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Al Batt: I was already standing in the forecast

Echoes From the Loafers’ Club Meeting

I can’t eat this.

Do you want a doggy bag?

No, thank you. I love my dog.

Driving by Bruce’s

I had two wonderful neighbors — both named Bruce — who lived across the road from each other.

One Bruce moved away. Whenever I pass the remaining Bruce’s driveway, thoughts occur to me, such as: The day had begun with a snarl. It was 16 degrees  below zero, but I needed to step outside to take the devil out of the day. It was cold enough that the proper etiquette was to replace a hello with, “Cold enough for you?”

After a short time outside without being properly attired, I said, “Uffda!” That was my way of saying, “Uncle!”

Shopping while sneezing and sneezing while shopping

What is it that I don’t know about shopping? How vast is the universe? It takes me 20 minutes to find the instant coffee.

A shopping list should be restricted to one supermarket aisle. I could buy only things from that aisle. I’d like that.

I looked at hamburger buns on the shelves. There were a number of choices.

“Are you worried you’ll get the wrong kind?” asked a friend pushing a cart.

“No, I know I’ll get the wrong kind,” I replied.

I moved to the shelved bread. There were even more choices there. It’d been an easier task when much of that space was taken up by Wonder Bread.

Maybe I’m allergic to decision-making. I sneezed. I typically sneeze three times whenever I sneeze. The first, I greet with a “Salude.” The second “Dinero” and the third “Amore.”

I was wearing my best bib and tucker as I pulled out a handkerchief in preparation for a second and third sneeze. My hankie was large and orange.

The friend said, “Ye gods and little fishes! Your handkerchief is orange.”

I’d suspected that.

I saw a man nabbed for shoplifting. He’d pocketed a bag of ground coffee. Store employees hustled him off to wherever it was that they hustled such miscreants off to. A neighbor asked me what was going on. I told him that the fellow had gotten in trouble for trying to sneak more than 10 items through the express lane. He nodded and said, “Serves him right.”

Warm feet, warm heart

Jim Gullickson of Mankato told me that he’d gotten warm slippers for Christmas that were of such high quality that one was made for the left foot and it’s partner for the right. I have slippers, purchased from Bob’s Discount Jumper Cables, Lefse and Slippers Emporium, that are made from the finest of vole hides and fit either foot. I like that. When I rise from bed in the morning to shuffle off to the breakfast cereal, I don’t need to be wearing slippers on the wrong feet.

Full of hot air

I pumped gas. Others at nearby pumps were dressed as famed Arctic explorers. The pump’s irritating TV told me what the current weather conditions were. I muted the device. I knew what the current weather conditions were. I was standing in them.

I visited the restroom to wash my hands. I used the electric hand dryer. There was a wastebasket below the hand dryer filled with used paper towels. The hand dryer huffed and puffed and blew so hard that a bunch of towels flew out of the wastebasket. I picked them up. Then I washed my hands thoroughly again. I used the hand dryer once more, but not before moving the wastebasket to a place less windy.

Nature Notes

I’d heard a great horned owl hooting in the night. It called, “Who’s awake? Me, too.”

A woodpecker drummed on a resonant limb in the morning’s light. Blue jays did their pump-handle calls and chickadees whistled “fee-bee.”

These are signs of increasing day length. Spring is just around the corner, but I’m not sure which corner.

Several callers mentioned mysterious critters. There are many of those. Most are heard while camping in the middle of a dark night.

A fellow from Auke Bay, Alaska, told me he’d left a pack of cigarettes on his boat and a raven stole them, one Marlboro at a time. Even though it was a raven and not a crow, he named the bird Edgar Allan Crow.

In Australia, black kites and brown falcons swoop down upon burning twigs and embers, and carry them to the bush where they’re thought to deliberately start fires. They capture the insects, frogs and animals rushing to escape the fire.

Meeting adjourned

“Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.”— Maya Angelou