Timmy would still be treading water

Published 6:06 am Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Echoes from the Loafers’ Club

“I wrote a poem about a man on a bicycle.”

“How does it go?”

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“He pedals it with his feet.”

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: If someone wants you to seize a golden opportunity, he or she usually wants an opportunity to seize your gold.

The bumper sticker read

In Seattle, “I may be slow, but I’m ahead of you.”

Think of the economy as the car’s engine

I don’t have to tell you about the economy. That’s the job of the people on TV. Those talking heads are like the guy who stops by when you are under the hood of your stalled car and says, “It looks like you have engine problems.”

T-shirt and flip flops,


The weatherman lies to me, but I continue to listen to him. He has a demeanor and a suit that says, “Trust me. I wouldn’t lie to you.”

I believe him because he must know what he is talking about. After all, he is standing in front of a map filled with symbols. The scoundrel. I’ll keep listening. It’s an abusive relationship.

The man’s first rule of shopping

Buy the first thing that fits.

A birthday party

I attended a 100th birthday party. The birthday girl didn’t look her age. Most that make it to the century mark don’t. I wished her a happy birthday and asked if she had any tips for those who wanted to match her longevity.

She replied, “Wear comfortable shoes.”

A traveler’s tale

The person seated next to me on the flight was friendly and talkative. He showed me his snazzy cell phone. I am an underachiever when it comes to cell phone usage. I need to use my cell phone more as it would likely make my life easier. I complimented my in-flight neighbor on his impressive phone.

He replied, “It does way more than I can make it do.”

From those thrilling days of yesteryear

Do you remember waiting by the phone? I mean actually waiting near a telephone for a call. Now, the cell phone follows us about and all we need do is to have it turned on.

Keeping stuff

I drove by a number of storage units. They’re buildings meant to hold the belongings of people who have nowhere else to store them. My parents put things away in a place where they would always remember where they put them. At least, that was the idea. The items usually ended up in the last place we would ever look for them. When I was a boy, storage units were empty coffee cans.

Dogs and cats

I called the cat. It frowned. If Timmy had depended on cats to save him from the lake as he had relied on Lassie, he would still be treading water.

Do-it-yourself roof repairs

The weather in Haines, Alaska is not always good-natured. The day had been filled with snow and rain wind. It was a day meant for soup, and I found some delicious mushroom and wild rice soup at the Bamboo Room Restaurant. As I entered that fine establishment, I saw a bucket on the floor, catching trickles from a dripping ceiling. The buckets become ubiquitous during extremely wet weather as businesses discover where the roofs leak.

I commented that the bucket was doing a fine job. The friendly waitress responded with, “We should shrink wrap the entire building.”

What day is this?

The other day, one that happened to be a Monday, I said that it seemed like a Sunday. No one ever says that a day seems like the day it really is. Next Monday, I’m going to say, “It seems like Monday today.”

Nature notes

In Melville’s book Moby Dick, Ishmael said, “Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; I look at birds.”

OK, Ishmael said that he would get to the sea, not look at birds. November is our cloudiest month. Thomas Hood’s poetry said, “No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees, no fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds! —November!” Birds are flying jewels, and on a dreary November day, it’s not a bad idea to stop and stare at a bird.

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. The Holstein has a great attitude. and I asked her how she handles disapproval.

The Holstein chewed her cud thoughtfully and said, “I take every criticism as a compliment. It’s nice to know someone is thinking of me.”

Meeting adjourned

Dave Barry wrote, “A person who is nice to you, but rude to the waiter, is not a nice person.”

Be kind.