Jun 30, 2009

Local Man Suspected Of Weaving 'Latinisms' Into Casual Conversation - Suspicious Townsfolk Vow To 'Keep An Eye On Him'

Jeb Snopes, a local fixture in the long established yet only slightly tarnished Snopes ranching dynasty (some would say cabal or rabble) has been heard on several occasions weaving Latin expressions into his otherwise dull and lifeless conversational style - causing his listeners to suspect that some form of foreign influence is beginning to manifest itself into his otherwise muddled thinking and highly erratic (historically speaking) behavior. "Well, I was sitting back, griping about that dern coyote that has been vexing me for the last several years and voiced my frustrations and desire to end this unsatisfactory relationship (between the coyote and the man's calf population) in more or less salty terms when all of a sudden Jeb just piped up and said "we need to get an 'ad hoc' hunting party out there, I guess"" said the stunned Purvis Plum, 59, an area farmer/rancher, with hardly disguised mistrust and vexation. "Ad hoc? What in tarnation is that supposed to mean? Sounds like some sort of 'Commie" talk to me!" he stammered indignantly. "Then later on that day, as we were discussing the relative population density patterns of the highly industrious yet decidedly cantankerous badger population in north Whitman County, I am pretty sure he used the expression "ex post facto", although he could have been saying "I don't think so" - it was hard to tell because he had stuffed an enormous handful of my homemade 'deer jerky' into his mouth and it took him almost 5 minutes to swallow the mess, for Pete's sake. That boy eats like a dadburn badger, if you ask me! And that was my last bag of jerky from that deer I 'accidentally' hit with the truck last year on that lonely County road late at night when the game warden was tucked safely in bed!" said rancher Plum with a knowing wink. (coincidentally, his deer rifle was present in the gun rack at the time of the supposed altercation and the truck, thankfully, bore no lasting signs of the unfortunate collision - and either did the deer, come to think of it)

Although unconfirmed, rumors abound that Jeb, upon returning home after a day's work with the cows, frequently turns on PBS and watches those 'fancy educational shows" that so frequently pollute the local airwaves - as opposed to doing what any self-respecting rancher would do - leaf thru various gun magazines and whittle. (thankfully, rumor has it that he is particularly fond of those shows from England dealing with hotels and veterinarians or what not - so, at least he is not drawing his inspiration from one of those suspect countries like France or Belgium) "Well, he is getting those 'high fluting' ideas from someplace." said the aptly named Mabel Twitter, an area farm wife, the Town's premier gossip and renowned busy-body with regional aspirations. "It just ain't right to go weaving in some foreign language into normal American speech!! Not in the 'Good Old USA'!!! I wonder if we should call 'Homeland Security' or something? I know for a fact that all them terrorists on '911' spoke Latin or one of them unnatural languages with weird letters and punctuation and all of that! That whole dern mess over there is a bunch of Latin speakers, from what I heard!! And to think that PBS, paid for with our tax dollars, would be pumping that poison into our homes every night. Oh, mercy!!! What's next - the Cookie Monster trying to get us to buy foreign cars? Oh, this country is in a really bad way!!!" she bellowed while gazing at the Town's outrageously huge and impressive new flagpole recently erected in the park (along with a bunch of new trees!!) as if to draw strength from our cherished national symbol.

Jun 27, 2009

Mayor Sinks Even Further Into Depression After Seeing Aerial Photo Of Town

Although seemingly impossible, a local Mayor was laid even more low by a casual glance at a seemingly innocent and highly informative visual representation of the Town that he currently serves. The Mayor, freshly returned from the AWC annual conference in Spokane where he learned that the smallest designation for towns in the State is the dreaded and highly humiliating "Under 5000 Population" category, was still coming to grips with this obviously insurmountable hurdle that the Town of Lamont (pop. 101)(note to reader: This 101 figure is not an official census count - but is based off of various 'straw polls' that the town conducts, usually on weekends when someone is having an unusually large BBQ or something) has to leap in order to have at least a modicum of self-respect and positive self-image. Sadly, as the Mayor was milling around listlessly, pondering the obvious disadvantages of unleashing 50 times as many "Lamonters" (some would call them Lamontazoids) on the world just to get out of that most shameful of population categories, he happened to glance at a piece of paper that displayed an aerial photo of Lamont and this single event sent him over the edge into even more outrageous levels of smoldering self-pity, biting organizational inferiority, and that most undesirable of feelings for a mayor - 'population envy'.

