‘Why do men insist on telling the same stories?’

Published 8:50 am Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The customers of this column ask the best questions. I answer them.

“How can I tell if a Canada goose is a male or a female?” Feed them corn. If he eats it, it’s a gander. If she eats it, it’s a female.

“Why does the whistle blow at noon in Hartland?” So the residents won’t oversleep.

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“How can I get rid of the coyotes in my neighborhood?” Cancel their Acme credit cards.

“How come basketball players are able to jump higher than in the past?” It’s because of a prescription drug called Leapitor.

“Why do people golf in the rain?” Because it feels so good when they stop.

“Why do men insist on telling the same stories over and over?” That’s how we perfect them. The memory of your average male is too good. It is so good that a man is able to remember things that never happened.

“What did your parents want you to be?” Quiet.

“On what trip did you pick up the most interesting souvenirs?” It would have to be the time I tripped and fell into the manure pile behind the barn.

“Were you in the school’s marching band?” I was. I had no choice. I played a solar-powered tuba.

“Why do geese honk while flying in a flock?” They are asking, “Are we there yet?”

“What is the best mosquito repellant in Minnesota?” A hand grenade.

“What makes a good teacher?” The ability to learn something in the morning and teach it that afternoon as if he or she had known it all of his or her life.

“What do you get when you cross a highway with an exercise bike?” Run over.

The headlines from Hartland Harold

Whenever I want to know the news, I talk to Hartland Harold. He knows the what, when, where, and how. Hartland Harold makes like a cowboy and rounds up the latest headlines. Here are the latest headlines according to Hartland Harold.

C. Good, the eye doctor, offers a fine print eye chart for lawyers.

Dan Druff has car for sale to man with tractor to pull it.

Gullibility Vending Machine Company posts record profits.

The theme at the new theme park will be waiting in line.

The Liquor Lobotomat reminds patrons that if they want a clean cup they need to ask for one.

ESP Bookstore knows the book you’d like.

Pothole Street is made into a one-way. One day it goes east and the next day it goes west.

The Second Bank of Bath is so cautious with your money that they count it in front of a mirror.

Tobias A. Pigg reveals that sadly, no seahorses survived the branding at the pet shop.

Hartland International Conglomerate Industries and Bait Shop, in an effort to stress the importance of planning, will have their corporate restrooms open for employee usage only from noon to 1:00 p.m. except on Wednesdays when they will be closed all day.

Oceanview Apartments now renting. Each room has a painting of an ocean.

Local astronomer, Otto Focus, claims that things are looking up.

Citizens complain about Rock Monanoff’s, saying that the rock store takes far too much for granite.

City lifts “no drooling” ordinance in preparation for Lutefisk Lollapalooza.

Norm of Norm’s Nap and Shower says that his business is a bed and breakfast as long as you make them both.

Vivian’s Cafe

I was a boy sitting in Vivian’s Café with my father and some of his farmer friends. That’s where I learned to order simple food. Vivian would never have messed up chow, but simple foods don’t have many parts to be ruined. It was at Vivian’s where I first heard the theory that all of the satellites that had been sent into space had messed up the weather patterns. My theory is that we live in the Midwest. The weather is and has always been goofy.

Alaska Airlines

My wife and I were waiting in the Juneau Airport. The flight had been delayed due to mechanical problems. A family–mother, father, and five children with the oldest child being nine–waited near us. The kids were good, but were getting restless. That was no surprise as most of the waiting adults were antsy, too. One of the little boys asked, “I know we’re here, but where is here?”


I don’t mind wandering around a grocery store. The produce is pleasing to both eye and nose. I enjoy strolling past the frozen food section and listening to the shoppers shiver aloud. I stare at the soup and the cereal—marveling at the large selections. I look long at my food before buying any because my mother told me during meals to slow down and “choose your food.”

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