Mar 29, 2009

Local Woman Begins "Speaking In Tongues" At Recent Get-Together

A local citizen, long renowned for her excellent diction and firm, solid grasp of the English language, suddenly burst into a tongue foreign to her the minute the mayor, originally from the great state of Mississippi, sauntered into the room for the weekly Sabbath celebration. "Well, we like to meet for our worship services on Saturday morning, the day laid down in the bible as the Sabbath, (the biblical 7th day 'of rest' begins at sundown on Friday and ends at sundown on Saturday - and is not on Sunday - contrary to centuries of tradition) so when I showed up at the appointed time, dressed in my usual attire - flannel shirt, clean overalls, straw hat, scuffed leather boots, (coon dog in tow, of course) - you know - the classic trademarks of a true Southern gentleman of taste and sophistication, - when all of a sudden she just let forth this eerie stream of words and intonations that were enough to raise the hackles on the back of my neck. It was just 'other-worldly'" said the mayor.

"I was always under the impression that when people 'spoke in tongues' that they used some august, impressive, and indeed ancient language like Latin, Greek, Hebrew or one of the other foundational pillars of our linguistic landscape. So one can only guess at my surprise when my fellow Sabbath celebrant spewed forth a well-refined string of Southern redneck jargon that would have even made my old grand pappy proud, bless his long-stilled heart. It was like some 'mysterious' mixture of "Mini Pearl" and "Jeff Foxworthy" all rolled into one. It has been a while since I lived in the South, so I did not catch all of it, but I was able to pick up enough verbal clues such as "Hankering", 'I Recon", "Ya'll" and "Fixing to" (not to mention making a hash out of that whole 'lunch/dinner/supper' thing) to realize that this was, in fact, no act being put on for my amusement or mortification" said the mortified, less-than-amused mayor with an all-too-common look of bewilderment! (there is still some dispute over whether there was, in fact, subtle hints of banjo music wafting in the background and/or the satisfying smell of "sweet tater pie" floating tantalizingly from the kitchen since witnesses differ hotly on these points)

"Well, I just don't know what came over me" said the multi-lingual maven of mischief. "One moment I was fine, just chatting away like any normal person, and after laying eyes on the mayor and his folksy 'get-up', the next thing I knew I was just transported back in time and place (after shedding numerous IQ points, by the way) to the linguistic Antebellum South where all syllables are drawn out until your head wants to explode and where it takes 15 minutes to ask for a glass of water. Oh, it was horrible!" she cried. "I really have no idea what I uttered, but I could tell by the look on the mayor's face that this gibberish was having some profound effect on him. He just sat there, mouth open, trembling like some puppy that just got pulled from an icy river. I felt really bad for him" she said disingenuously.

Mar 25, 2009

Local Mayor Gets Roped Into Going To Some "Chick Thing" At Spokane Opera House

In a bold move that is sure to strain the very fibers of his otherwise robust and secure gender identity, a local mayor buckled under outrageous pressure and agreed to attend (under duress, it should be noted) the annual Bi-County Music Festival in support of the local Middle and High School kids from Lamont, although his 'male radar' gave him ample warning that there was a high probability that this was, in fact, 'a major chick thing' and he was liable to be miserable and feel out of place amongst all the 'fancy people' with all their color coordinated clothes and normal looking haircuts. "Well, one of my good friends, Ruth Simpson, has a daughter that sings like an angel - or so I am told, being tone deaf and all, and she was in the High School Honor Choir - so the nonstop nagging, griping, bribing and cajoling for me to go to the thing began early" said the still stunned and confused mayor. "So, after trotting out my usual list of excuses like having surgery that day, being drafted by the Army and having to report to boot-camp and/or expecting a call from the Governor on important Homeland Security issues affecting the safety of our great nation, and having each of these shot down like the 'bogus bags of hot air' that they were, I was left with the cold, hard realization that I might not be able to get out of this one after all. It was really quite disconcerting" he whined!

