Aug 30, 2010

Andy Griffith Returns From Grave To Help Ease Lamont Into Futuristic 1950's

In a bold move that once and for all proves that those Hollywood types really do care about 'the little guy' in this world as well as in the next, a home-spun cultural icon and darn good whistler returned to the world of the living to help the 2nd smallest town in the State adapt to a frightening and turbulent decade filled with Mohawk hairdos, drive-in movie theaters and really weird skirts with poodles plastered all over them. Mr. Griffith, known in these parts as being that mean, mean man who would only give that hero Deputy Barney Fife one stinking bullet instead of a whole doggone magazine (Barney Fife is definitely a psychological and temperamental role model for males of all ages in these parts), as well as being the only guy on earth who could ever put up with that clingy, annoying and bossy "Aunt Bee" (Queen Bee is more like it! Oh, the Greater Lamont Metropolitan Area (GLMA) has a dozen just like her!). Oh, and he is indeed that unfortunate man who should have turned that anti-social miscreant "Opie" over his knee in almost every dadburn episode (sometimes twice!), for crying out loud! (or shipped the little brat off to military school or something!) (out of politeness we won't even mention Goober! Oh, now there is a fertile psychological field just begging to be plowed!). This man, who we will call "Andy" but only because familiarity breeds contempt, was and is a prototypical small town American icon during the post-WWII years and beyond (up until that really great 'Sonny and Cher' TV show swept the hearts of the nation!) and helped to forever put the supposedly irresistible charms of small town living at the top of the list of outrageous and totally bogus national delusions that we all bought into like so many lemmings racing towards the North Sea and thus can't help but be disappointed with - once we committed ourselves and all of our meager resources to that particularly mind-numbing, quicksand-like life choice. Anyway, this said 'Andy', a fictional sheriff of some stupid small town where no one ever steals gasoline and where dogs do not take up about 80% of the mayor's time, demonstrated his calm, well-reasoned, and even folksy manner when he suddenly materialized at a town meeting and began to sooth the frazzled, taunt piano-wire-like nerves of an easily spooked citizenry from the surrounding area (although that Southern accent of his was pretty darn hard to follow at times! I mean, how many syllables does the word 'well' have, anyway?) - a citizenry that is largely adverse to change of any kind, even change that the rest of the world (including most 3rd world nations, for crying out loud!) plowed right thru with very little difficulty 50+ years ago.

"Well, if it weren't for that stupid mayor and all of his 'Big City Ways', me and my family could be safely ensconced forever in the loving embrace of the 1890's" said Scooter Bodine, 63, an area farmer/rancher and one of the relatively "pro-growth' segment of the local body politic. "Heck, who doesn't long for a time before all them fancy zippers and new-fangled fire hydrants and fancy parking lanes and, of course, those doggone sidewalks put in all over the place by that fancy-pants Century West Engineering! A town can only absorb so much change and innovation in any given 100-year period, for crying out loud! And I ain't alone in these largely irrational and self-defeating views, neither!" he bellowed in a vain hope that his laggardly friends and neighbors would hear him and come to his emotional and intellectual rescue. (Sadly, given the inherent laziness of this backward looking segment of the so-called 'body politic', he could only manage one half-hearted head nod and one furtive, sideways glance from the group of his supposed core supporters.) "Things just move so fast now-a-days! Now the town just seems to be a blur of painting and paving and planning and improving! That is just so wrong, I say!" he screeched with a definite tone of panic in his voice - like some big sissy on a roller-coaster for the very first time - even those lame ones that show up around here from time to time.

"Well, I have to admit it was a little creepy when we were talking about ways to make Lamont more safe and all of a sudden Andy Griffith of all people just seemed to come out of thin air over by the office space heater" said the amazed mayor. "After about 45 minutes of catching up on how Opie and Aunt Bee were and if Barney ever caught that gang of thieves from the 'big city' and if Otis ever got off the sauce, Andy really laid into us on the inherent benefits of embracing the modern era, even if we are 60 years behind the rest of the doggone world" he said breathlessly, still excited by seeing an actual dadburn celebrity. "He told us how Mayberry had the same growing fears as Lamont, but that those fictional characters just bucked up, got out of the way, and the next thing they knew some dude was making a dadburn TV show about the whole dern mess of 'em! Heck, we all know that we can never be a Long Beach, I mean, who can ever aspire to achieve those Herculean Heights of good planning and overall livability, but Andy was very effective, I think, in encouraging the frightened citizenry to stop rejecting every single change - especially the ones that make their families and children more safe. And, of course, we all begged and pleaded with him to somehow sneak into one of those totally awesome "Gunsmoke" re-runs, just for the heck of it. He and Miss Kitty would make a really cute couple - although Marshall Dillon does carry a gun and knows how to use it!" he concluded insanely!

Aug 27, 2010

"Doggone Town Getting Too Dern Big For Their Dadburn Britches!" Says Area Rancher Sub-Group Spokesman

The somewhat forlorn and uppity Town of Lamont, long languishing under the unforgiving lash of collective area apathy and inertia, has drawn the ire of a sizable segment of the area "ruling elite" with Lamont's totally unwarranted and misplaced attempt to bring the 2nd smallest town in the State into the early 19th century. The town, now enjoying a new water system with 82 psi and fire hydrants galore, also had the nerve to pave about half the town although everyone knows that people in these parts view gravel roads as the ultimate in transportation infrastructure (especially the way Whitman County maintains them! What excellence! They seem to be good at everything!). And as if this outrageous municipal social climbing was not enough, now those doggone elected officials, in a vast conspiracy with the County itself, are attempting to bring in a fancy-pants library where people can actually go to a building to read (and not the dern outhouse, neither!) and use those stupid, confusing computers as opposed to practicing the lasso on the dog or walking around the dadburn farm/ranch yelling at the dern wheat to grow faster like any reasonable person would do, doggone it!

