When the homeowners are away, the wood ducks will play? And what else? And then what?

Our birds, ourselves
Ask Al B Division

Scott from Eagan writes: “Subject: Why a Duck (Al B Division)? [Bulletin Board notes, in case you’ve forgotten or never knew: Al B is Al B of Hartland, our Official Ornithologist.]


“We just returned to sunny Eagan from five weeks in warmer climes. During our absence, it appears a wood duck made its way down the chimney, pushed open the fireplace doors, and proceeded to party throughout the house. No real damage; just some overturned lamps and dry white party favors dropped in most rooms.

“We discovered all this last night about 1 a.m. after being dropped off by our Uber driver, and proceeded to search the house going ‘Here, ducky, ducky, ducky.’ Alas, no duck, alive or dead, has so far presented itself via noise, sighting, or smell.

“Thus brings our question for Al B: Is it possible for a wood duck to decide ‘Well, there’s nothing to eat, and I’ve pooped on pretty much everything now; it must be time to leave,’and then make it back up the chimney?”

Our squirrels, ourselves

Vertically Challenged: “We used to chase the squirrels out of the feeders all the time, so I don’t know what our daughter was thinking when she brought us this squirrel feeder!

“At first we thought it was scaring them away, because we hadn’t even seen any squirrels for a couple weeks — anywhere — even though we have a lot of trees! But a couple showed up finally, and we’ve had a good time watching their antics. (Well . . . maybe the ‘jury’s still out’ on that for Gpa Nottakr.)”

The Permanent Paternal Record

The Gram With a Thousand Rules writes: “My dad must have pilfered this menu on one of his frequent stops to bring home chow mein. He thought the Hasty Tasty (Hennepin Avenue and Lake Street in Minneapolis; 36th Street and Lyndale Avenue South in Minneapolis) had the best-tasting chow mein in town.



“Every few weeks, my mom would tell us she had ‘a hunch’ that Daddy was going to pick up chow mein, and that we kids should just concentrate and send him a message. Amazing. The ‘ESP’ worked every time.”

Vanity, thy name is . . .

Friendly Bob of Fridley: “Saw this personalized plate on an old (and presumably paid-for) Honda CRX: ‘IOUNTHG.'”

Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon?

Gregory J. of Dayton’s Bluff reports: “One of the clues in Monday’s ‘7 Little Words’ was ‘Finnish scissors brand (7).’ I don’t know any American scissors brands, much less Finnish ones, but with the remaining letter combinations I decided on ‘FISKARS.’

“A few hours later, I grabbed a pair of scissors to open a box. The light caught the blades just right, and I could clearly read ‘FISKARS U.S.A.’ It was the wrong country but the correct brand of scissors.

“I use those scissors fairly often, but I never noticed the name before. B-M?”

BULLETIN BOARD SAYS: This is a vexing one. Had you really never noticed the name, during your many uses of those scissors — or had you noticed it and instantly deleted it from memory? The answer to that question answers your B-M question — and we have no way of knowing which it is.

Keeping your eyes open

Dennis from Eagan: “It looks like a great deal, on the surface, but it’s not open yet — at I-494 & Portland Avenue.”



Kathy S. of St. Paul: “Subject: Best VW commercial ever.

“VW has had some wonderful ads, but my favorite is the funeral procession during which you heard the (very rich) deceased guy’s will being read. The wife who spent as if there were no tomorrow got $100 and a calendar, etc. And the riches went to the nephew at the end of the procession, in his VW Bug.”

Our living (and/or dying) language

The Retired Pedagogue of Arden Hills: “Subject: Please, let’s ‘one-off’ ‘organic.’

“I seem to be hearing these terms more often lately, particularly in a political context. I have some idea of what ‘one-off’ means, but ‘organic’ continues to elude me. I wish I could elude them both.”

See world (responsorial)
Including: Everyone’s a (book) critic!

White Bear Toothpick: “I read with interest Mad Dog of Sand Lake‘s account of their friendly grouse. Great photos, too. I believe a grouse and a quail are close cousins, and I wanted to suggest he read the book ‘That Quail, Robert,’ by Margaret A. Stanger. It’s a marvelous, true tale of a quail: from egg, to the wrong side of the green.”

Great comebacks

The Doryman of Prescott, Wisconsin: “Subject: More false advertising!

“The Runabout just informed me that we are out of Forever stamps.

“How is that possible?”

Band Name of the Day: The Dry White Party Favors

Website of the Day, recommended by the same The Doryman of Prescott, Wisconsin (“Sign of the Apocalypse?”): Nordstrom is selling jeans caked in fake dirt for hundreds of dollars

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