Feb 26, 2010

Sneaky Area Vegetarian Group Promotes Controversial 'Morning After" Saltlick To Somewhat Skeptical Palouse Ranchers

In a startling escalation in the long simmering war between those traditional forces who view a heifer's place as being in the pasture and those enlightened souls who want to free the unfortunate beasts from the 'birth, calving, and slaughter' cycle that has dominated the average life of the typical cow for 1000's of years, a local vegetarian activist group, Moooo-ve-On.Org, launched a media intensive ad campaign to convince the Palouse ranchers (and the herd itself) of the wisdom of releasing the area heifers from the stifling, mundane, socially inhibiting drudgery of motherhood once and for all and thus allow them to compete with the bulls on a more even social basis - as is only right. "Oh, what in dadburn tarnation are these people going to come up with next!" bellowed Old Man Festoon, 82, an area rancher patriarch. "First they convinced the whole dern world that our cows needed fall-out shelters to protect them from the doggone Ruskies, (which was revived again during the age of terrorism!) then we had to pump 'mood music' into the mating pens to sooth the anxiety of those no-good underachieving bulls, then they tried to pass that 'flatulence tax' to fight that phony global warming nonsense and now THIS! I could be wrong, but it seems like that whole darn vegetarian lobby is trying to drive us ranchers out of business or something! Why don't they spend all that free time they have picking on the bean sprout farmers or whatever! This has just gotten out of hand!" he screamed before resorting to a coughing fit and having to have the oxygen mask pushed on his bristly face by his loving and quite intimidating wife, Gertrude Snopes, 79, a woman who makes Queen Victoria seem like a moderate libertine.

"I just don't see why these big, strong, supposedly rugged, Marlboro-Man-wannabee ranchers are so afraid of some little old heifer having a say in her life! Why is that such a scary thing to these big, tough men? What are they trying to hide?" said Lotta Birtch, a Mooo-ve-on.org spokesperson. "I thought these guys were supposed to be rugged individualists who could take on the world as it comes. Seems a little silly to me to be afraid of a simple heifer being able to chart out her own life, doesn't it?" she asked rhetorically with that all too familiar sneer of the committed liberal. "This is a new day" she said while making a protest salute. "Let our heifers go! Let our heifers go! Let our heifers go! Let our heifers go!" she chanted insanely - even after everyone left the room.

Local Man Still Not Sure If He Should Be Mad After Being Called A "Ninnyhammer"

A local man, Wilber Bodine, age 56, was thrown into the depths of consternation and confusion after an area truck driver ever so casually referred to him as a 'ninnyhammer' after he, Wilber, failed to grasp the basics of a quite mundane conversation that somehow involved math. "Well, I just didn't see no reason for him to go getting all nasty with me, assuming that is what he done - since I ain't got no idea what a dadburn 'ninnyhammer' is in the first place!" said the potentially huffy Bodine. "I mean, no man likes to be called any name that has the word 'ninny' in it, but being called a name with the word hammer in it ain't all that bad, I guess! Hammers are kind of manly and something you can hit things with, but that 'ninny' part has me more than a little concerned, to say the least" said the amazing dunderpate. "So, was he saying that I would hammer ninnies - and if so, what the heck does that mean? The whole dern thing got all tangled up when he started using a whole bunch of numbers or whatever in a conversation, like that is ever necessary, for crying out loud! What does that have to do with a ninny? That is just confusing!" said the outrageous timbernoggin. "But if I was some kind of hammer, then why wouldn't he just call me a hammer without having to throw that whole 'ninny' business in there? I just can't see how any descriptive term with 'ninny' as a root can be anything but insulting! So maybe I should be mad, after all! I just don't know!" bellowed the confused clodpall. "Anyway, I just wish I had one of them dictionary things or them thesaurus doohickeys (pronounced tera-saurus) or whatever. That would solve this little conundrum once and for all. If I need to get mad I'll get mad, but if a ninnyhammer turns out to be a good thing, then there just ain't no sense in getting all worked up over the dern mess, I don't reckon!" said the notorious nincompoop.

Definition: Ninnyhammer (NIN-ee-ham-uhr)

noun - A foolish person; simpleton; blockhead - oftentimes these individuals become small town mayors.

Etymology - Of uncertain origin. From ninny (perhaps shortening of innocent) + hammer (possibly from hammerheaded).

Feb 24, 2010

Area Dog Makes FBI's 10 Most Wanted List

An interstate dragnet is currently underway after a Lamont man called authorities to report that one of the FBI's 10 most wanted fugitives - Sammy, a rambunctious and amazingly loyal and cool dog was believed to be secreted away in the desert wastes of the American Southwest - possibly in northwest Arizona (where they like to go during the winter because they are big sissies and 'don't like the cold' - oh brother!). Sammy, an Airedale, was last seen in the company of a woman named 'Sheri', insiders report. The dog, well renowned for chasing lizards and rabbits and pretty much anything that moves, first ran afoul with the FBI after a startling 'cat chasing spree' that extended over several years and took place in any number of States. "Well, this is the sort of crime we take very seriously" said Whiskers, the current head of the FBI - the Feline Bureau of Investigation. "I mean, we know that there will be a certain amount of gratuitous barking and maybe, when things get out of hand, a dog might playfully chase an innocent victim up a tree or something, but this wanton disregard for one's fellow creatures and the sheer gusto with which the fugitive undertakes his pursuit of cats certainly qualifies him for the FBI's 10 Most Wanted List, doggone it! We will run this 'Hell Hound' to ground if it takes all the resources of this department!" he hissed while trying in vain to make the hair on his tail not stick out quite so much!

