Jul 30, 2009

Town Passes Resolution Condemning France After Metric System Snafu Causes Major Town 'Brouhaha'

As if they needed another reason, the Town of Lamont declared that they officially hate one of the major countries in Europe because, many decades ago, they created an integrated system of unit measurement (that cleverly meshed length, weight, temperature and volume in a way that only a country that loves socialism and lays around all day long drinking wine and eating stinky cheese could ever do!) that is different from the one used in America and that is also not used by every country with a lick of sense in the whole doggone world! The issue arose after a simple comparison was made between the amount of water billed out to customers and the electronic reading at the pump itself. "Well, there was a pretty big difference between what we were billing for and the total water we assumed was being pumped from the ground - and being that this is the State of Washington, a whole lot of people got very excited about it" said the Mayor who just recently figured out that there were actually 16 ounces in a pound and not just 12. "We had every local 'Chicken Little' and hand wringing ninny within a 5 mile radius screaming to bring in a plumber and dig until we found the leak. The hysteria was really quite overwhelming" he said. "So, as is my nature, I did the only thing I could think to do - call Century West Engineering and pathetically plead (okay, it was much more like full-blown begging last seen when 'walking the plank' was all the rage in some circles) for some sort of miraculous delivery from a vexing problem that could bankrupt the town while the only proposed solution (from the 'Chicken Littles') could still not solve the actual riddle of the 'missing water'!!" he said contritely. "So, when all hope is gone, we know we can call Century West and things just seem to work out right! It happens all the time." he said.

"Well, as it turned out, somehow the actual computerized output display was capturing 'liters' (whatever they are!) and not gallons - a perfectly fine measurement unit that made this country great!" said an unnamed official loosely associated with the Town's water delivery system. "Someone must have been up there pushing buttons like a drunken madman or deranged 3-year-old on a sugar high or something and got the thing on the dadburn metric system or some such nonsense! And as the wicked banshee of Fate would have it, the symbol for the 'liter' (or as the stupid French spell it - 'litre') is the lower case 'L' - which looks amazingly like the number 'one' (#1) - so this whole time we have been carrying the actual water delivery amount to a level of precision that is not only incorrect (example 10.9 versus 10.91) and missed out on the fact that we were actually measuring liters and not gallons - and as any snail-eating, beret-wearing 'Frenchman' will tell you (if he is not too busy retreating from the Germans at the time!)- there are 4.54609 liters in the proven, trusted, tried-and-true, All-American gallon - so we thought we were pumping a lot more water than we actually were."

For his part, the (heroic?) Mayor is still frantically thrashing around in search of a 'saboteur' ('This had to be an inside job - someone I once trusted with the blind faith of the innocent has betrayed me! - I can just feel it!' he said with staggering levels of largely justified although painful-to-watch paranoia - although the list of people with a key to the pump house is actually quite small - given that there are in fact only 2 keys)- (Plus, the word 'saboteur' is of French origin too, which makes the task all the more ironic), but as of this writing no suitable culprit has been located. Century West, for their part, sent out a technician who made the adjustment to the display screen (and he had grace enough not to comment on the embarrassing - to say nothing of the less-than-worldly (dare we say ignorant?) origins of the problem!) and now everything is hunky-dory, happy-ever-after and all of that - and the Town did not bankrupt itself by digging dry holes all over the place in the fine tradition of Don Quixote with his windmills (Don Quixote was a Spaniard, by the way, and not a Frenchman - which somehow makes this literary reference even more satisfying!) and the Town of Lamont lives to fight another day in spite of themselves! Thanks Century West!

Jul 28, 2009

World-Class Area Hypochondriac Vindicated After Contracting Rare Summer Cold

Erma Snopes, 74, matron of the only slightly tarnished and disreputable Snopes farm/ranch cabal and an outrageous worry-wart, martyr and aficionado of imaginary illnesses called every person she knew (and several she didn't - given that she is a notoriously bad phone dialer) after visiting the emergency room for the 3rd time this month (and the 26th time this year alone!!) and receiving the sobering news that there was every possibility that she has contracted what is known in the 'non-medical community' as 'the common cold'. Although doubtful of the limited and less-than horrific diagnosis, (it could at least have been the Swine Flu!) Erma is just thankful that she can report that there is every possibility that she has an actual virus and that her sniffles and scratchy throat are not the enthusiastic imaginings of an over-active narcissist with an all-consuming persecution complex. Given that what is so casually referred to as the 'sniffles' and a 'scratchy throat' are common symptoms of almost every hideous tropical disease known to man and that this set of symptoms is the perfect cover for a new 'killer virus' designed by the government to reduce the number of Republican voters in an increasingly liberal nation, Erma was never one to 'look a gift horse in the mouth' and is happy to milk the under-diagnosed affliction for all it is worth.

