pre and post game — that featured a variety of sumptuous pork and beef and all the trimmings, plus all the liquid refreshments we could safely imbibe. It was a fun long weekend trip.

***

Thanks to Colorado friends for e-mailing me this “chicken” joke for a chicken farmer.

Mr. Dobbins was having trouble getting his neighbor to keep his chickens fenced in. The birds were ruinously scratching and pecking through his prize winning flower beds and bountiful garden.

The neighbor, who had recently moved to the country from the city, told Dobbins that the chickens had the right to go where they wanted since they lived in the wide open spaces.

A few weeks later, a friend visited Dobbins and noticed his flower beds and garden were doing great. The flowers were blooming and the garden was a veritable cornucopia!

The friend asked, “How did you get your neighbor to keep his hens in his own yard?”

Dobbins said, “Easy! One night I hid a dozen eggs under a bush by my flower bed. The next day I let my neighbor see me gather them. Two minutes later he rushed off to the farm store to get fencing. I haven’t been bothered by his chickens since.”

***

A dairy farmer put a want ad in the paper for a new employee. In a matter of days, the farm had two applicants, with apparently equal qualifications.

The two would-be employees were both on hand to answer dairy-related questions on the employment application form — which they did in a quiet room with no interruptions by the dairy owner.

When the results were in, both men had scored 19 out of 20.

The owner went to one of the applicants and said, “Thank you for coming to the interview, but we’ve decided to give the other guy the job.”

The dismissed applicant went on a tirade when told that both the would-be employees had scored equally on the test.

The owner patiently explained, “We have made our decision, not on the correct answers, but on the question you got wrong.”

The dismissed man ranted, “Tell me, how would one incorrect answer be

better than another?”

The dairy owner replied, “Simple. On question number 7 your opponent wrote down ‘I don’t know.’ You put down, ‘Neither do I’.“

***

We’ve had quite a change to fall weather. Two days ago, the temperature wuz 95, with high humidity, and wind out of the southwest. Today, the temperature is 60, with a cool breeze from the northwest. Yep, fall’s a’comin’.

***

I’ll close for the week with wise words about interviews from TV’s William Shatner. He said, “I sometimes find that in interviews you learn more about yourself than the person learned about you.” Wisdom indeed! Have a good ‘un.

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