Don’t try to excuse the heat because it’s dry

Published 10:46 am Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Echoes from the Loafers’ Club Meeting

“You’re late.”

“Sorry, I forgot to set my alarm clock ahead for Daylight Saving Time.”

“You were supposed to do that in March.”

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“Wow! I’m later than I thought.

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: who has time to procrastinate

Things I’ve learned

1. If pudding is on the salad bar, it’s a vegetable.

2. It’s never the right temperature outside.

3. A person can never have too many passwords

Cereal box cards

There were baseball cards on the backs of Post breakfast cereal boxes. I pestered my mother into buying Post cereal. She was happy to oblige. She knew that cereal was better for me than the bubble gum that came with other kinds of baseball cards. I wanted to grab a scissors and cut the cards from the boxes as soon as they got into the house, but I was ordered to wait until the box was emptied of the cereal first. I ate a lot of Post cereals. Duplicate baseball cards were traded or ended their lives clothespinned to the spokes of my bicycle as I pretended it was a motorcycle. I could get riboflavin and niacinamide with other cereals, but with Post, I got baseball cards. And the cards were loaded with fiber.

The boat swallows

I was speaking on a tour boat on a lovely lake. As we left the dock, barn swallows had a collective cow. I quickly discovered the reason for the swallows’ distress. Two young barn swallows, newly fledged, were stowaways. The parents followed the boat for some distance before giving up and heading back to shore. The juvenile swallows perched silently upon a boat’s speaker and gazed at their shipmates. When the short tour ended and the boat returned to the dock, it was greeted by loud and happy sounds of not only the parent swallows but also of their friends and neighbors. The baby swallows chirped gleefully in response


The woman told me that her daughter reported that her brother had said “Uffda” in school.

The mother was unsure as to why that was a problem.

“He can’t say that there,” said the daughter.

“Why not?” asked the mother.

The daughter sighed and replied, “He goes to a Christian school.”

A retired teacher likely said “Uffda” when she received a note from one of her former grade school students. He had probably taken a seminar that told him to send a note of appreciation to those who had bettered his life. Perhaps he’d had a life-changing event. Anyway, he sent her a note and referenced a school play from long ago. His note ended, “Thanks for letting me be a tree.

Revenge is best served with weeds

The woman said that when she was a girl, the man next door was a cantankerous sort who screamed at any child who set foot upon his meticulous lawn. If a ball rested for a moment in his yard, he kept it forever.

She enacted her revenge upon the man by blowing the seed heads of dandelions in the direction of his perfect lawn.

It’s not the heat; it’s the temperature

I turned off the lights in my office and peered outside into the darkness. I put many lights in my office because I feared the windows would let in a lot of dark. The darkness looked hot. Not long before dusk, the temperature read 91 degrees—without the windchill factor.

The summer has been hot. I’ve been hotter. I fell for the “it’s a dry heat” line and worked in Yuma, Ariz. The temperatures there could best be described as volcanic. They hit numbers unknown to my home thermometer. My saliva evaporated the minute I stepped outdoors. The residents of Yuma were pleasant. They constantly reminded me that it was a dry heat. So is the inside of a microwave oven, but I’m not sure I could live there

Meeting adjourned

A kind remark never requires an apology.

Nature notes

Common mullein is a biennial, taking two years to bloom. It grows seven feet high, has bright yellow flowers on a spike, and is also called flannel leaf or torch plant. Settlers brought mullein from Europe. Leaves of mullein were used as lamp wicks, placed inside shoes for warmth, and Quaker women, forbidden to use makeup, rubbed leaves on their cheeks to give the appearance of rouge. Romans used plants dipped in fat as torches and it was smoked in the treatment of coughs.