Al Batt: The slurping was deafening

Published 5:42 am Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Echoes from the Loafers’ Club Meeting

I wish I knew then what I know now.

What did you know then?

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Then your wish has come true.

Driving by Bruce’s drive

I have a wonderful neighbor named Bruce. Whenever I pass his drive, thoughts occur to me, such as: I stopped at the clinic for a little-get together. The little get-together was helping put a jigsaw puzzle together. I helped by staying out of the light and eating a Rice Krispie treat. I don’t have the desire to slap a jigsaw puzzle together, but I admire those who have the patience to do so. The last jigsaw puzzle I attempted to piece together was a used one missing a couple of pieces. It left me feeling unfulfilled.

The two ladies attempting to conquer the puzzle found it a challenge. “Idiot!” one of them proclaimed. I’d been found out. It turned out she wasn’t talking to me. She was being hard on herself for trying to punch a puzzle piece into a place where it didn’t fit. I offered to find her a scissors. Not just any scissors, but the good scissors. I might have even run with the scissors as we were already at the clinic.

I’m an idiot. I believe my father thought idiots were drivers who passed him and morons were those who tailgated him. “What’s that idiot (moron) doing?” he’d say. I suppose I could be a moron. Idiot or moron, there’s nothing I can do about it. My dues are paid for life. I once tried writing a paper for school on an Etch A Sketch.

Despite those shortcomings, I teach classes on writing. With a couple of minutes left before one class ended, I asked if anyone had a friendly riddle or knock-knock joke to end the day with a few chortles. A young woman raised her hand. “Why did the chicken cross the road?” she asked.

I gave the standard answer that it did so to get to the other side. She shook her head. I offered, “To show the opossum it could be done.” That, too, was wrong. I surrendered.

“To get to the idiot’s house,” she said, a bit smugly I thought. Then she added, “Knock, knock.”

“Who’s there?” I responded cleverly. I’d answered that door before.

The young woman smiled before saying, “The chicken.”

The cafe chronicles

The day, as each day does, offered a plot twist. The slurping was deafening. Everyone was eating the please-don’t-let-me-get-sick soup. The chicken noodle soup could have been served in a long trough. Apparently, the heads of chickens are good for our immune systems.

Thoughts while watching sundogs

I remember when I learned how to count. It was odd even then.

The only thing some people will do right away is to procrastinate.

Do lawyers believe in free will?

It’s OK to talk to yourself when you need expert advice.

Who was it that thought we wanted TV commercials featuring someone yelling at us?

Nature notes

“I watched a bald eagle fly over ducks on a lake. Some ducks flew and some didn’t. How does a duck decide what to do?” Its choice of predator evasion tactics might be decided by what kind of duck it is. A dabbling duck (puddle duck) is a type of duck that feeds primarily along the surface of the water or by tipping headfirst into the water to graze on aquatic plants, vegetation, insects, and larvae. These ducks are infrequent divers and are more likely to fly to escape danger. Diving ducks propel themselves underwater with large feet attached to short legs situated far back on the body. When threatened by an aerial predator, they tend to dive to safety. A mallard is a common example of a dabbler and mergansers are divers.

“Can a large insect fly farther than a smaller insect?” I don’t know. I do know the fragile looking monarch butterfly can travel 2,500 miles during its migration. You’d think that would win a gold medal, but it doesn’t. The Pantala flavescens dragonfly, about 1.5 inches long, flies across continents and oceans from India to Africa, about 4,400 miles. According to Smithsonian, dragonflies are known to travel at a speed of 35 miles an hour. Hawk moths, clocked at a speed of 33.7 miles an hour, come in as the second fastest. I’ve read there is a horsefly that is faster, but not according to Smithsonian. I’m sorry I was unable to provide a proper answer.

Meeting adjourned

“Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other.”

— Ephesians