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Al Batt: It’s raining something most fowl

Echoes from the Loafers’ Club Meeting

I entered a 5-mile run, but it didn’t go well.

You didn’t finish last, did you?

Not yet.

Driving by Bruce’s drive

I have a wonderful neighbor, named Bruce. Whenever I pass his drive, thoughts occur to me, such as: It was raining ducks and chickens. Fowl weather. It wasn’t a Pinterest perfect day, but none ever is. No matter, as long as there is no such thing as a dull moment. Whenever questioning an odd occurrence, the reliable stock answer has been, “It must be the weather.” Now “It’s 2020” has become the universal excuse for everything.

Everything was nearly copacetic this particular day. That’s because things could have been worse. Here’s an example. The Erfurt latrine disaster was an event that occurred in Erfurt, Duchy of Thuringia in 1184. Many nobles from across the Holy Roman Empire were meeting in a room at the Church of St. Peter when their combined weight caused the floor to collapse into the latrine beneath the cellar and led to dozens of nobles drowning in excrement.

I walked in the rain. I worried it might be a minimal ramble, but my stubbornness won out and I trudged on. I am of a Heinz 57 variety — Welsh, German, English and Swedish ancestry. All four of those nationalities have been claimed by family members to possess the most stubborn traits of all people. I stubbornly finished a long walk. It wasn’t a marathon, but it was a considerable meander. Meander comes from the Greek Maiandros — an old name for a river in Asia Minor that’s now known as the Menderes. Meander implies a winding and lazy movement, is associated with rivers and is used as a noun meaning a winding path.

In a short time, I’d been in the two states that don’t have counties. Louisiana has parishes and Alaska has boroughs. I went from Lafayette, LA, to Juneau, AK, because I had to be somewhere. Work was going well, so I could afford to go to a Fred Meyer, a hypermarket superstore. Juneau has the smallest of Costco’s 782 stores, but I didn’t visit it because I’m not a member. Fred Meyer is part of the Kroger Company, the largest supermarket chain and the third-largest retail chain in the U.S. (behind Walmart and Costco). Kroger has 2,757 stores. As I walked the aisles of Fred Meyer, I thought of a store of the past, the A&P owned by The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company, which by 1930 was the largest retailer in the world and once had nearly 16,000 stores. Walmart has 11,501 stores (4,756 in the U.S.). When the A&P went bankrupt for the second time in 2015, it was down to 297 stores, which were sold or closed.

I’ve learned

A Bigfoot never wears flip-flops in fear it’d be discovered quickly by the sound.

Never carry a cheese platter through a tough neighborhood.

I don’t believe in conspiracy theories, but I believe there are people who do.

Cats like to sit on laps because they appreciate heated seats.

Kangaroos and trampolines don’t mix.

To hope that Santa won’t have to come by Zoom this year.

Local news

Nesting Doll Museum becomes smaller with each door you open.

Bed and breakfast downsized to hammock and hot dogs.

Bigfoot hunters stake out local shoe stores.

The Boomerang Society bus trip made it halfway to its destination before turning around.

The Bell Ringers need new members. All interested parties should chime in by giving them a ring.

Podiatrists become archrivals.

Nature notes

Things to look for in September:

1. Warblers finding sunny sites to glean insects from vegetation. Warblers can be hard to pin down, as are most things in life.

2. Northern flickers flashing white rump patches in flight and feed on the ground as they migrate through.

3. Flotillas of dragonflies feeding on ant flight dispersals.

4. The company of flowers blooming in September. Blue flowers: Blue vervain, blue lobelia and smooth blue aster. White: Common yarrow, white snakeroot, hedge bindweed, flat-topped white aster, wild cucumber, annual fleabane and heath aster. Yellow: Jerusalem artichoke, sneezeweed, smooth oxeye, common evening primrose, Black-eyed Susan, compass plant, cup plant, Canada goldenrod, zigzag goldenrod and stiff goldenrod. Purple/pink: Rough blazing star, northern plains blazing star, prairie blazing star, meadow blazing star and New England aster. Orange: Spotted-touch-me-not. Red: Cardinal flower.

5. Eastern kingbirds, appearing to be dressed in business suits, gathering in flocks in preparation for migration.

Meeting adjourned

Life is a test. It’s easy to be kind to those who are nice to you. The trick is to be kind to those who are not.