Al Batt: The mystery moves of a Ram

Published 5:46 pm Tuesday, May 16, 2023

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Echoes from the Loafers’ Club Meeting 

I always get my pizza delivered.   


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Who wants liver on a pizza?

Driving by Bruce’s drive

I have a wonderful neighbor named Bruce. Deep thoughts occur as I drive past his drive. I put on my understandings (shoes), a comfortable pair to wear while driving north to where I’d be teaching writing classes. The pickup truck ahead of me turned left without employing his turn signal. He wanted it to be a surprise. A Ram moves in mysterious ways.

I’d been staying in hotels with numbers in their names except for one stay at a hotel a rung higher on the amenities scale, where I was awakened by a robot vacuum cleaner, even though I hadn’t ordered Roomba service.

Al Jaffee died at the age of 102. One of Mad Magazine’s most famous regulars (The Usual Gang of Idiots) and creator of Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions and the magazine’s iconic “fold-in,” the illustration that ran on the back inside cover of every issue that when folded, revealed a second hidden image. The fold-in was originally designed to mock Playboy centerfolds. Alfred E. Neuman, the fictitious cover boy of Mad, had a motto “What? Me worry?” that became famous. My brother gave me a subscription to Mad Magazine when I was a lad. I loved it. I kept every issue, each with a crease in its back cover. Mad’s nonsense made wonderful sense to me.

Bad jokes department

Who was the best-smelling TV cowboy of all time? The Cologne Ranger.

What color is the wind? Blew.

What do you call bees with ears? Bears.

What should you do before getting off a bicycle? Get on it.

I’ve learned

The smaller the portion of food, the higher the bill.

When a man says he looked everywhere, everywhere is a tiny place. 

Put things away in a place where you’d look for them first.

A bad shopping cart is a great exercise.

All-purpose glue isn’t.

Three-fourths of the people make up 75% of the population.

Mother’s Day

“Step on a crack, break your mother’s back.” I heard that often when I was a boy, but I didn’t believe it. It was nonsense, but I loved my mother and tried not to step on any cracks. Her baked goods were baked greats. Mother taught me that gravy covers a multitude of sins and to never complain about food because you never know what’s cooking tomorrow. I learned that each day is a gift. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t miss her.

Nature notes

Jerry Viktora of Ellendale asked when we’ll see the moths that look and act like hummingbirds. The white-lined sphinx moth’s rapid wing movement resembles a hummingbird in flight when it hovers over flowers while feeding. It has a 2-3.5-inch wingspan, visits flowers during the day and at dusk, and is active July-September. It uses a long proboscis for nectaring from evening primrose, columbine, jimson weed, lilac, cardinal flower, honeysuckle, hosta, penstemon, petunia, phlox and others without harming the plants. Host plants for the caterpillars include evening primrose, purslane, tomato, apple, four-o’clock, fuchsia and grape. The caterpillars vary in color but are often green with a single pointed horn on the rear.

The Minnesota population of American white pelicans appears to have stabilized at 16,000 to 22,000 nesting pairs breeding at 15 to 17 sites across the western two-thirds of the state. Nonbreeding birds are commonly observed throughout the state. The return of pelicans to Minnesota waters could be attributed to the growth and expansion of the Chase Lake colony in North Dakota. Because pelicans don’t breed until their third year, nonbreeding adults wander until they reach sexual maturity. Many return to their natal breeding colony, but others may explore other suitable sites to avoid crowding. In the northern Great Plains, colonies are located on flat islands with little or no vegetation found on freshwater lakes, rivers or impoundments. Minnesota’s largest colony site, Marsh Lake, is an impounded river floodplain in the upper reaches of the Minnesota River. In the late 1800s, settlers raided pelican nesting colonies because they thought they caused a fish shortage. After that, pelicans weren’t seen in Minnesota for about 90 years. Pelicans can’t catch the larger, faster and deeper game fish. In Minnesota, pelicans have nesting colonies in the aforementioned Marsh Lake near Ortonville and Appleton, plus Lake of the Woods, Leech Lake and Pelican Lake in Wright County. The state of Iowa has one pelican breeding colony along the Mississippi River in Clinton County.

Meeting adjourned

Pay no heed to those who profit from promoting anger and hatred. Be kind.