Dec 31, 2008

Lamont In 2008 – The Year In Review

The Town of Lamont accomplished a large number of goals in 2008 that everyone should be proud of. We managed to put in place a good core team of volunteers and people willing to step up to help this community accomplish what needed to be done, and thankfully that list of volunteers is so long it cannot be listed here. (that is a good thing). In summary, here are some of the highlights that will provide real benefits for years to come. (if you think about it, that is quite a list!)

1) Lamont Centennial Festival – The town put on an outrageously successful festival that brought a huge crowd (for us) and one that was the envy for miles around. We had a wonderful parade, outstanding food, great music, and a successful auction for the community center (who can forget Art Swannack hamming it up with no prior notice?) The next festival will be in 2010 so if you want to help, we would love that!

2) Lamont Road Project – Lamont paved a large percentage of our surface streets and now has modern sidewalks, curbs, roadways and rainwater drainage connecting all of the major functions in town (school, fire station, community center, church) previously serviced by gravel roads. Century West Engineering has demonstrated again what a first class organization they are – and a special thanks goes to the TIB and Greg Partch for their roles in funding this important addition to the Town.

3) New Flagpole – Although many hands went into the effort, Dale Windsor deserves the lion’s share of the credit for making this nice addition become reality. Lamont held a moving flag raising ceremony with the naval cadets (and who could forget the Sea Cadets? – if they did not rush out of here they all would have been spirited away by grandmothers who thought they were so darn cute) Cathy Ulrich gets our thanks for a beautiful job of singing at the ceremony – and let’s not forget Betty Stone for actually acquiring the flags. What a testament to small town teamwork!

4) Park Improvements - Lamont put in a new picnic table slab, and thanks to Mrs. Shields, we got another picnic table for people to enjoy in the park. The park lost a few old trees but got 6 new, beautiful ones in their place. The park continued to be improved and enhanced so that all of our citizens and guests can have a fun, relaxing, safe place to go.

5) Finally, 2008 was the first year that less than 50% of the population cut their own hair, we formally ended the settling of disputes by seeing who could wrestle a bull to the ground (especially for the hand of a lady) and finally dropped the 'tobacco spitting' component from the Miss Teen Lamont competition. Although it is heart rendering to lose these time tested traditions that made this country great, even bastions of Americana like Lamont must relinquish some things in order to embrace the modern age. So, we will mark their passing but still look forward to 2009. (This paragraph is a parody!)

2009 will be another active year (hopefully less so) where Lamont (with the fire folks) will attempt to get a new fire station, develop more cultural outreach programs, plant trees, improve the gravel roads (while working on funding to get them paved) and continue an active maintenance program on our buildings, water system and facilities – and will hopefully be able to put a roof over the fire pit so it can get year round use. So, have a safe, happy New Year and may 2009 be as good as 2008 for Lamont!

Dec 27, 2008

Local Man Has To Borrow Snow Shovel To Dig Way To Garage To Get Own Snow Shovel

In an ironic twist of circumstances that harkens back to the classic "Chicken and Egg" debate that has been raging for centuries, a local man was forced to leave the warm, reclusive confines of his abode and interact with neighbors for the first time since September in order to borrow the neighbor's snow shovel so that he could hack a path to his garage (and thus to his tools) that had drifted over in the latest onslaught in what has been by all accounts a very snowy winter. "Well, I had just finished shoveling my walkway when my neighbor came over and presented me with his unique dilemma" said the good neighbor. "Although I was glad to loan my shovel to him, and even offered to assist, I could not help but ponder the philosophical and logistical intangibles that this problem presented, as well as cast a casual eye on the fact that the only time he ever comes over to talk to me is when he needs something" said the man. "I am always happy to lend a hand, but it would be nice if he came over once in a while for coffee or just to say hello" he said.

The man, after borrowing the snow shovel, contemplated bringing the 'good neighbor' cookies his wife had just baked as a way of saying 'thanks', but instead just decided to sneak over and leave the shovel propped by the side door so that it would be easily found the next time his neighbor ventured outside for whatever reason. The final thought the man had was that he hoped no one would steal the shovel in the meantime, thus presenting the impression that the shovel was never returned and necessitating another social interaction when the neighbor came over to reclaim it - probably the next time a blizzard hit - which, given the current winter we are having, would more than likely be in a day or two.

Dec 25, 2008

Councilwoman’s Cat Now Down To Just Two Lives

A local councilwoman, long known as a champion of animal rights and a citizen of some renown for her work in rescuing neglected, abused and mistreated animals in the Tri-County area, was faced with an incident much closer to home that is sure to make cat lovers the world over pale with sympathetic horror. “Well, the details are still fuzzy, but it would appear that the councilwoman (we shall refer to her as ‘Councilwoman X’ in order to maintain her anonymity – although her name is not Ruth or Betty) saw a large, menacing raccoon in her garage at approximately 5:10 AM on the way to her morning constitutional” said a local insider familiar with the case. “Acting with her usual decision and verve, Councilwoman X (who is not named Ruth or Betty) immediately slammed the door; thus trapping the dangerous beast inside until her husband could be notified and would arrange, in Mafia-like fashion, a trip for the raccoon to go ‘swim with the fishes’.

“Well, things became complicated soon after because, unbeknown to her, one of her cats was in the garage at the time of the door slamming and was forced to spend several nerve-wracking hours locked inside with a claustrophobic and angry (not to mention hungry) hunter/scavenger hell bent on getting even with his jailers” said the insider. “One shudders at the minute-by-minute feelings of horror and betrayal that this poor cat must have felt as it struggled for survival and fought against the natural feelings of disdain that all cats feel for other living things besides themselves.” he said. “So, when Councilwoman X’s husband rose for the day and was given the assignment to make the raccoon “disappear’, he, of course, had no idea that the much-loved house pet was locked in the garage with a dangerous wild animal.”

As the man (We shall refer to him as ‘Husband X’, although he is not married to Ruth or Betty) inched his way towards the garage door, snub-nose in hand (serial numbers had been removed, of course), one can only guess at his state of mind as he cracked the door open a few inches to gauge the situation and a boiling, furry, highly motivated blur came bolting out of the gap directly at his lower torso - achieving land speeds only previously attained by the cat’s distant cousin, the cheetah. (there is some lingering confusion as to whether fuzzy slippers or the more traditional, time-tested cowboy boots were in evidence at the time of the confrontation) “Well, it is a testament to his steely nerves and devotion to mission that he just did not begin blasting away wildly at this unexpected intrusion into his otherwise peaceful and relaxing morning” said the insider. (A lesser man would have screamed like a school girl and/or had to change his shorts after emptying the gun in blind terror) Although details of this story are still vague, no one has seen the raccoon again and the cat, although physically unharmed, has not come within 20 yards of the garage or ‘Husband X’ ever since (classic signs of ‘Post-Raccoon Stress Syndrome), although, in fact, that doggone wife of Husband X is the one who started this whole mess in the first place!!

Dec 12, 2008

Lamont Poetry Contest - Enter Now, Brown Cow!!

In support of the 'cowboy philosopher' and 'farmer bard' traditions that have so enriched western culture since man emerged from being a lowly, grunting, outrageously malodorous hunter-gatherer scratching a living off berries and roots in order to flavor a dismal stew of gopher or barn swallow (oddly enough, that bird has always been called the barn swallow, although barns had not been invented yet since nobody grew wheat to store in barns - so theories abound that the original name was 'darn swallow' but the first person to write down the bird's name had a mild form of dyslexia or something), the Town of Lamont would like to foster this self-reinforcing tradition by sponsoring a poetry contest. So, why not share those pithy 'plays-on-words' and limericks you come up with as you are pushing that same 20 head back to the corral after they escaped because your good-for-nothing brother-in-law can't put up a fence worth beans or that haiku that just popped in your head as you were tilling that last 40 acres out by the Pott's place that, in fact, belongs to your neighbor but you farm it anyway because he is not smart enough to know the difference. Just for the record, the Lamont Grain Growers are not sponsors of this event, we just put their picture in there to prove that Lamont does indeed have an employer, regardless of what nay-sayers like 'Tim from Idaho' say. (in your face, Tim!) So, you can leave your poem by selecting the "comments' button below this article. Good luck - and remember - a day without farmer/rancher poetry is like a combine without shock absorbers - you can still get by - but oh, what a pain in the rear end that would be!

