Al Batt: A plethora of padiddles and a pluviometer

Published 6:30 am Wednesday, September 1, 2021

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Echoes from the Loafers’ Club Meeting

Guess who I ran into on my way to the eye doctor.


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I don’t know.

Driving by Bruce’s drive

I have a wonderful neighbor named Bruce. Whenever I pass his drive, thoughts occur to me. I was busier than a mirror merchant during an earthquake. My early morning drive in the city found me in the middle of the state padiddle championships. I drove along wondering why I’d purchased coconut shampoo when I didn’t even own a coconut as I listened to the voice of my GPS direct me to where I needed to be. The traffic was heavy enough as I drove on what was left of a road that the GPS said, “In 600 feet, turn right and let me out.”

The morning groove

I make a toast to peanut butter and then check the rain gauge each morning. The precipitation measurer is like baby chicks. I have to look. For much of the summer, a spider has been living in the pluviometer, but it has been evicted by rain.


ABC in sales stands for “Always Be Closing.” In my boyhood, ABC stood for the same thing, but it had nothing to do with selling anything. It involved doors. “I’m not heating the whole outdoors,” my father would say in cold weather. “You’re letting all the heat in,” was what I heard in hot weather. There wasn’t any room for more heat in our house in the summer.

I strolled the cemetery, paying my respects to friends who had left in search of better opportunities. A man stood by a motorcycle as a woman spruced up the area around a gravestone. When that was done to her satisfaction, she held out her hand and the man joined her. They held hands as they stared at the marble. They remembered the deceased. She cried. They hugged and left. ABC means “Always Be Crying” over lost loved ones.

There’s no easy way to say this, “Worcestershire”

A man from Henderson told me he’d gotten hearing aids because of face masks. When the pandemic hit, he learned that he’d been reading lips to help him understand. He couldn’t hear well enough to tell what a mask wearer was saying. Now he has modern ear trumpets that allow him to discern everything within earshot.

Traffic counts

About 310 cars go by my house each day. They do so while I’m trying to get to the mailbox. One morning, someone jogged past. We didn’t have any joggers when I was a kid. You couldn’t do it. Cars big enough to become lost in stopped and asked if you needed a ride.

In the news

Kleptomaniac takes both gold and silver medals at Olympics.

Snake retires from the constriction business.

Abba tours with Elvis Costello. Abba and Costello are together again.

All-night fingernail clipper repair shop closes.

Bigfoot repellant manufacturer claims its product is 100% effective.

Wife hits ceiling when husband buys a trampoline.

David Johnson had his ID stolen. Now he’s Dav Johnson.

Nature notes

I watched a pretty cabbage white butterfly flutter around in my garden. Its larval form, the cabbageworm, is a common pest on cultivated vegetables like cabbage, horseradish, kale, radish, Brussels sprouts, kohlrabi, broccoli, collards, turnip and cauliflower. The adults feed on the nectar of those plants and from dandelions, red clover, asters and mints.

Crickets are omnivores and eat almost anything — plant decay, grass, fruits, vegetables, fungi, seedlings and insects.

Japanese beetle traps may attract more beetles than they catch. The beetles feed on over 350 different plants. Adults become active in Minnesota in late June/early July and feed heaviest in July and August, but may continue into September.

Is it a wasp or a bee? Is it cute? If so, it’s probably a bee. Wasps and hornets have PR deficits. They look like pro wrestling villains. It says in Exodus, “I’ll send hornets ahead of you and they’ll drive out the Hivites, the Canaanites, and the Hittites before you.” Keep that in mind if you encounter irksome Hivites.

County fairs

Steele County Fair has an attendance of 300,000+ per year, making it the largest county fair in Minnesota. The country’s largest county fair is the Clay County Fair in Spencer, Iowa, with 310,000 plus fairgoers annually.

Meeting adjourned

“There is no such thing as a self-made man. We are made up of thousands of others. Everyone who has ever done a kind deed for us, or spoken one word of encouragement to us, has entered into the make-up of our character and of our thoughts.”—George Matthew Adams