Archived Story

What do umps do with their seeing eye dogs?

Published 10:51am Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Echoes from the Loafers’ Club Meeting:

“I go to a yoga class each week.”

“What day?”

“Some weeks it’s Monday, sometimes Wednesday, and other weeks the class is on Thursday. The secret is to be flexible.”

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: It’s nice to be busy. A busy person doesn’t have time to judge anyone else.

Talking baseball

What has 18 legs and catches flies?

A baseball team.

Sorry. On with the story. The fellow sitting next to me complained bitterly about the umpire.

I don’t complain much about umpires. I used to be one.

The fellow nearby threw his hands up after a pitch was called a strike and asked if I thought the umpire was terrible at calling balls and strikes.

I replied that I wasn’t a good one to ask. I couldn’t tell if a pitch was a ball or a strike when I was playing.

Jack Brush of New Ulm asked one of his coworkers, “What do you do with your dog while you’re umping?”

The man replied, “What dog?”

Jack responded, “Your seeing-eye dog.”

Cafe chronicles

I stopped to have a bowl of gruel and some hardtack. It was a homey eatery where the eggs were fresh. They’d just been fried yesterday.

I was met with a smile and a question, “When Barbie and Ken go to a fancy restaurant, who parks their car?”

Before I had a chance to offer an answer, I was told it was “Valet of the dolls.”

“What would you like to eat?” asked the waitress of a friend seated in a cafe where nothing was fresher than the waitresses.

“Anything with gravy on it,” came the reply. “No hurry. I have the time to wait. I quit fixing up those old tractors.”


“Because I didn’t know how.”

Older than dirt’s father

I stopped to visit him. His life had been shrunk to a small room with few remaining possessions. He’d stayed in the small town he’d been born in because “somebody had to.”

He laughed when I told him that getting old was like frying bacon in the nude. You know it’s going to hurt, but you’re not sure where.

I thought of the writer Temple Grandin, who said this about aging, “I used to be able to able to stand in a forklift truck loading dock at the feed yard and I could jump up on the ramp. Gosh, there is no way I could do that now. But one of the things that getting older does give you is wisdom and a perspective that you didn’t have before because you’ve been to a lot of places and you’ve seen a lot of things. That’s why, in a lot of societies, they look up to their elders. In elephant society, younger elephants look up to the matriarchs. Why? Because they know where to find the water from 50 years ago.”

There’s a call for you from an Audi

My brother-in-law Reid Nelson of Sheboygan, Wis., caved and purchased his first cellphone. He called his mother on her birthday and after wishing her a euphoric natal day, told her that he was calling while driving.

His mother scolded him for such a hazardous activity.

He tried to calm her by saying that he shouldn’t have been driving 90 miles per hour either.

We think he was kidding. We hope the same.

Did you know?

Most people are 50-65 percent water, which is roughly 40 quarts.

The average life of a major league baseball is seven pitches.

A ruby-throated hummingbird moves at 20 to 30 mph in regular flight propelled by 60-80 wingbeats per second.

Customer comments

Rocky Von Eye of Mitchell, S.D., wrote, “Love the ‘tick taxi’ dog story. We called my little Bischon a tick transport. He also transported the ticks into the house.”

Bill Thompson III of Whipple, Ohio, met a British farmer who was so tight that when he reached for his wallet, the Queen attended the opening.

Nature notes

I planted a serviceberry in my yard. I like the edible berries. Wildlife loves them. It’s called serviceberry because early settlers used the tree’s spring flowers for burial services when the ground thawed enough to allow them to bury loved ones who had died during the winter. It’s also called Juneberry.


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