“I think I just scarred my maintenance guy for life.”

Not exactly what anyone had in mind

Mrs. Patches of St. Paul reports: “Subject: Awkward encounters.

“I think I just scarred my maintenance guy for life.


“I was sleeping and did not hear him knock on the door. He was there to do some routine maintenance, and I woke to go to the bathroom. We met in the hallway. He was coming out of the bathroom . . . and I was coming out of the bedroom . . . and I sleep au naturel! YIKES!

“He kept saying ‘I knocked . . . I knocked . . . I knocked . . .!’ as he beat feet out of the apartment!”

Month at a glance

Our customary first-of-the-monthly dispatch from The Stillwater Scouter: “On July 5, 1946, French designer Louis Réard unveiled the bikini at the Piscine Molitor in Paris. Parisian showgirl Micheline Bernardini modeled the new fashion. Réard’s business soared, and in advertisements he kept the bikini mystique alive by declaring that a two-piece suit wasn’t a genuine bikini ‘unless it could be pulled through a wedding ring.’

“On July 7, 1797, for the first time in U.S. history, the House of Representatives exercised its constitutional power of impeachment and voted to charge Senator William Blount of Tennessee with ‘a high misdemeanor, entirely inconsistent with his public duty and trust as a Senator.’ There’s more, but the short of it is: Thomas Jefferson, president of the Senate, and the Senate decided to dismiss the charges against Blount.

“Bill Withers stepped into a recording studio for the very first time at the age of 32 in 1970. Two years later, on July 8, 1972, a song he’d written and recorded began its first stay at No. 1 on the pop charts. ‘Lean on Me’ was put out by Sussex Records and produced by Booker T. Jones of Booker T. and the MG’s fame. Withers earned a Grammy Award for ‘Ain’t No Sunshine.’

“July 17, 1938, was the day that Douglas (‘Wrong Way’) Corrigan took off from Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn, New York, on a flight that would end in Dublin, Ireland. Authorities had denied him permission because his plane was a 1929 Curtiss Robin aircraft that Doug had bought off a trash heap. He became famous.

“On July 18, 1914, Joe Hill was sentenced to death in Utah. Some suggest Hill was railroaded because of his radical union politics. Hill joined the International Workers of the World (IWW) in 1910. Members of the IWW were known as Wobblies. Joe Hill became a powerful martyr for the IWW cause by telegramming his comrades with a famous last-minute message: ‘Don’t waste any time in mourning. Organize.’

“The U.S. postal system was established by the Second Continental Congress, with Benjamin Franklin as its first postmaster general, on July 26, 1775.*

“On July 31, 1703, Daniel Defoe was put in the pillory as punishment for seditious libel, brought about by the publication of a politically satirical pamphlet.

“July is Cell Phone Courtesy Month, Doghouse Repairs Month, Grilling Month, Ice Cream Month, and Women’s Motorcycle Month.

“It is possible (though unlikely) that the woman motorcyclist could turn off her cellphone while she runs the grill for the Ice Cream Social after repairing the doghouse.

“* The Stillwater Scouter appreciates the United States Postal Service and believes it to be a bargain.”

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

Red’s Offspring, north of St. Paul, reports: “A twofer from the non-electronic board at the church on Hodgson in Shoreview:




Our birds, ourselves
Ask Al B Division

Mounds View Swede writes: “When I began to trim one end of a large bush near our house, I heard a ticking-type sound and saw a male cardinal in the tree near me.


“Then I saw a female, too, on a different part of the branch. They were pretty near me and stayed in the area, which I thought was unusual. I walked away from the bush and looked back and I could make out a nest deep in the bush. I decided I would wait until fall before doing any further trimming.

“I have never had cardinals nest in our yard before, and I am wondering if there is anything I can do to help it be a successful venture for them. Because we travel for a time in the summer, I don’t feed the birds. But I could make an exception when we get back if I thought it would help this pair somehow. That’s where good advice from Al B [our Official Ornithologist, Al B of Hartland] would be most appreciated. What, if anything, can I do? Or should I just try to stay away from that area until they are done?

“The bush is right near our raspberry patch, and I usually pick raspberries in July and September. But I can also pass for one summer and get some at the store if I am desperate.”

Our times
And: Ask Bulletin Board

Donald: “Subject: The committee (?) should have balked at this application.

