Al Batt: By jingles, Oscar, Tony say they are grrrrrrrrrrr! – Albert Lea Tribun

Al Batt: By jingles, Oscar, Tony say they are grrrrrrrrrrr!

Posted at 8:45 p.m. on Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Tales from Exit 22 by Al Batt

I live near a telephone.

Like almost everyone does.

Al Batt

My ringtone is simple, but I hear many others ranging from a vintage landline to a cricket to a quacking mallard to a distorted song that could have been country or rap. It is not good to deceive Mother Nature.

When I was an ankle-biter extraordinaire, we had no TV channels. Our “must have TV” was not. Then we discovered that it helped if we had a TV. We got a used station that received two channels, one going in well, the other not well. Later, a third and a fourth channel were added. We shared TV shows. If anyone asked us if we had seen “The Andy Griffith Show”, we had. There were no emails to check or angrily type in all caps. All caps were what we saw in a 3.2 beer joint.

That was before anyone had to load a toothbrush. It was a primitive time, but we had advertising jingles, slogans and slogans to support us. They lodged in our brains, becoming earworms that were almost impossible to extinguish. I still hear them. I could live my day by jingles and slogans.

I hear “Snap, Crackle, Pop” when I roll out of bed every morning as a solo band.

I clapped. “Applause,” I said, hoping my world would light up. Nothing happens and I remember I never owned The Clapper, but I clapped just to be sure. “Applause.”

I climbed onto the scale. “Be all you can be.” The army would be proud. I looked at the ugly paper clipping I had received paying a bill one shitty day. I’m stuck on bandages because a bandage is stuck on me.

I staggered into the kitchen, making only one false turn and checking my GPS twice. I remembered “The best part of waking up is Folgers in your cup”, but that wasn’t the case. I don’t know if Maxwell House is good to the last drop. I drink tea.

Meow, meow, meow, meow. Meow Mix is so good that cats ask for it by name. The cat has a magic bowl that mysteriously fills up.

Breakfast options were plentiful. “They are magically delicious!” “Breakfast of Champions.” “They are grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr, they are grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr, “Trixes are for children.” No pink hearts, orange stars, yellow moons and green clovers for me. “Have milk?” I had milk and enjoyed oatmeal with nuts and blueberries.

I would have wondered where the yellow went if I had brushed my teeth with Pepsodent. My shave was the best a man could get and I didn’t rush the Charmin.

I thought of preparing a sandwich because my bologna has a first name, it’s OSCAR. I looked in the fridge at the valley of the jolly–ho-ho-ho!–Green Giant. There’s always room for Jell-O, nobody likes Sara Lee, nothing says like liking something out of the oven, Rice-a-Roni – the San Francisco treat, mm-mm good soup, good rest of pizza-pizza, and I was wondering where’s the beef? I didn’t want to let my fingers slip, so I was driving across the United States in my Chevy and stopping to enjoy two beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun because I deserved a break today or maybe I would do it my way. Maybe I would think outside of the bun. I didn’t need to hurry because a motel had promised me, “We’ll leave the lights on for you.”

Tomorrow I’ll fly something special in the air, friendly skies, not as friendly as they used to be, where I’ll be given a bag of five peanuts at the most because sometimes I feel like be a weirdo, sometimes I don’t. “Betcha can’t eat just one.” How can I get to the airport? I just do it. I was hoping the airline mimicked Hallmark, “When you care enough to send the best” and another traveler might comment, “Aren’t you happy using Dial?”

And I would intelligently answer, “Raise your hand if you’re sure.”

My watch might take a lick and keep ticking. I hope I could too.

Otherwise, there is always plop plop, fizz fizz, oh what a relief.

Calgon, take me!

Al Batt’s column appears in the Tribune every Wednesday.

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