Al Batt: Pants of all flood types

Published 7:06 am Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Echoes from the Loafers’ Club Meeting

Why are you limping?

My knee is sore. What would you do if you had a bad knee?

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I’d probably limp, too.

Driving by Bruce’s drive

I have a wonderful neighbor named Bruce. Whenever I pass his driveway, thoughts occur to me, such as: The weather report I heard while driving through Kansas made me want to break out the flying monkeys. I realize that a weatherman, if given a choice, would predict more bad weather than good. I can’t blame him for wanting to overpromise stormy weather. If he predicts adverse weather and we don’t get it, we are happy campers. If he predicts nice weather and we get a storm, we are peeved.

My car’s tire strayed onto local rumble strips, producing a loud, but appropriate rumbling sound. I’d read about a different kind of rumble strips on a Dutch road that when hit at the certain speed — 60 kph — sing out the anthem of the Friesland region, a northern part of the Netherlands that has a distinct language and culture. Perhaps rumble strips playing “Highway to Hell” would lead to reduced speeds here.

The cafe chronicles

A man entered the eatery early in the morning.

“How are you doing?” asked another.

“I’m still here,“ was the reply.

That seemed to satisfy everyone’s curiosity.

Flood preparedness

The cat woke me. She is a shedding alarm clock who tries to get her steps in by walking on me.

I’d been dreaming about my boyhood, around the time I was in the first grade. First graders were fresh meat to the older kids in school. School was a steep curve. When someone said ”Knock, knock”, I had to try to confine my answer to ”Who’s there?”

They were good days. There was always an animal named Blackie on our farm. Brownie and Whitey were numerous, too.

At home, my job was to eat whatever was on my plate, thank everyone for the food and then go outside. If I cleaned my plate and ate all of my pie, I could have more pie.

My mother bought my school clothes in August. By spring, I’d outgrown them. My pants had a long-distance relationship with my shoes. Skin showed between pants and socks when I sat down. My pants were high waters. By spring, I was ready for a flood.

Be well

Lee Simpson of Kempton, Pennsylvania, told me I should eat rice cakes. I told her I wasn’t fond of rice cakes unless they were covered in gravy. She showed me chocolate-covered rice cakes as an encouragement. I replied that I eat most everything except rice cakes and chocolate. There’s just no pleasing some folks.

I got a flu shot. I haven’t been good at getting one. What inspired to get a vaccination was reading about the 1918 flu pandemic that resulted in the deaths of 50 to 100 million (three to five percent of the world’s population). The total number of military and civilian deaths in World War I was lower, estimated at 9.7 million military personnel and 10 million civilians.

Keeping score

A friend used a handheld device to change the numbers displayed on the digital scoreboard at the softball field. He’d made an error. I didn’t correct him. He was a teacher and I was raised to never correct a teacher. Someone else reminded him of his error. Someone who had been raised differently.

Shushing librarians

I wrote about being shushed by librarians. Librarians were my tour guides for my imagination. I don’t encounter shushing today, but I do hear the lovely sound of laughter. I appreciated the shushing and love the laughter. I heard from a number of librarians and patrons about this sanctuary of imagination and elucidation. Thank you for your stories.

Nature notes

Golden eagles and bald eagles are about the same size. Golden eagles typically soar or glide with wings lifted into a slight V and their wingtip feathers spread like fingers. They capture prey on or near the ground that they locate by soaring, flying low over the ground or hunting from a perch. Bald eagles are more common, widespread and gregarious than golden eagles. Bald eagles have larger heads and soar with their wings flat across, like a board. Adult golden eagles lack both the white mottling of immature bald eagles and the white heads and tails of adult bald eagles. Young golden eagles often have white patches under the wing and at the base of the tail, but it’s always more clearly defined than the white mottling on the body and wings of immature bald eagles.

Meeting adjourned

Be in a hurry to be kind.