Days of Future Past, the Human Equation and Driving Others Crazy
Plus the joy of rain, punctured pickup lines and riddles of the cosmos.
The future isn't what it used to be. . . New correspondent J. Dubya kicks off an equally new Desert Diary category with a backward look at looking forward, sharing these comments made in the year 1957:
"I'll tell you one thing, if things keep going the way they are, it's going to be impossible to buy a week's groceries for $20.
"Have you seen the new cars coming out next year? It won't be long before $5,000 will only buy a used one.
"If cigarettes keep going up in price, I'm going to quit. A quarter a pack is ridiculous.
"Did you hear the post office is thinking about charging a dime just to mail a letter?
"If they raise the minimum wage to $1, nobody will be able to hire outside help at the store.
"When I first started driving, who would have thought gas would someday cost 29 cents a gallon? Guess we'd be better off leaving the car in the garage.
"Kids today are impossible. Those ducktail haircuts make it impossible to stay groomed. Next thing you know, boys will be wearing their hair as long as the girls.
"I'm afraid to send my kids to the movies any more. Ever since they let Clark Gable get by with saying 'damn' in Gone With The Wind, it seems every new movie has either 'hell' or 'damn' in it.
"I read the other day where some scientist thinks it's possible to put a man on the moon by the end of the century. They even have some fellows they call 'astronauts' preparing for it down in Texas.
"I never thought I'd see the day all our kitchen appliances would be electric. They are even making electric typewriters now.
"It's too bad things are so tough nowadays. I see where a few married women are having to work to make ends meet.
"It won't be long before young couples are going to have to hire someone to watch their kids so they can both work.
"Marriage doesn't mean a thing any more; those Hollywood stars seem to be getting divorced at the drop of a hat.
"The drive-in restaurant is convenient in nice weather, but I seriously doubt they will ever catch on.
"There is no sense going to Lincoln or Omaha anymore for a weekend. It costs nearly $15 a night to stay in a hotel.
"No one can afford to be sick any more; $35 a day in the hospital is too rich for my blood.
"If they think I'll pay 50 cents for a hair cut, forget it."
Your own blasts from the past about the future are of course welcome at Desert Diary, PO Box 191, Silver City, NM 88062, fax 534-4134 or email email@example.com.
Losing the battle of the sexes. . . Departing from her usual commentary on animals (the sort that don't wear clothes, that is), Toni in the Vet's Office sends along this multi-part commentary on "The Human Condition." Most of the parts seem to be about the differences between human males and females—hence our categorization.
"Romance Mathematics: Smart man + smart woman = romance. Smart man + dumb woman = affair. Dumb man + smart woman = marriage. Dumb man + dumb woman = pregnancy.
"Shopping Math: A man will pay $2 for a $1 item he needs. A woman will pay $1 for a $2 item that she doesn't need.
"General Equations and Statistics: A woman worries about the future until she gets a husband. A man never worries about the future until he gets a wife. A successful man is one who makes more money than his wife can spend. A successful woman is one who can find such a man.
"Happiness: To be happy with a man, you must understand him a lot and love him a little. To be happy with a woman, you must love her a lot and not try to understand her at all.
"Longevity: Married men live longer than single men, but married men are a lot more willing to die.
"Memory: Any married man should forget his mistakes; there's no use in two people remembering the same thing.
"Appearance: Men wake up as good-looking as they went to bed. Women somehow deteriorate during the night.
"Propensity to Change: A woman marries a man expecting he will change, but he doesn't. A man marries a woman expecting that she won't change, and she does.
"Discussion Technique: A woman has the last word in any argument. Anything a man says after that is the beginning of a new argument.
"Comprehension: There are two times when a man doesn't understand a woman—before marriage and after marriage.
"How to Stop People from Bugging You to Get Married: Old aunts used to come up to me at weddings, poking me in the ribs and cackling, telling me, 'You're next.' They stopped after I started doing the same thing to them at funerals."
