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Following the lure of the path

Echoes from the Loafers’ Club Teleconference Meeting

Why do you have a string tied around your finger?

It’s floss.

Why do you have floss tied around your finger?

To help me remember to floss.

Driving by Bruce’s drive

I have a wonderful neighbor, named Bruce. Whenever I pass his drive, thoughts occur to me, such as: I celebrate each day, but give a special whoop on the 20th of every month because in 2020 that provides three 20s in a row. That should be worth something.

Staying home is the new going, but freed from the manacles of my home address by the need to visit the clinic, I felt the lure of the path and took a walk at a state park and bike trail before buying seed for my wild birdies. I felt brazen. I bought gas, paying at the pump — only 70 cents. Of course, I got only 1/2 gallon. I should have preordered. As I drove, I noticed many drivers had cellphones to their heads. The state law allowing Minnesota drivers to use cellphone only through voice commands or single-touch activation went into effect on August 1. Iowa law permits most motorists to make and receive calls, and talk on phones while driving. The drivers I saw must have been in their own private Iowa.

Rural routes

Some years, it seems as if our gravel roads are nothing more than lines connecting frost boils, but that’s not true. The roads are good. I’ve seen photos of old rural roads that were little more than cow lanes through deep mud. Someone said, “The Iowa farmer cannot haul to market when the market is high. He must haul to market when the roads are dry.” Iowa township trustees determined the amount of property tax to be levied to support township roads and, at one time, all able-bodied men between the ages of 21 and 45 were obligated to perform two days of labor on the roads (within 3 miles of their homes) annually as a poll tax.

My neighbor Crandall

He has a third car because you never know. He watches both FOX and MSNBC on his TV the size of the national debt because he enjoys being confused. He used to play the triangle, but quit because it was one ting after another and it gave him the heebeegeebees — an unexplained fear of the Bee Gees. He ate an entire pizza while watching “Jaws” and mumbled to himself, “You’re gonna need bigger pants.”

Thoughts while pumping gas

Never ask a man how long a roll of toilet paper lasts him.

Never ask what kind of pie a pie chart is made of.

Don’t panic, but somewhere near you, a coupon is expiring.

A man who sits at home all day in his sweats has gone from being a bum to being a hero.

Never forget where you came from. It’s where you left your cellphone.

The old joke department

  A cheeseburger walks into a bar. The bartender said, “We don’t serve food here.”

  What do you call a chicken that counts its eggs before they hatch? A mathemachicken.

Nature notes

I listened to white-throated sparrows singing in the rain. Their plaintive whistles, “Old Sven Peterson, Peterson, Peterson,” were vocal rainbows. A mourning dove flew into a tree overhead. I looked for a nest, a flimsy assemblage of twigs that allows eggs to be seen from below. I saw red admiral and painted lady (thistle butterflies) butterflies that migrated here and sulphurs that overwintered here as pupae.

I spotted a yellow-bellied sapsucker. Jack Blanchard and Misty Morgan sang a song carrying that bird’s name that goes like this: “Well, you can take all your lovebirds stick ‘em in a tree. And they look just like a lotta bullfinches to me. Now don’t come home with them lovey-dovey words. Baby, that’s strictly for the birds. You made me feel like a yellow-bellied sapsucker singin’ in a eucalyptus tree. And now I feel like a sap since you made a sucker out of me, oh oh. You made me feel like a wheel like a real big deal then cut. The door to your heart slammed shot. You made me feel like you know what. Well, now I feel like a red-headed woodpecker peckin’ at a cast iron tree. Just a huffin’ and a peckin’ and a bangin’ my brains out nothin’ but misery. You made me feel like a yellow-bellied sapsucker.”

The sapsucker drilled holes in a tree. The stuttering cadence of its hammering sounded as if it were sending a message in Morse Code.

Meeting adjourned

We learned kind words so that we might share them in full