Al Batt: Widdershins is my default direction

Echoes from the Loafers’ Club Meeting

I got up on the wrong side of the bed this morning.

I suppose that put you in a foul mood?

Not until I walked face-first into that wall.

Driving by Bruce’s drive

I have a wonderful neighbor named Bruce. Whenever I pass his drive, thoughts occur to me, such as: Far from home, I pulled into a convenience store for fuel. The pump had a TV showing the news. I appreciate a break from the world’s problems and loud commercials while pumping gas, so I pushed the mute button repeatedly, but the talking heads refused to stifle. I got my fill of the news long before my car’s tank was filled with gas. Not much later, I wiped road salt off my bunion Buicks — my shoes. I had the time to do that because my hotel room wasn’t ready yet because it wasn’t my room yet. If it had been my room, I’d have had it ready for me.

The delay caused me to dig out a pen and a receipt. If I don’t have a notebook, I write things on newspapers, napkins, bookmarks, receipts, and anything else I can scribble upon. I’m a chronic note taker. I write things down. I’m not about to spend my time trying to remember things. I’ve got better things to do. Things like trying to remember what I wrote on and where I put it.

The sports report

There were 1,100 people at the basketball game. The $5 entrance fee allowed each to become the world’s greatest referee. 

I walked at halftime, trying hard to stay out of the way of those headed to the concession stand for grub. I aim to walk counterclockwise unless signage says otherwise. Widdershins is my default direction. Widdershins means in a contrary or counterclockwise direction. I try to put on a certain number of steps every day. That number is both too many and not enough. Some days it’s more of a challenge than on others. When I was in grade school, I could put on 10,000 steps per day just by walking to the front of the classroom to spit forbidden gum into the wastebasket.

I heard a sports guy on the radio report a heart-wrenching injury during an athletic endeavor. His sidekick said he saw the game and agreed it was heart-wrenching. I shuddered at the thought of a player’s ticker being wrenched. It turned out that a knee had been damaged. I shuddered again. I’m sure heart-wrenching has found its way into some dictionaries, but the image of someone using a crescent wrench on a heart is disturbing. Gut-wrenching might be what they meant. Guts do twist, both literally and figuratively. Perhaps they were aiming for heart-rending, which means causing great sadness or distress.

Thoughts while jotting things down on a convenience store receipt

Mirrors don’t lie. I’m glad they don’t laugh.

Laughs put the wrinkles in the right places.

In the good old days, politicians at least pretended to be telling the truth when they lied.

In local news

A 100-year-old man sets off alarm when he tries to leave the historical museum.

Local cheese store owner believes in the Loch Ness Muenster.

Store welcomes its one millionth annoyed customer.

Local man to marry Rose Thorn after finding a Rose among the Thorns.

Man sells his house for more than his asking price. He was ecstatic, but his landlord was furious.

Nature notes

“Is wild asparagus a real thing?” In the 1960s, Euell Gibbons wrote a book about eating wild edibles titled, “Stalking the Wild Asparagus.” I enjoy asparagus. One of my father’s favorite dishes was creamed asparagus on toast. I enjoy asparagus pickles. Our asparagus patch was treated with reverence. It seemed as if everyone grew asparagus. The wild plant we commonly see along roadsides is the same species as tame asparagus Asparagus officinalis. Wild asparagus produces without human assistance or manipulation. Asparagus plants are insect pollinated and its seeds are spread by birds, allowing domesticated crops to escape into the wild.

“What is Smokey the Bear’s middle name?” The.

“What causes deer to drop their antlers?” Diminishing daylight and falling hormones after the breeding season initiate the antler-weakening process. Testosterone controls the antler cycle, but production of testosterone and the annual antler cycle is ultimately controlled by photoperiod. Large-antlered older bucks typically shed their antlers earlier than young bucks with small-antlers. Weakened bucks may shed earlier than those in better physical condition. Genetics has some effect on the time of shedding.

Meeting adjourned

“There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.”

— Edith Wharton

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