Everybody talks about the weather, but. . . In honor of what we hope will be monsoon season by the time you're reading this, we pass along this meditation from BD entitled simply, "I Love the Rain":
"Up in the mountains here, we are now in the monsoon season. About every day in the afternoon, clouds start gathering up around the mountains and get blue. They gather around the mountaintops and become like long scarves around a woman's neck. They then slide down the slopes and race one another to the valley floor, washing everything along the way. Sometimes a tendril of falling water from the clouds will take funny shapes, falling to earth, as the winds coming off the mountains will do artistic things to it. Perhaps it's a reminder from the Good Lord that he's still around, watching.
"In Puerto Vallarta, I watched the rains build in the mountains, way up high. You could see the lightning strikes on the large rocks up there. The rain clouds would then fall off the top of the peaks and would look like a giant sailing ship coming into port, arriving on time, every day. The rain always stayed just long enough to give the little town a cleaning and scrubbing then on it went, out to the sea.
"I enjoy a passive rain that stays for a few days, allowing the ground to soak up all it can to water everything. Every once in a while, to satisfy something in my soul, to know that God is still in charge of it all, I need a real cloud formation with lots of thunder and lightning. I need to see it build up and come rushing in to feed everything down below. I visualize behind a big wall of rain, especially during the hot summer, God's hand, just shoving it along, like a woman watering her flowers. If you listen carefully, on a breeze, you can hear all the thirsty plants say, 'Thank you.'
"I tell everyone here that where I was raised, the spring flowers in the pastures are like a multicolored carpet with all the different colors that God has on his palette. If a perfume manufacturer could bottle the odor from those flowers, they would make a million. After a rain, walking through a field of them repairs lots of holes in your soul.
"I get a lot out of rainstorms."
Submit your own weather reports to Desert Diary, PO Box 191, Silver City, NM 88062, fax 534-4134 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Losing the battle of the sexes (II). . . Firing yet another volley in the gender wars, Doctor Diane returns to these pages with a collection of pick-up lines and rebuttals:
"Man: 'Haven't we met before?'
Woman: 'Yes, I'm the receptionist at the V.D. Clinic.'
"Man: 'Haven't I seen you some place before?'
Woman: 'Yeah, that's why I don't go there anymore.'
"Man: 'Is this seat empty?'
Woman: 'Yes, and this one will be too if you sit down.'
"Man: 'So, wanna go back to my place?'
Woman: 'Well, I don't know. Will two people fit under a rock?'
"Man: 'Your place or mine?'
Woman: 'Both. You go to yours and I'll go to mine.'
"Man: 'I'd like to call you. What's your number?'
Woman: 'It's in the phone book.'
Man: 'But I don't know your name.'
Woman: 'That's in the phone book too.'
"Man: 'So what do you do for a living?'
Woman: 'I'm a female impersonator.'
"Man: 'What sign were you born under?'
Woman: 'No Parking.'
"Man: 'Hey, baby, what's your sign?'
Woman: 'Do Not Enter.'
"Man: 'How do you like your eggs in the morning?'
"Man: 'Hey, come on, we're both here at this bar for the same reason.'
Woman: 'Yeah! Let's pick up some chicks!'
"Man: 'I know how to please a woman.'
Woman: 'Then please leave me alone.'
"Man: 'I want to give myself to you.'
Woman: 'Sorry, I don't accept cheap gifts.'
"Man: 'I can tell that you want me.'
Woman: 'Ohhhh. You're so right. I want you to leave.'
"Man: 'If I could see you naked, I'd die happy.'
Woman: 'Yeah, but if I saw you naked, I'd probably die laughing.'
"Man: 'Hey cutie, how 'bout you and me hitting the hot spots?'
oman: 'Sorry, I don't date outside my species.'
"Man: 'May I see you pretty soon?'
Woman: 'Why? Don't you think I'm pretty now?'
"Man: 'Your hair color is fabulous.'
Woman: 'Thank you. It's in aisle three at the corner drugstore.'
"Man: 'Your body is like a temple.'
Woman: 'Sorry, there are no services today.'
"Man: 'I'd go through anything for you.'
Woman: 'Good! Let's start with your bank account.'
"Man: 'I would go to the end of the world for you.'
Woman: 'Yes, but would you stay there?'"
Pondering the imponderables. . . The following Big Thoughts come to us courtesy of Pagan Lady:
"Idle Thoughts of a Retired Person
"I planted some birdseed. A bird came up. Now I don't know what to feed it
"I had amnesia once—or twice.