"First off, when we got there I realized, much to my consternation, that it is not even called the "Spokane Opera House' anymore, it is some "INB Performing Art Center" or some such thing. Sudden changes like that can really throw me into a downward cycle. Then, as I shuffled across the impressive lobby towards the seating, taking in the panoramic views of the river, all I could think while looking at that beautiful water and lush, green grass was that there was not a single cow in sight! I mean 'what the heck'? All that water and grass and not a single cow! No wonder this country is going to hell in a hand basket! What waste! What decadence! And then I made the mistake of looking up and seeing the listing for the coming attractions and, much to my horror, noted that some darn thing called the 'Cirque de la Symphonie' was coming in April. The dang thing doesn't even have an English name - so who knows what sort of "Commie loving" organization is putting that thing on. Oh, and something quite appropriately called 'Mancini Madness' is coming up soon, too! The whole thing just gave me the shivers!" he shuddered. "And I could just tell by the furnishings and nice carpet that this was one of those places that doesn't even have a 'spit cup" holder built right into the seats. Whoa!!! What a thing to skimp on! I mean spend a few bucks on the things that matter, for Pete's sake!"

Although unconfirmed, early reports indicate that the mayor did indeed have a good time, although when asked he conveniently changes the subject and asks if anyone wants to go throw the football or shoot guns or something. "Well, I looked over at him a couple of times, and he was actually tapping his foot and drumming his fingers (off key, of course), said an observer. "There was one awkward moment when the High School Honor Band was playing a lively tune and the mayor asked a horrified (and unknown) woman sitting next to him if she wanted to dance, but after being curtly rejected and having the irate and fussy usher whisper emphatically in his ear, he finally seemed to calm down and enjoy himself" she said. "I think he actually had fun, and Teresa Simpson had another flawless performance, making Lamont look good for a change" said the woman who, or so it seems, spent way too much time observing the mayor and not enough enjoying the talented youngsters.

Mar 20, 2009

Local Bad Speller Spends Nightmarish Week In Hellish Wasteland When All He Wanted Was A Little Ice Cream

A local rancher, Bubba Bodine, learned the importance of paying attention to details late last month when, after repeatedly being asked about his vacation preferences and only grunting unhelpfully in response, his wife finally wrote her preference on a piece of paper and handed it to him at the dinner table. "Oh my goodness. What the heck just happened to me?" said the rancher while stumbling off the bus upon returning from only the 2nd family vacation in 27 years of marriage. "The wife had been droning on at me for months about this vacation she wanted to take and I tried to tell her that this was the height of the "professional wrestling" (pronounced 'rasslin') season and any time was a bad time - so finally I just quit listening as I fantasized about my favorite wrestler (pronounced 'rassler') "The Rebel Rodeo Clown" making it all the way thru "Smack Down 2009" and winning that fantastically cool belt buckle I would give a kidney to own - when, out of the blue, the wife handed me a piece of paper asking me, or so I believed, if I wanted some dessert - to which I enthusiastically agreed. We were at the dinner table, for Pete's sake!! All I wanted was something sweet and soothing to calm my nerves before the 'rasslin' matches started at 7:00 PM. I tend to get worked up, you know? Plus, I just got my new 'rasslin' outfit back from the cleaners - chaps and all!!" said the inattentive but now much wiser rancher.

"So, before I knew it, the wife had booked tickets on the bus from here to Death Valley (second class, of course, since farmers /ranchers always travel cheap so there is more money to spend at those roadside souvenir shops), and 'rasslin' or no 'rasslin' I was going on this trip after the wife made some passing reference to "Lorena Bobbit" getting a bum deal when sentenced by the judge. Anyway!" he mumbled thru sunburned lips. "My momma always said that things like spelling would come in handy one day on the ranch, but you know how mothers is - always going on about this thing or that thing. How was I to know the generic term for a sweet, creamy after-dinner snack had more than one "S". I feel like I was tricked!!" he whined! "All I remember after stepping on that scorpion that climbed in my boot were those buzzards that just kept circling and circling and circling. That, and the fact that my water-starved tongue swelled up like a toad! It was just horrible. All I could think after regaining consciousness 5-6 hours later was that listening to your wife is important. Painful, but important! Oh, why didn't my momma ever tell me that? Oh momma, you done me wrong!" he sobbed.