"Well, this just beats all I ever seen" said Flem Snopes, 63, a spokesman for a thankfully somewhat small segment of the area farm/ranch community that lives outside the Lamont town limits. "Don't them people know that the town ain't got no business making things all fancy and livable - a town that it is our natural right as cow owners to look down upon and hold with distain? Heck, half of my somewhat battered self image revolves around always having Lamont to look down upon and to make fun of - and to think that them dern people would have the nerve to make improvements of any kind, especially without asking our permission first, just shows you that they have forgotten their place in the pecking order around here and they need to be brought down a peg or two!" said the stalwart although somewhat confused rancher who lives 7 miles outside the town limits. "Heck, don't they know that because I inherited all this land from my daddy who got it from his daddy that I am now and forever their natural master and that they owe me their total allegiance and fealty? It has been that way for almost 100 years, and me and my rancher friends don't see any dern reason to change something that is now working so well, doggone it!" he said with the righteous indignation that only the truly petty can ever manage to muster. "That is the one thing I hate about our form of government - that whole representative democracy/self-rule thing! Things just seem to work so much better when an un-elected cabal of self appointed tyrants runs things from behind the scenes, making sure that all the benefits flow to them and not to those stupid citizens who provide the tax revenues in the first place! How can people make decisions for themselves when they don't even own cows, for crying out loud? Think how crazy that is! Has the whole dern world gone mad as of late, or what? Next thing you know they will want to have their own attitudes and opinions that they don't check with us for approval on first! Oh, when will that madness ever stop then?" he fumed. "Oh, why did Germany have to lose WWII? Now that was a system that seemed to work just fine, in my opinion! Sure, you didn't want to be one of those 'undesirables' like Lamont is to us, but how can anyone who owns cows ever fall into that category, anyway?" he beamed proudly while adjusting his cap with the 'Confederate Flag' emblazoned on the front!

"Well, there does seem to be a disproportionate amount of interest in what we are doing, particularly from people who do not now nor have they ever lived in Lamont" said the somewhat perplexed mayor. "Sadly, most of this obviously abundant energy tends to be negative and is skewed towards either dismantling the good things we have now and/or stopping any new initiatives dead in their tracks. It is all very confusing, given that they have no natural stake in a town that they sat by and watched decline (with glee!) for the last half century or so" he said introspectively. "One would think that they would have enough to do and to focus upon out there where they live, but maybe they have let things deteriorate so far out there, that attempting to undermine Lamont just seems to them like low hanging fruit or whatever. Who knows...? But it does make you wonder if they ever taught government classes in the local schools around here. (We are sure they do now, anyway. The Lamont Middle School is a well-managed and highly effective educational institution! You should see it!) I feel pretty certain they didn't teach basic civics several decades ago, anyway. Either that or everyone was out branding and castrating the young bulls on that day." he said regrettably.

Aug 25, 2010

Entire Town On Edge As Area Wiener Dog "Wakes Up Cranky" For 3rd Time This Week

As if we had nothing else to fret over and carry with dread and loathing at the very bosom of our largely tattered municipal being, the shockingly self-absorbed town of Lamont was thrown back on their heels yet again this week when an area wiener dog, Honeybear, age 3, normally one of the sweetest and most affectionate of the smaller, yappier dogs in town, suddenly displayed a disturbing trend that has all the markings of a real pattern by waking up cranky for the third time in the last seven days. This unsettling reality, given the normally 'happy-go-lucky' nature of the dog itself, even factoring in the fact that the strange looking canine really doesn't have what could ever be reasonably called "real legs', has town insiders frantically reading their 'tea leaves' for even more ominous events waiting to spring themselves on Lamont like a stealthy, hungry panther availing itself upon a lone, isolated, tragically unaware sheep on some overgrown, forbidding jungle pathway a few minutes before dark really sets in! (Oh, and you know how fast it gets dark down there by the Equator!)

"Oh, that is just great! Like we really need that right now!" bellowed the beleaguered mayor from the town's 'state-of-the-art' crisis management center (that doesn't even have a bathroom, either!). First, we have people who refuse to walk on a sidewalk because they are mad that Lamont paved about half the town, then we have people who are peeved because we are putting in a library for the kids of all ages, then we have that segment (mostly outsiders!) who is fuming because we painted the fire station, and now this! Oh, the winds of ill-fortune are howling again in this humble little berg!" he rambled disjointedly. "Now, even our sweetest (certainly our shortest) dogs are showing signs of psychological instability? And one never knows, being so close to the ground and all, maybe she is picking up some vibes that the less vertically challenged of us would naturally miss. Maybe her crankiness with the cats and her Pomeranian pal Peetie are really just cries of warning in regard to some hideous calamity just waiting to descend upon the town like some biblical plague or whatever. Oh crud! How do we plan against an unknown of this magnitude, for crying out loud?" sniveled the mayor who tends to crack under even the most modest of pressures and who is probably retiring to his darkened room nursing one of his supposed 'migraines' as we speak! "Oh, when will Lamont ever be allowed to have what even the most oblivious simpleton could reasonably call a 'normal day'? he whined. (Editorial Note: Come on, folks! Aren't you now more thankful for your town and it's capable management? Lamont, although well-versed in controversy and crisis management, often lacks that quite essential suburban calm and peace that many of you take for granted! Plus, with all those unfortunate cattle smells, not to mention the ranchers themselves, and the unique demographic and psychographic make-up that Lamont so proudly sports, isn't there at least a small part of you that just wants to run right out there and give your Mayor and Council a hug, for Pete's sake? We, of course, frown on hugs here in Lamont, but we do support the more socially robust "High-5". So, go show your appreciation for not being forced to live in Lamont today. You will be glad you did!)

Aug 24, 2010

Mayor Slowly Recuperating After Receiving Mysterious Message From Friend Long Believed "Departed" (Yes, this is another true story!)

