Al Batt: Family can sense my presents

Published 5:52 pm Tuesday, December 13, 2022

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Echoes from the Loafers’ Club Meeting

I need to find a better place to hide the Christmas gifts I’ve purchased.

It’s that time of the year.

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And my family can sense my presents.

Driving by Bruce’s drive

I have a wonderful neighbor named Bruce. Whenever I pass his drive, thoughts occur to me. If I had some ham, I’d have made myself a ham and cheese sandwich if I’d have had some cheese. I couldn’t complain about the weather. The sun was shining. The days are wearing jetpacks. They zoom by. I don’t mind cold weather. What would I do with all my winter clothing without cold weather? Grandma said she could feel the cold in her bones. On a cold, damp day, I find I have inherited that capability.

Meteorologists messed with my mind. They predicted mostly weather—mostly cold, mostly snowy, etc. Weather worries were probable. The problem with meteorologists is they are usually right.

I’d been unable to find watermelon pickles. I thought they played pickleball with beet pickles, but the sport has become so popular, I figured they’d used all the watermelon pickles in pickleball. I needed alternatives and ended up in a convenience store, where I became part of the wrong end of a long line, far back near the roller dogs. Hotdogs and bratwurst in a greasy log—rolling competition on heating elements. I mustered up enough willpower to pass on those delicacies.

My wife and I attended a Christmas party at the home of friends. It was a potluck, which is another word for “yummy.” One couple made fruitcake cookies. I enjoy fruitcake and they were delicious. Fruit and cake—what could be wrong with that? One caveat, you shouldn’t eat fruitcake in months that begin with an R.

I rang bells for the Salvation Army. A store employee suggested I dispense with the bells and just shake my head. The truth hurts. I tried to convince other men to ring because chicks dig bell ringers. Those guys dismissed me as a ding-a-ling.

Christmas oddments

My neighbor Crandall has no Advent calendar. He makes do. Each day, he opens the refrigerator and eats whatever is inside.

Does Santa drive a Holly Davidson?

Do not sit down to wrap Christmas gifts without a plan on how to get back up.

All televised football games end the same way—me waking up.

A combination salad fork/backscratcher is a wonderful gift because it’s not something people buy for themselves.

Mannequin feet are great stocking stuffers.

Nothing says Christmas like someone saying Merry Christmas.

Mannequin feet are great stocking stuffers.

OK, having my dental x-rays made into Christmas cards wasn’t my best idea ever.

I watched Santa smoke a cigarette outside a store during my formative years. He said he could blow smoke rings in the shapes of reindeer. He lied. He couldn’t. He lied about bringing me a new bicycle, too.

Nature notes

Talking to people from around the state, I’m reminded that deer have never been uniformly distributed across Minnesota. I see many of them in my neighborhood. Watch out for jaywalking deer.

I marveled at the beauty of a tiny eastern screech-owl. It was a red one. This species comes in three colors: red, gray and brown. I’ve heard it called a shivering owl because of the trembling cry it makes. For years, a few times each week, I saw a red owl. It was a sign on a building. Red Owl was a grocery store chain that opened its first store in Rochester and operated 441 stores in Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, North Dakota and South Dakota. In 1988, the rights to the Red Owl name were secured by the grocery wholesaler SuperValu. The title sequence of “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” featured the lead character in a Red Owl meat department.

I love honey. It makes my tastebuds buzz and dance. Bees in France made honey in shades of blue and green, alarming beekeepers and inspiring scientists to discover the reason was the bees had developed a taste preference for the residue from containers of the candy M&M’s processed at a nearby plant.     

In another bee story, I learned elephants are terrified of bees. Bees sting elephants around the eyes, behind the ears, in the mouth and inside the trunk. That would scare anyone. Active beehives are used as fences to protect farm crops from foraging elephants in some African and Asian countries and the experiment has had substantial success.

Meeting adjourned

“Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.”— Epicurus.