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Al Batt: Maturity is having no bubble wrap

Published 9:02am Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Echoes From the Loafers’ Club Meeting:

“You’re just wasting your time.”

“How am I doing that?”

“By sitting here.”

“What should I be doing?”

“If I knew, I’d tell you.”

“You’d just be wasting my time.”

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: I’m glad that I have more aspirins than headaches.

I’ve learned

Maturity is having no bubble wrap.

Flattery is like chewing tobacco. It’s better if you don’t swallow it.

Grandchildren give us an opportunity to learn from the future.

The news from Hartland

The Eat Around It Cafe serves ice cream at room temperature to prevent brain freeze.

Carl of Carl’s Car Wash and Movie Theater says that the theater may be dark, but please eat your own popcorn.

The Hartland Board of Tourism and Corn states that beef cattle have a steak in the economy.

Riding is a lot like walking

My mother never heard the song “Ballad of the Devil’s Backbone Tavern” by Todd Snider. She would have enjoyed it. Partial lyrics are, “I say life’s too short to worry. Life’s too long to wait. Too short not to love everybody. Life’s too long to hate.”

That part of the song could have been her credo.

One day, our car broke down on the gravel road. We had cars that tended to grow weary.

In those dark days before the advent of the cellphone, we couldn’t call in the cavalry to come to the rescue.

I jumped from the car, intending to walk home to find father, truck, or tractor.

Mom said she’d join me and ride shanks’ pony home.

That meant that she was going to use her legs as a means of transport and walk. Shanks’ pony (or nag or mare) derives from the name of the lower part of the leg between the knee and ankle, the shank. It’s more often referred to as the shin or tibia.

Gambling with lutefisk

Beaver Lake Bob Hanson winters in Albert Lea. Why would anyone winter in Minnesota? I don’t know, but Albert Lea is south of Beaver Lake. I mentioned to Bob that I had been telling stories at the Shooting Star Casino in Mahnomen. Bob said that he and his wife were traveling in that area once when they decided to stop at the casino and eat. Bob said that the place was packed. There was a lutefisk feed being held in the casino.

Girls basketball is ladylike

I watched three girls basketball games in one day. The young ladies were amazing. They played hard. I yelled positive encouragements. I tried to be as effervescent as if I ever wasn’t.

Andy Dyrdal of Albert Lea related a tale of how he and his wife first became a couple.

Andy told me that he’d had his eye on her, but she was dating another. One night, she and her date attended a high school basketball game. It was a hard-fought contest and she cheered enthusiastically, much to the chagrin of her boyfriend.

He grumbled that she should act more ladylike.

She dumped him for Andy and their marriage lasted more than 60 years before her death.

As I watched the three games, I realized that the excellent athletes on the floor were wonderfully ladylike.

I responded by squealing in a gentlemanly manner.

Customer comments

Who says there is no such thing as a free lunch? My cousin Jackie Muller of Whittemore told me of her friends who invited another couple out to lunch. They took them to the local John Deere dealer’s appreciation days.

Mark Sorenson, who lives along Geneva Lake, worked in Green Bay. There he met a new father who was hoping his son’s first words would not be “Mama” or “Dada,” but rather, “The Vikings suck.”

Did you know?

Yakutat, Alaska is the largest US city in area. Yakutat includes 9,463 square miles of water, land, glaciers, and ice fields. It’s larger than the state of New Hampshire. It displaced Sitka, Alaska (4,812 square miles), which had supplanted Juneau (2,874) as the largest city. Jacksonville, Fla., is the largest city in the Lower 48 at 747 square miles.

Noah’s dogs went, “Ark, ark, ark.”

The average American eats 225 pounds of meat per year.


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