"Well, although I feel certain that this latest setback is the onset of lymphatic cancer or at least a new strain of the Ebola virus, just the mere fact that a man with an actual medical degree confirmed my worst fears and that my body is being attacked by disgusting, life threatening viruses is just wonderful and that 'medical ruling' will allow me to silence my future critics so that everyone will take me seriously the next time I demand sympathy for a future case of 'Yellow Fever' or a mutated version of the '1918 Spanish flu' - assuming my body can summon the strength to fight off this latest scourge, that is. No one took me seriously when I caught the Bubonic plague in 2007 or when I worked in the garden for too long and was certain that I had contracted spinal meningitis, given that my back was so sore the next day - but now I have actual medical proof! But first I have to summon the inner strength to subdue this unknown and menacing virus - which is all the more difficult given that that mosquito truck comes around once a week, our town water is not distilled, Chinese pollution rains down on us from the 'jet stream' and the television emits radio waves that kill white blood cells. I would stock up on orange juice, but most of that comes from Brazil now and all that smoke from the burning rain forests has even rendered that remedy a potential poison. Oh, what will I do?" she bellowed.

Erma's husband, 'Skeeter' Snopes, 74, who has successfully feigned deafness for the last 14 years, nodded sympathetically as he took his wife's hand and lead her to her sick bed where there is a better than even chance that she will fall asleep so that he can get some peace and quiet for a change. Ironically, 'Skeeter' finds himself fantasizing all too frequently about contracting one of the almost limitless number of diseases and afflictions that his wife lays claim to on a weekly basis just so that someone would pay attention to him for a change, although his wife would not be there to provide his care given her unnatural fear of contracting whatever it is that he had - thus giving him some small reprieve from the daily grind of new crises and/or life shattering calamities that have so profoundly marked his married years and giving him the freedom to actually watch a TV show that is not medical in nature and/or allow him to actually read a book that has nothing to do with rare contagions, home cures and/or folk remedies from a bygone era, for Pete's sake!

Jul 24, 2009

Survey Results Show Town's Favorite Female Name Is "Nettie"

After sorting thru literally 1000's of names in over a dozen languages, the Town of Lamont concluded unanimously that the best overall female name, regardless of culture or age bracket, is that respected (yet highly under-utilized!) American classic "Nettie". Although no one is quite sure if the name 'Nettie' is a stand alone name, as is the case with a 'Richard' or a 'Betty' or if it is a nickname for some other even more impressive and regal sounding name - like 'Peggy' is a substitute for 'Margaret' - but this uncertainty and confusion didn't seem to dampen enthusiasm for what was, by all accounts, the odds on favorite from the start.

"Well, believe you me, names are important and if you are saddled with a bad one it can haunt you your whole life - like the looming threat that starving coyotes pose to a fat, lazy, three-legged rabbit! You learn to live with impending doom around every corner" said Gertrude Stinglehoffer, an unfortunate victim of the rare but doubly devastating 'first and last name' curse that affects almost 12% of the population at large. "I am not sure I will ever forgive my mother for insisting, after 46 hours of labor (and against the better council of my father who was later driven to the bottle!), in naming me something that was even clunky and awkward back in its prime - the late 1800's. She was so angry and deranged after suffering for so long (or that is the story she told years later - usually with a knowing wink) that the only way she felt she could pay me back with 'equal coin' was to name me something horrid and outdated. I mean, come on - a measly 46 hours of motherly discomfort versus a lifetime of anxiety and dread every time I have to make reservations or introduce myself to someone new. That's just not right!" Gertrude said with more than her fair share of righteous indignation. "When I have to introduce myself to someone new and I say that my name is Gertrude, you can just see them shrink back - as if some disease or something from the 1890's will go leaping off of me and send them to the emergency room in convulsions! It's just a name. I am not a bad person!" she said despairingly.

