Archived Story

‘Every time it rains, I wash my car’

Published 10:27am Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Echoes from the Loafers’ Club Meeting

“You shouldn’t wipe your mouth on your sleeve.”

“I wasn’t.”

“Then what were you doing?”

“I was licking the gravy off my sleeve.”

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: if I don’t get what I want soon, I’ll have to start wanting something else.

I’ve learned

1. If I want to appear smart while being stupid, I shouldn’t ask any questions.

2. Charity begins at home — at about six o’clock when they call to interrupt dinner.

3. It’s an antique if you can’t put it back where you found it because that place no longer exists.

Cafe chronicles

I stopped at a small town café — one with enticing specials. It’s my favorite kind of eating place. The smiling waitress approached my table with her order pad at ready. “May I help you?” she asked.

“How is your cherry pie?” I asked in return.

Her smile broadened as she replied, “It’s better. Thanks for asking.”

Singing in the choir

I was at a Danish Sisterhood/Brotherhood banquet in Dike, Iowa. I visited with a woman there who was an avid choir member. She gave me one of those choir secrets known only to the inner circle. She told me that if I’m ever singing a song that I don’t know the words to or am having difficulty singing a certain song, I should mouth the word “watermelon” over and over. That would make it appear that I was singing just like the rest of the group. They sang a song in Danish while I was there. I sang along enthusiastically by mouthing the word “watermelon” repeatedly.

From the road

Roger Batt of Algona tells me that he has a friend who says that the driver ahead of him who is barely exceeding the speed limit is “going too slow over the speed limit.”

A red car passed me as if I were backing up. I figured he was low on fuel and was trying to reach a gas station before he ran out. Not long after that, I pulled into a gas station. Parked nearby was the red car that had zoomed by me. A bumper sticker on the red car read, “I drive too fast to worry about cholesterol.”

My mother never drove that fast.

“Every time I wash my car, it rains,” I’ve heard it said. My mother backed the car out of the shed when it rained. She washed her vehicle the natural way. She left the lawn sprinkling to the dog.

She said, “Every time it rains, I wash my car.”

The T-shirt read

Pastor Dennis Frank of Hartland spotted a man wearing a T-shirt reading, “I yell because I care.” He wondered aloud what such a message could mean.

Jill Morstad of Albert Lea suggested that the man might have been a parent. I hoped it meant that he was a cheerleader.

Tick, tick, tick

Ticks are arachnids like scorpions, spiders, chiggers, and mites. Ticks wait on the tips of grasses and shrubs. When brushed by an animal or human, a tick lets go of the plant and climbs onto the host. Ticks do not fly or jump, they only crawl. Ticks do not scale trees and drop down on humans and animals.

Nature notes

I was sitting on the sidewalk across the street from a commercial enterprise. I was watching a smokestack at dusk. That’s odd behavior even for an odd fellow like me. I was waiting for chimney swifts to go to roost. Appearing to be “flying cigars,” the swifts twittered overhead as they captured flying insects. Swifts fly constantly except when at the nest or roosting at night. The swift bathes in flight. It flutters to water, strikes the surface with its body, and shakes the water from its feathers in flight. The chimney swift’s nest is a half-saucer of small twigs held together with saliva and glued by saliva to the inside wall of a chimney.

As I kept an eagle eye out for swifts above the smokestack, a man walked near. He had the look of a curious cat. He asked me what I was doing. I told him that I was waiting for small birds to fly down a chimney. I added that they weren’t feathered Santas, but they were a gift. He gave me a sympathetic smile and said, “Well, good luck with that,” before walking away, shaking his head.

I watched 150 chimney swifts zoom into that smokestack.

Meeting adjourned
Don’t just be kind. Be kinder.


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