• 30°

Al Batt: Otto and his palindromes

Echoes from the Loafers’ Club Meeting 

Why don’t you ever watch the Super Bowl?

My team isn’t in it.

Who’s your team?

Bubba’s Pinheads in the Thursday night league at Bowling Elaine’s.

Driving by Bruce’s drive

I have a wonderful neighbor named Bruce. Whenever I pass his drive, thoughts occur to me. My car was so old it had both upper and lower plates. It was more comfortable than walking but not as fast. It wasn’t a good starter in winter or in any other season and had a penchant for becoming stuck in the snow. If that car had been equipped with a backup camera, I could have seen who had been pushing it. I worked in college to feed my eating habit and my car’s thirst for gas. My resume could have fit on a matchbook cover with room left for Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. I was a school crossing guard in elementary school. I arrested people for walking when they shouldn’t have. The results were mixed. Just over 99.9 percent of the perpetrators were acquitted. I put that job on my resume and got a look you could take on a safari from the hirer who asked if I knew how to drive a stick. I did and ended up pushing a big industrial broom with a long wooden handle. There is no commemorative plaque with my name on it on a wall of that business.

Pushing snow in a palindrome

I was a knight with a shining snow shovel. As I shoveled snow, I could see that no two of the snowflakes were alike. I grew tired quickly as I’d already emptied my pencil sharpener earlier that morning. January 2021 was a month with 10 consecutive days of palindromes. 1-20-21, 1-21-21, 1-22-21, 1-23-21, 1-24-21, 1-25-21, 1-26-21, 1-27-21, 1-28-21 and 1-29-21. It made guys named Otto proud. The dentist’s office called on one of those days, needing to postpone my appointment because my hygienist had vertigo. I was more than willing to because I didn’t want to go. Vertigo and I didn’t want to go are both ailments in the go family. Alfred Hitchcock’s “Vertigo” is a movie that examined an ex-cop (played by Jimmy Stewart) who suffered from vertigo brought on by heights and tall dental patients.

Bad joke department

Teslas are expensive because they charge a lot.

If I could describe myself in five words, they’d be “Bad at math.”

What’s the opposite of irony? Wrinkly.

From the mailbag

Amos Vogel of Morgan wrote, “On the subject of days getting longer on both ends. I was just wondering if that meant that we will be having more than 24 hourse in a day and if that happened will our weeks get shorter or longer? … That way I would have a better chance of catching up on things that I haven’t got done. Especially in the nothing to do department. Once you start doing nothing there is so much of that to do you may have to hire help.”  

Nature notes

White-tailed deer change from grazers to browsers in winter. Red foxes stay warm with their thick winter coats. An adult rarely retreats to a den in winter, but curls into a ball in the open, using its bushy tail to wrap around its nose and footpads instead. I’ve looked through spotting scopes and seen foxes blanketed in snow.

Between bites of seeds under a bird feeder, the nervous rooster pheasant looked upward hawkwardly for aerial predators. I watched a hawk perched in a cottonwood. The hawk had quite a slice and it wasn’t anywhere near a golf course. In falconry, a slice is when a hawk propels its droppings out and away from a nest or perch. A bigger bird, like a bald eagle, can add serious velocity to that action. Falconers refer to hawk droppings as mutes. I thought of a line from a book I’d read, “The hawk was everything I wanted to be: solitary, self-possessed, free from grief, and numb to the hurts of human life.” I’m guessing Helen Macdonald wasn’t thinking about slicing when she wrote that part of her delightful book, “H Is for Hawk.”

I squinted to see the rabbit on the moon. The man on the moon is a myth. The moon looked yellow, silver or white, but was likely gray.

Meeting adjourned

The end of the obituary of Margaret M. DeAdder of Moncton, New Brunswick, read: “In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you do something nice for somebody else unexpectedly, and without explanation. We love you, mom, a bushel and a peck. A bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck.”