No rest for the wary

Published 11:17 am Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Echoes from the Loafers’ Club Meeting

“I gave up shingling.”

“When did you do that?”

“About halfway to the ground.”

Driving by the Bruces

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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: There is no rest for the wary.

I’ve learned

1. I remember commercials better than I remember the product they are advertising.

2. If you want to be a leader with a large following, drive the speed limit on a two-lane road.

3. If I am critical, people learn more about me than about the one I’m criticizing.

ABC (Already Been Chewed)

I was leading a bus tour. The good folks in the seats were from California. They were so nice that I was determined to make them happy.

One traveler said, “Boy, I wish I had some gum.”

I had no gum. I don’t chew the stuff. It makes my jaws tired. What could I do? I did the best that I could. I had everyone check under his or her seat bottoms for gum.

Car stories

It happened again. Someone stole my car and then returned it to the same parking lot but in a different spot. He doesn’t damage it or remove anything from inside; he just moves my car from one parking place to another. He even sets the odometer back so it appears not to have been driven. What kind of sick person gets a kick out of doing something like that?

I took my car in for service the other day. The oil has to be changed whether it wants to be or not. As I backed out of the garage, I noticed a multi-colored Asian lady beetle on the windshield. I drove 20 miles from my home to the garage. I hit 55 mph. When I got to the garage, the lady beetle was still hanging onto the glass. I parked my car and the insect flew away.

What language?

I was once owned by a Chihuahua named Sancho, named after Sancho Panza, a character in the novel Don Quixote by Cervantes. I tried to train Sancho, but he learned what he taught himself. I couldn’t teach a new dog old tricks. He was a fine auxiliary canine, but Sancho didn’t do what I asked. He appeared to want to, but he just didn’t understand. Aunt Ingeborg stopped by. Ingeborg tended to be talkative. She overwhelmed little Sancho and he peed on a chair leg. What else could he do? In exasperation, Ingeborg uttered something in Norwegian. Sancho perked up and listened intently. It dawned on me. Sancho was a Norwegian Chihuahua.

Attempted speeding

I was motoring down Highway 13. I might have been going up Highway 13. I’m never sure. The car ahead of me was driving exactly 55 mph at least when measured by my speedometer. And why shouldn’t he have been driving 55 mph? That’s the speed limit. He stayed right at 55 and I was proud of him. He was so good at driving 55 that he did it when we hit a 50-mile per hour zone and when we hit a stretch of 40-mile per hour limit. He found a speed that worked for him and he stuck with it.

Nature notes

Why doesn’t a woodpecker’s bill wear down from the pounding it takes? It does, but it has a horny sheath that grows rapidly with wear. This keeps the bill sharp, strong, and resilient. It is sharpened with every blow. The woodpecker’s bill is reinforced to withstand repeated impacts as the bird hammers on tree trunks. To help withstand the bill strikes, woodpeckers have larger neck and shoulder muscles than most other birds. The brain of the woodpecker is small compared to body size, which distributes the impact over a larger area. The brain case is reinforced and the muscles at the base of the bill contract just before impact and absorb the hammering. The woodpecker is built to do what it does.

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 asked her opinion on peer pressure.

The Holstein chewed her cud thoughtfully and said, “I worried about herd pressure until I took the herd’s advice and stopped listening to it.”

Meeting adjourned

Stevie Ray Vaughan said, “You see, we are here, as far as I can tell, to help each other; our brothers, our sisters, our friends, our enemies. That is to help each other and not hurt each other.”