Al Batt: Dogs can’t whistle

Published 5:21 pm Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Echoes from the Loafers’ Club Meeting

Do you ever wonder why we can’t hear dog whistles?

Yeah, why is that?

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It’s because dogs can’t whistle.

Driving by Bruce’s drive

I have a wonderful neighbor named Bruce. Whenever I pass his drive, thoughts occur to me. I was there to have a trained medical professional paint over the ruins. The clinic has a scent. It’s the smell of the angels who work there. I had dent repairs made by a surgeon so dexterous he could stop a gas pump at exactly $20 if he wanted to. Every scar is a monument. Women know that an important part of a man’s rehab after surgery is to whine about it. Nobody gets through life unscathed, so keep moving. My wife drove me home. In my muddled state, I sang a Monty Python’s song for my wife’s enjoyment while stopped at a red light. “I like traffic lights. I like traffic lights. I like traffic lights. But only when they’re green.” As we drove away, I wanted to add, “Oh do you know the muffin man, the muffin man, the muffin man? Oh do you know the muffin man, who lives on Drury Lane?” But I didn’t.

My wife brought in a few bulbs of garlic. The cat found them and carried one away. The cat lives in a world filled with toys, food, staff, windows, poop gravel and napping areas. The garlic was deemed a toy. She bit into and it was a toy no more. She became offended. Curiosity didn’t kill the cat. Vampires haven’t bothered her. That reminded me of a woman and her emotional support animal seated in front of me on a flight. The cat meowed so much during the flight that I needed emotional support.

A traveling galoot

The City of Hondo, Texas, is known for its iconic sign reading, “This is God’s Country Please don’t drive through it like hell.” Drivers ignored the sign. The US states with the highest number of bingo halls are Texas, New York and Florida. I called bingo twice a week for a few years until I called “under the O, 7.” I’m taking a break. It was in Texas where I first heard the joke about the rancher who said his ranch was so big, it took him all day to drive his pickup across it. To which a Midwestern farmer replied, “Yeah, I used to have a truck like that.”

South Dakota has kuchen as the official state dessert, milk the official drink, frybread the official bread and chislic (salty meat on a stick) the official state nosh.

I’ve learned

My car can mysteriously change its location in a parking ramp if I leave it alone for more than an hour.

Never spend much time in the company of an evil ventriloquist.

Tarzan never once texted while he was swinging on a vine.

As I walked at night, I heard loud sounds coming from cars whose drivers wanted to share their music with the world. Secondhand smoke isn’t good for us. Neither is deafening secondhand music.

There is a secret place known only to my wife where everything I’m looking for resides.

I’m surprised I don’t get pop-up ads with my toast in the morning.

Nature notes

While working in North Dakota, I was reminded that The Peace Garden State is the No. 1 honey-producing state in the nation. In its lifetime, a worker honey bee produces 1/12th of a teaspoon of honey. To make one pound of honey, workers fly 55,000 miles and tap two million flowers. In a single collecting trip, a worker visits between 50 and 100 flowers, carrying over half her weight in pollen and nectar. A beekeeper told me of the tradition of telling the bees—informing them of deaths in the family, births, marriages and long absences.

You’ve been there, walking down a hallway when you meet someone headed in the opposite direction. A nasty collision is in the offing if you don’t do something. You move right. The other party moves left, presenting another opportunity for a head-on collision. That’s what you’ll see hummingbirds doing now. It’s a territorial dance done to defend a dependable food source.

Minnesota’s Big Tree Registry has 53 native tree species listed. You’ll find the application here: The Iowa Big Tree Nomination Form is at

Meeting adjourned

“Kindness and politeness are not overrated at all. They’re underused.”–Tommy Lee Jones.