"Oh, growing up I would have killed for the name 'Nettie'! Well, come to think of it, I can think of 1000 names I would have killed for, but 'Nettie' is so nice and gracious sounding. A person with the name 'Nettie' is the type of friend you would want to have over once a week for tea. It is a serious name - but not formal or stuffy. You can imagine a 'Nettie' being a great gardener and being able to fly-fish for salmon with a baby lodged on her hip or something. Ninety-six percent (96%) of people who wake up from a 7-10 year coma open there eyes and see a person named 'Nettie' sitting patiently by their bedside, bible in hand (usually turned to the Old Testament), praying for such an event. It is a wholesome name yet one that allows room for fun and mischief. When you think of Gertrude - you think of mothballs and antiques that the children are not allowed to play with - and long black dresses and having to have perfect posture or else your bitter shrew of a grandmother would confine you to your room in a vast Victorian (think dark, dank and drafty) mansion until you learned to walk like a proper lady" she droned on frightfully - providing a classic Webster's Dictionary definition of TMI (too much information!!).

"Nettie is a great name. I am so glad it won. But I am really glad that we did not have to decide on the worst name. That is when you find out who your real friends are" she whispered wearily while motioning for her daughter 'Eleanor Louise' to stand up straight and bring her a glass of water - and not ice-cold water like last time since any caring daughter would surely know that ice water, if consumed too quickly, can lead to heart palpitations and death. "And anyway, half the fun of being a mother is passing down decades of neuroses and cultural abominations to your daughter(s)!" she said gleefully. "Its a mother-daughter thing that stretches back to when Eve, right after getting booted out from the garden of Eden for not following the most basic of instructions, named her 2nd daughter 'Tyrannosaur' (a fact thankfully not recorded in the bible for obvious reasons!)", she concluded sweetly if somewhat disingenuously. (Note to readers: The Town of Lamont has nothing against the name 'Gertrude' - and all statements pertaining to that name in this article reflect the views of Gertrude herself (and she should know!!) and do not necessarily represent the views of the Town or the collective citizenry at large. We apologize if any 'Gertrudes' were offended in any way)

Jul 22, 2009

Local Star Athlete Sidelined After Tragic Injury

The Town of Lamont's dreams of reflected glory and world-wide recognition were dashed on the cruel rocks of Fate late Tuesday when their chosen champion, "Sweet Pea", a 2 year old area heifer, had to withdraw from the much anticipated "Cow Olympics" after bruising a hoof or straining a tendon or something while in training for the highly competitive and ruthlessly cutthroat '200 meter dash to the saltlick" that is considered by many to be the premier event of bovine prowess and athleticism. "Well, I had her training out by the creek (pronounced crick) and she was giving it all she had - just straining to beat all I ever seen, (udders were flying everywhere!) when out of no where some dadburn badger came boiling out of the rocks and spooked her!" said Festus Martin, an area rancher and professional bovine trainer. "Well, it ain't like badgers and cows are good friends or nothing, so Sweet Pea just assumed that a charging badger had less than honorable intentions and attempted to run off the trail in a blind panic where she must have struck her dern hoof on a rock or something. When she came limping back onto the trail that leads back to the barn, we both knew that our dreams for a gold medal and world-wide fame were gone. She just looked up at me with those sad, cow-brown eyes as if to say 'Sorry coach. I let down the team'" he said, wiping away a tear. "Oh, the agony of defeat! If we could have just caught that on film, however, we could have run that on all those commercials for the "Cow Olympics" like that skier guy who fell off that big ski jump and just tumbled like a rag-doll or whatever. I must have seen that 1000 times if I seen it once" he said reflectively after gaining a hold of himself. "With the royalties from that clip alone I could afford that dream house right next to 'Dollywood', for Pete's sake!"

The Town, well-versed in almost every conceivable form of failure and rejection, is taking this latest twist of the world's cruel knife very badly. "Well, I have always said that we were cursed" said the deflated, now-spiritless Mayor. "I just wonder if the whole doggone town is built on some sort of voodoo burial ground or something" he said dejectedly while lowering the flag to half-mast (for the 7th time this year alone!). "Just once you would think that we could succeed at something, for Pete's sake! Is that too much to ask? It would appear that even our cows are jinxed now! Oh, when will we be delivered from this vortex of failure? When will the fickle finger of Fate quit thumping us on the forehead? Oh, when will all this madness stop and sheer random chance allow us to succeed even in some small way??" he concluded pathetically while curling himself into the fetal position in the center of the Town Hall office (which allowed him to notice that the carpet hadn't been vacuumed in quite a while - thus increasing his rising feelings of hopelessness, despair and a complete and total lack of control over any aspect of the town).