"I should have listened to my mother when she warned me not to marry the only son dumb enough to stay on the ranch!" said the wife. "I asked him where he wanted to go until I was blue in the face, and after grunt number 2,192 I figured I better write it down for him. It's not my fault that he cannot spell. I could train our dog to tell the difference between 'desert' and 'dessert'!! Lord knows I tried to teach him over the years!!" she said resignedly. "And oh, you should have seen him blubber when he got that little scorpion sting! You would have thought a Great White shark took his leg off below the knee! It was all so humiliating. At least next year we are going to the Everglades to see all those pretty birds and the alligators. My husband never could resist a quick swim on a hot day in August" she giggled demurely, gazing off into the sunset as if by doing so the times and seasons would hasten their plodding, measured pace.

Mar 19, 2009

Town Saved From 'Giant Mutant Rodent' By Equally Frightening (yet lovable) 'Giant Mutant Kitten'

(Caution: Metaphors in use. Parts of this story might never have actually happened)
The Town of Lamont was miraculously saved from obliteration late Tuesday after a giant kitten appeared out of nowhere to thwart a determined and other-worldly assault from an incredibly giant and menacing rodent of unknown origins. "Well, I was walking outside to check my mail when all of a sudden I just blurted out "dang, what stinks?" said a local resident. "So, my first thought was that it was my nosy neighbor sneaking up behind me again to see what kind of mail I had received, so when I turned around and realized that, in fact, a giant rodent hell-bent on madness and mayhem was about to destroy the town, I pretty much lost interest in my "past due" notice from the electric company" he said. "And just about the point where I was driven to the depths of madness by that demonic, ear splitting 'squeaking' and felt certain that those ugly, yellow teeth the size of refrigerators were about to send me to the great beyond, (thankfully, the nightmarish rodent's unwanted attentions were initially drawn to his nosy, malodorous, hysterically shrieking neighbor - thus proving that even unspeakable evil cannot be all bad, after all!) this huge kitten appeared out of no where to dispatch the ghastly rodent before any real harm could be done. Now, don't get me wrong, I have always been a dog person and can't stand any living thing that doesn't kow-tow to my every word, whether they be human or animal, (which might explain why he is on his 4th marriage) but I have to admit that giant feline was indeed a sight for sore eyes!" said the long-time town fixture while beaming now-toothless gums.

"Of course, the gargantuan kitten, quite appropriately, does not possess the 'killer instinct' yet (preferring compromise, consensus and team problem-solving over a bare-knuckles 'smack down') and was thus forced to just 'play' with the foul beast until it finally died of exhaustion somewhere over by the Tri-Cities or Steptoe or wherever, but those natural hunting skills will surely develop over time as he saves other unsuspecting towns from an apocalypse-like demise at the claws of the dastardly rodent of complacency, stubbornness, hide-bound tradition and personal self interest over the collective town good, I'm sure" he said sympathetically. (Quiz: the kitten represents?: A) Century West Engineering; B) The Town Council; C) Both A and B; D) I have no clue what any of this is about, for Pete's sake, but rodents give me the creeps!!!)

Mar 17, 2009

Town Loses Grip On Sanity By Actually Planning For Future Events

In a radical break from the past and all known, well-cherished town precedents, the Town of Lamont is conducting a series of planning meetings before an actual disaster, hideous calamity, biblical-like plague or crippling incident renders the Town useless as a functioning entity. Given the heavy snowfall this last year, the Town, under the astute leadership of the eerily forward-looking Town Council, is holding snow removal planning sessions so that we can get the equipment, infrastructure and planning mechanisms in place so that future snowy years are handled in a more streamlined and efficient way - thus saving money in the long run. This snow removal task force, comprised of elected officials and the citizenry at large, meets on a regular basis to flesh out levels of service, hardware requirements and 'special needs" for unique areas of town - thus allowing Lamont to develop a comprehensive plan for future years to come.