"I went to San Francisco. I found someone's heart. Now what?
"Protons have mass? I didn't even know they were Catholic.
"All I ask is a chance to prove that money can't make me happy.
"If the world were a logical place, men would ride horses sidesaddle.
"What is a 'free'' gift? Aren't all gifts free?
"They told me I was gullible. . . and I believed them.
"Teach a child to be polite and courteous in the home and, when he grows up, he'll never be able to merge his car onto a freeway.
"Two can live as cheaply as one, for half as long.
"Experience is the thing you have left when everything else is gone.
"What if there were no hypothetical questions?
"The shampoo promised me extra body and I gained three pounds.
"One nice thing about egotists: They don't talk about other people.
"When the only tool you own is a hammer, every problem begins to look like a 20-penny nail.
"A flashlight is a case for holding dead batteries.
"What was the greatest thing before sliced bread?
"My weight is perfect for my height—which varies.
"I used to be indecisive. Now I'm not sure.
"The cost of living hasn't affected its popularity.
"How can there be self-help 'groups'?
"Is there another word for 'synonym'?
"Where do forest rangers go to 'get away from it all'?
"The speed of time is one second per second.
"Is it possible to be totally partial?
"Is Marx's tomb a Communist plot?
"If swimming is so good for your figure, how do you explain whales?
"Show me a man with both feet firmly on the ground, and I'll show you a man who can't get his pants off.
"It's not an optical illusion. It just looks like one.
"Is it my imagination, or do buffalo wings taste like chicken?"
The joke's on us. . . We continue to request your favorite funnies, such as this one from Ned Ludd, presented with apologies to all persons of the blonde persuasion:
"A blonde called her old boyfriend and said, 'Please come over here and help me. I have a killer jigsaw puzzle, and I can't figure it out or how to get it started.' Her old boyfriend asked, 'What is it supposed to be when it's finished?' The blonde said, 'According to the picture on the box, it's a tiger.'
"The old boyfriend decided to go over and help with the puzzle. She let him in and showed him where she had the puzzle spread all over the table. He studied the pieces for a moment, then looked at the box, then turned to her and said, 'First of all, no matter what we do, we're not going to be able to assemble these pieces into anything resembling a tiger. He took her hand and said, 'Second, I want you to relax. Let's have a nice cup of hot chocolate and then—' He sighed and went on, 'Let's put all these Frosted Flakes back in the box.'"
The short drive to crazy. . . If you've ever been tempted to push your fellow human beings off the edge, this advice on "How to Maintain a Healthy Level of Insanity," passed along by Texas Jan, will appeal to you:
"At lunch time, sit in your parked car with sunglasses on and point your hair dryer at passing cars. See if they slow down.
"Page yourself over the intercom. Don't disguise your voice.
"Every time someone asks you to do something, ask if they want fries with that.
"Put your garbage can on your desk and label it 'IN.'
"Put decaf in the coffee maker for three weeks. Once everyone has gotten over their caffeine addiction, switch to espresso.
"In the memo field of all your checks, write 'For smuggling diamonds.'
"Finish all your sentences with 'In accordance with the prophecy.'
"Dont use any punctuation
"As often as possible, skip rather than walk.
"Order a diet water whenever you go out to eat.
"Specify that your drive-through order is 'to go.'
"Sing along at the opera.
"Go to a poetry recital and ask why the poems don't rhyme.
"Put mosquito netting around your work area and play tropical sounds all day.
"Five days in advance, tell your friends you can't attend their party because you are not in the mood.
"Have your co-workers address you by your wrestling name, 'Rock Bottom.'
"When the money comes out of the ATM, scream 'I WON, I WON!'
"When leaving the zoo, start running towards the parking lot yelling, 'Run for your lives, they're loose!'
"Tell your children over dinner, 'Due to the economy, we are going to have to let one of you go.'"
Go on. Go a little crazy. Send your favorite jokes, rants, reminiscences, anecdotes heart-warming and otherwise and anything else you want to share with the world (at least our little Southwest New Mexico corner of it) to Desert Diary, PO Box 191, Silver City, NM 88062, fax 534-4134, or email email@example.com. Remember, the best submission each month earns a piece of spiffy Desert Exposure gear!
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