Al Batt: Duck or goose?

Published 5:09 pm Tuesday, April 30, 2024

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Echoes from the

Loafers’ Club Meeting

Well, Lars Larson, look at you. The last time I saw you, you were tall and thin with a head full of hair. Now you’re short, portly and bald.

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My name is John Johnson.

And you’ve changed your name, too, Lars?

Driving by Bruce’s drive

I have a wonderful neighbor named Bruce. Whenever I pass his drive, thoughts occur to me. The weather forecast was warm, cold, sunny, cloudy, rainy, snowy, calm and windy.

I wisely played Duck, Duck, Gray Duck (DDGD) as a child. My unfortunate cousins in Iowa were forced to play Duck, Duck, Goose. The children who aren’t “it” are seated facing inward, while the one who is “it” walks around in a circle behind them. It taps each child on the head and says “duck” until it says “gray duck” (or “goose”). The victim then jumps up and pursues it around the circle, and if it reaches and claims the victim’s former seat, the victim becomes it. Lather, rinse, repeat. Both activities originated in Sweden. One is called “Anka Anka Gas,” meaning “Duck, Duck, Goose,” and the other is called “Anka Anka Gra Anka,” meaning “Duck, Duck, Gray Duck.” Perhaps the smartest Swedes used the DDGD version and made their way to Minnesota. as it involves more strategy than its counterpart. The player who is “it” can trick opponents by tapping someone on the head and starting with the sound, “Grrr.” It may choose to say “Green Duck” or “Great Duck,” instead of calling out “Gray Duck” to confuse another.

“Olly olly oxen free” is a catchphrase used by a surrendering seeker in hide-and-seek games to indicate that players who are hiding can come out into the open without losing. In Minnesota, it should be “Ole Ole Olson free.”

Doctor, Doctor

At least I wasn’t the guy who told me he’d bitten himself on his forehead. I asked him how that was possible. He said, “I was on a ladder.”

And even better, I wasn’t the fellow who went to a doctor who told him the bad news. He had little time left.

Of course, the patient asked how much time.

“Ten,” said the doctor.

“Ten? Days, weeks, months, years?” asked the patient.

“Nine, eight, seven…” said the doctor.

I had a hitch in my gitalong. My problem is that I can never remember which knee is my bad one and which is my good one.

I’ve written about Doc Olds and Doc Buturf, the small-town physicians of my youth who kept me going. Marian Bahl of Faribault sent this, “My childhood physician was Dr. Rumpf. When called out at night, he would fly through all the stop signs, then send a check to the police dept. to cover any transgressions. Whenever my mom would take me in for some ailment or stitches, he would tell her, ‘Just sell her to the circus!’”

Words inside a marriage’s car

We’re almost there.

You said that 20 minutes ago.

We’re even closer now.

I’ve learned

Keep your eye on the doorknob. It will turn on you.

Let your doctors do the Googling.

If you put ketchup on your shopping list, it will be difficult to read.

Bad jokes department

What friends do you always bring to dinner? Your taste buds.

I’ve never seen a hippopotamus hiding in a tree. They must be good at it.

Why is it called golf? Because all the other four-letter words were taken.

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

Nature notes

I’ve never seen one wearing eyeglasses, but a skunk has poor vision, and combined with a dark pelage and crepuscular activity, leads to many skunks becoming victims of automobile collisions. Skunks have limited eyesight and can see about 10 feet clearly, but possess excellent hearing and smell. I talk to any skunk I encounter in my yard. My vocalization allows a skunk to gauge my location and avoid me.

Most waterfowl migrations occur at night. Studies indicate migratory movements intensify shortly after sunset, peak in the middle of the night, and decline thereafter. The result can be an impressive increase in local waterfowl numbers overnight. Most waterfowl fly at speeds of 40 to 60 mph, with many species averaging roughly 50 mph. With a 50-mph tailwind, migrating mallards could travel 800 miles during an eight-hour flight. Studies found a mallard needs to feed and rest for three to seven days to replenish the energy expended during this eight-hour journey.

Meeting adjourned

“Be an encourager. Scatter sunshine. Who knows whose life you might touch with something as simple as a kind word.”

— Debbie Macomber.