(When you leave a comment, select the 'Name/URL' option and just type in your name (or nickname) - no URL is required. That will make sense once you are in there - and let's everyone know who you are)

Dec 11, 2008

Art Boutain – Loyal Lamont Grain Grower’s Employee Or International Man Of Mystery?

The Town of Lamont was stunned to learn that Art Boutain was an actual person and not just some legend or myth maintained in our popular culture by a media machine hell-bent on creating archetypal figures to fill our popular imaginations in order to sell action figures and video games to millions of young people looking for heroic role models to fill their empty, meaning-starved lives. “Well, I got a call to come over to the Grain Growers for some reason, and as I made my way towards their door, without a care in the world, all of a sudden this man came up to me, shook my hand and introduced himself as ‘Art Boutain’” said the still stunned and skeptical mayor. “I must have just stared at him with open-mouthed disbelief because he immediately followed up with ‘No, really, I am Art Boutain’.”

“Well, being the Mayor of a small town in Eastern Washington has its share of unique and decidedly mind-boggling moments, so I am usually prepared for just about anything that pops out of the bushes at me – like the time that Councilman got attacked by that nest of crazed wiener dogs – but coming to the realization, after all this time, that this illusive and obviously discrete character was really flesh and bones and not some imaginary creation like an Indiana Jones or Luke Skywalker or whatever was a little much to digest” he said. “I mean, I had met his ‘wife’ – or the woman who said she was married to “Art Boutain” at one of the Lamont Movie Nights – but just because a person says something like that does not mean that it is true or that her supposed ‘spouse’ is even a real person. There are a lot of people who have claimed to have seen “Bigfoot” too, but that does not mean that a big, hairy, North American man-ape lives in the forests of Northern California, does it? So as I inched my way cautiously towards the Grain Grower’s door, every nerve poised for a dramatic ‘fight or flight’ response’ in case this man calling himself 'Art Boutain' made any sudden, hostile moves, when all of a sudden that pillar of productivity and town go-getter Ron Dixon came around the corner and said “Are you ready to go, Art?”. Although he did not actually use the whole name “Art Boutain” – that was enough to convince me that this man, long rumored to exist but forever lurking in the shadows like some grain-growing “Invisible Man” might, indeed, be a real person. I just wish I would have thought to ask for several forms of ID, but I was too stunned to follow that evidentiary rabbit trail to its logical conclusion.”

Dec 9, 2008

Holiday Songs And Important Life Lessons (Pastoral Humor)

Once upon a time, a bunch of chess nerds were holding a big chess tournament in one of those big towns where they have actual Convention Centers and Fire Marshals. (as opposed to Lamont where we have the Community Center and some old guy with a garden hose) Anyway, as so often happens with chess enthusiasts, the competitive furor rose to such a fever pitch that, in order to avoid bloodshed, the most boisterous of the players would congregate in the hall outside the tournament room to blow off steam. During these gatherings they would make disparaging comments about the other player’s pocket protectors and high-water pants (or lack thereof) and tell off-color jokes with punch lines that ended with such side-splitters as “Queen to Bishop 4” (and they would all die laughing). Anyway.

As these gatherings became more frequent, the nerds gradually moved farther and farther down the hall until they were by the exit door. One day the Fire Marshall was leaving a meeting on proper fire truck maintenance or whatever and saw the nerds bunched up by the exit – in clear violation of the existing fire codes. So rather than confront these rebels and risk bodily injury, the Marshall just went back to the fire station and printed up the following sign. “No Chess Nuts Loitering In An Open Foyer.” Luckily, the Tournament ended that day and there was no need to directly confront the ever-dangerous nerds.

Dec 8, 2008

Entire Town Stunned And Saddened After Tragic Loss - Worse Disaster Thankfully Avoided

The Town of Lamont received an unexpected yet staggering blow this week after a series of improbable miscues occurred simultaneously and the 'winds of ill-omen" blew their gusty mischief outside of the Community Center in the late morning of December 7th, 2008. "Well, the details are still sketchy, but it appears that one of the 'Pillars of the Palouse', while dropping off a hot dish for the potluck before church, was attempting to open the locked door with one hand while balancing a smooth, creamy, historically delicious casserole dish in the other. Thru a combination of bad luck, Murphy's Law and no small amount of meddlesome intervention by Chaos himself, somehow the highly prized and unbelievably tantalizing and aromatic casserole made a nose dive onto the sidewalk - carrying the kitchen icon's favorite baking dish with it" said a stunned and shaken bachelor who is all thumbs in the kitchen and unfortunately saw the remains of the melted cheese by the doorjamb. "Oh, the horror! Who is ever prepared for a sight like that on an empty stomach? It was enough to break your heart! I waited all month for that smooth yet savory concoction of indescribable deliciousness. I guess I'll have to double up on green bean casserole now. Life can be so unmerciful, so cruel!." he said. "Nobody makes a casserole like (name deleted to avoid litigation)

"It is in times like these that we all need to band together, console each other and just try to pick up the pieces, literally and figuratively, and move past this" said the Mayor. "Although a tragedy in every sense of the word, all of us are just thankful that it was that poor casserole that had to be sacrificed on the alter of life's little foibles and not the world famous 'Chocolate Lush' that was in the van waiting to be unloaded. If the Chocolate Lush had been lost to the cruel whims of fancy, the Town would have had to break out the black arm-bands and do that whole 'flag at half mast' thing. That would be unfortunate in the Christmas season." said the subdued and introspective Mayor who can't manage to bring anything more complicated to a potluck than Deviled Eggs - although he does put a dash of paprika on them for that extra fancy touch. "Going to the dessert table for a delicious, cool, creamy, rich piece of Chocolate Lush is the best way to begin the actual healing process - and I encourage all the citizens to join me there about 1:45 or so. We need to just pick ourselves up, be thankful for what we indeed do have and go back for seconds, if necessary" he said.

Dec 5, 2008

Heroic Coyote Does Rancher A Favor By Slaughtering Trouble-Making, Rabble-Rousing Calf

Although known as a pest and usually shot on sight, a local coyote (Canis latrans) provided a much needed boost to the herd's (to say nothing of the rancher's) morale after sneaking up on, killing and consuming (along with her cute litter of playful, energetic, 'always-a-handful' pups) over half of a juvenile delinquent calf that, while alive, had done nothing but cause trouble and break his poor mother's heart since he was born out behind the salt lick in the late Winter of 2008. "Well, although coyotes and I very seldom see eye-to-eye, I have to tip my Stetson to that low-end yet resourceful predator for taking that little troublemaker off my hands and freeing the herd from his insidious, mischief-making influence" said Festus Martin, 56, a local rancher. "It seemed like every time I turned around, that no-good calf was instigating a stampede, showing the other cows that hole in the fence or 'relieving himself' right on top of the new hay I put out. And don't even get me started on his role in getting the other calves to eat that cursed "Locoweed" for its mild, hallucinatory effects. That calf was just rotten, thru and thru" said the relieved rancher. Although at the present time there is an unofficial truce (a honeymoon, if you will) between the opportunistic predator and the overburdened rancher who is just thankful to have one less problem on his plate, local Grange insiders predict that within a few short weeks this new-found truce will break down and the civic-minded coyote will once again be blasted on sight, should the opportunity present itself.

