Fast food tea is better than nothing

Published 9:10 am Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Echoes from the Loafer’s Club Meeting

“I didn’t get any sleep. My wife twisted my nose all night.”

“Is she mad at you?”

“No, she dreamed that she’d forgotten to turn off the water in the sink.”

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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: People tend to fall back when they first spring ahead.


I’ve learned

To check for toilet paper first.

Yours is never the weirdest family.

If you are worried about getting a disease from biting insects, don’t bite any.


The times they are a-changing

I’ve watched a number of basketball games from rock-hard gym seats this year. Few players wear eyeglasses anymore.

I went to a funeral to pay respects to the deceased. There, I was reminded that if I want to see a necktie, I should look in my closet.

In a hotel room, I watched a few minutes of “Gunsmoke” on TV. It was an episode starring Festus more than Matt Dillon. I prefer Festus to Chester for reasons I cannot explain. The old western’s Dodge City was much different from anything today, but one of the most noticeable differences was the complete lack of beeping.


Ask Al

“How do I find north when I’m in the woods?” Face south and then turn around quickly.

“How far do you live from town?” Three or four miles, depending upon the traffic.

“What would you do if the boat you were in started leaking?” I’d put a pan under it.


My neighbor

My neighbor Still Bill — he’ll allow anyone to use his snow shovel to clear his walk — has a brother who was married recently. Still Bob, the brother, tied the knot with a girlfriend of longstanding. We were all at a basketball game in Mankato. Somehow, his wife brought the conversation around to how nice it was that they were doing something together, instead of Still Bob spending all his time in an ice fishing shack. She suggested that he retire his ice auger.

Still Bob was stunned. He fell silent. She asked, “Darling, what’s wrong?”

“You sounded just like my ex-wife,” replied Still Bob.

“Ex-wife!” she screamed, “You never told me that you were married before!”

“I wasn’t!”


Talk nice

Daniel Otten of Hayward said his aunt told him, “Whenever many Ottens get together, nothing good happens.”

She had a point. Families gather to find comfort after a death. That was true in this case. Daniel’s uncle had died.

My mother was fond of saying, “It’s a shame he had to miss his funeral. It would have been good had he heard all the nice things people said about him.”

That is the truest of cautionary tales. We need to make an effort to say nice things to those important to us.

Right before Daniel’s uncle died, he’d told his family, “Don’t worry about me. I’ll be all right.”

Comforting words.



I stopped at a fast food restaurant to get a cup of hot tea. It wasn’t my favorite tea, but it was better than none. The person ahead of me purchased a numbered meal and paid for it with cash pulled from a battered wallet held together by duct tape. The cashier gave the customer change. The man counted his change twice and was about to do it a third time when the cashier asked, “Is it all there?”

The man put his money away and grumbled, “Barely.”


Cafe chronicles

The old stove was battered. There had been a run on pancakes. My nose rejoiced. Why can’t more foods smell like bacon? I feel like I belong a little bit in many places, but the smell of bacon in a small town cafe tells me I’m home. A place where I find foods that I’d forgotten I’d liked; foods that could be reasoned with — not too spicy. Patrons who remember what it was like before they were held up at the point of a gas pump. Men who are willing to teach more than they know. Where everyone gets a slice of the baloney.

“These pancakes are fluffy, yet crispy. Golden brown and delicious,” said a diner.

“You like them?” said the surprised waitress.

“Well, they could be rounder.”


Did you know?

In a University College London study, participants chose a new behavior that could be repeated daily. On average, it took 66 days to make it a habit.


Nature notes

Melting snow reveals narrow runs of meadow vole trails across lawns.


Meeting adjourned

The best exercise for the heart is an act of kindness.