"Well, I thought we were doing pretty well until I realized we were at the bottom end of the bottom end category for cities and towns in Washington" said the dispirited and now lifeless Mayor. "I mean, if the lowest of the low is 50 times bigger than we are - what the heck does that say about us? It is almost too mind-boggling to come to grips with in a state of complete sobriety, for Pete's sake!' he sniveled. "I am not sure what "city slicker' came up with those arbitrary and totally random categories, but I would love to march right up to them and just thank them politely for destroying any vestige of organizational self-worth that I had left - and believe you me I was running on fumes as it was!! You would think that they would throw towns like Lamont a bone and create a special category like "Pathetic Loser Towns With A Population Of 50 Or Fewer" just so we could have someone to tease and make fun of. But NOOOO! They had to make the lowest rung of the ladder 50 times as big as we are. Where do we go from here?" he moaned. "Oh, mercy!! Where do we go from here?"

Jun 25, 2009

Mike McCarty, Lamont's Favorite Tall Person, Is Selected To Head The AWC (Assoc. of WA Cities)

Amidst the roaring applause and knowing glances at the Lamont table at the "Speaker's Lunch" held at the Annual AWC Meeting in Spokane this week, years of preparation and planning were finally realized as the obviously qualified and extremely capable individual, Mike McCarty, was rocketed into the upper echelons of power within that organization - and finally Lamont's "Manchurian Candidate' was in a position where the town's plans for State domination could be realized at last. Although largely unknown or forgotten by most people with actual lives, Mr. McCarty, in an all-too-common gesture of grace and pity for the underdog, visited Lamont earlier this year to see for himself if a town so small and without obvious resources and management talent could indeed exist in the modern world - and because he felt that it was too easy for organizations like the AWC to focus on the larger entities at the expense of the smaller ones. So, Mike decided to pay Lamont a visit (which was, by the way, the biggest, most exciting event in Lamont since that unfortunate Mt. St. Helen's volcano eruption buried the town under tons of ash in the 1980's!!) to see what was what, after all. (cut and paste link to see previous story on Mike's visit to Lamont - http://lamont-wa.blogspot.com/2009/02/local-mayor-faces-own-worst-fears-in.html?showComment=1234226760000 )

Soon after Mike entered the Lamont Town Hall last February (and determined that the building doesn't even have a bathroom - which was unfortunate indeed after that long drive from Olympia!), Mike was lulled into a false sense of security with coffee and freshly baked "muffins" provided by Betty Stone (AKA - Comrade Betty) - a long time Councilperson and fellow counter-revolutionary. "Well, as soon as his defenses were down and we managed to give the impression that we were normal, our brainwashing techniques began in earnest" said an unnamed official close to the plot. "Before he knew it, he was surrounded by 5-6 heifers that were trained to moo constantly and breathe that warm, sweet breath into his face for hours on end. The noise (and humidity!!) can be overwhelming and serves to disorient 'City Folk" and thus make them putty in the hands of a skilled brainwasher! Nine times out of ten the average man will suffer a psychological breakdown at this point and will do and/or believe whatever we say - but Mike, unfortunately, was made of sterner stuff, so we had to resort to the unthinkable - farm/ranch aroma therapy. Needless to say, after several hours of this unsettling concoction of barn floor, chicken coop, and cattle shoot - to say nothing of the distinct odor of the ranch hands themselves, Mike's defenses were reduced to rubble and our indoctrination program could proceed unimpeded."