Dec 2, 2008

Area Sunday School Teacher Hasn't Seen Bible In Almost A Week

In one of life's cruel and pointed ironies, a local Sunday School teacher and longtime church-goer has not been able to find the Good Book since, on a whim, he decided that the living room needed to be rearranged to take advantage of the reduced Winter sunlight. "Well, I was watching that TV show where people come over and fix up your house, and then I came to the realization that my chair was off in a gloomy corner that ran counter to my above average holiday spirit and Christmas cheer. But in order to move my chair I had to switch some other furniture around, and before I knew it my entire life was turned upside down, my Bible was gone and no one has seen the cat for almost a week!” said the unfortunate Bible browser. "In retrospect, I was obviously torn between two conflicting world views - the first being about idle hands and the devil's workshop - and the other having to do with letting sleeping dogs lay. Well, I guess we can say that that sleeping dog really took a bite out of the part of me that just wanted to sit in my favorite chair with a modest amount of sunlight, for Pete's sake!!!" said the babbler of bible verses.

Although originally pointing the finger of blame at Lucifer or one of his minions that, as everyone knows, are hell bent on casting all of mankind into the eternal lake of fire, the student of the scriptures could not in fact remember where he set the bible down or if, indeed, he even remembered to bring it home from the Sunday School room. "It is in trying times like this that I love nothing more than sitting in my favorite chair with the Good Book and recharging my spiritual batteries with a nice warm cat in my lap” said the now rudderless man. “Oh, what hellish manipulation of life's simple pleasures has been wrought upon me this day!" he bellowed to no one in particular. Although one of the less bright, dog-loving citizens of the Town is postulating that the cat, as an obvious historical cohort of the devil (and witches, too) is the one who ran off with the bible in order to sow discord and strife, the current body of evidence cannot lend credence to this well-worn and obviously technically impossible theory – although it is gathering adherents amongst certain dog-owning segments of the local community. When asked, a local cat spokesman called this assertion outrageous, scurrilous and bordering on blatant “felinism” and said that those hate-mongering dog-people should be ashamed of themselves. The dog spokesman had no comment, but just sat there at his master’s feet, contentedly thumping his tail into the carpet with barely restrained glee while looking up with those sad, seemingly innocent, yet undeniably guilty eyes.

Nov 29, 2008

Cow With Ugly, Undersized Calf Attempts Brazen "Switcheroo" With More Handsome, Healthy Calf – Resulting Brawl Engulfs Palouse

The sound of heads colliding could be heard for miles as tempers flared into actual combat across the Palouse after the mother of an undersized calf not worth a bucket of chicken feathers attempted to stealthily abscond with a bright, chipper, downright handsome calf belonging to another cow, late Tuesday. "Well, we had finally got the whole mother/calf bonding situation under control and were worried about winter feed and our pasture rotation plan - and the next thing you know the whole herd is up in arms and acting like a “Best Of” episode of the Jerry Springer Show, for Pete's sake!!!" said Flem Snopes, an area rancher. "That poor mother took one look at that new, thin, nerdy-looking calf down there trying to nurse and began bawling to beat all I ever seen. Next thing you know the cows had divided up along bloodlines and the stage was set for real trouble. Although this should have only involved the two mothers, as is typical, cows by there very nature are always looking to rumble and love nothing more than a good fight and it does not take much for complete pandemonium to descend out of nowhere" said the unfortunate rancher. "Heck, we even had neighboring herds knocking down fences to come join the ruckus to try to get a few licks in! It was like a 4-legged, bovine version of the dadburn Arab/Israeli conflict.” Cows, although seemingly docile, are known for holding grudges that make even the most bitter mother-in-law look like the saint of forgiveness - so long simmering rivalries and feuds can exist right under the surface for years until just the right spark comes along. “And if that darn neighbor thinks I am going to pay to put that fence back up that his half-starved rabble stamped into the ground, he has another thing coming" said the peeved yet cost-sensitive rancher.

Order was restored after the respective calves were returned to their rightful mothers, alfalfa was sprinkled ¼ mile from the sight of the melee to draw off the combatants and the rancher, for his part, agreed to do a better job at removing the manure from around the saltlick and to get a new feeding trough behind the barn. Renewed sensitivity training will also be provided so that the entire herd understands the importance of the mother/calf bond so that this is less likely to occur in the future. No charges were filed but the mother of the nerdy, undersized calf will more than likely be placed on the cull list this year where she belongs.

As if the world needed any more examples, this serves to remind us of the hazards of coveting thy neighbors calf (golden or not), even if yours is undersized and nerdy and probably won't sell for more than $200 at the big auction in the Tri-Cities in the Fall.

Nov 27, 2008

Thanksgiving Update: Area Dog ‘Thankful’ After Being Given Cat Food Sandwich During Halftime Celebration

Although the Seahawks were getting soundly throttled, the potatoes were lumpy again this year and Uncle Jethro brought his new 'girlfriend' to the family-oriented celebration, at least one member of the Snopes household was happy and thankful this day – the beloved 2 year old mixed breed and decidedly mediocre watchdog Boomer. “Well, being a dog, he does not know the meaning of the word 'chewing', so it is kind of counter-productive to give him anything good. All he ever does is woof it down and look up with those sad, sweet eyes like I am some sort of doggie treat machine and he is a nickel short of correct change. So, to give him his favorite thing in the world – wet cat food, does not make much sense given that it takes longer to open the can than it does for him to eat it. Why should I even bother?” said Boomer’s food provider and designated pooper-scooper (and mother of 3). “Although to him this mysterious concoction is the forbidden ‘nectar of the gods’ since we feed the cats on top of the dryer, all he has been able to do up to now is smell it as the cats look down on him and hiss. So, instead of throwing away the last 2 pieces of stale Roman Meal, I decided to make a quick sandwich with the leftover cat food (which more or less turned me away from a second piece of pumpkin pie, thank goodness) and gave it to him. I could not believe it!! It was like he died and went to doggie heaven. I haven't seen that much rump shaking since my high school prom only a few short years ago." said the woman who graduated in the 1980's. "It looked like an actual human sandwich (which he loves but gets very rarely) but smelled like what the cats eat and what he has always been, according to him, so unfairly denied. Although our day was indeed ruined by the common potato and that presumptuous, know-it-all hussy with the bad dye job (come on, does anyone think that color of red occurs naturally in nature? I mean get real!) that Uncle Jethro brought into our home, at least Boomer gave proof to the age old adage – every dog does indeed have his day – although tomorrow he is back on dry food - regardless of how many sad, pitiful looks he throws my way!!” she said firmly.

Nov 26, 2008

The Nature Of Human Nature Or The Benefits Of Belonging

A man from Sprague is driving down the road and breaks down near an ancient monastery just outside Lamont. He goes to the monastery, knocks on the door, and says, "My car broke down. Do you think I could stay the night?" The monks graciously accept him, feed him dinner, and even fix his car. As the man tries to fall asleep, he hears a strange sound; a sound like no other that he has ever heard. The next morning, he asks the monks what the sound was, but they say, "We can't tell you. You're not a monk." The man is disappointed but thanks them anyway and goes about his merry way. Some years later, the same man breaks down in front of the same monastery. The monks again accept him, feed him, and even fix his car. That night, he hears the same strange mesmerizing sound that he had heard years earlier. The next morning, he asks what the sound was, but the monks reply, "We can't tell you. You're not a monk."

