Al Batt: Eating is easier than exercising

Published 9:26 am Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Echoes from the Loafers’ Club Meeting:

Everything I eat tastes like potato chips.

What have you been eating?

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Potato chips.

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: We are getting older when we remind ourselves of old people we used to know.

The news from Hartland 

Global warming leaves some cold.

Barry the Undertaker says his mortuary business is going under.

Rita Book’s new book, “Life is Simple,” is 1,344 pages of small print.

A toast to the toaster

I watched the burned toast rise like a phoenix from the ashes. My wife likes her toast to be more deeply tanned than I like mine. The settings are changed by both of us. I recalled an Illinois couple that I’d talked to. They each had their own toaster, their method of preserving preferred settings.

We like things the way we like things. A local bank had acquired new ownership. A friend seemed concerned about that. I asked him why. He told me that he was worried that they might change the kind of candy that was given to customers.

This written on a napkin from Vivian’s Cafe, a place that exists only in memories

We raised peacocks. One of the beautiful males flew up into a tall tree. I tried to call it down so that I could put it into the henhouse. It refused to fly down. It never did. I figured it had fallen prey to a great horned owl.

My car broke down again. I pushed it. I repeated this as often as necessary. I was Sisyphus taking a drive. I didn’t know that I was rehearsing for the future. I hitchhiked to town. The car that picked me up was in worse shape than mine. It was so bad, I put my hand out the window with my thumb up, hoping to catch a better ride. The driver told me that we’d share expenses. He’d pay for the gas and I’d pay for the oil. I’m glad he was joking, as I couldn’t have paid for that much oil.

I went to Einar’s Hardware to buy some cookware for a gift. They were temporarily out of that sort of thing. I guess I’d caught them with their pans down.

I moved a few lima beans around on my plate. The neighbor was an excellent cook. She pickled cucumbers, beets etc. She liked everything pickled except her husband. She liked lima beans. So did my father. He called them butter beans. No matter what they called them, they tasted like lima beans to me.

Customer comments

Betty Gertner of Altoona, Wisconsin recounted the time her father built an outhouse behind their cabin when Betty was a little girl. Her mother bought a 5-pound ham and that was used as the template for the outhouse holes.

Ferd Stadtlander of Rockford and Tom Benson of Hartland both told me of the characters who once resided in their towns. They lamented the absence of those people by asking, “Where are the characters of today?” It was here that they each paused before adding in realization, “I guess I’m one of those characters of today.”

Hope Ann Mckinzie of Waseca said that her daughter had put a sofa near the curb with a “Free” sign on it near her home in Roseville. The couch went nowhere. She replaced the free sign with one reading, “For sale. $10.” The sofa was quickly stolen.

Talking with the Holstein

The Holstein is a retired dairy cow, so she has the time to talk. I asked her why most diets fail.

The Holstein chewed her cud thoughtfully before saying, “Eating is easier than exercising.”

Nature notes

“Something killed several of my chickens, but ate only the heads. What was it?” A likely culprit would be the great horned owl. It often eats only the head and neck. Feathers found on a fencepost near the chickens provide a clue. Dead chickens show signs of attack on the sides of the head if a mink or weasel had been the perpetrator. These predators often kill several birds and pile them. The back of the head and neck are frequently the only parts consumed. A mink or weasel frequently leaves a musky, skunk-like odor. If a predator eats the head and the breast meat of the dead birds, a raccoon is probably responsible. A skunk prefers to eat the soft insides, sometimes removing the head to drink blood. The opossum generally attacks one bird per visit. Usually, it eats the chicken’s abdomen.

Meeting adjourned

Be kinder.