Once a person is properly prepared for brainwashing, the standard practice is to start off slow, so the Mayor began by repeating "Lamont has a larger population than Sprague" until Mike numbly repeated the phrase - although without any obvious conviction. As the hours progressed, increasingly more far-fetched concepts were slipped into Mike's subconscious like "Lamont has high-speed internet connectivity" and "Lamont citizens often shower more than once per week". These obvious falsehoods were harder to digest - but at this point the constant mooing (to say nothing of the warm, moist breath in his face) - coupled with the typical smells that the average farmer faces every day were so unsettling that Mike would agree to just about anything in order to breathe fresh air again and return to someplace where banjo music isn't always playing in the background. (no one has ever figured out where this creepy banjo music originates from, but it is present at almost every bizarre and inexplicable event in the town - kind of like the London fog in a Sherlock Holmes novel or something) "That is when I knew that all we had to do was bide our time (of which Lamont has an abundance) and Mike's obvious talents and professionalism would catapult him (and thus Lamont) into the very bosom of power within the State itself" said the Mayor, fiendishly rubbing his hands together like a demented sorcerer over some crystal ball or something. "Ahh, I just love it when a plan comes together!!" he said triumphantly while gazing fondly at the framed picture of Chairman Mao (the father of cattle-based brainwashing techniques) that so proudly hangs over the computer in the Town Hall.

Jun 23, 2009

Disasterous Stampede Averted By Rancher's 'Just-In-Time' Delivery Of Fresh Alfalfa

A massive herd backlash over decreased grain supplement portions and the outrageous amounts of manure left so thoughtlessly around the salt lick was narrowly averted this week when local rancher, Elmer Festoon, age 62, managed to get his tractor started (which some would say is an obvious indication of Divine intervention!) and delivered a huge alfalfa bale to the back pasture known as 'Grumbler's Glen", instantly quelling months of simmering anger and resentment on behalf of the herd.

The alfalfa, freshly harvested down by Steptoe and delivered to the Festoon spread just the day before as part of some 'feed for beef" barter transaction - effectively pacified the angry mob that had, by some accounts', begun to show the ominous signs of 'pre-stampede' behavior. "Well, I was retracing my steps looking for where I dropped my pouch of "Redman" chewing tobacco when I happened to glance up and saw a sight no rancher in his right mind ever wants to see" said 'Stinky' Snopes, the ranch's newest cow poke. "All I could think to do was run to the barn, bellowing to beat all, and warn the men that trouble was a'brewin'" said the brave yet decidedly malodorous ranch hand. "I just bought that pouch of chew and that is the last thing I needed was to have it trampled in the dust in some hellish 'mad dash to nowhere' by a bunch of disgruntled cows who don't appreciate a thing we do for them. All we ever do is slave, day in and day out, to make sure they are fat and happy - and this is our reward? Not many things in this world are as demanding and less appreciative as a dadburn cow! And hey, that tobacco cost me almost 4 bucks, with them new taxes and all!"

"Well, the herd has been fed up and ready to explode for weeks," said Sue Martin, an area animal behaviorist. "Cows are touchy and can hold a grudge, but when all that fresh, aromatic, utterly irresistible alfalfa showed up, it just no longer seemed so urgent to go galloping off in a blind panic, trampling down fences and getting farther away from the ranch - which suddenly didn't seem so bad, after all" she said. "Cows may be quick to anger and can fight dirty when provoked, but little gestures go a long way towards soothing their volatile emotions. All they ever really need to know is that someone, somewhere, really loves and cares about them. They are really quite sentimental when you get right down to it" she concluded tearfully.