The dog's owner, Sheri, (no last names used upon advice of our lawyers!) appears to be a quite exceptional person who has devoted her life to the Lord, which makes the 'hell raising' of Sammy all the more shocking. "Well, I have known Sheri for any number of years, ever since she came to my church and basically told us to get off our dead rear ends and encouraged us quite unsuccessfully to pay more than lip service to our Christian commitment" said Melba Bodine, an area farm/ranch wife and sometime church-goer. "I mean, Sheri was so sharp and personable and sweet, yet highly focused and effective, so I just find it shocking that she would be seen in the company with such an obvious 'scoff-law' and renegade pooch!" said Melba while pushing her face between both hands like she always does when she is upset. "It just goes to show you, you just can't - wait, what was I just saying - something about - oh yea, the dog" said the scatterbrain airhead (not to be confused with a scavenging Airedale!). "I just have to advise her, if she is listening, 'Sheri, please just turn yourself and Sammy into the authorities! The Good Book says to 'Give unto Caesar what is Caesar's' - and regardless of how much you love that dog or if you are being held hostage by love - or heaven forbid, if you have that whole 'Stockholm Syndrome' thing like Patty Hearst or whatever, it is always good to come clean with the Law. And I feel certain that Sammy will get a fair trial and all, unless, of course, there happens to be 12 cats on the jury! Oh, what a terrible mess!" she bellowed, doing that 'face-scrunching' thing again!

Feb 23, 2010

Area Psychologists Concerned Over Sheer Number Of Misfortunes Mayor Is Forced To Endure In Typical Lamont Blog 'News Coverage'

In a trend so sinister and macabre that even the most hardened criminals and mother-in-laws recoil in disgust and consternation, a number of prestigious area psychologists have raised the 'red flag of concern' after it became apparent that the Lamont Blog has more than a passing fancy with 'causing mayoral discomfiture' in highly disturbing yet quite appropriate and enjoyable ways! "Well, being an expert on the criminal mind, I could not help but admire the sheer genius and versatility with which the Lamont Blog was able to discombobulate a duly elected member of the Town's management team" said Theodore Fogelgoober, an area psychologist. "I mean, after over 180 articles, not a single member of the council has suffered above the norm for Lamont, that is, although the Mayor has been continually vexed in so many diverse and varied ways that even Stephen King, in his prime, could never dream up half of them! Well, first, the Mayor had that painfully poisonous Madagascar jumping spider attach itself to his tragically exposed flesh (we dare not get any more specific in regard to location, given the Mayor's preference for 'plumber friendly' pants and his aversion to belts!). Then there was that Great White shark attack in Sprague Lake, not to mention the vexation of any number of belching volcanoes, rampaging vampires, relentless wolf packs, roving wiener dogs, repetitive lightening strikes, rampaging circus elephants, mundane bathtub accidents, frenzied killer bee swarms, perplexing parachute mishaps, falling tree limbs, yawning sink holes emerging quite unexpectedly in his path, crazed wild bird attacks (oh, the Mayor is deathly afraid of crows in particular!), exploding household appliances, creepy satanic rituals, spontaneous cattle stampedes, the Spanish Inquisition, malignant mafia ruffians, cantankerous kicking mules, angry grandmothers with rolling pins, freakish fireworks disasters, runaway lawn mowers, marauding army ants, that 'blue ice' that sometimes falls from passenger airplanes, various and sundry hideous yet hilarious tropical diseases - to say nothing of unexplained cases of quite spectacular spontaneous combustion and various other forms of 'deeds most foul'! Oh, and how many times can one man be expected to choke on a doggone chicken bone cleverly slipped between two pieces of white bread by a trusted friend or staid church lady, for crying out loud? What a slow learner! No wonder he agreed to be the Mayor! I am not sure, but I am sensing a disturbing pattern developing here! I cannot help but think there might be some hidden message being conveyed, if we were only smart enough to figure it out, doggone it!" said the flabbergasted yet none-too-swift Fogelgoober. The Mayor, for his part, could not be reached for this article given that he is cowering shamelessly in full body armor (the old, medieval, metal kind!) inside Dick Cheney's now infamous 'bunker' in some now equally infamous 'undisclosed location' - although it is rumored that he did in fact mumble "Darn their eyes!' to no one in particular while shaking his mailed fist in the general direction of Lamont although no one is quite sure what he said given the fact that he had his muffling and echo-producing helmet visor/face guard down at the time!

Feb 22, 2010

Disaster Thankfully Averted In Skies Over Lamont

Late last Tuesday, an area aviation nut, Fester Snopes, (not to be confused with Festus Snopes - although they are 'cousins' in ways that the Law doesn't allow!) 57, an area farmer/rancher, got 'a hankering' to take advantage of this beautiful weather we've been having and decided to take his aging airplane up for a spin. Never one to do anything alone, (and because he is an outrageous cheapskate and wanted people to pitch in for gas!!) Fester was able to entice a preacher from a neighboring town, the local mayor and some poor college kid just passing thru on a backpacking trip across the Palouse to share the ride with him - at $50 a pop (although it only takes about $90 to fill up the plane's doggone fuel tank!). "Well, it was such a lovely day, I just couldn't pass up a chance to soar in the good old wild blue yonder!" said the irrepressible Fester after filling out all the necessary police and FAA reports and opening up all of his quite voluminous fan mail to see if anyone included money with their heartfelt congratulations for a successful trip. "Who would have ever guessed that such an unfortunate thing could happen on such a pretty day - that, and how was I supposed to know that a person needed to change the oil on a dadburn airplane (pronounced 'air-O-plane), for Pete's sake! I mean, ain't my truck and my tractor enough, for goodness sake? Well, anyway, I am just glad that it was my plane so I got first dibs once imminent disaster loomed on our immediate horizon" he said smugly.

