Sep 28, 2010

Lamont Declares New "Public Enemy Number One" - Gayle Borchard - That Doggone Long Beach City Planner!!

After years of thrashing about, throwing bombastic temper tantrums, naval gazing to the point of blindness and, of course, wailing and gnashing of teeth, the lowly Town of Lamont, having failed miserably in it's blood feud competition with the charming, well-managed and disturbingly delightful City of Long Beach, WA has decided to devote their quite considerable energies to attacking one of the key elements of Long Beach's success - the outrageously under-appreciated and darn capable City Planner of the town of Lamont's ultimate nemesis - yes, the very annoying City of Long Beach itself!! Lamont, lacking any coherent town planning effort whatsoever, cannot help but feel that the whole linchpin of their hideous and quite embarrassing defeat at the hands of a vacation wonderland nestled on the best doggone ocean in the whole dern world is, in no small part, to be laid at the feet of the one person who has been able to systematically keep all the pieces moving together into what is arguably now one well-oiled machine of municipal excellence. (Well, to be honest, compared to Lamont, that is indeed a relative statement - although Long Beach seems to have attained a stature and preeminence well beyond the decidedly embarrassing and profoundly minuscule standards set by the second smallest town in the State).

"Well, I realized that we have been barking up the wrong tree, going after the whole City of Long Beach and all" said the suddenly invigorated and perky mayor. "I mean, sure, attempting to undermine the whole City of Long Beach proved to be a dismal, humiliating failure, so it is only natural to attempt to pick off the one person who plays such a pivotal role in their doggone success! Without a coherent and effective planning function, things will just naturally begin to bog down - believe me, I am the Mayor of Lamont and we have almost 100 years of experience with this disregard for planning - so, it may take a while, but if we can somehow minimize Gayle and/or encourage her to take a job in Oregon or something, before we know it Lamont cannot help but look better in comparison. It is so doggone obvious now! Their dadburn planning function is the magic bullet that enabled some largely indistinct town that was blessed by the very Hand of the Lord with some of the best geography in the whole USA to shine so brightly in comparison to the tarnished, lackluster, decidedly underachieving hulk that is the Town of Lamont! Why didn't I think of this stupid strategy before! (picture him bonking his forehead like it was a 'V-8' moment or something!) That doggone Gayle Borchard must take a dive (and we don't mean in that beautiful, relaxing, seafood-filled Pacific Ocean, either!) in order for Lamont to ever have a chance in what we all agree is a life-long mission to reach relative parity with that doggone Long Beach!" he sniveled insanely! "Oh, it would be like the Germans in WWII somehow convincing General Eisenhower to suddenly move to Bermuda or whatever right before the D-Day invasion! Just think how differently things might have turned out then!" said the elected official who pretty much deserves to spend a decade or two in a rubber room or something! "Oh, Lamont cannot ever hope to succeed when our adversaries have such an excellent roster of human talent right at their very fingertips! We must succeed, whatever the cost - whatever the effort! We will fight them in the skies, we will fight them on the beaches, (Ah, Lamont doesn't have a beach! That is the original problem, remember?) we will fight them...." he rambled on, causing Winston Churchill to turn over in his grave with a groan tinged with pity, disgust and annoyance at being so poorly quoted by such an obvious raving lunatic! (Oh yeah, life is fair! Why does our Mayor have to be so doggone insane? Why can't Tekoa or Spangle or whatever be stricken with such overwhelming mayoral mental instability rushing headlong into the loving arms of downright certifiable lunacy, for crying out loud! Oh, why is it always us? (Or should that be 'we'? Darn English language!) Why must Lamont always be the dadburn canary in the municipal coal mine in this State? Oh, why must we always dive headlong where any normal, sane, rational town (with actual stores!!!) would fear to tread? Oh, true leadership is lonely, indeed!)

Sep 24, 2010

Area Elf Population Launches Desperate Local Literacy Campaign To Head Off Another Disastrous Mishap During "Elk Hunting" Season

The area elf population, decidedly jittery at the best of times, had bees in their little bonnets when it was realized that the annual "Elk Hunting" season was right around the corner and that their founding elf fathers, in a fit of short-sighted madness, (Oh, hindsight is always so 20-20! And what about the town founding fathers and their bright idea to place the town of Lamont all the way out here? Where is their scorn and ridicule?) decided to develop their little elf colony in a region that, how might one say it, well, that can't spell worth a dern hoot and one that seems to be unnaturally disposed to firearms of any kind. (Heck, who needs a book when you can just as easily kill something for no dern reason whatsoever?) Although there is a shocking visual similarity between the seldom used but decidedly whimsical sounding word "elf" and the much more guttural sounding and grunt-like "elk", these two words, in fact, describe two very different critters, and let's face it, one of them tastes a whole lot better than the other and doesn't have to be all smothered with ketchup or A-1 sauce or whatever in order to force the mess down. (Although we did hear that soaking 'elf' in buttermilk over night helps cut down on some of the ranginess - although it doesn't do a darn thing for that whole 'stringy" problem. Plus, one gets a lot more poundage of meat per bullet with that word that ends with the letter "K").

"Well, I drove into Lamont to see what the heck was going on and to cast decidedly disgusted looks at whoever was out and about at that particular time, and the whole dern town just seemed to be plastered with these cute little flyers somehow trying to draw a distinction between the letter 'F' and the letter 'K', for some dern reason!" said Dodo Festoon, an area farm wife and notorious busybody and snoot-bag. "Well, I was never very good with all that fancy book learning which is why I am dead set against Lamont getting that doggone new library with all them fancy words and all, but even I know the difference between a 'K' and an 'F'! (She should! Half the words out of her husband's mouth begin with one of them!!!) Oh yeah, and there was some little picture on the dern flyer that had this little guy in yellow tights with these cute little Spock-like ears waving his arms in panic or whatever with a drawing of a gun pointing at him with this big red circle with a line thru it or whatever, but who can ever figure out what the heck that is supposed to mean! Them signs is probably one of them 'big city ways' that that dern mayor is trying to bring in here along with all that pavement and them sidewalks and all of those other trappings of the devil, so I didn't pay it no never mind! Anyway, I didn't think that there were any more elves in these parts after those Bodine boys got a little carried away with all that beer they supposedly 'found' on the side of the road and got a little 'trigger happy' last year. But what do I care! I saw that darn town has a new BBQ grill in the park and that is enough for me to fret over and gossip about for the next 12 weeks! The nerve of that town going and making things all fancy! That just ain't right!" she fumed while stomping her size 13 foot on what was just seconds before the now rare remains of an actual functioning mole hole. (Oh, that poor mole! Just imagine the horror from its little subterranean point of view! Yikes! No animal deserves that, even ones that make your yard look like the surface of the doggone moon! Having survived the cat counterattack only to fall prey to Dodo Festoon's snow-shoe sized footwear! That just ain't right! Where is PETA when you need them?)