Besides suppressing the overwhelming desire to cause uncontrollable chaos and mayhem, the alfalfa also served to placate the herd on a physical level - leaving many if not most of the bovines full and slightly drowsy. Insiders report that many heifer/calf pairs wandered off into the tall grass to take a nap - or at least to lay down for a while. Other herd members were heard cheerfully bellowing randomly or were seen frolicking and chasing each other for no apparent reason. "It was really kind of cute the way they forgot about their anger and just became cows again" said Stinky Snopes - before trudging off to get the shovel to clean the manure from around the salt lick like Mr. Festoon asked him to do last week. "I always love a good ending" he said, casually dabbing his suddenly moist eyes.

Ranch owner Elmer Festoon, who never wanted to be a rancher but was the dumbest of the 4 sons so, of course, was chosen to stay on the ranch and take over from his dad, "Old Man Festoon", said delivering the alfalfa was the right thing to do. "After 'hearing tale' that the herd was so unhappy, I wanted to make it clear to each and every cow how much they mean to us - especially with the price of beef going thru the roof and all," Festoon said. "Also, those cows I traded for the alfalfa were all on the cull list anyway, so it didn't cost me a dime, really" concluded the smug cheapskate - making a mental note to 'dress down' that 'no-good' Snopes kid for not following instructions in a timely manner and to remind him of the value of personal hygiene.

Jun 19, 2009

Town Braces For Worst As Local Man Sets Off To Become "The Elvis Of The Palouse"

Although seemingly impossible at this point, the Town of Lamont was actually genuinely shocked by the antics of one of its citizens after a local man, Jed Bodine, future heir of the Bodine farm/ranch concern, has thrown caution to the wind, good taste out the window, and has heaved all forms of self-respect and personal modesty onto the burning pyre of fleeting fame as he devotes his obviously abundant personal energy and largely depleted family fortune towards the quest to become the most popular Elvis impersonator in the Palouse. "Well, this is a free country - and with that freedom comes an inevitable level of bizarre and inexplicable behavior, I guess" said the down-trodden and jaded town Mayor. "Just when I thought we had stamped out that whole "hootenanny" craze that has periodically paralyzed the town, another even more insidious and menacing fad rises up like some sort of cheesy phoenix or something to take its place. Can't I go thru one week as mayor without some kooky behavior or crazy cultural manifestation threatening the very social fabric of the Town, for Pete's sake?" he said mournfully. "Every mayor's worst nightmare is to open up the front door and see a seething mob of dazzling, shiny, pastel-colored Elvis impersonators (the capes, belts and scarves are particularly frightening) all lined up with a song on their lips and town mischief in their hearts" he said. "And he doesn't look a thing like Elvis, even with those glued-on mutton chops! Oh, and that voice! Every time he greases back his hair, unbuttons his cape and begins singing "You Ain't Nothing But A Hound Dog" in the park, the coyotes for miles around just go wild! I don't know if they like it or want to scratch their own ears out or what, but it sure causes them to make an awful racket" he said. "And since when did Elvis play the ukulele? The whole thing is just so wrong!" he concluded stoically.

"Well, it puts a whole new and unfortunate slant on that classic song "Hunk-a Hunk-a Burning Love"" said an unnamed housewife/neighbor and good friend to "Mrs. Elvis", Gertrude Bodine. "I don't know about you, but when I remember Elvis, I remember the slim and trim one from the early years. I know my husband could stand to lose a few pounds too and that shiny polyester with sequins and glitter does stretch a great deal, but is that really a risk we, as a town, want to take? Even man-made fibers have their breaking point! Plus, I just can't help but think that Jed is trying too hard to capitalize on that whole late-1970's weight gain thing. That is just not a good memory!" she said thru pursed lips as if trying to dispel a really bad taste in her mouth. "Oh, and his poor wife. Sure, Gertrude went thru that whole "Coal Miner's Daughter" phase a few years back, but I thought we moved past that. But at least she could sing!" she concluded, furrowing her brow in obvious concern.

As of this writing, Mr. Bodine was sitting in the park, eating a peanut butter and banana sandwich (with mayo, of course) and practicing curling up the corner of his lip and perfecting the phrase "Thank you. Thank you very much". Jed, thankfully, declined comment for this article.

