Al Batt: No more change in the sofa

Published 5:40 pm Tuesday, July 9, 2024

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Echoes from the

Loafers’ Club Meeting

I have memories of making sand castles with my grandfather.

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Oh, that’s sweet.

Of course, that was before my mother told me to leave his urn alone.

Driving by Bruce’s drive

I have a wonderful neighbor named Bruce. Deep thoughts occur as I drive past his drive. Our sofa had finally run out of change. That was a bummer, but the Earth rotated and made my day.

A friend told me that a particular food runs right through him. I pictured an onion with tiny legs wearing running shoes. Mayo Clinic said that after you eat, it takes about six to eight hours for food to pass through your stomach and small intestine. Food then enters your large intestine (colon) for further digestion, absorption of water and, finally, elimination of undigested food. It takes about 36 hours for food to move through the entire colon. All in all, the whole process—from the time you swallow food to the time it leaves your body takes about two to five days, depending on the individual. I guess the onion wasn’t wearing running shoes. It waited patiently, wearing bedroom slippers.

Keeping bait shops supplied

He told me he ran leech traps. I imagined him taking a bare-legged run through leech-infested waters to catch them. He targeted a certain kind of leech. Leech traps can be made of coffee cans, soda bottles, small buckets or anything that can hold bait and allow leeches to cling to it while feeding. He folded an aluminum pie plate in half and crimped the edges together, leaving a small opening at one end, and poked a hole through the top edge to attach a line. Ideal spots for leech traps are in shallow ponds, creeks or swamps with few fish in them or along the shallow, warm edges of lakes and rivers with many fish in them. He baited the traps with chunks of fresh-cut bait, fish heads and guts, beef kidneys or beef knuckles. He added a couple of small rocks to weigh the trap down and then attached a heavy monofilament line or twine. A trap sinks to the bottom and is tied to a float made from an empty plastic bottle to aid location. I’m guessing if he needed a day off, he called in a substitute leecher.

My toolbox holds one thing

My wife stepped on my glasses. That was bad enough, but what made things worse was that I was wearing them. What to do? If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. If it is broke, grab the duct tape. Duct tape makes everyone a DIY wizard. We have a friend in duct tape. The hardest part is finding the roll, which requires some rooting around. If a junk drawer refuses to open, that’s where the duct tape is hiding. The lodged roll prevents it from opening. I found the duct tape and quickly repaired the glasses. There’s only one problem. I can’t see out of them. Duct tape is in the way.

Bad joke department

The ventriloquist had wearied of travel, so he set up shop as a clairvoyant. His first customer was a woman who wanted to talk to her son Floyd, who had died in a freak rock, paper, scissors game accident.

“ Well,”  he said, “ for $100, I can let you talk to Floyd, but he can’t talk to you. For $200, I can let you talk to Floyd, and he can talk to you.”

“ What else do you have?”  the woman asked.

“ Well,”  he said, “ for $300, I can let you and Floyd have a conversation while I drink a glass of water.”

Nature notes

Before European settlement brought chimneys to North America, chimney swifts nested in caves, cliff faces and hollow trees. They’re among the most aerial of birds, flying constantly unless roosting or nesting. Swifts bathe in flight: gliding down to the water, smacking the surface with their bodies, and then shaking the water from their plumage as they fly away. When they rest, they don’t perch like most birds, but cling to the walls of chimneys and other vertical surfaces. Unmated swifts continue roosting together in the summer, sometimes in large groups, but the species doesn’t nest colonially. Only one breeding pair nests in any one chimney.

Robins, cardinals, catbirds, crows, blue jays, Baltimore orioles, foxes, raccoons, chipmunks, skunks, opossums, squirrels, wild turkeys, brown thrashers, eastern bluebirds, great crested flycatchers, northern mockingbirds, rose-breasted grosbeaks, cedar waxwings, indigo buntings, tufted titmice, scarlet tanagers, northern flickers and I eat mulberries.

Meeting adjourned

“ What wisdom can you find that is greater than kindness?”

— Jean Jacques Rousseau.