As if the cold, icy fingers of doom were reaching out from beyond 'the great void' to drag a lowly elected official to his just and toasty rewards, an area mayor stared his eternal and decidedly undesirable fate in the face when, upon opening his email, there was a message lurking ominously in his inbox (like the patient, ever-vigilant 'Grim Reaper' himself) with the name of a friend who the mayor believed to have 'passed on' in some tragic accident years ago. (Oh, like we needed any more reasons not to believe idle gossip!) This supposedly 'departed' friend, a certain Cindy of Hattiesburg, Mississippi fame, is obviously alive and kicking (and causing trouble, we are sure!), thus forcing the mayor to reexamine what other potentially bogus intel he has absorbed over the years that is just nothing more than 10 pounds of 'you know what' in the proverbial 5 pound bag! "Well, it was quite a shock, let me tell you" said the still deathly white and quaking mayor from his creaking hospital bed. (Psychiatric, of course!) "You know, one should always attempt to gauge the blood/alcohol level of the person giving you supposedly tragic information over the phone, for crying out loud! That is a good idea on any number of levels, not the least of which being the obviously negative implications of receiving a personal message from "the other side" any number of years later" he whimpered pathetically. "So, after regaining my composure (and changing his shorts!), I studied the wording of her email in some detail, trying in vain to determine from which direction it was sent, if you get my meaning, but being unable to ascertain any pertinent insights into that all important element, I just decided to respond and see what the heck happened" he croaked meekly.

"Well, after college the whole bunch of us just kind of got blown around the place by the four winds and we lost touch with each other to a large degree. (oddly, no one but the mayor seemed to ever lose touch with anyone - or people just 'lost touch with him', more like it!) Anyway, any number of years into this wayward sojourn I managed to run across an old college friend's phone number (late on a Friday night, unfortunately) and I proceeded to ask him about all the important people from our shared and quite inglorious past. That is when he dropped the somewhat slurred bombshell on me about Cindy! It was one of those unbelievable body blows that is more easily repressed than dealt with directly, but one that I have visited in my mind on a quite frequent basis over the years. It was a testament to the seeming unfairness and inexplicability of this pain-filled orb we trod, let me tell you. I mean, I met her on my first day in college when I was alone, vulnerable and pensive (don't forget dressed like a geek! Oh, those high-water pants and sleeveless tee-shirt with a bear or something on it were really quite embarrassing!) and we were fast friends ever since - that is until she got married, became some big shot and forgot all about her otherwise unmemorable friends who she plucked from obscurity and single-handedly helped to give a purpose to in those all important college years, that is" he sniveled ungratefully. "I mean, I can't really blame her for forgetting all about me given the fact that I have that same problem myself (with himself!), but after her tragic and ultimately totally false demise, the receipt of an email from her was really a wonderful surprise once I realized it wasn't some irresistible cosmic summons sent from the low-rent side of the River Styx, that is! Heck, she has been married to the same guy for 23 years, has 2 great kids, a fancy job and that same twangy accent, I am sure. The good thing is, now that I know she is safe, I have all the more reason to forgive her when I once again fade into nothingness as it relates to her current life and we go another 20 years without touching base or her giving me even a passing thought in her otherwise happy, meaning-filled and vibrant life as a faithful Christian wife, mother, employee and friend. (or one of those fancy friends she doesn't forget about for 1/4th of her doggone life, that is!) That really means a lot to me! And who can blame her for letting someone like me completely slip her mind for decades? That is all very understandable, if you ask me" he said quite generously.

("Editorial Note: The mayor and his Lazarus-like friend Cindy both attended the somewhat underrated yet decidedly fun "University of Southern Mississippi" in the 1980's, once again proving, at least as far as the mayor goes, that modern universities really do make an effort to elevate those less cognitively fortunate in society and to give them a chance to make something of themselves, although being the mayor of the 2nd smallest town in the State is really not much of an endorsement of their ultimate educational output, to put it mildly! In fact, this is almost reason enough to cut funding for higher education in this country across the board by 80%, for crying out loud! Whoa! The Lamont Blog just hopes that we don't get some snarky letter from the University lawyers distancing themselves from this somewhat disreputable association once and for all. In fact, we are surprised that we have not received a 'cease and desist' order while writing this darn article, for crying out loud!)

Aug 20, 2010

Record Mole Infestation Year Brings Mixed Blessings For Inhabitants Of State's 2nd Smallest Town

In one of those rare years that would allow even the most unobservant dullard the opportunity to scratch their heads in awe and wonderment, the area mole population of Lamont (or are they in fact 'Voles' - and is there really a difference?), never modest in the worst of years, is experiencing some sort of rodent-like "baby boom' or whatever as the doggone things are pushing up mounds of dirt all over town, even in the 'sanctum sanctorum' of Lamont itself - the town's only park. (Unlike that fancy Rockford, Lamont does not have its own doggone fairgrounds for the dern rodents to turn into Swiss cheese!) "Well, on the one hand my yard looks pretty much like the surface of the moon, but on the other hand I have not had to buy cat food since early April!" said Skeeter Bodine, 63, a man obviously able to grasp the thorns with the rose. "I mean, sure, it kind of gives me the creeps to think that below the whole dern town is some vast expanse of tunnels just chalked full of the cute little beggars, but on the other hand I spend most of my time above ground, at least for the time being, anyway! So it really doesn't affect me very much, although my stupid doctor keeps bleating endlessly to me about my quite prodigious pork consumption and the gallon and a half of buttermilk I drink per day or whatever. (But who can eat a whole bag of pork rinds without a delicious glass or two of room temperature buttermilk, for crying out loud?) Plus, those darn moles give me yet another excuse for my yard looking like a proverbial 'pig's breakfast', now don't they? So, if you think about it, I am saving a fortune on cat food and I finally managed to get my doggone, goody-two-shoes, garden-happy neighbors off my back for once! So, on some level, I would have to say this has been a pretty good year" he said thankfully. "I do wish the mosquitoes were a little worse so I could have something to gripe about to the mayor, but one has to take life's opportunities as they come and not get too greedy, I guess" he concluded sagely.