The man says, "All right, all right. I'm dying to know. If the only way I can find out what that sound was, is to become a monk, how do I become a monk?" The monks reply, you must travel the earth and tell us how many blades of grass there are and the exact number of sand pebbles. When you find these numbers, you will become a monk. The man sets about his task. Some forty-five years later, he returns and knocks on the door of the monastery. He says, "I have traveled the earth and devoted my life to the task demanded and have found what you had asked for. There are 371,145,236,284,232 blades of grass and 231,281,219,999,129,382 sand pebbles on the earth." The monks reply, "Congratulations, you are correct and now you are a monk. We shall now show you the way to the sound.The monks lead the man to a wooden door, where the head monk says, "the sound is behind that door." The man reaches for the knob, but the door is locked. He asks, "May I have the key?" The monks give him the key, and he opens the door. The man is relieved to no end. The man turns the knob, (holding his breath) and behind the door he is astonished to find the source of that strange, wonderful sound. It is truly an amazing and unbelievable sight and provides the secret of why Lamont is such a wonderful place. But I can't tell you what it is because you're not a monk. (hey folks, we just publish 'em here! Don't blame us for a lack of closure)

Nov 20, 2008

Animal Update: Local Skunks Slighted As Lavish Attention Showered On Lamont Raccoons

In spite of their numerous acts of mischief and general “bad boy” reputation, the burgeoning Lamont skunk population is largely overlooked as undue attention is devoted on their natural rivals – the equally mischievous yet remarkably cute raccoon population. “Well, although their destructive behaviors are indeed similar, raccoons tend to capture the popular imagination to a greater degree than the lowly, largely misunderstood skunk” said Dr. Wilma Pinkerton, a local animal behaviorist. "Indeed, both species tend to get into the garbage, eat cat food in the garage and screech like banshees during their brief yet memorable mating seasons. So why is one hunter/scavenger universally loved while the other is associated with any number of unpleasant social references? That is truly puzzling” she said. “Sure, skunks are stigmatized because of their unfortunate odor, but on average they only produce that frightful, life-changing stench when cornered, scared and/or confronted by overly pushy Jehovah’s Witnesses. Raccoons just tend to hiss, charge in groups of 8-10 and generally make one heck of a racket. Maybe that has something to do with it” she said reflectively.

“In spite of the obviously obnoxious yet admirable qualities of both mammals and their inherent behavioral similarities, the cute, fluffy, adorable, devil-may-care raccoons, unlike the skunks, have human-like eye patches and, either fortunately or unfortunately, no sane man (including that trail blazer and American icon Daniel Boone) ever considered making a “skunk-skin cap” because of the obvious negative associations held by human females for such head gear. And unlike more than 96% of the human population, raccoons always wash their hands before each meal. So, although unfair, man’s natural preference for and overall interest in raccoons over skunks is not only logical and rational – it is based on our deep-seated need for social acceptance and belonging to the community at large. We tend to gravitate towards those human characteristics in animals that we like and shy away from the ones that make us less comfortable or remind us of that uncle from Idaho that no one ever talks about and who regrettably invited himself to Thanksgiving again this year” she said.

Nov 15, 2008

Town of Lamont Adopts CB Radio Slang As Official 'Second Language'

In an effort to embrace differing cultures and reach out to a long underserved but substantial segment of the citizenry, the Town of Lamont has agreed that all future communications held within the Town limits will also be conducted in that All-American slang form made famous in such movie classics as “Smokey and the Bandit” and “Smokey and the Bandit II”. “That’s a big 10-4” said the Mayor. “Although we are a small town, we might as well be Spokane when it comes to miscommunications and verbal snafus. Given the differing education and demographic levels that we have, it was determined that what we needed was a unifying communication standard that cuts across all socio-economic barriers - barriers that can naturally lead to strife and discord” he said expansively. “At first we pondered the classic, unifying languages like Latin or Esperanto, but that would require a lot of book learning - and that is how we got into this mess in the first place. Then we considered the ‘Queen’s English’, but we have a hard enough time with the regular kind so that was just asking for trouble. So, after a process of elimination, we agreed that the only thing that would work is some form of abbreviated communication style – preferably derived from some time-tested aspect of the popular culture – and since every family in town had dozens of those cheesy, predictable (yet highly inspirational) trucker movies from the 1970’s, it seemed like the logical choice” he said proudly. “Plus, all it takes is one trip to the pawn shop and $10, and you can communicate across town and around the Palouse with a real CB radio without getting out of your long-johns and fuzzy slippers. In many ways it will help Lamont become more 'cosmopolitan'. "

"Oh, look at the time. I lost track of the 'big hand'. I better put the hammer down", said the Mayor as he dashed off to cut the ribbon at the new 6th street extension that has brought so much joy to the town. “I’ll keep ‘my ears on’ so ‘the Bears” don’t start breathing down our necks, come on back!! If I see 'cherries in bloom' (flashing lights), I'll check my '20' and point my chariot towards 'Bean Town'. The 'Big Bear' (Sheriff) tends to frown at large, unruly mobs milling around aimlessly in the middle of the street, 10-4. Over and out.” he said as he marched off, attempting to form an ad hoc 'convoy' to drive over to the new road grand opening before finally giving up and walking over alone in the rain..

Nov 13, 2008

Gov. Palin Tours Lamont’s New Road Project: “Holy cow! It’s like a dream!!” She Says

Alaska Governor and future hope for the Republican Party (and thus America) Sarah Palin was spotted checking out the new road project in Lamont as she made her way by car back to the frozen hell that is Alaska in November. “Well, the buzz in the power circles of Washington D.C. was all about the wonderful use of tax dollars in Lamont and the fantastic design and implementation by Century West Engineering” said the beaming Governor. “I have seen a lot of construction, but the professionalism, engineering excellence and attention to detail demonstrated by Century West in Lamont is profoundly amazing. That Dennis Fuller and his core team are true national assets! It really gives me hope for the future of this great nation!” said the new American icon who can gut a moose in under 30 minutes. “I just wish there was some way to entice Century West to bid on contracts in Alaska in addition to focusing on Washington, Oregon and Idaho” said the Reagan-esque mother of 5 and true feminist role model. “And by the way, that new extension of 6th street was bold and innovative – and was a clever way to utilize excess dirt from the excavation phase of the road bed preparation process” she said. “And that hydro-seed was applied evenly without too much clumping. Nice!!!” (parody)

Nov 11, 2008

Area Teen Discovers "Over-The-Counter Remedy ” In Trick-Or-Treat Bag – Older Sister Considered Prime Suspect

After a vigorous night of trick-or-treating in the outrageously well-managed and forward-looking town of Lamont, a local youth made a disturbing discovery as he surveyed the loot from the night’s visitations. “Well, I know I am getting a little old to go door to door, but I am short for my age and figured I could pull it off one last time. So, needless to say, this Halloween experience was important to me and I was looking forward to a night that I could cherish for the rest of my life!!!” said the traumatized teen. “When I came home, I set my bag down for just a minute to see if there was any good candy left in our bowl – and that is when it must have happened. Until that brief moment, the bag was never out of my sight!! I can't even feel safe in my own home, for Pete’s sake!!!” he fumed. “I can’t imagine anyone else in town who would do this, so all signs point directly at my stupid sister. Only she would stoop so low!!! Why couldn’t I have been born in another family?” he said despairingly.

The sister, age 16, proclaims her innocence in the strongest terms and says she was in the backyard with the dog at the time of the alleged “incident”. “Oh, he is such a whiner!!” said the sister. “The first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem, and as long as he is in denial there is just no hope. I can think of 20 people who would have loved to slip some ‘Beano’ in his candy bag - like the whole doggone school bus!! Hello!!! I am just sad that it doesn't come in handy 55 gallon drums – why beat around the bush with half measures?” she said sympathetically but with an eye on economies of scale. "As we all know, desperate times require desperate measures - but that is just supposition on my part - given my air-tight alibi and all" said the thoughtful, obviously protective sister. Sadly, the male youth is still recovering from the troubling discovery of ‘acne medicine’ in last years Halloween bag. The above referenced sister was also accused in that incident – although charges were dropped for lack of evidence.

