Could this be the key to success on the hardwood? “Great bowel movement”?

Come again?

Another episode of creative hearing, reported by Newport Reader: “Recently my husband was watching a basketball game on television while I was doing something else in the adjacent room.

“I heard the announcer speak of ‘great bowel movement.’

“Huh? Well, maybe the players had great ball movement!”

CAUTION! Words at Play!

Donald: “Subject: A conflagration on campus!

“The Minnesota/Iowa men’s basketball game Wednesday went into double-overtime before the Gophers finally outlasted the Hawkeyes. Because the game was played at Williams Arena, would it qualify as a ‘Barn-burner’?”

BULLETIN BOARD SAYS: It might have, had the Gophers blown another big lead!

Throw the cow over the fence some hay!
Or: Life in the Deep South

Bob Woolley reports: “This Associated Press tweet leaves me with some questions: ‘Alabama woman charged with fatally stabbing man she was set to marry with a pair of scissors.’”

The kindness of strangers
Or: In the eyes of the beholders

Wicki-Yah: “My family was a couple of minutes ahead of me as I made a hasty trip to the ladies’ room on our exit from the restaurant where we had gone to feast on a a decent steak — something woefully missing in Woodbury, which seems to have a little bit of everything but.

“As I rounded the corner in front of the host stand, I came face-to-face with a woman about my age, accompanied by a gray-haired gentleman of the same vintage. I smiled at her, and we locked gazes.

“It struck me she was beautiful. Not in the classic sense — her salt-and-pepper hair (more salt, as seems to be the new trend in my friends and former classmates) was far too shortly cropped; her face, appropriately lined for the years; her pixie features, too small to grace the cover of a magazine. But she had a beauty that radiated from her core.

“Her eyes widened, and her smile grew. I said simply ‘Hi,’ while temporarily diverting my attention to catch a glimpse of my family’s retreating backs and determine where Harley Man had parked the car. I nodded in the affirmative when she answered with ‘I feel I know you. We have met.’

“I stared at her, trying to bring up a place and time from my not-always-reliable memory bank. (One of the disadvantages of being a card-carrying AARP member.)

“At the same moment, we reached out and clasped hands. We exchanged first names. Nothing. She South St. Paul, no connections in Woodbury. We threw out single-word clues to explain our shared recognition of the other. Not school, church, work. While my memory bank continued to flash ‘No,’ my heart said: ‘Yes, you know her.’

“‘Well, my family has already gone to the car,’ I said reluctantly.

“She blurted, an urgency in her voice: ‘Oh my gosh, you are absolutely beautiful!’

“Me? Beautiful? Lopsided jaw, scarred neck from radiation, no bottom teeth, wrinkled, far too many pounds on my frame? Huh! I told her I was thinking the same of her and fought back tears as her eyes began to well up.

“And then she said this: ‘Can we exchange a hug?’ I agreed, catching her escort’s quizzical look as his (wife?) hugged a stranger in the busy restaurant waiting area. Noticing for the first time that the three young people at the host stand seemed equally puzzled by our exchange, I nearly grew wings as I made a hasty retreat, still unsure where to find my waiting family, likely now wondering aloud where mother was.

“I found the car and slid into the passenger seat, somewhat breathless more from the odd encounter than my speedy exit, and began to tell Harley Man about the slender, tall, beautiful woman I had just met. Maybe he had seen her and knew who she was?

“The couple our age who had just gone in? He had seen them. Tall? Slender? Beautiful? No, No, and Maybe. ‘Her short hair looked like new growth. I didn’t recognize her. Maybe a fellow cancer patient? At the clinic?’

“‘I don’t think so. Maybe, oh I don’t know. It was so weird,’ I said, almost embarrassed by what I was about to tell him. ‘We hugged. She started it.’

“He looked straight ahead without responding, and I clutched my purse tightly, suddenly feeling a need to take inventory of its contents. Wallet, keys, debit card, phone…

“Before I could finish, Harley Man clasped my hand for a moment and smiled at me, before putting both hands on the wheel to back the car out of the parking stall.

