Trip to Ariz. a good cure for blizzardsPublished 10:44am Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Echoes from the Loafers’ Club Meeting
“I’m giving you running shoes for Christmas.”
“I haven’t run since I missed the bus in the third grade.”
“Don’t worry, I’m giving you the receipt, too.”
1. Growing up, the only chef I could name was Chef Boyardee. I still can’t name any others, but now I know they exist.
2. There’s no need to pretend to water my fake plants.
3. Listening is an art most often practiced near a TV.
The news from Hartland
Winemaker stomps maple tree in a failed effort to produce maple syrup.
City holds 2.6-block marathon for underachievers.
Leaning Tower of Pizza promises delivery within a week or the pizza is free.
Did you know?
Chickens refer to death as “crossing the road.”
Cough syrup comes from sick maple trees.
Age isn’t just a number. It’s a word, too.
How to survive a blizzard
1. Buy four days worth of food.
2. Fill your car with gas.
3. Put the food in the car and drive to Arizona.
“Why do snakes shed their skins?” So their younger siblings can wear the hand-me-downs.
“What did you want to be when you got out of high school?” Under 30 years of age.
“Why is your lawn covered with welcome mats?” So the boxelder bugs can wipe their feet before coming into the house.
The funny papers
When I was a small boy, I walked to the mailbox early in the morning to get the Sunday paper, which was gigantic in those days. I carried it into the barn where my father was milking cows. Dad read the comics section to me. I marveled at the exploits of Pogo, Peanuts, Little Iodine, Beetle Bailey, Dennis the Menace, Dick Tracy, Li’l Abner, Bringing up Father (Maggie and Jiggs), Dondi, Steve Canyon, Gasoline Alley, and the others. Comics are so important that Ronald Reagan read them before he read the news. I’ve written for cartoonists for umpteen years and I think that’s because of my father’s sharing. I love the comics.
Ringing the bells
I ring the bells for the Salvation Army each year. I cannot bring about world peace, but I can provide tintinnabulation. Volunteering is the method I use to give myself away. My wife and I womaned and manned the kettle for eight hours — from noon until 8 p.m. It was two bells for eight bells. We rang until the cat had pigs. As I watched a parade of Carhartt, Cabela’s, and Columbia coats go by, I was impressed by the kindness and generosity of people. I noticed that some folks take to shopping as if it were the nine circles of hell. Why does one person growl at a day that tickles others? Each day is a mirror. Everyone who looks into it sees a different face, but the mirror never changes.
Memories of shopping with father
“Dad, can I have …”
I asked Gene Johnson of Albert Lea if he ate lutefisk. Gene shook his head and said, “No, I’m smarter than I look.”
Rod Searle of Waseca upgraded to a cell phone with a camera. Rod told me that he hopes he doesn’t run out of film.
Cheryl McRoberts of Haines, Alaska was married for 21 years when her husband went looking for greener pastures. He still hasn’t found them. Cheryl has found greener pastures in her second husband, Bill.
Ruth Searle of Waseca puts butter, brown sugar, and cream on her oatmeal. My wife, Gail, assured Ruth, “That’s good. If the oatmeal is going to clean you out, it needs something to clean out.”
Karen Daniels of Williamsport, Pennsylvania told me, “I have an answer for everyone’s problems except my own.”
“Do birds get rabies?” No. Birds, fish, insects, lizards, snakes, and turtles don’t get rabies.
“What are the birds that fly up in front of my car on blustery winter days?” They are horned larks, Lapland longspurs, or snow buntings. The snow bunting is the easiest to recognize due to large amounts of white flashed in flight. They nest in the far north. The Lapland longspur is an arctic nester that resembles a large, dark sparrow. The female is streaked and the male has a chestnut-colored patch on the back of its head. Their darker overall color and smaller size distinguishes them within a mixed flock. Some horned larks nest here, others in the arctic. Horned larks have tawny backs, light undersides, black tails, black bibs and cheek patches, yellow throats, and tiny “horns” (feather tufts) on their heads.
Dale Heilman of Albert Lea said, “It’s nice to be nice to the nice.” Be kind.