Al Batt: No treating the cast like a piñata

Published 5:34 pm Tuesday, July 11, 2023

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Echoes from the Loafers’ Club Meeting

My dog can find anything I ask it to.

What kind of dog is it?

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It’s a LabraGoogle.

Driving by Bruce’s drive

I have a wonderful neighbor named Bruce. Deep thoughts occur as I drive past his drive. The sun was shining as I put soil in with a plant growing in a container. It wasn’t dirt. Dirt is what you track into the house. I wasn’t planting corn, but work took me to Cornville. Where’s Cornville? You’re guessing Iowa. Maybe Illinois or Minnesota. No, Cornville is in Arizona. You won’t find much corn growing in Cornville. You’ll find grapes. The story is that the name requested was “Coaneville” in honor of a pioneer family and the USPS misspelled the name as “Cornville.”

 It wasn’t from the USPS, UPS or FedEx. It was delivered by a smaller carrier—one that issued no notices of delivery because it enjoys surprising you when you get something delivered. It was a book from a friend along with a note asking this question, “If you had a week to live, where would you spend it?” A stipulation was added that eliminated home and family from the answer. As a boy, I’d stood in a field, watching geese fly over in the spring and again in the fall. Those geese were doing something I wanted to do. Fly. Not by flapping my wings or as a pilot, but as a passenger. I didn’t know any kids whose goal of becoming a passenger. My parents had never set foot in a plane, let alone travel in one. I emailed my friend and said I’d spend a couple of days in Haines, Alaska, because it’s lovely and got an email in return asking what I’d do with the rest of the week. I’d spend it getting to Haines.

I’ve learned

Casts should be labeled, “Not a piñata.”

A typical person, statistically speaking, has nearly 200 third cousins, 950 fourth cousins and 4,700 fifth cousins. That means that one of the two impatient drivers of white pickups who used his entire speedometer and passed me on the right in an intersection as I waited for a vehicle two cars ahead of me to turn could be my fifth cousin. If so, all two-lane highways should become non-passing zones because of my cousins.

Bad joke department

He said he’d run into a grizzly on the trail in June and the bear had taken an instant dislike to him. You’re not supposed to run, but he ran. The bear chased him down the trail, through the forests, over a hill, across the meadow and up and over more mountains than he could count. Finally, he came to a river. He ran over the ice, but the bear broke through, giving the man enough time to escape. I stopped him there and asked how there could be ice on the river in June. He told me the bear had chased him so long that by the time they came to the river, it was January.

A man lay in bed looking up at the night sky—Milky Way, constellations and moon. He wondered, “What happened to the roof?” 

The man took his wife to the doctor to see why she was mumbling. Then he went to see another doctor about his hearing loss.

Scientists placed a 10-piece set of matching Tupperware in a sealed chamber. When they opened it a week later, the chamber had 17 lids, none of which fit the remaining container.

When I eat too many chickpeas, I falafel.

I walk 10 Miles each day. 10 Miles is the name of my dog.

Nature notes

Baby robins jump from their nest when they’re about 13 days old. Leaving the nest is called fledging. They can’t fly well when they leave the nest and don’t become capable fliers until 10-15 days after fledging. Both parents feed the fledglings for a few days until the mother lays a new clutch of eggs. The fledglings learn from other robins. Leaving the nest early can be advantageous for a young robin, as a nest attracts predators and parasites. After fledging, the young birds are scattered, enhancing their chances of survival. 

American white pelicans have 9-foot wingspans. The average wingspan of a bald eagle ranges from 6 to 7 1/2 feet. A trumpeter swan can have an 8-foot wingspan.

Seven states have the cardinal as their state bird—Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, North Carolina, West Virginia and Virginia. A redbird could fly to all seven states without needing to venture into an eighth state.

Meeting adjourned

Humankind. Be both.