After a marginally successful takeoff and achieving an altitude of slightly more than 3000 feet, Festus first became aware that there might be a slight safety issue when his entire windscreen became covered with black, stinking oil - thus reducing visibility to less than 3 inches. "Well, that is when I had to pull rank - and, ironically, that was the exact moment that I regretted the fact that I was too lazy to load up the fourth parachute, doggone it! I mean, how was I supposed to know that something like that was going to happen?" he sniveled. Never being one to linger long in difficult situations, Fester immediately grabbed the closest parachute and launched himself out of the plane, leaving the preacher, the Mayor and the poor college kid to fight it out in some sort of sick "Lord of the Flies" type scenario.

After staring at each other with the camaraderie that only the doomed can share, the Mayor immediately began blathering about the upcoming Town meeting and water tests and how the park needed to be mowed (In February??) and that sort of malarkey and reached down into the pile, strapped himself in and dove out the open door, leaving the now shaken preacher and college kid to sort matters out. The preacher, Phineas Flum, knowing that he was in good with his Maker and weighing the options of returning to that ever cantankerous Mrs. Phineas Flum, quite graciously told the college kid/backpacker that he should take the remaining chute and save himself - given that the kid had his whole life ahead of him and that he, Phineas, had lived a full life and knew where he was going after death. The college kid, looking on with admiration at the selfless 'man of God' just said "That won't be necessary, that doggone Mayor just jumped out of the plane with my stinking backpack! It had everything I owned in there!" he whined quite inappropriately!. (Editorial Note: We at the Lamont Blog would have given just about anything to have seen the Mayor's look of horrified consternation when instead of pulling the 'rip cord' to release the chute he instead was left staring at another man's dirty gym sock! Oh, that would have been great!) Phineas, although quite torn, said a quick prayer and exited the plane a full 30 seconds before the engine seized up completely and the doomed craft crashed quite harmlessly into the Scablands. (Tell those dadburn cows how 'harmless' that hurtling mass of smoking Hell descending from the normally peaceful skies was given that it almost caused a mini stampede, for crying out loud!) Ironically, no one even noticed that the Mayor was actually missing for almost a week, and Town productivity has soared a whopping 237% over that same period. "Darn their eyes!" said the Mayor's ghost - or maybe that was just the wind - who knows? But that does sound like that doggone, no-good Mayor - to haunt the town from the 'great beyond' like he did in life - him and all of his fancy 'big-city ways!' Can't he just leave us alone, for Pete's sake?

Feb 19, 2010

Correction And Apology To An Important Segment Of Our Readership:

Although shocking in and of itself, the Lamont Blog can and even sometimes does make a rare, solitary, isolated, statistically outlying and thus quite lonely mistake and/or is insensitive without meaning to be so, as appears to be the case now. In a previous article, we quite callously used the term 'balderdash' in regard to this or that thing that the Mayor was prattling on about at the time. (Oh, who can keep track of it all?) The original intent of this word, balderdash, was taken solely in the traditional English definition, and quite frankly we were unaware of the disturbingly fanatical and surprisingly touchy segment of our reading audience who are actually followers of the obviously reclusive and media shy Norse (Viking) god (small 'g') "Balder" - who is one of the favorites of the decidedly energetic and vengeful Viking segment of our quite diverse readership. As it turns out, Balder (although that word can be used when describing the Mayor from this year to last!) was the most handsome of all the Norse gods (is that really saying that much? I mean, have you seen these guys - like professional wrestlers with swords and butter rubbed in their hair!) - and who was a god of truth and light. Balder was also knowledgeable in healing herbs and runes, which made him a favorite among the people of Midgard. (isn't that a town up there in Stevens County or something?) Balder lived in a palace named Breidablik with his wife Nanna, (no relation to Nanna Snopes of Lamont infamy, one would hope) a vegetation goddess. (Oh, that's all we need - one more of those pesky veggie lovers! What kind of self-respecting 'barbarian god' would marry a woman that doesn't even eat meat - I mean, come on!) The now infamous Balder, unlike Lamont's somewhat 'thinning up top' Mayor, was beloved by the savage, barbaric, blood thirsty, murderous, criminally-inclined Vikings - so any inadvertent offense that was taken because of the Lamont Blog's quite insensitive use of the word 'Balderdash' is sincerely regretted by all concerned. We would ask the area Viking hoards to forgive this oversight and plead with them not to visit rapine, wanton destruction and pillage on Lamont, the truly repentant and humble 2nd smallest Town in the State. If there is an insatiable blood lust or overwhelming need to go berserk that must be quenched, however, we would remind our valued Viking brothers that there are any number of small towns in Lincoln and Adams County that, in our opinion, deserve to be ravaged, plundered, exposed to mindless mayhem and set upon with reckless abandon by these horrifying barbarian miscreants more than we do, for goodness sake! Thank you.

Feb 17, 2010

Feather's Fly After Town Council's Inaction Skewers 'Chickens In Lamont' Idea Yet Again! (Based on a true story!)

