Assembly requires time off

Published 11:53 am Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Echoes from the Loafers’ Club Meeting

“Where is everyone?”

“I don’t know.”

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“Weren’t they told that I was going to be here?”

“No, but word must have leaked out.”


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: Transverse (in-lane) rumble strips are grooves crossing road surfaces that provide a tactile and audible warning for drivers approaching stop signs. I wonder what percent of drivers straddle the strips in order to avoid the rumble?


I’ve learned

When it says, “Some assembly required,” it means, take a week off, buy every tool in the store, and make no other plans.

Whenever someone says, “What do you think?” I think I should have been listening.

Justice isn’t blind. It’s afraid to see.


The Loafers’ Club Redux

The Loafers’ Club meets at least once a day. The meetings last about an hour. The members do nothing, talk about how they could do even less, and then go home to rest. Wisdom such as, “Order in the court. The judge is about to spit. All those who cannot swim, had better hurry up and get,” is shared at these gatherings. It’s time for the Loafers’ Club annual report. There were 714 meetings held during the past year. There were no dues collected, no misuse of funds, no annual meeting, no team sponsorships, and no mission statement. A secret handshake may be developed.


Considering ballgames

I visited with an old teammate, Chuck Hinkley of Freeborn. We played ball together for many years. Chuck said he gets better as time passes. He added that he couldn’t remember ever making an out.

I couldn’t remember him making an out either.

I no longer play ball. Now I’m a spectator.

Watching ballgames, you learn that if you move your feet, you lose your seat. A granddaughter’s fastpitch softball team won the state. She pitched every game. I think underhand is the natural way to throw and leads to less arm problems than the overhand pitch. I base this belief on two things. Roll a ball to a toddler and he or she will likely throw it back underhanded. And, there is no overhand bowling.


The importance of doilies

We had a doily rule in my boyhood home. We weren’t supposed to move anything that had a doily above or below it without my mother’s permission.

A woman in Arnolds Park told me that her 83-year-old mother was crocheting doilies at a hectic pace. She wants to complete enough doilies so that everyone who comes to her funeral would receive one.


Cafe chronicles

A sign on the wall read, “Death before decaf.” A fellow at the table ordered a steak — rare. I’ve seen things hurt worse than it get better. As I left, the waitress said, “Please come again. Call if you can’t make it.”

I stopped at the Koffee Cup in Arnolds Park. A sign on the highway in front read, “Eat right. Turn left.”


Did you know?

Velcro was invented by Georges de Mestral, an electrical engineer from Switzerland. Mestral put burdock seeds under a microscope and saw that each bristle was a tiny hook.

The Beer Institute’s annual per capita beer consumption rankings showed North Dakota number one. New Hampshire was 2nd, Wisconsin 5th, Iowa 13th, and Minnesota 29th. Utah was last.

Heinz Ketchup exits the glass bottle at .028 miles per hour.

About 10 percent of homes had air conditioning in 1965.


Customer comments

Dennis Galagan of Albert Lea wraps fish in newspaper, but he makes sure that my column isn’t involved in the process. I appreciate that. However, I know that my column is occasionally placed in the bottom of a birdcage, so that my photo might help cure a constipated canary.


I wasn’t bittern

I did a radio show via cellphone as I stood on a seldom-traveled gravel road running alongside a cattail marsh in North Dakota. An American bittern sang while I did that program. It didn’t bother me. I welcomed its call. An American bittern stands motionless with its bill pointed towards the sky. Its plumage provides camouflage while it stalks the fringes of shallow wetlands searching for prey. It eats creatures of suitable size — crayfish, dragonflies, fish, frogs, grasshoppers, snakes, water bugs, and small mammals such as voles. This bittern’s distinctive call has earned it a flock of nicknames, including, barrel-maker, belcher squelcher, bog-bull, bog-hen, bog-trotter, butter bump, dunk-a-doo, mire-drum, night-hen, plum puddin’, post-driver, slough pump, stake-driver, sun-gazer, thunder-pumper, and water-belcher.


Meeting adjourned

Smile as if you’ve never cried. Be kind.