Nov 6, 2012

Lamont Plagued By “Duels” As Town Citizens Vainly Seek To Solve Long-Simmering Differences

As with many small towns stuck in the middle of the frozen, hellish, nightmarish prairie where hope, opportunity, self-respect and the warm embrace of genuine human society departed with the last wagon train that headed for the coast (At relatively high speed!! Whoa!!) in the 1800’s, the humble berg of Lamont, Washington’s 2nd smallest town, is struggling to adjust to the inevitable challenges of the new millennium while retaining the vestiges of an earlier, more easily understood period of human development. While not necessarily unique to Lamont, per se, there are some basic tenants of modern America that the citizenry finds unusually burdensome and perplexing, like salad, basic hygiene, dentistry, and the cathartic embrace of basic human forgiveness. In fact, on any given dawn or dusk (Dusk is more popular given that the average Lamontizoid finds the challenge of waking before noon unusually onerous!) the town park is filled to brimming with people sporting cutlasses, dueling pistols, bludgeons, garden rakes, frying pans, various tree branches and even the highly prized ceramic busts of the King, Elvis Presley, as they square off to settle long-simmering differences with their annoying neighbors.

 “Well, I’ll be dadburned if I can figure the whole mess out!” said Festoon Maldoon, an area rancher. “It’s like all of a dern sudden everyone just started walking up to their neighbors, slapping them upside the head with whatever gloves they had handy, and saying something about “Shall we say pistols at dawn?” or whatever!! It’s just crazy, although I love blood sport as much as the next red-blooded, farm subsidy-accepting, whining rancher who ended up getting stuck with the ranch because all my smarter brothers did better at schooling and all that nonsense and went off to have real lives and genuine happiness” he mused pathetically before unleashing an impressive stream of chewing tobacco juice into a gopher hole (From 6 feet away! Yikes!). “It’s like the whole place has gone crazy! First off, well over half the town are convicted felons and can’t legally own firearms, so that “Pistols at dawn” thing is, by definition, a non-starter well over half the time. And given the “no quarter given or taken” rules that apply to Lamont duels, we are on the fast track to becoming the smallest town in the State” he observed sagely. “I like a good scrap, but I never thought I’d see a whole town in America tear into each other fang and claw with such gusto, I guess” he concluded somberly while scratching the seat of his pants in a manner unbecoming a gentleman of any social station.

“Well, of course, in the Great State of Washington in general and Whitman County in particular, dueling is, by definition, against the law and punishable by strict time in the “big house” or “pokey” or whatever you want to call it!!” said an unnamed county law enforcement professional with 32 years on the force and any number of awards for excellent policing. “But given that all this carnage, mayhem, villainy and social discord is in fact taking place in Lamont, and fully one half of our county’s law enforcement resources are devoted to the troublesome town although they are only .001% of the county population, it might be prudent to turn a blind policing eye to the problem until a good portion of the malcontents are culled from that unusually vile and unproductive herd” he said quite wisely, demonstrating once again his astounding acumen in his chosen profession. “Heck, we have tried for years to reduce the criminal impulses of that isolated, some might say forlorn town, but if they can take matters into their own hands for once and rid the county and indeed the nation of a very vexing problem, well I cannot help but see that as a win-win for all concerned!” he concluded with a half-repressed yet professionally appropriate smile.