Al Batt: Refusing to acknowledge a lost hour

Published 5:47 pm Tuesday, March 21, 2023

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Echoes from the Loafers’ Club Meeting

I love going for a walk every morning.

How far do you walk?

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I walk 5 miles or to the end of the block, whichever comes first.

Driving by Bruce’s drive

I have a wonderful neighbor named Bruce. Deep thoughts occur as I drive past his drive. You’d think winter would have run out of snowflakes by now. The joy of spring is tempered by an hour’s less sleep. My neighbor Crandall (who claims to have lost his ambition but doesn’t care) refuses to change any timepiece that refuses to change itself.

I replaced the battery and changed a tire on my bride’s car while winter reloaded. I didn’t revel in it, but I did it without injury or police backup. When I was a pup, I knew a guy who drove a junker that had been new when Lewis and Clark drove it during their expedition. It burned so much oil, he never changed the oil. He just kept adding more oil. Car problems are minor problems. May all your troubles be automotive.

“This is the way the world ends,” T. S. Eliot wrote at the end of his 1925 poem, “The Hollow Men,” “not with a bang but a whimper.” If you have seen the live-action Batman television series from the 1960s, you’ll remember the fight scenes including oversized words followed by exclamation points like bam, pow, ouch, crunch, biff, kapow, zlonk and zok. I don’t know if zoom was ever one of those words, but Ralph Kramden (played by Jackie Gleason on “The Honeymooners”) said, “BANG, ZOOM! To the moon, Alice!!” To which his wife Alice replied, “Ahhh, shaddap!” I’m writing this after spending nine hours on Zoom meetings. That’s like, well, er, eh, over nine of 24 hours on Zoom. I’m not complaining. My grandfather worked in a coal mine. He likely wouldn’t have considered a virtual meeting much work. Maybe the world won’t end with a whimper. Maybe it will finish in a zoom.

I’m a chronic photographer of nature. While taking photos of birds in a land far away, I leaned back against sharp rocks. I didn’t realize they were treacherous until it was too late. Suddenly it was as if I were in a pillow fight or a molting goose flew overhead. My jacket had been torn. I called the company that made it. I sent it to them as they instructed and they sent me a new jacket. That worked so well that it didn’t take me long before I damaged the new one. This time I paid $5 and they sent me another new jacket. A few years later, that third jacket is shedding feathers. I don’t have it in me to call the company again.

A cat adopted us. It pulled the tea bag out of my cup on my desk. I should have expected such behavior. The cat came wearing an ankle monitor.

Iowa-Minnesota or Minnesota-Iowa jokes

Someone asked if I knew any. Why doesn’t Iowa have a pro football team? Because if they did, Minnesota would want one.

How do you get a (pick a college) graduate off your porch? Pay him for the pizza.

How many college freshmen does it take to change a lightbulb in Minnesota or Iowa? None. That’s a sophomore course.

Why cover the football fields at the University of Minnesota and the University of Iowa with cardboard? Because the teams always look better on paper.

Bad jokes department

The brown ones are clear M&M’s.

You can never lose a homing pigeon. If it doesn’t come back, you’ve lost a regular pigeon.

Walla Walla is located between Ting Tang and Bing Bang.

What do you get when you divide a bovine’s circumference by its diameter? A cow pi.

An orange ocean is just a Fanta sea.

Nature notes

Audubon’s Rowe Sanctuary’s Crane Camera in Gibbon, Nebraska, features spectacular views of the sandhill crane migration along the Platte River. The five-mile stretch covered by this camera is a densely populated roost with up to 200,000 cranes at its busiest. The best times to view them are early morning and evening. Here’s the link:

Between 1838, when the US Patent Office opened its doors, and 1996, over 4,400 mousetrap patents were awarded. Researchers advise against buying ultrasonic devices. Consumer Reports found no proof they work. This doesn’t stop companies from making false claims. The FTC has investigated sonic repellent makers for false advertising.

Meeting adjourned

Albert Einstein said, “Hail to the man who went through life always helping others, knowing no fear, and to whom aggressiveness and resentment are alien.” Be kind.