Something’s fishy about this story

By Mike Dendurent

A man with a bucket of live fish was approached by a game warden as he started to drive his boat away from a lake.

The game warden asked the man, “May I see your fishing license, please?”

“Naw, sir,” the man replied. “I don’t need none of them there papers. These here are my pet fish.”

“Pet fish???”

“Yep. Once a week, I bring these here fish of mine down to the lake and let ’em swim around for awhile. Then when I whistle, they swim right back into my net and I take ’em home.”

“What a bunch of ——! You’re under arrest.”

The man said, “It’s the truth, Mr. Government Man. I’ll show ya. We do this all the time.”

“WE do now, do WE?” smirked the warden. “OK, prove it.”

The man released the fish into the lake and stood and waited. After a few minutes, the warden said, “Well ...?”

“Well, WHAT?” asked the man.

“When are you gonna call them back?” the warden asked.

“Call WHO back?” the man replied.

“The FISH!” the warden yelled.

“What fish?” asked the man.


Mercury circulation director Bonnie Raglin likes to boost the paper’s subscription list whenever she can. In these tough economic times, maybe Bonnie should try what the former Wamego Reporter did 75 years ago, as recounted recently in the Wamego Times. The Reporter asked:

“Do you want to get your subscription to this paper paid up and are you short of cash? How about trading in anything you have that we can use and getting your subscription straightened up? Items of use: chickens, eggs, cream, butter, ducks, geese, hog meat, beef, hams (smoked or fresh), or what have you? In lieu of money we’ll take anything we can use. Let’s trade and make it easier for all of us to get along and pay our honest debts. New subscribers wanted.”

Sounds like a good plan. The Mercury staff divides up the goods, circulation jumps, and everybody’s happy.

Except the chickens, ducks, geese ...



A couple months ago, I had a blast compiling a list of former Manhattan businesses for this column. I made the list with the hope that it would spark a few memories for readers who might recall some of the local firms from the past that I mentioned.

Boy, did it ever! A number of you told me you enjoyed reading and reflecting on the list, and some of you sent in names of businesses to add to the list — places you thought of that I either didn’t know about or forgot. Thank you. Here are some of your additions:

Dutch Maid Super Markets, Taco Grande, Book Shop, Bob’s Steak House, Bonanza, Golden Krust Baking Co., Walters Sand Co., Brownie’s Coffee Shop, The Penguin, Function Junction.

Junior’s Barber Shop, Hardee’s, Romig’s Phillips 66 Service, Blue Hills Conoco, JD’s Italian Gardens, Robi’s Home Center, Bigbee Welding & Blacksmith Shop, Pizza Villa, Geojo’s, Thelma’s Pizza.

Spudnut Doughnuts, The Jon (the bar stools were toilet seats!), Smith Brothers Sporting Goods, Shaky Pete’s Barber Shop, Brown Bottle, Union Bus Depot, Blue Lounge (“Blue Lou”), White Kitchen, Don Zoeller’s 66 Service, A&W Root Beer.

Red Man Club, The Main Gate, Havenstein Brothers Body Shop, Snookies, The Head Shop, Massey’s Aggieville Conoco Service, Der Rathskeller, Bird Music & Vending, Coca-Cola Bottling Co., Lazy R.

Wolfenbarger & McCulley Architects, Ben’s Barber Shop, Manhattan Laundry & Cleaners, Wickham’s Skelly Service, Coast-to-Coast Hardware, Dearborn Auto Parts, Cowboy Palace, Dugger Auto Trim, Ronald Screen Mobil Service, Stubblefield-Schoonover Lincoln-Mercury.

Northside and Southside Recreation (pool halls), Perry Packing Co., Imperial Oil Co., Co-Ed Theatre, Tri-County Motor Co., Ray Weese Motors, Manhattan Tribune-News, Farrell’s Sinclair Service (downtown), Yellow Cab.

Dream Merchant, Orange Bowl Sandwich Shoppe, Piper Motel, Anderson Grocery, Ros-A-Bef, Red Onion Lounge, Catlin Grocery, The Door, Gillett Barber Shop, Three Pines Drive-In.

Soupene Alignment, Bennington Plumbing, Harry’s Market, Central States Seed, Manhattan Milling Co., Johnny’s Shoe Shop, Manhattan Motors (downtown), Chuck Wagon Recreation Club (bowling alley and pool hall), C&M Motor Supply, Alco.

Fair Oil Co. (“Don’t swear, call Fair”), Ferlemann Liquor Store, Milligan Construction Co., Umscheid Brothers Standard Service, Sager’s DeSoto-Plymouth, Roberts Blacksmith Shop, Jernigan’s Manhattan Motel, Stanford-Nash Motors, Keck’s Steak House, Blue Hills Market.


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