Al Batt: Suffering from cereal-aisle paralysis

Published 6:02 am Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Echoes from the Loafers’ Club Meeting

I bought a new sweatsuit but it’s not working.

What do you mean by that?

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I’ve owned it a month and I haven’t lost any weight.

Driving by Bruce’s drive

I have a wonderful neighbor named Bruce. Whenever I pass his drive, thoughts occur to me, such as: This is the time of the year when the roar of the combine can be heard throughout the land. I’d dreamed that all warning labels had been outlawed and the world’s population dropped by 51% within two years. I started the day with a bowl of hot oatmeal. I poured milk onto the oatmeal and added walnuts, almonds, blueberries and honey. It was as much a hotdish as it was hot cereal. I suffer from something called cereal-aisle paralysis that hits me when I’m overwhelmed with choice. I can’t help but search the shelves of cold breakfast cereals for Mushies, an imaginary sponsor on the ancient Bob & Ray Show. “Mushies. The great new cereal that gets soggy even without milk or cream.” So far, no luck finding any.

My hiking shoes had become moving billboards for duct tape. I decided to see if new shoes were still being made. I thought a shoe store might be a good place to start my investigation. I saw countless shoes huddled in pairs. I discovered that buying shoes was harder than buying cereal. I demolished my old record for the number of shoes tried on. My personal best had been two, one shoe for each foot. I hope the new pair will be as faithful as their duct-taped predecessors.

The cafe chronicles

I stopped at a fine eating establishment. I’m blessed to have a palate that prefers things like hotdish, mashed potatoes and pie. The food at this cafe is good, although damned by faint praise and some jokes about being awarded the purple heartburn after eating there more than once.

I sat at a table where everyone ordered coffee except me. There is one in every crowd. I splurged on water. The liquids arrived quickly — thirst things first. A fellow Loafer told me that he enjoyed peanut butter on lefse. I’m going to try that. It’s important to have goals.

A hodgepodge

Harvey Benson of Harmony had a relative who had been elected to a public office of great importance. He told Harvey that he had to do only two things each day on that job: Find where to get money and decide who to give it to.

Happy unbirthday to those not celebrating a birthday today. Unbirthday, meaning a day other than one’s birthday, was coined by Lewis Carroll in “Through the Looking-Glass.”

Friends celebrated their 44th wedding anniversary. They’d unearthed a newspaper clipping of their wedding. On the reverse side was a column penned by this ink-stained wretch.

Andy Dyrdal of Albert Lea is 97 years old. Someone asked him if he wanted to live to be 100. Andy said he had set his sights higher than that. I hope to be able to listen to his stories for many years.

We had a snow tire swing when I was a boy. I don’t remember the brand of tire, but it wore well. Wealthier folks had two tire swings. One was the spare.

In local news

Ambitious herb gardener put in double thyme this summer.

Man sleeps with light on despite his wife’s pleas that he wear pajamas instead.

Order your baby chicks for spring delivery by calling Which Came First Hatchery and leaving a message at the peep.

Danny Boy’s Plumbing, “the pipes, the pipes are calling,” is open seven days a week except Sundays.

Nature notes

There are no suicidal leaps for lemmings, as they don’t periodically hurl themselves off cliffs into the sea. Cyclical explosions in populations occasionally provoke lemmings to move to areas with lower population density. Some lemmings might die by falling over cliffs or drowning in lakes or rivers. These are accidental deaths in quest of reaching a new territory. A memorable scene from Disney’s 1958 Academy Award-winning nature documentary “White Wilderness” was of lemmings drowning after jumping off cliffs and into the sea. That scene was staged by filmmakers.

There are other things that are contrary to popular myth. Ostriches don’t bury their heads in the sand. They wouldn’t be able to breathe. They do dig nests in the ground. Toads won’t give you warts. Mother birds don’t reject babies because they have been touched by humans. Porcupines cannot throw their quills.

Meeting adjourned

“Remember there’s no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end.”

— Scott Adams