"Well, nothing in the whole doggone world scares the bejeebers out of me more than some cute, fuzzy, decidedly terrified little bundle of fur about 1/1000th my size and weight" said Erma Festoon, 56, from behind her protective perfume cloud that could stop a charging, enraged grizzly bear cold in its tracks at 30 paces. "If you think about it, irrational fears of that sort is what makes it so fun to be an adult. I mean, with all that bill paying and having to listen to all those unfortunate noises my husband makes, I rarely get a chance to relive my largely unmemorable childhood - but freaking out and running around the yard with my arms flailing above my head just seems to bring back those halcyon days of my youth when I didn't have a care in the world. I am a little concerned over how my cat, Scooter, is bulking up, however. He has been pretty much chewing non-stop since I let him out in early spring - although you could not tell that by the almost embarrassing number of mole hills in my yard. One would think that the darn cat hadn't caught a single thing all year - at least until you try to pick him up... Whew.. Good thing I don't have to take him back to the vet for his yearly checkup until March. That will give me the winter to get some of that mole weight off of him so I don't have to endure the 'stink eye' from the vet when they force me to put Scooter on the scale" she said pensively.

Aug 17, 2010

Town Tensions Mount As Mayor's Aunt Visits From Home In 2nd Smallest Town In Idaho (of all the doggone places to live!)

As if the cantankerous and largely self-destructive town of Lamont needed any more ammunition in its ongoing feud with itself, the tenuous political balance of the town was dashed to pieces as one of the mayor's relatives (Oh, why can't he be some 'kinless urchin' or 'rootless vagabond' or whatever, anyway? Like we need more of them people scuffing up the place!) decided to drop in for a week or so to check out the municipal Mecca where one of the family's decidedly questionable and profoundly embarrassing bloodline somehow was catapulted to the very pinnacle of mayoral power and prestige in a small town setting. (Editorial Note: Oh, we can't believe those words were actually committed to the permanent record of this lost, hopeless world! 'Catapulted to the very pinnacle of mayoral power and prestige" indeed! Oh, how nauseating! Where is a literary 'barf bag' when you need one - and we were forced to write that by our tyrannical management! Oh, the humanity! Must one sell one's soul for a doggone job in journalism - even on the largely pathetic Lamont Blog? Now that is pretty darn low! I mean, come on! What a person won't do for a dollar - and we mean literally 'a dollar'! What cheapskates! What skin-flints! What tight-wads!)

"Well, needless to say we were just so tickled pink when one of our brood made it to the 'big time' and became the mayor of such a big, fancy town!" said Trudy Leadbottom, 53, the mayor's aunt twice removed. (thank goodness for her it is somewhat removed, anyway!!) "Heck, our branch of the family over there in Idaho can't seem to manage to succeed at anything, for Pete's sake. I mean, heck, my brother Scooter once ran for dogcatcher and couldn't even manage to win that - although he only lost by 7 votes! (ironically, only 7 votes were cast in the whole doggone election! Not being very bright, Scooter somehow even managed to vote against himself, although he swears to this day that he didn't and that it is some sort of 'vast, right-wing conspiracy' - something that he seems to be in agreement with Hillary Clinton on, for crying out loud! And we all know from listening to the news media that that woman is never wrong!) "So, as we somehow managed to scrape together enough gas money for the long drive over here (and after slaughtering a pig before they left so that they had plenty of vittles for the trip and so that they could give that traditional and largely ceremonial gift that all visitors give when visiting another small town - fresh pork sausage!) - one can only guess at our excitement as we came up over that rise on Highway 23 and we were able to gaze upon the bustling, expansive, throbbing metropolis that we have all heard tale of! Oh, it was enough to take your breath away! gushed Mrs. Leadbottom, a woman not easily swayed by fleeting fancies and crass emotionalism of any kind. "You could just feel the vibrant life pulsing from every single-wide trailer and railroad house! (Editorial Note: The Mayor's house was in fact built in 1905 and is still solid as a rock and surprisingly well designed to adapt to the climate extremes that the Palouse faces. Temperatures in the 100's are not uncommon - and lows in the -20 F range are not all that rare, either! But some long, forgotten genius knew how to build a structure that could withstand these extremes. Obviously, that person was just passing thru on the way to Long Beach or something!)

"Well, this town needs that darn woman like we need a dadburn hole in the head!" seethed Mathilde Snopes, 67, an area farm/ranch wife and the town's alpha-busybody. "And who does she think she is with all them modern fashions she wears and by sipping her coffee without making loud, obnoxious slurping noises so everyone knows that the coffee is too hot but that it is so darn good she can't wait to drink it anyway! I mean, what a snob! Oh, and those dern fancy clothes that she wears! Like she just stepped off some fashion runway in Paris or the Tri-Cities or whatever! That darn woman has every man in town standing on his head, just waiting for a sideways glance from that no-good Jezebel! Heck, I never could stand that stupid mayor anyway, given his big city ways and all and the fact that he uses multi-syllabic words (whatever they are!) - but now that I met his snotty, too-good-by-half, sophisticated, obviously worldly, vampish aunt, I can't help but hate him even more! (Is that even possible?) Is the whole dern mess of them just a bunch of fancy-pants socialites more in tune with the social excesses that are killing this country than with the traditional American values we hold so dear in Lamont? (Editorial Note: The Snopes clan actually used their first zipper just last year (they take turns sharing it which allows them to bone up on their sewing skills!), discarding decades of the more traditional and tried-and-true buttons that this country was built upon). "Oh, I will just be glad when we can see the back of that darn woman (ironically, she holds this opinion with a majority of the town men! Whoa!) once and for all and she can take all of her pretentious 'big city ways' back with her to whatever fancy, citified boom-town she comes from over there in Idaho. And she should take our stupid mayor, too! It won't be a moment too soon for me, I can assure you!" said the outrageous grouch and notorious battle ax who seems to be able to gripe about everything - except, of course, her son who is currently doing 15-20 in the 'Big House' over there in Walla Walla after leaving his wallet and car keys at the scene of his last, hapless crime! (Oh, where is that '3 Strikes' rule when you need it, anyway?)