“And then my practical, down-to-earth spouse said the most amazing thing: ‘Sounds like you just had a wonderful encounter with one of your guardian angels.’

“And with that we drove home, Led Zeppelin’s ‘Kashmir’ on the radio, providing the soundtrack for our journey: ‘Oh, father of the four winds, fill my sails, across the sea of years. With no provision but an open face, along the straits of fear.'”

Or: Only a _________ would notice!

Gregory of the North: “I was just looking at used cars (I’m shopping for a first car for one of my kids), and I found these features listed for one particular auto.


“Note that it says it has a floor. That’s nice. I expect this means that many cars don’t have a floor, or that it’s an optional (at extra cost) feature?

“I know that dealers pad their listings with all sorts of things to make the car look desirable. But really, a floor?

“This ad did come from one of the ‘budget’ lots, so perhaps in their typical class of product, cars have holes in the floor.”

Life as we know it
Coming of Age Division (responsorial)

Paul Peter Paulos of St. Paul: “MAR’s coming-of-age memories on February 9th triggered some of my own.

“It was back when I was 13 or 14. I was over at my cousin Johnny’s house, spending the night (and despite ‘My Big Fat Greek Wedding,’ not all Greeks like him and me are named Nick or Nicholas). Anyway, Johnny and his little brother (actually, he is called Nicky) and I were up late talking about girls from school (what else?). Then Johnny, older and far more experienced than I was, asked me if I knew about the ‘birds and bees.’ So, of course, I tried to bluff out of this by saying ‘Sure, who doesn’t?’ So he, also of course, then said: ‘Tell me, then.’ Which I could not. So he did: all about what went where and what happens then!

“Besides that breathtaking revelation, I have three other memories of that night. One, whether totally exhilarated by what I heard or just jacked up by all the Cokes we drank, I just could not fall asleep; and two, that when I got up in the morning, I used his rose oil to comb my hair, being suddenly very interested in how I looked; and lastly, that when I got home and my mom asked how my time was at Johnny’s, I told her straight out what I had heard there (although maybe a little less crudely than I’d heard it the night before), and she didn’t bat an eye.”

Badvertising (responsorial)

In reply to Poet X of PDX‘s complaints about bad TV advertising, here’s Gma Tom: “Perhaps it time for him to make the switch. The switch to public TV, that is. We have not subjected ourselves to TV ads for at least 25 years. And since TV stations went digital, we get at least six ad-free public-TV channels in our area. We do not and never will pay for cable as long as there is public TV. On the rare occasions when there is nothing I want to watch on any of the six channels, I turn the darn thing off. The only downside (if that can be called a downside) is when someone makes a remark about a current TV ad and I have no idea what they are talking about.”

Buttercup: “I worked for public broadcasting for many years, and we liked to say that public broadcasting exists to deliver programming to the audience, and commercial broadcasting exists to deliver the audience to advertisers.

“Don’t like ads? Sign up for DVR, and you never have to watch an ad again.”

Life as we know it
Empty or Full Division (responsorial)

DebK of Rosemount writes: “How I envy Little Sister [BB, 2/6/2017] the joy of ‘an empty to-do list’! The feathered and woolly flocks of St. Isidore Farm conspire to make it a near certainty that for the rest of my days, my to-do list will be, as young people say, ‘fully populated.’

“Truth to tell, with a(nother) birthday looming, I need to address that other list kept by people my age: the bucket list. Many of my friends have nicely-developed bucket lists, filled with worthy pursuits. I’m underperforming in this area and can boast thus far of only two end-of-life goals. First: Just once before I die, I want to weigh what my driver’s license says I weigh. Second: I want to eat my way through the menu of Thai Café, a humble little establishment just east of the intersection of Western and University, a restaurant where ambience is provided by a collection of space heaters and defoliating potted plants, but where magic happens in the kitchen.

“Yes, I’m aware that these goals are likely at cross-purposes.”

This ‘n’ that ‘n’ the other ‘n’ the other ‘n’ the other (responsorial) (responsorial)

Friday’s Bulletin Board included a five-part note from OTD from NSP — including this: 

“Does anyone know of an organization/group that would like/use yarn? I have several bags of unused/half-unused skeins of yarn. I thought that quilters, someone who teaches knitting, crafters, youth groups, etc. would be able to use this, but I have no idea how to find/contact them. Appreciate any and all suggestions. I have tried Google; the results were interesting but not helpful.”

