Al Batt: Leave the pricetag on exercise equipment

Published 9:36 am Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Echoes from the Loafers’ Club Meeting:

Why do you go ice fishing?

Because it’s nice to get away to a place where I can relax without a care. You should try it.

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I don’t need to. I don’t care now.

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: Always leave the price tag on any exercise equipment you buy. It might provide an incentive.

Worrying at a buffet

My wife and I aren’t always full-service diners. We were at a buffet. Buffet is a Norwegian word meaning, “get it yourself.” The restaurant’s sneeze guard was in the shop for repairs, so we were each given headgear with a face shield to wear. We couldn’t even sneeze on an elbow. No, they didn’t really give us a mobile sneeze guard, but they should look into it.

My wife looked worried.

That’s because she was worried. I said, “You worry too much. You probably inherited that trait. Your father worried, didn’t he?”

My bride replied, “Only when I started dating you.”

I can’t believe it was that long ago until I try to remember it

They were the times when the nights were darker than they are today.

Extension cords and multi-outlet plugs took the place of adequate wiring.

The school’s walls were painted either a morning breath blue or a heartburn green. The school’s spitwad-sniffing dog moved by the desks and lockers. At least that was the rumor I started when a neighborhood dog entered the school after being enticed by the heavenly smell of tater tot hotdish. He was a gigantic Saint Bernard with an appetite even larger than he was.

The dental office fiendishly amplified the sounds of the drill through the office’s sound system.

We blogged by looping Main in an old car.

They were dark days. They were good days. They were the days we were given. They were the way they were.

I was reminded of these things recently when my wife made hamburger gravy on mashed potatoes. It was delicious, just as it had been when the lovely lunch ladies prepared the delicacy when I was a frequent patron of the school cafeteria.

Forgive me

I sat near the rear of the plane, where legroom was nothing more than a rumor. The airline didn’t offer a snack cart. They emailed each passenger a 25 cents-off coupon good on a bottle of water purchased at a convenience store. I took the time that I’d usually be enjoying a glass of cranberry juice to wish that I was flying on a glass-bottomed airplane. I pretended to listen to the flight attendant give her safety talk and demonstration because no one else was. I wanted to ask her to repeat it in case I missed something, but I thought it wise not to.

The fellow next to me struck up a conversation. He had been visiting and was going home, just like me. In a state where most everyone lives close to water, he didn’t. He said that all his relatives who had lived in the area were now in the local graveyard. We talked about those we loved who had died. It’s not hard to lose loved ones. It’s hard taking a trigonometry test you didn’t study for. Losing a loved one is heartrending awful. We go to wakes and funerals. We hug until we can stop crying. We cry until we can stop hugging.

He had cleaned the house of a recently deceased relative. In doing so, he’d developed a great respect for those who get rid of things.

We do let go of things, but they have claw marks on them when we do. We hoard stuff (that’s the technical term for things we have no use for, but keep anyway), just as we store grudges and refuse to forgive. It can be difficult for some folks to forgive people for not being who they thought they were. Not forgiving is like drinking rat poison while waiting for the rat to die. Get over things as quickly as possible.

And either throw away that collection of promotional screwdrivers or sell them on eBay.

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Ric McArthur of Morpeth, Ontario, sent along this hopeful note, “Smile, the days are getting longer. You’ll have more daylight to shovel the snow.”

Ron Guidry of Gibson, Louisiana, told me that he dropped out of school after he’d completed the fourth grade. He didn’t want to get ahead of his father.