Friday, January 23, 2009

Highway 1

Cloverdale in the Shire.
You didn't think such a place existed. Welcome!

This is Highway 1 leaving Cloverdale in the Shire. To the left is the road to Dibley in the Downs. To the right is the Coastal Road.

Wally Winkle

Wally with his Scooter "Lightning"

Willard 'Wally' Winkle is a resident of the Nearly There Home for the Elderly and Infirmed on Willow Lane here in Cloverdale. His apartment is in the Green Wing of the Home. The Green Wing is reserved for those closest to Jesus. They are the residents between the ages of 85 and death. Green signifies “Good to Go” on your eternal journey. The home’s Red Wing is for seniors between the ages of 50 and 65. The Yellow Wing is reserved for old age pensioners between the ages of 66 to 84.

Wally gets up every morning, dresses himself, and joins the rest of the age impaired residents in the dining hall for morning gruel and Piggly Wiggly’s day old biscuits.
“They do everything they can to help move you to your reward,” Wally said proudly to the visiting Red Cross representative assigned to investigate abuses of the Geneva Convention. The Red Cross received a complaint from a Arnold Bicknell, a long time Green Wing resident and trouble maker. Arnold’s memory lost its foundation long ago. He confuses the Rest Home with the Concentration Camp he spent years in during the war. Arnold told the Red Cross that this camp was slightly better than the one in Poland so he didn’t want the representative to make to much of a fuss.

After breakfast Wally waddles his way outside to the covered parking lot where he keeps his electric scooter 'Lightning'. He spends time giving it a spit polish before starting the motor and backing it out into the driveway. With a honk of his embarrassingly feeble horn Wally is down the street to the Outta Time Mini Mart. He enjoys slowing the Speedy Drive Through Lane to purchase his traditional Red Bull and Winstons. The clerk has them ready by the window to move him along. Wally gets a chuckle by insisting the clerk ID him for his cigarettes every morning.

Once wired up on caffein Wally turns left on Evergreen Way and drives one mile to Cloverdale’s Kinder Kare. The kiddies go wild when Wally arrives. Their dirty little hands and faces smudge the windows with finger paint, cookie smears, and nose discharge. Wally waves and moves to one end of the parking lot. He parks the scooter, turns the seat toward the windows and takes out a cigarette. He lights up and waves to the kids. A few minutes later the Kinder Kare door flies open and out pour several of the children for their “Exploring nature with imagination and fun time" (recess). They race to be the first in line to challenge old Wally in a race to the death. The first one in line pulls along side Wally. They stare at each other. Wally growls, flips his unfinished cigarette into the bushes and waits for the go.

Wally stays at the Kinder Kare unit all the children have a chance to race. Wally is the highlight of their day. Cloverdale is proud of our very own Wally Winkle.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Floyd Farnell

Floyd Farnell enjoying his pipe while working on his crow deterrent system

Floyd Farnell and his good wife Fanny are farmers and long time residents of Cloverdale. A few weeks ago they were selling their somewhat organic produce at the local farmer’s market held every Saturday just outside of town on highway 3. As the day turned to dusk the selling tapered off giving the farmers time to gather, enjoy a cup of tea and discuss the price of corn, oats and sow bellies. This particular Saturday Dennis Drummon owner of the Drummon Dairy Farm near Dibbley in the Downs described a network of security cameras he recently installed on his farm. Dennis, known as a progressively modern farmer, kept using the word ‘deterrent’ as the reason for the purchase. Floyd was interested because he too had a problem with unwanted visitors to his farm. Floyd was also interested in joining that 'progressively modern' group of farmers.

Floyd checked the price of a similar security system for his farm. It was far too expersive for his small operation. Unwilling to admit defeat, He and Fanny put their heads together and thought long and hard about a less expensive way their farm could be ‘modernly progressive’. After much thought Floyd came up with a solution. He invited me to his farm to see it for myself. .

