Archived Story

Immaculate shoes and snoring in church pews

Published 10:45am Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Echoes from the Loafers’ Club Meeting

“I planted some birdseed.”

“Trying to grow a bird?”

“No. If a bird comes up, I won’t have anything to feed it.”

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: two words have opened a lot of doors for me — push and pull.

I’ve learned:

1. To make myself into someone with whom I’ll enjoy spending time.

2. Roy Rogers taught me that if I wanted to wear a white hat, I sometimes need to saddle up and ride.

3. If I use my head, I can find a low doorframe.

Ride ‘em cowboy

I was teaching a writing class at Bethany Lutheran College when a student from New Ulm leaned too far back in his chair and tipped over. I was relieved to see that the young man was unhurt. I told him that it was nothing to be ashamed of. The chair was a former rodeo chair and had never been ridden before.

Does the five-second rule apply to what I hear?

My mother was adamant that I washed my hands thoroughly before coming to the table. She even demanded that I washed behind my ears. I guess that was so I could hear the food better. I scrubbed my hands briskly before sitting down to eat. The meal wouldn’t be of long duration before I dropped a piece of food to the floor. Mom advised me to pick the food from the floor under the five-second rule. Apparently, it takes germs five seconds to climb onto fallen food. It was part of a mother/germs agreement. I snatched the food from the floor with my extremely clean hands and ate it. The area behind my ears remained immaculate.

Church shoes

As the minister talked, my attention was diverted to the bright white shoes worn by the man seated next to me. I call such shoes “tennis shoes.” I’m sure they have another name, but I’m not sure what it is. They were so incredibly white that I wished I’d been wearing sunglasses. The man was sound asleep, snoring lightly. Occasionally, he’d make a “huh” sound in his sleep. He was entertaining, to say the least, but I couldn’t stop looking at those white shoes. I wondered how he kept them so white. His wife glared at him as if she wished that he had a snooze button. I noticed she was digging around in her purse. I feared she was searching for a hammer to use to awaken her husband. She pulled out a small, folding scissors. I worried that she was going to stab her slumbering spouse, but she used the scissors to clip a product tag (it looked like a price tag) from his brand new shoes. That was why they were so white. I went back to listening to the minister. I hoped I hadn’t missed too much important stuff.

My neighbor

My neighbor Bob the Olson told me that he was tired. I asked him if he had stayed up too late. He told me that wasn’t the problem. The problem was that he got up twirly.

Twirly? Oh, too early.

Bob the Olson names all of his dogs after himself. That way he doesn’t forget their names.

Nature notes

“A crazy robin is bashing into my window. What can I do?” It’s likely a male that feels a powerful urge to chase other males away from his territory. The window turns into a mirror when the light hits it right. When a territorial bird sees its image in a reflective surface such as a window, it perceives its reflection as a rival and tries to drive the intruder away. This is how the fight starts. Reflections in windows refuse to retreat, so the fight continues. When the robin assumes an aggressive pose, so does his opponent in the glass. Cover the outside of the window with a screen, soap, cardboard, painter’s drop cloth, wax paper, spray frost, or opaque plastic that breaks up the reflection. If you cover the inside of the window, draw the blinds, or close the curtains, it aggravates the problem because it enhances the mirrored image. If the robin is intent on finding a fight, it will search for imaginary opponents in other windows. I’ve had robins fight with the outside mirrors on a car. I covered the mirrors with a bag held in place by a rubber band until the robin’s hormonal level dropped or he became too busy with nestlings.

 


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