Al Batt: Tell a child Santa’s on the line when telemarketer calls next

Published 9:46 am Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Echoes from the Loafers Club Meeting:

I used to go horseback riding every day.

Did you go alone?

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No, a horse always went with me.

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: if there were hidden cameras in cars, we’d all lose our driving privileges.

The cafe chronicles

The only thing I wanted on my mashed potatoes was more mashed potatoes, but I ordered soup instead. The server stuck his hand in my alphabet soup. He tried to explain his actions, but he was groping for words.

Telemarketer on line one

“No,” I said.

“Shouldn’t you wait until I ask a question before you say no?” asked the caller.


The caller was taking a survey to see how I felt about getting unwanted phone calls.

My father refused to answer the telephone. He wouldn’t negotiate with terrorists. The next time a telemarketer calls, hand the phone to the nearest tot and say it’s Santa Claus calling.

Warning: contains mention of a sensitive body part

People pierce all kinds of body parts and that’s OK. They own them. Growing up, I knew men who’d had body piercing done. None of it intentionally. I’ve never wanted to have body piercings. I have enough holes to go around.

I’d known Annie Hendrickson all my life. In retirement, she lurked in the post office lobby, selling VFW poppies. I stopped at the post office every morning to get my mail. Every morning, dedicated and determined Annie was there selling poppies. If I forgot to wear a poppy, bought the day before, Annie pretended to have no memory of me ever buying a poppy from her. She went right into her sales pitch sprinkled with guilt. Annie could be pushy for a good cause. I’d buy another poppy.

One morning, I’d forgotten to wear a poppy into the post office. Zombies eat brains. So does a walk to the post office. Annie sold me another poppy. She made sure I wore it. That’s when I got my nipple pierced. That was the last time I let Annie pin a poppy on me.

Shoe shopping

I talk about myself behind my back. I say things like, “I should have clipped my toenails before I bought those new shoes.” I’d been happy to be in the shoestore in a woeful sort of way. I knew what I was looking for until the clerk asked, “May I help you?”

Customer comments

Mike Hatle of Mankato said that a high school football teammate became upset because the clock wasn’t running. It was stuck on 7:14. It wasn’t the clock. It was the score.

Jim Clark of Stevens Point, who claims to have never been as old as he is now, said that he and his wife had seven kids in rapid succession. Then they bought a TV. No baby that year.

Karen Ibberson of Ellendale writes, “Ever walk into a room with some purpose in mind, only to forget what that purpose was? Doors themselves are to blame for these strange memory lapses. Psychologists at the University of Notre Dame discovered that passing through a doorway triggers an event boundary in the mind, separating one set of thoughts and memories from the next. Your brain files away the thoughts you had in the previous room and prepares a blank slate for the new locale. It’s not our age, it’s that darn door. Did I send this to you already?”

Gus Courrier of Emmons said that a young member of his family was told that pop wasn’t good for the bones. The young lady replied, “It’s good for my bones.”

Tom Benson of Hartland was the proprietor of Tom’s Barbershop, a place where Otto Sorenson, who was vertically challenged, threatened to jump up and pull my socks down. Tom said that by the time he’d found out that he wasn’t a good barber, he was already famous.

Did you know?

According to the Cooking Channel, the signature foods for each state are as follows. Iowa — grilled sweet corn on the cob. Wisconsin — bratwurst stewed with sauerkraut. North Dakota — lefse potato crepes. South Dakota — chislic. Minnesota — hotdish.