"Has the whole town gone mad? I just have no idea what has gotten into those people!!!" said the mayor. "First of all, this goes against every known principle of small town management. Half of the drama of living in a small town comes from neglecting and/or ignoring easily preventable events that somehow inconvenience a large portion of the citizenry! For goodness sake - we are supposed to be 'pole-axed' to our knees when some outrageous natural or man-made phenomenon sweeps thru, leaving chaos and destruction in its wake. I am the mayor of the 2nd smallest town in a relatively small state population-wise! How else am I ever going to be on CNN, for Pete's sake? That is just like the Town Council to try to steal my 15 minutes of fame" he sniveled. "What a bunch of glory hogs! If I had my own parking space (which I don't), I guess they would want to take that away too - for the 'greater good' of the town, whatever that means!" he huffed. "What is next, planning for volcanoes, fires, and floods? This thing could get out of hand pretty quickly! Somehow I know that Century West Engineering is behind this craziness, either directly or indirectly! That is just like them to try to proactively avert unfortunate events that, if allowed to manifest themselves, would give the elected officials a real sense of purpose and value!" (thanks to Jenni from Spokane Valley for bringing this sorry state of affairs to our attention)

Mar 16, 2009

Local Kitten Wrestles With Overwhelming Desire To Attack Something

In a classic example of "discretion is the better part of valor", a local kitten, aptly named 'Spartacus" by one of the seven (7) grandchildren, is attempting to restrain the very essence of its nature and accept the bridle of socialization in order to live up to the over-hyped and often-used "good kitty" descriptor by not stalking, pouncing on, thumping, and scaring the 'living daylights" out of the first living thing that comes into view. "Well, I have been watching that thing for about an hour, and just a casual glance was enough to tell me that darn cat is up to no good" said Myrtle Jessup, a local farm wife. "When I walked by a few minutes ago to find the TV remote so I could catch the tail end of "Oprah", the cat tried to look all cute and friendly, but I could tell it was all an act and that if I got too close I was liable to experience a recreation of some prehistoric life-and-death struggle more suited to the primordial jungles of some forgotten age than right in the middle of my living room" she said cautiously, keeping her voice low to avoid any unnecessary provocations. "Even the dog was too scared to come out from behind the couch - and normally they are good friends. Although I have no hard, tangible evidence, I just know in my bones that all hell could break loose if one of us makes any sudden, poorly conceived moves. Its like a powder keg in there! I just can't allow my home to be turned into a mini 'Wild Kingdom"" she whispered emphatically, while frantically shooing the dog towards the dubious safety of the backyard.

Mar 14, 2009

Local Rancher Stunned By Realization That His Favorite Relative "Uncle Festus" Looks Startlingly Like 1960's TV Star "Uncle Fester"

In one of those life-changing moments that can cause any sane individual to pray that they were indeed adopted, local rancher Flem Snopes was forced to drag the genetic skeletons out of the closet when faced with a decades old photo of a family member that everyone agrees he most resembles. After fluctuating between denial, anger, hopelessness and uncontrolled sobbing, rancher Snopes eventually threw his entire emotional weight behind the one reasonable alternative that could possibly get himself out of a life of teasing, autograph seekers, Halloween party invitations, children fleeing in blind terror and light bulbs left anonymously in the mailbox - the slim but very real chance that he was, in fact, adopted but everyone just forgot about it in what is commonly known as a rare (but certainly not unprecedented) case of collective amnesia that stretched across the Palouse. How this would somehow alter his natural resemblance to his uncle and thus avert the unfortunate consequences no one is quite sure, but one must play with the cards they are dealt, as they say.

"Well, stranger things have happened" said Snopes. "Remember that time that woman in Lincoln County said she got kidnapped by space aliens when everyone thought she was up gambling at the casino in Airway Heights with that escaped convict? Sure, it seemed hard to believe at the time, given that she was a compulsive gambler and self-destructive risk-taker, but now that I think about it I find her story very believable and feel I might have been a little hasty in my initial assessment of the situation. So, if things like that can happen right in our own backyard, I don't see why everyone in the whole extended family (not to mention the entire tri-county area) could not have forgotten about a common place thing like a simple, routine, run-of-the-mill adoption 56 years ago! Its not that far-fetched!" he said convincingly while feverishly developing a plausible explanation for those annoying pregnancy photos of his dear, sweet mother that are in half the photo albums in Whitman County.

