Al Batt: Lakes have the best skipping stones

Published 6:30 am Wednesday, July 14, 2021

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Echoes from the Loafers’ Club Meeting

I’m thinking of a number between 1 and 10.


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That’s what I’m wondering.

Driving by Bruce’s drive

I have a wonderful neighbor named Bruce. Whenever I pass his drive, thoughts occur to me. I’ve learned people can be rich in rhubarb and affluent in asparagus. Fireworks to right of me, fireworks to left of me, fireworks in front of me, fireworks behind me. I suspect its abundance was spurred by a surplus of fingers.

Frass and double frass!

I stubbed my toe against a sturdy furniture leg in the darkness. There was a pause  between impact and the time the pain alert hit my clouded brain. I mumbled, “Frass!” Frass means insect excrement and is a perfectly acceptable expletive.

Bringing a banana to a picnic

A local family had 22 kids. The hardest job for the parents was counting them at picnics. I love picnics. I enjoy eating cold food warm, and hot food cold with insects as condiments and having ice cream melt onto my lap while I’m being watched by a squirrel. My father-in-law Gene salted bananas before eating them. It gave squirrels something to see.

Hiccup redux

The Creator of “Calvin and Hobbes” Bill Watterson wrote, “I think hiccup cures were really invented for the amusement of the patient’s friends.” Getting the hiccups is never a good idea for me. I’ve suffered the trials and tribulations of chronic hiccups. I received cures. Dunk your head into a bucket of water three times and take it out only twice. Say “pineapple,” eat peanut butter, watch a TV “news” channel that doesn’t share your confirmation bias. That should frighten the hiccups out of you. Dare a person to keep hiccupping and bet money that he can’t. Stand on one leg while holding your nose and your breath. Drink from the wrong side of a glass. The last one works well if your goal was to appear to have wet your pants.

When was it summer?

School closed and the A&W Root Beer stand opened. Going to St. Olaf Lake and floating around in a rowboat or a pontoon to keep the heat at bay. Fireflies or lightning bugs. I’ve seen them at the end of May and always in June. There are Dog Days and hotdog days when people move no faster than not at all. We become walking naps. Skipping stones at the lake. You’d think all the good skipping stones would be at the bottom of lakes by now. Today, summer begins when the air conditioning throws snowballs.

Old men worry

A friend suffered from old man worries. When in one of his moods, he could stay longer in a half-hour than anyone else could in a day. “Who, what, when, where, how?” he worried. They’re the same worries he’s always had, but they’re more experienced now. James Taylor sang, “The secret of life is enjoying the passage of time. Any fool can do it, there ain’t nothing to it. Nobody knows how we got to the top of the hill. But since we’re on our way down, we might as well enjoy the ride.”

Bad joke department

The Dolly Parton Diet made Joe lean.

Cyclops couldn’t spell Hawaii.

When do you go on red and stop on green? When eating a watermelon.

“I’m the genie from a magic lamp and I have the power to grant you three wishes.” “I want to be rich.” “OK, Rich, what’s your second wish?”

Two elderly men drove through a busy intersection. The passenger yelled, “You just ran a red light!” The other said, “Am I driving?”

“What is the world’s smartest mountain?” Mt. Cleverest.

Nature notes

The Birds Aren’t Real movement mimics conspiracy theories by claiming birds are used for government surveillance. Birds perch on power lines to recharge and their poop on cars is a tracking apparatus.

The first confirmed sighting of a red-bellied woodpecker in Minnesota was in the late 1800s. The Eurasian collared-dove was introduced to the Bahamas in the 1970s, made its way to Florida by the 1980s, and rapidly colonized North America. It has prominent white patches on the tail, dark-tipped wings, a black collar at the nape of the neck, and is chunkier than a mourning dove. Its mournful koo-KOO-kook call is shorter and more frequent than a mourning dove’s. The collared-dove’s species name, decaocto, comes from Greek mythology. Decaocto was a servant girl turned into a dove by the gods to escape unhappy treatment. Studies on collared-doves haven’t shown a negative impact on mourning doves.

Whatever July and August don’t boil, September cannot fry.

Meeting adjourned

We cannot always get kindness but we can always give kindness.