Jun 15, 2009

Local Mayor Gets All "Weak In The Knees" When Time Comes For Annual Inspection Of Top Of Water Tank

In what appears to be one sorry episode from start to finish, a local mayor made any number of excuses and prevarications when the time actually came to climb to the top of the 6-story high water tank on the highest hill in Lamont. Although these lame excuses ranged from "someone needs to make sure the ladder doesn't fall" to "hey, is that my phone ringing? (1/4 mile away!!)", insiders suspect that the aging mayor is developing a middle aged fear of heights and just can't come to grips with this natural (although unflattering) part of the aging process. "Well, we needed to go up to the top of the water tank to make sure the water access hatch was secure and that everything was in working order and 'ship-shape'" said an unnamed man who did not succumb to the panicky whims of fancy and bravely climbed the caged ladder to the top like some two-legged 'mountain goat' or something. "As we all got ready to climb up there, the mayor suddenly wandered off, mumbling something about some WSU weed control website and the need to check for noxious weeds growing up on the hill in order to protect the farmers from a devastating infestation or something" said the intrepid climber (actually a town councilman who likes to chip in) who, against all reason and the natural, innate desire for self-preservation at any cost, stayed up on top of the tower for over an hour taking publicity pictures after the work was done.

The water tank, planned and built by Century West Engineering (the Town's wonderful engineering firm) as part of the fantastic improvements they have made to the Town of Lamont, is a soaring structure of concrete and steel that looms above the town like some modern day "Tower of Babel" (or Dracula's Castle, depending on your point of view and comfort level with high, exposed places where any sudden gust of wind or slippery spot could theoretically send you plummeting to an inglorious, humiliating, arm-flapping demise!!) and provides breath-taking views of the beautiful countryside (to say nothing of the 82 psi of water pressure that the town enjoys - all courtesy of that mixed blessing - gravity) - although the mayor would not know this because his feet remained firmly planted on "terra firma" as he paced around the base of the giant structure, wringing his sweaty hands together and coming up with excuses for why he could not go up there under any circumstances - all for the greater good of the Town, of course.

"Stupid gravity! Why do things need to be so high for it to work?" moaned the Mayor. "Sure, we love our outrageous water pressure and we do have some of the purest drinking water in the State (it is worth a trip to Lamont just to see the beautiful, amazingly clever design of our new water system - all courtesy of Century West Engineering and the USDA, CDBG and other wonderful funding sources), but if those darn engineers at Century West were so smart, I just don't see why they could not have figured out a way to harness this wonderful power of nature in a less frightening, closer-to-the-ground sort of way! Sure, they are the best engineers anyone ever heard of, but the next time they do a project like this they should factor in a whole slew of intangible variables like human frailty, unnatural, unwarranted and often bizarre phobias and, of course, the preponderance of outrageously irrational human fear based on no actual, tangible threat at all into their otherwise excellent design plans" whined the Mayor.

Jun 11, 2009

Local Cat 'Less Than Pleased' At Recent Cat Litter Brand Change

A local feline, 'Spuds McKenzie", has been decidedly unsettled and moody after his owner, Purvis Bodine, age 32, decided to buy scented cat litter as opposed to the traditional, manly, 'no-fuss, no-muss', All-American brand of pure clay cat litter that any self-respecting relative of the lion and cheetah would be proud to relieve himself in. The cat, who now spends almost 20 hours per day outside, just sits on the back porch and either stares at his owner with hardly disguised disgust or actually walks over to an exposed grassless earth patch and begins digging (whether the cat actually has to go to the bathroom or not) when the owner wants to have some quality time together. "What the heck has gotten into that stupid cat?" bemoaned Purvis. "I got a raise at work and thought I would do something nice for my little buddy. The store had 'Wild Flower Potpourri' scented cat litter and I figured he would just love it - like he was in some big field filled with flowers like in the movie "The Sound of Music" or whatever" said the painfully misinformed, outrageously naive man who needs to have his head examined (after receiving a swift kick in the pants).

