A drive-thru keeps us from having to use the walk-thru

Published 7:43 am Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Echoes From the Loafers’ Club Meeting

Did you hear that Emil died?

No, I hadn’t heard that.

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His obituary said that he’d been surrounded by loved ones.

Is that what killed him?

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 was driving a car of tomorrow on the roads of yesterday. Even on bumpy roads, no one has the time to drive the speed limit. A highway patrolman pulled over one of the biggest scofflaws regarding speed limits. Some days you are the windshield. Some days you are the bug.

If you don’t cotton to Seattle’s weather, use a drive-thru

We weren’t supposed to use the word “hate” in our house. My mother was quite adamant about the word’s exclusion.

I asked her if it was OK to hate hate.

Mom mulled that over and never got back to me.

I came close to hating headaches, but that would have been a wasted effort.

I suffered from migraine headaches for years. I’m just thankful that I didn’t get nearly as many headaches as I had caused. That would have been terrible. I took aspirins often, hoping they would work as a preventative. I’d grab an aspirin bottle and pull out a big wad of cotton. I wasn’t a fan of that cotton-packing material whose purpose was to fill space in the bottle and immobilize the aspirins, preventing them from bouncing around and pulverizing themselves. Today’s coated tablets aren’t as fragile, so there is little need for the cotton to rest on top of the aspirins, but it’s usually still there, although it’s often made from polyester or rayon. The last migraine headache I had was in Seattle. Seattle is known for its abundance of cloudy and drizzly days.

With a cloud cover about 60 percent of the time, it’s the fourth cloudiest city in the United States, with 226 days of cloud cover per year. Juneau, Alaska is the cloudiest city with 280 overcast days annually. When it comes to rainfall, places like Miami, New York and New Orleans get more rain each year than does Seattle with its 38 inches. I spotted a Dick’s Drive-In in Seattle. I’d have stopped had my migraine taken a powder and my appetite taken its place. Dick’s is a fast food restaurant.

When I was working in Red Deer, Alberta, there was a Tim Hortons within spitting distance of my hotel. There was a never-ending line of cars going through the drive-thru lane. There were obviously many drivers in dire need of coffee and doughnuts. I think most of them got a cup and then put their automobile back at the end of the line to wait to get another cup. They are ubiquitous, but I rarely use one.

The first drive-thru opened in 1947, reportedly at Red’s Giant Hamburg on Route 66 in Springfield, Missouri. Red’s closed in 1984, so the record for the longest-running drive-thru goes to the In-N-Out Burger that opened in Los Angeles in 1948. Remember, a drive-thru keeps us from having to use the walk-thru.

Nature notes

A walk in the woods is never a waste of time. Wild leeks (ramps) were everywhere. It was quiet. Not much birdsong. The silence of the ramps.

I was sure there were ticks in the grass. I hoped that no one had put a “Tick me” sign on my back.

A rabbit rushed away. I planted marigolds around the garden for years. It was to keep the rabbits away. Then one year, I saw a rabbit eating a marigold. That cottontail had not gotten the memo. Animals adjust. Some welcome our company. The Norway rat, not a native to this country, is commensal. That means it’s one of two different animal or plant species living in close association, but not interdependent. The© rats do well around humans.

There was a burst of house wren chatter followed by an avalanche of birdsong. Birds flitted here, there and way over there.

Birders like to describe a bird as an LBJ or LBB. Little Brown Job or Little Brown Bird. No birds are that. Every bird has a plumage that is brilliantly colored even when appearing to be drab. I watched a house finch male, a prime candidate to be called an LBJ or LBB, and marveled at the beautiful red of his feathers.

Meeting adjourned

“Shall we make a new rule of life from tonight: always to try to be a little kinder than is necessary.” — J.M. Barrie