Al Batt: One day you realize you won’t play in the World Series

Published 8:35 am Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Echoes from the Loafers’ Club Meeting:

What are you doing today?

I’m tying flies.

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I didn’t know you were a fisherman.

I’m not. I enjoy binding insects.

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: I know it’s harvest time when I mosey to town and spend far more time looking out the side windows than I do peering through the windshield.

Shopping with Allen

My job when we go grocery shopping is to stay by the cart. My wife picked up a bag of sugar and placed it into the shopping cart. I read the back of the bag.

“Just look at the sugar content in this,” I said in feigned outrage.

Comments like that are why I often go shopping alone. One day, I bought light bulbs, nothing more. The friendly cashier asked, “Is that everything for you?”

I replied, “Yes, I’m a light eater.”

The secret to eternal youth is to lie about your age

Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “The years teach much which the days never know.”

I went to my Aunt Edith’s funeral. She died nearing her 106th birthday. My cousin Richard Lewis officiated. He told us, “The young may die, the old must.”

“What’s it like being 90?” I asked a friend one day.

“It’s like being 17, 73 years later.”

I said that we become old if we’re lucky.

He said that he’d become old in July. That was when he moved into the nursing home.

He played baseball for a farm team. Johnson Brothers Alfalfa Farm. He told me, “One day, you realize that you’re never going to play in the World Series.”

“When did that happen to you?” I asked,

“Just yesterday,” he said.

Football follies

The coach said that whenever a police car drove by the practice field and some of his players tried to hide in the crowd, he knew he was going to have a good football team.

I listened to a coach on something called “The Coaches’ Corner” on the radio. I pictured a forlorn coach sitting in the corner until he learned how to win.

A day in the life of a newspaper columnist

I was at Kirby’s Café in Emmetsburg. The waitress took my order. I told her that I wanted unsweetened iced tea. She smiled and said, “You’re in luck. That’s one of the two flavors we have.”

I visited with Barb Thompson of New Richland. I noticed the small TV mounted on the wall. I asked why she didn’t have a larger one. Barb said, “I like to watch a little TV.”

Members of my family visited with Swan Tollefson of New Richland. He asked my sister-in-law Donna who she was. She replied, “I’m Duane Swenson’s daughter.” It’s too easy to misspeak, but I had to laugh. She’s married to Duane Swenson.

My young grandson, Crosby, was visiting his great-grandmother Lorraine Nelson of New Richland. He’s a talker (Winston Evenson said that he is our family’s spokesperson), but he’s a listener, too. The talk moved to memories of his great-great-grandmothers. Crosby listened for a while before asking, “How many grandmas do I have?”

Customer comments

Henry Armknecht of Hays, Kansas, said that he sometimes forgets that he doesn’t remember as well as he used to.

Rob Bute of New Ulm and I watched a basketball game from front row seats. The game was fast and rough. The referees hadn’t swallowed their whistles, but had given them a game off. Perhaps they felt it’d build character. Naturally, from our seats, we could see fouls much better than the referees who were paid to do that job. After a particularly brutal foul went unaccompanied by a whistle, Rob said, “I could referee this game and I was a wrestler.”

Ric McArthur of Morpeth, Ontario sends, “My neighbour was knocking on my door at 2:30 this morning. Luckily, I was still up playing the bagpipes.”

Dennis Galagan lives within the city limits of Albert Lea, but he still has the north 40 and the south 40. Each one is 40 inches of garden space.

Charlotte Olerud of Haines, Alaska told me about an 80-year-old woman who gave the graduation speech at a high school and said, “Your senior moments aren’t my senior moments.”