At the February Lamont Town Council meeting, the normally agitated and easily excited citizenry in the 2nd smallest Town in the State took on the semblance of a bustling hornet's nest that someone kicked with a steel-toed boot after the idea of allowing chickens in Town for meat and eggs was brought up for the 4th time in 4 years. The crux of the controversy, or so it seemed, revolved not around the inherent value of chickens (Lamont does not discriminate on the basis of feathers! Scales, maybe - but not feathers!) or whether eggs were really that high in cholesterol, but whether in fact the overall citizenry of Lamont had the basic self-control principles, rudimentary animal husbandry essentials and those obviously illusive time-management skills to raise the poor, unfortunate beasts in a humane and neighbor-friendly way. "Well, if you are going to pass a law at the Town level, it has to apply to the whole Town, not just a few select individuals" said the Mayor while finishing off the last of the drumsticks. "And let's face it, like with many small towns, Lamont has a sizable segment of the population who will grasp on desperately to any new idea with all the fickle fervor they possess - only to allow it to fade into insignificance after a week or two." (Editorial Note: Just look at all of those exercise machines strewn around the place - all purchased last year sometime around 3:00 AM during that doggone "Big Valley" TV Marathon, for goodness sake!) "But with chickens, you enter into a whole new realm as the squawking, strutting, amazingly stupid animals become irresistible to every passing dog that jumped the fence and/or coyote just passing thru to wherever coyotes like to go - not to mention the 2-legged variety of predator that never internalized the Good Book's admonition on 'Not coveting thy neighbor's barn foul'. (And doesn't Lamont have more than its fair share of 'squawking hens' as it is, now?) Oh, in retrospect, it was a recipe for disaster, especially since Lamont is so small the Mayor would have to become the 'Chicken Police'! (Mental picture of Barney Fife of Mayberry fame in a Colonel Sanders costume - only without the bullet, of course!)

"So, like with families, certain individuals have to be denied basic avenues of self expression because others in their social unit are not willing or capable of managing certain aspects of the human experience, and in Lamont that normally centers around animals of any kind" (How many of us, with heavy hearts, have had to deny one of our loving children a flamethrower or Uzi submachine gun or grenade launcher because of some wayward younger brother or sister who would certainly use it for nefarious purposes? Yes, being a parent or civic leader is not easy, no sir!) said the Mayor who has failed to notice that sizable blob of BBQ sauce dangling dangerously from the corner of his moustache. "We have many wonderful dog owners here, but there is an unfortunate segment who view dogs not as valuable additions to their family group but as mere status symbols or tokens that were cute as puppies and that should have just never grown up. It is all very tragic. And it is those same 'unloved' dogs who would be raiding the poorly tended chicken coops of their irresponsible neighbors - thus causing internal strife and discord on a completely new and unnecessary level - this at a time when people are just starting to come to grips with the fact that over 1/2 the Town is now paved - thanks to the TIB and Century West Engineering" he said. (Oh, who would have guessed that the 'Pro Gravel Road Lobby' would be so noisy and boisterous? Talk about commitment!) "Ironically, it is this same segment of the population - the ones who resent pavement and who have the misbehaving dogs that would attack their neighbor's chickens - and I feel certain that they would be the first to put in substandard chicken coops and then complain when someone else's dog made a midnight raid. So the Council, in their wisdom, signaled that the answer was still 'no' - however unfair that may seem to the people who would be good chicken owners! (that decision, however controversial, gives new meaning to the age old adage 'No Harm - No Foul', indeed!) (Okay, that was a pretty obvious and cheesy one!! Sorry!) Welcome to the 'give and take', 'push and pull', 'one step forward, two steps back' world of small town politics!" he said humbly while that irrepressible blob of BBQ sauce finally made its slow, torturous way to the front of his poorly ironed shirt.

Feb 14, 2010

Local Woman Just Can't Bring Herself To Stop Talking

In one of the rare human disorders that is actually more painful for one's friends and loved ones than it is for the actual sufferer themselves, an area farm/ranch wife, Eunice Snopes, age 42, was tragically diagnosed with the dreaded 'Blabbermouthicus Obnoxicus' - also known as the "Why can't she just shut the heck up for 1/2 a second, for Pete's sake!' disease- an all too common ailment in certain rural segments of the Palouse. The victim, Eunice, from the moment she wakes up until several hours after she falls a sleep at night, (including eating, brushing her teeth and taking her weekly shower) is seemingly forced to comment on any old thought that pops into her shockingly disorganized head, regardless of it's relevance to actual events happening around her and irrespective of who happens to be in the same room at the time.

"Oh, the humanity! My ears! My ears, I say!" said a local man who just stopped by to return a garden rake. "Oh, that was horrible! Why can't human beings shut their ears like they can shut their eyes, for goodness sake? What a tragic design flaw that is!" said the now traumatized yet genuinely quizzical man. "I was only in the room with that woman for 45 minutes (That seemed more like 45,000!) before fleeing in blind, self-preserving terror after being bombarded by a seemingly endless stream of mindless drivel, unrelated trivia, mundane observations, endless stories with no overlap to my life or personal experience and a quite breathless encore 'stream of consciousness' that will take me a dadburn month to get out of my doggone head! Half way thru that random and merciless diatribe she even started coughing and that didn't slow her down one bit - like a semi-truck hitting a wind-blown plastic shopping bag on the Interstate or something! And the more she coughed the more she wanted to talk - like it was a bitter battle between ancient enemies or whatever! (No wonder her husband has feigned deafness since 1992!) All I wanted to do was return that dadburn rake! That should have been a 30 second transaction - AT THE MOST!! Next Fall I will just pick up those stupid leaves by hand rather than expose myself to that auditory torture chamber again!" whined the cheapskate who needs to buy his own garden tools! "And why did she have to tell me about her corns and how she had to get special shoes for her niece's wedding even though the niece is in 'the motherly way' and will probably show in that 'too tight dress' of hers? (and the dress is white, too!). Some things a man should just not know!!!" he bellowed insanely!

"Well, I believe the Good Lord gave us two ears and only one mouth for a reason!" said an area 'man of the cloth' (from a neighboring town). "One does not have to venture very far into the Book of Proverbs to find dozens and dozens of pearls of wisdom about the sanctity of keeping ones lips closed, but sadly many people in this day and age fail to follow the Good Book's prescriptions in that regard. If I had a dollar for every time one of my flock came to me on the verge of tears, longing for an end to this bitter world because some spouse or relative or whatever was a 'non-stop talker', we could build that new addition to the church I have been dreaming about!" he gushed sagely and with only a tinge of avarice! "But instead, I am reduced to listening to these outrageously meaningless ramblings second hand until the poor soul can get it out of their system! It can really try a man's faith, let me tell you! And sadly, after many of these episodes I am forced to unburden myself on my wife, which more often than not just starts the whole vicious cycle once again! Oh, these are the times that try men's souls! Silence is golden! Why can't we all just see that and only talk when we have something meaningful to say?"

