Archived Story

Batt: Reality TV shows are faked

Published 10:37am Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Echoes From the Loafers’ Club Meeting:

“How is retirement going for you?”

“Well, I don’t really have any retirement skills.”

“So what do you do?”

“I think about what I did.”

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: “Shortcut” is another term for “wrong turn.”

I’ve learned

The only reality to reality TV shows is that they are faked.

Many an ailing goldfish has had its entire life flush before its eyes.

I’m part of the people who can be fooled some of the time.

To say thank you to those who gathered at the program I presented for Austin Audubon.

The headlines from Hartland

Defendant found guilty and sentenced to jury duty.

Mort Postem says that all caskets he offers come with a lifetime guarantee.

Gladys Overwith said that she couldn’t believe that her husband was stealing from his job as a road worker, but all the signs were there.


I’ve been working on my costume. Last year, I threw a sheet over my head and went as an unmade bed. Good luck, trick-or-treater. I hope you don’t get a rock.


I was near Great Falls, Mont., on my way to a speaking engagement. What was going through my mind was a Frank Zappa song, “I might be movin’ to Montana soon, just to raise me up a crop of dental floss.” The cartoon bubble over my head pictured fields of dental floss blowing in the breeze under an endless big sky. I didn’t see any.

Cafe chronicles

I stopped at a small-town cafe where I was to meet a man I didn’t know. I needed help identifying him.

I asked the waitress if she was acquainted with the folks patronizing the eatery.

“I know more than half,” she grunted.

“Then you’re the one I need to talk to,” I said.

“Now that I think about it,” she added, “I’m willing to bet that I know more than all of them put together.”

Those thrilling days of yesteryear

“That’s a fine looking boy you have there. He’d make a good trade-in on that backhoe we just got in.”

I knew the implement salesman was kidding, but I could tell my father was considering the deal.

My father wanted a backhoe. What man or boy didn’t?

I’ve dashed to where a crowd had gathered because someone was digging a hole. Where a backhoe was gouging a cavity into the earth.

That’s entertainment.

School daze

I was in the second grade at what is now New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva-Bath-Otisco-Matawan-Summit-Cooleyville-Berlin-Hope-Trenton-Lemond-Hollandale-Clarks Grove-Freeborn-Vista-Waldorf-Manchester-Beaver Lake-St. Olaf Lake-Mule Lake Grade School, more commonly referred to as NRHEGBOMS CBHTLHCGFVWMBLSOLML.

“Now children,” said Mrs. Demmer. “Here is a wonderful lesson from the life of the ant. It’s an example on how we should live our lives. Every day, the ant works all day. Every day, the ant is busy. And in the end, what happens?”

I answered, “Someone steps on it.”

It was one of those right answers that was wrong.

Bumper sticker snickers

Mark Christenson of Columbia Heights saw this, “Get in, sit down, hold on, and shut up.”

On a battered Buick in Iowa, “Don’t worry what people think, they don’t do it often.”

On Jared Knutson’s car in Hartland, “Crops are green. Tractors are red.”

Did you know?

Pew Research found that 15 percent of Americans don’t use the Internet.

According to eMarketer, adults in the US spend 4 hours, 31 minutes watching TV each day and another 5 hours, 16 minutes looking at other screens.

If you have cable, you pay at least $5.54 per month for ESPN.

The first official intercollegiate football game was in 1869 between Rutgers and Princeton.

Nature notes

A Carolina wren has an amazingly loud voice for its size. In summer, it sings “teakettle, teakettle.” It has a rich cinnamon plumage, a white eyebrow, and an upward-cocked tail. This wren has been wintering farther north recently, which allows us to see them in Minnesota. It thrives in tangled, shrubby habitat and visits suet feeders. Brian Plath hosted a Carolina wren in his Austin yard. The bird found a large nest box to call home — the Plath’s garage. The wren came into the garage each night and Brian or his wife shut the door behind it. When the garage door was opened in the morning, the wren flew out. Brian hung a discarded Baltimore oriole nest in the garage. The wren found it a good place to snooze. A hot pocket for wrens. The wren slept well. Why not? It had the best wren house in town.

Meeting adjourned

Say kind things behind the backs of others.

By using this website’s user-contribution features, including comments, photo galleries, or any other feature, you agree to abide by the terms of use. Please read this agreement in its entirety because it contains useful information that will help you better understand the rules and general "good manners" that are expected when contributing content to this website.

Sign in to Comment | Need help commenting? Click here

Editor's Picks