Nov 10, 2008

Local Rancher Shocked To Discover Long Forgotten ‘Hillbilly Herd” In Distant 'Holler' At Far End Of Ranch

An area rancher made a disturbing discovery late Tuesday as he was exploring the long forgotten and largely inaccessible “Moonshine Creek’ (pronounced ‘crick’) portion of his sprawling 2000-acre ranch on the edge of the Palouse. The rancher, searching for a lost dog at the insistence of his daughter, Mabel, age 8, decided to venture into a forbidding and largely unproductive corner of the ranch in the hopes that the dog, never the smartest one in the litter, might have chased a rabbit back there and was too stupid or lazy to find its way back.

“Well, I was back there looking for that stupid, lazy, good-for-nothing dog when all of a sudden I saw strange, unnatural cattle signs – you know – strangely shaped hoof prints and bizarre, circular cow trails. Then, over the wind, I was just able to pick up the subtle ‘mooing’ that sounded eerily like the 'rebel yell'” said the mortified rancher. “Needless to say, the hair stood up on the back of my neck – and it was like I was transported to a Palouse version of the movie 'Deliverance'. That was just plain creepy” he shuddered.

“The only way I can figure it happened was that time my dad lost those cows back in the blizzard of ’46. We just assumed they got lost in the drifts – never to be seen again. Who would have guessed that they would have developed an entire bovine subculture based on close inter-breeding, twangy, annoying mooing melodies and illegal, homemade silage? Now I can see why a good, solid ‘bull rotation” is essential for the health and welfare of any herd” he said stoically. "I am just thankful that the price of beef jerky is so high so that it is not a total loss" he said optimistically. “And I should have known that lazy dog was off sleeping behind the hay bales in the barn and didn’t have the sense to wake up and come get supper. I’m beginning to wonder if that dog is a victim of careless breeding, too!!”

Nov 6, 2008

Local Dog Tricked Again By Above-Average IQ Lamont Raccoons

A local pooch was foiled again after falling for the classic “no, you go first” trick that seems to be favored by the highly intelligent and manipulative raccoons that have been plaguing Lamont for the last several months. The dog, one of the beautiful animals that was saved from a ‘puppy-mill-gone-bad” in Adams County, is adapting well to Lamont – although it is having a hard time adjusting to the unusually smart raccoons that live here. “Well, the average raccoon in Adams County is pretty stupid” said Dr. Pete Marshall – Animal Behaviorist at BSU. “So, it is easy for dogs in that county to realize they are being tricked or duped and not fall for the shenanigans that raccoons are known for. But when they come to Lamont/Whitman County and are faced with the smooth talking, worldly, highly polished, narcissistic raccoons that seem to thrive here – their natural defenses are torn down and they tend to get outsmarted time and time again. It’s really quite unfortunate. That dog fell for the oldest trick in the book - and allowed the raccoon to polish off the catfood in the garage undisturbed. It was all so senseless, really" he said.

If anyone would like to help support the fantastic group of individuals (Adams County Pet Rescue) who helped save these lovely dogs (they need a lot of help in a variety of ways, folks) or would consider adopting a wonderful animal, please take a minute and visit their website. The Palouse is known for people with big hearts – and nothing proves this more than taking in a dog that has been mistreated and giving it the love that it needs and deserves. The love you get back in return will more than repay any effort extended. These mini-Aussies need your help. (talk about cute, smart dogs!) All they need is a chance at the wonderful life you can provide them. If you cannot adopt a dog, financial support is much needed, too.
(click here for more information)

Nov 3, 2008

Local Ranchers Demand Reforms After Tragic 9-Cow Pile-Up Occurs At Area Ranch

Area ranchers are up in arms after a tragic yet preventable accident occured in the largely unregulated and dangerously overburdened "cattle shoot" segment of the US transportation system, late Tuesday. "Well, this is outrageous!!" said Festus Martin - area rancher, wheat farmer and 'Scrabble' enthusiast. "We pay all these taxes to the government and place the hopes and safety of our herds in their hands and it seems like the least they could do is properly fund and staff our nation's "Cow Traffic Controllers', for Pete's sake. What is this - some sort of third-world nation where cows are no more than beasts of burden? We just can't have a bunch of American cows running amok and crashing into each other as they go for their yearly shots before being sent out to winter pasture. I can see that happening in countries like Ethiopia, Chad or Canada - but not in the good old USA!" said the grieving rancher. "What if there had been calves present? Where is the government when you need them most?" he fumed. "Someone needs to be held accountable!!"

Although the case is still under investigation, sources close to the Administration are saying that early indications point to some sort of software glitch or computer malfunction and a crack team of computer nerds with few if any social skills are being rushed to the scene to begin a preliminary investigation. "Well, this is one of the hazards of living in the computer age and relying on the whims of technology" said Thurston Marshall - Assistant Director of the Livestock Logistics Administration. "Although we have redundant systems across our networks, there is always a slim chance of a tragic meltdown. The only thing we can do is diagnose the problem, fix it and be more vigilant." said the puzzled pencil-pusher. "Our deepest sympathies go out to the herd during this difficult, trying time" he said.

Nov 1, 2008

Flashback: Councilman Placed In Eye Patch After Minor Injury; Threatens To “Keel-haul the Scallywags”

After being placed in a temporary eye patch after receiving a minor scratch to the eyeball during a hailstorm, a Council Member is quietly recovering at home on a treatment plan of limes, grog, hardtack and salt pork. “Well, I’ll shiver his timbers if he calls me a galley wench one more time!!!” said his loving, perplexed wife. “He just struts around all day, slashing the air with the yardstick shouting “Aarrrgh” and ‘Shiver me timbers’. I keep hiding that fake bird he thinks is a real parrot before anyone sees it on his shoulder – but he says he won’t tell me where he hid the treasure – or worse, he’ll leave me stranded on some place called 'Skeleton Island' if I don’t give it back. Oh, what do I do?” said the confused wife who prefers sappy romance novels.

“Well, I came by to check on him to see how the eye was and I was shocked by the transformation” said a local pastor. “He kept saying something about putting a broadside into my rigging and how rogues don’t need no fancy church talk. And I won’t even mention all of the holes he dug in the back yard while reading some worn, dirty piece of paper written in what he said was ‘land-lubber blood’. So I just said a quick prayer with his wife before he could pin me to the yardarm with Black Beard’s cutlass or send me to visit Davy Jones’ Locker” said the concerned pastor who enjoys reading a good Western and, of course, the Bible.

“Anyway, we go back to the doctor on Tuesday to get the patch off – and I sure hope I can keep him from making the poor dog walk the plank until then” said the sweet wife. “I just wish he had watched “Fantasy Island‘ and not ‘Treasure Island’ on TV that day. He could have been Mr. Roarke or Tattoo. That would’ve been so much easier” she said.

Entire Town Confused/Impressed After Local Man Uses Outdated Expression In Heated Argument

The Town of Lamont was thrown into a tailspin of confusion and profound misunderstanding after a local man used an obviously well worn expression with its roots in our distant, murky past. “Well, I was having another talk with him about his dog’s unnatural inclination to answer the hourly call of nature in my front yard when, out of the blue, he just dropped that verbal bomb on me. I was so pole-axed by its obviously profound yet mysterious origins that all I could do is slink off back to the house and hit the bottle” said a local retiree and neighbor. “I have been around a lot of years and consider myself well-versed in the finer arts of verbal fencing and crushing one-liners, but there was nothing else to do but concede defeat gracefully and regroup to fight another day” he said.