Feb 12, 2010

Local Mayor Secretly Contemplates Renaming Town "Lamontford"

In what is indeed either the highest form of flattery or a tragic and acute onset of truly disturbing mental illness, a local mayor was so impressed and 'gob smacked' by the charming and promise-filled town of Rockford, WA (in spite of the fact that they are in Spokane County and not Whitman!) and he sees no other way to compete with them for small town supremacy and, unfortunately for the town, he has also taken up using the expression 'If you can't beat 'em, join 'em' - every 15 minutes or so for the last several weeks. (like a dadburn parrot!) Rockford, perfectly situated near the Idaho border and less than a half hour away from the largest metropolitan area in all of eastern Washington, has even gone so far on the road of 'coolness' that they have annual frog races for their doggone citizenry"! "Oh, sure, they make it look easy..." said the obviously exasperated Mayor. "It is unfair for some smarty-pants outsider to get all puffed up and say that Lamont should battle on and not capitulate in the face of such obviously superior organization and planning skills, but even I, not being the brightest bulb on the Christmas tree, can see that this is just one fight that the Town of Lamont has no hope of ever winning. Sure, we might be able to get cool restaurants and maybe a business or two (in about 30 years!) - and yeah, we can plant trees all over the place that might grow to be as beautiful as Rockford's, (ditto on the 30 years!) but that doggone brilliant 'frog race' thing is just something we can never hope to duplicate. No one is more frustrated and saddened by Rockford's obvious superiority as a functioning community than me, but as the leader of this Town I have to make the tough calls, and every fiber of my being leads me to seek an alliance with the obviously more organized Town of Rockford. (or are they officially 'a city' now? We wouldn't put that past them, the show-offs!) Further conflict is pointless! We must seek an alliance with the victorious Rockfordians!" said the obviously shaken and humbled public servant. "That doggone Micki Harnois and her organizational genius ways!!! Darn her eyes!" said the Mayor while shaking his fist in the general direction of Idaho. (Don't even mention their Clerk/Treasurer Darlene or he is liable to start banging his head on the fire station door again!)

The Mayor, after struggling with the very un-Churchill-like decision, was then faced with the seemingly monumental task of negotiating the alliance without giving up too much of the uniqueness that is Lamont. "Well, at first I just figured we would call ourselves "Rockford by the Scablands", but that was just stupid since the Scablands are pretty frightening. "Then I was pretty much sold on naming the Town 'Rockmont" - but that sounded like some obscure type of ground squirrel or something. (Editorial Note: The Mayor is deathly afraid of rodents so that was a non-starter, needless to say!) Finally, it just hit me like a bolt of clarity - I could keep the essential Town name while adopting the all important 'ford' aspect of our organizational and administrative betters! That choice seemed to please everyone!" (except the folks who never adapted to Lamont being called Lamont in the first place and who continue to call it by its much less descriptive title 'Town'.)

And don't forget that Rockford has a surprisingly fun-sounding 'Sadie Hawkins' dance on May 1st from 6:00-10:00 PM in the Rockford Fairgrounds (Oh, please don't get the Mayor started on why Rockford gets to have a fairgrounds and Lamont doesn't even have a public restroom! Oh, please just don't go there!). All funds go to support the vital and culturally significant Rockford Fairgrounds - a worthwhile cause indeed! Mark your calendars this instant or you might just get a visit from one of the Lamont farmers/ranchers! In fact, Bubba Bodine is all gassed up and ready to 'come a callin'! (believe me, you don't want that!) Rumor has it that a Lamont contingent, including the Mayor, is planning on coming to the dance, too! (Don't let that discourage you, however!)

Feb 10, 2010

Area Middle-Aged Man Regrets Going Down On One Knee In Traditional Marriage Proposal

In what any reasonable person would consider an absolutely unimaginable 'worst case scenario' under the circumstances, an area farmer/rancher, Lester Bodine, 53, failed to factor in his current bout with 'various issues' when he quite gallantly (yet awkwardly and with no shortage of grunts, groans and creepy creaking and popping noises!) went down on one knee to propose to the blushing and quite imperturbable future Mrs. Bodine, Sally Blat, age 49. The incident, not soon forgotten by either party, took place out in the Bodine barn by that tractor (what more romantic place can you think of in wheat country?) that Lester seems to spend entirely too much time working on (any rumors to the effect that a bottle of 'hooch' is hidden out there have yet to be confirmed - so should only be half believed!). "Well, needless to say I was a little nervous, and in a vain attempt to rein in my somewhat ponderous gut, I must have cinched up my belt way too tight or something - that or my 'all meat diet' might not be in line with matrimonial bliss - who knows!" said the sheepish and still horrified Bodine. "Anyway, with all the dignity I could muster, I gazed lovingly into her eyes as I made my way down onto one knee (Lester was never very good at multi-tasking!) when "it just happened"! Oh, the horror!!! Even the poor horse threw back it's ears in terror and shame and looked like it was about to bolt at the sudden, ominous, totally humiliating travesty of cosmic injustice! All I could think was "Oh, please tell me that that did NOT just happen! Not now of all times!" (Rumor has it that he inherited that 'little problem' directly from Grandma Bodine, now deceased - and like with many things, it must skip a generation, thank goodness!) I just wanted to crawl under the hay and die - but somehow I just soldiered on!" said the brave, heroic man who, by all accounts, is now a role model to darn near every farmer in the Palouse! (more like the whole lower 48 states!)

