NEW RICHLAND-HARTLAND-ELLENDALE-GENEVA AREA

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Echoes from the Loafers’ Club Meeting

Did you go to that meeting yesterday?

I did.

I thought you weren't going?

I wasn’t, but then I decided that going was the next best thing to not being there.


Driving by the Bruces

I have two wonderful neighbors — both named Bruce — who live across the road from each other. Whenever I pass their driveways, thoughts occur to me, such as: there is no exception to the rule that every rule has an exception.


Ask Al

"What is forensics?" Ten.

"What are Hartland residents called?" People.

"How could I attract butterflies to my yard?" Sound like a flower.

"How can I get more cardinals in my yard?" Move to St. Louis or Rome.


Cafe chronicles

At the table of infinite knowledge, retired guys looked back into the past and became tired. The cafe gives them a place to sit and hate other people's jobs. They were fellows who didn’t believe everything they thought. One, with optional hearing, said that he never wore his hearing aids. He's afraid that if he did, people would think he was listening. Another guy kept bringing up the subject of TV so he could tell everyone that he never watched TV.

I said that I’d been to a wild game feed where I’d eaten raccoon. No hush fell over the crowd. They began talking about lutefisk.

A boy at a nearby table bit off the end of a drinking straw cover, dipped the other end in ketchup, and with a puff of breath, blew it toward the ceiling in the hopes that it would find a suitable home and stick there.

That’s what the retired men had done.


Hartland news

An Englishman, an Irishman, a Dane, an Aussie, a German, an American, a Mexican, a Spaniard, a Russian, a Pole, a Lithuanian, a Swede, a Finn, an Israeli, a Romanian, a Turk, a Greek, an Italian, a Norwegian, a Czech, and a Canadian went to the Snobbish Trapshooting Club, where the elite meet to skeet.

The bouncer said, "Sorry, I can’t let you in without a Thai."


Homeward bound

I was trapped in an airport. I spent a night on the floor near my gate. I slept in three-minute intervals between announcements. My delayed flight had been delayed.

I longed to be home. Home is where the heart is and sometimes the luggage. My luggage and I have lived in both Freeborn and Waseca Counties. I remember learning in grade school about the great County War way back when. Some Waseca County residents had thrown dynamite across the county line into Freeborn County. The inhabitants of Freeborn County lit the dynamite and threw it back. That’s how wars start.


Scene from a marriage

My wife thought the horoscope had said that she’d meet a tall, dark man. Actually it had said that she would meet a tall dork. Me.

"What are you thinking about?" she asked.

I was sitting in my favorite chair. That meant I wasn't thinking about anything. I told her that I’d been thinking about the theme song to "Green Acres."

I had been.


With a featherbed

I was hunkered down in a hotel in Ankeny. The weather had been that of winter even though it was spring. At the front door of the hotel, there was a mallard drake quacking furiously. I’ll bet he wanted a room.


Did you know?

• The average person blinks 15-20 times per minute. That's up to 1,200 times per hour and 28,800 times in a day. We spend about 10 percent of our waking hours with our eyes closed.

• Parts of Chicago are food deserts. A food desert is an entire city neighborhood or cluster of neighborhoods without a mainstream grocery store.

• In 1890, the US had 800 German newspapers and at the start of WWI, Baltimore had four elementary schools teaching in German only.


Nature notes

Roger Batt of Algona asked, "Can birds smell?" The apparatus for detecting odors is present in all birds. Shearwaters and fulmars are attracted to the smell of fish oil. Turkey vultures are believed to use their sense of smell to locate carrion. Kiwis, flightless birds from New Zealand, appear to sniff out earthworms. I hope that the great horned owl that eats skunks has a poor sense of smell. Robins are believed to be able to smell worms, goslings use their olfactory sense to find food, and starlings employ a sense of smell to find aromatic green nesting material. Even with the ability to detect odors, a mother bird will accept her baby back after it’s been touched by a human. She’s a mother.


Meeting adjourned

There is always room for a kind word.

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