Archived Story

Needed now: Cell phone app that cools the hot air

Published 10:44am Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Echoes from the Loafers’ Club meeting

“I used one of those electric scooters in the supermarket yesterday. The throttle stuck and I hit a display of Twinkies at full speed. It took a crew an hour to free me from the wreckage.”

“Are you OK?”

“Well, I have a few bruises and I gained 12 pounds.”

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: the day was so hot that if my car’s air conditioning stopped working, I could have cooled the vehicle by turning on the heater.

I’ve learned

1. There is no reason to be pessimistic. It won’t help.

2. If you insist on running while you play rock-paper-scissors, you should play just rock-paper.

3. The toilet is an ancient burial ground for goldfish.

Thrilling days of yesteryear

My mother told the story of when a group of friends and I had found a dead robin. We were very young, but we took our sad discovery to heart. We buried the bird at the edge of the woods. It was a solemn occasion. We used a rock for a gravestone and mumbled a few good words about the dearly departed. Then we sang, “Happy birthday to you.”

It was the only song we all knew.

I’ve been reading

I read a column by Kyle Munson in the Des Moines Register. The excellent piece was on small-town Iowa slogans. Here are some examples. Gravity: “We’re down to earth. If Gravity goes, we all go.” Readlyn: “857 friendly people and one old grump.” Lake City: “Everything but a lake.” Rudd: “Not bigger, just better.” Denver: “The mile wide city.” Albert City: “How Swede it is.” Stuart: “1700 good eggs and a few stinkers.” Britt: “Founded by rail. Sustained by plow.” Mallard: “We’re friendly ducks.”

Mallard High School had the best cheer ever, “Black and Gold, Gold and Black. Mallard Ducks go quack, quack, quack.”

A town not far from me, Bath, went away. Its slogan might have been, “Hey! We’re over here.”

My hometown of Hartland is a wonderful city. In 1990, I wrote that it should adopt the slogan, “Lutherans gone wild.”

I haven’t heard back from the Mayor yet.

Cellphone chronicles

Alex Johnston of Albert Lea told me that he had obtained an iPhone. A cellphone is very important in that it gives a person something to do when he has too much to do. I have a cellphone that allows me to travel with thumbs too big and keyboard too small. With the weather we haven’t been enjoying, I hope Alex’s new iPhone has an air conditioner app. In order to protect his cellphone investment, Alex purchased a protective case, called the OtterBox. This case is purported to be so good at what it does that Alex could drive over it with his car and the phone would be unharmed. His young sons want him to test the claim. Alex has refrained from doing that — so far.

Did you know?

Walla Walla, Wash., once had a professional baseball team nicknamed the Walla Wallas. Yes, they were the Walla Walla Walla Wallas.

While on the subject of baseball, Walt Dropo of the Detroit Tigers set a record on July 14 and 15, 1952, when he had hits in 12 consecutive at bats during a single game and a doubleheader.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, between 2000 and 2010, 293 Americans died because a television, furniture piece or appliance had fallen on them.

Meeting adjourned

“Show kindness whenever possible. Show it to the people in front of you, the people coming up behind you, and the people with whom you are running neck and neck. It will vastly improve the quality of your own life, the lives of others, and the state of the world.”

— Ann Patchett


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