Al Batt: Crack house turns out just to be a chiropractor’s office

Published 9:50 am Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Echoes From the Loafers’ Club Meeting

I get a kick out of looking through my old high school yearbook.

Can you remember the first girl you ever kissed?

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No, I can’t even remember the last one I ever kissed.

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: It occurred to me that somebody invented the mini-marshmallow because he just wasn’t hungry enough to eat a full-sized marshmallow. I was in Louisiana for work. I ate alligator because I was advised I should eat it before it ate me.

The cafe chronicles

I was enjoying tea-flavored tea. My favorite.

Everything was kale-free. I’d have liked to have had mashed potatoes with a side order of mashed potatoes. The best thing to put on mashed potatoes is more mashed potatoes. But the sauerkraut sounded and smelled good, too. Pastor Ric Jacobsen of New Ulm told me that sauerkraut is German chemotherapy.

I was seated with the Knights of the Bent Fork at the Table of Infinite Knowledge.

“Knock, knock,” said one.

“I’ll get it,” said another.

The cafe chronicles redux

My wife and I followed our collective hunger to Fat Nat’s Eggs, a diner in New Hope, Minnesota, for a fine breakfast. The owner, Jeff Nat, said that it’s a clean, greasy spoon with nothing fancy that plays rock music all the time. I enjoyed my food as I read this quote from him, “Minnesota is very Scandinavian, which means you grow up on cream of mushroom soup and if you were lucky enough to have an Italian family in your neighborhood, you might have experienced salt and pepper on your food.”

Overheard at the theater

I like movies — about 17 percent of them.

I heard this conversation, not from actors, but from fellow moviegoers seated in front of me.

“This popcorn is terrible. I shouldn’t be surprised. It always is here.”

“Then why did you get the biggest tub of popcorn?”

“Because it was the best buy.”

Go gophers!

Our 13-lined ground squirrels do have 13 stripes — seven dark stripes separated by six lighter ones. Some of the colloquial names for this species include “thirteen-liners,” “stripers,” “striped ground squirrels,” “squinnies” and “striped gophers.” This animal is the mascot for the University of Minnesota’s “Golden Gophers,” even though Goldy the Gopher looks more like a chipmunk.

These squirrels are true hibernators, allowing their body temperature to drop to just above freezing and their heart rate to drop from 200 to as low as 20 beats per minute. During hibernation, they lose up to one-third of their body weight. Stored food is consumed during hibernation breaks, especially just before emergence.

Ask Al

“What’s the easiest way to remember my wife’s birthday? Forget it once.

“How do you think the Minnesota Twins will do this year?” I’m pretty excited each year when they are tied for first place right before the season begins. Enjoy that day.

In local news

Locksmith accidentally locks his tool kit in his van.

Fuel’s Paradise offers craft gasolines.

Reported crack house turns out to be nothing more than a chiropractor’s office.

Business closes after being unable to find its “Open” sign.

Nature notes

The morning chorus played many of my favorites. Chickadee, cardinal, nuthatch, red-winged blackbird and blue jay.

The birds had formed a choral group in which each member attempted to be the featured soloist.

I’m a lifelong listener to birds. I grew up on a farm that mooed, clucked, oinked and barked itself awake each morning. I found the sound of geese barking overhead uplifting.

Success can be a matter of getting through things. The voices of the birds were my background music as I picked up sticks from the yard. That task is like life. We pick up the pieces wherever they fall and move on.

The day ended much too soon in a beautiful sunset saying “Nice going. You made it. Here’s your reward.”

Meeting adjourned

“To me, this story states my early conclusions as to what is human. I have not really changed my view since I wrote this story, back in the fifties. It’s not what you look like, or what planet you were born on. It’s how kind you are. The quality of kindness, to me, distinguishes us from rocks and sticks and metal, and will forever, whatever shape we take, wherever we go, whatever we become. For me, ‘Human Is’ is my credo. May it be yours.” — Philip K. Dick