"Well, being the mayor of a town that doesn't place much of a premium on learning in general and spelling in particular does have its unique challenges, let me tell you, but to be honest, I have so many other issues related to that whole educationally contrarian thing around here that I just don't really have the bandwidth to address that tragic yet somewhat ironic elf/elk debacle, for Pete's sake! (Oh, could it be because of his supposed business idea to market "Elf Brand" "supposedly beef" jerky to unsuspecting Lamont tourists?) (Editorial Note: This idea never got off the ground because in the last 50 years Lamont has only had 3 tourists - and two of them were mountain climbers drawn to the town because of the highly misleading name, for Pete's sake! Lamont INDEED! Oh yeah, and the third wayward soul was, as it turns out, somewhat legally insane - or that is what some guy in a white lab coat said, anyway, when they came to haul him away!) It ain't like I don't care about those dern chattering elves or nothing but I have more pressing issues like everyone within 15 miles thinking every article in the town's newsletter was specifically written to somehow humiliate them and so thus they have no choice but to swear out a blood oath curse primarily focused at my ultimate and hopefully prolonged destruction! (Oh, like we needed that stupid newsletter in order to do that!) My advice to them dern elves is to stay put, remain in their little underground homes with those cute little round doors and just listen to stories from Gandalf the Wizard or whatever until the hunting season comes to its inevitable end!!" said the nincompoop who doesn't even know the difference between elves and hobbits, for crying out loud! Oh, no wonder Lamont is in the mess that it is in! Oh, maybe there really is no hope at all! Next thing you know he will be confusing those hard working yet somewhat cranky area dwarves with them dern whimsical, devil-may care pixies out by the Pott's place or whatever. When will the madness ever end then? Oh, good electoral help is just so dern hard to find these days!

Sep 22, 2010

Lamont 'Rocked Back On Heels' Once Again As Rockford Trots Out Latest Really Cool Social Gathering Idea!

The Town of Lamont, long renowned as the epicenter of really bad bovine-related humor in the entire Pacific Northwest, was propelled into a snit when it was learned that another town, that friendly, cute and outrageously well-managed (Oh, the three things Lamont has always so sorely lacked! No wonder Lamont is peeved! Oh yeah, and that darn town has stores!) Town of Rockford, you know, that fancy town over there on the other side of the Palouse that has their own fairgrounds and who somehow, thru 'hook or crook', ended up with a really great (and real) mayor (Micki) in addition to an awesome clerk/treasurer (Darlene - or that 'doggone Darlene' as we affectionately refer to her!). (Editorial Note: Thankfully for us yet unfortunately for her, Lamont is also blessed with one of the most outrageously awesome clerk/treasurers that the world has ever known - a certain Cheryl Loeffler, whose brains, talent, knowledge, insight, savvy and general understanding of the world we live in are largely diminished by being associated with a mayor who, by definition, holds that position in name only. We at the Lamont Blog would like to apologize to Cheryl because that is the best, supposedly, that we could do at the voting booth at the time. We really dropped the ball on that one! We are sorry, Cheryl! Maybe we will do better next time!) Anyway! This exciting Rockford event, also known as the Southeast Spokane County Fair being held in that fancy fairgrounds that whoever is really in charge around here decided to place in Rockford and not Lamont (Lamont only has one park - and the darn thing is named after the home of the Beverly Hillbillies! Oh yeah, life is fair!) - drew the ire of Lamont when it was learned thru the cow-gossip underground that the theme of the event would be the delightful, funny, enchanting and possibility-filled (and annoying!) "Moo D Gras" - kind of like some huge party that is somehow related to cows - at least in the margins. This cow reference, coupled with the fact that it is being held at a fairgrounds that no sane person would have ever put in Lamont, just seemed to be the straw that broke the camel's back for the second smallest town in the State, as they say!

"Well, I don't know much, but what I do know about that doggone Rockford pretty much assures me that whenever I hear their name mentioned I know somehow, some way, they are doing something that Lamont should have been doing, were we smart enough to come up with something like that!" stammered the red-faced mayor while kicking the toe of his boot into a formerly occupied mole-hole mound. "I mean, although I am racked with envy and mayoral jealousy, even thru my pettiness and small-minded, self-serving orientation I can see that that whole "Moo D Gras" thing was a stroke of pure genius! Darn their eyes! I thought at some point Lamont made it pretty clear that all things "cow" were our exclusive domain and that all other towns in Washington needed to keep their grubby hands off of them! I mean, there are dozens of different animals in the world (At last count, Lamont was able to actually identify 30!) - so why can't these other cotton pick'n towns get their own animal?" said the peevish emotional cheapskate! "But to use such a clever turn of phrase related to cows to highlight a really exciting event on September 24-26th held at the Rockford Fairgrounds (3 days? Whoa! Talk about show-offs! Lamont could never organize something that goes longer than 4 hours!) just seemed to us to be piling on a little, that's all! Oh, and all those exhibits and bands and all of that! It is just all a little too much, for Pete's sake! But the thing that really pushed me over the edge into mayoral oblivion was that whole "Kiss the Cow" contest being held on September 25th at 1:00 PM. Hey, if that ain't poaching from Lamont, what is? But we don't need no fancy date and time to do what just comes natural!" he said disturbingly!

"Anyway, I would just encourage everyone to drive over to beautiful Rockford to see that travesty of justice for themselves and to take an inventory of all the really cool, clever, fun and rewarding things that that rabble over there in Rockford came up with that Lamont should have thought of! Yes, this sort of creativity needs to be nipped in the bud, if you ask me!" he fumed! (Oh yeah, and don't forget the "Harvest Hoops" on Sunday, Sept 26th! Of course, people in Lamont just naturally assumed that that was some sort of new breakfast cereal or whatever, but we guess it is somehow related to 3-on-3 basketball or something. We have high hopes that some sort of delicious breakfast cereal will be available for the event, however, now that they got our 'hankering up' for a new and exciting breakfast treat! It doesn't seem that there will be a problem obtaining milk!)

