Al Batt: Hunger is the best sauce in the world

Published 6:06 am Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Echoes From the Loafers’ Club Meeting

I pick the seeds off my sesame seed bagels.

Why don’t you order a different kind of bagel?

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Then I wouldn’t be able to pick off the seeds.

Driving by Bruce’s drive

I have a wonderful neighbor named Bruce. Whenever I pass his driveway, thoughts occur to me, such as: It had been a great day, but some assembly was required. The rain fell with an Old Testament fury. It was so rainy, no boat was kicking up dust on any lake. Between rains, I watched an all-star fastpitch softball game. One of the players was named as Kennedy Johnson. The young lady carried the name of a presidential ticket to second base.

The cafe chronicles

I was surrounded by coffee, a flatulent squeeze bottle of mustard and observations. There were no lumps in the recipe. The food was good, but it didn’t need to be. I was hungry. Cervantes said, “Hunger is the best sauce in the world.”

The cafe had no two drink mugs that were alike. I liked that. A free flyswatter with every meal was a nice touch. The cafe was a shady tree on a hot day.

The day the lights went out

Everything changes in the proverbial blink of an eye. I read that the average person falls asleep in seven minutes. No surprise. If you’ve had surgery, you’ve likely been instructed by an anesthesiologist to count backwards from 100. I think I might have made it to 98.

The power went off in our neck of the woods in May. It affected 489 customers. My wife and I were proud. Without us, it would have impacted only 488 customers. The electricity was back in less than two hours. The utility folks do remarkable work and made for a somewhat better than average day.

Those thrilling days of yesterday

I had a neighbor named Claude Bias. I liked him. He was different, but so am I. One of his peccadilloes was that he collected dogs. Not dog figurines, but large, living dogs. Claude had just enough dogs to know what to do with them, but more dogs than I could count until I’d taken an advanced math class. The dogs were a fecund bunch. I called each of his dogs Motorboat, because it was, “Pup, pup, pup, pup, pup.”

Claude didn’t pay anything for his dogs. He got them for free, either born and bred on his farm or dropped off by people who wanted to rid themselves of the canines. I walked amongst them. I trusted them as far as I could toss a Maytag refrigerator. I’d heard a bargain dog never bites, but I was never willing to put that adage to the test.

Nature notes

I love to tiptoe through nature. House wrens had become the main source of birdsong in my yard. If you put up a wren house, you’d better enjoy wren song. I listened for a dog day (annual) cicada call. I typically hear them in July into September. Hot weather fans their singing flames. These insects are providers of late summer sounds and memories. Folklore says that a cicada’s buzzing song declares frost is but six weeks away. The cicada isn’t a proficient predictor of dropping temperatures.

I spotted earwigs on the milkweeds my wife planted for the monarch butterflies. An obvious feature of an earwig is the pair of pincers or forceps at the tip of the abdomen. Both sexes have these pincers; in males they are large and curved, whereas they’re straight in females.

I watched red fox kits play. I love seeing foxes for many reasons. One is because I dislike Lyme disease. A study found the red fox to be a major agent of control of that disease due to its fondness for mice as food. Mice are efficient transmitters of Lyme disease.

I watched American white pelicans floating on the water. Pelicans have pouches that would make a kangaroo proud. Dixon Lanier Merritt wrote, “A wonderful bird is the pelican. His beak can hold more than his belly can. He can hold in his beak enough food for a week! But I’ll be darned if I know how the hellican?” Pelicans are splendid fliers and soar magnificently on giant wings, but becoming airborne can be challenging without the aid of wind. Pelicans must run over the water while beating their wings and pounding the water’s surface with their feet to get enough speed for takeoff. Their feet flapping sounded like Fred Flintstone starting his car.

Meeting adjourned

“Kindness is more important than wisdom, and the recognition of this is the beginning of wisdom.” – Theodore Isaac Rubin