"Well, first off, naming a cat after a famous TV dog violates almost every known rule of cat ownership" said Dr. Susan Pinkerton, an area animal psychologist. "To begin a relationship with that sort of insult is the equivalent of getting a new wife and calling her "Lassie" or "Rin-Tin-Tin" or whatever. That alone is outrageously insensitive and I am sure goes a long way towards fueling that cat's natural feelings of isolation and betrayal" said the huffy, indignant, absolutely correct Animal Psychologist a bit too peevishly. "And when I heard that he subjected that poor cat to a cat litter change that basically altered the overall scent experience from one that is reminiscent of the game-filled Serengeti plains in Africa to one that is more in tune with a cheap brothel in some low rent district of Paris, it was all I could do to hold myself back from just smacking him upside the head a couple of times!! How could he be so stupid?" said Dr. Pinkerton.

Luckily, the poor judgment shown by Purvis in this case means that in all likelihood the poor man will bring this bad decision-making and lack of overall awareness of others to his job, thus forcing his boss to either remove him from his current position or at least reduce his pay back to a level where, historically, he actually did less damage to himself, his co-workers and to the firm - and thus Purvis will be forced to go back to the cheaper, less flamboyant, totally natural all-clay cat litter and never again be able to afford that astoundingly bad "scented freak show" cat litter that appealed to him so strongly during the 4 second decision-making process while in "Pets-Mart" several weeks ago.

Jun 8, 2009

Mayor Forced To Relive Terrors Of High School After Brief Phone Call To Town Engineering Firm

The Mayor of Lamont was thrown back in time to that awkward, gawky stage of life where the opposite sex was a perplexing, unsolvable mystery (like that has changed!), acne outbreaks were the perpetual source of angst and worry and the looming specter of high school algebra was the ever present guillotine blade poised above his head, just waiting for some creepy dude in a black mask to give the signal to drop it and end his meaningless and wayward existence before he even had a chance to grow out of that most uncomfortable of stages. The Town, seeking a solution to a challenging question related to the water delivery system, had the Mayor call Dennis Fuller, President of Century West Engineering and good friend to the Town. "Well, I got him on the phone and explained the situation as we understand it" said the Mayor with big blobs of Clearasil dabbed in his acne prone areas. "Once he got a good picture of the situation, he began talking about flow rates and constant variables and 'if A = B and B = C then A must = C" and that sort of thing" he said with a definite 'deer in the headlights', chalky-faced look of dread and impending doom. "Dennis is the best, but when he got into the part about the pump rate being constant if the tank level is constant and that if we just calculate pump run time and factor in the pumps' average output we could arrive at the actual water delivery amount (assuming our sample time is long enough to avoid the distorting effect of outliers and natural variations in water usage based on sudden changes in the weather), I immediately felt the pimples literally sprout from my face, I began biting my nails again, my pants became about 3 inches too short (it would appear that 'high-waters' were all the rage back then amongst the more discerning 'nerd set' of which the Mayor was a founding member) and I immediately became obsessed about why none of the girls in school like me when that Buster Bodine is so popular - and he doesn't even have all of his teeth, for Pete's sake! Oh, it was horrible" whined the Mayor in a high, squeaky voice that he hasn't used since his voice changed at age 16.

"Well, we have to hand it to that whole Century West crew" said an unnamed Councilperson. "First off, we feel bad that we have to use that math laggard Mayor of ours to be the one to ask the questions on our behalf, but they are all so smart and adept at separating the "wheat from the chaff" when it comes to diagnosing problems of an obscure nature that sorting thru the Mayor's long, rambling, largely incoherent explanations and descriptions is like child's play for them. Plus, once we finally found the Mayor hiding in his closet, mumbling something about "not being a math person" and got him to tell us what Dennis said, it all made really good sense. I am not sure what we would do as a town without Dennis Fuller and Bryan Hicks and that whole Century West Engineering team. Having them on our team is proof positive that you really don't have to learn math in High School as long as you have the really smart people on your side when you are an adult" he concluded smugly.