The situation escalated rapidly as innocent bystanders were drawn into the unfortunate melee. “Well, in order to listen to what they were saying and not appear to be snooping, I was acting like I was checking the lid on my garbage can for the third time that day so I could overhear their usual argument about that sweet dog and his totally reasonable desire to go to the bathroom on well-tended grass. Then when the owner of that dear, sweet dog muttered that cutting comeback he just silenced the whole argument right there. I darn near dropped the trash can lid and gave myself away” said a local snoop, busybody, outrageous gossip and humble housewife. “The sheer simplicity and sweeping nature of it drew my breath away with its panoramic implications and crushing tone of finality” she said. “The only thing I could do is go inside and nag at my husband for never using deep, moving expressions like that so I could be proud of him for once.”

Sadly, in retrospect, the expression had little bearing on the situation at hand. Although versatile; the retort “Don’t measure my wheat with your bushel”, has little bearing on the dog problem because the pithy one-liner refers to measuring something – and not some spoiled house pet with bladder control issues.

Oct 28, 2008

The Great Worm Skedaddle – 10 Years Later

As with many natural and man-made disasters, it is only possible to gauge the full impact of the life-changing event with the benefit of time and a small measure of hindsight. As Lamont weighs the costs and, ironically, the benefits of one of the most memorable events to rock the Town since the Mount St. Helen’s volcano eruption - this stark reality comes into focus as we all ponder our precarious positions in regard to our relationships with our planet, our town and, indeed, with the animal kingdom itself. One decade ago, a Lamont councilman started a bait worm business in town and neglected (either thru malice, ignorance or a blatant disregard for the safety of others) to put bottoms on the worm pens and 1000’s of the shifty, snake-like critters made a mad dash for freedom and slithered unchecked into every corner of the town where they could sneak around, multiply and devour whatever it is that worms actually eat.

“Well, when the little rascals first made a run for it – my first emotions were anger and embarrassment at the loss of my investment – and my dream of becoming the “Worm King of the Palouse” was dashed on the rocks of life’s cruel sense of humor.” said the saddened yet wiser Councilman. “But then I realized what had happened – and all I could think was ‘Oh my goodness – WHAT HAVE I DONE? WHAT HELL HAVE I UNLEASHED ON THIS POOR TOWN??” he bellowed, still bearing the guilt a full decade later. “All I really wanted was to make a few dollars and get inside fishing info from the regional fisherman – but instead I unleashed an unseen horror on my unknowing neighbors. Oh, why did it have to be me?” he bellowed. “Why didn’t I buy another piece of plywood when I was at the lumber store? Oh, why did I have to be such a cheapskate?”

“Well, I have only lived here for 4 years, so I managed to miss a large portion of the actual and emotional trauma of the disaster, but from the moment I moved in you could sense an underlying feeling of fear and foreboding.” said a new and still somewhat sane resident. “People would never look you in the eye and they were always scanning the dirt around their shoes and mumbling some gibberish or incantations like they half expected some horrible monster to burst from the earth and drag them into some subterranean tunnel network where paybacks for centuries of fishing could be exacted inside some worm inspired torture chamber. But then I noticed the large number of obese birds in Town – and how easy it was to till my garden each spring – and I realized the glass could indeed be half full.” he said optimistically although still largely in denial of the real yet highly improbable nightmare scenarios posed by the subterranean trouble-makers.

Flashback: Lamont Leaders Plead For Calm As Unprecedented Hootenanny Spree Paralyzes Town

Council member and reputed banjo player Dave "Smokey Joe" (last name deleted to avoid litigation) was named a definate “person of interest" by the Lamont Mayor in the investigation of a series of apparently random and utterly irresistable hootenannies that nearly brought the entire town of Lamont to a virtual standstill over the last several weeks.

“I was on Highway 23 on my way to Kathy’s Grocery when I heard a high, woeful voice bellow 'Yeee Haaa!!!!'" said Martin Grassman, 57, a Whitman County rancher, who has lost numerous man-hours to Dave’s random acts of good-time finger pickin'. "When he started that old banjo to singing, my feet just started tapping. As I felt a yodel rise in my throat, all I could think was, not again, I have cows to feed." said Grassman. “Oh please, not again. I ain’t been home in a week.”

"These confounded hootenannies must stop," said the Mayor. "They're fine every once in a blue moon, like when the town gets a new road grant or that darn Council finally gives me a raise. But these washboard-totin’, straw-hat-wearin’ mobs causing a ruckus in the middle of the week is unbecomin' of Lamont and we won't stand for those darn fool shenanigans. More than half of ‘em ain’t even from Lamont!!! Doctors, lawyers, engineers, you name it. They just seem to materialize from every direction. It’s just plain creepy, if you ask me.”

"We think Dave fits the classic profile of a hootenanny mastermind and has the skills to pull off something even more outrageous," said the red-faced Mayor. "Shindigs, wingdings, hoedowns - we're sure he's capable of those outrages, too.” Dave, 49, is known across the Palouse for his pleasant personality, his down-home, rip-saw banjo style and his unbelievably slow driving - and he matches a description given by hundreds of straw-chewin’ eyewitnesses who were mesmerized by the twangy sound of banjo solos, washboard scrapings and the woeful whistles of discarded jugs of home-made corn whiskey. The Council is encouraging citizens to call the emergency “Hootenanny Hotline” before trouble begins anew. “We need to nip this in the bud before it turns into a full blown “pig-poke”, said the embattled Mayor. “Hootenannies are like wolves, once you grab them by the ears, you don’t dare let them go.”, he said. “That dad-burn Dave. Where did he go wrong? Ohhhh, where did he go wrong?”, muttered the Mayor.

Oct 20, 2008

Local Artist Brings Class, Culture, Sophistication To Recent Lamont BBQ

Using a variety of condiments, traditional BBQ utensils and even the food itself, a local artist and self-ordained “Picasso of the Palouse” unleashed her considerable creative talents on a dazed, bedazzled and eventually mutinous crowd at a BBQ held in Lamont last Saturday. “Well, in this beauty starved world, it only seemed logical to bring beauty to the starving, surly mob that was waiting for their burgers to finish cooking” said the artist. “Finding beauty in everyday things is what makes life tolerable, if you think about it. Sure, people got a little upset when they had to wait an additional 5-10 minutes as I created an individual masterpiece with every hamburger that came off the grill – given that art cannot be rushed and people like their food at least a little warm. In the end, however, I think the beauty that was added far outweighed the frantic wailing of hungry kids and the semi-delirium and catatonia of the suffering diabetics in the crowd” said the paramour of paint. “Nothing in this life is free, and suffering a little inconvenience for a more beautiful world seems like a small sacrifice indeed. How was I to know that mayonnaise goes bad if left in the sun for any amount of time” she said defensively. “I never eat the stuff – it goes right to my hips.”

Oct 15, 2008

Lamont Experiences Slump In “Verve” After Century West Engineering Wraps Up Road Project

Lamont, a bustling yet misunderstood town on the edge of the Palouse, has been rocked by a drastic decrease in an intangible variable universally recognized as being essential to any community that derives a large portion of its self-identity from working with or around cows and those unfortunate cow by-products. “Well, we never realized it until they showed up and began improving the place, but things can be a little dull and listless around here. Living in Lamont without that refreshing vitality that Century West brings to the table like so many nickels and dimes in a rich man’s trousers is like driving with no radio from here to Florida at 40 miles an hour with your embittered mother-in-law who always wanted her daughter to marry a doctor or a vegetarian or at least someone who doesn't cut their own hair. How much self-analysis and 'naval gazing' can one town do, for Pete’s sake?” pleaded the Mayor. “Needless to say, whenever the president of Century West shows up in our humble burg, it is like beaming the Batman signal on the clouds of our natural lethargy. And when other Century West employees like Bryan or David come visiting, the rejuvenating “spark” transferred to the beleaguered nervous system of Lamont is marginally less intense, although still vital and sustaining. But even the indirect effect of briefly talking on the phone to those smart, savvy, insightful, clever, solution-oriented, iconic, uber-professional phone goddesses like Erika is enough to give us hope and grit to keep slogging on” said the Mayor. “Oh, when will we get another grant so that we can once again bask in the efficiency of Century West as they work to revitalize our long neglected Town infrastructure?” he muttered despairingly while digging his toe in the newly budding and surprisingly healthy hydro-seed recently applied to the roadsides of Lamont by the ever-attentive Century West Engineers.

