L.A. Dodgers’ announcer conjures thoughts of fuel lightsPublished 10:45am Tuesday, May 29, 2012
Echoes from the Loafers’ Club meeting
“I finally got my credit card balance down.”
“You paid it off?”
“No, but I got it down to where I can afford to make the minimum payment.”
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: some things bother me for no reason other than they bother me.
1. That even if I do nothing, something will happen.
2. If a name can be mispronounced, it will be.
3. To err is human. To blame it on somebody else is political.
Those thrilling days of yesteryear
I had a scraped knee.
When I was a small boy, I always had a scraped knee. That was the way I rolled. The only way I could have scraped more knees would have been to have three knees.
When I had a scraped knee, my mother fetched a small brown bottle with a glass dropper. It was Merthiolate. This tincture was battery acid on fire. It colored the skin an odd reddish-brown color that youngsters wore as a badge of honor for surviving a cleansing by Merthiolate. It was up for debate as to whether the stuff was a remedy or a punishment.
Mother applied the nasty solution to my damaged flesh while saying, “This will help.”
She said it so calmly that I almost forgot my injury. Almost.
An instant of silence was followed by my bloodcurdling screams.
My mother added, “That means it’s working.”
Tale of the telemarketer
I don’t respond to telephone solicitation from strangers, but telemarketers refuse to give up on me. A cheerful professional fundraiser called me recently. I thanked him for calling. There was no reason to be impolite. Before he could get into his pitch of asking for money, I asked him for a donation for a building recently erected at our county fairgrounds. I’d barely begun to extol the virtues of the new building when the man hung up on me. Go figure.
Vin Scully and the low fuel light
I listened to the Los Angeles Dodgers play baseball. I’m not a fan of the Dodgers. I’m a fan of the team’s play-by-play announcer, Vin Scully. He says things like, “Andre Dawson has a bruised knee and is listed as day-to-day. Aren’t we all?” Scully provides a simplistic description of the game accompanied by delightful stories. Scully has been a broadcaster for 63 years. He could read a menu and make it riveting. I listened to Scully until the low fuel indicator light came on in my car and I stopped for gas.
My wife accuses me of not filling the gas tank of my car until the low fuel warning light is glowing like the setting sun. She accuses me of that only because it’s true. I have reason for my actions. I picture a man in the auto plant whose entire job it is to make sure that each low fuel light works as it should. I respect that man’s work. I want him to keep his job. I care.
I’ve been to Israel. That’s the closest I’ve come to visiting Egypt. I would love to see a pyramid. The nearest I’ve come to seeing a pyramid was while I lived next door to a family of Great Danes. Half of them were named Marmaduke and the other half Scooby-Doo. They were free-range dogs and of a size ample enough that my young son called them deer. The big canines used my lawn as a restroom. They didn’t do much resting, preferring to spend their time fertilizing the grass, dandelions, clover, and plantain. I understood the dogs’ actions. Everyone has to go. Their leavings were large — the closest things to a pyramid I’ve ever seen. The dogs were gifted.
A kind word is natural and chemical-free.
A dust devil is a whirlwind of air into which dust and debris are caught up, making it visible. Most dust devils are 10 to 50 feet in diameter and usually don’t extend more than 100 feet into the air. They are generally seen during relatively dry conditions, when sunlight provides strong heating of the surface and winds are light. Dust devils form when hot air near the surface rises quickly through a small pocket of cooler, low-pressure air above it. If conditions are right, the air rotates.
Eastern screech owls eat large insects like moths, grasshoppers, and small rodents like mice. They eat songbirds, including starlings, but the starling regularly displaces the owl from nesting sites.