Al Batt: Did Taylor Swift see her shadow?

Published 5:56 pm Tuesday, March 5, 2024

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Echoes from the

Loafers’ Club Meeting

I left my job today. I couldn’t work for my boss after what he said to me.

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What did he say?

He said, “You’re fired.”

Driving by Bruce’s drive

I have a wonderful neighbor named Bruce. Whenever I pass his drive, thoughts occur to me. I didn’t see the groundhog on Feb. 2 and I missed seeing the Super Bowl. All I know is Taylor Swift kicked a field goal to win it. It’s the neither season–neither winter nor spring. Spring is just around the corner, but it might not be the corner our mothers want us hanging around. The weather has been quirky. A muttering visitor was like cranky wind chimes as the wind howled about him. He suffered from paralyzing weather vagaries as our incredibly gentle winter temperature dropped 70 degrees in 36 hours and brought snow with it. I’d received a phone call from a wonderful couple who live in New Jersey that I’d met 30 years ago in Des Moines when we shared a ride. We didn’t talk about the weather. It was a most pleasant interlude.

I talked to a fellow at church. He was wearing Hey Dude shoes. His wife said he got them because their grandson looked good wearing them. I got those shoes because I wanted to be as cool as a grandson. They’re lightweight, the same weight as air. As far as making me look cool, they’re not working. I heard from an old friend who lives near the Canadian border. I shared a room with him during a conference where I learned he was a world-class snorer sawing invisible logs in his sleep. I put bits of Kleenex in my ears, but the snoring shredded the paper. I wish I’d had those Hey Dudes then. I’d have stuck them in my ears.

Years ago, my wife and I took my mother and Aunt Ingeborg on a dinner train. The meal had seven courses and the train was slow-moving to give us time to eat. What international catastrophe could occur when a server drops a platter? The downfall of turkey, the overthrow of grease and the destruction of china. In this case, a platter of alcoholic drinks fell upon my mother and Ingeborg—two strict teetotalers. My mother laughed. Ingeborg huffed. Life moved to where my wife and I sat in the same seats at every one of our granddaughter Joey’s college basketball home games. A former teacher of ours and her friends arrive before us and save our seats, which aren’t on the floor. They are up high. Their ours. They fit us and we’ve learned to appreciate those who gather with us—friends, family and fans. And Joey knew where to find us.

Bad jokes department

The umbrella was going to be called a brella, but the inventor paused.

Is my cloak of invisibility working? Do I make myself clear?

I’m doing lunges to stay in shape. That’s a big step forward.

Mr. Rogers didn’t adequately prepare me for the people in my neighborhood.

What do you call a broken can opener? A can’t opener.

What word becomes shorter when you add two letters? Short.

The man fell down the wall because he couldn’t see that well.

Nature notes

March is named for the Roman god of war, Mars. March brings the vernal equinox and daylight saving time. Dec. 1 is the start of meteorological winter, which makes March 1 the beginning of meteorological spring, June 1 introduces summer and Sept. 1 brings fall. Blizzards were once common at the time of the March basketball tournaments. I hope March has gotten over that. No month has an exclusive on bad weather.

My wife has been feeding her Peeps habit. She prefers the Peeps candy confections made of a soft marshmallow rolled in colored sugar in either yellow, pink, blue, lavender or green and shaped like baby chickens. I don’t eat them, but I’m fond of saying, “Oh, for Peeps’ sake.”

Me, I feed the birds. That joyful task brought two quotes to my mind. “If you can hear the birds singing, you’re in the right place,” by Benny Bellamacina and “I don’t feed the birds because they need me; I feed the birds because I need them,” by Kathi Hutton.

I watched a red-tailed hawk mantling prey. Mantling involves the hawk spreading its wings and covering its prey to hide it from the eyes of other animals. This hawk was giving a dirty look at several crows standing nearby as if they were jackals at a lion kill.

Meeting adjourned

Spread kindness like wildflowers.