Al Batt: Keep your glasses in working order

Published 6:30 am Wednesday, November 18, 2020

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Echoes from the Loafers’ Club Meeting

I’ve lost a family heirloom. My mood ring has gone missing.

How do you feel about that?

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I don’t know.

Driving by Bruce’s drive

I have a wonderful neighbor named Bruce. Whenever I pass his drive, thoughts occur to me, such as: I was in search of lost marbles as vehicles drove by with impressive certainty. I’m sure cars continued to go by after I moved from the waiting room to the interrogation room of a giant clinic. I checked to make sure my shirt was buttoned correctly. It’s easy for me to mess up my buttoning after tests. I don’t want to wear out my glasses when I’m not looking at anything. Bad buttonholing makes me look tilted. I remember my father’s surgeon had buttoned his coat wrong. I hoped it was because he was too busy and important to care.

Something attributed to Warren Buffett but wasn’t his doing is the best fake news I’ve gotten from social media. Buffett allegedly wrote, “Here’s what’s cool: 1. Writing ‘thank you’ notes 2. Learning and using people’s names 3. Showing up on time 4. Learning a new skill 5. Learning the art of listening 6. Admitting you were wrong 7. Random acts of kindness 8. Being a mentor 9. Investing in your future 10. Holding doors open.” This missive wasn’t true, but it’s so true. Doing those things would cover a multitude of sins, just as gravy does.

Floor sweepings stew

The cafe had a wobbly table. I was a hungry teenager. The waitress brought my breakfast special. The toast had been burned black as a lump of charcoal. I said nothing but stared at the toast. The server said, “Burnt food makes you smarter.” It’s true, I was smart enough to never eat there again.

The 10 most dangerous states for winter driving

1. Michigan

2. Alaska

3. Wyoming

4. Pennsylvania

5. Montana

6. Ohio

7. Wisconsin

8. North Dakota

9. Minnesota

10. New York

12. South Dakota

16. Nebraska

21. Iowa

View the full set of winter driving data, review the methodology and see commentary at:

I’ve learned

Insurance companies are brilliant. They send a bill and call it a premium.

No one is rational.

People read everything they believe.

And in local news

Senator introduces a bill making it illegal for deer or raccoons to be on public roads.

Lemon pudding on rye bread covered in ketchup has been removed from the Eat Around It Cafe’s menu pending further research.

Church, surprised by an organ donation, hopes someone will be able to use the kidney.

Men’s Discussion Group warns members that anyone leaving early will become the subject of the discussion.

Veterans of Foreign Cars Club closes its doors.

From the mailbag

Ann and Jim McGuire of Mankato wrote, “Love your movie list but want to suggest two movies. Have you seen ‘Shop Around the Corner’ (James Stewart) and ‘Elf’ (Will Ferrell)?  These movies always make us smile! Although very different, the sweet humor in both is sure to make us laugh.”

Marian Bahl of Faribault wrote, “I filmed the filming of ‘Grumpy Old Men’ in downtown Faribault. I stood this close to Ann Margaret while she waited for her scenes in Poirier Drug. And I shook hands with Walter Matthau. Gee, I think I’ll dig out that movie again – oh wait, do I have anything to play it on anymore?”

I thought of other movies bringing me chuckles and guffaws. I’m adding to my list: “Beetlejuice,” “Being There,” “Christmas Story,” “National Lampoon’s Vacation,” and “The Ref.”

Nature notes

Despite Emily Dickinson calling November the Norway of the year, I walked deep into the never-went. I marveled at the beauty of a crow. There is no bad looking bird. Rock pigeons flew over. The pigeon is one of few birds (including other dove species, flamingos and male emperor penguins) capable of producing a milk-like substance to feed its young. Both females and males produce a nutrient-rich substance in the crop to feed their squabs. The Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 was meant to end the commercial trade in feathers. It makes it unlawful to pursue, hunt, take, capture, kill, possess, sell, purchase, barter, import, export or transport any migratory bird, or any part, nest or egg or any such bird, unless authorized under a permit issued by the Secretary of the Interior. Non-natives like rock pigeons, European starlings, house sparrows and mute swans aren’t protected, although local laws might afford protection to swans. Game birds can be hunted in season.

Meeting adjourned

Being kind is the art of being willing to chew on a harsh word.