Smiles stronger than rage

Published 9:03 am Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Echoes from the Loafers’ Club meeting

“My son lost his job because he peed in the pool.”

“That’s disgusting, but I can’t believe he became unemployed because he urinated in a swimming pool.”

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“What swimming pool? He was in a carpool.”

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: A good marriage is like a popular hotdish at a church potluck–only those responsible for its success know what went into it.

Things I have learned

1. I am a shaker. The salt and pepper shakers are the shakees.

2. Using insect spray congregates the mosquitoes in the one area of skin you missed.

3. If you’ve ever pushed over an outhouse, you know that it’s better to pull over an outhouse. Otherwise, you end up covered in political promises.

From the family files

I loved it when I was a tot and my Uncle Bill would toss me into the air. I liked it even better when he caught me as I came back down.

Fair words

The young man at the Fillmore County Fair said he had a joke for me. “What did the farmer say when he lost his tractor?”

I gave up quickly. The answer, “Where’s my tractor?”

Canoe counseling

Pastor Dennis Schmidt of Hartland took a group of children called the Pioneers on a recent canoe trip. The day the group was to leave on the outing, one young mother was heard to remark that her son had been such a poop that she considered not letting him go on the trip. Her son went. Her reasoning was, why should she be punished for her son’s bad behavior?

Café chronicles

My lovely bride and I were enjoying lunch at the Village Inn when I spilled my iced tea. The spill was of BP proportions with wave action. The liquid found a place in a friend’s lap. Luckily, it wasn’t a man’s snazzy suit or a woman’s posh frock. The iced tea, complete with a plethora of ice cubes, landed on blue jeans. My victim scrambled to his feet. It provided entertainment for other diners. I felt terrible. It brought memories of when I hit a growth spurt as a boy. Suddenly, my arms were longer than what I’d been used to. I’d reach for a glass and my longer arm spilled the milk. I’ve learned not to cry over spilled milk, but I may shed a tear over the spilled iced tea.

School daze

I learned that the way to remember planets was by using the mnemonic, “My very elegant mother just sat upon nine porcupines.” Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto. Pluto is no longer a planet. I wonder what my very elegant mother will sit upon?

Nice try

Tom Stockwell of Burnsville told me that when he was a boy and his report card arrived, he tried to convince his mother that the grades went all the way to Z.

From those thrilling days of yesteryear

We were free-range teenagers—unless someone called one of our fathers. We were looping main–driving mindlessly from one end of town to another. Dean was driving. I was riding shotgun. Lyndon and Paul were seated in the back. We had a cherry bomb that Dean’s older brother had obtained in South Dakota. A cherry bomb was a round, red firecracker that contained plenty of explosive power.

It was determined that the cherry bomb be tossed out onto the deserted street. Paul grabbed the cherry bomb, lit the fuse, and tossed the cherry bomb out the window. At least he would have tossed the cherry bomb out the window had the window been open. There was a deafening explosion and a large hole magically appeared in the floor mat of Dean’s car.

It was loud and then it was quiet.

We said “Huh” a lot anyway, but now we had an excuse.

Nature notes

A reader asks, “Where did the saying, ‘A little bird told me,’ come from?” It’s from the Bible. Ecclesiastes says, “Never make light of the king, even in your thoughts. And don’t make fun of the powerful, even in your own bedroom. For a little bird might deliver your message and tell them what you said.”

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 mentioned changes in my value system.

The Holstein chewed her cud thoughtfully and said, “Never mistake the things of importance with the importance of things.”

Meeting adjourned

A Japanese proverb says, “He who smiles rather than rages is always the stronger.”