*The Bedpan Incident* 1/24/02
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Straight From the Heart: A Celebration of Life
THE INCIDENT WITH THE BEDPAN
By Al Batt
I am one of those men who likes to live on the edge.
By that I mean that I do not fill my pickup with gasoline
until the needle of the fuel gauge has dipped well into
the red area. The red, of course, means danger. This
habit of mine does not go unnoticed by my wife, The
Queen B. Wives do not miss much. She is constantly
reminding me of the foolishness of my actions or my
inactions. She is forever telling me that I am going to
run out of gas one day and then I would be sorry. I listen
to her. Our wedding vows stated that I had to love,
honor and listen to her. I listen and then I wait until
that needle ventures into the red before fueling up.
I was on a pizza run to Hartland the other day when the
old pickup sputtered and ran out of gas. It really
wasn't my fault. I think the fuel gauge must have
gone bad. That happens a lot. I could hear my wife's
voice telling me how sorry I would be if I ran out of
gas. I knew that I would truly be sorry only if she
found out that I had run out of gas. I could just hear
her, "Honestly, if Allen's brains were gasoline, he
wouldn't have enough to prime the lawn mower."
Or, "Allen, the village called, it is missing its idiot."
My pickup was resting right at the end of Pat Pending's
driveway. His driveway is an extremely long one,
even longer than sitting through a Minnesota Vikings'
game. Pat is our neighborhood inventor. He has
more patents than Carter used to have Little Liver
Pills. Pat's wife is named Pat, too. Some years
back, she was runner-up in the Miss North Dakota
contest. She would have won, but her tractor broke
down during the talent competition.
I walked up the drive and knocked on the door of Pat's
shop. I knew he'd be in there inventing something, he
always is. Pat came to the door. He greeted me and
then he had to show me his latest invention, a lawn
mower engine that runs on toenail clippings. Then he
had to give me a look at an alarm clock that uses
an electric cattle prod to get people out of bed and
then apologizes. The U.S. Marine Corps is interested in
it if he can remove the apology part. Pat has a lot of great
inventions. I finally got around to asking him for some gas
and he told me to help myself. I told him that I was sorry to
bother him, but not as sorry as I would be if my wife,
The Queen B, found out that I had run out of gas.
I had another minor problem and that was that I didn't have
a gas can. Pat Pending didn't have one either. All of his
went into his building the world's largest lock washer.
Can you believe that "Good Morning America" still
hasn't come out to take a look at that? I mean it is
the world's largest lock washer. Pat and I looked
around in all of his junk and the only thing we found
that could possibly hold gasoline was what looked
like an old bedpan. It looked like an old bedpan
because it was an old bedpan. I took that bedpan
and filled it with gas. I told Pat that I'd be right back
and began hoofing it back to my stalled truck.
The Pending's dog, Phideaux, a French poodle,
accompanied me. I'm sure it was worried that I was
swiping the bedpan. The driveway had become even
longer in my absence. I hiked as fast as a man can
who is carrying a bedpan full of gas. I got to the pickup,
removed the gas cap and began to pour the gas from
the bedpan into the gas tank. I was hurrying to get the
gas in before my wife learned of my foolishness.
While I was busy doing this, one of Hartland's Lutheran
ministers, Reverend Pastor, drove by. I nodded at the
passing car, quite happy that it wasn't my wife. The
good Reverend hadn't gone far past me when he hit his
brakes. He put his car into reverse, backed up to
me and watched as I poured the contents of the
bedpan into the gas tank of my pickup. Reverend
Pastor rolled down the window of his car and said,
"Now that is what I call faith."
Write Al and let him know your thoughts on his story!
Al Batt lives on a farm near Hartland,
Minnesota. Besides being a husband to Gail,
father and grandfather; Al is a newspaper
columnist, a radio and TV personality, a
storyteller, a tour leader and an avid birder.
Be sure to check out the interview we did with Al
in case you missed it earlier today:
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Thought For The Day:
"Wisdom is the quality that keeps you from getting into situations where you
need it." -- Doug Larson
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"I would have you learn this great fact: that a life of doing right is the wisest life there is. If you live that kind of a life, you'll not limp or stumble as you run."
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"Where you're going is more important than where you stand."
Parent's Thought For The Day
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Deep Thought For The Day:
"I hate it when my foot falls asleep during the day 'cause
that means it's going to be up all night."
/_/\/\ MICHAEL T. POWERS
\_\ / HeartTouchers@aol.com
/_/ \ "For I have been crucified with Christ and I no
\_\/\ \ longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I
\_\/ live in the body I live for the Son of God, who
loved me and gave Himself for me."
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