Al Batt: I have a brother that means ‘well’

Published 5:01 pm Tuesday, January 11, 2022

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Echoes from the Loafers’ Club Meeting

I’m worried about my brother.

What’s wrong?

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He keeps saying, “Deep hole with water.”

Don’t worry, he means well.

Driving by Bruce’s drive

I have a wonderful neighbor named Bruce. Whenever I pass his drive, thoughts occur to me. The sun came up. It’s a great way to start a day. The weather had been uneven, but variety is the spice of life. A meteorologist keeps telling me that. A friend said his life was good. He’d gotten an air fryer for Christmas and doesn’t know how to use it or what it’s for, but he’s happy to have it. He’s the kind who eats soup once a week that he’s made from the detritus scraped from his microwave oven.

Years ago, a classmate built a tire home in Minnesota, a dwelling sometimes called an earthship. It’s a self-sufficient, sustainable and off-the-grid home. He said having a home made of recycled tires crammed with dirt gave him fewer things to worry about during his long absences. I’ve never lived in an earthship, but I have put bread wrappers over my socks before putting my trotters into my boots. This allows my off-the-grid feet to slide in easier and stay dryer. I’d put my lunch into recycled bread wrappers, too. I had to make sure I didn’t recycle the bags from around my socks to encase my food.

What’s that noise?

We had the doorbell repaired here at the Batt Cave. Now I hear a strange sound I haven’t heard since before COVID hit. When the doorbell first rang in “The Beverly Hillbillies” TV series, the Clampett family looked at the walls and ceiling, hoping to find out where the sound came from. Later, they discovered that each time the music played, someone was at the front door. I’ve become a Clampett, probably Jethro. Now that we have a working doorbell, I’ll never win the No Bell Prize.

Stories can be found anywhere

A guy I used to know got off work at 4 each afternoon, at which time he’d carry a 5-gallon bucket, holding ice fishing gear, from his workplace to a lake. He sat on that bucket five days a week, staring into a hole cut into the ice. When 90 minutes had passed, he’d head home for supper. He could tell endless stories about that experience.

Tanks for the memories

In 1971, “All in the Family” was the first TV show to feature a toilet flushing. “Leave It to Beaver” was the first sitcom to show a toilet when it included shots of a toilet tank in 1957.

Freehanded Louisiana

I worked in a big city in Louisiana. I was a long way from nothing. It was hot. The city smelled like I was in someone’s mouth. The amiable woman who picked me up at the airport gave me chocolates as a gift. I thanked her and told her I’d take them home for my wife. My driver thought I was being sweet, but that was only partially true. I don’t like chocolate. There aren’t many of us that are averse to chocolate. There are so few we could hold our annual membership meeting in a phone booth if we could find a phone booth.

Nature notes

A house sparrow missing his tail was in my yard. If Jim Rockford were around, I’d have him put a tail on the bird. Dark-eyed juncos are snowbirds. Old Man Winter gave them a lot of responsibility, but they come through. Some red-bellied woodpeckers take their red bellies everywhere. Others don’t. The red belly isn’t always easily noticed. A nervous rooster pheasant in the yard behaved hawkwardly. Squirrels left footprints in the snow, with the larger hind feet appearing in front of the smaller front feet. Rabbit tracks resemble those of squirrels, except the front feet aren’t paired with the hind feet and form a triangular shape. I know where rabbits have fed as twigs and shrubs show clean diagonal cuts.   

Meeting adjourned

“If you sit down at set of sun And count the acts that you have done, And, counting, find One self-denying deed, one word That eased the heart of him who heard, One glance most kind That fell like sunshine where it went—Then you may count that day well spent. But if, through all the livelong day, You’ve cheered no heart, by yea or nay—If, through it all You’ve nothing done that you can trace That brought the sunshine to one face—No act most small That helped some soul and nothing cost—Then count that day as worse than lost.”—George Eliot.