Mar 12, 2009

Local Canine 'Heroes' Save Town From Mysterious "Green Thing"

In a testament of loyalty and faithfulness that stretches back to the murky depths of time itself, 'Man's Best Friend' has proven its mettle once again by protecting the defenseless, complacent, slumbering town from an undefined horror too terrible to consider. The juvenile canines, patrolling the town on their own initiative in an effort to provide added value for the outrageous amounts of "Puppy Chow" they consume 5-6 times a day, uncovered the ghastly menace while prowling the backyard and sniffing around where the cats normally like to 'take care of business'. "Well, no one is sure how something so horrific could make it to the heart of town in the first place" said a public safety official. "Whatever that thing is/was obviously relies on stealth and cunning in order to sow terror into the lives of innocent citizens" he said. "So, when these fearless heroes stumbled upon this crafty yet secretive troublemaker, their course of action was clear. Without a moments hesitation, all three of them descended on the unsuspecting interloper, thus unraveling its carefully planned schemes for mayhem and destruction. I think the whole Town owes these brave warriors a word of thanks - and any sort of table scraps that are available - like that strip of fat from a steak that everyone used to eat but now is carefully cut off in order to be all 'politically correct' and 'healthy'. These "town hounds' stepped up when other lesser, more 'lilly livered' creatures faltered and failed - so shamelessly rewarding them (as long as it is not with vegetables!), just seems fitting to me" he said.

All attempts to identify the terrible beast were thwarted because even the 'bravest of the brave' men in town would not go near the now lifeless creature to attempt a 'post-mortem', due to a crippling fear of the unknown - not to mention the almost unbelievable amounts of slobber and drool that cover the now-stilled fiend. "I ain't touching that thing! No way! That's just disgusting! said a rescue worker as he wearily left the scene to walk the two blocks to his house to grab his shovel so he could place the thing in the trash can once and for all. (special thanks goes to Sheri for bringing this situation to our attention)

Mar 10, 2009

Century West Engineering Continues To Revitalize Town In Spite Of Town's Own Best Efforts

In a bizarre set of circumstances that defy logic, common sense, Murphy's Law and almost every known cliché and mixed metaphor related to unusual events, Century West Engineering keeps making Lamont look good regardless of how much blatant incompetence, crushing ignorance, bumbling good intentions and 'good old boy' tomfoolery Lamont and the surrounding area throw in their path. "Well, being an elected official, I can safely say that no one is more surprised than me" said the mayor. "I mean we mean well and all, but being a small town in a largely rural district, it is not like we have to interface with the 21st century on a daily basis. Heck, we are lucky to rub shoulders with modernity two or three times a year, and that's if we're feeling spunky and over-reach our natural capacity by a factor of two or three, for Pete's sake!!!" he said. "So, needless to say, when it comes to things like infrastructure improvement and revitalizing core functions that make towns actually work, our supply of outrageous roadblocks, laughable 'work-arounds', hair-brained schemes, poor communications and a complete and total absence of team orientation and common sense is almost limitless. And this not only applies to the Town, but reaches out into organizations in the surrounding countryside, too! But in spite of that, Century West Engineering, represented by the likes of Dennis Fuller (the engineering 'Renaissance Man' of the operation) and Bryan Hicks (Brian, surely destined for greatness should he ever shake off his current string of unbelievable bad luck, sadly drew the short straw when names were being selected for this plum assignment and is now the superb engineering consultant/interface for Lamont - although after this he will be more than qualified to negotiate an end to the Arab-Israeli conflict or solve world hunger or something), somehow continue to pull Lamont's chestnuts out of the fire over and over. It's just kind of unreal, if you ask me" mused the mayor superstitiously while making hand gestures as if to ward off the 'evil eye'.

"I wish I had a dollar for every time I could honestly say 'okay, let's see Century West pull us out of THIS one!!' only to have to bonk myself on the forehead like that guy in the V-8 juice commercial when Century West somehow comes up with a solution to some vexing problem that faces a vast majority of small towns the world over" he stammered. "And all of these problems are not even of a technical nature, either. To do what they do and produce the sort of track record they have, they have to be one part NASA and one part boxing referee, with a healthy dose of Dr. Phil thrown in. I mean we are very lucky to have them and all, but I am beginning to doubt our natural ability to 'goof' things up at this point. That was always a source of pride, not only for the Town, but for the whole darn region! I'm just afraid that we're beginning to slip in our old age. That is kind of sad if you think about it. We have a lot of man-hours vested in that whole personae" he said despairingly.

Mar 6, 2009

Local "Fuddy-Duddy" Just Doesn't Think We Should Do That!

