Putting on the pounds and a little bit more

Published 9:29 am Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Column: Tales from Exit 22, by Al Batt

We gain weight as we get older. There are many reasons that are given for this increase in size. The true reason we cast a bigger shadow with age is because of all the gum we swallowed when we were kids. Food sticks to our ribs because of the gum that is already stuck there.


What language does your dog speak?

I was once owned by a Chihuahua named Sancho, named after Sancho Panza, a character in the novel “Don Quixote” by Cervantes. I tried to train Sancho, but he learned what he taught himself. I couldn’t teach a new dog old tricks. He was a fine auxiliary canine, but Sancho didn’t do what I asked. He appeared to want to, but he just didn’t understand.

Aunt Ingeborg stopped by. Ingeborg tended to be talkative. She overwhelmed little Sancho, and he peed on a chair leg. What else could he do? In exasperation, Ingeborg uttered something in Norwegian. Sancho perked up and listened intently. It dawned on me. Sancho was a Norwegian Chihuahua.


Attempted speeding

I was motoring down state Highway 13. I might have been going up Highway 13. I’m never sure. The car ahead of me was driving exactly 55 mph, at least when measured by my speedometer. And why shouldn’t he have been driving 55 mph? That’s the speed limit. He stayed right at 55, and I was proud of him. He was so good at driving 55 that he did it when we hit a 50 mph zone, and when we hit a stretch of 40 mph limit. He found a speed that worked for him, and he stuck with it.


My neighbor

My neighbor Jon But We All Call Him John has three children. He said that he and his wife had three children so that one could keep the other two separated so they wouldn’t fight.


Rough roads

There is a road near me. There are a number of roads not far from me. Some are good and some are bad. The good ones are not always good, and the bad ones are not always bad.

Weather, traffic, the economy and cellphones are hard on roads. I made up the part about cellphones being hard on roads, but I wouldn’t think texting makes the roads any better.

I’m writing about a particular road. It was a paved road. Now the hard surface has been removed and the road has become a gravel road with an uneven surface. It went from being a road with numerous potholes and cracks filled with tar strips that made tires cry out in pain to a road that is consistently rough and rocky.

I know that there is no money to fix it, and the washboard does slow speeds. There are always rough roads.

Katharine Hepburn said, “Life is hard. After all, it kills you.”

Sometimes, we think that we are entitled to smooth roads. We are not. They are nice, but life is going to throw rough roads at us. There are times when all we can do is to live with the jolts, shudders and bounces of a bad road. A car’s shock absorbers help absorb the bumps. A sense of humor does the same.


I’ve learned

1. It’s easy to line up two fence posts. Three posts are not so easy.

2. The more one knows, the greater he or she is aware of his or her level of ignorance.

3. High school reunions are proof that not everyone from your past just seemed bigger.


Nursing home diaries

I visited a friend in a nursing home. She lamented that her usefulness had ended. I insisted that her supposition was incorrect and that she still had much to offer.

She thanked me and added, “My problem is that I’m good at a lot of things that I can’t do anymore.”


Something to tell the grandkids

A friend, Kevin Cook of Colorado, told me that he had met his future wife in a zoology lab. They became acquainted when she asked him, “Could you help me find my rat’s spleen?”

That gives me misty eyes.


It’s a man’s world — not

I heard a woman say, “It’s a man’s world.”

A study showed that 82 percent of the people hit by lightning in the United States are men. The world doesn’t know that men are in charge. If it were a man’s world, houses would have urinals, all towels could be used, and there would be only one shade of white paint.


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