Sep 18, 2010

Beleaguered Americans Reach Rare Consensus - Area Mayor Is Indeed "The Weakest Link"

In one of those rarest of occasions where a town in the Palouse actually gets singled out for something that is not somehow related to law enforcement or an unexplained cluster of easily preventable diseases or whatever - the entire nation, in a moment of collective clarity not seen in this country since that totally awesome "Sonny and Cher TV Show" won the hearts of a people who know good music when they hear it, reached a consensus on something. Well, this great nation was, or so it would seem, able to rally around yet another point of cultural unity - at least in the case of some two-bit mayor of a town that even a fictional place like Mayberry would reject any association with!! Anyhow, (Whoa! That Mayberry reference was kind of harsh there! But hey, getting rejected by Goober and company is newsworthy, we guess!) it would appear that this great nation, a superpower of well over 300 million people from every nation on the globe, was able to rally around one salient point - to line up shoulder to shoulder behind one crystalline reality in the otherwise muddied cultural wrestling pit known as America - and to acquiesce to the fact that somehow, some way, the Lamont Mayor was indeed "the weakest link!" When asked for clarification (probably by that whining mayor! That sounds like him! Oh, what a sniveler!!), it was determined that the Lamont mayor, a man who has obviously risen well above his natural level of incompetence (which ain't saying much!) as the 'so-called' titular head of the second smallest town in a fairly small state population-wise, was not only responsible for the woes besetting a town where people hate sidewalks and seem to be shy around fire hydrants, but many if not most experts from a variety of disciplines in fact place the Lamont mayor at the very apex of all of the national problems facing this once proud land! (Editorial Note: Was there any sentence structure there whatsoever? Yikes! Can't someone send us a book on grammar or whatever. Wait, oh never mind. We are past redemption now! Hasn't anyone around here ever heard of proper punctuation - like the period or semi-colon or whatever? We almost had to take a nap after hacking our way thru that muddied (and murdered!) syntax - not to mention deciphering that less than clear reasoning, for Pete's sake! That has to be in the top 5 worst paragraphs ever written, for crying out loud! Oh, I bet every English teacher in America is gleefully clawing their eyes out right now just for the sheer relief of it!! We at the Lamont Blog would like to apologize to our readers for our quite unintentional massacring of the long-suffering yet thankfully resilient English Language. Thank you!)

"Hey! Whoa! What the....?" stammered the obviously nationally calamitous mayor who is probably thrashing about looking for someone else to blame, knowing him! (Oh, isn't it always the same with him?) "I mean, sure, I have pretty much made a pig's breakfast out of that whole mayor thing, but you try leading that rebellious rabble kicking and screaming into the 19th century! Heck, if it weren't for Century West Engineering, we would still be rubbing two sticks together to cook up one lousy ground squirrel we somehow collectively managed to bonk on the head with a rock or whatever. But hey, I can take the hit for that hideous failure in Lamont, but to blame me for the whole doggone nation just seems a little excessive, don't you think?" whined the big sissy who obviously is in denial and cannot face up to the truly staggering failures that he has foisted on all 50 States and Puerto Rico. (Oh, just be a man already and step up to your failures, for crying out loud! Why make it worse?) "I mean, sure, there is nothing that I enjoy more than a good Elvis impersonator and, of course, I was the first one to give away pickled pig's feet as Christmas stocking stuffers - oh yeah, and I did set the trend for wearing black socks with Bermuda shorts and sandals - but you cannot blame me for the rest of it! I mean, come on! That just ain't right!" rambled the borderline personality who has to separate himself from reality in order to not be buried by the collective guilt that he so justly deserves.

"Well, I am not proud of it, but I have to admit that I have been watching Lamont, you know, like a guy who watches the film of a plane crashing into a mountain over and over again - or like some dude watching a pack of wolves bring down the lone, straggling caribou in the herd or whatever" said Peter Mason, one of the only people to ever be in the Lamont Blog who actually has a normal name (Oh yeah, and he lives in Boise or some town in Idaho! What more do you need to know?) "Anyway, knowing Lamont like I unfortunately do, I would not have been surprised if that Mayor got the most national votes for "The Missing Link", but I guess "The Weakest Link" works, too! (Darn your beady little eyes, Sir!!) Heck, I don't really care! I just need to get that stupid town of Lamont out of my head! It just rattles around in there like so many marbles in a coffee can! Oh, its terrible! I just wish I could simply think all day long about that soothing, outrageously well-planned, geographically advantageous, undeniably charming Long Beach, WA! (Darn your beady little eyes again, Sir!!! Oh, why must Long Beach always be flung into our already stinging eyes like so much icy sea water?) Oh, I rue the day I ever heard about that doggone Lamont, WA!" he whimpered quite insanely! "Oh, that whole place just ain't right! Is it any wonder that I am forced to hit the sauce with such reckless abandon?" sobbed the outrageous lush who probably has a liver the size of whatever stupid county that doggone Long Beach is in!! (Knowing their luck, it is probably called "Long Beach County!" Oh yeah, life is fair! That stupid Long Beach!!! Oh, when will someone relieve me of that meddlesome vacation wonderland?)

Sep 15, 2010

Entire Herd Demonstrating "Classic Stages of Grieving" As Annual Culling Time Draws Near

An area cattle herd, normally 'happy-go-lucky' and without any other worries besides where their next pitchfork of alfalfa is going to come from and why certain heifers seem to attract all the bulls, has been stricken with what animal behaviorists commonly refer to as the bovine version of the Kübler-Ross model, also more frequently known as the five stages of cow grief - a predictive model first introduced by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, (a well known cow owner and a wizard with the lasso) in her 1969 book, On Death and Dying On The Ranch. Given that there are any number of herd members, and let's face it, some of them are more socially advanced than others (the really dysfunctional ones are usually made into beef jerky!), the herd itself is showing all 5 signs at the same time, thus making the ranchers an emotional wreck from trying to deal with each individual cow in order to supply just the type of support structure most appropriate for them at the moment! These unfortunate stages of cow grief are:

1. Denial - "I feel fine. There is no way 90% of the calves and all the old heifers are going to be shipped to the meat processing plant in Oregon! This can't be happening, not to me! I can see it happening to the Bodine herd, but not my herd!" Denial is usually only a temporary defense for the unfortunate bovine. This feeling is generally replaced with heightened awareness of situations and other cows that will be left behind after the 'long, slow trip in the cattle truck!'. (That is why the ranchers usually tell the herd they are really going 'economy class' to 'Cow Disneyland!')

