Al Batt: I do all my own stunts – Albert Lea Tribune
Tales from Exit 22 by Al Batt
I’m just browsing.
That’s what I would say if I ever caught a grizzly bear carrying an assault rifle, just after hitting its painful brown onion against a birch stump. Fortunately, I have never caught a grizzly bear carrying an assault rifle, just after hitting its painful brown bunion against a birch stump.
I am a chronic walker. Not Walker, Texas Ranger. Chuck Norris can sit up faster than I can walk. It’s too late for me to pull the tear rope while walking. I walked 10 miles to go to school. It was both ways. I went to school seven days a week because our schedule was broken.
We walk to justify a slice of pie or a scoop of ice cream. And to get the sauce out of our veins, have fun and avoid lollipops. We walk to lose weight, on doctor’s orders, to find answers, to make things right, to go beyond, to find treasures in the moment or because we don’t want to wear a seat belt. I walk because I own a Fitbit. It’s like a dog making me walk by providing a hum factor. The only difference is that my Fitbit doesn’t sniff everything and I don’t have to carry a plastic bag to collect after my Fitbit.
In 2017, I read a book called “Nomadland”, which was a remarkable success as a movie. He was talking about a step-by-step worker in his 70s who walked 15 miles a day on concrete for his job in an Amazon warehouse. I bet the comrade walked in his dreams. The old joke is that someone’s uncle walked five miles every day. He’s been doing this for 25 years and now the family has no idea where he is. A neighbor had an old Hudson automobile, but he walked 4.5 miles to town to shop and came home (another 4.5 miles) with a bag of groceries in each arm. I stopped one day and offered to take him home. He told me that if he had wanted to take a ride he would have driven his car. He did not say it crudely, but stated it in a neutral manner. I get it. A man needs to walk when and while he can. We spoke through my car window as he walked. We said goodbye and parted ways.
A guy I knew went to the bar every day. He smoked because coughing while walking to the bar was the only exercise he did. It took him 10 minutes to walk there and an hour to get home. The difference was astounding.
Where I live in rural Minnesota there are three types of people. Some go to Texas for the winter, some go to Florida, and some don’t understand the weather. One year, my wife and I were walking on a large ranch in Texas. The dinner bell must have sounded like a stampede of Texas longhorn cattle heading straight for us. I couldn’t find a doodle trap large enough to dive into. We walked with others. A guy told us he was with the CIA. I believe everyone, unless they run for office, but I wonder why he shared this with strangers in the middle of an endless ranch in Nowhere, TX. Also, he did not have a briefcase handcuffed to his wrist. A cattle rush could put an arch down one day. The guy who could have been with the CIA whispered that he was going to stand still and the beasts would get around us. I was never a matador working near the horn, but I had worked with cattle and I knew it was true, but I didn’t know 100% because you never know 100% of what whether it be. I told my wife we ââshould line up a single file behind the guy who could’ve been with the CIA. We did it. The cattle stormed close enough that I could smell the alfalfa on their collective breath. We escaped unharmed but nervous.
Gary Snyder wrote: âWalking is the great adventure, the first meditation, a practice of cordiality and the primordial soul for mankind. Walking is the exact balance between spirit and humility.
I make more pieces than necessary. I walk to places far removed by a hoop and howl and to those far away, but have gone from climbing difficult elevations in search of small hills to climb.
If I can’t leave a deep mark on the world, I can leave as much as possible.
Al Batt’s columns appear in the Tribune every Wednesday.