Column: Al has your answers, as long as you ask the right questions

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 23, 2003

&uot;There is an old saying, something like ‘a rose is a rose is a rose’ and ‘a rose by any other name would smell so sweet.’ How does the rest of it go?&uot; A chrysanthemum by any other name would be easier to spell.

&uot;Where does the time go?’ In our house, it goes on the coffee table, right next to the Newsweek.

&uot;How do you manage to stay ahead of the curve?&uot; Elastic waistbands.

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&uot;I don’t take criticism very well. What can I do?&uot; Take everything as a compliment.

&uot;Every time I stop at the Bath Cafe, they give me a wet rag. What is that for?&uot; That is your water. It saves them from having to wash a lot of glasses.

&uot;Your wife is much shorter than you are. How could she ever fall in love with a tall guy like you?&uot; We fell in love sitting down. By the time I stood up, it was too late.

&uot;What can Minnesota do about its roads?&uot; My suggestion is that we make them all one-way roads headed south. That way they become Iowa’s problems.

&uot;How do some people run so far into debt?&uot; Most people don’t run, they drive into debt.

&uot;Is there ever a parking problem in Hartland?&uot;

Not for me. I recently purchased a parked car.

&uot;How can most household disasters be avoided?&uot; Two simple words, &uot;Yes, dear.&uot;

&uot;Do you play a musical instrument?&uot; I play the guitar much better than Jimi Hendrix. Of course, when he was alive, he was a million times better than I am.

&uot;What do you suggest a person should drink while flying in an airplane?&uot; I always have the same thing the pilot is having.

&uot;Did you ever have encyclopedias while you were growing up?&uot; No, I wanted an encyclopedia, but my mother said that walking was better for me.

&uot;Do you believe that behind every great man is a woman?&uot; Yes. She is the one who is constantly asking, &uot;Can’t you ever do anything for yourself?&uot;

&uot;I would like to recapture my youth. Any suggestions?&uot; Sure, plastic surgery.

&uot;What is the hardest thing for a man to admit?&uot; That he is very bad at the things that he is not good at.

&uot;As a man who refuses to stop and ask directions, what is the worst that you have ever been lost?&uot; I think it would be the time my wife, acting as navigator, was holding the map upside down.

&uot;Were you ambitious as a child?&uot; No, I was a lazy kid. I used to sneak out behind the barn and do nothing.

&uot;Do you have a method that you use to clean the house?&uot; Yes, I do. If I wouldn’t notice the mess from the back of a galloping horse, I don’t clean it.

&uot;I’m trying to think of another word for ‘lumberjack.’ Do you know one?&uot; Treetotaler.

&uot;What do you think Abraham Lincoln would be if he were alive today?&uot; Old.

&uot;Are there tumbleweeds in Minnesota?&uot; Yes, I often see them tumbling across our roadways. Some people call them discarded plastic shopping bags.

&uot;How do geese know which way is south?&uot; They follow the robins. I know what you are asking yourself: &uot;Well, how do the robins know if they are flying south?&uot; They look back to see if the geese are following them.

&uot;Why should I prune my apple trees?&uot; So you can grow prunes on them.

&uot;Have you traced your family tree?&uot; My aunt has. She found a lot of sap and a great number of cuckoo nests.

&uot;What is the best way to take care of my houseplants?&uot; Just ignore them. I’m not saying that they thrive on neglect, but they will flourish just to get your attention.

&uot;How do I get to Hartland?&uot; Go to Albert Lea and then head north. We are about three sees north. Drive down the road as far as you can see and then do that twice more.

&uot;What is your favorite color?&uot; It is probably blue. The average man’s favorite color is blue. His least favorite color is orange. That is why some hunters look like they are having such a miserable time while dressed in orange.

&uot;Is life really one contradiction after another?&uot; Yes, it isn’t.

&uot;Can deer be taught to be entertainers?&uot; No, they freeze every time the spotlight is on them.

&uot;What is raised on your farm?&uot; Rocks.

&uot;Have you ever been carsick?&uot; I become carsick every time I look at the price of a new car.

(Hartland resident Al Batt’s columns appear Wednesdays and Sundays in the Tribune.)