Jul 20, 2009

Plans Unveiled For New "Light Rail" Mass Transit System In State's 2nd Smallest Town

After spending almost 48 hours in the unnaturally alluring yet shockingly liberal bastion of Portland, Oregon - a local mayor returned to the Palouse with vigor, vitality, renewed zeal and no shortage of hair-brained schemes for bettering all of mankind and setting the scales of social justice right once again - one small, struggling, battered town at a time - with Lamont (pop 101) as the test bed for this global transformation. "Well, when I went there for a conference I had a few free hours before it started to just mill around and breathe in the fetid breath of liberalism, so I figured 'when in Rome', you know?" said the now starry-eyed mayor with a 'Yes We Can' button pinned to his brand new multi-colored (llama hair) poncho hand-made in South America by an indigenous tribe struggling against the evils of globalization (made from all natural 'earth friendly' materials and dyes, of course). "The place I was staying at was right by a major highway that just so happened to have a light rail component built adjacent to it. When I saw the rail cars lumber by, almost all empty except for some guys in conductor uniforms, I began to see the wisdom of huge governmental programs that provide no practical value whatsoever and address problems that are manufactured by a government/media mafia-like cabal that is primarily devoted to sustaining itself at the expense of the country as a whole and realized that Lamont was largely missing the boat in this regard" he gushed enthusiastically. "I saw that I was dropping the ball and I felt shame."

"Sure, cramming outrageous government-sponsored 'boondoggles' down the throats of a semi-informed citizenry has its challenges, especially in towns like Lamont that are not made of money (and that doesn't even have its own grocery store!!). And given that Lamont is so decidedly rural and that the cows outnumber people by about 100-to-1, just the sheer weight of numbers pointed me to the funding solution. (that decision was eased by the fact that cows don't vote!) By combining several themes so popular these days - global warming, destruction of the environment and people's natural aversion to things that smell really bad, we hit upon the novel idea of taxing the natural methane (a suspected greenhouse gas) output of the local cattle population (cattle 'emissions', although a less than glamorous conversation topic in some polite circles, is indeed deemed a major problem by some in the environmental movement - usually among hardcore vegetarians!) - and if push comes to shove (given the decrease in normal tax revenues due to the recession), we can strap those 'new-fangled' monitoring devices on the farmers/ranchers themselves - which will solve another of the Town's major problems!" said the mayor while fussing with his 'worry beads' he bought from a Portland hippie who said they were once blessed in a mountain temple in Tibet by the Dalai Lama himself. "So, if the Town mandates that all cows (and selected citizens?) wear the 'tried-and-true' monitoring device - the 'Methane-O-Meter 2000', Lamont would be able to monitor actual greenhouse emissions right at the source and tax them accordingly - thus providing a geyser of ready cash so the town could fund the 'light rail' project! It's just beautiful in its simplicity!" he stammered. "And I always thought those 'carbon credits' were stupid!!! Who looks stupid now?? Al Gore is a genius!" (On a serious note, taxing greenhouse gas emissions from livestock is currently being considered in DC - so this story is not completely off in left field. At the Lamont blog we pride ourselves on reporting the facts, regardless of how 'off-putting' or uncomfortable they may appear to the uninitiated. So, when you need the cold, hard, often shocking facts about life in the 21st century (to say nothing of the 19th!)- you can trust the Lamont blog to give it to you straight without all the fluff and nonsense you get from the other big news sources that so jealously covet our cutting-edge, well-above-average readership!) (yes, that was a shameless plug!!)

"Well, we are farmers/ranchers and this 'cow tax' would directly affect our 'bottom line', but if it could in some way help my husband with his 'little problem', then I am all for it" said Judy Brister, 39, a local farm wife with an unfortunately overly sensitive nose. "I don't care how often I alter the dinner menu or work over-the-counter products like "Bean-O" into his food, nothing seems to help! (rumor has it that her 'Bean-O Brownies" are well above the norm). So if we have to get the full power of the government behind this effort in order to be successful, then that is just one sacrifice that I am willing to make!! I mean, we have not had company in our house that stayed for more than 5 minutes in the last 16 years. That is really cramping my social life and the lives of the kids. Is it too much to ask for them to have school friends over once in a while? Who cares about the cows, we have a national emergency right here in my own home!!!" she bellowed while grabbing handfuls of her own hair with both hands and jerking her head back and forth violently as a sign of no small amount of cumulative frustration and angst. "Oh please! Someone help us! Please!" she begged pathetically.