Lamont Movie Night Proves To Be Another Huge Success

Although only 40% of the viewing audience actually burst into tears at some point during a touching movie that had something to do with a horse; Lamont insiders still chocked up the night in the ‘huge success’ category given the large crowd, enthusiastic hotdog/popcorn consumption and the general fun had by all. In spite of the abnormally low “Tear-Jerk-O-Meter” ratings that the town leaders normally use to judge success and failure in any number of town-related events, another movie will be held on the second Saturday of next month (Nov 8th at 6:30 PM). “Well, with over 70 people attending, there is obviously a desire for this sort of thing – even though the movie failed to reduce over half the audience to blubbering, sobbing piles of human debris” said a local movie critic and sappy-movie fan. Ruth Simpson, who organizes these events with a huge amount of help from people all over the area, will be in charge of picking the next movie and has promised to tighten up on the gratuitous emotionalism that was so sorely lacking (according to some) in this last entertainment extravaganza. (And don’t forget the potluck on Nov 9th at 1:00 PM)

Local Rancher Wins Prestigious "Nobul Peace Prize" For Outreach To Embattled Coyote Community

In a move that has liberal, hand-wringing, bed-wetting peace activists like Al Gore scratching their heads in wonderment, the august and esteemed “Nobul Peace Prize Committee” shined a much-needed light into the lives and work of Palouse cattle ranchers by bestowing this over-hyped global prize designed to foster world peace and harmony on Festus Martin; 51, a local rancher and self described “free thinker” and “coyote rights activist”.

“Well, I was out in the barn working on that doohickey thing that keeps breaking on my tractor when all of a sudden a bunch of European types come traipsing up in fancy suits and dainty church shoes and tried to shove some shiny medal in my hand with some bearded guy on it while avoiding the little piles left by my cows after that mini-stampede the other day. I could not understand half of what them fellers said, given their funny accents and all that hand waving and shoe scraping – not to mention the fact that my dog Blue ain’t never bit some fancy-pants European before – and may never get another chance again, poor dog!!! It was quite lively there for a few minutes.” said the appreciative yet humbled cattle rancher. “Once I figured out that they were not a bunch of communists come out to collectivize my farm or make me wear funny clothes like berets or stove-pipe pants, tensions eased back a bit” said Martin. “Although they would not assist me in dipping those new cows from Ewan or help move that hay into the barn, they were all-right fellas - even if they come from one of those Satan-loving 'social democracies' where being a 'commie' is not even a crime!! Plus, that medal is just about the right thickness so that I can even up that leg on the kitchen table so the wife quits nagging me about it every time I try to eat, for Pete’s sake” said the far-sighted and resourceful rancher. (parody)

Oct 10, 2008

Local Man Learns Important Life Lesson After Inadvertently Petting Neighbor Cat’s Stomach

In a life changing lesson that highlights the importance of paying attention, respecting the boundaries of others and avoiding inter-species miscommunication, a local man was lucky to escape far more serious injury after his hand accidentally veered several times to the belly region of his friend’s cat while relaxing on the couch, late Tuesday. “Well, it was that sudden transition from warm, soft fur to outrageous, searing pain that really caught my attention and made me realize I had crossed some unmarked boundary in man/cat relations” said the dazed and remorseful man. “One moment I was mindlessly petting the little critter and trying to come up with another 6 letter word for “peanut” in the local crossword when all of a sudden it felt like a hammerhead shark was breaking a month-long fast and my arm was the only thing on the menu. It was in that rare moment of clarity that only intense, mind-numbing pain can bring that I realized the answer to the crossword question was “goober” – but I was too busy screaming like a school girl and trying to shake that irate, persistent bundle of fangs and claws from my arm to do more than just scribble the letters “G” and “O” before sprinting to the kitchen for safety. It was all so sudden and confusing” said the chastened yet wiser man. “In the future I need to remember my natural limitations and only focus on one thing at a time. Life is just simpler that way.” he said.

Oct 4, 2008

What An Honor! Thank You Naval Honor Guard!!

For those of you who attended the recent Lamont Official Flag Raising Ceremony in the park, words will provide a shallow representation of the real impact of that ceremony and cannot help but fail to capture the impressive nature of the young men and women who represented our Armed Forces on that important occasion. Lamont would like to thank Joseph Nechanicky, CS1, Naval Honor Guard Coordinator and his team as well as all of the very impressive “Sea Cadets” who were a key part of the whole extravaganza and who were all, as was said by more than one grandmother “so darn cute”. Although Lamont prefers to recognize their military attributes and impressive bearing and precision - grandmotherly views matter too! That is yet another reason to be thankful we live in the good old USA!!! Lamont would also like to thank Michele Beckmann and he husband (who are the proud parents to two of the Sea Cadets) for providing the pictures and for raising such fine kids! All members of the Military Honor Guard Ceremony are encouraged to come back to Lamont on October 12th (1:00 PM - Comm Center) for the next Town Potluck where we can meet them again in less formal circumstances and all of our grandmothers can have another chance at making an outrageous fuss over them!

Oct 2, 2008

Lamont Time Capsule - Area Sheep Farmer Goes On Shearing Rampage

Twelve sheep, two cats and an Idaho family just asking for directions were unceremoniously sheared late Monday when Palouse sheep farmer Wilber Smith, 41, wanted to try out his new cordless shearers to see if they were as good as the ones with the cord. "It was horrible. What a beast! Hair was flying everywhere." said a local postal employee who witnessed the frightening shearing spree while making her rounds. "Well, let’s just say it gives new meaning to the expression ‘seeing the fur fly." she said. “And those poor Idaho people. They all thought it was funny when a brother or sister was having their hair shorn, but when it was their turn it stopped being so funny.” she said.

Before deputies could arrive to bring matters in hand, however, the unfortunate spree ended abruptly when Smith turned the shears on himself. The sheep farmer then proceeded to paint the stunned victims with a 4 digit number in bright neon paint for easy visual ID when they are returned to the flock, herd, pack, gaggle, pod or whatever grouping it is those dang Idahoans belong to. Smith was later quoted as saying “Cordless is cool. It really allows the freedom of motion that a man like me needs - especially if one of them critters makes a run for it”.

Sep 30, 2008

Movie Night in Lamont

As we all know, few things signify budding romance and rekindled love more than gathering with a sweetie and secretly holding hands and snuggling under the disapproving stares of your neighbors in the Lamont Community Center during our now famous “Movie Nights” put on by friends of the Lamont Community Church. Held the second Saturday of every month (until further notice), a fine, wholesome, family-friendly movie is shown (free of charge) and popcorn and hotdogs are also provided free (yes, that is an outrageously sweet deal). Candy is offered for sale, and donations are welcome to keep this event going. So, mark your calendars, grab the kids and come on down at 6:30 PM on the 2nd Saturday of the month. Next one is October 11th. The next movie is even better than the last one, if that is even metaphysically possible!! (yes, rumor has it that strong, steadfast farm wives who have lived thru drought, storm and volcano eruptions were seen furtively wiping away tears after the touching ending of the last one - but as Mayor I can neither confirm nor deny that)

Mayor Creates Fantasy "Mental Image" Of Town Engineer's Office In Spite Of Never Having Been There

In a disturbing case of projection and taking a few data points and expanding them into a complete social scenario, an area Mayor has, over the years, built a complete and highly detailed "imaginary" workplace where amazing feats of engineering are done with breathtaking efficiency, solid American values and slapstick-like camaraderie. "Well, all I have ever seen is the fantastic output of that 'miracle factory' that they call Century West Engineering - and have met a few of the employees and of course the big burrito - Dennis Fuller. But the thing that spurred my sense of a utopian social nirvana was talking to the women who answer the phone when I call to ask dumb questions" said the decidedly envious Mayor. "Those ladies just seem so friendly, efficient, smart and professional that I could just kick myself for being a lifelong math laggard and thus self-excluded from the Olympian heights of the ever-glamorous engineering profession. What the heck was I thinking when I was not paying attention in my formative math years, dang it?!!!" he sniveled. "I could be mingling with the 'beautiful people' if I would have just forced myself to learn long division, geometry and that whole decimal thing!!" he said self-reprovingly. “Oh, what is squandered away in youth is sorely cherished in old age” he said melodramatically and completely out of all conceivable context to the situation.

