Al Batt: Less worry and more Pi

Published 8:51 am Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Echoes from the Loafers’ Club Meeting

I worry about what my doctor told me.

What did he say?

Email newsletter signup

He told me not to worry.

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 often hear, “That was the final straw.” What was the first straw? My father chopped wood. I wasn’t very old, but I helped. Each time he swung the axe, I grunted from the stump I sat upon. That might have been the first straw.

Cafe chronicles

He told me he reads the obituaries each day just to monitor his peer pressure. He had driven through my hometown. He called it a bite-sized town. I told him that it wasn’t, at least not since the cafe closed. We had met at a cafe between us to eat pie.

It’s Pi Day every year on March 14 — or 3.14. Pi, 3.14, expresses the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter. Because Pi Day falls on 3/14/15, it matches the first four numbers that follow the decimal point — 3.1415. It’s a day worth celebrating by eating pie in its honor.

Memories of Louisiana

I was speaking at some things in Louisiana when I felt a need to eat. I pulled into an eatery displaying a familiar sign. I parked my rental Chevy safely between the lines. I pay attention to those lines and I like people who look at the lines when parking cars.

I was in a Waffle House in Morgan City, Louisiana. The Waffle House is an icon of the south with about 1,700 restaurants, some as close as Missouri and Illinois. It’s a place built for breakfast. I was enjoying a waffle covered in maple syrup. The Waffle House doesn’t offer french fries (hashbrowns are served many ways), but I thought about a woman seated near me during a meal the day before at Bayou Delight restaurant in Houma, Louisiana. She had a hamburger and a sensible number of french fries. She ate every fry before she took a single bite out of her burger. I couldn’t do that. I need to eat a bit of each in an attempt to make them last equally. I know that some people eat their desserts first, reasoning that life is short.

We are creatures of habit. I suspect that most of us put a sock on the same foot first each time we get dressed.

Oh, Waffle House hashbrowns are available smothered in sauteed onions, covered in melted cheese, chunked with grilled hickory smoked ham, diced with grilled tomatoes, peppered with spicy jalapeno peppers, capped with grilled button mushrooms, topped with chili and a country style of being covered in sausage gravy.

I finished my waffle as I listened to a fellow complain stridently about all politicians, past and present.

I was second in line to the cashier. The man ahead of me flashed a wallet and a smile as he said, “I hope they have a Waffle House in heaven.”

Customer comments

Chris Kamrud of Tracy had this to say about lutefisk, “If you put enough butter on a shingle, it’s good eating.”

Larry Crabtree of New Richland said this about daylight saving time, “It’s like cutting a foot off one end of a rug and sewing it on the other end to make it longer.”

Wayne Brock of Tracy had just moved as a young man to the area. He asked a fellow he met on his first day if there were any women worth looking at in town. Little did he know that he was speaking to his future father-in-law.

Norm Eckart of New Richland told me that he’d found the easiest way to plant walnut trees. Pour a five-gallon bucket of walnuts onto the ground and let the squirrels plant them.

I had struggled with the pronunciation of some Finnish names. It bothers me when I butcher someone’s family label. My wife consoled me by saying that her aunt Ingeborg Rugroden would have solved the problem by saying, “That name is spelled incorrectly.”

Talking with the Holstein

The Holstein is a retired dairy cow, so she has time to talk. I told her that I was trying to become a better listener. Listening is difficult for most humans. Listening gives us something to do while we wait for our turn to talk.

The Holstein chewed her cud thoughtfully before saying, “Listening is the rent paid for friendship.”

Meeting adjourned

Kindness attracts kindness.