Archived Story

In-laws and police deputies

Published 11:26am Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Echoes from the Loafers’ Club Meeting

“I couldn’t find my car this morning.”

“It wasn’t in your garage?”

“It was, but I’d forgotten I had a garage.”

 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: Life has no remote. If I want to change it, I need to get up.

 I’ve learned

1. We are all in shape.

2. To err is hunam.

3. To always give 100 percent unless I’m giving blood.

 Those thrilling days of yesteryear

It was during that time of my life when I was a human TV remote and garage door opener. One of my best days was when I had enjoyed a glass of freshly-squeezed Tang and after the bus had dropped me off at school, I saw the janitor on the roof. That was always a good thing. He was up on the flat roof to throw all the balls down that had become trapped there during the year.

 It happened just the other day

My mother-in-law was visiting.

There was a knock at the door.

I opened the door to a couple of sheriff’s deputies. I naturally assumed that they had come for my mother-in-law. I love her, but that is what I thought.

What they were looking for were witnesses who might have seen copper thieves at work. The thieves had stolen the copper from a lofty communications tower in the neighborhood.

They asked me if I had seen any suspicious behavior. I had not. The police officers left.

My mother-in-law breathed a sigh of relief.

 Show and tell

Charlene Lincoln of Frost was a teacher for many years. One year, she had a grade school student bring a Cool Whip container filled with wood ticks. Charlene must have had a certain look on her face as the child said, “Don’t worry, Mrs. Lincoln, I punched air holes in the cover.”

 Tales from one marriage

Harold Moe of Roseville told me that when he headed to Europe as a soldier during World War II, his father warned him to look out for French girls.

Harold brought home a German bride.

His father had not warned him about German girls.

 And from another

My wife and I were eating in a nice restaurant. It had menus that were hard to read because of the low lighting meant to provide an ambiance that encouraged ambitious spending. I pointed to a couple seated across the restaurant from us and said to my wife, “That’s us in ten years.”

My lovely bride glanced in their direction and replied, “That’s a mirror.”

Nature notes

Trumpeter swans are the largest native waterfowl species in North America. A tundra swan is nearly as large as a trumpeter and both have a white plumage and black bills. Field guides show that a tundra swan has a yellow spot at the base of the bill near the eye. This is a good identifier, but not all tundra swans have this. Trumpeters don’t have this yellow spot. The trumpeter’s bill is longer than the tundra’s. Slight differences make accurate identification difficult. The two are distinguished by differences in their calls. The trumpeter swan has a deep, loud trumpet-like call. The tundra has a high-pitched, quavering call similar to a Canada goose.

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s FeederWatch found that the bird most likely to appear at your feeder in the winter is the downy woodpecker. The rest of the top 10 in descending order are black-capped chickadee, dark-eyed junco, blue jay, American goldfinch, white-breasted nuthatch, northern cardinal, hairy woodpecker, house sparrow, and house finch.

 Talking to the Holstein

I was talking to the Holstein the other day. The Holstein is a retired milk cow, so she has time to talk. I told the Holstein that when it comes to weather, I expect the unexpected.The Holstein chewed her cud thoughtfully and said, “Doesn’t expecting the unexpected make the unexpected the expected?”

 Things are looking up for looking down

I was waiting for someone to pick me up at the ferry terminal in Haines, Alaska. I was looking up at the antics of magpies and ravens. A van parked near me, a man stepped out, and picked up a $20 bill from under his foot. I need to look down occasionally.


I drank almond milk the other day. I used to milk cows. There were days when I thought I was crazy to milk cows, but a guy would have to be nuts to milk almonds.

Meeting adjourned

A kind word blesses the giver as much as the receiver.


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