Batt: Shaking off the Weird Al ear worm

Published 8:04 pm Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Echoes from the Loafers’ Club Meeting

You’ll never guess who I bumped into on my way to the optometrist.

Who?

Everyone.

Driving by Bruce’s drive

I have a wonderful neighbor named Bruce. Whenever I pass his drive, thoughts occur to me. I’ve been to Disney World once. It’s supposed to be the happiest place on earth. The first family I encountered there had three young boys who were crying and screaming bloody murder. They must not have known where they were.

My wife and I heard Weird Al’s song in which he pokes fun at a song that catapulted Billy Ray Cyrus to overnight success in 1992 with the release of his debut single, “Achy Breaky Heart,” because the Oak Ridge Boys had passed on it. It gave my wife an earworm. She couldn’t get “Achy Breaky Heart” out of her mind. If this happens to you, get to an emergency room or an urgent care facility immediately.

Fair fare

To a country bumpkin like me, food vendors at fairs offer everything but banana oil. I bring a jug of Adam’s ale (water) and I don’t mull over my culinary choices. I have favorites, go-to goodies—a corn dog, popcorn, onion rings, a malt from a dairy stand and a maple nut ice cream cone. The two people ahead of me in line ordered maple nut cones. The two behind me ordered one each. My phone rang. The caller told me he’d just enjoyed a maple nut ice cream cone and told me I should get one at the fair.

Ask Al

“How can I become more patient?” Wait for it.

“Do you play any musical instruments?” I tried playing the violin by using the Suzuki method. It sounded like a motorcycle in my hands.

“Are there any skyscrapers where you live?” No, the closest we come to that is a guy scraping the ice off the windshield of his old Buick Skylark.

I’ve learned

The Flat Earth Society has members all around the globe.

I’m not the only one who responds vocally to a store’s intercom announcements.

Driving on highways in Chicago takes its toll.

If one door opens when another closes, you had a bad contractor.

I never ask for gum. Beggars can’t be chewers.

In the news

Employee loses his job at the lint factory when his boss checks his pockets.

Unintelligent amphibians inundate area roads. The county issued a dense frog advisory.

Hockey team will take to the ice this year despite nearly drowning during spring training.

Betty White and St. Olaf

Betty White, playing Rose on “The Golden Girls,” told stories of her hometown of St. Olaf, Minnesota. There is no St. Olaf in the Gopher State. There is St. Olaf College, St. Olaf Township in Otter Tail County and St. Olaf Lake. I’m going to pretend Rose was from St. Olaf Lake. Why not?

Nature notes

A gentleman from Gaylord told a wonderful story about his grandfather. His grandfather wore a coat much of the year. I understand that. My father-in-law put on an overcoat to eat ice cream in the summer. One spring, the teller of the story and his grandfather were doing hard work as the day warmed. The grandfather hung his coat on a fence post. When the job was finished, the two walked over to pick up the coat. They noticed a wren had placed a pile of sticks in one of the coat’s pockets. That meant the pocket had become a potential nest. The narrator reached to grab the coat for his elder. His grandfather said, “Leave it there. I can always find another coat.”

Common mullein is native to Europe, northern Africa and Asia, and was introduced to North America as a medicinal herb. In the 1700s, it was used in Virginia as a piscicide (fish poison). It spread rapidly and reached the Midwest by 1839 where it’s found in neglected meadows, pasture lands, along fence rows, roadsides, vacant lots, wood edges, forest openings and industrial areas. In its second year, the biennial plants produce flower stalks 5-10 feet tall with small yellow flowers grouped on the leafy spike and maturing from the bottom to the top. The flowers attract a wide variety of insects and each plant produces 100,000‑240,000 seeds. Goldfinches, indigo buntings and downy woodpeckers eat the seeds.

I watched a hawk perched on a utility pole, peering at a tractor moving ground in a farm field. Red-tailed hawks are common and they get to know the machinery that stirs up dinner. The field activities of tractors and combines chase rabbits, mice and voles from hiding. Gulls also enjoy the company of farm equipment providing comestibles in the form of grubs, worms and rodents.

Meeting adjourned

The smartest people are the kindest people.