Archived Story

Al Batt: Snow, salt, slush and window washer solution bond like epoxy

Published 9:27am Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Echoes From the Loafers’ Club Meeting:

“I think life is like scalding hot coffee in a chipped cup.”

“Why is that?”

“How should I know? I’m not a philosopher.”


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: wherever I look, there is scenery.


I’ve learned

Rumors travel around the world before truth gets out of bed.

Mark Twain didn’t know Shania Twain. And never the Twains shall meet.

To not judge myself by the past. I don’t live there anymore.


The headlines from Hartland

The package of Jiffy Pop on the wall of the Eat Around It Cafe is a fire alarm.

Proctologist punched by patient suffering from ‘roid rage.

Fitless Fitness Center wishes you a happy rear end.


Cafe chronicles

Snow, salt, slush, and window washer solution had bonded to my back window like epoxy. The combination overpowered the windshield wiper. Weary of driving, I stopped at a cafe to stoke the furnace.

I sat down. He sat by me. He was a talker looking for new blood. He’d left numbed conversational carcasses scattered about the cafe.

He was a good guy. He just liked to talk more than he liked to listen. His words had no economy.

I curbed my urge to bolt and listened hard. I nodded or smiled when appropriate and uttered short words in response.

I didn’t return to that cafe for a few months. When I did, I was told that the talker had died.

I’m glad that I listened. It was a good thing.

We do well by doing good.


New Year’s resolutions

When the old year left, I’m thankful that you didn’t go with it. Let the past year go. If you don’t stop picking at it, it will never heal and it may become infected.

I don’t usually make New Year’s resolutions. However, I’m stubborn, which means I’m good at quitting things. Last year, I gave up doing those polar bear plunges into frigid lakes without ever having done it once. It’s not a bad idea to make a resolution I can keep. Next year, I’m resolving that I will not buy a Ferrari. This year, I’m going to refrain from telling anyone how busy I am.

Everyone is busy.


Bird do-it-yourselfers

Many people claim that birds don’t use tools. If that’s true, why did I see a house sparrow in the tool department of the hardware store?

I’ve read about it, but I’ve not watched Duck Dynasty. We don’t receive the TV channel that carries it. That’s OK. I don’t think I’d like it. That’s because I grew up during the Daffy Duck Dynasty. There can be only one duck dynasty for me.


Oh, Canada

I was in a restaurant in Alberta, Canada. It offered a 72-ounce steak. If you could eat it all, it was free. There was a short list of those who had done so. I imagined an ambulance crew standing nearby.

Some of the conquerors were women. If any man thinks women are the weaker sex, he should try pulling the blankets back to his side.

My wife and I enjoyed the hospitality of Marla Calhoun of New Richland. After fine dining, including a delicious tater tot hotdish, we sat at the table and talked. After another guest made a clever retort, Marla remarked, “Everyone is a comedian.”

She Who Puts Up With Me, seated a bit farther from Marla, added, “I love listening to the CBC.”

The CBC. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

To my bride everyone is a Canadian.


Did you know?

A Disney spokeswoman said that the average park visitor walks about seven miles per visit.

The Oxford English Dictionary contains 171,476 words in current use and 47,156 obsolete words.

Green bean casserole is the most popular recipe to come out of Campbell’s Soup corporate kitchen.


Nature notes

Cindy Martin of Albert Lea asks what gulls follow tractors in the field. A small, black-headed gull of the prairies, the Franklin’s gull, is a common sight behind farm implements exposing worms, insects, and mice. I once called them “prairie doves.” Another common gull that feeds on the invertebrates freed by the plow is the ring-billed gull. It isn’t black-headed, is larger than a Franklin’s, and has a ring around its yellow bill.


Some call it a book

My book “A Life Gone to the Birds” is available at Thank you for reading.


Meeting adjourned

I wish you more laughs than tears. Edith Lovejoy Pierce wrote, “We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them.” Make them kind words.


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