Archived Story

Al Batt: No separation of love and hotdish

Published 10:15am Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Echoes from the Loafers’ Club Meeting:

Are you going to eat that?

Yes. Why?

Well, you’ve been putting on a little weight.

You should talk.

At least I never talk with my mouth full.

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 can take a long time to hurry.

The news from Hartland

Mabel Johnson makes the best Mabel syrup in town.

Prints Charming Company produces a relief map to the city’s restrooms.

Woman quits job at post office, claiming it was a mail-dominated enterprise.

Living in an icebox

A caller from Arizona asked the temperature.

I replied, “It’s one below.”

“Hmmm,” said the caller, “I’d heard that it was 20 degrees below zero there.”

“Oh, you mean outside.”

It was cold enough that the earbuds wore earmuffs. A solar energy spill made the day tolerable. One neighbor never looks at the thermometer because it makes him cold.

“What is the temperature?” I asked.

“It’s one below,” replied my bride.

“Was it supposed to get that warm?

I drank my orange juice before it got cold and stepped outside to fill the birdfeeders. I walked on the wind-hardened surface of the deep snow. It was firm enough to give me hope. I took three steps. I smiled at my good fortune. I shouldn’t have. I broke through the crust. As I struggled to free myself from hip-deep snow, I wished I’d been wearing socks.

Winter is when even those of us who are so dense that light bends around us get the drift. We need an extra season just to figure out the other four.

Bogus benevolence

A telemarketer called. I’m on that “do not call” list, but nonprofits and politicians are exempt from adhering to its restraints.

He gave his spiel. While he went on, I investigated the “charity” he represented. It was one of those “sound alike” outfits. Its name sounded like that of a reputable charity. A minuscule percentage of the funds raised go to the people they were purported to go to.

I asked him if he’d be willing to call his mother and ask her to donate.

There was a long pause before he hung up on me.

My neighbor

He married a girl from the next town over.

In his family, there was no separation of love and hotdish, but his wife was different.

She wanted things to be better.

He just wanted things to not get any worse.

She told her sister, “If a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, my husband is a threat to the world.”

After constant encouragement, he agreed to accompany her to a seminar titled, “Thoughts on Modeling the Monetary Transmission Mechanism” at the university.

On the drive home, he admitted, “That changed the way I think about the things I never think about.”

Groundhog Day in retrospect

Rev. Cherie Daniel of Freeborn said she saw a photo of a wolf with this caption, “The groundhog said six more weeks of winter, so I ate him.”

Le Peterson of Freeborn advised that each Groundhog Day tells us that we’ll have either six weeks or a month and a half more of winter.

Customer comments

Mark Sorenson of Hollandale attended a Yankees game when he was a small boy. Mark was seated next to his father and Mickey Mantle was at bat. Mickey took a mighty swing and popped a foul ball high into the air. Mark tried to find the ball, but had no luck. As he stared into the sky, his father grabbed him. The foul ball struck the spot where Mark had been. It was a near brush with fame–and pain.

John Beal of Faribault said that since he retired, every night is Friday night and every day is Saturday.

Steve Ausen of Hartland visited Uganda and was amazed at the bicycle usage there. They transported everything via bicycle. Steve watched a procession of bikes go by and commented that they carried everything except the kitchen sink. Ten minutes after saying that, a man holding a kitchen sink pedaled by.


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