For their part, the cows appear to not care 'one wit' about any of the larger global implications, given that they have an average IQ someplace between a cabbage and a chipmunk, but are only hoping that the "Methane-O-Meters" come in bright, neon colors that, when strapped to their nether regions, will allow for the proper expression of their respective personalities and only ask (or was it a demand?) that the boxes themselves not be made out of actual leather. (which seems reasonable, all things considered!) As for Lamont's 'Light Rail' system, this project may yet prove to be a smashing success (repeat travelers as a percentage of total population), given that the angry, bitter, 'mad-at-the-world' types that currently drive up and down the streets of Lamont trying to draw attention to themselves are by their very nature quite lazy, so the train might allow them to still tour the town (back and forth endlessly!!) while giving their fellow citizens the 'stink eye' without actually going to the trouble of getting behind the wheel of a vehicle that is on its last leg anyway and needs to be sent to the junk heap along with all those appliances and furniture they have so lovingly stored in their yards.

Jul 14, 2009

Local Wiener Dog Basks In Glory After Chasing Reprobate Deer From Unprotected And Vulnerable Front Yard

A local wiener dog, alternately known as 'Honey Bear', 'Bear-Bear' or more often than not "You Little #$@%" was seen strolling the grounds of her domain late Tuesday - walking a little taller than normal (if that descriptor can be used for a wiener dog - somehow that seems like an oxymoron to me) and with an air of confidence and bravado not seen in Lamont since Jebediah Lamontowitz first settled the territory after his last mule went lame and the poor, broken, defeated man just gave up and laid down on the side of the trail to die (thankfully for us he was even unsuccessful at that - along with being unsuccessful at love, wealth, happiness, gambling, genetics and, of course, personal hygiene) thus beginning the long, slow, almost sadistic decline into what is now known as the second smallest town in the state - the humble berg of Lamont, WA - 99017. (A TV show called '99017' would be just about as far as you could get from the hit TV show '90210' - unless I missed those episodes about poaching deer and driving around in a big circle all night long, hoping someone would come outside so you could drive past them and give them the 'stink-eye' while not waving - thus exerting dominance over them in some sort of primitive, passive-aggressive sort of way!)

"Well, I was out in my yard at dusk in my "Daisy Duke' shorts and 'Bippy-top' in order to see if the mosquitoes would attack me so I would have a pretense to go storming down to the Mayor's house to complain about the sorry state of his 'so-called' administration when all of a sudden I saw several does and a small buck go darting across Garfield Street in the direction of our fine Middle School" said Erma Blancher - a local para-educator and town curmudgeon (editorial note: Can a woman be a curmudgeon or is that strictly a 'male thing'?) "Anyway, as I watched those graceful creatures bound away with obvious ease, my eye was drawn to a subtle movement in the grass just about ankle high - and when this unknown force of nature broke free of its earthly confines and darted into the neighbor's driveway, I saw what looked like some kind of Subway sandwich on legs or something moving at what was, by all accounts, a less than impressive speed. (it was obviously sacrificing speed in order to keep up that ear splitting yapping that would have emptied the cemetery if Lamont had one) said the gloomy grouch who has a hand in our children's education and who, sadly for her, did not receive a single mosquito bite due to the fine work of John Sypher and Kynda Browning and the rest of the Tekoa 'mosquito-busting' team.

The dog (actually half Chihuahua and half wiener dog - thus proving once again that Chihuahua genes, thankfully, are by and large recessive in nature and easily stamped out of any self-respecting 'gene pool'), after breaking all known 'wiener dog world records' for continuous running (the distance was measured at slightly less than 11 meters - breaking the previous record by 9 inches!), slowly sauntered back to the house where it immediately collapsed on the couch and slept for the next 14 hours - as if trying to minimize its obvious feat of bravery and physical endurance. (wiener dogs are by nature a humble breed and shun the spotlight). The deer, for their part, were only passing thru on their way to the Mayor's apple trees where his first good crop in four years is coming along nicely and is hanging low for ease of access. No injuries were reported by either party - but neither antagonist appears eager to renew the altercation at this point.

