Al Batt: One day does not make a week

Published 6:36 pm Tuesday, May 2, 2023

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Echoes from the Loafers’ Club Meeting

I lost my job, my wife left me, the bank foreclosed on my home and my car was stolen.   

You’re in a good mood for someone who had suffered through all that. 

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Well, I’m not going to let one day ruin the entire week. 

Driving by Bruce’s drive

I have a wonderful neighbor named Bruce. Deep thoughts occur as I drive past his drive. In “A Christmas Story,” Schwartz triple dog dared Flick to stick his tongue to the school flagpole. I knew no one who admitted to having a tongue stuck on a frozen flagpole until I was working in Hungary. What was I doing in Hungary? I was looking for Hungry Hungary Hippos, of course. Not really. I was field testing binoculars for Zeiss. I’m not sure how we came to talk about that movie, but he admitted his goofy action happened for two reasons: he was a boy and not a smart one. Why did he tell me? He tells everyone.


A sign in the restroom at The Amboy Cottage Cafe read, “Men, put 25 cents in the jar if you intend on leaving the lid up.” Outside the kitchen, a sign read, “Many have eaten here, few have died.”

I heard

Carolyn Goolsby of Bethel, Alaska, told me that in Bethel, a dog park isn’t a place for dogs to play. It’s a place where a team of sled dogs is tied.

A woman in a store’s aisle by the pain relief shelves: “What part of your body doesn’t hurt?”

I’ve learned

Three Dog Knight wasn’t a member of King Arthur’s Knights of the Round Table.

I love picnics because ants and dirt taste better outdoors.

A GPS is great at telling me how to get somewhere but I need one that will tell me why I’m going there.

Bad joke department

Why do dolphins live in saltwater? Because pepper makes them sneeze. 

Your Uncle Desmond was pronounced dead. Do you mean I’ve been mispronouncing his name all these years?

The police department introduces a new roadside sobriety test. A suspected impaired driver must fold a fitted sheet.

A man washed the car with his little son because he couldn’t find the sponge.

Nature notes

Earwigs don’t make wigs in your ears. An earwig is about 3/4 inch long, with a flat, reddish-brown body, short wings and a pair of strong pinchers (cerci) on the tip of the abdomen. Females have straight-sided forceps while male forceps are strongly curved and larger. They use the forceps-like appendages for defense and courtship. It’s a myth that earwigs crawl into the ears of sleeping people and bore into their brains. Earwigs inside the house don’t cause harm.

Skunks can spray six times before running out of perfume. It could take them over a week to reload. They don’t have a 60-shooter like the pistols used by John Wayne. When I mentioned this on the radio show, Jack May of Mankato said he could hear a skunk saying in Dirty Harry’s voice, “I know what you’re thinking. ‘Did he fire six shots or only five?’ Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement, I kind of lost track myself … you’ve got to ask yourself one question: ‘Do I feel lucky?’ Well, do ya, punk?” 

At fall’s end, deciduous trees lose their leaves, but some deciduous trees hold on to their dry, brown leaves throughout the winter. The term for this is marcescence. The abscission layer, an area at the base of the petiole containing a layer of thin-walled cells that break readily allowing leaf drop, doesn’t completely form on these trees until spring, which allows them to hold their leaves longer. Marcescence typically occurs on parts of the tree that haven’t yet formed flowers and the leaves usually remain on the lower branches. Commonly, trees exhibit marcescence when young, but lose this characteristic when they get older. Many oak trees retain their leaves until they drop them when the new season’s leaves develop. One theory is the dried leaves serve as protection for the trees from being eaten by deer because the leaves are low in nutrients and difficult to digest, and/or protects the buds and twigs from frost. Another idea is that when the leaves drop in the spring, there is more organic material available to the tree. Another thought is that the dried leaves are an effective way to trap snow, which leads to more moisture at the base of the tree in spring.

Meeting adjourned

A kind word might not be as welcome as a tax refund, but it lasts longer.