We presently heard from numerous Bulletin Boarders:

Calani: “The quilters at Trinity Lutheran Church in Isle welcome extra fabric or yarn.”

South Side Gal: “Yarn and other art supplies can be donated to ArtStart ArtScraps on St. Clair Avenue in St. Paul. It’s also a great place to purchase items for your own art work. Please visit their website to set up an appointment for dropping off your donations at”

The PaPeach: “Our church (GracePoint in New Brighton; Silver Lake Road and Rice Creek Road) has a group of ladies (and men?) that Knit Unto Others at the local Culver’s once or twice a month. The finished projects go to people that need them in the community. I am sure extra yarn would be greatly appreciated!”

Stinky Bananalips of Empire: “First, to whoever needed advice about what to do with leftover yarn: Many churches have groups that knit and crochet hats and blankets for preemie babies in hospitals. I’m also sure that 4-H or Scouting groups probably have knitting classes and would love donations.

“Last year, we kept the tree up all year at work, and I changed out the decorations as needed. It was a big hit, so I’m doing it again. This is the Valentines tree.”


Our pets, ourselves
Or: The vision thing

Notes Grandma Connie of Scandia: “Subject: ‘Tails of a heart.’

“Alex and Mitsy are ready for Valentine’s Day”


A joke for Our Times

Passed along by Double Bogey Mike: “A woman brought a very limp duck into a veterinary surgeon. As she laid her pet on the table, the vet pulled out his stethoscope and listened to the bird’s chest.

“After a moment or two, the vet shook his head and sadly said: ‘I’m sorry, your duck, Cuddles, has passed away.’

“The distressed woman wailed: ‘Are you sure?’

“‘Yes, I am sure. Your duck is dead,’ replied the vet.

“‘How can you be so sure?’ she protested. ‘I mean, you haven’t done any testing on him or anything. He might just be in a coma or something.’

“The vet rolled his eyes, turned around and left the room. He returned a few minutes later with a black Labrador retriever. As the duck’s owner looked on in amazement, the dog stood on his hind legs, put his front paws on the examination table and sniffed the duck from top to bottom. He then looked up at the vet with sad eyes and shook his head.

“The vet patted the dog on the head and took it out of the room. A few minutes later he returned with a cat. The cat jumped on the table and also delicately sniffed the bird from head to foot. The cat sat back on its haunches, shook its head, meowed softly and strolled out of the room.

“The vet looked at the woman and said: ‘I’m sorry, but as I said, this is most definitely, 100 percent certifiable, a dead duck.’

“The vet turned to his computer terminal, hit a few keys and produced a bill, which he handed to the woman.

“The duck’s owner, still in shock, took the bill. ‘A hundred and 50 dollars!’ she cried, ‘Just to tell me my duck is dead?’

“The vet shrugged: ‘I’m sorry. If you had just taken my word for it, the bill would have been $20, but with the Lab Report and the Cat Scan, it’s now $150.’”

The sign on the road to the cemetery said “Dead End”
Electronic Board of the Church on Lexington in Shoreview Division

Red’s Offspring, north of St. Paul, reports: “Subject: Warm thoughts for the winter.

“The latest simultaneous messages on the electronic board of the church on Lexington in Shoreview:





The highfalutin diversions
Virtual Jigsaw Puzzles Division

Friday email from Poet X of PDX: “What fun to learn in today’s BB that someone is ‘following’ my puzzles.

This puzzle is only 108 pieces — easier than most I create. It’s a great building in St. Louis that I fell in love with and have been unable to find any commentary on — strange, given the uniqueness of it. ”

Band Name of the Day: Dead Duck

Website of the Day, courtesy of Grandpa Z from White Bear Lake: “A new category: He who dies with the most toys wins.

“Guns, cars, collectibles — unbelievable the money and toys this man has in his houses and storage areas. Twenty-one minutes long, but worth it”:

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