Jul 13, 2009

Crazy 'Whole Bible' Following 'Israelites' Descend On Town For Pentecost - Area 'Pick-And-Choose' Bible Followers Up In Arms!

In a scene straight out of the religious wars in Europe in the 1500's (or, given that it is Lamont - the Hatfields and McCoys a few centuries later) - the tenuous 'religious' balance of the Town was laid on its head after a group of devout believers came to town to celebrate one of the festivals laid down in a part of the bible that a vast majority of modern Christians show little regard for - the misleadingly named and often completely ignored 'Old Testament'. "Well, half the fun of being a modern Christian is picking and choosing what part of the bible you have to follow" said an unnamed regional 'church-goer' who has been darkening the door of a church for the last 57 years but has very little knowledge of the scriptures that Jesus and all the disciples used - given that the so called "New Testament" had not been written at the time. "Sure, we like to say that we believe in the 'whole bible', and really like the parts where we get to say 'tisk tisk' at people for behaviors that we have not been caught doing yet, but as far as following the whole thing - that is just a little too much to expect, really" he said piously. "Sure, we meet on Sunday although the 4th Commandment clearly states that the "Sabbath" is the 7th day of the week and starts at sundown Friday and goes until sundown Saturday - but that would really cut down on our weekend personal 'fun' time - and plus, that is something that only those crazy groups do. If the Lord wanted us to keep the Sabbath holy, He would not have put college football on that day. I mean, come on - use your head" he said reprovingly.

"So, any part of the bible that we do not like, we can just say that that part was 'nailed to the Cross' and it is like some sort of 'get out of Hell free' card or something. It is really kind of nifty if you think about it. Sure, we like those parts of the Old Testament about tithing (that is one of our favorites) - and not stealing because we are comparatively rich - oh yea, and that part about 'smiting one's enemies' is a good one - but when it comes to most of the other parts of the 'Old Testament' - well, we can pretty much make up our own minds on those on a case-by-case basis and do what we want to do anyway. Who would want to belong to a religion where you didn't make up your own rules as you went along? That would be silly!" he concluded with a wily, knowing chuckle.

These troublemaking, apple-cart overturning, gravy-boat spilling Israelites or Hebrews or whatever they are eagerly accept Ephraimites, Jews, Christians, and Gentiles that are all seeking to find a body of end time disciples of Messiah that are following His Word and not man's traditions. "What? I didn't understand a word you just said" said the traditional church-goer who loves nothing more than watching college football all day long with a big bag of pork rinds and a quart of lukewarm buttermilk. These so-called 'Israelites" embrace the whole bible (no picking and choosing) and preach out of the Torah (first 5 books of the bible) each week and tie it into the Prophets, Wisdom Literature and the 'New Testament' - thus weaving the entire bible together into its intended coherent whole. Even more shocking, they also observe Yahweh's Appointed Times (Holy Days) (where the word 'holiday' comes from) and do not follow the Roman Sun Calendar or Satan's holidays (what do the pagan fertility symbols of rabbits and eggs really have to do with Jesus rising from the dead, anyway?). "Well, I just have no idea what any of that means - but if I did I can assure you I would be dead set against it!" said the devout Huskies fan/church elder. "This is America and in America we gather Easter eggs and eat chocolate rabbits to celebrate Jesus rising from the dead!! And sure, 'Sunday' was the traditional day for worshiping the pagan "Sun God" of Rome - but what does that matter?? What do these people have against the sun, for Pete's sake? We just don't need a bunch of whole bible believers running around stirring up that sweet deal we carved out for ourselves where we are the pious ones and everyone else is below us where they belong. Can't they just go away and leave us to our bacon-lettuce-tomato sandwiches and our smug self-satisfaction? And it just ain't American to try to ruin college football, either. That's all I got to say on the matter!" he said before storming off in a huff, waving his bible (the first two-thirds appeared to be brand new) in the air like a war club or something.

As of this writing, no violence has been reported (although several 'Whole Bible Types' report getting the 'stink-eye' on more than one occasion) and none of the Israelites or Hebrews or whatever they are have been excommunicated, burned at the stake, placed on the rack or secured to the public stocks (the stocks are often conveniently located within tomato throwing distance from the typical church door) - but there has been a marked increase in tongue clicking and hand wringing in some traditional church circles (and a whole lot less hand waving as they glumly drive home after leaving church on Sunday) as the 'pick-and-choosers' just hope that this whole inconvenient reality check will just go away so they can go back to mowing their yards and watching football on the Sabbath, ignoring 2/3rds of the bible and eating pork chops wrapped in bacon 3-4 times a week.