"Well, of course it was like a dream come true! Finally I had a man who would propose to me in the right way!" said the beaming future Mrs. Sally Bodine. My first husband's proposal was somewhat overshadowed by my red-faced father and that unfortunate shotgun or whatever, and I don't really remember my second marriage proposal (or the wedding!) due to a preponderance of banana daiquiris coupled with the reckless abandon of my somewhat fading youth! (don't forget the tequila shots!). Anyway, since both of my initial efforts at marital union ended in crushing failure, needless to say I was more than a little pleased to be courted by such an obvious gentleman!" she blushed. "And besides, any man who would propose in a barn that hadn't been shoveled out in over a month should not worry about silly things like a little digestive incongruity! (What a trooper! Does she have a sister? And who said that American womanhood was dead? Hope lives eternal!) Believe me, once I am his wife, there will be no end to the various ways I can slip "Beano" into his daily routine! My sister even told me how to put it into his tube of toothpaste! (This problem must be more widespread than previously thought!) But I have faith that our marriage will never get to that level" she said naively. (That is what Grandpa Bodine said!) "Anyway, after that unfortunate incident, I encouraged him to continue his proposal over by the thankfully open barn door (yes, she had to help him back up - no small task, indeed!) and I immediately said yes, of course I would marry him! That was a very special day for me! (even though he forgot all about the ring, the cheapskate!) I just can't wait until we are married so I can begin changing every aspect of his life that he holds dear with earnest abandon!" she said with that sly, knowing smile of all 'soon-to-be' brides, regardless of age.

Feb 9, 2010

Area Man More Than A Little Miffed After Being Referred To As "Subdued"

In yet another shocking demonstration of the importance of continuing one's education past the 8th grade, an area farmer/rancher, Jethro Festoon, age 54, stormed off in a huff after his cousin, Melba McCoy (yes, she is the one who married into that doggone McCoy rabble or clan or whatever!) noticed that Jethro was quiet and withdrawn and inquired why he was so subdued that day. "Well, I just didn't see no reason for her getting all nasty with me and questioning my manhood - just because I didn't feel like talking to them people just then. I could see her asking me what was wrong or inquiring about how my taxidermy was going or whatever (Jethro, a man at or near the top of his natural abilities, is currently attempting to mount that creepy 2-headed calf born last winter out at the Snope's place. This mount, if successful, could very well end up as the crowning penultimate achievement in an otherwise checkered contribution to humanity after more than half a century of half-hearted effort!), but to come right out and, in front of the whole dern town, call me a 'sub-dude' just struck me as a little hostile and mean spirited, that's all. Since when does mindless chatter define a man, for goodness sake?" he said huffily!

(Editorial Note: Oh, for the love of Pete!! What does one really say to such a clear example of whatever the heck that was? Oftentimes mere silence can be one's most ardent spokesperson, or so they say. That default response certainly seems appropriate here since no other avenues are opening themselves up and the normally expansive Lamont Blog is rendered speechless once again! The Greater Lamont Metropolitan Area - the gift that keeps on giving!)

Feb 8, 2010

Lamont's Favorite Parrot Rescue Person Begins To Question Sanity Of Some Parrot Rescue People

In a startlingly circular line of reasoning that seems almost too mind-boggling to fathom for more than a few seconds, the uber-goddess of efficiency and Lamont's favorite patron saint of parrots, Erika, has cast a decidedly jaundiced eye on some in the tightly knit community that spend a large portion of their free time saving and rehabilitating some of the smartest creatures in the Lord's animal pantheon. "Well, first off, I am always a little suspicious of any organization that would willingly have me as a member - but putting that aside, I just began to notice a few little things that just made me ponder the very fabric of parrot rescue psychology itself!" said the Joan of Arc for cockatoos! "I mean, a vast majority of the parrot rescue folks I know are totally cool and committed and all of that, but like with any natural gathering of like-minded individuals, there are bound to be a few nutty ones, too! (Editorial Note: Whoa!!! How true! Just look at the Town of Lamont! Talk about proof! Truer words were never spoken!)

"I mean, it takes a special kind of person to take and mend such an obviously above average animal like a parrot - so by definition you are not going to get the less intuitive and caring segment of the population, as a rule. But with any self-selection that involves human beings, there is a whole spectrum involved with those personality traits. Let's take intuition and empathy, for example. Sure, they are hard to define, yet some people would go so far as to believe that they were parrots in a previous life or that parrots can, in fact, truly understand them and can read their minds (unlike their hapless husbands, for goodness sake!) or whatever. Now that is just a little too much for me, I would say" said the feathered friend's Florence Nightingale. "I believe in giving my God given talents to protecting and preserving one of the most beautiful and intelligent creatures in the world and don't care so much for any of that nonsense in the cosmic realm. Thank goodness that that segment of the parrot rescue community is less than 1/2 of one percent! (Editorial Note: What the heck? Only fewer than 1/2 of one percent are totally bonkers?? Dang! And we thought Lamont was doing great at 37.9%!!! Oh yeah, life is fair! Stupid parrot rescue people! What show-offs they turned out to be - all normal and what not!) I mean, parrots are just birds and even they think that that cosmic business is just nutty. (she wanted to say 'bird brained'!) All they want is love and stability and the occasional peanut and for someone not to mix their fruits and veggies in with their pellets, that's all! (We pity the fool that mixes fruit/veggies with parrot pellets!) Can't we just leave it at love and caring and properly separated food - for Pete's sake? I mean, come on!" said the 'Mother Teresa' of Macaws the world over! (at least our little part of it!)