Aug 15, 2010

Manhunt Continues For Few Remaining Town Malcontents With 'All Them Big City Ways!"

In a bold effort to banish those decidedly unpopular and nefarious "Big City Ways" from the town once and for all, a vigilante mob of Lamont 'old timers' began a door-to-door canvassing of the town in order to flush out the few remaining registered voters who see the value in those quite unnecessary modern trappings of the devil - like pavement, fresh water with 82 psi of pressure at the tap, and one of them fancy buildings filled with books (with all them big words!) where people can just walk in off the street, sit down, and read for no dern reason whatsoever. This concerted effort to run the last troublemakers to ground and to 'remove them' from the body politic, involves a group of Luddite-like individuals going door to door (pitchforks and torches optional!) and subjecting the hopefully cowering citizenry to a series of questions - most related to the particulars of the dominant culture of Lamont - like details related to specific 'Gunsmoke' episodes and average wheat yields per acre for any year since 1890, and then of course the ultimate litmus test, requiring the 'guilty until proven innocent' suspect to eat a 'Rocky Mountain Oyster' (known for efficiency sake as 'RMO's") to prove once and for all that they ain't one of them fancy outsiders who are trying to overturn the laggardly apple cart that is the 2nd smallest town in the State. "Well, a tipsy, rampaging mob can sure learn a lot about a town by going door to door and intimidating the huddled masses into seeing the obvious reasonableness and righteousness of our current muddled, poorly reasoned and decidedly backward looking world view, let me tell you!" said Bubba Snopes, 62, an area farmer/rancher and one of several self-appointed rabble leaders tasked with 'purifying the town' of those troubling outside influences that want to change things for the better. "Sure, any old fool can bone up on 'Gunsmoke' details without really loving it for the true cultural icon that it is - and several weeks of study can allow even the slowest dullard to bark out wheat harvest averages, but it is the rare city slicker indeed that can woof down a Rocky Mountain Oyster without attempting a mad dash to safety - or at least the bathroom. That is when we know we have them and can take appropriate action, however harsh and disproportional. And if them people ain't one of them 'modern-loving crazies' trying to 'citify' the town, then they should be darn thankful to be rousted from their beds and humiliated in front of their families in the sacred cause of keeping Lamont like it has always been! Only a troublemaker would fail to see the wisdom of our ham-fisted approach, and we can and will deal with them, too!" he chuckled ominously.

"Anyway, we have a vague description of the dastardly agitators, for what that is worth" said Snopes. "To use that police jargon that I have a fair amount of experience with, mostly on the receiving end, unfortunately, these perps have what we like to call in these parts the "Three B's". Brown hair, brown eyes, and, of course, a brown nose from becoming too cozy with the rule of big-city Law! Sadly, this description can apply to about half the folks in far northwest Whitman County - so thus we have to use the 'trial by fire' method like our heroes in the Spanish Inquisition with the RMO's (Rocky Mountain Oysters!). So far it seems to be working!" he beamed with that twinkle in the eye last seen when, a continent away and not so long ago, really, the Gestapo would knock on some unfortunate's door in the wee hours of the night. "I just want to assure the lazy and culturally reclusive citizens like me who don't want to see any progress at all, either organizationally and/or related to infrastructure and amenities, that we, the righteous rabble, will flush out this scourge of modernity and bring them 'city types' the only type of justice people like us understand so that the town can get back to the way it used to be and so people can make fun of us again! We only have six more houses to interrogate and terrorize - and thankfully for us, we just got a new piping hot batch of Rocky Mountain Oysters (RMO's!) from our good friend Thelma Bodine and the Bodine ranch, (At 3:30 in the morning? Talk about commitment!) so that should allow us to finish up our late night activities nicely" he glowered, showing a disturbing number of missing teeth. (And, come to think of it, those darn town outsiders are just so helpful, aren't they? Especially when it comes to controversy!) "There ain't nothing more American than an uncontrolled, vigilante mob made drunk with the misplaced passions of the moment - a mob that is willing to exact the most extreme measures and sanctions in pursuit of marginal and often bigoted goals that fall outside the confines of the Law. We are just upholding that tradition in our little corner of the American Dream, that's all!" he said proudly, wiping away a patriotic tear on his tee-shirt that sports the 'Confederate Flag' from the American Civil War. (Good thing he didn't use his 'Swastika emblazened' handkerchief! That thing ain't been laundered in a while! Gross! Why won't those crypto-fascist sympathizers ever use a doggone washing machine, for Pete's sake? What would Adolf say? Wasn't he a clean freak or something, too?)

(Editorial Note: This story is completely false, at least as far as Lamont goes, although the area does seem to enjoy RMO's more than is reasonable and prudent! But it does serve to point out the tenuous hold our society has on the principles of self-rule and representative democracy that we should all hold dear. The only thing that separates us, in most cases, from the whims of mob rule and the sledgehammer of anarchy are those fine individuals in Law Enforcement. So, the next time you see a Whitman County Sheriff's Deputy or other Law Enforcement professionals (Like those fine, unsung heroes on the Mossyrock Police Department! What a bedrock of stability they are! It's worth a trip there just to say hello to America's finest in action! Plus, unlike Lamont, it is believed that they have stores and public restrooms! Go say hello! What else do you have to do? I mean really!!), please let these officers of the Law know that you know what a huge responsibility they carry so successfully on their shoulders, because the alternative is rather less pleasant. And how many of us can pull off the 'goose-step' if we surrender to the mob, anyway? Think about it!)

Aug 13, 2010

Entire Town In 'Security Lock Down' After Area Lamb Inexplicably 'Just Goes Bad!'

