Why is a beaver like a hippopotamus?

This scribe can write, “The Old Men of the Mountain” met at the Chuck Wagon Diner for real this time. There was a group that met most of the time while this pandemic was going on; however, a few more showed up that have now had their shots and feel safer.

The Chuck Wagon had shields between each booth so hearing what was going on was tough, but at least what the scribe was able to understand it seemed as if their preceding gatherings had kept on meeting. Much of the conversation was like a continuation of last week with considerable current events thrown in, just like always, and great to hear.


Busy beavers

One OF reported that there were beavers building a dam practically in his front yard. The OF said the close dam was the latest of three dams these hardworking critters have built on the pond across the road.

There are now four ponds at this location; each pond is lower than the other as the ponds are built up on sloping land. The dam holding the water in pond number three is higher than the state highway that separates the beaver ponds from the land of the OMOTM.

Dam number four is just about 50 to 60 feet from the OF’s property. The OF said, if that dam ever lets go, it might take that whole section of highway with it and wash out his pond in the bargain.

One OF said, “Too bad beaver coats are out of style. It looks like quite a family of these rodents is working over there. You could trap them, skin them, and make a nice coat.”

Then another OF commented that he thought the Russians still wore beaver hats. Maybe there is a market for the pelts.

Still one other OF declared, “Are you crazy? Killing a beaver over here in order to sell pelts over there would start another war — swatting a fly is almost a crime.”

One OF compared the beaver to the hippopotamus. The OF said the hippo makes canals and builds ponds during the rainy season and in the dry season all the other critters take advantage of the hippo’s collection of water, and the beavers do the same thing.

Many other critters and birds take advantage of the beaver ponds. Now people are taking over, and the critters are just doing their thing. The beavers don’t know their way to survive can cause havoc on people and people’s activities.

This situation is not too far from this scribe’s abode, so this scribe took a walk to look at it, and it is just as described. These dams appear to be holding back water on over three acres of ground just on the lower three dams. The upper dam should not let go because there is a road over that one, and it is now not a beaver dam.


Cost spikes

The subject of not doing much gallivanting, or visiting, mostly staying at home and eating, means the OFs in our booth have all gained weight, and this has cost money at the grocery store. As one OF in this group noted, many people are struggling and grocery prices are going out of sight.

The OFs could not understand why such basic foods cost so much. Purchasing items to go to food pantries is getting quite expensive, one OF mentioned. With so many people hurting for no reason of their own it is hard for the OFs to understand why we have all these spikes in the cost of necessities.


Getting out

Upon greetings, the opening conversations were on how everybody was doing, and it seems that over the span of time many of the OFs’ wives and acquaintances, and OFs themselves, are pretty darn sick, not with minor illnesses but cancers, tumors, joint replacements, trouble walking, serious arthritis, sleepless nights, and getting about, not just simple running noses.

The old problem of age jumped right in there but, as one OF put it, “We do the best we can, and we don’t give up. Sitting in a rocking chair moaning ‘woe is me’ doesn’t cut it for me.”

Another OF answered, “This is the best medicine of all — just getting out. All the other stuff would have gone on anyway. As we generally gather weekly, the news of physical problems would be incremental and not noticed as much as getting a ton of information all at once.”

Among all this somehow the comment, “We should be eating more bananas” was mentioned and, “We would all be healthier.” The OFs in the booth all agreed as if this had been one of the conversations all along.

How the heck did bananas become part of the talk this scribe doesn’t know, but all of sudden there it was. Bananas! The food to end all our problems.

All the OFs in the booth seemed to like bananas and did eat them, some on a daily basis. However, some ate them only because bananas are easy to prepare, are filling, and taste good with just about everything.

The last word on this banana topic is: Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana.

Those attending — the OFs that challenged COVID (and so far are winning) — at the Chuck Wagon Diner in Princetown were collectively Rick La Grange, Miner Stevens, Roger Chapman, Robie Osterman, George Washburn, Glenn Patterson, Bill Lichliter, Jake Herzog, Lou Schenck, Jack Norray, John Dabrrvalskes, Herb Bahrmann, Elwood Vanderbilt, Dave Hodgetts, Paul Whitbeck, and me.