“From the ‘SIGN OF THE APOCALYPSE’ in Sports Illustrated: ‘Homer Simpson was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame to mark the 25th anniversary of The Simpsons’ “Homer at the Bat” episode.’

“I know Bulletin Board sometimes disagrees with SI’s choice of the items in this category, so what’s your reaction to this one? [Bulletin Board says: Couldn’t say. We haven’t seen that episode.]

“I think it fits perfectly.”

Our pests, ourselves

Twitty of Como: “It started back in April. I spotted a few big black ones in the downstairs kitchen. I sprayed and cleaned up the area, and went about my business.

“Next day, there were more; same place. I sprayed again and cleaned again.

“Next came some small red ones. Dozens of them. I sprayed, and this time I sprayed around every door, focusing on the thresholds, and even went outside and sprayed the foundation. I thought that might take care of the problem.

“Awhile later I spotted a whole colony of little red ones swarming at a crack in the front walk. Out came the spray, and next day I swept up the carcasses.

“Days later, they were swarming around the garage foundation. Must have been several thousand of them strung out, some carrying eggs. Sprayed ’em.

“A few days after that, they were strung out along the front edge of the slab, just outside the overhead door; thousands of the little red ones again. Sprayed.

“This morning I went out to the garage. In the slabs’ expansion crack inside he garage was a whole family of the black ones, about a quarter of an inch long — many of them with wings; many of the others carrying eggs. It looked like they were moving the eggs from one nest to another. Must have been a thousand. Sprayed them all and swept up the corpses.

“I mean, maybe it’s not politically correct to kill them, but, if not, I sure wish the ants would move along out of here. This house ain’t big enough for all of us!”

Gaining (and/or losing) something in translation

The Retired Pedagogue of Arden Hills: “Subject: The latest pitchers’ malady: arm boredom.

“Phil Miller, a sportswriter for the Minneapolis paper, is traveling with the Twins on their three-city road trip. His column in Thursday’s paper, headlined ‘Hughes is back — and in bullpen,’ discusses setbacks pitcher Phil Hughes has encountered (‘lingering symptoms of circulatory problems in his pitching shoulder’) while trying to rejoin the team.

“‘”It’s something I have to manage. It’s not going to go away overnight,” Hughes said. . . “Hopefully, it’s not something that hinders my ability to go out there and throw an inning or two.”

“‘It was, however, hindering his ability to throw 100 pitches at a time five weeks ago, the feeling of ennui in his arm. . . .’

“My ’Shorter Oxford English Dictionary (Fifth Edition)’ defines ‘ennui’ as follows: ‘Mental weariness and dissatisfaction arising from lack of occupation or interest; boredom.’

“Focus, Phils . . . FOCUS!”

Life as we know it

Rimshot writes: “Subject: He who laughed last.

“I’ve always been able to find the humor in life — and sometimes even death.

“Not too long ago, a new friend asked me if I’d been married before. ‘Yes,’ I replied, ‘I lost my first wife in a car accident.’ After an awkward pause and the subsequent condolences, I proceeded to explain the crash that took her from me.

“The seemingly minor fender-bender took place in front of a gas station in Champlin, Minnesota, back in 1972. The owner of the filling station, upon seeing the crash, came to her rescue, little knowing what he would find. He pulled her out of the car, calmed her fears, dried her tears and got my wrecked car moved onto his lot. Along with all of this, the Good Samaritan also struck up a friendship that evolved to an affair and his marrying her a couple of years later. Since then, I’ve always said ‘Life is full of left turns, right turns and sometimes fateful accidents.’


The darnedest things

WARNING! Cute grandson story ahead, from Mrs. Mouse: “My son and his family recently moved to a different town. His driver’s license was due to be renewed. He figured he would go to renew and change address one day last week. His two sons — Grant, 4, and Preston, 2 — accompanied him to do this job.

“After waiting in line, their number was called. As they approached the counter, Grant said: ‘We are here because we moved to Afton, Minnesota, and my dad has to get a new driver’s license.’ The clerk assured him that she was able to help them out. They went through the process, filling out forms, taking picture, etc. Grant even said they took a family picture. (?) When that was finished, the clerk asked Grant if he needed to get a driver’s license, too. His answer: ‘No, I’m too short.’ She asked if maybe next year he would need one. His reply: ‘No, thank you.'”

Band Name of the Day: The Big Black Ones

Websites of the Day: The History of the Bikini, and


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