Entry # 1

Dear Diary:

        I'm currently living in the northwest corner of beautiful downtown rural Iowa (which Iowa seems to have a lot of) about 175 miles from beautiful downtown Des Moines (which doesn't do real justice to the idea of a big city but which is the closest thing Iowa has and is a pleasant place to raise children and various forms of domestic and farm animals). Im my town (its called a city here in Iowa), the grass grows in peoples yards (and in the cracks in the middle of the streets) and needs to be mown occassionally. In the surrounding countryside, corn, cows, and pigs (which stink badly) grow. People may, from time-to-time, be born or grow up or grow old or die. Life is so slow that if someone is zipping along at 15 MPH in a 25 MPH zone, they get a ticket for speeding. These people have nowhere to go and all day to get there.
        Here is some of the more exciting and action packed local news. The wind was blowing sort of fast yesterday. The mail person was delivering the mail rather regularly. Some people were riding motorcycles today. Someone actually went to the library. Some leaves and icky stuff has been rotting in peoples gutters. Other stuff happened too, most of it was not as exciting as tohos just mentioned though. Aside from all that, things have been pretty quiet around here.

Entry # 2

Dear Diary:

        In case you are, in general, into physical activity without an identifiable purpose and into bicycling specifically, the Des Moines newspaper, The Des Moines Register, every year for the past 20+ years has sponsored RAGBRAI. RAGBRAI stands for Register's Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa. Thousands (5000+) of people get together as a group on a specified day and then for the next week they pedal 350+ miles across wide open country roads of Iowa surrounded by corn fields and smelly animal (mostly pigs) farms, smelly feed lots, and other sorts of unfriendly smelly places (like meat packing plants), from the Missouri River (they call it a coast) on the western border to the Mississippi River (they call it a coast) on the eastern border. Tradition mandates that bicycle tires be dipped in both rivers to make the trip official. Thousands turn out, to watch the spectacle tour by, to provide food anD shelter, and to provide support. Also as the tour goes by a community, people will join to ride a few miles or a day or two. How's that for excitement. Updates are given daily in the newspapers and on TV. After it is over, people brag that they went on RAGBRAI. DUH!
        It's lunch time now. I'll eat, go for a walk, comeback and write a letter, have supper, then maybe go for another walk. Can't you just feel the excitement, the electricity, in the air. I can. And if you can't, the world will not end, corn will still grow, and pigs will still stink. Ok. Maybe the world will end, not because of that, I hope. But, even if it does, pigs will definitely still stink (farmers call it the smell of money). Yeah, right.

Entry # 3

Dear Diary:

        I know you don't believe me when I tell you about all the fun this area and its inhabitants have. Things, however around here can be a barrel of laughs, especially if one is caught in the dead of winter, in the middle of a blizzard, miles from nowhere (Iowa has a lot of that). Of course, most folks around here that live in all those miles from nowhere (read that farmers) are smart enough to stay home during those blizzards and eat their home grown hand preserved F-Rations (Farmer-Rations). This has some drawbacks which you should (and maybe the whole world should) know about. Actually, everyone around here knows, and largely ignores. Please keep in mind that in all those miles from nowhere areas, there are rarely grocery stores or Kum-N-Go (that is an actual name of convenience stores around here) stores.
        During long winters, as food stores run low on farms, there have been cases of cannibalism. Many have assumed that farmers have large families because they need the help with chores or because one of the few recreational possibilities on cold winter nights is, well you can maybe guess. These large farm family assumptions are false. Actually, a large healthy teenager will make a robust stew that can last for a couple weeks, long enough to tide a family over the hump, as it were. This is the reason for large farm families. If you see a small farm family, you know that is a family where quite a few of the children have served a special purpose.

Michael T. Sanborn, D.O.

Caveat to the reader of the above nonsense:

        If this has offended you, I'm sorry, but I don't take it back. This was in no way intended to be a slam against Iowa or its inhabitants who are wonderful down to earth people. It was done with tongue-in-cheek and developed out of good natured chiding with some folks back home. You know who you are.


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