In a bizarre twist that would have Mary of 'Little Lamb' fame barricading herself in the root cellar with whatever obstructions were most readily at hand, an area lamb, rejecting all known stereotypes associated with the species and defying the stern dictates of the genetic code itself, apparently got sick and tired of following all the other sheep around and running from threats, both real and imagined, and decided to take matters into its own hands, if such a thing can be said about sheep who, in fact, have strange little hooves that are pretty weird if you take a good look at them. This unnamed hellion, still too young to have been painted with the same number as its obviously humiliated mother, quite uncharacteristically 'just went berserk' and began trashing the place after a local farm hand, Pooter Festoon, age 24, was about 15 minutes late in refreshing the water buckets and providing alfalfa to the adult female sheep so that they can keep a steady stream of milk flowing. "Well, I have been having girlfriend problems and was quietly sobbing out behind the barn, (for the third time that day!) so, yes, I was a few minutes late with their refreshments" said the big sissy and outrageous slacker who was the doggone root cause of all the subsequent County-wide devastation. "Anyway, when I finally did make it to where the sheep were, some weird sixth sense told me there was going to be trouble so I hurriedly flung some hay in the pens and tried to shoot the water into the buckets from the supposedly safe confines behind the fence. And the next thing I knew I felt this warm, fuzzy sensation near my disturbingly exposed jugular and I started frantically pushing on the demonic beast to free myself from its vice-like clutches. Then all I could do was run back to the barn, hollering (like a school girl!) for everyone to run for their dadburn lives! Thankfully, right about that time the monster began trotting up the road to Lamont and we were left to try to pick up the pieces of our shattered, fear-tainted lives!" said the melodramatic over-reactor who should have dealt with the matter right then and there (even if he had to sacrifice himself in the process!) as opposed to letting that unfortunate situation impact his neighbors! (Editorial Note: We have said it before, but good help is just so doggone hard to find!)

"Well, when we got the emergency call, the town immediately went to 'Code Red', the highest possible threat level!" said the Mayor, still nursing an ear that was thankfully sewn back on by a vet just passing thru on the way to Idaho or whatever. "Anyway, we set up and manned the usual barricade of cars on Main Street in a vain hope of containing the rampaging menace, but that darn lamb just swept right thru our roadblock like a knife thru butter as if controlled by the very forces of Hell itself! I mean, six cars and a tractor are now just twisted hulks of scrap metal, for crying out loud - and if anyone thinks the Town insurance is paying for that, they have another thing coming!" said the outrageous cheapskate! "Anyway that is when I saw the beastly thing make its way straight towards our newly painted fire station and I knew right then that I had to take matters into my own hands, doggone it" said the brave yet foolish hero who spent many hours painting the darn building, although the maintenance dude Jered actually did most of the real work! "So, before it could reduce our main town structure with its decidedly soothing color scheme to a pile of worthless rubble, I attempted one of those fancy wrestling moves (pronounced 'rasslin'!) that I saw on that professional wrestling (pronounced rasslin'!) tape I got of "Smackdown 2004" and was able to slow the monstrosity hell-bent on destruction down somewhat before all that pent up rage could be unleashed on the unsuspecting but largely deserving town. Well, I must have stunned the thing with my Ninja-like moves because it quickly turned on me and quite brazenly attached itself to my earlobe and began that half nursing/half chewing thing that some of them critters do. Oh, it was quite a nightmarish experience, one I don't want to duplicate anytime soon! Oh, that sucking/crunching noise was almost as bad as the unbearable searing pain and agony!" he said with his usual understatement and John Wayne-like bravado. "So, finally, 8-10 of the town men eventually got up the courage (after about 15-20 minutes!) (sadly, many if not most were cheering for the lamb!) and managed to extricate themselves from behind their wives and flung their worthless carcasses into the melee with reckless although somewhat belated abandon and we were able to subdue the agile nightmare in some cat carrier that one of them had handy for some darn reason. (It might have belonged to the vet! Who knows! What a blur! Arms, legs and hooves were flying everywhere!) It was all very touch and go there for a while, let me tell you" he said humbly, favoring his bad ear that I am sure we are going to have to hear about for the next year or so as opposed to him taking it like a man and not having to make some big deal over a little bitten-off ear! Sheesh!

The renegade lamb, once subdued and confined, was obviously somewhat upset upon being returned to the ranch and reunited with its none-too-pleased and somewhat stand-offish mother, (Oh, her standing in the flock certainly will take a nose-dive!) but seems to be adapting fairly well to flock life, although ranch employees have now been issued with stun-guns and pepper spray in the off-chance that the little devil somehow decides that the life of perpetual fear and loathing of all moving things, including shadows, is not to its liking anymore and the uncontrollable calling to 'live on the wild side' somehow wins out over its better judgment.

Aug 10, 2010

Town Contemplates Drastic and Long Overdue Name Change To Much More Successful Sounding "Faganville"

The lowly town of Lamont, long near the bottom in population size in a state known for its quite numerous small towns, finally came to the realization that maybe naming the fledgling town after a mountain that does not in fact exist in some doggone foreign language might not have been such a good idea after all and that some sort of cosmic hex or doom-like curse or whatever might yet still be associated with this 'slight of hand' pulled over on the unsuspecting State by our crafty and conniving town founding fathers exactly 100 years ago this year. As anyone who has ever been to Lamont can testify (all 12 of you), Lamont, a word that means "The Mountain" in some second-string language long ago surpassed by the much more manly and guttural sounding English tongue, is without question decidedly free of mountains and in fact is pretty darn flat, especially on the side of town that is nestled up against that would-be National rattlesnake reserve, also known affectionately as "The Scablands". Given the quite unsettling and less than stellar achievement of the Town under that patently false name, it only makes sense to try to hitch the town's wagon to a star that is obviously going places and one that does not carry the stigma of failure and underachievement like Lamont does - or so it would seem! So, obviously and for once, the citizenry glommed onto the one name that everyone agrees has spunk and promise - the name of our favorite State representative - yes, the name of Susan Fagan herself! (Oh, we're not worthy! We're not worthy!)

