Playing the part of a good passengerPublished 10:24am Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Echoes from the Loafers’ Club Meeting:
“I remember the day I was flying all alone in a bush plane near Fairbanks when…”
“You’ve never been a pilot!”
“Oh. Never mind, then.”
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: at one time, I was the youngest person in the world.
Remember all those books you were going to read someday? Start reading, it’s someday.
To give up hopes of ever getting my dream job of delivering mail on Saturdays.
The best gym is outdoors.
The news from Hartland
For those on a budget, lease to own a steak. Eat at the Eat Around It Cafe and forget all your other troubles.
Psychic hit by garbage truck. Her lawyer claims that she didn’t see it coming.
Brawl begins when man waltzes into square dance and orders everyone around.
Have you ever wondered?
Do chickens think something tastes like them?
Is everything written on a legal pad binding?
If people who moved away wonder whatever became of you?
Stories from the road
The weather bullied the temperature to below zero. Our weather is insecure because everyone wants it to be something it isn’t. I don’t know where in Indiana the car had come from, but I was surprised it survived the journey. It was an accident that needed to be reported. The driver confused the accelerator with the turn signal. He must have copied off the guy next to him during his driving test.
Steve Overgaard of Albert Lea told me that his friend Roger had gotten his truck stuck. A farmer came by with his tractor and freed Roger’s pickup. In the process, the tractor became stuck. Roger used his truck to extricate the tractor.
“How much do I owe you?” asked Roger.
“Nothing,” replied the farmer.
Roger thanked the farmer and told him that he needed $20 for pulling the tractor out.
Stories from the road redux
I was going to drive there, but I said to myself, “No, I don’t have a car.”
That was how I came to be a passenger in the car of a stranger kind enough to pick me up from an airport and drive an hour to my hotel. It was a snazzy minivan with a ceiling-mounted DVD player. The screens showed videos to entertain kids in the backseat. Times change. I grew up being entertained by a coloring book.
I played the part of a good passenger. I pointed out cows. I talked about the weather. My father said that if we didn’t talk about the weather, we wouldn’t have anything to talk about.
I thought about an old neighbor named Claude Bias who bought a nice Buick. The first thing Claude did was to remove the backseat so that he could haul things with it. He wanted a Buick pickup.
Bernie Scherger of Dodge Center told me that when he started farming, he didn’t own a pickup. When he bought three calves, he tore the backseat out of his car and put the young bovines in it. Make do or do without. He met a highway patrolman. Fortunately, all the police officer did was to give Bernie the look — twice.
Did you know?
George Washington’s favorite foods were cream of peanut soup, mashed sweet potatoes with coconut, salted cod, string beans with mushrooms, and pineapples.
In Finland, youngsters don’t start formal education until age 7 (the Finns value the role of play), have minimal homework, and little standardized testing. Yet they score at or near the top of a well-respected international test in math, science, and reading.