Al Batt: Stopping in Janesville for a treat

Published 6:30 am Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Echoes from the Loafers’ Club Meeting

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Driving by Bruce’s drive

I have a wonderful neighbor named Bruce. Whenever I pass his drive, thoughts occur to me. Don’t panic! Summer isn’t over yet, even though my body’s composition has become 52% sweet corn. There are fly numbers high enough to remind us it’s still summer. My wife and I were on the deck. She held the flyswatter. A fly landed on my head. She said it was the easiest decision of her life.

I stopped at the Dairy Queen in Janesville to buy a Dilly Bar. I’m partial to the cherry-coated soft-serve ice cream on a stick. There are other dips, but this dip doesn’t bother with them. The Dilly Bar became a go-to treat for many during the pandemic. It was created at a Dairy Queen in Moorhead in 1955. A customer said it was a dilly, meaning remarkable or outstanding, and the name stuck. There is a 12-foot tall Dilly Bar to mark the spot in Moorhead. The Dilly Bar I enjoyed that day and on prior days in Janesville was a dilly. The temperature was high on my last visit, so I dared not dillydally in its consumption. Your mother, as mine did, warned you to not dillydally (loiter or dawdle) when sending you on an errand. I recommend you don’t dillydally while enjoying a Dilly Bar on such a summer’s day.

The things

we do for love

I waited in the car for my appointment. I was early, which gave me time to decompress. I listened to a Leon Redbone CD and marveled at how every business had been renamed “Now hiring.” A young mother parked her van nearby. There were three youngsters strapped into car seats. Despite her expertise, it took considerable time for her to extricate the three kiddos. The four of them went into a store. By the time she’d put them in their places later and freed them at home, that process likely exceeded the time she spent on her errand.

I grew up around a good number of folks with Irish heritage, even though I don’t know what that good number is. Sometimes, at the cemetery, a bottle of Irish whiskey was passed. A mourner took a sip to wash down the tears.

My late mother-in-law’s favorite beverage was Mountain Dew. I don’t like the stuff. Friends and family gathered not long after her death and each saluted her by drinking a small glass of Mountain Dew. The soft drink made me shudder, but I loved my mother-in-law. The Mountain Dew washed down the tears.

A fair day    

My wife and I walked the county fair. We strolled by the onion rings stand. We knew from experience those rings were tasty. Their aroma was inviting. “Those onion rings smell great,” said my wife. I love my wife, so we walked past the stand again.

Bad joke department

A man was on his deathbed in his bedroom. “Mary, my wife, are you here with me?” “Yes, I am, dearest.” “And Lionel, my brother, are you here with me?” “Yes, I am, Lawrence, I’m here with you.” “And you, my children, are you here, Linda and Lloyd?” “Yes, we are, Daddy.” “Then why is the living room light still on?”

On his deathbed, Grandpa said to me, “Remember these two words. They’ll open many doors for you. Push and pull.”

Nature notes

A study found squirrels average 14.9 hours of sleep each day in a nest called a drey composed of twigs and sticks, and lined with moss, bark, grass and leaves. They typically build a nest at least 20 feet high in the fork of a tree. It’s common for squirrels to have second and third nests used for food storage, a temporary rest stop or to avoid predators.

Curt Nelson of Albert Lea was in Florida when he put his hearing aid on an outdoor table and a gull flew down and grabbed it. It never brought the hearing aid back. Gulls show little remorse.

Swallows and dragonflies fed on ant swarms over the yard. The famed swallow that returns to Mission San Juan Capistrano in California is the cliff swallow. When I was a dear boy, it was called a “bridge swallow” and returned to the dentist’s office once a year. The part about the dentist is untrue. With the expansion of road infrastructure, the swallows adopted bridges, overpasses and culverts as colonial nesting sites. I’ve heard them called “jug swallows” because of the shape of their mud nests.

Meeting adjourned

Sometimes miracles are good people with kind hearts.