Al Batt: Complication of health

Published 7:59 am Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Echoes from the Loafers’ Meeting

I heard your brother is hospitalized. What’s wrong?

Health complications.

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Of what nature?

A toilet fell off a truck and hit him.

You call that health complications?

It sure complicated his health.

Driving by Bruce’s drive

I have a wonderful neighbor named Bruce. Whenever I pass his driveway, thoughts occur to me, such as: It was an odd journey to a job. I drove Highway 13 before turning left onto Highway 14. I continued on 14 until turning right onto Highway 15. It was 13 to 14 to 15. Most of us talk to ourselves. I talk to myself often while driving. If anyone notices, they will think I’m talking on my cellphone.

“Here’s a photo of me in the fifth grade on my cellphone,” a friend showed me.

“Wow! How old is your cellphone?” I responded.

  I text on my cellphone. It takes me a long time to compose a text. My thumbs aren’t meant for typing. Because of that, I sometimes use the speech-to-text method. I hit the little microphone icon on the screen. I talk, it types. An editor from Ohio had inquired as to my health. I wanted to text her that I was swell, with nary a complaint. It popped up on the screen as “with malaria complaint.“ That’s why I type once and look twice.


I enjoy vendor shows. They keep me supplied with notebooks. I love books and notebooks are books that are yet to be written. I go through notebooks like a sneeze through a cheap facial tissue. I have worked at vendor shows. I was happy to get rid of every single giveaway my booth offered. I didn’t want to carry any stuff home with me.

I write in those notebooks. Things like this.

The school day hadn’t long ended when I asked my fourth grade granddaughter Everly what she had learned in school that day.

“Nothing,” she said, the traditional answer of generations of school children.

I shared my incredulity, “You didn’t learn anything in school?”

She responded, “No, that’s what the Internet is for.”

It’s easy walking on a full moon

A few years ago, I spoke at an event that led me to be seated next to Edgar Mitchell, an astronaut who had walked on the moon. What do you say to a true moonwalker like that? There is great value in knowing when to say nothing, but I went with, “I had a nice walk today.”

I should have asked him if he’d spotted the cow that jumped over the moon.

Waffles are pancakes with abs

Hank Williams sang it. “Goodbye Joe me gotta go me oh my oh. Me gotta go pole the pirogue down the bayou. My Yvonne the sweetest one me oh my oh. Son of a gun we’ll have big fun on the bayou. Jambalaya and a crawfish pie and filé gumbo.”

I ate those foods and more. Some went down easier than others. I spoke at some things and did a TV gig in Louisiana. Work took me to where “Swamp People,” a History TV series, was filmed. The show follows Louisianans hunting alligators in the swamps of the Atchafalaya River Basin.

I was in a small boat. The boat’s owner snaked it through the bayous. “You could get lost here,” he said. “I have been.” I found his admission oddly reassuring.

I’d put a lot of the South in my mouth — from grits to crawdad to alligator. For a more familiar meal, I ate at a Waffle House. I’d heard the jokes. Chuck Norris orders pancakes at the Waffle House. And he gets them. Jim Gaffigan called the waffles plaid pancakes. When I eat at one of the South’s famous breakfast restaurants, it feels right. I’m comfortable writing while surrounded by syrup.

Nature notes

The mating season for white-tailed deer lasts from October to December. Does give birth to one to three young, usually in May or June after a gestation period of seven months. The fawns wear a reddish-brown coat with white spots that helps them blend in with their environment.

More than 50 percent on average of nesting attempts by robins fail to produce young. About 25 percent of the fledglings survive until November. Robins can have two or three broods in a season.

The average weight of a monarch butterfly is approximately half a gram. There are 453.592 grams in a pound. It takes about 907 monarchs to make a pound.

Meeting adjourned

“Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.” — Desmond Tutu