2. Anger - "Why me? It's not fair! How can this happen to me? I have a few more calving seasons left in me! Who is to blame?" Well, the obvious answer to this is, of course, the ranchers and their lust for money (and a good ribeye!) are to blame - and oh yeah, all of those doggone meat eaters are to blame too, but this provides little comfort to a grief-stricken bovine with just a few short hours or days to live. Once in the second stage, the cow recognizes that denial cannot continue. Because of anger, the cow is very difficult to care for due to misplaced feelings of rage and envy - not to mention all of that unprovoked head butting! Any other animal that symbolizes life or energy or that is not considered a worthy or desirable meat source, including those crafty coyotes and of course those stupid sheep (who are going thru the same process, doggone it! Why doesn't anyone care how sheep feel? And who eats mutton, anyway?) is subject to projected resentment and jealousy.

3. Bargaining - "Just let me live to see my calves grow up to breeding age. I'll do anything for a few more breeding years - even though finding good grazing land in the Scablands is kind of a pain. I will give up my turn at the saltlick if..." The third stage involves the hope that the cow can somehow postpone or delay death in some distant slaughterhouse. Usually, the negotiation for an extended life is made with a higher power like a rancher or veterinarian in exchange for a reformed bovine lifestyle. Psychologically, the cow is saying, "I understand I will die, but if I could just have more time..." (Ranchers and vets are traditionally immune to this sort of plea!)

4. Depression - "I'm so sad, why bother with anything? "I'm going to die... What's the point? Why go on chewing my cud and putting on weight?" During the fourth stage, the soon-to-be dying cow begins to understand the certainty of death. Because of this, the cow may become silent, refuse visitors from other herds and spend much of their time crying and grieving out behind the barn. This process allows the dying cow to disconnect oneself from things of love and affection that its herd-mates so abundantly provide. It is not recommended to attempt to cheer up a cow who is in this stage. It is an important time for grieving that must be processed.

5. Acceptance - "It's going to be okay. I can't fight it, I may as well prepare for it. I'll just go charging up the loading ramp to the cattle truck and take my ultimate slaughter like a bull!" In this last stage, the cow begins to come to terms with their mortality or that of their loved ones.

As we all know, cows have a full range of emotions, just like human beings do, and it is important for all of us to provide the maximum amount of sensitivity and understanding during this difficult period, a period that unfortunately seems to happen every year. So the next time you find yourself face to face with a cow, please be sensitive to their unfortunate predicament! Your turn might be next!

(Editorial Note: In the spirit of full disclosure, we at the Lamont Blog feel obligated to report that we are currently thawing hamburger for dinner - a substance that might be cooked on the grill - or maybe worked into a 'Shepherd's Pie' or something - and also that we are not above the occasional "Slim Jim" or slab of savory beef jerky. There, now that we got that whole 'ethical thing' out of the way - the tattered remains of whatever conscience we have left is more or less appeased. Thank you.)

Sep 14, 2010

Area Bird Watching Group Condemns Lamont Blog For Shamelessly Referring To That Classic American Novel "To Kill A Mockingbird"

As if we needed any more proof that folks in the surrounding area of Lamont can find just about anything to complain about, an area bird watching group got their feathers all ruffled and their beaks out of joint when your humble Lamont Blog, in an unrelated breaking story about Lamont being sued by another town, pointed out that the opposing (and over-matched!) attorney in said lawsuit, a certain Atticus Finch (what is with all these bird names, for crying out loud?) would be leading the misguided crusade against Lamont in this frivolous travesty of justice. (Ha! Little do they know that Lamont just so happens to employ the best doggone small town lawyer in the State - an individual who strikes fear into even the most hardened malcontents at 200 yards - that legal mastermind and savvy advisor, Cindy McMullen herself! So bring it on, Mr. Finch! We just feel bad that your daughter Scout has to see you get so roughly handled by our quite awesome A-team legal mastermind, that's all! I mean, she is just a kid, or she was when the book was written in the 1960's or whatever!)

"Well, I just think that any literary or book-related reference is just unsupportable on the face of it, especially ones that draw attention to the wanton slaughter of millions of mockingbirds per year, just because these birds tend to make fun of people - and people don't like to be made fun of! Mockingbirds can't help it that they were born to mock! Sure, they go too far sometimes, but who doesn't? They are not called 'teasing-birds - and we all know teasing is easier for a person to take than a good mocking - but it ain't no dern reason to go committing cold blooded murder, now is it? Wait, do birds have warm blood or cold? They are related to them dinosaurs - so they must be cold blooded! Yep, they are cold blooded, that's right!" said the shockingly incoherent and rambling Dodo Festoon, 56, an area gossip and part-time farm wife. (Dodo has been making the news quite a lot lately! Where is her dern husband while she is out sowing discord?) "Anyway, when you get right down to it, it don't matter none about them birds, but if something has the word "Lamont" in it, me and my friends are going to complain. It don't matter a lick what it is. But this whole bird angle just kind of gives the impression that we care about something besides just causing trouble, although any dern fool who knows us knows that is a mighty tall tale indeed! We just like to cause a fuss, that's all!" stammered the excited Mrs. Festoon who unfortunately tends to spray spittle when she gets all agitated and talks too darn fast. "But mockingbirds have their place in the great - you know - that whole dern nature thing - and having any organization with the name "Lamont" in there running around all over the place talking about killing the poor things and unsettling that whole animal balance thing, whatever that is called, (Ah, let us guess - ecosystem, maybe?) is just wrong and needs to be stopped!" she rambled on, making more sense than is normally the case with her. "And those Lamont Blog people don't even own cows! And I bet they cannot tell the difference between barley and wheat when it first comes up in the field! (Well, she got us there! Dodo - 1 Lamont Blog - 0) So what do they know that matters a lick, anyway? They just need to shut up, listen to us on every aspect of life and leave them poor birds alone! All we care about is that whole nature thing. This ain't personal or nothing, it really ain't!" she concluded, giving credence to the age-old expression "Thou protest too much!"

(Editorial Note: Contrary to the quite unfair implications outlined in Dodo's scatological diatribe, the Lamont Blog is 'pro-bird' in general and 'pro-mockingbird' in particular. The Lamont Blog, as the premier news organ in all of far, far northwest Whitman County, takes our social and ecological responsibilities quite seriously, and, although we would like to boast that we would 'not hurt a fly' that is not strictly true, given how those darn things tend to fly in the back door and that doggone fly-swatter just always seems to be handy back there. But we can say we would never hurt a bird - although the same cannot be said for the Lamont Blog's cat, Scoop - although she is now so fat from all of those moles that the birds are safe from her until at least next June or July, at the soonest. Thank you!!)

Sep 13, 2010

Town "Pulls Out The Big Guns" In Vain Attempt To Address "Post-Mole Infestation' Obese Cat Conundrum!

