"Last Monday morning at Paul's Cafe,"
Ivan said, "an approaching-middle-age farmer asked a young farmer what the ground temperature was. The young farmer said 45 degrees. Over the din, an old farmer said, 'Was that at two or four inches?' The young farmer said, 'Yes.'"
"It was three o'clock Monday afternoon," Ivan said. "The local coffee and iced tea drinkers at Paul's Cafe were trying to figger out what it cost to build a mile of fence. Some of em used the old pencil and paper route. Others used the calculator on their cell phones. I don't know what they came up with, because just then Lyle Morgan executed a curving arc on his Harley and parked outside of Paul's Cafe. He shucked his helmet and strode into Paul's Cafe. He had barely hit the seat with his gluteus maximus when he whipped out his ground-testing thermometer. When he was asked what the ground temperature was, he said, with authority, 70 at two inches and 60 at four inches."
"I can remember hearing LaVern Meyer saying that she and several others who grew up south of Athol were double first cousins," Ivan said. "Can someone 'splain that to me?" [Yes, Ivan, someone can. You married your wife, and lets say your brother married your wife's sister, and lets say they had children. Their children would be double first cousins of your children, because they are first cousins to your young-uns once through their mother and a second time through their father. Or say your wife's brother married your sister. Their children would also be double first cousins of your children. I myself have, I believe, 22 double first cousins, so I know of where I speak. --The Middlewesterner.]
"Patty Meyer says the ladies at the Second Cup should call their club As the Brain Fills," Ivan reported. "Her reasoning is, the men call their club As the Bladder Fills and they think more of a kidney function, while the women use their heads and think more of a brain function. Maybe that is why they have long lines at a women's restroom and none at the men's restroom."
"Oh," said Ivan, "the cost of a mile of fence came up again on Tuesday morning. What I know about building fence you could put in a gnat's scrotum, but I do know that it costs a lot of money to farm any more."
"Linton Lull paid me one of the finest compliments I've had in a long time," Ivan said. "Linton said he only found two errors in last week's Echo."
"Jack Benn is no race car fan," Ivan said. "When the subject came up at the As the Bladder Fills Club, Jack said he would just as soon watch a skunk fight in a fog."
"I sure wish I had of known that the Hubbards were going to mow grass last Thursday," Ivan said. "I would have liked to help them. That was the only open date I have all summer."
"John Bodin was on his best behavior at the Second Cup last Thursday morning," Ivan said. "The reason for his pious and sanctimonious behavior was because he was accompanied by his wife and was sitting with Greg and Noel Hubbard. He didn't act like the king of his castle, like he says he is when his wife isn't around."
"Do you know," Ivan wondered, "that in 1924 John Levi, Haskell Institute, was named to the All America football team? Walter Johnson, from Coffeyville, Kansas, was named the American League's 'most valuable' player. He pitched for the Washington Senators. Virgil Barnes from Seneca was a member of the new York Giants' pitching staff. And E.C. Quigley, graduate of St. Mary's College in Kansas, was a big league umpire. But the really big thing that happened in 1924 happened in Smith Center, Kansas. That was the year that I.E. Burgess was born. Smith Center has never been the same."
"Dr. Bill Grimes wanted some okra seed," Ivan said. "So Jack Benn brought him some from Okrahoma. Jack said that okra seed from Okrahoma was the best kind."
"Some guy at the As the Bladder Fills Club asked, right out loud he asked, how did that hockey game come out last night. That brought a lot of blank stares from the As the Bladder Fills Club regulars. The word 'hockey' hadn't come up since Jim Fetters left town. Jim spent spent some time, well, very little time, as the Zamboni machine operator at a Wichita ice rink. He now works at the airport in Hutchinson."