"Well, let me put it to you this way!" said the only guy dumb enough in the whole dern town to be the Mayor. (Oh, is he ever dumb!) "We are 100 years old and do not now nor have we ever had a public restroom! Do I really need to say more than that?" he said decisively. "Okay, that should be enough, but since you asked (Editorial Note: Did anyone ask him about that? We don't remember that!! In fact, we were hoping he would just shut the heck up already!) - let's just say that we are not the 2nd smallest town in the state for no reason. Oh yeah, and we went 60+ years and never put a lick of paint on our fire station, for crying out loud. And we let our water get so bad that even those unfortunate yet surprisingly sturdy houseplants that didn't drop all their leaves after the first watering seldom managed to live out the month, poor things. Oh, I could drone on endlessly for hours, (isn't that what he is doing now?) pointing out a million little historically bad choices, any one of which would convince even the most jaded skeptic beyond all shadow of a doubt that this name change is thus in order (if not in fact long overdue!) - and although I would love nothing more than to wax poetic on our cumulative lack of success, I think it is only right to spell out the virtues of our new name and the person who we stole it from. A town needs balance, doggone it! Although hard to believe, and thankfully we have pictures to prove it, Rep. Susan Fagan (R. Pullman) willingly came to our 100 Year Festival, rode in the parade such as it was, and somehow managed to demonstrate the internal resolve and outrageous intestinal fortitude to not flee in blind horror after what had to seem to her like decades in the gulag, (although it was in fact many, many hours which is cruel enough! Talk about above and beyond the call of duty!) for crying out loud. That fine woman was able to endure 'the Lamont Experience' for longer than any single individual in our dadburn history - a feat that ranks right up there with Sir Edmond Hillary climbing Mount Everest for the first time even though he lost his stupid mittens at the 26,000 foot mark! (he should have listened to his mother and pinned them to each sleeve!) Susan Fagan is a hero, I tell you. She has the right stuff and then some! And even after she left she somehow managed to refrain from calling in an air strike or artillery barrage or whatever to put the town out of its misery! What compassion! What grit!" he gushed! "Oh, we just love her! I just hope she doesn't sue us for defamation of character or whatever for associating our town with her formerly good name. Its not like we would blame her, however" he said diplomatically. "Heck, I feel like suing myself half the time for being dumb enough to be the doggone mayor, for crying out loud" he concluded with his usual muddied and annoyingly circular reasoning - always having to bring the discussion back to himself and his stupid 'so-called' problems!

Aug 6, 2010

Entire 'Greater Lamont Metropolitan Area' Stricken With Outbreak Of Disturbing "Long Beach Fever"

(Editorial Note: This story is not for the faint of heart. Reader discretion is advised!) The lowly and largely amenity-free Town of Lamont, one of the smallest and possibly the kookiest functioning representative democracies in the whole doggone world, woke up to find itself faced with a scourge so hideous and disturbing that the very municipal fibers that hold the Town together are strained to the breaking point and beyond. This latest municipal self-esteem-destroying affliction is more wide spread than previously thought and, according to the experts, one that could spiral out of control if drastic action is not immediately taken. This disaster somehow involves people taking their hard earned money that could be donated to Lamont, cramming their noisy and cantankerous families and pets in environmentally unsound vehicles that are killing this planet, driving thru one of the most beautiful States in the nation and spending lavish amounts of time and money in a location that runs contrary to everything that Lamont holds dear - like their facilitation of shopping and fine dining and casual strolls on a gorgeous beach for no darn reason whatsoever! Yes, the poor, lost souls are flocking in seeming droves to Lamont's municipal nemesis - the vacation wonderland and largely cattle-free paradise of Long Beach, WA. (darn their eyes!)

"Oh, this is much worse than even I feared, and I am about as paranoid as they come!" stammered the beet-red Mayor while waving his arms all around the place like some crazed lunatic or something. "Anyway, I called over there to Century West Engineering to talk to them about something and that ever-efficient Erika came on the phone. As I quite curtly expressed my desires for a 'tête-à-tête' with the big man himself, Dennis Fuller, Erika just casually chimed in that her sister just got back from a long vacation in Long Beach and proceeded to drone on endlessly (and quite cruelly!) on what a great time she and her family had and all the stupid, mundane things they did and how wild horses could not prevent them from going back next year! (Ironically, they even brought their own horses with them! Now that is just so wrong! What, did they leave their cows at home? That doesn't seem fair, now does it? Think how the poor cows must have felt!) Oh, it was all really very sad and sickening! I mean, I do not even know her sister, but any thinking and caring human being just naturally hates to see anyone so obviously lost and demented - as if the world didn't have enough problems already. (Oh, and those poor, lonely, second-class-citizen cows!) Oh, it really put a damper on my discussion with Dennis, let me tell you!" he sniveled unconvincingly!

"And then, as if this were not bad enough, I somehow ran into that doggone Ruth Simpson, a local councilwoman once tried and convicted of first degree "Long Beach Vacationism" herself, and I rolled out this long, sad, sordid tale of Erika's sister, a tale filled with human tragedy and weakness, and the next thing I know the obviously unrepentant yet disturbingly gleeful Ruth is telling me of a conversation that she just had minutes before with the Schwans food delivery man (is that how you spell Schwans?) and he was telling the obviously sympathetic and decidedly disloyal Ruth how he and his family just returned from a wonderful week in Long Beach, too! (We can't help but wonder if he had a car-full of those tasty and varied 'Schwans snacks'! Oh, talk about a dream vacation!!) That is when I knew we had a dadburn pandemic on our hands!" he whined. "Doggone it, when will someone relieve me of this meddlesome Long Beach? What sort of magic spell have they cast over the whole doggone world? And why do they have to be so good at everything, for crying out loud?" he whispered to himself, as if he were carrying the burden of the whole world on his somewhat sagging and vulture-like shoulders!

