More odds than ends from the collection

Published 9:58 am Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Column: Tales From Exit 22, by Al Batt


Marital bliss

Email newsletter signup

Bill Egar of Bozeman, Mont., told me that he snores loudly but his wife never hears it. She takes her hearing aids out when she goes to bed. He has to yell sweet nothings in her ear.


He does what he cane

Cheryl McRoberts works at the American Bald Eagle Foundation in Haines, Alaska. She had been troubled with fluid on the knee. A visitor forgot his walking cane there. When he returned to retrieve his cane, he saw Cheryl limping. He gave her the cane, saying that she needed it more than he did.


The mail must go through

Our rural mail carrier is Brad Spooner. Each morning he bundles the mail for each of the owners of a mailbox on his substantial route. He ends up with a car filled with an assemblage of mail. He drives the route, stopping at each mailbox. Driving from the wrong side of the car, he opens a mailbox, grabs its bundle of mail and stuffs it into the mailbox. He closes the box and moves onto the next mailbox. There, he repeats the process by putting the next bundle in it. He arranges the bundles so that they are in an order matching the sequence of mailboxes. There is no truth to the rumor that if someone on Brad’s route gets no mail on a particular day that the mail for everyone down the line is one mailbox off. No truth at all.


Café chronicles

I asked the waitress for a large iced tea.

“We have only small and medium,” she said.

It wasn’t right that they had a medium if they didn’t have both a small and a large. Without a large, the medium, no matter what size it truly was, became a large.

I ordered a medium iced tea.


Ties that bind

I bought shoestrings for the first time in years. I replaced old ones that refused to wear out. I didn’t like the old shoelaces, so they would have lasted forever. The new laces tied tighter and more securely than their predecessors. The shoestrings turned my old shoes into new ones. As I laced my shoes, I couldn’t remember the last time I’d broken a shoestring. A boyhood shoelace had numerous, ugly knots to keep it in one piece.


Show and tell

Charlene Lincoln of Frost was a teacher for many years. One year, she had a grade school student bring a Cool Whip container filled with wood ticks. Charlene must have had a certain look on her face as the child said, “Don’t worry, Mrs. Lincoln, I punched air holes in the cover.”


Tales from one marriage

Harold Moe of Roseville told me that when he headed to Europe as a soldier during World War II his father warned him to look out for French girls.

Harold brought home a German bride.

His father had not warned him about German girls.


Dying to be there

Deb Kenison of Ellendale said that she once asked her father if he was going to a man’s funeral. Her father replied, “No. Why should I? He’s not going to go to mine.”


And from another

My wife and I were eating in a nice restaurant. It had menus that were hard to read because of the low lighting meant to provide an ambiance that encouraged ambitious spending. I pointed to an older couple seated across the restaurant from us and said to my wife, “That’s us in 10 years.”

My lovely bride glanced in their direction and replied, “That’s a mirror.”


Clever cat

I watched the cat sleep. It sleeps 23 hours a day because it’s sleeping for nine lives. It was the middle of the night, and the world was quiet. Suddenly, the cat’s head pops up. Its eyes were wide and the feline had that “Oh, no!” look. I rose from my chair and looked out the window to see if I could pick something out of the darkness that the cat’s keen ears had detected. I saw nothing. I returned to my book to find the cat sound asleep in my chair.


I know hymn

I was at a funeral when a neighbor, Ron Bartness, told me, “Times like this remind us how important neighbors are.”

Someone sang “I Come to the Garden Alone.”

“I come to the garden alone. While the dew is still on the roses. And the voice I hear falling on my ear. The Son of God discloses.”

I have heard that hymn 100 times at 100 funerals, and cried 100 times.


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