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Al Batt: Highly invested in sitting

Echoes from the Loafers’ Club Meeting

I’m a triathlete.

You are?

Yes, I try to swim, I try to bike and I try to run.

Driving by Bruce’s drive

I have a wonderful neighbor named Bruce. Whenever I pass his drive, thoughts occur to me. I’m a chronic walker. Why don’t people walk more? It’s not because we’re lazy. We have too much money invested in chairs. I hadn’t been so excited since the invention of The Clapper as I was when my wife and I assembled three desk chairs. It was a pair-bonding exercise. They were rodeo chairs that had never been ridden. The first two were easy-peasy, but the third chair was larger, more complicated and rather challenging. The chairs are rolling now. Alex Trebek may have had all the answers, but I had a hammer.

Shopping with a lady beetle

My wife and I were grocery shopping. My job when shopping with my bride is to stay by the shopping cart. I’m good at that. Occasionally, I gave the cart a light push and said, “Vroom! Vroom!” I loitered in the health food aisle in case I should tip over after a long and courageous battle with a nasty hangnail. That would make me look good. “He was concerned about his health until the very end,” a mourner might say.

Multi-colored Asian lady beetles had filled our garage. They weren’t quite everywhere. They missed one spot. It was impossible to get in or out of my car without inviting beetles in.

There I was in the health food section, staying near the cart. I was content. Right about then, I felt something crawling where things shouldn’t be crawling. It was on my south end. When my wife returned from some mysterious aisle where I’d never been, I told her I needed to visit the little boy’s room. Once there, I did what I could to find the cause of the crawling sensation. It was a multi-colored Asian lady beetle. I was happy to see it and to see it go. It fell to the floor and crawled away to find another rear end to torment. I rejoined my wife. I smiled and hoped she thought that was because I was happy to see her again.

The coonhound chronicles

A friend showed me his new COVID canine or pandemic pooch. It’s a coonhound. I recalled a fellow who frequently came to our farm during my boyhood with a pack of coonhounds to hunt raccoons. While in bed and trying to sleep, I listened to the baying of those hounds. It sounded like a political convention. In the morning, I’d hear one baying at the new day. At least one dog always became lost. I’d put it in the yard, but the dog found it easy to scramble over the fence. I called the owner and he promised to get there as soon as possible. That was usually a week. I understood why. He saved money by having us feed his dog that ate like a horse.

Nature notes

I grew up with a distorted view of bears. Much of it was cartoonish. The lovable Hamm’s bear charmed TV audiences so much that collectors pursue promotional items bearing his likeness.

That beloved bear starred in commercials. He fished, golfed, skied, bowled, camped, performed magic, and played baseball, hockey or the accordion while accompanied by this ditty, “From the land of sky-blue waters, from the land of pines, lofty balsams, comes the beer refreshing—Hamm’s, the beer refreshing. Hamm’s!” I enjoyed seeing the beer bear birling (log-rolling) as he balanced on a log cut by a beaver. Newspapers printed broadcast schedules of his commercials.

Yogi Bear first appeared on “The Huckleberry Hound Show.” He became more popular than Huckleberry Hound and was given his own show, “The Yogi Bear Show.” Yogi’s cartoons centered on his antics in Jellystone Park. Yogi, accompanied by his little friend Boo-Boo, attempted to steal picnic baskets from campers, much to Ranger Smith’s displeasure. Yogi regularly proclaimed, “I’m smarter than the average bear!” He overestimated his cleverness.

I saw proper bears on “Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom” starring Marlin Perkins and Jim Fowler. Marlin was a talker. As Jim wrestled a mother grizzly with a toothache, Marlin made tried to sell us life insurance by saying, “Just as the mother bear protects her young, you can protect yours with a policy from Mutual of Omaha.”

I’ve seen bears in the wild. I’ve enjoyed their company.

Meeting adjourned

“In our daily lives, we must see that it is not happiness that makes us grateful, but the gratefulness that makes us happy.”— Albert Clarke