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Al Batt: The consequences of unforwarded emails

Echoes from the Loafers’ Club Meeting

For over 37 years, I’ve been going to the same barber. And how does he reward my loyalty?

I can’t muster a guess.

He retires!

Driving by Bruce’s drive

I have a wonderful neighbor, named Bruce. Whenever I pass his drive, thoughts occur to me, such as: I went to a cemetery to visit the graves of my parents. I listened to them spinning in their graves about a world that has become a bokeh, the blurred quality or effect seen in the out-of-focus portion of a photograph taken with a narrow depth of field. A devil’s advocate has never been less appreciated than today. My mother and father didn’t share the same political beliefs. Dad voted and Mom canceled his vote. Life was good with no evident rancor.

I think Blood, Sweat & Tears said it best when they sang, “What goes up must come down. Spinning wheel, got to go ‘round. Talking ‘bout your troubles, it’s a crying sin. Ride a painted pony, let the spinning wheel spin.” All the answers may be in those lyrics, but I doubt it. I blame myself. I didn’t forward that one email to 10 other people and now we have 2020. It’s my fault.

Before the world turned, I was in a hotel with many floors. I seldom use an elevator, but I had a heavy suitcase and my room was on a floor where nosebleeds were common. I entered the elevator with other folks. Someone had pushed the button for every floor. Nobody confessed to that crime. I didn’t blame them.

I listened to “Who’s on First?” a comedy routine made famous by Abbott & Costello. Bud Abbott identified a team of baseball players with unusual names to Lou Costello. First base: Who. Second base: What. Third base: I Don’t Know. Left field: Why. Center field: Because. Pitcher: Tomorrow. Catcher: Today. Shortstop: I Don’t Give a Darn. For some reason, the right fielder went unnamed.

I felt like a right fielder in an elevator with all its buttons pushed as we moved from standard time to daylight saving time to The Twilight Zone. Suddenly, people who never owned pajamas had daytime pajamas and nighttime pajamas, plus the good pajamas they wear to go shopping. I haven’t gone that far, but I have begun to bark at squirrels.

Winter weather forecast

“The Old Farmer’s Almanac”(since 1792) predicts snowfall in the Upper Midwest will be above normal. The snowiest periods will be in late December, early and late January, late February, and early March.

“Farmers’ Almanac” (since 1818) has a long-range forecast calling for a cold winter with normal to below-normal temperatures and above normal snowfall in Iowa and Minnesota.

I believe we will have weather every day. That’s my campaign promise.

Thoughts while not getting a haircut

Does bowling a mile in rented bowling shoes count?

The ruler is the king of school supplies.

Do rabbits watch the Hopping Channel?

How does a crappie feel about its name?

Nature notes

I sat on the deck and watched the yard’s critters on a late August evening. Psalms reminds me to be still and know. A field cricket, nearly as black as a crow, moved past. The sky over the yard filled with hunters. Dragonflies flew the lowest, then swallows and common nighthawks took the highest sky road. What brought these mighty Nimrods to my neck of the woods? In the Bible, Nimrod was a mighty hunter. They were feasting upon swarms of what I’ve heard referred to as flying plankton — ant swarms.

A vulture performed a feeding frenzy of its own on a raccoon carcass on the road. In my boyhood, my family had a five-second rule. If we dropped something on the floor, we could still eat it if we picked it up within three seconds. We had a five-second rule for desserts. Turkey vultures adhere to a three-day rule.

A chipping sparrow weighs 11 – 16 grams. Items weighing approximately one gram include a regular paperclip, a dollar bill, a raisin or a thumbtack.

A hummingbird visited multiple flowers of jewelweed at a hectic pace, lapping up all the calories it could. I’ve read that when scaled to the size of a human, a hummingbird would need to take in 155,000 calories daily. Jewelweed or touch-me-not has juicy stems that when crushed may serve to relieve the itch of poison ivy and stinging nettle for some people. The fruits explode at the touch to eject the seeds in a distribution mode called ballistic dispersal.

Meeting adjourned

Be kind and your memories will be allies and not enemies.

Happy anniversary to my lovely bride.