Al Batt: Grateful for the weather

Published 5:58 pm Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Echoes from the Loafers’ Club Meeting

Good morning.   

It’s a wretched morning and it will be a dreadful day.

What’s the matter, did you lose your job creating motivational posters?

Driving by Bruce’s drive

I have a wonderful neighbor named Bruce. Whenever I pass his drive, thoughts occur to me. I hadn’t used the Pythagorean Theorem on a day cold enough to raise ice cream. Fern frost on the window one day, the rime of the Ancient Mariner on the trees the next. I was thankful for the weather. Where would we be without it? What would we talk about? Winter tosses us an occasional bone—a warm and sunny day. I walked a trail. I noticed that one of my shoelaces had come untied. My shoe-tying ability was limited due to the round shoestrings that frustrate me. I used to see how long I could go before stepping on one of the free-range shoestrings. Now I had to weigh the possibility of a trip and a fall against the long journey to bend down to tie that shoe. Some years back, I had a bout with plantar fasciitis. The doctor told me to put my foot down and start wearing Crocs when I’d normally go barefooted. I took her advice. It wasn’t long after that when we received 18 inches of snow. It was a warm day, so I shoveled snow while wearing Crocs. They might have shed Croc tears.

I shuffled through a museum. It was hard to keep moving, as there were so many interesting things to look at. I perused a display of old medicine bottles. I drank a nasty cough syrup when I had a sore throat as a boy. It caused my body to shudder. I think it frightened the coughs away, but I reckon it worked. That’s good. Ruth Hiland sent me a photo of a sign reading, “Lif is too short.”

I’ve learned

It’s OK to eat lunch meat for dinner.

To not be provoked by a bumper sticker. Bumpers don’t know what they’re saying.

No one is as confident as the uninformed.

Pickleball is a big dill.

Bad joke department

The man was walking to the horse racetrack when he found a nickel on the sidewalk. He bent down and picked up the coin. Thinking it might be a sign, he pulled a racing form from his pocket and quickly noticed that the fifth horse in the fifth race was named Nickel. That had to be a good omen. He placed a $555 bet on the fifth horse in the fifth race to win. The horse finished fifth.

What’s green and smells like red paint? Green paint.

How do you round up 19 cats? Twenty.

Nature notes

I shouldn’t have been surprised when a fox squirrel fell from the roof of the house onto a window feeder held in place by suction cups. The result was, as would be expected, the squirrel and the feeder both crashed to the ground, creating a blizzard of fleeing songbirds. Well played, squirrel. I anticipated the event, as the forecast had called for strong winds, rising temperatures and falling squirrels.

I floated on a jon boat in the Atchafalaya Basin, the nation’s largest river swamp. The owner of the boat played his guitar and sang a song about a man playing a guitar and singing while floating in a jon boat. The serenity was interrupted by an airboat running at high decibels and the “blam, blam” sound of shotguns being fired. Nutria hunters. Louisiana pays $6 per tail to reduce nutria-induced marsh damage. Nutria use their buckteeth the color of Cheetos to eat plant roots and that causes erosion. Nutria, resembling muskrats on growth hormones, were introduced to the Pelican State as a potential source of fur. After the decline in that industry, the animals escaped or were released. Chefs are working on recipes for the 20-pound rodents, but don’t look for a Nutria Nosh restaurant to open near you soon.

The blue jays weren’t subtle in their comments about a great horned owl in the yard. When I looked in their direction, I saw the suggestion of a cat’s ears in a tree. The jays saw more than that. A great horned owl is under a lot of pressure. It nests in the winter and its name begins with “great.”

Meeting adjourned

The wonderful comic strip “Pickles,” by Brian Crane presented this. Grandpa: “When I

was your age all my heroes were cowboys. Hopalong Cassidy, Red Ryder, Roy Rogers, The Lone Ranger, Gene Autry…now they’re all gone.”

Boy: “Who are your heroes now?”

Grandpa: “Anyone who shows kindness and compassion.”