Al Batt: Pumpkin spice season

Published 5:36 am Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Echoes from the Loafers’ Club Meeting

I went ice fishing yesterday.

How could you? There’s no ice on the lakes.

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I know, but I do everything the hard way.

Driving by Bruce’s drive

I have a wonderful neighbor named Bruce. Whenever I pass his drive, thoughts occur to me, such as: Not only bumpkins like pumpkins. The smell of pumpkin spice is in every working nostril. Crop dusters find extra work by filling the air with it. It’s in the coffee and the desserts. It’s even in SPAM. It might be in the gasoline. It’s replaced the smell of burning leaves at this time of year. Pumpkin spice is pumpkins gone mad. Is it what the Pottery Barn smells like? Pumpkins were once recommended for removing freckles and curing snake bites. I’ve seen pumpkins big enough to take Cinderella to the ball. Pumpkin pie and pi go on forever — 3.1415926535… Orange you glad they do. Pie is a wonderful thing. One year, my Aunt Helen made chicken pot cake because she was out of pie crust.

The cafe chronicles

The cafe, which prides itself in having the stickiest floors in the five-state area and where if it dies, it fries, held an organ recital. Folks sat around The Table of Infinite Knowledge and talked about their recent operations. They talked at length about which church offered the best butter transfer system, otherwise known as a lutefisk feed. There was even a floor show. An amateur magician of ill repute told the small crowd that he could disappear in front of our eyes and he did. He waved a magic wand (a soup spoon) and said, “Uno, dos.”

  And he was gone without a tres. We knew he’d been there because he left his bill for us to pay.

Who were you named after?

I taught a class on birds for kids. The youngsters were wonderful. They all had jackets because they still listened to their mothers. My mother was an advocate of carting a jacket around. Always take a jacket — it can be used as a seat saver.

One little girl’s name was Zophia. It was a new name for me. I asked her if she’d been named after someone. She told me that her parents had named her after her.

Sounds like her parents are wise in ways beyond encouraging jacket toting.

Power, guilt and lost another job

The National Sleep Foundation says there are three types of naps. Planned (preparatory), emergency and habitual. Planned is a nap before you get sleepy. Emergency napping, think a nap attack, combats things like drowsy driving or fatigue while operating heavy machinery. Habitual napping is taking a nap at the same time each day. I thought the three reasons to put saliva on a pillow and call it a rejuvenating nap were: After a Thanksgiving meal, at halftime and when the sofa looks lonely.

The topic was food

My wife said, “I used to make that for Al all of the time, but I stopped.”

My sister-in-law asked, “Didn’t he like it?”

My bride replied, “Oh, no. He really liked it.”

In local news

Fire at the incense factory was called “relaxing” by area residents.

Tunnel of Love Handles Fitness Club opens.

After all the seats were taken the Kleptomaniacs Anonymous Meeting was canceled.

The Peterson identical twins became mimes because great mimes think alike.

The Mule Lake Humane Society and Taxidermy Shop’s annual Halloween message is to remind everyone to spay and neuter their Sour Patch Kids.

From the mailbag

This from Rick Mammel of Albert Lea, “Regarding your ear hair. If tweezers fail to yank that sucker, try a pair of vise-grips. Just give them a twist and yank.”

Nature notes

A cardinal goes through a full molt in the fall. The male’s new feathers come with brown tips that wear away over winter, leaving them bright red in the spring. A cardinal gets its red plumage from pigments called carotenoids obtained from sunflower and safflower seeds, apples, dogwood berries, grapes, raspberries, rose hips and others. Carotenoids produce red, orange or yellow feathers.

Minnesota has more common loons than any other state except Alaska. Minnesota has more nesting bald eagles than any state other than Alaska and Florida.

Surplus killing, excessive killing or henhouse syndrome is a common behavior exhibited by predators. They kill more prey than they can immediately eat or cache and abandon the rest. Some animals that have been observed engaging in surplus killing include weasels, wolves, foxes, bears, coyotes, lynx, mink, raccoons, dogs, cats and humans.

Meeting adjourned

We don’t have to agree on anything to be kind to one another.