The lowly town of Lamont, still quaking in their boots after repelling an insidious and frighteningly creepy "mole infestation" that swept over the town like some cute, furry, more-or-less irresistible tsunami of rodent-like devastation, is now attempting to accomplish a feat so daunting and seemingly impossible that experts across the globe give the town a 1 in 275,921.34 chance of actually accomplishing it in the next 12 months. This level of task, only undertaken by the truly brave, the foolhardy, the insane or those considerably well above the legal blood/alcohol level in the Great State of Washington (YES!!! Lamont qualifies for at least 3 out of the 4!!), involves getting one of the laziest animals ever to saunter off of Noah's ark, (tail held high, of course) - to drop an average of about 40 pounds before their annual collective vet checkups in the spring!

"Well, we seem to be in a bit of a spot here" said the obviously worried mayor from the dark catacombs of the Lamont Emergency And Crisis Management Command Center (LEACMCC). "I mean, there are few animals that even come close to the sheer outrageous laziness of the common housecat, and given that this is Lamont and factoring in their owners, one must assume that these cats are in the top 2% in laziness in what is by general agreement one doggone lazy animal!" he stammered, showing his usual restraint and verbal modesty that he often demonstrates in the face of a gale-like hurricane of impending crisis and potential doom. "Anyway, first off, we tried cutting back on their dry food but the stupid cats just shrugged off that feeble and somewhat obvious gesture and appeared to go into some weird 'semi-hibernation' state - thus keeping their expenditure of calories at a constant rate. Then some dern fool came up with the idea of taking the cats for walks on leashes, and that ended up in disaster with several unfortunate hospitalizations, one in particular involving that "Lifeline" helicopter from Spokane. Finally, the town resorted to making the cats watch exercise videos of cheetahs running down gazelles on the African plains, but the stupid cats just tended to curl up and fall asleep on the couch! Oh, why must all these truly vexing and seemingly unsolvable problems always darken our door? I mean, we are the 2nd smallest town in the state! Shouldn't we, by definition, have fewer problems than those huge megalopolises like Fairfield and Tekoa do? It just doesn't seem fair somehow!" he whined in that really annoying, pathetic, disgusting way he has that makes every person with a lick of sense just want to give him a doggone kidney punch or whatever!

"Anyway, as I sat in our Command Bunker (CB) (that doesn't have a bathroom, either!), feeling sorry for myself at having failed the town once again, a group of school children came on a field trip so that they can learn what actually happens to towns when they have apathetic management for 50 + years so that, just maybe, when they are adults, they will be 'scared straight' and hopefully won't make the same mistakes and thus become a drain on the taxpayers!! (That does seem a little harsh, don't you think? Exposing young children to Lamont and all! Where are their outraged mothers!) Well, as I sat like a worthless lump at the Command Table (CT), head in hands, vulture-like shoulders sagging even more than usual if that is at all possible, all hope gone, (Editorial Note: And being mocked by the nightmarish 2nd graders! That was at least a positive note! Oh, that was great!) one of the little 'crumb-crunchers' came up to me and said (in a cute little voice!) "Ah, Mr. Mayor, sure, you failed miserably and let down the whole town with your fat cat problem solving ability - or lack there of, but look on the bright side, it is going to be Christmas soon! Maybe Santa can help you! (Of course, the stupid brat forgot about that whole 'naughty or nice clause' that that bearded tyrant slipped in there for no darn reason, thus making it much more likely that the mayor would receive a sack of coal or, even more likely (and appropriate!), a big bag of those unfortunate cow byproducts! And don't even get me started on those shifty, worthless elves with their little Spock-like ears and squeaky little voices!!!). "Oh, out of the mouths of babes comes wisdom! That kid was right! Lamont would formally petition Santa with the wish that all the town cats return to a size that is in fact smaller than a doggone garbage can! What pure genius! And the solution was staring me right in the face the whole time! Anyway, of course I immediately shooed the beastly little non-taxpayers out of the Command Bunker (CB) so I could compose my desperate letter to Santa himself. I just hope the postage to the stupid North Pole doesn't cost the town a doggone arm and a leg!" said the outrageous cheapskate!

(Editorial Note: Although this pains us, special thanks must go to that doggone Long Beach for that picture of Santa and the cat. Not only is Long Beach extremely well planned under the steady hand of Gayle, but the doggone place seems to have a picture for just about every occasion. Anyway, I never thought I would have to say this, and it in fact runs against the very fiber of my being, but "Thank you Long Beach!" There, I said it. I hope you cherish this latest and most devastating humiliation! Darn your eyes! Can't you leave us with at least a single tattered shred of dignity?)

Sep 11, 2010

Nice Looking Town-Owned "Town Hall" Paint Job Still Drawing Sparks From Area 'Non-Resident, Non-Painting Types'

In one of those kooky corner-cases that can only happen in a place like Lamont, a sizable segment of the outlying regions of the Greater Lamont Metropolitan Area (GLMA) are 'just fit to be tied' and 'hopping mad!' because the town owned "Dale Windsor Building" got a fancy new coat of paint for the first time in 60 years (that means the first time ever, folks!) late this Spring. This monumental paint job for such a modest-sized building required well over 35 tubes of caulk, 25+ gallons of premium primer as well as 25+ gallons of smooth flowing (yet doggone expensive!) latex paint in three cotton-pickin' colors - all in order to cover the signs of decades of neglect and vandalism in the unforgiving climes of the northern Palouse where temperatures can range from 100+ F to -20 F in the same dadburn year. The building's longevity, truly amazing given the number of sizable cracks, fissures, gaps, openings and other points of water egress, is a testament to American ingenuity and the durability of our concrete blocks and mortar back in a time when America was known for the quality of such things.

"Well, that just beats all I ever seen!" said Dodo Festoon, an area farm wife, busybody, shameless gossip and know-it-all who lives 9 miles outside the town limits. (and who has never lived within the town itself, by the way!) "Why in tarnation would a town go painting their primary structure in the first place? I mean, not only does it make almost every other building in these parts look bad now, but as any dern fool knows, once you paint you just eventually have to paint again! It is the devil's treadmill, for crying out loud! It is much more sound thinking to just let nature take its course and have the building collapse and just hope no one is inside when it happens. (okay, maybe the current mayor could be in there, but no one else!) But nooooo! That smarty-pants Lamont had to go breaking decades of tradition and go fancying up the place like them dern 'big cities' do! No wonder me and all my friends spend such a big chunk of our time attempting to undermine the efforts of the town and go spreading such inane gossip and outrageous tall tales about the place. It just ain't natural for them to go off all half-cocked and go improving things and all of that! The nerve!" screeched the appropriately named farm wife, whose voice unfortunately caused a minor stampede out at the Bodine spread 6 miles away! (the 3rd stampede this week alone!) "This is farm country, and in these parts we just let things decay, that's all! Just look around if you don't believe me!" she beamed proudly while grandly sweeping her arm out over the Festoon acreage! (Also affectionately known as - The "Pull My Finger" Ranch!)

