As the toilet paper turns

Published 7:03 am Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Echoes from the Loafer’s Club meeting

“This isn’t what I ordered.”

“You wouldn’t like what you ordered.”

“Well, I don’t like this either.”

“Then what’s the difference?”

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: To use the word “tomorrow” is to be hopeful.

As the toilet paper turns

The dispute arises in the best of homes. Should the toilet paper roll out over or under? I checked out a roll poll conducted by Cottonelle. It showed 77 percent of people prefer over and 23 percent under.

I just put the roll in and hope for the best. I don’t care which way it rolls as long as it is there. I think many rolls are installed in the way they are just to annoy a spouse.

A traveling man

My wife and I were in Israel. The food was superb. At one function, we were served fish with the head attached, the eyes of the fish staring forlornly at the diners. It’s difficult to consume a fish while it is staring at you. We solved the problem by covering the heads with napkins. That way we could avoid eye contact with the fish.

An offer he couldn’t refuse

Wayne Feder told me that he was once involved in contract negotiations with his employer. Wayne made what he felt was a reasonable offer. His employer told him that there were four roads leaving town, and Wayne could use any one of them.

The old Sorenson place

The farm you live on doesn’t really get your name until you no longer live on it. The Sorenson’s haven’t lived in the old Sorenson place for many years. Maybe they never did.

Weather or not

I am going to meet with a reader from Florida who is visiting Minnesota for the first time and is doing so in February. She asked me how she would find the weather in Minnesota. I told her that she wouldn’t have to find the weather. It would find her.

Stories from a snowbank

I became stuck in the deep snow in my yard at least twice—maybe three times. I’m not sure how far a vehicle has to travel before it counts as a new stuck. It wasn’t a bad day to be stuck so I shoveled and shoveled. The shoveling allowed the car to move slightly before becoming trapped in new snow. I don’t have a four-wheel-drive vehicle for fear that it would allow me to become caught in deeper snow.

I was making progress and would have likely freed my car from its predicament by late June had not a friend, Jim Knutson, stopped by with his pickup. There is no good spot to hook a chain to my car, so Jim made some tracks with his truck, got behind the wheel of my car, and I was able to push just enough to free the Pontiac.

I had been to a hospital two days earlier to visit Jim. I am sure that helping free a car from a snowbank was not on his surgeon’s list of recommended activities.

I live in a rural area. There are not a lot of people here. We don’t have personal shoppers, Segway sales and service, or pet therapists. What we have in abundance are good folks like Jim Knutson.

Nature’s world

Lu Denzene of Albert Lea asked when deer have fawns. Mating is primarily in Nov. and early Dec. The gestation period runs 196-213 days. Most fawns are born in late May and into June. They weigh about 7-8 pounds and have spots for 3 to 4 months.

Mark Johnson asked what the chances are of a migrating songbird having the same mate as it had the previous year. They are not good. A study on migrating song sparrows found that less that 20 percent of the pairs are reunited a second year. Many of the birds have perished.

Karen Ausen of Hartland heard on the radio that bats always turn left when leaving a cave. She wondered if that is true. Only if their right turn signals are broken. Bats navigate by sonar. They send out pulses of sound and steer by the echoes that bounce back from obstacles. A bat flies into clear space rather than an area where there are objects. If you have seen (in person or on TV) bats leaving a cave, you saw that they go many different directions as they exit.

Talking to the Holstein

The Holstein is on a bus tour of alfalfa fields in Mexico. She is not much for sending postcards.

Meeting adjourned

Jean-Baptiste-Henri Lacordaire said, “It is not genius, nor glory, nor love that reflects the greatness of the human soul; it is kindness.”