Jun 6, 2009

Local Man Relives Painful Childhood Trauma At Recent Town Dinner Party

A local farmer/rancher, Festus Bodine, age 59, suddenly began hyperventilating and stammering incoherently at a recent gathering when cooked carrots were placed on the table just as the chicken Parmesan was being pulled from the oven. This vegetable-related trigger event unleashed decades of pent up frustration and anger long suppressed under the steely fa├žade of an otherwise seemingly normal and solid citizen of good standing (by Lamont standards, that is). "Well, needless to say, we were all a little shocked at the sudden outburst!!" said an attendee at the dinner function. "The minute the baby carrots were placed on the table, a long stream of invective just spewed forth - and once the whole story came out, it really had nothing to do with carrots at all" he said. "I did not catch all of it since the suddenness caught me off guard and I was just trying to figure out what the heck was going on, but I guess the poor man has harbored deep seated resentment for his mom who, during his childhood some 40-odd years ago, tended to, like most Americans, cook vegetables until they were soft and mushy - thus destroying all food value and rendering one of the 4 major food groups "a living hell" for 10-year-olds across this great land" he said sympathetically. "Although details are still fuzzy, I guess a family staple was that somewhat dubious frozen concoction of peas, diced carrots and lima beans that were so popular at the time. He just kept droning on about hating carrots and peas his whole life because his mom's cooking technique rendered these two items limp and lifeless while this same 'over cooking" tended to make the lima beans hard, dry and chalky - and thus totally unsuitable for human consumption. I just think that the discontinuity of cooking several vegetables in the same pot for the same amount of time - and two of them turning to mush and the third becoming a dry, chalky nightmare just overwhelmed his formative understanding of how things worked. The poor man/child was confused - and this confusion led to anger and resentment that has lasted for all these decades. It was really very painful to watch, to be sure. Let's just hope he got it all out of his system!" concluded the diner who could go on for days about the moral unsoundness of Brussels sprouts.

"Oh, the anger I still feel at the thought of those horrid lima beans breaking apart in my mouth and draining every last bit of moisture (and thus making it darn near impossible to swallow) is oftentimes overpowering" said Festus. "First off, why anyone would mix two perfectly good vegetables with something so dissimilar and disgusting as the lima bean is beyond me - but they did. I think my family ate them more than most, but I still remember eating at my best friend's house and dreading the arrival of that evil medley of vegetables - because in order to be polite I had to eat them there without complaint. Even their dog would spit them out - leaving a pile of lima beans under the table right by my chair. They never said anything to me, but I am pretty sure his mom had to know what was going on at some point. The dang dog wouldn't even eat them!!! That says volumes, if you ask me! How can something become harder and chalkier the more it is cooked? That is just so wrong!" he bellowed, placing his hand over his racing heart in an attempt to calm himself and avoid some sort of stroke or seizure or whatever. "I know I have been unfair in my continued hatred of cooked carrots and peas, but once a person associates one thing with another, separating them into individual components and appreciating the relative value of each and judging them on their own merits is easier said than done. I have wasted a large portion of my life living in fear of the common lima bean - and thus missed out on many satisfying meals that included peas and carrots. It is really quite tragic if you think about it - but that childhood memory was so painful that there was really no other option for me, I guess." he concluded.

Jun 3, 2009

Whitman County Strikes AGAIN!!!

