Laugh Tracks in the Dust



I recently mentioned how “shrinkflation” is just another hidden way that inflation is hurting us all. Companies are putting less product into the same size containers and still charging us the regular price. Well, this last week, I discovered still another method of inflicting us consumers with shrinkflation. I call it “thin-flation.”

Here’s the deal: Nevah fixed us some boiled shrimp for supper one evening this week. She opened a can of pork and beans as a side dish. First, let me mention that the “pork” in pork and beans has always been a dietary scam. Even in the best of times, you’d be lucky to find one or two tiny cubes of pork fat in any can of pork and beans.

But, this time not only wuz there scant pork fat in the beans, but also the beans were scant, too. In short, I’ve never seen such watery beans. The entire can was mostly thin juice. It’s wuz pretty plain the company knows that water in a can is cheaper than beans and thick juice in a can. And, it gets by with duping us.

If truth in advertising wuz enforced, the maker of this brand of pork and beans would label the can “Watery, No-Pork Beans.” Shame on it for it’s “Thin-flation.”


The weather this past week brought 5-6 inches of welcome snow to us in the northern reaches of the Flint Hills. Although it created a mess for driving, I’m sure the snow wuz good for the young fescue grass in our yard.

For sure, the wheat benefitted from the snow and moisture, even though there wuz scant runoff. Every bit of moisture helps lessen the effects of the ongoing drought.


Although I love living in our new home, one thing I miss about our former home is the abundance of wildlife. There just ain’t much wildlife here on the outskirts of Riley.

So, in a meek attempt to remedy that wildlife situation, I decided to put up a “bird feeder tree” just off our back deck. I figgered that I could at least enjoy watching the wild birds as they feed during the cold weather.

And, I decided to make putting up the “Fake Tree” a fun outing with my 4-year-old great-grandson. When he arrived early for Thanksgiving dinner, I loaded him and his Dad into the ATV and we went in search of a suitable “tree” for the bird feeders. There’s a hedge row just across the road from us and it didn’t take the great-grandson to “pick” out a tree that would work.

So, we sawed the top out of a small hackberry tree, took it to the back yard, dug a post hole, and “planted” the limb. It actually looks pretty much like a leafless live tree.

Then we got out bird seed feeders and suet feeders and together we got them hung in the tree. It wuz a good shared experience for both the great-grandson and his old great-grandpappy.

It took the wild birds about a week to find our feeders, but now they are coming daily. The snow cover helped.

Also, I wuz pleasantly surprised one morning after the moisture to discover a set of big deer tracks that went right between our home and the neighbor’s. I’d bet it wuz a rutting buck, but I’ve not seen it.


I like to eat popcorn and I always figgered it wuz worthless or detrimental in my diet. Well, I read an article last week that said popcorn wuz a valuable “whole grain” in the diet and that it helped stave off mental decline. While I doubt most of the “info” I get from the internet, it’s still better to read supposedly good news than for sure bad news. At the very least, now I can eat popcorn with a clear conscience.


Overheard at the coffee shop: “I figured out how to keep from getting parking tickets. I removed the windshield wipers from my pickup.”

“The best thing about a small rural town is that you can chat for a while on the phone even if you get a wrong number.”


A Flint Hills rancher went in to his doctor for his annual physical examination.

During the question/answer session, his doctor asked him if he’d had any accidents since his last visit.”

The rancher said, “Nope.”

His doctor, who’d known the rancher for years, replied, “You’re telling me you haven’t had any accidents in the past year?”

“Well,” the rancher confided, “My old hoss did buck me off onto a pile of rocks. And another time, a little rattlesnake bit me. And, I got stung by a bunch of hornets and swelled up like a poisoned pup.”

“And, you wouldn’t call them accidents?” his doctor queried.

“Heck, no,” the rancher replied, “Every one of the scamps did it on purpose.”


A farmer caught a boy up in an apple tree stealing apples. He yelled, “Why are you in my apple tree stealing apples?”

The boy yelled back, “I saw your sign that said ‘Keep off the Grass.’”


Words of wisdom for the week: “Here’s a great new recipe for sponge cake. Start off by borrowing all the ingredients.”

“Today it isn’t facing the music that hurts. It’s listening to it!”

“When it comes to giving, some folks stop at nothing.”

Have a good ‘un.


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