When asked for comment, the "Israelite" spokesperson just said to look at the last verse in Judges. Sadly, (or thankfully, depending on which side you are on) this verse is also in the often neglected 'Old Testament' so it is largely unknown to a vast majority of modern Christians and can thus be 'nailed to the Cross', too, if the need arises.

Jul 11, 2009

Local "Loner" Cow Feels Oppressed, Smothered By That Whole "Herd Concept"

A local cow, tag number 2146, just wants to be left the heck alone and to be able to 'do her own thing' in spite of belonging to a species that traditionally enjoys grouping together for protection as well as for the obvious social advantages of having dozens of similar creatures within mooing distance, insiders report. The cow, rejected by its mother as the 'weaker twin' several years ago, was bottle fed as a calf and thus developed behaviors and internal response patterns vastly different from the more "herd oriented' members of its social group. "Well, I guess we just spoiled the darn thing rotten" said Zeb Pinkerton, 63, a local rancher. "I remember going out by where the fence crosses the creek (pronounced 'crick') and hearing that little critter just bellowing to beat all. Her mother, tag number 1139, was lavishing attention on the stronger, healthier twin and could not be induced, under any circumstances, to care for the weaker, more sickly - and let's be honest, less-than-handsome calf - so I had to bundle the poor, still-wet thing up in my wife's new coat, threw it in the front seat of the truck and took it into the downstairs bathroom that my deadbeat brother-in-law uses where it would be warm and the kids could take turns bottle feeding it" he said. "How was I to know that this special treatment would go to the cow's head and that it would reject the very ingrained behavior patterns that make cattle so easy to control and manage?" he said despairingly. "I feel that if that darn cow would just give the herd a chance that she would see that hanging out, eating endlessly and just wandering around in a daze with the other cows can indeed be satisfying and really helps pass the time before she's shipped off to the meat processing plant down in Oregon. All we want is for her to be happy - but bucking the whole herd is just a recipe for misery and loneliness" he concluded sadly. "How do I get that thru her thick skull?"

"I think our big mistake was trying to be surrogate parents to the poor thing" said Mabel Pinkerton, 57 - the rancher's wife and notorious busybody/gossip/blabber-mouth of near biblical proportions. "When we put it in that downstairs bathroom, we figured that would be significantly similar to the 'barn concept' - given my live-in kid brother's almost shockingly bad bathroom habits, so we can't really blame it's rebellious nature on its environment, I don't think. She should have felt right at home!" she said sympathetically. "And for the first several months, the whole family ceased talking in the calf's presence and would just moo at each other - although we often had to accompany this 'cow friendly' communication protocol with a whole lot of arm and hand gesturing to get anything done - so its not like we humanized the calf in that way (sadly, during this stage actual intelligible family communication increased by 46% - husband-wife communication soared a whopping 126%!). Oh, I just don't know where we went wrong." she bellowed.

"That cow just has a mind of her own - which is less than advantageous when your entire existence hangs on the whims of a profession that values docility and ease of control above all other personality variables (in cows as well as in humans) " she sighed. "Thankfully, with beef prices (on the hoof) soaring and the payment coming due on that big family trip to "Dollywood" last year, it is only natural to downsize the herd somewhat and create a more homogeneous grouping without those troublesome outliers that can take up so much 'one-on-one' time and reduce the time available to watch 'Gunsmoke' reruns and set up elaborate 'cat-and-mouse' scenarios in order to reduce those pesky coyotes that are an unfortunate fixture of modern ranch life" she said sweetly. "But I do miss Tag Number 2146 laying on the rug at my feet, watching "Big Valley' with the family - those big cow-brown eyes glued to the screen - and those cute little ears perking up anytime some cow-related background noise came on the TV. And she was always so proud when one of those milk commercials came on - her rope-like tail would just thump on the floor to beat all I ever seen!. That doggone heifer was better than any dog we ever thought of having" she sobbed, storming out of the room before anyone saw her showing actual human emotion. "Oh, why is life so unfair? Why can't all living things be exactly the way we want them to be, when we want them to be? Why, why, why???" she ranted insanely, spittle flying haphazardly from her wildly undulating yet eerily bloodless lips.

Jul 7, 2009

Mayor Visits Century West Engineering's 'Dream Factory' For The First Time (Ever!!)