"Well, when we ran out of 20 tubes of caulk on the first day and never even got to the windows and doors, I knew we might have let things go a little too long!" said the ever-vigilant mayor. "Sure, I have only been the mayor for 4 years and painting that poor, neglected building was on the town's 'to-do' list for at least 3 of them, but we just have to thank the good Lord that the dern thing remained standing until we could muster up enough volunteers to get the job done. Whew...! That thing had so many cracks and pin-hole openings that it just collected water like a sponge. With the freeze/thaw cycle we have here, it is a plum miracle the place wasn't reduced to dust years ago!" he said, giving a heavenward nod of appreciation and thanks. "But why a bunch of people who do not even live within the town limits care one way or another what we do with our own buildings is beyond me! I thought those people were supposedly so busy working on their ranches and farms that that is why the town was allowed to get into the sorry state of disrepair it was in the first place. But obviously they have more than enough time to meddle in things that don't actually concern them - so who knows! (Could this whole 'rural workload thing" really just be some elaborate bluff to garner sympathy? That seems less than likely given the massive allocation of man-hours spent reinforcing that perception in the first place! Hmmmm. There seems to be some discongruity here on any number of levels! Anyway! Moving right along!) There seems to be no shortage of available man-hours when the whole dern mess of 'em (the meddlesome ones, that is, not the normal ones who are probably too busy working or entertaining charming and interesting people from some far off and exotic lands like Cheney or Moses Lake, (Let's just hope it ain't Long Beach!) for crying out loud!!) feel like kicking up a contrived fuss that is totally outside of their natural scope of control - at least as far as the State Constitution defines such things. Maybe if they spent less time trying to brow-beat Lamont into remaining in the Dark Ages, they could make their farms and ranches (also known as 'spreads'!) look a little more presentable on the rare occasions that anyone wants to visit them for whatever reason, for Pete's sake. But then again, I don't really care since that is all outside of the Lamont town limits and thankfully beyond my scope of responsibility! Now if we could just convince the malcontents and hand-wringers in the far northwest corner of the County proper to do the same it would be "the best of all possible worlds", at least that is what that Candide feller was always running about saying - or I think it was that Candide guy! Dang, I need to read more!" he concluded with an air of thoughtful repose while shamelessly employing another poorly fitting and at best tangential so-called literary reference from some dead French dude who was a socialist or doggone Commie or whatever!! (Or does Voltaire live on in our hearts?)

(Editorial Note: Since tall fences make good neighbors and absence makes the heart grow fonder, then maybe if we could ever convince the forever-negative troublemakers to just stay within their own doggone fences (when they are not howling at the moon or griping about something!) we in Lamont would eventually come to miss them. And it ain't like they come to Lamont to do their shopping, either, since the Town was allowed to decline to the point that all the stores left. That is just a thought! But what do we know? We are just the stupid editors of the Lamont Blog - the Siberia of journalism - where a reporter's dreams go to die! Oh yeah, life is fair! We bet reporters in Long Beach don't have this problem! Stupid Long Beach! Always so good at everything!)

Sep 5, 2010

Nation Stunned, Horrified To Learn Lamont's Only Park Is Named After The Hometown Of The Doggone Beverly Hillbillies! (sadly, this is true!)

In one of those 'not so rare' moments that leaves normal people across the globe muttering "Dang, I wish I didn't know that about Lamont!', the sad, sordid truth about the only park in the 2nd smallest town in the Great State of Washington was unleashed on the nation when word leaked out that this said park, known locally as "Bug Tussle", was in fact a name taken from the original home of those lovable yet somewhat unpolished rapscallions of the little screen, those icons of the 1960's - the Beverly Hillbillies themselves! Although almost impossible to believe (you can't make stuff like that up, folks!) but somehow so fitting and appropriate once realized, this cute little park holds significance far outside the modest proportions that it commands in the municipality itself! "Whoa! When I first heard it, I figured it was just another misguided attempt to drag Lamont back into the Dark Ages or whatever, but then I did a quick online search and my blood just turned to ice water!" said the pole-axed mayor while looking frantically over his shoulder to see if anyone was listening. "Although I am paranoid to the extreme, I can't help but believe there is some larger conspiracy at work here - you know, kind of like the Masonic Order and their influence in America, as demonstrated by those weird symbols on the dollar bill and all of that! Could this be our Town Founding Fathers (And Mothers!! You know how dominant the women are around here! Whoa!) sending us a message over the ages - one that highlights the core beliefs of the original brain trust that was Lamont until a few short years ago? Well, that would explain the unnatural (and thankfully limited!) opposition to a new library as well as help shed light on why we are 100 years old with no public restroom and why some of the 'old timers' resent pavement and refuse to walk on sidewalks! (we won't even mention the aversion to painting!) It is all coming together now! Oh, why didn't someone let me know this 4+ years ago when I became the mayor? That would have saved me a lot of time trying to explain the unexplainable! Whew! It feels like a load has been lifted off my sagging, vulture-like shoulders! Whoever named that park obviously viewed the Beverly Hillbillies as societal role models and sent a clear message to future generations that outsiders and all of their "Big City Ways!' need not come traipsing around here lest they get a backside full of buckshot from Granny herself!" (And how many 'Granny wannabees' can one place have, anyway?) Oh, I see it all so clearly now!" he gushed with obvious relief provided by this penultimate of eureka moments!

"Well, sure, there is a vast conspiracy to keep Lamont backward, ignorant and under foot, but the whole dern world weren't supposed to find out about it!" said the peeved Brunhilde Snopes, an area farm/ranch matriarch and quite famous busybody/battle ax! "Given the genetic implications of the 'dumbest son' always inheriting the ranch and the natural dampening effect that this has after just a very few generations, it was of course in our interest to make sure Lamont remained a place we could recognize - and before we knew it, a whole secret society just blossomed up and has held sway ever since. Yeah, instead of a secret handshake we used "Pull my finger" and instead of elaborate initiation rituals and varying degrees of membership we substituted cow ownership, but basically we did in fact follow the wise dictates of other secret societies. And when we needed a lasting role model and archetype that symbolized the very foundations of our way of life and Luddite-like world view, who was better than the Beverly Hillbillies to carry our banner - especially since Jethro Bodine from the TV show is first cousin to the quite prodigious (yet underachieving!) Bodine clan out in these parts! It just seemed like a good fit, that's all" she said proudly through a winning "Jack-o-lantern' like smile...

