Al Batt: How often did Batman’s cape get caught in his car door?

Published 10:11 am Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Echoes From the Loafers’ Club Meeting

Here’s your coffee. For you, it’s only a dollar.

How much is it for everyone else?

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It’s a dollar. Who do you think you are?

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: How often did Batman’s cape get caught in his car door? I saw a guy in a coffee shop who wasn’t using a smartphone, a tablet or a laptop. He was just drinking coffee. Weird. I guess it takes all kinds. You know what I think about telepathy? Some of you do.

The cafe chronicles

Mother would have called him a good eater. He dug into the mashed potatoes with gusto. If he’d been a beaver, there wouldn’t have been a tree left in the county. There had been a slight complication with his order. The beef tips were gone.

“Do you like cold chicken?” asked the waitress.

“Sure, you bet.”

“Well, then come back tomorrow. It’s still hot now.”

The next day, I stopped at the Happy Chef restaurant in Mankato, where it had opened in 1963. It offers breakfast throughout the day. I find that appealing. There had been 56 restaurants scattered throughout seven Midwestern states in the Happy Chef chain. A 36-foot tall Happy Chef statue welcomed me. An employee told me that this iconic eatery was the last remaining Happy Chef with a statue. Happy Chef sponsored a fastpitch softball team for many years. For no reason, I thought about Meadowlark Lemon, the clown prince of the Harlem Globetrotters, who died recently. Lemon, who was known for his humorous hook shots, played in 16,000 straight games. He played 325 games annually. I was in one of them.

Tales of a traveling man

My wife asked me if I knew Paul Thompson. I know a few Paul Thompsons. I knew that one of them had died just by the way my wife had posed the question. When I’m traveling and she asks a question from home about someone that way, there is a good chance the name was in the death notices. He either died or won the Nobel Prize and I don’t think I run with a crowd of potential Nobel Prize winners. I knew the Paul Thompson who had died. He was a wonderful guy and I’m pleased to have known him.

I landed in Frankfort Airport. I had to, I was in an airplane. I couldn’t have done it on my own. I made my way to baggage claim to claim my baggage. The handle of my suitcase had been fully extended and then bent in half. There were tracks on the suitcase. It had been run over by something. The bag had been ripped and some of the contents had become free-range. Over many years of spending time in baggage claim areas of airports, I’ve seen the contents of many broken suitcases on carousels. I’ve felt sorry for the owners. Now I was one of those folks. I gathered up my belongings and placed them into what was left of my suitcase. Fortunately, one of my items recovered was a roll of duct tape that I used to repair the damaged bag.

A friend told me that he’d gotten one speeding ticket in his life. He’d thanked the police officer for giving him the citation.

I suppose I should have thanked someone for demolishing my suitcase, but I didn’t.

Slopping the cats

I was given a small sample of cat food. I opened the package and placed it in the bowl for our two house cats, Ethel and Purl. They’d been entertaining themselves with one of those self-service petting stations. I told the felines that four out of five veterinarians recommended the food. It was a lie, but that didn’t matter. I was talking to cats. The cats turned up their noses at the new food. They snubbed it because they figured that the fifth vet must have been the only one who had tasted the stuff.

Nature notes

“Could I have seen a raven near Albert Lea?” It’s unlikely. A common raven is a bird of the north here, but I’ve seen them as far south as Sherburne and Chisago counties in Minnesota and I’ve seen photos of common ravens in Washington County. Historical records show a few sightings in Iowa.

Meeting adjourned

Jimmy Johnson said, “Treat a person as he is and he will remain as he is. Treat him as what he could be in he will be what he should be.” Be kind.