Aug 5, 2010

Beleaguered Mayor Unfortunately Equates Town To Highly Enjoyable "Fantasy Island' TV Show In Moment Of Madness-Induced Delirium

In a demented commingling of cultural images that appears to be the inevitable byproduct of the fetid Petrie dish of insanity itself, an area Mayor, obviously grasping at the straws of hope in the otherwise real-life raging inferno of despair and seeming societal incongruity, conjured up images of a happier, more simple time by equating the disturbingly unorthodox and oftentimes 'other-worldly' goings on in Lamont to a cheesy, hope-filled TV show from the early 1980's. This sad and forlorn attempt to bring some sort of rational understanding to a situation that is beyond the experience of all but the most intrepid cultural explorers of the very bowels of the human endeavor itself, is not only decidedly inaccurate on the surface, but is truly troubling because everyone knows that the Mayor does not have some short guy with a weird foreign accent who dresses just like he does. "Good gravy, man! Our mayor is truly nuts!" bellowed Gomer Snopes, 56, an area farmer/rancher. "Now I could see if he was over there prattling on about the doggone town being some strange brew of the TV shows "Hee-Haw" and the "Twilight Zone", but to place the Lamont experience in some tropical paradise where people run around with good table manners and color coordinated outfits is just so dadburn crazy!" he shrieked. "Oh, why do all of our mayors always end up in the very pits of madness itself, good for nothing but the rubber room and an occasional icy blast from a water cannon in some stinking, basement asylum cell, for Pete's sake? I wonder if it is just a long stream of bad luck or if the Town might somehow contribute to this disturbing mayoral trend?" he pondered naively.

The Mayor, currently sedated in some 'secret, undisclosed location' rumored to be frequented by former Vice-President Dick Cheney, is reported to blurt out "Da Plane!!! Da Plane!!!' from time to time, although Lamont is so doggone small and so obviously without amenities that only a committed mental patient like himself would ever even consider putting an airport anywhere close to the doggone town. Thankfully, given that Lamont is so small and all, the mayor's absence has not disrupted the normal office workflow - and in fact productivity within the Town office has soared a whopping 286% since he was subdued by a tranquilizer gun and unceremoniously dragged to some underground lair where he will either get a grip on reality or he will just fade into the recesses of our unforgiving collective memories while we look for a future lunatic candidate to fill his overrated role in our struggling, teetering democracy.

Aug 1, 2010

Area Teenagers Spend Entire Weekend ‘Text Messaging’ Each Other From Same Doggone Living Room Sofa

In a stunning testament to Lamont’s grudging entry, kicking and screaming, into the decidedly frightening and forbidding 21st century, two area farm/ranch kids, Festus Festoon IV and Skeeter Bodine III shocked local bystanders by employing one of those ‘new fangled’ devices, the cell phone with text capability, to make fun of each other without uttering (Editorial Note: Given that this is Lamont, we almost wrote ‘uddering’!!!) a single word to each other. This shocking behavior, a far cry indeed from the more traditional farm/ranch pursuits for ‘normal teenagers’ – playing ‘pull my finger’ and practicing the lasso on the dog, left many in the Greater Lamont Metropolitan Area (GLMA) shaking their heads in wonder and consternation. “Well, I’ll be dadburned if that is at all natural!” said Ebenezer Snopes, an area rancher and regional chewing tobacco spitting champion. “Heck, when I was a kid, there weren’t nothing wrong with spending the day starting a chicken coop fire or two and/or planning the violent overthrow of the government in order to set up a cow-tocracy where only people with more than 500 cows could vote! We would have never dreamed of sitting on our backsides using one of them dern things that uses that suspect voodoo magic ‘electricity’ to just write cutting, sarcastic, largely nonsensical things to each other when the other person was close enough to slap! It just don’t make no dern sense to me!” he bellowed before letting fly a huge stream of what is believed to be non-taxed chewing tobacco from those Native Americans across the border in Idaho or whatever.

“Well, no one was as surprised as me, let me tell you” said the pole-axed yet obviously proud Mayor. “I mean, we still have almost a third of the population who refuses to walk on our dadburn sidewalks because they prefer the 'good ole days' of meandering gravel roads (like Opey from the ‘Andy Griffith Show’ - that show still being a big favorite in these parts - right up there with Gunsmoke!) to the excellent new paved road/sidewalk/water removal additions supplied to the Town by Greg Partch and the TIB and Century West Engineering! (Lamont is very blessed by their professional associations! And the Good Lord really loves and protects this Town – especially from ourselves!). Anyway, I remember a few years back, you know, before I was hated by almost 50% of the population (Editorial Note: This visceral hatred is mostly confined to the non-voting felons whose favorite voter issues are banning the sheriff and all law enforcement from the Town and allowing dogs to run free to attack their neighbors! (and to protect their stash!) Thank goodness the more normal voters are still on board – most of them, anyway! By the way, the Mayor got 100% of the vote in the last election – all 28 of them!! And this felon group is diminishing on a consistent basis, too. Okay, the crazy and/or bitter ones are not in love with the Mayor either, but they hate everything! That is just what some people do! And have we told you how great the Whitman County Sheriff is? Whoa! That one organization has done more to help Lamont ease into the gentle, loving embrace of the modern era than just about any other! Century West Engineering is number 1 at this point, but it is a close run thing! Thank you, Sheriff Myers and team!!) “So, I have to admit that I got a little choked up when our teenagers were acting as worthless, lazy, rudderless and unfocused as the national norm for teenagers, that is! That is the first time even a small segment of our population could ever be considered normal! It is a major milestone for us, doggone it! We need a BBQ in the park or something to celebrate!!” he gushed proudly – never being one to pass up free food!! (Well, he is a dude! You know how they are!)