Archived Story

Batt: Life is driven from the inside

Published 9:07am Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Echoes From the Loafers’ Club Meeting:

“I’m thinking of a number between 1 and 10.”


“Just to see if I still could do it.”


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: life is like a car, it’s driven from the inside.


I’ve learned

The five-second rule applies to any dropped food except pie. The five-minute rule applies to pie.

This sentence contains exactly threee erors.

Prayer should never be used as a complaint department.

Overheard only because she was yelling into a cellphone at the Cleveland airport

“Don’t worry, I’m calling him just so I can hang up on him.”


Heard while leaning forward and listening

“No one could cook like my mother. The army came close, but no one could cook like my mother.”


Restaurant reviews

I was in one of those noisy restaurants, the kind I try to avoid. There were football games on countless TV sets showcasing some quarterback who was faking retirement and then hitting a tight end running a square-in route for an 18-yard gain. The server asked if she could get me more deafening loudness. At least that’s what I thought she had asked. I couldn’t be sure. Either way, I declined. All that noise was too much for a man whose closest neighbors are squirrels.


My neighbor

Old Man McGinty, the youngest Old Man McGinty ever, drives so slow that it takes him three days to back out of his garage and go to the barbershop. Two days if his turn signal is off. Driving is difficult because he can’t lift his arms very high due to that super glue accident back in 1998. He’s a member of that generation of men who go to a barbershop even when they don’t need a haircut. He has an “Ask me about my grandchildren” bumper sticker on his car. When people ask him about his grandchildren, Old Man McGinty tells them to mind their own business.


In local news

Two judges were arrested for speeding on Highway 13 on the same day. Rather than call in a visiting judge or travel out of the county, the two old friends agreed to hear one another’s case.

The first judge took the bench while the second stood at the defendant’s table and admitted his guilt. The sentencing judge immediately suspended both the fine and costs.

They switched places. The first judge admitted that he had been speeding, too. The second judge fined him $300 and ordered him to pay all court costs.

The first judge was furious. “I suspended your fine and costs, but you threw the book at me!” he snorted.

The second judge looked at him and replied, “This is the second case like this we’ve had here this morning. We need to nip this in the bud. Someone has to get tough on all this speeding.”


Customer comments

David and Marjorie Cahlander of Burnsville invited me to come along on a cruise sponsored by David’s alma mater, MIT. I turned down the kind offer. I can’t even spell MIT.

Steve Weston of Eagan advised me that if I’m ever lost in the woods, I should follow an opossum. It would always lead me to a road.


Did you know?

Gastromancy is the practice of telling someone’s fortune from the noises of the stomach interpreted as words.

Preantepenultimate means “fourth from last.”

Reflexive sneezing induced by light, sunlight in particular, is estimated to occur in 18 to 35 percent of the population and is known as the photic sneeze reflex or the ACHOO (autosomal dominant compulsive helio-ophthalmic outbursts of sneezing) syndrome.


Nature notes

Darwyn Olson of Hartland asked why blue jays are so noisy in the fall. When nesting, they tend to be secretive and quieter. Fall flocks form and migration begins. They’re vocalizing their discoveries of food, predators, family, and friends. The blue jay frequently mimics the calls of hawks. These calls may warn other jays that a hawk is present or may deceive other species into believing a hawk is near. Mark Twain wrote, “You may call a jay a bird. Well, so he is, in a measure—because he’s got feathers on him, and don’t belong to no church, perhaps; but otherwise he is just as much a human as you be. And I’ll tell you for why. A jay’s gifts and instincts, and feelings, and interests, cover the whole ground.” Twain added, “A jay hasn’t got any more principle than a Congressman.”

Meeting adjourned

Kind words cost nothing, yet they are priceless.

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