• 18°

Avoiding a roverdose

Echoes from the Loafers’ Club Meeting

My Uncle Cuthbert died and left me his bathroom scale.

Why did he do that?

To show me that where there’s a will, there’s a weigh.

Driving by Bruce’s drive

I have a wonderful neighbor, named Bruce. Whenever I pass his drive, thoughts occur to me, such as: I had a neighbor named Claude Bias. Claudie, as most called him, was one of those people who not only didn’t try to keep up with the Joneses, he was most comfortable lagging far behind them. Claudie didn’t have electricity on his farm. He had countless canines instead. He had so many dogs, I feared Claudie would succumb to a Roverdose. He didn’t.

The legend of Gene Dodge

I headed down the Hog Highway — I-90. It’s used to haul hogs to Hormel or to ride hogs to Sturgis. I was on my way to watch a basketball game in Sioux Falls. I listened to a tournament game on the radio. The skilled announcer painted effective word pictures. He talked of referees working with the official timekeeper to make sure there wasn’t a second too many or too few on the clock. Being an official of any kind at an athletic event can be challenging. Fans yell, coaches yell and a few gifted players might consider themselves above fouling. They don’t realize that a snow.

You’ve heard the reports. A coach said something harsh to a referee. The referee responded, “What did you call me?”

The coach replied, “Guess. You’ve guessed at everything else.”

Another coach asked a ref, “Would you call a technical foul on me if I thought you were the world’s worst referee?”

The official replied, “Definitely not. I’m no mind reader.”

“Good,” said the coach, “because I think you are the worst.”

I had a coach who offered his eyeglasses to a ref saying, “Here, you need these more than I do.”

Gene Dodge was a fine man, proprietor of Dodge’s Hardware, and heavily involved in community affairs. He was a responsible, well-mannered citizen, but got his blood up during high school basketball games. He had one-sided, strident discussions with referees he found flawed. The story goes that to curb his badgering of the arbiters of fouls and other violations, the school made him the official timekeeper, a serious position.

It worked well until a game when Gene couldn’t take it anymore. A referee had become an example of all that was wrong with the world. After taking a heap of heckling, the frustrated referee said to Gene, “I thought you were supposed to be the timer?”

Without missing a beat, Gene said, “And I thought you were supposed to be a referee.”

Thoughts during a timeout

If you want your home to be more wildlife-friendly, leave a door open.

If your cellphone battery lasts a long time, you probably have a life.

The ancient Egyptians worshiped cats. Anyone who has been online knows we do too.

Good moods don’t need reasons.

Putting money into a vending machine demonstrates optimism.

In local news

Tailor Swift promises quick clothing alterations and repairs.

The Merchant of Venison Butcher Shop offers each employee a steak in the company.

All seats at the Mangy Corners Conference Center have been taken for the upcoming Kleptomaniacs’ Convention.

Nature notes

Winter isn’t an easy companion. The citizens of the yard stay busy because they need to eat. Goldfinches generally become more common customers at the feeders during the second half of winter, as if inspired by a coach’s halftime talk. Juncos trilled as if it were the next season. Horned larks fed on roadsides. The darling of the yard and my minimum daily bird requirement, a chickadee, sang of spring.

I stumbled outside into a day exactly my size and found an owl pellet. Owls swallow small prey whole. The gizzard is a thick-walled organ that uses digestive fluids and grit to grind and dissolve the usable tissue from the prey. The types of tissue that can be dissolved by an owl’s digestive system include muscle, fat, skin and internal organs. Bones, teeth, feathers, fur and insect shells collect in the gizzard. The bird regurgitates the indigestible materials as pellets.

Meeting adjourned

This was part of the obituary for a friend, Jack Moon of Kiester: “In honor of Jack, kiss your sweetheart, hug your kids, entertain your grandchildren, go for a long ride in the country, practice your faith, read a good book, sing a song, volunteer in your community, tell a joke (over and over again), enjoy nature, be a good neighbor and live every day as the blessing it is.”