“Lord Mayor," he said in a lecturing tone as we stood near my car gazing out over his field, "crows are the number one thing that needs deterring on this farm. Our old scarecrow in the field wasn’t progressive enough and Farnell Farm is not behind the times. Remember we sell somewhat organic produce. So, I did some thinking about crows." Floyd took me by the arm and led me to a post covered with bird droppings as he continued his lecture. "Crows are smart birds. They were on to my scarecrow. A few days ago I found one sitting on its head picking at its button eyes." Floyd stopped and scratched his whiskers and continued, "Ya know, I nearly had a conversation with a crow right here," he said pointing to the stained post. He continued with his second point on the intelligence of crows, "Well...... nearly had a conversation cause I did all the talking. It would had been a conversation if the bird had said something - which it didn’t , but I thought in nearly did. These crows may outsmart a scarecrow but they can't outsmart a camera. I've got 'em!"

Floyd turned from my post and walked through the gate into his field. He waved his arm for me to follow. After some walking, we reached the middle of the field. Floyd stopped and pointed to the pole his scarecrow once hung on. The scarecrow was gone. Taking its place up at the top of the pole was an instamatic camera.
“There you go, a progressively modern and inexpensive security camera deterrent system, “ he said proudly. “The crows don't know the difference between a security camera with all the bells and whistles and the instamatic camera Fanny and I use to take pictures of the grandkids when they come visiting. They see this camera and they’ll think I got ‘em when in reality its all fake.” He pulled me closer and whispered in my ear, "That isn't a real security camera."
The gleam in his eye told me how proud he was of his unique method of modernization. I wanted to explain that Farmer Dennis’s use of the word deterrent didn’t refer to birds but Floyd was so proud of his creation I couldn’t bring myself to do it.

“You let me know how this works out,” I asked him as we turned to leave. I noticed off in the distance a crow sitting on a fence post. With the scarecrow gone the crows were about to enjoy a once in a life time feast.

A random crow found for this post. An attempt at
communciation was made. The crow didn't respond.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

McDunces's Gabbing Geezers

McDunces Coffee and Buns

A hop skip and jump from the train station is a favorite gathering spot for locals and visitors of Cloverdale in the Shire. This is McDunces, serving hot coffee and simple food for the last century or two. The exact age is a mystery but the patrons do so enjoy talking about it.

McDunces is the headquarters of the Gabbing Geezers. This semi organized club of old age pensioners gathers five mornings a week to sip McDunces's special aromatic brews and partake of Martha Mulberry's breakfast buns. Martha is a local celebrity known for her unusual bread creations ranging from the exquisitely delicious to barely digestible. The seniors aren't bothered if Martha's morning creations are on the rough side. They are all under doctor's orders to increase their fiber intake anyway.

On a good morning you will find a dozen or so Gabbing Geezers arriving on or about 8:00 A.M. Some walk using a variety of aids, others come by wheel chair and the adventurous drive. Soon the room is buzzing with jokes, debates, grandchildren comparisons, and stories - many of which are retellings of medical procedures gone bad and new evidence of advancing age. Once a month special speakers from companies that specialize in elder products (diapers, vitamins, walking frames, hearing aides etc) come to hawk their wares. The salesmen usually provide refreshments which makes for a nice change from Marth'a Fibrous Delights. Attendance is taken to determine if any club members snuffed it during the night.

Occasionally the discussions can become overheated. This is frowned upon because of the effects such discussions have on the health of the debaters. A heated discussion could result in blood pressure spikes, strokes or heart attacks. In a moment of passion, it is not uncommon to see a member's false teeth spiraling across the room in a fog of spittle. To guard against such an event, the club has one member assigned to fire duty. The 'fireman' is issued a Super Soaker filled with ice cold water from the fridge. The fireman will unload his weapon in your direction if the color of your skin takes a rosy hue during a debate. It is something to behold. On a good morning, when the news is as thick as last night's fog, the club members will be dripping wet within an hour.

The Cloverdale in the Shire Chamber of Commerce salutes McDunces for centuries of service to the community.

This Poster hangs in the Gabbing Geezers Room at McDunces

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Alfred 'Alfie' Dribble

Alfred "Alfie" Dribble of Popular Circle is trying to earn money for a new bike. One month ago, while shopping at Donaldson's Department Store with his mother Donna, he saw the Schwinn Knee Scrapper 200 one speed bike complete with mud flaps and bell. He reported the two wheel wonder spoke to him and said, "Alfie, Alfie....take me home." He frantically searched the store to find his mother, nearly sending the Widow Birch to the floor by accidental tripping over her walking frame while running through the women's department . He found his mother and dragged her to the sports department.

