Al Batt: Be wary of aging wizards

Published 9:26 am Thursday, November 19, 2015

Echoes from the Loafers’ Club Meeting

I don’t seem to be able to stay on my diet.

Why not? Lack of willpower?

That’s not it. The problem is that I enjoy reading by the light of an open refrigerator.

Driving by the Bruces

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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: Never trust atoms. They make up everything. Don’t be sad that life is passing you by. Be happy that it isn’t running over you. Be forewarned, life may cause drowsiness.

King Midas

King Midas was greedy. He loved only two things, his daughter and gold. One day, King Midas helped an aging wizard with an income tax problem. The wizard thanked him for the favor and offered to grant him any wish. King Midas asked that everything he touched be turned in gold. The Midas touch. The wizard granted the wish. The king scratched his nose and caught a nasty head cold. The lesson here is that if you ask an aging wizard to grant a wish, especially a wizard who is hard of hearing, you’d better get in writing.

I don’t remember doing it, but I must have asked an elderly, hard-of-hearing wizard for fried chicken. I got a freed chicken instead.

A rooster showed up at our place. We didn’t know he was coming. He was a traveling chicken. He wasn’t good at being a chicken. He couldn’t fly well enough to occupy a proper perch. I had him step on the head of a rake and then I lifted him up to a rafter in our machine shed so that he’d be safe from predators. I did that late each afternoon. In the morning, I went to the shed with the rake and lifted it up to the rafter. The rooster stepped on it and I lowered him to the ground, making it possible for him to get on with his day.

I need a rental car that comes when I call it

I was far from home and I’d been traveling incessantly. Befuddled was my description. My flight landed at the airport and I dragged my bag to the rental car counter. I rented a Chevy Malibu. The clerk told me that I’d find it in stall 17. I walked to the car. The door opened without involving the key. I sat behind the wheel. It was crowded in there. As I sat there, nonplussed, a family of three — father, mother, and teen daughter — approached. The man tapped on the driver’s side window. It took me a while to roll the window down.

“Is this your car, buddy?” the father asked, in a not all that friendly manner. I suspected he thought that a homeless man had been living in his rental car.

“Apparently not,” I said.

I apologized and climbed out of the Chevy Cruze and found my Malibu in stall 19. I’d been given the wrong stall number.

The family of three watched me get into my car before finding seats in the Cruze.

If one of them had been Dorothy Parker, she’d have said, “This wasn’t just plain terrible, this was fancy terrible. This was terrible with raisins in it.”

I tried to not think about Bullwinkle

My wife and I sat with friends at an American Legion hall far from home. We ate spaghetti with a meat sauce made from moose for a Veterans Day meal. We talked about a mutual friend who is 27 years old — young, but with an old soul. She approached life with a wisdom generally acquired with age. I heard nearby voices say things as, “I don’t want to waste time being mad at you,” “I know it’s the 11th, but I don’t know what month it is,’ “The Rolling Stones need to keep touring until all their fans have died,” and “I’ve saved a lot on my heat bill by wearing long underwear all the time.”

Some of the talkers might have been old souls, but it’s definitely amazing what a fellow can hear while listening.

Nature notes

“Why do birds stand on one leg?” I can’t be sure, but I suspect it conserves body heat. Bare legs are exposed to cold, wind, and moisture. Cutting that exposure in half saves on fuel. Maybe it’s a way to give one leg a rest or just a comfortable way to stand.

Meeting adjourned

Be kind. The world is a small place.