Al Batt: FEMA can’t account for toothpick bridge

Published 5:35 pm Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Echoes from the Loafers’ Club Meeting

What have you been up to?

I’ve been building a ship in a bottle.

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Wow! How do you get in the bottle?

Driving by Bruce’s drive

I have a wonderful neighbor named Bruce. Whenever I pass his drive, thoughts occur to me. I pressed the button on my garage door opener and 18 field crickets moved into the garage. There were no crickets seen  retreating. The most common cricket in these parts is the field cricket. It has a shiny, black body.

I led tours into a gold dredge in Alaska. It was a giant mechanical gold pan. In 1942, gold mining suffered a setback when the War Productions Board issued Order L-208, which forced the closure of all gold mines in the U.S. for the duration of World War II. After the war was over, few mines re-opened. I enjoyed my visits to the dredge until I hit my head on the “Watch your head” sign. It stung like the dickens. I heard crickets and saw stars. I told everyone to go on without me and take my canteen. I was probably looking down when my melon was mashed. Stepping into fresh cow pies at an early age had taught me to watch my step. Looking down at my feet has paid off. Just last week, I found a dime. I haven’t hit my head on a gold dredge’s “Watch your head” sign for years.

School daze

I built a toothpick bridge for school. It was a dog’s breakfast, but sturdy as long as nobody touched or stared at it. Someone sat on it on the school bus. It failed the architectural test. It was a total loss and I was unable to get help from FEMA.

I’ve learned

Dogs have taught me that when life stinks, I should roll on it.

The distance to the floor increases with my age.

I can remember everything like it was yesterday except yesterday.

Most election ads are intended for immature audiences.

Noah believed in climate change.

Ask Al

“Who were the Spice Girls?” All, Old and Pumpkin.

“Were you ever a cowpuncher?” No, but I made a face at a goat once.

“Why is a ship’s speed measured in knots?” To keep the ocean tide.

“How smart are crows?” They are smarter than chickens. That’s why no one has ever heard of Kentucky Fried Crows.

“What’s the biggest problem with our educational system?” That it awards diplomas to people who think the earth is flat.

“How can I tell if a watermelon is ripe?” Knock on it. If it says, ‘Come in,’ it’s ripe.

Bad joke department

The man put his grandchild in a room with a rotary telephone, an analog watch and a TV without a remote. He gave the boy directions on how to operate each one written in cursive. He’s being charged with child abuse.

Last week at the grocery store, I saw a man slipping celery into other people’s shopping carts. He was a stalker.

One of my teachers, Mr. Bergner, asked me what the difference was between ignorance and apathy. I told him I didn’t know and I didn’t care.

What goes “Ha, ha, ha, thud”? A man laughing his head off.

The man’s wife left him because he was balding. “It’s hair loss,” he said.

Nature notes

I asked a UPS driver about deer. He said that in the 22 routes he’s aware of, he knows of no brown truck that has collided with a deer. This is likely due to cautious drivers and the crepuscular habits of deer, which feed mainly from before dawn until several hours later, and again from late afternoon until dusk.

Ken Bertelson of Albert Lea told of a funeral procession where the hearse had to come to a complete stop because of a stubborn wild turkey.

Judy Hellie of Clarks Grove found a katydid. Her 4-year-old grandson suggested feeding it grass. Judy looked it up and found katydids eat grass and leaves. Her grandson said, “Finally, I’m right.” 

Ken Nelson of Clarks Grove wondered how long bald eagles live. The oldest known bald eagle in the wild was at least 38 years old when a car hit and killed it in New York in 2015. It had been banded in 1977.

From the mailbag

Bob Hargis of Wyoming wrote, “One of the fun parts of living in Wyoming is there are very few lines for anything. DMV had only one guy ahead of me, (it) took 10 seconds as he forgot his wallet.”

Meeting adjourned

One kind word can warm three winter months.