Al Batt: People hate math until they get a receipt

Published 6:28 pm Tuesday, August 1, 2023

Echoes from the Loafers’ Club Meeting

I didn’t catch a single fish on my trip to 


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How come? 

I couldn’t tell a single one from a married fish.

Driving by Bruce’s drive

I have a wonderful neighbor named Bruce. Whenever I pass his drive, thoughts occur to me. I was thinking about the great job I once had at a helium balloon factory. My boss spoke highly of me. People weren’t supposed to leave the balloons in a hot car because helium expands in the heat and could cause the balloons to pop. I had no balloons in my car to pop, but it was so hot, I saw a robin blow on a worm before eating it. Air conditioning is a wonderful thing. I grew up without it. It was a learning experience. I learned as a teenager that if I was going to take off my clothes and open all the windows on a scorcher of a day, I should get off the school bus first. I spent a few days putting on miles and miles of miles on my car, which caused me to realize that U-Haul has the worst drivers on the road.

I walked down another road. I wore sandals that are fond of picking up pebbles. I picked one up and began walking that weird way I do when I’m stepping on a wet floor in front of a person holding a mop. I hoped the pebble might tumble out. One of my coaches, Tom Smith, told me to walk things off. He gave that advice no matter what was the injury. If I’d have had two broken legs and a stubbed toe, he’d have told me to walk it off, so I figured it would apply to a pebble under my foot. I tried to walk it off, but I must suffer from a gravel-intolerance. As I walked, the pebble grew to be the size of a boulder. I watched a YouTube video on how to remove a pebble from a sandal safely and I followed the proper pebble removal protocol.

Poor farmer versus a good farmer

My father said you could tell a poor farmer from a good farmer by the number of weeds in his fields. A weedy field was brought about by a poor farmer or poor land. I went with Dad on a Sunday afternoon drive. He claimed you weren’t a true farmer unless you’d gone into the ditch at least once while looking at a neighbor’s crops. Dad was a true farmer. He pointed at a weed-free field and said, “That’s the work of a good farmer right there.”

I protested because it was our field.

He responded, “And it’s the work of a good farmer.”

Bad jokes department

Lawrence Welk had twin daughters—Anna 1, Anna 2.

I was hit by a violin, a clarinet and a French horn. It was an orchestrated attack.

A cow, a pig and a chicken walk into a BBQ joint. The end.

Yoda’s last name is Ladywho.

Someone phoned me, sneezed and then hung up. It was a cold call.

I’ve learned

People hate math until they get a store receipt.

You’re getting old if you remember when politicians resigned amid a scandal.

A cellphone can replace a watch, a camera, a GPS, a calendar, an alarm clock and a life.

Nothing seems more like “just yesterday” than mowing the lawn.

Patience is a virtue at 10 mph over the speed limit.

Nature notes

Canada geese molt when their goslings are about one-month old in late June or early July. They are flightless for 4-5 weeks and regain their flight feathers about the time their goslings reach the flight stage.

I’d been on the road and staying in a hotel. Across the street were stores of every kind. I wanted to get a large bottle of iced tea to put in my room’s refrigerator and decided to walk to a store. I wondered aloud, “But which store should I go to?” A chickadee whistled, “Hy-Vee.” The black-capped chickadee’s song is a simple two-note whistled “fee-bee” or “sweet-ie.”

Erica McAlister, a curator of Diptera (flies) at the Museum of Natural History in London, reported there are an estimated 17 million flies per person in the world. I don’t know who counted them.

Raccoons let us know when the sweet corn is ripe. Vultures fly in circles because they are buffering.

Meeting adjourned 

“Life is short, and we have never too much time for gladdening the hearts of those who are traveling the dark journey with us. Oh be swift to love, make haste to be kind.”—Henri Frederick Amiel.