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My advice: See a medical professional yesterday

Echoes From the Loafers’ Club Meeting

I wouldn’t worry about the approaching blizzard.

We’re supposed to get 14 feet of snow. Why wouldn’t I worry about that?

Because everything will be all white.

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: According to the Hartland Scientific Poll, that I made up, when it comes to New Year’s resolution failures, people give 119 percent. It’s an auld lang syne of the times. We can’t press the reset button, so we should strive for positive life changes. If I were to make New Year’s resolutions, and why wouldn’t I as they aren’t legally binding, I’d resolve not to leave well enough alone. I’d advise everyone to see a medical professional yesterday. And I’d keep a few pennies in my car in order to avoid getting more in change.

The cafe chronicles

You’re late.

I was delaying the inedible. What’s the special today?

It’s what nobody would eat yesterday.

And you call that a special?

If we called it what it is, no one would order it.

An entry-level winter day

It was a windy day. We have windy days. That’s why it takes so many nails to hold our houses together.

An old neighbor and I were likely having the same conversations that our fathers once had. He was enjoying a medicinal cheeseburger. He called it a flu shot.

“Whatever happened to the windchill factor?” he asked between bites.

There was something thrilling in hearing a weather report saying that it was 20 degrees below zero, -43 with the windchill. I told him that the windchill factor had been tried and found guilty of crimes to humanity. It was sentenced to life in Arizona, where it does community service in the summer.

The landline rang

For some odd reason, I looked right where it was. It was a small piece of plastic on the floor. I picked it up and pondered its identification. It had to have come from something. I wondered if it were important. Was it a vital cog in sustaining the existence of some contraption or a useless article? Was it broken? Did it come from something we still had? Did I dare throw it away? I erred on the side of caution and placed it in the drawer of unidentified and broken parts.

My thoughts of that lost object vanished when the landline rang. When that phone rings, the caller is usually someone who uses a phonebook, a telemarketer or someone I hadn’t talked to in years.

The caller was an old neighbor. We’d been in woodworking class in school together. That’s where we learned how to make fruitcake.

It was a time as Lewis Carroll wrote, “To talk of many things:

Of shoes — and ships — and sealing-wax — Of cabbages — and kings —

And why the sea is boiling hot — And whether pigs have wings.”

He asked if I remembered Fizzies. I remember dropping a tablet into a glass of water and watching it fizz, creating a beverage that reminded those with good imaginations of a soft drink. Fizzies came in cherry, grape, orange, lemon-lime, root beer, strawberry and cola flavors. We shared laughs as we’d once shared Fizzies.

Ask Al

“Do you have paintings on the walls of your home?” Yes, the best one was done by Sherwin-Williams.

“Do you own a boat?” I do, but I’m not allowed to use it in the bathtub when my wife isn’t home.

“What makes potholes?“ They’re made by small mammals called road dents.

“What’s the easiest way to learn to tie knots?” Put your earbuds in your pocket.

Nature notes

Diane Arbus said, “My favorite thing is to go where I’ve never been.”

I love going to new places and seeing new things, but I love going to old places and seeing familiar things even more.

I watched a balled flock of starlings fly. Not everyone likes starlings. Many think them ugly. I think all things are beautiful. I’m called to witness, not judge. Things that fly are brilliant. Nature doesn’t trust me with wings. The flock whirled and wheeled in the air, turning fast and coming around, blackening a small bit of the world. It formed a fist before thinning and changing direction. It’s called a murmuration. It’s a sight that the word “amazing” was coined to describe. It was good to see, great to appreciate.

Meeting adjourned

“Kindness can become its own motive. We are made kind by being kind.”—Eric Hoffer