A local citizen, Mabel Bodine, 72, fabled matriarch of the Bodine farmer/rancher clan, long-renowned for her conservative nature and resistance to improvement and change of any kind, decided to throw her considerable weight behind the tried-and-true "do nothing" segment of the Lamont citizenry, late Tuesday. Although often hovering between complete and total lethargy and general unenthusiastic inaction, current events have caused her to move herself off of the well-worn fence and into a rare stand for a total cessation of all community-oriented activity whatsoever.

"Well, I cannot help but feel that change of any kind is just a bad thing" said the icon of inertia. "If the lazy, uninvolved people don't stand up and nip this crazy energy and activity in the bud, next thing you know the whole darn town will be sprucing up, making things better and generally creating a fuss all over the place. A large part of my self identity comes from justifying my personal failures by comparing myself to my surroundings, and if this Town improves my whole irrational excuse structure will topple over like that kitchen stool I never got around to fixing after the dadburn leg fell off in 1976" she said nervously. "I know on some level that my bold stand is a paradox - I mean it is so out of character for me to get involved in anything - but supporting the forces of inactivity just seemed sensible and prudent. Sometimes a person just has to take a stand for one's core beliefs, especially if by not doing so means that more activity might follow down the road. I darn near had a fit when they brought that 'no good' pavement in here - and who knows what other forms of devilry they are plotting over there!" she fumed - pointing disgustedly at the Town Hall with her ever-present cane made out of cow bones or something. "I still say that this town was perfectly all right without all those 'new fangled' streetlights cluttering up the place. And I drank bad water all my life and it never hurt me one bit - but oh no, we had to get some fancy new water system! Its crazy! That doggone Century West Engineering is just a bad influence - that's all there is too it. Sure, those engineers are smart and down-right 'dreamy'', but good looks and common sense are often strangers as we all know!"

Thankfully, one of the many activities that this group does not want to get involved in is voting, thus enabling the citizens who care about Lamont to elect officials with the mandate to actually get something done for a change.

Mar 2, 2009

Entire Town "Unimpressed" After Area Rancher Adopts "Monocle" As Way Of Exerting Social Dominance Over Peers

In an all too common insight into the fierce competitive social environment that area ranchers must survive in, local rancher Jed Bodine has resorted to wearing an affectation that, in his opinion, gives him that added air of sophistication and class that he needs to stay one step ahead of his rancher peers in the cutthroat social climate maintained by ranchers that have more than 500 cows. "Well, once you reach the magic number of 500 cows, the differences between individual ranch families pretty much blur into meaninglessness" said Bodine. "And given the natural rancher desire to look down on others and to be able to have some physical, outward sign of advantage and superiority, it just seemed logical to adopt an inefficient and cumbersome corrective lens that is indicative of 'old world' class, charm and snobbery. Plus, it gives the impression that I can do just as much work as the next guy with only one eye!" he said gleefully. "Of course, I can't see a darn thing but that is not the point, is it? What is important is not what I can actually do, but what others see me as doing - just like me going to that rancher church so people can see me acting all 'holier-than-thou'. Although the wife thinks I look like Winston Churchill or the Kaiser or something, it was still a stroke of genius, don't you think?" he beamed. "Just wait until "Old Man Snopes" hears about this! He'll spit his dentures right out into that vegetable soup he has to eat now that he has had his third triple by-pass! I just wish I could see that - but this monocle is just about worthless!!"

Sadly, the use of a monocle is only the latest in a long line of passive-aggressive ploys used across the region to "best' their fellow ranchers. Last year, several ranchers wore full tuxedos during round-up (rented, of course), adopted full grown Bengal tigers as house pets (which was none too popular with the herd!) and replaced the traditional 'baseball caps" with fetching yet awkward "silk top hats" that were indeed impressive but proved entirely unsuited for wearing while driving a tractor. (although one enterprising man installed a football helmet chin strap that seemed to improve things somewhat) Thankfully, there is no unnatural desire to compete against the citizens with fewer than 500 cows since they are obviously not a part of the 'cow aristocracy' and are below contempt in the first place. This last point is, at least, one thing that the 'rancher class' can all agree upon and could be used as a building block to begin the healing process and to stop the endless cycle of destructive competition that makes the Palouse a less than friendly place to live sometimes.