Al Batt: What a coincidence-good morning

Published 4:40 pm Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Echoes from the Loafers’ Club Meeting

Good morning.

Oh, my goodness!

What?

I was going to say the same thing.

Driving by Bruce’s drive

I have a wonderful neighbor named Bruce. Whenever I pass his drive, thoughts occur to me. Back when we owned a cow park, a herd of cows grazed in it. I wish I had a few of those grass munchers to mow my lawn. I pushed a lawn mower named Sisyphus around. It hadn’t wanted to start. “Too hot,” it whined.

I don’t watch horror movies. Why would I? I have bloodthirsty stable flies in my yard. My ankles are prime rib to the ankle biters. Their bites remind me it must be the season of the itch.

Heywood Banks sang, “I’m looking at the world through fly’s eyes. Looking at the world through fly’s eyes. Looking at the world through fly’s eyes and you can just buzz off.”

I told the flies to buzz off. It didn’t help. There are 160,000 species of flies. Flies see as we do in slow motion. A movie becomes a series of slides to them. Mr. Miyagi, in “The Karate Kid,” told us “Man who catch fly with chopstick, accomplish anything.” I’m not taking up chopsticks and throwing my fly swatter away.

The reunion had class

It was a celebratory reunion. We were relieved the school hadn’t announced a recall of any graduates.

It was implausibly implausible that we talked about the potholes of adulthood when we should have been hoping to get a driver’s license. We were mystified by the ease of achieving a state of pleasant exhaustion.

A classmate remembered the speech teacher dropping a large marble into a metal pail every time a speaker said a filler word like “uh” or “um.” And the cross country coach telling runners to start by running as fast as they could and then increase their speed as they went.

A graduate said a football coach called him Red Shoes because of the bloody shoes he’d been left with after an opposing player had run over him repeatedly. Another said one of her grandchildren told her she was pretty spry for a grandma.

One retired from teaching after hearing the occasional student grumble, “You’re not my mother.” She wanted to avoid hearing, “You’re not my grandmother.”

Another, after one of her students had called her an uncomplimentary name, responded with, “Shhh! I’m trying to keep that a secret.”

A former young man said his grandchild found it easy to tell his grandpa was old because of his dreaded turkey neck.

Our teachers said things like, “If I saw you getting beat up, I’d walk over and break up the fight, but I’d walk very slowly.”

School offered less praise in those days, fearing it might lead to excessive pride, but it was an easier pace of a bygone era, which might have existed only in our collective memories.

I wanted to hold a jar of SKIPPY peanut butter in my class photo. Product placement is important. A classmate asked if I ever dreamed that one day, people would pay me to talk. My father had paid me not to talk. His prayer was, “Lord, please keep one hand on Allen’s shoulder and the other over his mouth.”

A temporary hiccup

After my hiccups had eluded effective treatment for three weeks and caused wearisome insomnia, I became intrigued with Charles Osborne of Anthon, Iowa, who had hiccups for 68 years. He was hanging a hog for butchering when the involuntary diaphragm spasms began at a rate of 20-40 per minute. Osborne became a livestock auctioneer. His hiccups stopped suddenly and he died a year later at 97.

In local news

Rabbit breeder is charged with bunny laundering.

The inventor of the rearview mirror was not as close to his family as it appeared.

The Eat Around It Cafe is now open for virtual dining.

Nature notes

The world swayed as I did a Breeding Bird Survey for the U.S. Geological Survey in Freeborn, Mower and Steele Counties, and the wind moved the grasses.

Do ticks fall from trees? It’s a myth. Other myths are: Bug zappers are effective against mosquitoes, deer whistles rid the roads of deer, electronic devices repel mice and hedge apples (Osage orange fruit) or horse chestnuts discourage spiders. Ticks do climb while trying to find food (blood), but only to the height of the animal. They search close to the ground (grass) for mice and other rodents, and in bushes or tall grasses for larger mammals such as humans and deer.

Meeting adjourned

Keep on the sunny side.