Al Batt: If you see me running, you better run, too

Published 9:47 am Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Echoes from the Loafers’ Club Meeting:

I wish you hadn’t told me that.

Well, it’s the truth.

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I know. That’s why I wish you hadn’t told me that.

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: When driving, it’s a good idea to go one direction at a time. Without weather, we’d have difficulty starting a conversation. Bad weather is gossiped about more than any reality TV star. Everyone has a different definition of bad weather. All I know is that good weather is a day when the wind doesn’t blow. We have windy days here and we have days that are even windier.

The cafe chronicles

His name was Gary. That’s a name that has become less and less popular, but he still answers to it. He introduced his wife. He added that her full-time job was correcting everything he said and she was very good at it. He maintained that he wasn’t always wrong. Sometimes he was just confused. He wasn’t a morning person. He might not even have been an afternoon person. He felt that there was something wrong with those who were in good spirits at breakfast. He ate out only when the toaster in their kitchen was on vacation.

“There is nothing like good food. I wish we had some,” he grumbled loud enough for the waitress to hear. The waitress smiled, obviously familiar with his routine.

Gary told me that his granddaughter had a message on her arm. His wife corrected him by saying, “It’s a lovely tattoo.”

“Lovely girl,” said Gary, “but I can’t say much for the message.”

I ran in a potato race once.

The potato won

Duane Morse of Phoenix told me that he’d run the Twin Cities Marathon a few years ago. He said, “I enjoyed it as much as you can enjoy running a marathon.”

I’ve never run a marathon. The closest I’ve come has been carrying a teammate up a hill in football practice in a torturous exercise called “carrying a teammate up a hill.”

If you see me running, you’d better run, too, because something is chasing me.

A marriage is a work in progress

David Abramson of Meadowlands told me that he drove their motorhome while his wife, Helen, knitted in the passenger seat. He explained that he had to drive. He had never learned how to knit.

John and Jan Menge of Webster, Wisconsin told me that they had been married for 20 years without a single argument. Then their pastor suggested they should attend a retreat concentrating on various forms of marriage counseling. They argued about attending. Their truce had ended. Wisdom dictates that we shouldn’t try to fix that which isn’t broken. That includes marriages.

The wheels on the bus went round and round

The bus driver and I stopped to get gas in a small town in North Dakota. I picked up an iced tea and the local newspaper. The clerk rang up the sale. I thanked her for the bargain price and reminded her that the gas needed to be paid for, too.

She smiled, thanked me in return and said that she’d done the same thing earlier in the week. It resulted in a drive-off without paying for gas, whether it was intentional or not. She said that her boss was mad at her and she worried that she might be fired.

“Maybe the people will come back and pay for it,” I offered.

She was quite certain that would never happen.

She was a pleasant woman. I hoped she was wrong.

Rick Draper of New Richland told me one of his favorite jokes. “Does this bus go to Duluth?”

“No, it goes ‘beep, beep’ like all the other buses.”

The bus I rode on went “beep, beep” and ran on gas that was bought and paid for.

Nature notes

My father enjoyed watching birds. That love was passed along to me. Father’s Day comes and goes in a blink, but the memories of my father’s gentle and heartening dealings with nature endure. Dad called the indigo bunting a “blue canary” and the house wren “Jenny Wren.” Jenny Wren was a dolls’ dressmaker in “Our Mutual Friend,” a novel by Charles Dickens. A willing scold, the house wren’s song is exuberant and bubbling. It’s a tiny bird that produces a big sound.

Meeting adjourned

Be kind and be the hero of your own story.