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A place where everything is available in camouflage

Echoes From of the Loafers’ Club Meeting

I am starved.

Well, if you’re going to eat, take off your hat.

Why? Are you out of plates?

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 listened to the radio as I drove past the Cabela’s store outside Owatonna, which was built in 1998 as the first Cabela’s outside Nebraska. A neighbor just down the road a bit was its millionth customer. That 159,000-square-foot enterprise drew 3.5 million visitors in its first year. It’s a place where everything is available in camouflage.

Heroes aren’t born, but they do die 

I was at a cemetery at Memorial Day. We left flags, flowers and tears at graves.

I met a couple of friends who were also paying their respects.

The talk was about a fellow we knew years ago. He’d died somewhere in his nineties. We weren’t sure exactly how old he was and were unable to find his grave after a short and uninspired search. We all knew how he died. He’d gone out to eat. He’d had beef pot roast and sopped up every bit with bread. It had been a hug on a plate to him. He’d walked home and watched a Twins game. He’d been quite a third baseman in his day. The Twins won. That would have made him happy. Then he went to bed. He died in his sleep. Peacefully we imagined. He’s a bit of a hero to many of us. That’s the way most of us would want to leave this world of sin and sorrow. We’d want to have a good day while in our nineties and then slip away in our sleep.

We began a new search for his grave.

Canine tales

In order to keep one’s importance in perspective, everyone should have a dog that worships him and a cat that ignores him.

I had a Chihuahua named Sancho for many years. He was named after a character in “Don Quixote.” Sancho was a great friend, but he had his faults. He was a chronic beggar. He wanted a bite of everything and ate most anything. One year, near Christmas, his begging was particularly energetic and persistent. I gave in and offered him a bit of pickled herring. Sancho sniffed it and then rolled on it as if it had been a dead carp aging in the sun.

He reminded me of a dog from my youth. That was back in the days when no one picked up after their dogs. They were carefree, but messy times. His name was Wimpy. Wimpy would eat anything. Anything, that is, until the day my father offered him a drink of coffee. My mother made strong coffee. You needed to shake it to get it out of the cup and then it came out as if you were changing oil in a truck. Wimpy took a single lick and quickly determined that coffee was not for him. From that day on, all we needed do was to ask Wimpy if he’d like some coffee. As soon as he heard the word “coffee,” he howled.

Those thrilling days of yesteryear

The woman said, “I need to find my second husband.”

Her current husband, who was her first husband, didn’t seem concerned about her declaration.

What she called a second husband, my family called a gripper. It was a flat, rubbery circle used to open jar lids. It was and is a handy item to have working in a kitchen.

The woman and her first husband had childproofed their house, but they still got in. One boy drove them crazy because he used too much toilet paper. That was both an economic and a plumbing problem.

One day, they discovered that this son of theirs had a gift. They had a TV with a rabbit ears antenna. There were only a couple of stations that could be received and neither came in well. One night, the father asked the boy to adjust the rabbit ears in the hopes that they might at least hear what was on TV.

The youngster touched the rabbit ears. The picture cleared, the snow went away and voices became easily understood.

Choirs of angels sang.

The parents were so pleased with his talent and his willingness to hold rabbit ears for hours that they stopped complaining about his toilet paper usage. As a matter of fact, they were so grateful, they bought him a mountain of bathroom tissue.

Meeting adjourned

If you say a kind word about someone, make sure they hear it.