Al Batt: When a lap will do as well as a booth or a table

Published 7:53 am Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Echoes From the Loafers’ Club Meeting

Are you sleeping?

Do you think I can sleep with my eyes open?

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Do you always sleep with your eyes closed?

I don’t know. I’ve never looked.

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 drove by a couple of old farm sites. The buildings were gone, but I knew that they had been there because of the lilacs. Our ancestors marked their territories with lilacs. Our farm had them, too. Inside the house, my mother marked her territory with doilies. We didn’t move anything with a doily below or on top of it without written permission from a Mom. It was the doily rule.

The cafe chronicles

I entered a busy restaurant. I gave my name to the hostess. She told me that it’d be a few minutes and asked if I’d prefer a table or a booth. I told her that either would be OK. I added that a lap would work, too.

A woman, waiting to eat, said, “I have one available.”

Where do you 

hide a shower?

We were moving into a hotel room.

My wife checked things out — bathroom and bedbugs. She did a visual inventory of the room.

She came out of the bathroom saying, “There is no shower.”

I pointed at the closet. The shower was hidden behind its doors.

“Why did they put it there?” she asked.

They could have located it where it should have been, but where is the fun in that?

I went way over there

I spoke in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Afterwards, I joined friends for a meal at a small restaurant in Manteo. The food was good and the server told me that we were seated at Andy Griffith’s favorite table when he frequented the eatery. I wanted to bolt from the restaurant and see if I could find Wally’s Garage or Floyd’s Barber Shop. I’d have been happier only if Don Knotts had sat there. I enjoyed “The Andy Griffith Show,” especially the five of its eight years that featured Barney Fife. Griffith had lived on the outskirts of Manteo on Roanoke Island. Long before Jamestown and Plymouth were settled, Roanoke Island hosted the first English-speaking colonists in America. In 1584, an English fort and settlement with over 100 men was established on the island, but it was abandoned the following year due to weather, lack of supplies and poor relations with the Native Americans. In 1587, another party of 110 English colonists, including women and children, set sail for the New World, reaching Roanoke Island in July. On August 18, one of the colonists, Eleanor Dare, gave birth to the first English-speaking child in the New World, Virginia Dare. A week later, the baby’s grandfather, Capt. John White, was forced to return to England for needed supplies. Due to Spanish attacks on England, White was waylaid in England for three years. When he returned to Roanoke Island in 1590, there was no sign of his granddaughter or other colonists. Their houses were gone. The only sign of human presence was the letters “CRO” and “CROATOAN” carved on trees. This led some people to believe that the colonists had sought the help of the Croatoan Indians on Hatteras Island, but they hadn’t. The fate of the lost colonists remains a mystery, but continuing research is casting light on the fate of the colonists. 

Nature notes

I put out peanuts in the shell for the blue jays and watched one of the jays cache the nuts. It pecked a hole in the ground, dropped a peanut in and covered it with dried leaves. Dandelions bloomed. A raccoon ambled in one direction and a groundhog sauntered in another. Stinging nettles shot up from the ground. Red admiral butterfly caterpillars feed on the nettles. I spotted one of the butterflies, some of which hibernate here as adults. I gently petted a bumblebee. There aren’t a lot of things I can say that I’ve done most my life — eat, sleep, breathe and pet bumblebees. I do it to show my appreciation. I hope the bumblebee doesn’t find it irritating, because I find it pleasing.

Meeting adjourned

Joyce Tabor of Askov wrote, “We attended the nicest funeral I’ve ever been to. A friend who was 60 had died from ALS. She was amazing, vibrant and traveled the world even after she could no longer eat, talk or walk well. She was interested in people. Her mantra? ‘It’s a good day to have a really good day.’”