On stubbed toes, car horns, weather, BBs, pie

Published 8:42 am Wednesday, November 11, 2009

I was walking around my house in my bare feet. Who else’s bare feet would I be walking around in?

I walked by a hard-cornered hassock. It jumped in front of me, allowing me to stub my most-often stubbed toe against it.

I paused, waiting for the pain to hit.

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Something strange happened. There was no pain sent to my brain to forward to my mouth for vocalizing.

Somehow my toe had been dealt nothing more than a painless, glancing blow.

One of the best ways to start a morning is with a stubbed toe that wasn’t truly stubbed.

I remember you

I talked to a nice man in the store. He looked like someone I knew. That was because he was someone I knew. I knew his name. I’d known him for a long time. I knew his name like I knew the name of old whatshisname. I just couldn’t remember it.

I could remember other names — Dick Cavett, Andy Granatelli, Engelbert Humperdinck, Ken Starr, Henry Gibson, Boz Scaggs, Gary Hart, Leonard Nimoy, Don Mincher, Ross Perot, Henry Cabot Lodge, Durward Kirby, Harold Stassen, Norman Greenbaum, Yosemite Sam, Boog Powell, and Sam the Sham — although I couldn’t remember the names of all the Pharaohs.

Unfortunately, I’ve never run into any of them in a store.

The perils of peregrination

I picked up a rental car in Florida. I was unfamiliar with the model. As I pulled out of the airport, I turned on the radio for company. It revealed a station filled with strident voices. I decided to wait until I was stopped before finding one more to my liking.

I was going through a busy intersection when I heard a loud horn.

It scared me.

It was a realistic horn on a radio commercial.

It was so lifelike, I almost became less than lifelike.

You can go home again

I rarely leave the house on the first try. I usually forget something. I need to check that the burner of the stove was turned off, the radio was quiet, and the toilet was not running. I need to grab a book, a mug of tea, or a printout from MapQuest. I get into my car and back out of the garage. I stop the car, get out and walk back into the house. I don’t think of it as being forgetful. I think of it as exercise.

Minnesota weather rules

A visitor asked me what a normal Minnesota winter is like. I answered that I did not know.

“Haven’t you lived in Minnesota all your life?” he asked.

“I have,” I replied. “But in all that time, we’ve never had a normal winter. The Native Americans didn’t tell anyone about Minnesota. They didn’t think anyone would believe the weather.”

I did offer some rules. Spring will arrive a little later than hoped. Summer will begin a little earlier than expected. Fall might not show up at all. Winter will surprise us.

To BB or not to BB

I wanted a BB gun. My mother wanted me to avoid putting an eye out. My father was on my side and one Christmas, he bought me a Daisy lever action BB rifle from Einar’s Hardware. It was a cool-looking firearm, but offered little power. I poured BBs into the barrel of the rifle and was ready for a shooting marathon. The problem was that I could cock the rifle only once. When I fired it, the BB came out with an arc. I could see the BB fly through the air. If I changed my mind as to my target, I could warn the intended victim with a “Look out!” even after the BB had been launched.

You get good mileage behind a tow truck

I had car trouble. It was a Sunday, but I found a garage that would tow my vehicle and get it ready to repair when the parts arrived the next day.

I rode in the tow truck with the driver. He wore a shirt with the name “Bob” stitched above the breast pocket.

When he dropped me off at my hotel, I said, “Thanks, Bob.”

“My name ain’t Bob,” he responded.

“Oh, I saw the name on your shirt,” I stammered.

“Ain’t my shirt,” he replied.

It was off the pie chart

I was having a piece of sour cream lemon pie at the Crazy Mountain Inn in Martinsdale, Mont. I’ve never had a bad pie, but this one was exceptional. A pie that was impossible to eat without making some “mmmmm” sounds.

The waiter stopped by my table after I had finished my pie and, acting upon habit, asked me if I’d saved room for dessert. I ordered another piece of pie.

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