"This bike is mine. It told me so. But the store won't believe me unless I pay them money," he said with his hand outstretched. Alfie is a bit slow at times and has trouble understanding the correlation between money and goods. After all, money was just paper and paper was abundant. He knew his mother's purse had an unlimited supply. His mother needed to give the store enough of this paper to make them believe the bike was his.
"Alfie, if you want this bike," his mother said while looking twice at the price tag, "you'll need to earn the money yourself." She saw Alfie's face begin to contort and shake. This was the sign of an emotional eruption. " Don't even think of throwing one of your tantrums. I've got no problem spanking you right here in the middle of this store," she said quietly with her finger pointed millimeters from his nose.

Alfie thought long and hard on a way to get people to give him their money. Asking didn't seem to work and his tantrums resulted in a sore bottom.
"Alfie, people work to get money," his teacher told him one day after finding him outside on the playground attempting to shake the younger students down for their lunch money. Alfie thought long and hard. Suddenly he was inspired. He grabbed a piece of paper and a crayon and drew a poster for his own business - Kleen Kitty. For five dollars Alfie will come to your home, capture you cat and lock it in his cleaning cage - which he carries around the neighborhood on his Red Radio Flyer wagon. Alfie cleans the cat with his father's hurricane strength pressure sprayer attached to the end of a garden hose.
"I can get them cats hissen and spinin like there's a twister," Alfie says as he spins in place to demonstrate. "I can even make more money selling tickets to the other kids to watch me do it," Alfie added with pride.
After the pressure wash Alfie drys the cat with his father's leaf blower. Once the wash and dry cycle is complete the half dead cat is taken from the cage and returned to its owner. Alfie says his cleaning machine is good for any pet although he is having second thoughts about canaries after having an 'accident' with the Wilson's favorite pet 'Tweety'.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Father O'Brian

St. Bartholomew's new priest, Father O'Brian, is new to Cloverdale and to the priesthood. He is nervous about hearing confessions and asked old Father O'Riley to sit in on his sessions. Father O'Brian listened to a couple confessions, then asked him to step out of the confessional for a few suggestions.

Father O'Riley suggested, "Cross you arms over your chest, and rub your chin with one hand." Father O'Brian agreed. The old priest then suggested, "Try saying things like, "I see, yes, go on, and I understand. How did you feel about that?'"
Father O'Brian tried this new approach to confessionals for the rest of the day. Later during supper in the Church House, Father O'Riley asked, "Now, don't you think that's a little better than slapping your knee and saying 'No way! What happened next?'

Father O'Brian is learning but we are sure he will make a fine priest here in Cloverdale in the Shire.

A Misunderstanding at Confederacy Elementary

There was a misunderstanding at Confederacy Elementary in Cloverdale last week when Liddy Smith drew this picture for the teacher. Mrs. Olivia Smith sent this note to explain. All is well and Liddy's teacher's blood pressure has returned to normal.

Mrs. Jones's letter to Liddy's teacher:

Dear Mrs. Jones,

I wish to clarify that I am not now, nor have I ever been, an exotic dancer.
I work at Elrod's Hardware and Home Improvement on the High Street in Cloverdale and I told my daughter how hectic it was last week before the blizzard hit. I told her we sold out every single shovel we had, and then I found one more in the back room, and that several people were fighting over who would get it. Her picture doesn't show me dancing around a pole. It's supposed to depict me selling the last snow shovel we had in the store. From now on I will remember to check her homework more thoroughly before she turns it in.

