Archived Story

The fishing will stink during next time out

Published 9:32am Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Column: Tales from Exit 22

A friend, let’s call him Hugo First, told me that a skunk got into his shed. Something irritated the skunk enough that it sprayed a boat that Hugo had stored for his son-in-law. For Hugo, there was good news and there was bad news. The bad news was that the skunk sprayed the boat. The good news was that it wasn’t Hugo’s boat.

 

The evolution of a marriage

From my wife saying this: “Honey, are you going to wear that? I think you look better in that new shirt I got you, but it’s fine if you want to wear that. I’m just checking.”

To this: “You are not wearing that!”

 

School days

Back in the days when I received warnings about running in the halls and going steady involved either a boy-girl relationship or chewing the noodles in the lunchroom, I sat in a class. It was one of those days when I felt dumb at one end and dumber at the other. I had my feet in the aisle and I was chewing gum. Both were classroom sins. My teacher looked at me and said, “Take that gum out of your mouth and put your feet in.”

And it wasn’t a yoga class.

 

A plethora of people

Charlie Johnson of Wells told me that more than 200,000 people are added to the world’s population each day. As I drove from Des Moines to St. Cloud, I concluded that at least 200,000 drivers had been added to the highways that day alone.

 

From the neighborhood

My neighbor Mopey told me that he has an adult beverage before retiring each night. He called it a “good, stiff drink.” I asked if it helped him sleep.

“No,” he replied, “but it gives me a reason for feeling lousy when I wake up.”

Bushelhead put in his 40th crop this year. He has learned that the secret to success in farming is to get a lot done between equipment breakdowns. The best crop he raises is rocks. The glaciers left a lot of them in his fields and a new crop emerges each year. New rocks are only a stone’s throw away. Where did the glaciers go? They went to get more rocks.

There are three kinds of rocks — pickers, sliders and painters. Pickers are the ones you pick up and toss into the loader. Sliders are bigger and need to be slid to a point where the loader could lift them. A painter is one that is too big to move. You paint it brightly so you will be able to see it while combining. Remember, families that pick together, stick together.

 

The anniversary

I had wanted her to take my name, but she was adamant that she remain a Gail and not become an Al. I’d have been married earlier, but I insisted on wearing sweater vests. A life vest keeps you from drowning. A bulletproof vest keeps you from being shot. A sweater vest keeps you from dating. It didn’t seem that long ago when my wife and I were on our first date. She was as pretty as a picture as she got into my car. The car was so rusty, she needed a tetanus shot after getting into it.

“Can you drive with one hand?” my passenger asked.

“Yes,” I replied, my mind filled with thoughts of snuggling.

“Good,” she said. “Then wipe your nose.”

We married in September and hadn’t been hitched long when we became owners of a nine-passenger sedan. One drove while eight others pushed. One day, my lovely bride asked, “Do you know what the day after tomorrow is?”

It was September. Yikes! I had forgotten our anniversary. I was thankful that my wife had fired a warning shot. Eight friends pushed my car and me to a jewelry store, where I bought more necklace than I could afford. Two days later, I gave the gift to my wife, saying, “I’ll bet you thought I’d forgotten.”

My wife said it was the best Labor Day of her life.

 

Road wars

Our roads are dotted with roadkill. Why did the chicken cross the road? To show the opossum that it could be done. Raccoons and Range Rovers don’t mix. Woolly bear caterpillars are squashed while attempting to forecast the upcoming winter. Butterflies bounce off bumpers. Paul Anderson of Albert Lea says that we have “deer crossing” signs but we need “squirrel crossing” signs, too. If only we could train the deer to cross by the “deer crossing” signs.

 Hartland resident Al Batt’s columns appear every Wednesday and Sunday.