Echoes from the Loafers’ Club

Published 7:59 am Tuesday, June 3, 2008

“All I’m trying to do is to mildew in order to keep from getting moldy. And then I get a ticket for driving 85 in a 55 mile per hour zone.”

“Why were you driving so fast?”

“Oh, my brakes weren’t working, so I wanted to get home as quickly as I could.”

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Driving by the Bruces

I have two wonderful neighbors — both named Bruce — who live across the road from one another. Whenever I pass their driveways, thoughts occur to me, such as: If you can’t fix it with a hammer, you’ve got an electrical problem.

For medicinal purposes only

I do not drink soft drinks. I’m an iced tea guy, who also enjoys an occasional glass of orange or cranberry juice. No pop except—there is always an exception—when someone behind me sneezes on an airplane. Then I have ginger ale. Ginger ale is something my mother gave to me when I was a sick boy. I hope the ginger ale will remember me from those years and will discourage any germs traveling about the cabin of the airplane.

It’s a family tradition

I muddle along.

It’s a family tradition.

My father was an honest, hard-working farmer instead of a ruthless, greedy schemer who became rich beyond calculation.

Instead of fussing with my massive trust funds, I had enough dirt in my ears to raise potatoes.

I muddle along.

I have the time. I don’t spend much time counting my money.

Are you going to eat that?

I sat by a fellow named Randall on an airplane. He was originally from San Antonio and told me that he enjoyed putting hot sauce on his vanilla ice cream. I replied that I was from Minnesota and had eaten lutefisk.

He still remains in awe of my gastronomic adventurousness.

Those thrilling days of


“Give me a dollar’s worth of regular,” I’d say from my comfortable seat behind the steering wheel of my anything but trusty chariot.

The gas station attendant, often referred to as a “pump jockey,” would pump the buck’s worth of gas while providing full service. Full service included such things as cleaning the windshield, checking the oil, making sure the tires were properly inflated, and taking a glance at the water level in the radiator. His shirt bearing his name above the pocket would be a blur as he went about his tasks.

In this day of self-service, if I told myself, “Give me a dollar’s worth,” I might not even get enough fuel to be able to drive to the next gas station.

Spring has sprung

All my life I’ve heard that the robin is the harbinger of spring.

I discount this saying because many robins spend the winter here with us.

The true harbinger of spring is when the UPS drivers start wearing short pants.

There are tears in my gas

One of the problems with hitting the road this time of the year is that it uses too much gas to drive around the potholes.

If you are stuck as to what to give someone for a gift, remember that you can’t go wrong with a gallon of gasoline. It says, “I care and I want you to keep moving.”

We are all just visiting

I visited a friend at the hospital.

I asked him how he was doing.

He replied, “I can’t complain.”

He died shortly after my visit.

He taught me the same thing that so many others have — I have nothing to complain about. It’s a lesson relearned.

Signs of the times

Seen in Utah, “Some trespassing allowed.”

Seen in Alaska, “All in favor of not getting a speeding ticket, please raise your right foot.”

Nature’s world

Monarch butterflies begin to leave Minnesota at the end of August for their wintering sites in the mountain forests west of Mexico City. The monarchs that arrive in Minnesota in May are multi-generational descendants of those migrants.

The last week of May is peak fawning time for white-tailed deer. Most of our fawns are born during the week before and the week after Memorial Day.

Female Baltimore orioles weave pendulous nests that hang from the high branches of trees — often favoring cottonwoods and elms. I put out 6-inch bits of string and thread as building materials for the birds.

Talking to the Holstein

I was talking to the Holstein the other day. The Holstein is a retired milk cow, so she has time to talk. I whined that my mail contains more bills than it ever does checks.

The Holstein chewed her cud thoughtfully and said, “It’s all a matter of science. Bills travel through the mail at twice the speed of checks.”

Meeting adjourned

You will make someone’s day by saying, “You’ve made my

day.” Be kind.