Al Batt: Wear food stains with pride

Published 6:39 am Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Echoes from the Loafers’ Club Meeting

I’m not sorry to see summer leave.

Why is that?

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It’s because I always run out of gas before my lawnmower does.

Driving by Bruce’s drive

I have a wonderful neighbor named Bruce. Whenever I pass his drive, thoughts occur to me, such as: Fall colors are evident. That’s how Mother Nature signals a lane change. I’m practicing scraping my car’s windshield and I’ve been searching for my mismatched gloves in the hopes of finding them by March. I needed to stop at a couple of your finer stores to pick up a couple of things. I had a goal. Typically, some kind person eyes my meager about-to-be purchases and says, “That’s all you have? Go ahead of me.”

My goal was to look at someone with a full shopping cart and say, “That’s all you have? You should go ahead of me.”

I tried twice. Nobody was willing to cut ahead of me in line. They declined politely.

At the ball yard

The young baseball player wanted a hamburger with copious amounts of catsup.

His grandfather’s feet had wings. A burger was procured posthaste. The boy ate it between innings of the game in which he was playing.

“Do you want a napkin?” asked the grandpa.

The youngster tried to reply, but his mouth was filled with hamburger. He shook his head in the negative. He’s in the fifth grade. He’s young enough to wear food stains with pride.

The sympathy card went naked

My wife and I attended my cousin’s funeral in Iowa. My bride had purchased the perfect sympathy card, but the envelope was the wrong size. This wasn’t discovered until we were signing the card near the funeral venue. There was no time to go anywhere in the pursuit of a proper envelope, although my wife did check at a convenience store. No luck. I tossed the envelope-free card into its proper place.

We were there to celebrate a life and to say goodbye, but I’d have enjoyed sharing the case of the improper envelope with the deceased. I’ll miss the opportunity for such things.

Thoughts while trying to open a greasy

ketchup packet

Absence makes the grass grow faster.

No radio commercial should be allowed to have a blaring car horn in it. It can startle the driver of a real car.

Cleaning my garage is like going to a garage sale without leaving home.

And in local news

Snail zoo closes. Business was slow.

Local symphony orchestra told to Handel with care.

A waitress at the Eat Around It Cafe was heard to say, “How would you like your eggs in case they should turn out that way?”

To boldly go

I spoke in Louisiana and almost ate jambalaya there. It’s a Creole dish consisting of rice that has been cooked with shrimp, oysters, ham or chicken, and seasoned with spices and herbs. A man told me that if I were lucky, I might get nutria in mine. Nutria are large, web-footed rodents. I had jumpalaya instead. It had frog legs in it.

Nature notes

Red-breasted nuthatches make the yard smile. The tiny birds look as if they are smiling. Who can turn the world on with her smile? Mary Tyler Moore and a red-breasted nuthatch. I enjoy their nasal voices sounding like tiny horns. “Yank, yank,” they say. Red-breasted nuthatches are birds of coniferous woods, nesting among spruce, fir and hemlock. They migrate southward earlier than many irruptive species, sometimes heading south in early July and reaching their southernmost point by September or October.

I enjoyed a waffle at a Waffle House in Columbia, Missouri, in the company of Columbia resident and avid birder Edge Wade. Edge is not only a wonderful person, she is the only Edge I know. We talked of birds and Edge related a tale of watching ravens in a tree in Alaska dropping sticks upon a bald eagle perched lower in the same tree. They continued until the eagle fled the scene.

I led a group to Hawk Ridge Nature Reserve in Duluth one rainy year. During the fall, migrating raptors concentrate in impressive numbers and funnel down the North Shore along the bluffs. We picked a day without inviting weather for raptor or birder. We had great looks at pouring rain. We spent enough time outside to see the rain up close. One of the members of our group, after listening to me bloviate on how to identify the nonexistent hawks, commented, “From where I sit, they all look like rain.”

Meeting adjourned

“Because that’s what kindness is. It’s not doing something for someone else because they can’t, but because you can.”

– Andrew Iskandar