The Town of Lamont, nestled in a beautiful corner of Whitman County, WA, was once again given a reason to be thankful that, thru sheer chance and happenstance, they were blessed to be under the umbrella of such an outstanding, caring, professional county government that is really a model for how counties should operate. This latest example of Whitman County exceeding all known expectations involves an almost unbelievable program where a County employee arrives on site with a wood chipper and obliterates outrageous piles of branches and twigs that otherwise, over time, would cover the entire town and render travel of any kind darn near impossible. Tim Moran, one of the sharpest young men any of us have met in a while (our experience tells us that the overall quality of the Whitman County employees, especially that unbelievable Sheriff's Department, are well above the norm) was the point person for the operation and demonstrated a professional 'safety first' attitude, showed a strong and measured work ethic (working with old, fat guys always needs to be taken into consideration when you are a young 'whippersnapper' like Tim) and a positive, happy, solution-oriented attitude that just made the whole enterprise a whole lot of fun. (especially for the Mayor who seemed to spend an inordinate amount of time at or near the garden hose while the chips were actually flying)

"Whoa... If I had a dollar for every night I woke up in a cold sweat contemplating the possibility that our fair town was situated just a few miles over and in another county, I could afford to quit cutting my own hair, for Pete's sake!" said the obviously contrite and thankful Mayor. "We are so blessed to be under the thoughtful management of the Whitman County government, and cannot say enough about the services they provide and the common-sense, can-do attitude they bring to the table. Take this wood chipper program for example. In small towns like Lamont, little problems can become 'show-stoppers' in a hurry. Without the wood chipper program, the town would have had to resort to raising herds of beavers to just gnaw away at the unsightly stuff day in and day out, all year round. But anyone who has ever been downwind from a herd of beavers will quickly realize that that can be downright unpleasant, to say the least. Plus, we have several citizens with wooden legs, and that is just a recipe for disaster." he shuddered. "So, once again we are thankful for that whole Whitman County team and are just glad that our Town founding fathers, when they collapsed in an exhausted heap all those years ago, just didn't have the energy to stagger a few more miles to the north or west - and when they founded the Town, they did it in Whitman County. We owe them a lot" he sniffed, furtively wiping away a tear.

Jun 2, 2009

Town Unveils Plans For New "Century West Pavilion" To Be Built In Park

In a bold attempt to capture the very essence of the "Lamont Experience", the intrepid Town of Lamont unveiled their plans for putting a cover over the fire pit in the park so that it can enjoy year round use and provide even more outrageous levels of satisfaction to our discerning park visitors. "Well, when you think of Lamont, you think of class, sophistication and the cutting edge of the cultural experience, so we could not just build any old cover over our aging and often neglected fire pit" said the Mayor. "And given our outstanding relationship with Dennis Fuller and our town engineering firm, Century West Engineering, we just felt that something special was in order, especially since the Council decided to name the new structure the "Century West Pavilion" in honor of the fantastic improvements they have spearheaded in the Town" he said.

"So, needless to say, our design review committee had a huge job of sorting thru our options - which was no easy task given that architecture is a physical, multi-dimensional representation intended to capture the essence of the very culture that produces it. That rare blend of form and function, dovetailed in with the verve and spunk that Lamont has in such abundance was no easy task, indeed" said the Mayor, once again blathering incoherently as is his unfortunate custom. "And given that we became deadlocked between the current design and one that was an exact replica of the Eiffel Tower (that design had obvious advantages given the need to remove smoke from the population at large while still allowing room to grill burgers), I, as Mayor, had to make the tough call and serve as the tie breaker. I know there are any number of "second-guessers" and "Francophiles" who will grumble for a while - especially since Lamont is known as the "Paris of the Palouse" - but that is why they pay me the big bucks, I guess" he said. "Leadership has its rewards - but also its burdens" he stammered before venturing over to the park to move the sprinklers before the park becomes brown like last year. "And, now that we will have a covered structure in the park, maybe our dream of competing with "The Gorge" for the big name entertainment talent will finally be within our grasp. Plus, the 'Lamont Ballet Company' will now have a new place to perform, assuming the mosquitoes are not too bad, that is" he concluded introspectively.