Al Batt: Woman served time behind bars — church bars

Published 9:55 am Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Echoes from the Loafers’ Club Meeting:

How was your vacation?

It was OK, but I spent half my time getting to the resort.

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That so?

And the other half of my time wishing I were home.

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: good advice sounds like bad advice.

Cafe chronicles

I sat in a coffee shop, using my cellphone to reply to emails that had accumulated like the national debt. I drank a cup of tea in the midst of loud cellphone conversations. It was difficult to keep from being swept up into the story lines of others. I couldn’t help but try to fill in the missing half of each conversation.

Seeking a quieter atmosphere, I moved down the road to a cafe.

A stop at a small-town cafe is good on a day that might have come from IKEA because it needed to be assembled from confusing instructions.

A woman told me that she’d been behind bars. And she had been. She’d worked behind the dessert table in the church basement at a potluck supper.

She’s a good small-town person. She knows her place. Sometimes it’s behind bars.

Someone has to be late

I left my bed early in the morning. I’d risen like dust after an all-night rain. I started off slowly and then tapered off.

Not much later, I was stalled in traffic. Someone had decided to drive zero miles per hour. I wanted to be elsewhere.

The guy in the car next to me looked as if he were a man on his way to the proctologist. Or maybe he was eating a Vaseline sandwich.

I wished I had my razor with me so I could have used my time to shave. I have one of those razors that have countless blades. One of the blades is a mulcher.

It had rained too much. Several roads were closed due to heavy rains. It added time to my trip to a meeting.

I hoped that I could make it there quick enough to get to the lifeboat.

I did.

A fellow attendee told me, “I had to get lost to get here.”

My neighbor

His wife told him that in some cultures, the husband does things. He did something. He watched TV. He loved “Newhart.” He loved it so much that he named his twins Darryl and Darrell. They were identical, but he could tell them apart by the way they spelled their names.

I thought about them recently when I hung around with some English guys. None of them were named Darryl or Darrell. They were great fellows with wonderful accents. They could say something incredibly stupid and still sound brilliant.

Did you know?

Dr. Indra Neil Guha, a liver specialist at Nottingham University Hospital in England, read Ian Fleming’s James Bond books and tabulated how many drinks the suave spy drank. On average, Bond consumed about 45 drinks per week.

Nature notes

Alice Kluver of Albert Lea wrote, “The question has arisen among bird-watching friends, do the birds that migrate south for the winter raise young while there? If they don’t, why not? And, do the young raised here this summer, choose mates this summer or wait until their stay in the south?Hoping to learn more about it. Another more obvious question, why do they even bother to come north where it’s lousy weather for 9 months?” Birds that breed in North America and spend the winter south of the U.S. border are known as “neotropical migrants.” Neotropical means the tropics of the “New World.” The reason why migration persists is because it increases breeding success. Birds are able to raise more young on average by migrating than they would if they remained in the tropics. The abundant, protein-rich food provided by insects, longer daylight hours, greater area over which the birds can spread, and possibly fewer predators offers the potential to raise more young. As the days shorten in the north in fall and food supplies become scarce, birds migrate south to their nonbreeding territories. Nesting and migrating are arduous undertakings and rest is needed. They take a break from raising families while they are south. Some birds mate for life, most others find mates in the spring.

Meeting adjourned

“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” — Leo Buscaglia