Al Batt: Help me with some privacy

Published 6:10 pm Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Echoes from the Loafers’ Club Meeting

I’ve been doing some naked sunbathing in my yard.

Why on earth are you doing that?

So my neighbors will build a privacy fence for me.

Driving by Bruce’s drive

I have a wonderful neighbor named Bruce. Whenever I pass his drive, thoughts occur to me. My wife and I have a summer home. It’s also our fall, winter and spring home. People have told me they have become mosquito bites wearing clothes. I haven’t encountered intolerable numbers of those biting insects and I am going to try some wheatgrass as a repellant when I do.

MoonDogs and hot dogs

Thanks to a kind invitation from Rod Meyer of Mankato, I got to see the Mankato MoodDogs play baseball. The MoonDogs play in the Northwoods League, a collegiate summer wooden bat league where such MLB stars as Matt Scherzer, Chris Sale, Matt Chapman, Brandon Crawford and Pete Alonzo honed their skills. As a trained spectator, I’m good at watching ball games. I spent time in a luxury suite made from shipping containers talking with 1,804 old friends and new friends, and eating a hot dog. I cheered, but not loud enough to fracture a vocal cord. The MoonDogs got loose and defeated the Willmar Stingers. Why is it called a hot dog? There are many possible reasons. In the mid-1800s, immigrant German butchers sold variations of sausages that were thin and long, like a dachshund. They called these dachshund sausages. Over time, the phrase may have been bastardized into hot dog. An 1895 issue of the Yale Record poked fun at the idea of Germans eating dogs. In 1901, New York Journal cartoonist Tad Dorgan penned a drawing of a dachshund in a bun with the caption “hot dog!” due to his inability to spell the breed’s name. The original “Where, Oh Where Has My Little Dog Gone?” was allegedly a reference to a dog gone missing in sausage meat. My hot dog was all hot, no dog and toothsome.

Further noise

What are the Seven Dwarfs doing today? Happy is staying off social media. Bashful, nobody knows. He won’t say. Sneezy is a hay-fever consultant. Grumpy could be anyone who disagrees with you. Doc, after his medical license was revoked, is making YouTube videos. Sleepy owns a company that manufactures rock-hard pillows. And Dopey works for a pharmaceutical company.

I wonder

If everything is possible, why do we need the word “impossible”?

Are buttons as cute as a button?

Why don’t things ever spiral into control?

If Earth ever considers doing a little housecleaning by turning off the gravity for a few days?

How did Marco Polo find himself?

Why is the word “abbreviation” so long?

Do gymnasts prefer flip phones?

Bad joke department

What do you call a potato with no feet? A potato.

Does the Popemobile have a Catholic converter?

There was a big brawl at Finkeeper’s Fish House. Battered fish were everywhere.

When a billionaire dies, who inherits his senators?

What word becomes shorter when you add two letters to it? Short.

A new law says barbers can’t cut hair any longer. What do you get when an elephant sneezes? Out of the way.

Robert De Niro will star in the new movie, “Uber Driver.”

Nature notes

A friend, Kim Eckert of Duluth, wrote sagely that the swallows in Minnesota could be divided into three sets of two. The blue ones (purple martins and tree swallows) nest in birdhouses. The brown ones (bank and northern roughed-winged) nest in the ground (sand piles or riverbanks). The ones with dark red throats (barn and cliff swallows) construct mud nests. I find the masonry skills of swallows  fascinating. Barn swallows create mugs and cliff swallows construct jugs.

A Navajo prayer is, “With dew about my feet, may I walk. With beauty before me may I walk. With beauty behind me may I walk. With beauty below me may I walk. With beauty above me may I walk. With beauty all around me may I walk.” While walking, I saw a river otter. I think his name was Harry Otter.

As a tour leader, I took countless group photos. There are the magic words, those with enough weight to make others smile. I’d say prunes, say cheese, smile, smile you’re on Candid Camera, whiskey, lottery winners, cabbageheads, what are you smiling at, and duck snort. A duck snort is a softly hit ball that goes just over the infield and lands in the outfield for a hit. Chicago White Sox announcer Ken “Hawk” Harrelson popularized the term.

Meeting adjourned

Feel free to be kind for no reason whatsoever.