Local Mayor Faces Stern Rebuke At Recent Town Meeting

In a bold move to shore up the declining social and fashion standards that signal the twilight of any great culture, a local councilwoman laid into the Mayor for undermining the very American way of life that we all love and cherish. “Well, we may be a small town that is struggling to make its way in the post-industrial world where the lack of technological infrastructure puts us at a severe disadvantage in the bare-knuckles brawl that is the competitive global economy, but that is no darn reason not to iron your shirt before coming to a council meeting” said a steamed, esteemed council woman of long standing. And don’t even get me started on that ridiculous haircut or those sad shoes” she said. “As Mayor and an elected representative of our fair town, the least he could do is a decent ‘drip-dry’, for Pete’s sake!!!!” she seethed. “Oh, mercy!! These are truly the times that try one’s soul!!!”

Local Man’s Yard Is Green For First Time Since 1972

As part of the road construction project, a company was hired to spray bright green “hydro-seed” on the edges of the construction work to facilitate future grass growth and to help stabilize the disturbed soil. “Well, at first I thought it was a ‘dad-burn’ miracle” said a local resident of Spokane Street. “The wife is always griping at me about the yard looking brown, so when I went out to get away from her ‘fingernails-on-the-chalkboard-like’ nagging I looked in the front yard and there was actually a beautiful bright green patch there. So, of course, I turned on my heel and marched back in the house to drag the wife out to admire my newfound and quite unexpected lawn care prowess” beamed the man. “I just hope we don’t get a hard rain and it all washes away.”

Local Soothsayer Startles Town By Predicting Drastic 6-Month Decline In Local Mosquito Population

A local fortuneteller has stunned area residents by predicting a general decline in the local mosquito population until at least May of next year, well-placed sources said. “Well, if you can get past that necklace of animal teeth, the huge wart on her nose, that creepy cackle and the fact that she calls everyone “My Pretty” – her track record at predicting the ebb and flow of the area mosquitoes has been pretty darn good. I just hope she is right again this year!!!” said a local man. “Her unnatural powers do give me the creeps, but who can argue with such success? Plus, if I agree with her maybe she will put a hex on someone else and not me.”

Local Councilman Caught Being All “Bright-Eyed and Bushy-Tailed” At 6:00 AM On A Saturday

Contrary to all known stereotypes related to council members in general and the Lamont Council in particular, a local public servant was observed bouncing around his yard and doing “odd jobs” at an obscene hour when any normal person would be tucked in bed - dreading the start of another day filled with the ragged shards of shattered hopes and broken dreams. “Well, I was going to let my dog out to do his business when, out of the corner of my eye, I saw this little blur of activity across the way and knew that something was very, very wrong.” said a neighbor. “At first I just assumed that he was having another psychotic episode and that I needed to call the town men to subdue him until the medication could kick in, but then I saw, much to my horror, that he was just getting a jump on his busy day! That’s just wrong!!! If people want to act like that, they should buy property out in the county where that sort of thing is tolerated – not in a town where children are present!! We have to have some rules and standards here” she fumed.

Although monitoring the situation closely, the Mayor, freshly awakened from his log-like repose, was powerless to stem this tide of productivity or crush this unseemly “can-do” spirit. “Well, I am as shocked and horrified as the rest of the community, but until he extends this anti-social behavior to Town property or begins sprucing up a neighbor’s lot we are basically powerless to stop him. The lawmakers in Olympia really need to tighten up the code so things like this just don’t happen and slovenly, lazy citizens don’t have to see this sort of thing” he said.

Area Pastor’s Sense Of Humor Largely Under-Appreciated

In one of life’s odd little ironies, a local pastor’s well-developed and robust sense of humor, finely-tuned over the course of nearly 50 years, falls largely on deaf ears and rarely receives the credit or appreciation that it deserves. “Well, when I think of pastors, I think of hell and fire and brimstone and unspeakable torment – so I am always a little taken aback when one of them tells a joke” said a local farmer. “It takes me a while to figure out that it is a joke, and then I get all worried that I might go to Hell if I don’t laugh. It’s all very disconcerting” he said meekly.
“Well, I like my humor to be a little more direct; like slipping on a banana peel or sitting in paint or whatever” said a local woman. “The jokes he tells tend to be ‘plays on words’ or have deep life lessons somehow built into them – and although funny if you think about them, it just takes too much energy for a busy mother of 3. He is obviously very clever and has good delivery, but his jokes should have more people falling down or forgetting to wear their pants when they go shopping or whatever. Plus, if his humor was any drier, it would be the State of Arizona” she said.

Mystery Solved: Why There Are So Few Palouse Goats

Two men were walking in the Scablands east of Lamont when they came across a strange hole nestled between several basalt pillars. The men carefully edged up to the hole and peered inside – unable to see the bottom. One man called into the hole and never heard an echo. Puzzled, the second man grabbed a large rock and threw it into the opening. As the seconds ticked by and no sound came back – the men looked at each other in stunned amazement. Finally, one of the men glanced around the area and saw an old railroad tie and lugged it to the hole and threw it in. Seconds later a lone goat came trotting along and dived right into the hole without even a pause. Needless to say, both men were stunned and amazed. A few moments later a farmer came along – and the men recounted the story of the amazing hole and the goat – and the flabbergasted men asked the farmer if that was his goat that just dived headlong into the hole. The farmer assured the puzzled men that it could not be his goat – because he kept his goat securely tethered to a railroad tie where it could browse and not get into trouble. The two men, eyes cast to the ground as if their shoelaces had suddenly become fascinating, quickly shuffled off without another word – having inadvertently replaced one puzzling mystery with another one. (Note: This was an example of pastoral humor. No goats were actually harmed in any way)

Local Cat Single-Handedly Keeps Regional Field Mice Population Within Manageable Levels

(Town Hero - Fluffy)

Local Pastor Stuns Town By Being An “Early Adopter” Of Cutting Edge Micro-Fiber Technology

Although, as a rule, modern pastors tend to reject worldly things and focus more on the realm of the spiritual; a local pastor has thrown caution to the wind and jumped firmly behind a relatively unknown niche of cutting-edge 21st century technology – the misunderstood and somewhat sinister ‘micro-fiber revolution’. “Well, no one in the congregation knows what to make of it – or even if this is something from ‘above or below’, if you catch my meaning” said a local elected official and more-or-less faithful church-goer.

“One day we are nagging him because he only checks his email once every 3rd blue moon – and then he throws a technological curve ball at us and begins showing up at church with some really nice, space-age shirts that are the envy of the congregation and that seem to be impervious to all known stains. It is pretty hard to get your mind around that one” he said. “Although we would all feel much more comfortable if he chose to wear camel hair shirts like our Bible heroes, I guess those can be pretty hard to find in Spokane - or so I hear.” he said sympathetically and with only a tinge of suspicion.