The Funniest Newspaper Column
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Hogspore News
National Society of Newspaper Columnists
2008 First Place Humor Column
                                                                 Hogspore News
                                                   By Clet Litter from the Ozarks
                                                      If, When, Why I Mess Up

   Howdy, this is Clet from the somewhat virtuous village of Hogspore, bringing you the
news that you can’t find anywhere else … and the reason for that is cause nobody wants
to hear it.

   I did it again. I messed up. It’s not that I worry about what’s gonna happen IF I mess
up. It ain’t about WHEN I mess up. It’s about WHY I mess up. I know better, but it still

   Three nights ago, I lost my glasses. I didn’t ask for help looking. That’s the code of a
real man. Punkin saw me searching and wondered what I was looking for. “My reading
specs,” I sez, “but I’ll buy some more tomorrow. They was starting to fall apart anyway.”

   That didn’t stop her from trying to help, so I had to pretend that I was also looking.
Finally, we abandoned the search and I bought a new pair the next day. In fact, I took
custody of three pairs, so I wouldn’t have to hunt again for a long time.  

   Punkin strolled into the kitchen later and put my missing glasses on the table.
She found them behind the couch. I thanked her but then I went astray. Everybody
knows that I am a fun-loving guy who likes to josh, so I sez something that I thought
anybody would understand as a joke. I sez, “Thanks for finding my specs.” Then I
muttered, “What, you couldn’t clean them before you gave them back?”

   Sometimes you won’t get a joke for a while. Over 48 hours have gone by, but
I haven’t heard Punkin laughing yet.

   Mumford Pickens and me took to some fishing with my grandson Benny, who is on
a two-week leave from the Air Force. I discovered a commendable spot to catch bass
but I’m not gonna reveal where we was angling, and that’s just the way it is.  

   We pulled under an Oak tree growing out over the water. The branches hold in the
cool waters and that's where the fat stupid fish live.  

   After a spell, Mumford asked Benny, “How are the women out there where you’re
stationed? You got a girlfriend?”

   Benny answered, “Nothing yet. Turns out, most of the girls that favor me aren’t extra
pleasing. Let’s just say that they’d never be picked to be in a police lineup, if the suspect
was a pretty woman.”

   Mumford said, “Boy, you have the wrong idea about this. I remember my Pappy
sat down once to tell me, ‘All women are beautiful.’ Course, I laughed, but then he
explained it. After that, my life got sweeter. I can tell you now what he proclaimed,
if you like.”

   “Sure, I’m all ears.”

   “You’re right about that, you do have your Grandpa’s big ears. Well, my Pappy offered
what he knew about women. He said, ‘All women are beautiful … and if you
don’t believe it, keep on drinking till you do.’”

   I spoke, “You’ve been married five times, and now you’re single. If your wives were
beautiful, then how come the five of them left you?”

   “Yes sir, they were beautiful, but my theory works for women too. If they think a feller
isn’t handsome, they have to keep on drinking till he is. Trouble is, none of my exes ever
drank enough.

   Morton Trubletoof has his theory to share: “If you have to drive in the morning,
head north. If you want to use your truck in the afternoon, drive south. Then, you’ll
always have the sun shining on the passenger’s side and you won’t get sunburned.”

   Here’s a verse from the Book of Festus that is inspiring. It is from his letters to the
Sea of Galilee stevedores: “A man heaps what he stows.”

   You can contact Clet Litter at


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