Al Batt: A town called Nevada … Iowa

Published 7:51 am Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Echoes from the Loafers’ Club Meeting

How was your cruise?

It was great. We went up Mount Everest.

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You can’t do that on a cruise ship.

Don’t tell me. Tell the captain.

Driving by Bruce’s drive

I have a wonderful neighbor named Bruce. Whenever I pass his driveway, thoughts occur to me, such as: I was in Nevada, Iowa to watch some basketball games. Nevada isn’t pronounced like the state. Just as the city of Madrid in Iowa isn’t pronounced like the city in Spain. It’s neh-VAY-duh and MAA-drid. I told a friend how to pronounce Nevada, Iowa. He got the three syllables in Iowa, but he reasoned that if Nevada was spelled like Nevada the state, it should be pronounced like Nevada the state. Also, I think he thought I was pulling his leg. I took him to Starbuck’s in Nevada. It isn’t part of the chain of famous coffee shops by that name. This Starbuck’s is a drive-in offering loose-meat sandwiches. Once inside, he decided that he’d prove me wrong. He wanted to join the long list of people who have done that. He asked a woman working there how to correctly pronounce where we were. She’d been asked before, as she gave him a serious look and said, slowly, “Starbuck’s.”

He looked good

I accompanied my parents to a viewing (wake). It was for an older fellow who lived far away. I hadn’t known him. I was a young whippersnapper who’d just started attending wakes of deceased individuals whose average age had been slightly over 127 years.

As we shuffled by the casket, my mother said, “He looks good.”

My father agreed.

I said, “He looks dead.”

I missed the next couple of wakes.

My guardian angel must wear glasses

The table topic was of the perils of wearing eyeglasses. One guy said that his eyeglasses had slipped off his head while he was putting wood into the fireplace. The glasses bounced right into the burning logs of the fire. Another fellow said that he was cutting down a small tree. He put his glasses on the ground so they would be out of harm’s way while he toiled away. You guessed it. He stepped on his eyeglasses. My offering to the discussion was that of a day I headed to town. I parked my car by the mailbox in order to get the mail. A friend pulled his vehicle up nearby. I put the mail in my car and my eyeglasses on the roof of my car. I put them on the roof for no particular reason. I had a nice visit with the friend and then headed to town. By the time I’d gotten to town and had taken care of some errands, it was time for lunch. I went to the café and got a menu. I reached into my pocket to take out my eyeglasses so I could read the prices. There were no eyeglasses in my pocket. I checked my head. There was nothing there and that nothing included my glasses. Then I remembered that I’d put them on top of my car. I ran outside. There were no glasses on the top of my car. I drove home and found my specs in the middle of the road. Miraculously, they were undamaged.

C-note security

Harvey Benson of Harmony told me of a fellow who came to Harvey’s family farm to work on the well. The man had to climb down into the well. Before he did, he put a $100 bill in his pocket. In case something went wrong, he wanted to make sure someone would rescue him.

Nature notes

“How can I tell a male and a female robin apart?” The males come to our yards bob-bob-bobbin’ along. Holler “Bob” at a robin. If it looks at you as if to say, “What?” it’s a male. Females will ignore you. Every man knows that feeling. Compared to male robins, females have paler heads that contrast less with their backs.

“How did they get the birds to attack the actors in the movie, ‘The Birds’?” Alfred Hitchcock’s 1963 film “The Birds” employed live birds, puppets and animation. To attract the trained birds, actors often had ground meat or fish smeared on their hands. The star, Tippi Hedren, did a scene where she was attacked in the attic by birds. That took a week to shoot, but ran about a minute on the screen. Hitchcock insisted on having trained gulls attack her. They were attached to her costume by elastic bands.

Meeting adjourned

All good things live in a kind word.