Al Batt: Creatures of habit

Published 8:08 pm Monday, June 17, 2024

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Echoes from the

Loafers’ Club Meeting

Someone robbed me at the gas station.

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Oh, no! Do you know who the robber was?

Yes, it was Pump 6.

Driving by Bruce’s drive

I have a wonderful neighbor named Bruce. Deep thoughts occur as I drive past his drive. I had provided fine dining opportunities to multitudes of female mosquitoes, but it was still a good day. I’m sure it’d be in the top 10 days of the week. I headed to town. It would be 8 miles if I turned one way or 24,901 miles if I turned in the opposite direction. It was the first 8 miles in a journey of 237 miles. On that journey, I stopped at a convenience store to get gas and some fruit for lunch. There were roller dogs available. Hot dogs on a roller grill; sausage in a logrolling competition. I read something a few years back saying that Minnesotans eat 197 hot dogs per capita per year while Iowans eat 207 per capita annually. I passed on the roller dogs.

It rained most of the day, but in the early afternoon, the sun peeked out. That was the highlight of the day until I reached my workplace, wishing I’d been wearing a T-shirt reading “Before” on the front and “After” on the back.

I’ve learned

The good old days were when I had no idea what everyone else in the world was thinking.

I can’t remember the last time I said “rhombus.”

Cargo pants are important because you never know when you might get a job as a cargo ship.

Life is getting used to doing things you’ll later need to get used to not doing.

When I tipped the canoe, I discovered it was cap-sized.

The sign said, “Employees must wash hands,” but I washed my own as I couldn’t wait for them.

In the news

Man walks into a bar and loses limbo contest.

Mime arrested for doing unspeakable things.

Jeweler charged with making a customer’s ear ring.

Local woman gets new car for her husband. She considered it a good trade.

Bad jokes department

He called his horse Mayo. Sometimes Mayo nays.

What looks like half of a Twinkie? The other half.

Is a child who is in pre-K in J?

What word is always spelled backward? Backward.

Be prepared—read a step-by-step guide to falling down the stairs.

Ducks ate my neighbor’s dog. I warned him not to get a purebread dog.

Where do you see yourself in five years? In mirrors, in other reflective surfaces and in selfies.

Nature notes

Kathryn Tollefson of New Richland asked why she sees pigeons in the same place near the Le Sueur River Lutheran Church frequently. With humans and other animals, the attraction to a particular place is often food. Maybe there is something to eat there—pigeon chow. Pigeons, like us, are creatures of habit and adhere to traditions. They have better homing instincts than we do, so they can find where they want to be without a GPS. Perhaps they are waiting for an invitation to attend church services.

I watched a couple of turkey vultures make Venn diagrams in the sky and spotted hoofed ruminants that are deer to us. A crow dipped a colorful snack bag in the water of a pond. I don’t know what was in it. Crows are notorious for soaking food in water. They’re not cleaning it, and it’s more than softening the food to make it more palatable. Baby crows rely on their parents to provide food containing enough moisture to prevent dehydration, and moistened food helps.

Serviceberry, also called juneberry, shadbush or Saskatoon berry, is a small tree or shrub native to Minnesota. Ripe fruit can be eaten fresh or used in jams, jellies and pies. Serviceberry is attractive to pollinators, birds and other animals. One story maintains the first settlers in New England planned funeral services at the same time the tree bloomed, a sign the ground had thawed sufficiently to dig graves. The tree became known as the serviceberry. That origin is disputed.

Wild ginger is sometimes called woodland ginger, Canada ginger, snakeroot, colic root, coltsfoot, namepin and sturgeon potato. It has fuzzy, green, heart- or kidney-shaped leaves and below them is a small brown to burgundy, bowl-shaped flower. The color and scent of the blooms attract early spring gnats, flies and beetles. The flowers smell like rotten meat, although the scent isn’t noticeable to me.

Meeting adjourned

I flipped a switch and a light came on. I’m most grateful for that and for all the people who made that possible. Be kind.