Tuesday, August 05, 2008


"Loren Zabel ran over a woodchuck," Ivan said, "or a ground hog, or a possum, or a prairie dog, or a tom cat. Or none of the above. But he ran over a varmit."

"Former resident Lucille Post was here last weekend. Lucille looked great. She and her late husband Bill probably attended more square dances than anybody in Smith Center. Lucille is 90 years old and she done something that very few 90 year olds have ever done. Lucille bought herself a new car."

"Donna Martin was modeling some summer outfit at the Second Cup one morning last week," Ivan reported. "She stood up and showed the girls how it fit, or how it hung, or how it draped. She hasn't done any modeling since. I wish shed would, because the guys who were drinking coffee and faced the north didn't get to see it. They had their backs to it."

"Some things remind you that you are getting old. Some remind you quietly, without physical abuse, and some things hit you right in the solar plexus. My granddaughter Emily is being promoted to Sergeant on Tuesday. The last time I saw her she was a cute little girl and now here she is a sergeant in the Big Red 1 division."

"At Paul's Cafe one day last week," Ivan said, "one of the guys who knows how to handle money said, 'There ain't no such thing as zero interest.' One of the other guys whose ability to handle money is legendary in local circles said, 'That's right, there ain't no such thing as zero interest.' A third guy who has investments in everything that makes money nodded his head and affirmed, 'There ain't no such thing as zero interest.' They just shattered one of my dreams. I was going to buy something with no money down and zero interest. I suppose I'll just have to do without. It ain't for me so much as it is for momma and the cat."

"If you want to sit in at the As the Bladder Fills Club, you are welcome," Ivan said, "but let me warn you don't show up if you are thin-skinned. If you make some dumb remark, they are quick to tell you that you are a dummy. They don't mince words. Fortunately for me I tell them things that happened back in the '30s and they ain't old enough to know if I'm right or not. But I can tell you right now that I'm right."

"In 1936," Ivan said, "Alf Landon, the governor of Kansas, ran for president against Franklin D. Roosevelt. Landon carried Maine, Vermont, and Smith County. The members of the As the Bladder Fills Club are the progeny of Landon's ultra-conservative political thinking. There are only two Democrats in Smith Center. I'm married to one and my wife is married to the other."

"Mike Hughes was a-tellin' me that the local 18-and-under girls softball team had a great night at Osborne last Tuesday," Ivan said. "He said Aliee Rice pitched a one-hitter. She hit a batter, walked a batter, and a runner got on bass by an error. He said the catcher, Ashley Berthoff, picked off two of those runners."

"We have reached that time of year," Ivan warned, "when we are going to have to start locking our cars. Zukeenies are getting ripe. If you leave your car unlocked, the Zukeenie Phantom is liable to leave some of his excess zukeenie in your front seat."

"Dr. Bill Grimes entire okra crop has been wiped out," Ivan said. "How can he be so lucky."

"Casey Edell bought the coffee on Friday," Ivan reported. "He was trying to stimulate with his stimulus check."

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