Al Batt: Time and patience is the answer, not butter

Published 10:19 am Thursday, August 11, 2016

Echoes from the Loafers’ Club Meeting

My name is Bartlomiej Wojciech Krojczyzewskiorz.

How do you spell that?

Email newsletter signup

My wife helps me.

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: I saw corn tasseling on July 6. I wished I had living parents or grandparents that I could share such a sighting with. Grandma had a lot of kids and many grandkids. She’d make a roll call out of a generous sampling of the names of those youngsters when she was particularly vexed and wouldn’t stop until she came to the right one or one very near it. Sometimes, it was simply “you.” My father often uttered one-word sentences. It was usually, “No!” Dad believed in keeping his arguments short. He taught me many things, such as, it’s not the destination, it’s the price of gas that matters.

Visiting the home

“How are you doing?” I asked.

That’s what we often ask. It’s a default question usually asked as a politeness. I asked because I wanted to know.

He sat in a wheelchair. His sweatshirt hung on him like the past. We had more than a shallow familiarity. I’d known him all my life. I liked him. Not everyone did. Someone told me that he was as tough as boiled hell. He was a good farmer, but he’d always been better with land than with people.

“Happy birthday,” I added.

“You’re a couple of days late. If every day were my birthday, I’d be a lot older. How are you?”

“I can’t kick,” I replied.

“I can’t even move,” he said.

I quickly counted a blessing. I can walk.

A conversation between Alice and thee Cheshire cat in Lewis Carroll’s “Alice in Wonderland” went like this, “Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”

“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat.

“I don’t much care where,” said Alice.

“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” said the Cat.

“So long as I get somewhere,” Alice added as an explanation.

“Oh, you’re sure to do that,” said the Cat, “if you only walk long enough.”

It gives us paws

He’d moved across town. His cat moved with him, but it would bolt out of the house any time the door was left open more than an instant. Once outside, it made a beeline for its former residence. He retrieved the cat from his former house several times before his mother advised him to put butter on the cat’s paws. The theory is that putting butter on a cat’s paws removes the smell of its old home. It didn’t work. All the butter did was to upset the cat and leave greasy paw prints all over the new home. Cats are creatures of habit and they are territorial. Moving is stressful for them. Time and patience is the answer, not butter. The people who bought his old house ended up adopting the homing cat.

The Waffle House

I was on my way to the airport. I’d left early enough so that I could stop for a leisurely breakfast. The trip had been a good one. Work went even better than I’d hoped for in Louisiana and I’d done an enjoyable piece for a New Orleans TV station. I stopped at a Waffle House and had a waffle. It was a long way to go for breakfast, but it was worth the trip.

As I entered, a song by Reverend Billy C. Wirtz, “The Waffle House Fire,” ran through my head. “Saw the big yellow sign, as’waffle, waffle’ raced through my mind. As I walked in the waffle shop, the truckers were boasting, the griddle was griddling and the toaster was toasting.”

Nature notes

“How much poop does a Canada goose produce?” If geese produced as much excreta as claimed, they’d have pooped themselves out of existence. The numbers are dependent upon food consumed. A study done by N. M. Scherer in 1995 found that the average goose produced 2.87 ounces of dry droppings each day. A 1975 study conducted by Dr. Bruce Manny, research fishery biologist with the U.S. Geological Survey, found that the average goose produced 5.53 ounces of wet droppings or 1.15 ounces of dry droppings per day. Other research shows results somewhere in those ballparks.

Meeting adjourned

“Condemn none: If you can stretch out a helping hand, do so. If you cannot, fold your hands, bless your brothers, and let them go their own way.” — Swami Vivekananda