Feb 6, 2010

Area Man Shields Self From Cold, Cruel World With Impenetrable Barrier Of Seemingly Endless Clichés

An area farmer/rancher, Elmer Bodine, age 56, has spent his largely meaningless and unfulfilling life recoiling from rejection, heartache, misery and crushing failure by building a remarkably elaborate, multi-layered yet surprisingly robust defense mechanism of darn near endless clichés from across the ages. Mr. Bodine, married to the lovely yet decidedly loveless former Gertrude Festoon, is the proud father of 5 thankless, cretin-like children and has even owned a string of worthless dogs who couldn't be bothered to mind, refuse to be potty trained and tend to befriend those no-good local coyotes that frequent the ranch.

"Well, all the flowers of tomorrow are indeed in the seeds of yesterday" said the downtrodden Elmer while fixing that car tire that just won't hold air. "I mean, I do not have an ax to grind and believe in blooming where you are planted, but I ain't no turnip that fell off of the turnip truck! Sure, I know it is like closing the barn door after the horse escapes, and might even be seen as biting the hand that once fed me, but taking over this rundown ranch from my father was like a poke in the eye with a sharp stick! I know they say the apple doesn't fall far from the tree and one mustn't look a gift horse in the mouth, but I just wish one of my brothers got roped into running this ranch instead of me!" he fumed, showing that all too familiar chip on his shoulder! "Yeah, I know that even a blind squirrel can find an acorn from time to time and that little strokes can fell the mighty oak, but working around smelly cows was never my life's ambition, so sometimes I just cannot see the forest for the trees, even though ranching does beat picking cotton, I guess. I just feel like my very soul is drier than a burnt bush and although I know that crows are black everywhere, (he forgot every rose has a thorn and every path has a puddle!), but bless my bloomers, I just wish I could live outside of my daddy's shadow" said the rancher in full cliché mode now.

"The wife keeps telling me that beauty is in the eye of the beholder (Of course she does!) and that I shouldn't make a mountain out of a molehill (Does she ever tell herself that? Whoa!), but I must be as slow as molasses or something, because although I have left no stone unturned in pursuit of some small window of happiness, I just feel that I have bitten off more than I can chew here and it is all I can do just staying one day ahead of yesterday! I know from small beginnings great things come, but I have been ranching for 36 years and just feel like sowing my wild oats - the few that I have left!" he whined. "I mean, I know that if beauty is a mistress, then of course the gardener is her slave, but all I want is the last rose of summer, not the whole dern flower shop! I never was able to charm the birds from the trees or nothing, and don't want to put the cart before the horse, and I certainly don't expect all my weeds to bring forth wildflowers, but a little appreciation from the wife and kids from time to time would sure be welcome! (Good luck with that!) I just wish that at least one cloud would have a silver lining and that great oaks do indeed come from little acorns of hope, but a simple 'thank you' would go a long way now that I can't help but feel that for the want of a nail the shoe is lost! As one flower does not a spring make, I know that one kind word would not overcome decades of human misery, but everything has a season and every stick has two ends. But if the expression 'he who sows virtue reaps fame' is true, then I am due for an extended stay on 'American Idol', that's all. I don't mean to guild the lily, but that would sure butter my grits! But what do I know? I'm just the dumb son who got stuck on the ranch while my brothers get to 'trip the light fantastic' on the yellow brick road of the American dream!" (I was hoping he would get to my favorite - 'When keeping healthy, a clove of garlic is worth 10 mothers!!') (sorry mom!)

(Editorial Note: The Lamont Blog is decidedly and unreservedly 'pro-mother' and thus we have no choice but to disassociate ourselves from that largely unnecessary gratuitous disparagement of motherly nurturing skills! Rest assured, disciplinary action is indeed being considered! Now, if he would have just shamelessly attacked 'mother-in-laws' that would have been a different kettle of fish altogether!)

Feb 3, 2010

Humbled Mayor Appreciates Town Even More After Spending 4 Hours In Spokane Emergency Waiting Room

In a classic example of the grass not always being greener on the other side, a local Mayor was able to put the more troublesome elements of the 2nd smallest Town in the State into a more refined perspective after spending a few short hours (that seemed more like 30!) waiting on a friend in a busy Spokane area emergency room sitting area. "Oh, I'll never complain about Lamont again!" bellowed the shamefaced Mayor a tad too optimistically, unfortunately! "It is so easy to sometimes see the town in a less than flattering context when the 'squeaky wheel' principle is in full form, but I tell you what, the biggest pain in the tushy in Lamont is nothing compared to the average person I saw come in off the streets of Spokane for various forms of medical care. Good gravy, man!!! Oh, we are so blessed here! I take it all back! I was a fool! There's no place like home, I say!"

"Oh, it was almost beyond words! Although the professional staff more than had their hands full on almost every conceivable level, just the sheer number of body piercings alone, if melted down, could provide Lamont with their own full-sized Statue of Liberty, for Pete's sake! And all that openness about flagrant drug addictions and various anti-social behaviors being broadcast to broken-hearted mothers via the worst invention in the history of mankind - the doggone cell phone - was enough to break the hardest heart into atom-sized pieces! (as were the clearly audible sobs of remorse and longing coming back thru the airwaves from the far flung, seemingly helpless mothers, wherever they were!) It was all very humbling! These are Americans - fellow human beings like us - many of whom are broken and lost and forgotten and without hope. (But for the Grace.....!) It put a whole new spin on the Lord's words to love your neighbor as yourself... One's neighborly shortcomings very quickly become apparent in a place like that - where the veneer of human nicety is laid aside for the expediency of the all too common currency of basic human weakness and survival - come what may."

