Archived Story

Al Batt: Sometimes I feel like my shadow is casting me

Published 9:41am Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Echoes from the Loafers’ Club Meeting:

“What did you do yesterday?”

“Not a thing.”

“How come?”

“I quit while I was ahead.”

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 find no pleasure in the criticism of others. For that, I’m thankful.

I’ve learned

That if I’m certain, I should take a second look.

Things are more like they are right now than they have ever been.

John Donne wrote, “No man is an island” because he’d never seen an NFL game.

An ice walk

It was a long walk on a slippery slope on a gelid evening of strong winds. Such walks always seem uphill, but this one really was. It felt good to get inside the school and walk to the gym to watch a basketball game.

I sat near O’Dean Miller of New Richland who said that his wife, Regina, had complained that he’d not dropped her off at the door before parking the car. Being a good husband, O’Dean had an excuse ready. He explained that he couldn’t have done that because she’d been driving.

Cafe chronicles

“Dirty Life and Times.”

That’s the song by Warren Zevon that should have been on the radio.

“Sometimes I feel like my shadow is casting me.”

It was confession day at the cafe. The crackerjack waitress had brought mashed potatoes with lakes of gravy to the table.

“How are you doing?” we asked of only those who wouldn’t tell us.

He was one of those fellows whose truck doubles as a storage shed. He admitted to releasing boxelder bugs into the school library. But like any bad criminal, he’d returned to the scene of the crime. He was caught. His punishment? It went on his permanent record. He worked at a carnival one summer, operating one of those free throw shooting games where you could win swell prizes like a miniature teddy bear. He said the rim was oblong. A basketball would have had to wear a girdle to pass through the hoop easily.

It was the verdict of The Table of Infinite Knowledge that he confess his sins to his aunt. He forgets he’s Lutheran until someone says something bad about Lutherans. His aunt is Lutheran, but she isn’t just Lutheran. She’s really Lutheran.

My neighbor

Old Man McGinty is the youngest Old Man McGinty ever.

The walls of his house hold ancient knickknack shelves bearing items with only one purpose, to collect dust.

“Gunsmoke or Bonanza?”

That was his question. A verbal password.

“Gunsmoke,” I replied.

“That’s the right answer. If I had a kewpie doll, you’d win it.”

Old Man McGinty told me that on Super Bowl Sunday in his church, when it came time to take the offering, the minister flipped a quarter into the air, glanced at it after it landed, and announced in the fashion of a referee, “The ushers have elected to receive.”

Customer comments

Tom Goetz of Minneapolis has officiated baseball and basketball games for years. He still does baseball, but gave up basketball. Tom said the problem was that he got a year older every year while the basketball players stayed the same age.

Vi Kycek of Albert Lea wrote, “May all days be sunny, no matter the temperature.”

Bob Hargis of Riverton, Wyo., sent this alternative to shoveling snow, “Let ’er melt.”

Did you know?

The Healthy Hand Washing Survey conducted by Bradley Corporation, a hand-washing products manufacturer, found that 74 percent of women always wash their hands after using a public restroom compared to 60 percent of men.

The biggest complaint of restaurant patrons is about the noise.

The Top 5 Most Overpaid Actors according to Forbes are 1. Adam Sandler 2. Katherine Heigl 3. Reese Witherspoon 4. Nicolas Cage 5. Kevin James.


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