Archived Story

Stronger shoestrings not always a good thing

Published 10:49am Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Echoes from the Loafers’ Club Meeting

“My brother-in-law is an idiot! He was canoeing in my cornfield.”

“Why didn’t you chase him out of there?”

“I wanted to, but I can’t swim.”

Driving by the Bruces

I have two wonderful neighbors — both named Bruce — who live across the road from each other. Whenever I pass their driveways, thoughts occur to me, such as: It’s simple. Life is complicated.

I’ve learned

1. Not to confuse my needs with what others have.

2. A cell phone is a pay phone.

3. All things being equal, they aren’t.

Thrilling days of yesteryear

My mother liked sales. Stores didn’t lower their prices. Sometimes she took me shopping. She bought what I needed, but little of what I wanted. When I returned home from shopping, I told my father, “I’m so glad I’m home that I’m glad I went.”

Café chronicles

I asked the waitress for a large iced tea.

“We have only small and medium,” she said.

It wasn’t right that they had a medium if they didn’t have both a small and a large. Without a large, the medium, no matter what size it truly was, became a large.

I ordered a medium iced tea.

Ties that bind

I bought shoestrings for the first time in years. I replaced old ones that refused to wear out. I didn’t like the old shoelaces, so they would have lasted forever. The new laces tied tighter and more securely than their predecessors. The shoestrings turned my old shoes into new ones. As I laced my shoes, I couldn’t remember the last time I’d broken a shoestring. A boyhood shoelace had numerous, ugly knots to keep it in one piece.

A self-inflicted wound

The weather report became one word, “Snow.”

Another 10 inches of the white stuff fell. Road crews struggled to put the roads into better albeit it less than good driving conditions. I made it to the airport in the morning’s darkness.

The woman tiptoed to the gate of the Juneau Airport. She needed a spot to sit and rearrange herself after going through security. She carried one shoe under each arm. As I watched her circle her bags into proper parking spots, she ran over the toes of her left foot with the wheels of her largest suitcase.

It hurt. I knew it hurt because she exclaimed, “Ow! That hurt!”

Unwelcome company

I suspected that the airplane would be full, but as boarding progressed, the seat next to me stubbornly remained open. I hoped it would stay so. Comfort is best enjoyed in small doses.

A woman walked down the aisle. She glanced at her boarding pass and then at the seat numbers. She checked each row to her boarding pass, hoping for a match. She found her way to row 23. She struggled into the seat next to my 23F.

I smiled in her direction, but I didn’t mean it. I wasn’t happy to see her. I’m not proud of that, but I had fallen in love with an empty seat.

From the family files

My son Brian planned to share a meal with his daughter Joey at her school. Brian dislikes catsup packets, so he carried a bottle of catsup.

As Brian and his three preschool children entered the school, 11-year-old Joey was waiting. One of her friends said loud enough for all to hear, “Look, your father brought catsup for everyone.”

Joey said only, “Seriously, Dad?”

As the family unit walked closer to a meal, other parents commented as to the wisdom of bringing a catsup bottle. With each compliment, Joey dropped another step behind.

Nature notes

Did your mother tell you, “You eat like a bird?” If so, you must have been a good eater. A chickadee eats as much as 35 percent of its weight in food each day.


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