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Always starting on the right foot will atrophy the left

Published 11:34am Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Echoes from the Loafers’ Club Meeting:

“What time is it?”

“It’s 10:10.”

“Oh. Thank you. Thank you.”

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 start each morning on the right foot, the muscles in my left foot might atrophy.

I’ve learned

A hangnail is a coat hook.

If you say “gullible” slowly, it sounds like “refrigerator.”

I once found it incredible that I had a fax machine. Now I find it incredible that I still have a fax machine.

Have you ever wondered?

Many people have a lucky number. How many have a lucky word?

Why is comparing apples and oranges considered fruitless?

Why isn’t there bacon-flavored floss?

Getting an allowance from a grandson

I stepped outside to talk on the phone. I went outdoors in the hopes that my hot air might melt some of the snow. My birthday was one day and a grandson’s the next. He turned four on March 17, St. Patrick’s Day. I watched as he enjoyed his gifts. I battled him in a spirited game of Rock ‘em Sock ‘em Robots. Some toys never go away. I suffered defeat after defeat. Taking a break from my trouncing, I watched as my grandson opened an envelope containing a birthday card from his great grandmother. Inside the card was a $10 bill. Crosby gave me the money with a “Here, Grandpa.”

I’ve trained him well.

Singing the praises of small schools

We watched NRHEG play Minneapolis Washburn in the girls basketball state tournament. My wife claimed the game unfair. The Minnesota State High School League uses enrollment numbers to set tournament classes. They measured NRHEG as having slightly over 260 and Washburn well over 700. The MSHSL uses a formula that adjusts the actual figures, but no matter, Washburn dwarfed NRHEG in both height and population.

My wife need not have fretted. NRHEG emerged victorious.

A fellow of my acquaintance graduated during the last year of a tiny school’s existence. There were three in his class. At the graduation ceremonies, the salutatorian spoke. Then the valedictorian talked. This fellow remained seated and quiet. Everyone knew his academic standing in the class. Last.

Since that day, he has told everyone he thinks should know that he graduated third in his class.

Had he not gone to a small school, such an achievement wouldn’t have been possible.

Thrilling days of yesteryear

I was one of those little kids. You know the kind. To get my busy mother’s attention, I whined endlessly, “Mom, Mom, Mom, Mom, Mom…”

Mom took as much as she could stand before saying, “What do you want?”

By then, I’d forgotten what I wanted.

The economy

Businesses have had to tighten their belts. A friend manages a store that sells clothing. He confronted an employee because the young man was wearing sagging trousers that made it difficult to work. The constant hitching of pants made it hard to maintain momentum as he walked like a tot wearing an older sibling’s hand-me-down clothes. Styles come and go. The young man was warned that if he didn’t pull his pants up, he’d be going. He acted quickly. He stole a belt from his employer. He was caught easily, as his pants were still riding low enough to make running impossible.

Customer comments

Pam Grunzke of Waseca told me when she loses an eyelash, she places it on her palm, makes a wish, and blows the eyelash away.

I looked at the calendar on the wall of my brother-in-law’s home near Sheboygan, Wis. It showed December 2011. I brought this to his attention. He (Reid Nelson) replied, “That’s why I’ve been missing appointments.”

Did you know?

A study published in “Psychological Science” found that people who smile after engaging in stress-inducing tasks showed faster reduction in heart rates.

Abraham Lincoln wasn’t the main speaker when he delivered the Gettysburg address. Senator Edward Everett, considered the greatest speaker at the time, was the main attraction.

A sleep researcher at the University of California-Riverside found that a 60- to 90-minute nap improved memory test results as fully as did eight hours of sleep.


It will be my pleasure to speak at the Bluebird Recovery Program Expo taking place at the Middle School in Northfield on April 13. The Expo is a pleasing way to learn about bluebirds and other birds. Please visit or contact JENean Mortenson at for more information.

Meeting adjourned

Say “hello” to someone you like for me. We have you in common. Be kind.

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