(Editorial Note: You decide, folks. Lamont's only park is named "Bug Tussle" and the original home where these said "Beverly Hillbillies" came from - you know, where Uncle Jed went looking for some food, and up from the ground came a bubbling crude - black gold, Texas tea, and all of that - that place is, unfortunately, named Bug Tussle, too. Coincidence? We leave that to our readers to decide! Thank you! And remember folks, the Lamont Blog is largely a parody, so before you go getting all riled up and go get a snout full of Granny's "Rhumatiz Medicine!" (or liquid courage!) and want to get angry and nasty at us, (for no darn reason!) just realize that there is no fun like good clean fun and that this is in fact America (we think) - so stop taking yourselves so seriously and go take a dip in the cement pond!. And similarities between this story and real, actual citizens of the Greater Lamont Metropolitan Area (GLMA) are purely coincidental!! - (or are they?) That is for you to decide! But that is our story and we are sticking to it!)

Sep 2, 2010

Fictional Citizens Of Imaginary Town Sue Lamont For Potential Defamation Of Character

In a legal 'slight of hand' not seen in this country since that unfortunate OJ Simpson trial, the decidedly irate, determined, and, let's face it, fictitious citizens of Mayberry - a town that is believed to have been set in a fictional North Carolina setting, banded together and hired the imaginary lawyer from "To Kill A Mockingbird" Atticus Finch, also from a fictional North Carolina town (or one of those southern States! Who can keep track of them? Anyway, it was someplace humid and filled with snakes!), in order to save what is left of their somewhat tattered reputation given the fact that every year they are syndicated on fewer and fewer cable networks across the globe and they don't want people remembering them in conjunction with Lamont, WA - of all doggone places. (Editorial Note: Well, you can't really blame them for that!)

"Well, let's be honest here! Half the reason I hit the sauce is because every half-baked hamlet and tiny wheat town in America is trying to glom onto being Mayberry in one way or another" said Otis upon being released from the drunk tank and socking away a few of Aunt Bee's supposedly delicious blueberry pancakes. "All I got to say is get your own TV show and quit sponging off of us. You don't have to be a tea-totaling puritan to realize that you ain't got a chance to be Mayberry, so stop deluding yourselves!" he stammered boozily, probably being a little more blunt than was absolutely necessary, for Pete's sake. "Oh yeah, and Mayberry had an actual although completely make believe store where people could go to buy things (imaginary things, that is! I bet that they had to be returned after the days filming was over, however!), unlike some other little towns I could mention!" he slurred, looking right at Lamont! (Editorial Note: Dang! We hate it when someone brings that up! That checkmates us every time! Is it our fault that we are so small we cannot support a store? I mean, is being storeless really a sign of moral decrepitude or is that just a natural byproduct of the unforgiving dictates of the Capitalist system that we all say we support? Stupid Capitalists! Regardless of all of that, it just seems like a 'low blow", that's all! What a cheap shot! Can't anyone come up with something new, for crying out loud?)

"Let's just say that it is probably a good thing that I am only allowed to have one bullet in my gun at any given time!" said the steely-eyed Deputy Fife while wearing that extra-heavy belt so he could pass the weight requirements on the policeman's exam. "Because if I had a full pistol load, I have to admit that I would probably just go walking thru all those little Mayberry-wannabe wheat towns 'popping caps' into everything that moved, for Pete's sake! Get your own TV shows, you losers! And, oh yeah, it is all made up! It isn't real! It is all a product of the Hollywood propaganda factory, you imbeciles! Oh mercy, you people make Gomer look like a genius, and I never thought those words would ever cross my lips!" he said regrettably!

"Well, as those of you who ever got off of your lazy rear-ends and read the book 'To Kill A Mockingbird" know, I, Atticus Finch, have quite a reputation for righting social injustices and steering society away from those unfortunate anachronisms that we cling onto for some darn reason" said Atticus Finch, a make believe lawyer from some really great book. "So when I heard that people were referring to Lamont and Mayberry in the same breath, all of my years of being a social crusader seemed like nothing compared to the work that I now have ahead of me! Oh, talk about defamation of character! Talk about social injustice! Talk about being divorced from reality of any kind! Equating Lamont with any town besides Lamont is easily actionable in any court in this land! I demand justice! And yes, my vivacious daughter Scout agrees with me and is coming to the trial, too - and she is a real 'shin-kicker' when provoked, by the way!" he fumed in that calm, lawyerly way that he has - at least when he is played by Gregory Peck, for crying out loud. (Editorial Question: Will that whippersnapper Scout, possibly the best character in American literature in the last 1000 years, in fact be bringing her now famous "Ham costume" with her, you know, the one that saved her life when she was bushwhacked by a bunch of racist scalawags trying to prevent justice in a rural small town setting? (Mental Note To Self: Need to check the pricing on used ham costumes!) That would be really cool if she did! And does it still have that big dent in it where that maniac hit her with an ax handle or whatever, we wonder? Man, that would be awesome to see! We wonder if she would let us try it on. No, that might be asking too much! You don't want to push that kid too far, not without shin protectors, for Pete's sake!)

(Editorial Note: Special thanks goes to a friend of the Lamont Blog, a certain Cindy from one of those southern states - who was once believed to be dead but is now very much alive! Cindy's keen insights into small town living were the inspiration for this somewhat poorly written and largely incoherent article. Thank you!)

Town Finally Gets Handle On Cyclical Mole Problem, Now Faced With Vexing New Dilemma

As if to prove once and for all that the ever illusive "Law of unintended consequences" is in fact true, the lowly town of Lamont, never very good at addressing 'unknown situations', somehow managed to get a vexing mole infestation problem under control (what they actually did no one is quite sure! If history serves, they did nothing but now want to hog all the credit!) only to be faced with a new and somewhat embarrassing situation - the problem of vast numbers of obscenely obese cats who, by their very laziness and natural inactivity, show no signs of slimming down now that their seemingly unlimited food supply appears to be waning. This crazy mole infestation, obviously one of those 7 or 17 year things that seem to be so common in the animal kingdom, more or less ruined everyone's yard in town but provided a bounty extraordinaire for the local feline population - a feeding opportunity very similar to those bears that stand in a stream in Alaska and the salmon jump right into their open mouths!