Although they have been working wonders in Lamont for over 5 years, a local Mayor finally got off of his lazy duff and made an appearance at the offices of one of the premier engineering firms in the Pacific Northwest - Century West Engineering (Lamont's official engineering firm). While attending the AWC Annual Conference in Spokane, (an enormous megalopolis almost 50 miles from Lamont and thus filled with mystery, uncertainty and no small amount of inexplicable terror) - the Mayor, in typical 'Lewis and Clark' fashion, threw caution to the wind and suggested that the "Lamont Team" break thru even more outrageous psychological barriers and drive all the way to Spokane Valley to say hello to the caring professionals who have done so much to make Lamont livable, safe and someplace to be proud of.

"Well, I was just ready to boldly go where no Lamont Mayor had gone before, I guess" said the intrepid, brazen, foolhardy, devil-may-care Mayor with reckless abandon. "I mean, after living in Lamont, one cannot help but view the world as a foreign, frightening and all-too-fast-paced roller-coaster ride of strange ideas, foreign concepts and people who are just waiting to taint you with their 'big city ways'. So, as a rule, we tend to stay pretty close to home," said the Mayor. "As you know, a large part of Lamont's 'down home' mystique is the thin façade of 'good neighborliness' - so not visiting such a key player in the Town's success would at some point be considered rude on our part, I guess" he stammered (this realization came about 4 years too late!!) "Of course, as Mayor, I have seen the almost unbelievable output from what to me was always a magical place - the new roads and pure water (and who can forget the huge base of the new flagpole that the Century West Engineers did the math on), but to actually visit the epicenter of this dynamic, techno-savvy engineering paradise was just a little overwhelming. I just didn't know what to expect, really" he said wearily.

"Being the second smallest town in the state, Lamont is not accustomed to being represented by such first-rate talent as the Century West team. When I visit the typical Lamont partner/vendor that, of their own free will, does business with the Town, it is not unusual to see any number of chickens running loose in their lobby or to have some old, weather-beaten guy with a cigarette dangling from his parched, yellowed lips trying to sell me a watch as I would attempt to weave my way past the grain sacks and goat droppings into the inner offices where I could do the Town's business - all the while trying not to get any feathers on me, for Pete's sake!" said the Mayor who is really creeped out by barn fowl in general and those disgusting chickens in particular. "So, when I finally worked up the courage to go thru the shiny outer doors at Century West last week, one can only guess at my surprise when I saw a neat, clean, business professional décor that didn't smell like a barn and that even had that new-fangled (and completely unnecessary and ostentatious - by Lamonst standards, anyway) contraption - central air conditioning."

So, after pressing the elevator button and being whisked at break-neck speed to the second floor (the stairs were right there but, being lazy and out of shape, the elevator just seemed that much more 'hip' and 'sophisticated' to him, given the circumstances) and having the elevator doors open on the "Century West Engineering Floor" the Mayor immediately came face-to-face with the world famous and outrageously efficient Erika who sparkled with that pure, refined energy of the American 'can-do' spirit that has made this country great and allowed engineering firms in a previous era to so brazenly land a man on the moon and return him safely to the Earth. After exchanging a few words with that uber-goddess of efficiency, Erika, about her parrot rescue program that she does in her home with her husband, the giddy and decidedly emotionally punch-drunk Mayor was whisked, like an 'over-sugared' kid at Disneyland's 'Space Mountain', into the engineering "holy of holies" - the office of the President of Century West Engineering, Dennis Fuller - where, after taking in the scene of brisk, bustling activity in support of other towns like Lamont, the Mayor immediately passed out cold from sensory overload (any rumors to the effect that it was more of 'a swoon' are outrageous!) and was sadly carted back to the car in a surplus office chair with wheels (thankfully, the elevator was employed yet again although the Lamont team lobbied enthusiastically for taking the stairs - citing a new-found desire for increased fitness or something) before he could utter a word of thanks to the team that has been so wonderful to the Town and who the Mayor attributes his crushing landslide victory to in the last election (the mayor was unopposed and got a grand total of 28 votes!) (that last part is true, believe it or not!!) (not that the other parts of the story aren't true - but the part about the 28 votes was really, really true!) (and the part about the chickens! That was true!!) (okay, the part about 'the swoon' was not true, but the visit was so exciting that it could have happened that way, doggone it!!!)