"I must admit, it made me realize just how short I fall as a fully engaged human being! What an emotional miser I have become - dispensing empathy and human understanding as if with an eye-dropper - a truly modern man, indeed! What a devastating reality check! How this must sadden my Maker who, in spirit, I resemble not at all! Whoa! In those few short hours I saw more human suffering and misery, not including the medical ailments that brought them there in the first place, than Lamont has produced in the 100 years since our founding! So, let us just say I was more than a little pleased when we turned off of SR 23 onto Lamont Road and saw the loving glow of the 2nd smallest Town in the State. Sometimes beauty is only truly revealed when compared against something much less so! And personal short-comings are often only truly exposed against an abundance of opportunity lost!" he said before shamefully slinking off to re-read the Sermon On The Mount - hopefully to absorb its obvious import this time around! (talk about a slow learner!)

Feb 2, 2010

Town Just Can't Help But Love That Doggone Dennis Fuller From Century West Engineering

With Valentine's Day just right around the corner, the shockingly disorganized yet unshakably loyal Town of Lamont went down a collective memory lane late Tuesday as the moon glistened off our rain moistened streets put in by the TIB and Century West Engineering and the Town took stock of the many good things in their lives. (Sadly, the Mayor's keen management insights and bold, visionary (some would say 'crack-pot'!) orientation did not even break the top 50 on anyone's list (including HIS OWN!) and ranked even lower than that broken shovel that everyone seems to have in their respective garages!) (Darn their eyes, the ungrateful wretches!)

Dennis, the 'head honcho' or 'big cheese' or President or whatever of Century West Engineering, leads an amazingly diversified and highly-spirited (yet shockingly effective and success oriented) (and don't forget efficient!) team of individuals well versed in all aspects of their industry - from pure engineering and all that 'science stuff' all the way to grant writing and conflict management, too! (In Lamont, they have had to play the role of the habit-donning nun with the long ruler on more than one occasion - and we thank them for it!) "Well, given that Lamont spends well over 90% of our collective time either undermining the shockingly few existing institutions that actually work or dragging our feet in opposition to anything new that might make things somehow better, Dennis and his team have had to spend an inordinate amount of their 'Lamont time' in full riot gear! Who knows what they would have been able to accomplish here if they didn't have to spend all that time pulling us off of each other's throats! But even with that, Dennis and the gang have really taken this sad, 'left-for-dead' Town and turned it into a place you wouldn't mind showing to your mother. That really says something to me" he sniffed, wiping away a tear like the big softy he is.

"And Dennis is so dreamy, too!" butted in an overly eager yet decidedly representative local woman before being shouted down by the Mayor who, being a dude, just can't see how that would be relevant to excellent engineering project management in any way whatsoever!

Feb 1, 2010

Rancher's Son Stuns Palouse - "I was born a vegetarian!" Says The Lost, Tragically Confused Young Man!

In a sad, desperate, somewhat disturbing gesture that has left the entire Palouse shaking their heads in sadness and suspicion, (not to mention wagging their tongues to no end - although that behavior is not entirely new!) the son of a somewhat disreputable farming/ranching cabal, Stinky Snopes, age 19, threw caution to the wind and declared for all to hear that he has always felt an aversion to meat in general and beef in particular and that from here on out he would prefer a simple salad or vegetable medley over the more traditional and manly fare of huge slabs of blood-red beef carved off of the still warm carcass and slapped on the family BBQ grill for just 'a minute or two'. The madman, Stinky, just felt that it was time to let everyone know who he really was inside and decided that he could no longer 'live the lie', regardless of whatever social repercussions might ensue! Upon hearing the startling news, Gertrude Snopes, the raving lunatic's mother, was overcome by a swoon and has not emerged from the safe confines of her fortress-like room, leaving the family with yet another grave issue to contend with - the intake of 3 square meals a day! (Don't forget snacks! What about the snacks?) (Editorial Note: Prevailing local wisdom (talk about an oxymoron! Whoa!) seems to conclude that the unfortunate, confused, totally bonkers 'prodigal son', Stinky, must have been bitten by a rabbit or squirrel or something and in classic Dracula fashion has now become some unholy predatory monstrosity hellbent on crunching on innocent radishes and vulnerable bean sprouts or whatever unfortunate yet tasteless legume has outrageous amounts of fibrous pulp in it!)

"Well, needless to say, the whole family is taking this pretty hard" said the subdued and saddened Skeeter Snopes, age 51, the insane boy's father. Sure, it is a real blessing not having the wife nagging and needling at me all the time, but the boy's un-American views and the fact that I don't even know how to turn on the stove makes that little glimmer of freedom and sanity fade somewhat, I guess" he said sadly. "I mean, how could a boy like that come from my loins? We are a beef eating family, for goodness sake! And what sort of commie-loving man-hater came up with the basic design for the common oven? I mean 'come on!' All those knobs and switches and buzzers! The first time I tried to use it I just ended up bursting into tears! That just ain't right! And have you ever tried to cook scrambled eggs on the BBQ grill with all them holes and slats and what not? Oh, how could that boy do this to us?" he fumed. "That whole crazy mess had to come from the wife's side of the family! I mean, she did have that nutty aunt that voted for Jimmy Carter, for crying out loud! Right then I should have trusted my instincts and not chosen her to be the mother of my brood!" he raved.

Although not yet officially 'disowned' from the largely diminished and much over-rated Snopes family fortune (although the family lawyer, Bubba Cheatem, has indeed been contacted, but he was out poaching deer and has not called back yet!), the Snopes boy can't help but feel the cold, loathsome stares of his quite unnecessarily large extended family and thus has taken to spending his free time with the only creatures who seem to understand his confused and irrational worldview - the marginally self-serving yet surprisingly big-hearted herd itself! Cows, as is well documented, have an innate ability to sense a broken heart in both man and beast alike and can't help but lend a supportive nuzzle or a soothing moo at a moment's notice - all in a vain attempt to show the brave, wayward human vanguard that he is indeed not alone and might be onto something, after all! Plus, at the rate the Snopes clan consumes beef, this bold stance will more than likely ensure that at least 3-4 of their number will still be alive at this time next year!