Welcome students, parents, teachers and staff of High Falutin High School. I know one of you has cruelly referred to this esteemed institute of learning as the Buffoon Factory. I say, shame on you, Principal Positivity. You students started school back when all things were unprecedented. It wasn’t that many years ago when you wanted to be a superhero. Now you’re wearing a … [Read more...]
Does a mother sleep or just worry with her eyes closed?
By Al Batt I’d started working a summer job at a large factory. I don’t know how many people worked there. The guy who hired me said it was about half. The day I began working there, I was accompanied by a friend who’d been hired to stack boxes. I ended up with a job requiring a safety helmet, a few basic tools and an industrial shop rag. As we entered our place of … [Read more...]
This rite of passage involved a right, a left and another left
It was rush hour in a small town. I waited for the only other moving car to find a parking place and then I parked mine. I was hungry and there was but one eatery open – a bar. I walked in. Hamburgers were being made. There was enough grease in the air that I gained two pounds by inhaling deeply. I ordered a burger. The bartender told me that for an additional $1, I’d get a … [Read more...]
She served a volleyball I refused to eat without ketchup
My sister made a sandwich of mustard and sugar on Wonder Bread. I ate it. The food delivery system during my formative years was primarily at home (or homes of others) or at school with occasional visits to Vivian’s Cafe, Minske’s (another cafe) and the root beer stand to enjoy a member of the Burger Family — Papa, Mama or Baby Burger. It was my duty to eat what I was … [Read more...]
Why do cardinals hate me and who is that owl calling?
I was in the grocery store. A man, holding a cellphone to his ear, stared at the shelves and said, “What kind of bread do you want me to get?” His wife was several aisles away. They had divided the food-gathering duties. People hear a pair of great horned owls hooting back and forth, and wonder what they’re talking about. The duets help the owls stay in touch and reinforce … [Read more...]
You know spring has sprung when the snow has gotten warmer
Spring is right around the snowbank. Spring is when the snow gets warmer. There is no need to call the calendar repairman. Our seasons need training. Doug Larson wrote a perfect description of spring, “Spring is when you feel like whistling even with a shoe full of slush.” A couple of other illustrative quotations are “Spring is the time of year when it is summer in the sun … [Read more...]
Remembering the good old days and the good old cough drops
A friend grumbled about his bother-in-law. Did he misspeak or didn’t he care for the man? I attended a retirement party for a brother-in-law. He’s a great guy and I was happy when he’d found a job and now he’s retired. I enjoyed some little smokies (cocktail sausages) with friends. Little smokies are the Cadillac of appetizers for those of us feeding below the caviar … [Read more...]
Why do men wear hats? Hatters gonna hat.
He shouldn’t forget. It’s always under his hat. It was cold and I was going for a walk, so I donned headwear. It was a shabby, high-mileage cap carrying a logo advertising Zeiss, a leading technology enterprise operating in the fields of optics and optoelectronics. I walked a trail where other hat wearers walked. One wore a smart-alecky hat with a message reading, “Sorry … [Read more...]
My neighbor nearly got a DOI ticket — Driving On Ice
Buying used underwear. That has nothing to do with this column, but I had to start it some way. Our refrigerator doesn’t have an icemaker. We have refrigerator magnets in there because the door was fully covered. It’s nice when the ice leaves the lakes, but it’s wonderful when the ice leaves my driveway. Anyone who lived through the Ice Ages knows that exhilaration. There … [Read more...]
Cargo pants, gateway to adventure or a man’s purse pants?
I felt like I should be pulling a semitrailer. I lost my wedding band while I was wearing cargo pants. I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking my wedding band retired to Florida where they play ancient rock and roll at senior citizen centers. Not that wedding band. I’ve lost them too, but what I’m writing about is the wedding band I wore on my ring finger. I walked … [Read more...]