Archived Story

Exits are on the way out

Published 8:48am Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Echoes From the Loafers’ Club Meeting:

“I wish I were someone else.”

“Don’t wish that.”

“Don’t you ever wish you were someone else?”

“No, I like myself just the way I am.”

“I wish I were you.”

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: exits are on the way out.

The cafe chronicles

It was a go-to place. A man seated at the table of infinite knowledge was pontificating about wives. He’s had four of them and claimed they were getting better and better. He said that his current wife is a very important part of his marriage.

The manager of the co-op said a friend of his, who is a farmer, had a few good years of farming. So good that he had to hire a bodyguard. After last year’s crop, he had to lay off the bodyguard. He’s worried that if he has another year like that, he’ll be working for the bodyguard.

On May 2 of last year, we received 18 inches of snow. I asked the group if that snow went toward last winter’s snowfall totals or was added to the coming winter’s records. Perhaps they gave nine inches of snow to each.

A fellow meal muncher said, “I’m older now than I’ve ever been. I’m as old as my tongue and a bit older than my teeth.”

I’ve been to town

I was in a hotel far from home. I needed some things because I couldn’t bring everything with me. I had no car, so I walked to the nearest retail store. A store isn’t my natural habitat, but I enjoy grocery stores because I eat. The question, “Paper or plastic?” does concern me because I’m never sure that I’m giving the right answer. It was a big box store that I ventured into on this particular day. I bought a few things — $8.29 worth. I received a receipt that I thought would never end. Besides the receipt portion, there were coupons, specials, a survey, and a charitable request. The young clerk handed the pile of register tapes to me, saying, “Enjoy your novel.”

Driving lessons

I approached a controlled intersection. The busy crossroads had an inordinate amount of broken taillights and headlights resting on the street. I’m sure it was from a recent accident, but maybe law enforcement officers left it there as a warning to other drivers.

A scene from a marriage

I had something I had to tell my wife.

And I hated to do it.

I had to tell her that she was right.

Customer comments

Craig Reynolds from Michigan sent this written by Michael Flanders, “Spring’s a lovely season, most wonderful. Missed it last year. Was in the bath.”

Emily Falenczykowski-Scott of Mankato said that she had no understanding on how health insurance worked until recently. A reminder to parents to have the “deductible talk” with your children.

Don Luben of Fremont, Neb. said that the reason there are few circuses today is because they have difficulty getting clowns. Most of them are working in Washington, DC.

Tim Engstrom of Albert Lea wrote, “Hartland is so small that the Welcome to Hartland sign and the You Are Leaving Hartland sign are on the same post.”

Nature notes

Janet Eastvold of Hartland asked how to discourage cardinals from fighting with windows. Windows can be enemy territory. Birds, fueled by hormones, attack windows that make them feel territorial. Birds are unable to perceive the difference between a reflected image and a real bird. A cardinal engages in beak-to-beak combat with itself. It becomes its own worst enemy. Since the bird in the window won’t retreat, the cardinal prolongs the fight. It’s typically the male that battles the glass with the female acting as an enabler, but she’ll take a shot at her image, too. Robins and cardinals are the most likely to do battle with a Pella or a Marvin, but a diverse group of birds, including turkeys, will attack windows. I recommend patience and empathy. Give the bird time to forgive and forget by blocking the refection from the outside. Covering the inside of the window enhances the reflected image. Cover the outside with cardboard, paper, soap, painter’s plastic drop cloth, or plastic cling wrap. This makes Martha Stewart shudder, but it eliminates the reflection. This doesn’t always stop the behavior. The bird may find imaginary opponents in other windows. Putting out a replica of an owl doesn’t work.

 


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