"Well, it was touch and go there for a while, but thru our Herculean efforts we were able to beat back this scourge and thus protect our citizenry from the furry, wriggling hoards that can dig almost 5 feet per hour, 20 hours a day, for crying out loud!" (Don't the beastly little nightmares ever sleep?) said the beaming mayor while standing on a chair in the office, broom in hand, just poised to swat at anything gray, fuzzy and highly mobile. "Sure, it is an awesome responsibility when the frightened, dispirited townsfolk look to you for their ultimate protection and peace of mind, so when 1000's of subterranean troublemakers descend on the town, that is the time we have to kick into high gear, I guess. I am just so thankful that our adoring citizens just really value and appreciate our efforts so much. Just the teary-eyed, thankful looks from the hoards of Lamontazoids is enough for us. That just makes the mayoral experience that much more rewarding and helps to wash away all that outrageous slander, grudge holding, back-biting, vicious hyperbole and dismissive lack of forward orientation that naturally comes with this job (mostly from people who don't even live within the town limits!) A job well done is its own reward, after all, I guess!" he gushed, wiping away a tear! (oh, what an emotional sissy, for crying out loud! And why is he still standing on that chair?)

(Editorial Note: True to form, the town never actually took any steps whatsoever (Oh yeah, that is a big surprise! Duh!) to address this 'little mole problem' and, contrary to the Clinton-esque-like spin coming from the Office of the Mayor, it would appear that the local cat population, working from an obvious sense of civic responsibility as well as an innate desire to pounce on and devour anything small and furry that moves within their line of vision, shouldered a vast majority of the burden and almost single-handedly beat back the latest threat to the town itself - even at the risk of their own health - to say nothing of basically ruling out climbing trees, jumping on the counter and/or running more than 3-4 paces! Of course, our research indicates that the average house cat in Long Beach is right at their ideal weight and, of course, Long Beach is not subject to biblical plague-like infestations from weird rodents that burrow underground for no darn reason, either - given Long Beach's good planning and obviously superior geographic location. Oh yeah, and their citizens are nice and friendly, too. Yep, life is fair! That is just peachy! What horrid sins from our municipal past must Lamont be paying for now? Whatever it was must have been pretty darn bad - and one must assume that Long Beach has always been some kind of 'Choir Boy town' or whatever. And why can't Long Beach be in Oregon, anyway? Why do we have to even be in the same State? How are we ever supposed to compete against that?)

Sep 1, 2010

International Incident Narrowly Averted After "Lost" English Couple Somehow Ends Up In Lamont

In a rare 'near miss' that has US State Department officials laying back on their government issue sofas with an ice pack on their collective foreheads, almost 200 years of excellent US/British cultural and diplomatic relations darn near went down the "Water Closet" after a vacationing British couple somehow became disoriented while traversing the somewhat confusing road network in the Palouse and quite unfortunately ended up in the 2nd smallest town in the State. This wayward couple from the British Isles, (wherever they are!) Manford and Hilda Rumpole, both aged 73, now undergoing counseling for PTSD, were on an extended vacation in the States, taking advantage of the quite attractive dollar/pound exchange rate and surveying just how far one of the colonies could manage to get off track after that unfortunate little misunderstanding back in the 1770's. Anyway, this luckless couple somehow took a right when they should have taken a left down by Ewan and before they knew it they were transported back in time to a place that, although giving off the outward appearance of having a western, Anglo-Saxon veneer, was somehow just very, very wrong and outside the scope of the experiences of the decidedly tolerant and well-traveled globe trotters.

"Well, I darn near fell off the twig when it became obvious that my Manford had bollixed up the driving again and we pulled off Highway 23 into what for all appearances was a cute little hamlet or village or whatever. Anyway, as we motored into the heart of this little outpost on the prairie, I immediately told my husband of 46 years to roll up the blasted windows. And that cursed man had the nerve to say "in for a penny, in for a pound' and just drove right into the center of town to ask for directions! I could have just pinched his head off right then and there! Oh, one could not help but draw parallels to that classic movie "Village of the Damned" although there wasn't in fact of bunch of creepy blonde identical twins running about the place. But those cold, weary stares from the locals, I believe they call it "the stink eye" were enough to give one the creeps!" she stammered, obviously showing signs of moderate sedation. "And as if that wasn't bad enough, when we attempted to parley with the motley assemblage that just seemed to materialize around our motor car, that is when I knew for sure that we were indeed in a place completely outside the scope of the British Empire, let me tell you! And my poor husband, nervous at the best of times, didn't help matters by muttering something about pudding. Pudding!!! That certainly helped escalate an already tense and awkward situation into one with decidedly ominous dimensions. How were we to know that American pudding was markedly different from English pudding, for the Queen's sake? That little informational item was in none of our travel brochures!" she stammered pathetically.

"Well, we saw this weird foreign car dare to venture down Main Street (any car or truck not from the Greater Lamont Metropolitan Area (GLMA) is by definition considered "foreign', regardless of its country of manufacture) and the people inside obviously didn't cut their own hair, so we knew immediately that them was foreigners and that there might be trouble" said Jed Snopes, 56, an area rancher and acting President of the "Lamont for Lamonters (and the surrounding area!)" a historical society dead set against any changes and improvements of any kind. "And as if on some unspoken cue, dozens of Lamonters (or are they in fact 'Lamontazoids'?) and their rancher neighbors from miles around just seemed to boil out of their houses in order to get a better look at them people and to see what was going on. (word travels fast in these parts!) And that guy driving, obviously not a cow owner, began mumbling something about 'a spot of pudding', but any dern fool knows that them English types make pudding out of all kinds of things that Bill Cosby would not approve of - like blood and who knows what else! They sure as heck weren't talking about tapioca or vanilla or even that overrated chocolate pudding, that is for sure! That is when we knew that these strangers had every intention of undermining our very way of life itself! Oh, the nerve of them people. Finally, that woman who was with him, the one wearing all them fancy, color-coordinated, store-bought clothes, managed to gurgle out something about getting to Colfax, and Scooter Bodine, the town's resident scholar and the only guy who has ever watched PBS on the TV was able to quite imperfectly translate whatever language it was that they were speaking and we pointed them on their merry way - a gesture that they were not slow in heeding. Their departure was none-too-soon for us, let me assure you!" he said wearily. "When will them dern outsiders realize that Lamont and the surrounding area don't want none of them 'big city ways' from the good old USA, and we dern sure ain't open to a bunch of fancy pants ideas from some foreign country that doesn't even use the dollar as their dadburn money, for Pete's sake! People just need to let us be! Let them go over there to Long Beach if they want some fancy cosmopolitan experience that the average person would think is normal! And it is just un-American to go messing with a perfectly good dessert that everyone knows should be sweet, creamy and comes in little plastic containers right from the grocery store!" he rambled disjointedly! "That just goes to show that them foreigners can goof up just about anything and thus can't be trusted!"