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Echoes From the Loafers’ Club Meeting

Your chicken dinner will be a little late.

Why is that?

We have to wait for the chicken to cross the road.

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: I pulled over at an echo point. I needed a break from being behind the steering wheel and a stroll was welcomed. I walked to the echo point and sat. I was trying to be a good listener. I listened intently, but after two hours, I had to say something.

I don’t do the dew point

I visited with a crack meteorologist. He has a TV gig and he is good at his job. I asked him to pick a number between three and five and he nailed it. Without hesitation, he declared it to be four. He is that good of a guesser.

I told him that I was having trouble with the dew point and wondered if he could make it go away. Humidity is fatiguing enough without disguising its name.

He told me that there was nothing he could do, but I shouldn't worry about it because it would soon be snowing.

I was torn between the urge to throttle him and to nod and tell him that he was right.

He was right.

It’s never a long time to anything.

It was a whale of a stench

I spoke in the Outer Banks of North Carolina.

A whale had washed ashore. I decided to have a look at it. My incentive was that not many whales wash ashore where I live.

It was a good hike to the whale, but I was a good hiker.

When I got close to the whale's carcass, a fetid odor found my nostrils. It was gag worthy. My nostrils slammed shut.

How could I describe that smell? I can't.

I wanted to do only two things at that point. I wanted to get away from that whale and I wanted to stay away.

Fare thee well, fair fairgoers

Life is unfair. That’s why we have county fairs.

Deep-fried linoleum-on-a-stick, bumper cows and a ride called the Spin & Spew. The nothing-on-a-stick stand. Apparently it catered to termites and beavers. There was a fried kale-on-a-stick stand. It was a clear case of someone misreading the marketplace.

A county fair is a wonderful thing where winning the pickle competition is a big dill.

I met a fellow at the fair. He told me that he liked Minnesota, but was having trouble overcoming the language barrier. It hadn’t been easy for him moving to the Gopher State from Boston.

I left him in his confused state. He was still trying to figure out the difference between a Pronto Pup and a corn dog.

It never became a Christmas goose

All days provide challenges. Challenges are good things.

Getting through a day without hurt or injury is as easy as stacking greased marbles while wearing boxing gloves.

The neighbors, the Hollands, had a gander when I was a small boy. He had a bad attitude. He was a goose that was both a noun and a verb.

We’d take a much-needed break from work or play and enter the Holland home where the Missus would give us red Kool-Aid. We didn’t care what flavor it was as long as it was red in color. We drank so much of the icy cold, sweet stuff that we sloshed.

As we waddled outside, coming down from a Kool-Aid high, the gander waited around the corner. We could barely move due to the weight of the nectar.

He attacked. A pinch here, a goose there. He made us kids dance in odd steps.

We tried to fend him off, but his fury was relentless.

Life doesn't promise a soft landing.

Nature notes

"Do goldfinches ever eat insects?" According to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, American goldfinches are among the strictest vegetarians in the bird world, selecting an entirely vegetable diet and only inadvertently swallowing an occasional insect.

"I have a cardinal in my yard with a black bill. Is that normal?" Young cardinals have black bills rather than the orangish-red beaks of the adults. They gradually change to adult coloration.

"Do birds eat Japanese beetles?" Starlings eat both grubs and adult beetles. Blue jays, cardinals, catbirds, crows, grackles, kingbirds, robins, sparrows and woodpeckers will eat the grubs. Chickens seem to have a taste for them.

Meeting adjourned

"No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted."--Aesop.

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