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Al Batt: Shimmy down the drainspout

Echoes from the Loafers’ Club Meeting

How come the price of a roast beef dinner has doubled?

It’s because the price of lumber is high.

What does that have to do with my dinner?

You use a toothpick after you finish it, don’t you?

Driving by Bruce’s drive

I have a wonderful neighbor named Bruce. Whenever I pass his drive, thoughts occur to me. As soon as I was old enough to climb out an upstairs window and shimmy down a downspout, I did it and walked with a gloomy flashlight into spring’s dark woods in the middle of the night. Frogs sang in the vernal ponds. It was nearly deafening. Then they quieted. I was unsure if it was my presence that silenced them or if it was the presence of another creature. I headed home, but couldn’t climb up the downspout to my room as it had been truncated and I couldn’t jump that high. I had to sneak in the front door. My faithful canine companion (the traitor) barked and my mother had rearranged the furniture. I barked my shin and was caught.

From the Jamestown (N.D.) Weekly of May 18, 1911

“YAWNED AND BIRD FLEW IN MOUTH | Minot, May 10—While going at the rate of thirty-five miles an hour yesterday afternoon, J. S. Loomis, of Council Bluffs, Iowa, who was out with a local automobile party look-ing over Ward county land, had a little experience which he won’t soon forget. The machine was headed north and going against a stiff wind. Loomis opened his mouth to yawn and before he had time to close it a sparrow flew directly into the cavity. Needless to say the bird was equally as startled as Mr. Loom-is and lost no time in getting out of its strange quarters. The party brought Loomis into the city immediately and he was taken in- to a local physician’s office where sev-eral small scratches made by the bird’s claws were given attention.”

In the news

The two lion statues outside the library building allow people to read between the lions.

Patient discovers he doesn’t have shingles. He has vinyl siding. He had a solar-powered pacemaker installed and now must remain outdoors.

Older man tells police officer, “My left blinker was on. Everybody should know I was going to turn right.”

Al Batt’s doctor arrested for maintaining a nuisance.

Bad joke department

I didn’t realize how bad a driver I was until my car’s navigation system said: “In 400 feet make a slight right, stop and let me out.”

What do you get when you cross a car with a bridge? To the other side.

The sign said, “Employees must wash hands.” I waited 20 minutes but no employee showed up to wash my hands.

Ask Al

“Are there too many royals?” There is too much monarchy malarkey. I think the royal family is too large, but that’s because I’m in line for the crown, albeit way down the line.

“Have you practiced social distancing?” I did. I went to a drive-in movie in Wyoming.

“What is the most frightening amusement park ride you’ve ever been on?” The entrance turnstiles.

The mailbag

Trace Hafner of Slayton wrote, “Thanks for stirring up the memories of coaching those young kids. A hot week like this had the outfielders with their gloves on their heads for shade and heat relief.”

Sylvia Zevenbergen of Hollandale wrote she liked Jerry Viktora’s name for his dog (Askhim) and that her friend has a dog named D-O-G and a cat named C-A-T.

Nature notes

Goldfinches sang merrily in the yard. At least it sounded like that’s what they were doing. They haven’t begun nesting yet. They’re the young and nestless.

I’ve said if a person knows only three species of birds, one will be the crow. Are the birds in a large flock of crows called velcrows?

Chipmunks love tomato juice and bite holes in the bottoms of tomatoes to get it. Chipmunk pups develop quickly and leave the nest by 4 to 6 weeks of age to make their way in the world.

Paul Godtland of Rochester said he watched an indigo bunting land on a dandelion stem and ride it to the ground to feed on the seeds.

Why does a hawk call while hunting? It’s not to alert prey, which would cause it to become motionless. A hawk vocalizes to announce its presence, defend territory or communicate with mate or young. Fledglings call when demanding food.

Meeting adjourned

There are two kinds of people who are easily remembered—jerks and kind people. The difference is that the kind people are remembered fondly.