Elevator theory helps estimate rural population

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A few weeks ago we had the opportunity (I guess opportunity) to take the back roads across Kansas on a return trip to Aurora. I enjoy driving the less traveled back roads particularly after a couple of days of a monotonous interstate highway that sports nothing other than comparing rest stops and mile markers.
Those back roads give a guy lots of time to do some daydreaming and questioning just how many of those small towns will survive into the next century. I am irritated when I pass through those communities the state has elected to put up the  marker at the edge of town “ID’ing” the community without informing me of the population of that community.
After a little thought the betterhalf and I incorporated our own rule of the road in measuring the population of those communities. We judged the size of the community by the number of grain elevators we saw on the skyline when approaching the town. It made it pretty easy counting in a geographically flatland of Kansas. One large elevator with lots of silos, or two elevators meant it was a fairly vibrant community while a community with only a small elevator reflected a small community with economic problems in its future.
Now I don’t know how valid our elevator theory was, but it certainly made our trip seem shorter and less boring.
A few weeks ago I played around with a list of puns that came across my desk. I promised to complete that list whether you wanted me to, or not. So here goes:
The soldier who survived mustard gas and pepper spray is now a seasoned veteran.
When cannibals ate a missionary, they got a taste of religion.
If you jumped off a bridge in Paris, you’d be in Seine.
Did you hear about the Buddhist who refused Novocain during a root-canal? His goal: transcend dental medication.
Two hydrogen atoms meet. One says, “I’ve lost my electron.”  The other says, “Are you sure?”  The first replies, “Yes, I’m positive.”
There was the person who sent ten puns to his friends with hopes that at least one of  the puns would make them laugh. No pun in ten did.
RL Furse  is publisher emeritus of the News-Register

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