Mrs. Smith

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Reggie Fulton and the Army of the Forlorn

Reggie Fulton is the proprietor of Fulton’s Green Grocers on the High Street in Cloverdale where you find the freshest fruit and veggies in the Shire - guaranteed. Business has been off since the Red Owl opened last month. Reggie looks at it as a blessing in disguise. He and his mates have more time for war gaming.
This weekend Reggie and his Army of the Forlorn are waging war against another club of reenactors from the village of Dibbley in the Downs (twelve miles from Cloverdale on Highway 1 going south. Be sure to turn at the farmer’s market where 1 intersects the Coastal Road). This epic engagement is being fought on the Logner Dairy Farm, where ‘sharp’ is put in the cheese.
Reggie is a Sargent in the first company of the Forlorn. They're doing well this weekend. They've beaten Dibley’s Legions in every match. The Legionaries are military reenactors that specialize in creating a perfect replica of a Roman Legion.
“They sure look cute in their skirts,” Reggie said laughing, “But you can’t take a guy seriously dressed like that.”
The Legionaries are given a handicap. Their wooden swords are given full death points. If you are touched you go down. The trick is getting close enough to the Forlorn to attack them by sword. The Legionaries are saving their secret weapon for Sunday’s battle. They’ve built a full scale, fully operational trebuchet capable of hurling boulders clear across the field. It will be an interesting afternoon not to be missed.


Sven Larsson

Sven Larsson of the Confederacy's United Amish Brethern. He will be meeting with the Elders this evening. He is accused of bringing 'Englander' (gentile) ways into the community. Pepsi has offered legal help but Sven refused.

The Straight Shooters

The Straight Shooters from the Convent of the Sisters of Ever Increasing Hope here in the Confederacy of Dunces. The sister get off several rounds from the Cathedral rooftop after morning prayers. "We mostly shoot pigeons - disgusting creatures - the spawn of satan," said Sister Mary Murdle. "We are all pretty good shots although our roseries do tend to get in the way from time to time."

Sister Elizabeth Mary Catherine Teresa

Sister Elizabeth Mary Catherine Teresa, Mother Superior of the Convent of the Sisters of Ever Increasing Hope as seen during her weekly television show 'You Are Sin' on Cloverdale Weekend Television every Sunday morning at 10:00 A.M. Her last show, 'Leprosy, the Curse of Holding Hands' drew a record audience last Sunday. Donaldson's Department Store at Bacon Park is reporting a record number of glove sales since the broadcast.

Bud Boomer

Bud Boomer with his prize rooster, Rex. Bud operates the local 4H club's cock fighting syndicate. Rex is one of the top cock fighters in the syndicate. "He pecks out the eyes first then goes for the throat," Bud said proudly, describing Rex's fighting skills. In the ring Rex is called TRex. "It psychs the other roosters out," he said when asked why he chose the name. You can see Rex in action behind the Knights of Columbus Hall on Quincy Avenue every Saturday night at 9:00 P.M. Remember, cock fighting is illegal in the Confederacy so Bud asks that you park at the Dairy Queen and walk. “We gotta keep them cops from shutten us down,” Bud said to this reporter during recess at Confederacy Elementary. Bud is generous with his earnings from cock fighting and uses them to support his 4H club's "Shop With a Cop" program for disadvantaged kids.

Milton Folgers

Milton Folgers is starring in the Confederacy's newest morning talk show 'Mornings with Milton' airing on Cloverdale Weekend Televison, the Confederacy's only television station. CWT is moving into the modern age with the purchase of a brand new Zenith Color TV camera. 'Mornings with Milton' will be the first show to be broadcast in color starting next week.

The Tossing of the Corpses

The Tossing of the Corpses - a tradition at the St. Bartholomew Catholic School. It Celebrates the Black Death that swept through Europe in the Middle Ages. St. Bartholomew lost many students during the plague. During that dark time in the school's history the older boys would go through the dormitories every morning collecting the bodies of their fellow students that died during the night. The bodies would be tossed outside near the High Street to be picked up for burial. The Tossing has been reenacted every year since 1321. The boys are proud of this continued tradition. This was a good year. Only one cracked rib was reported.

Christian Clapper

Christian Clapper is the newest deacon in the Confederacy Branch of the Mormon Church on Wilson Lane. In fact, he is the only deacon in the Branch. His mother Molly is very proud of him. "He can get the Sacrament passed to everyone in less than 8 minutes!" she was overheard telling a neighbor while shopping at the Red Owl where green beans are on sale all week. Christian's Grandmother Merdle says becoming a Deacon has changed the boy. "He wears a shirt and tie every day, even to school," she said during Bingo at the Senior Citizens. "His Grandpa Melvin is a bit concerned and thinks Christian has turned odd. He had a talk with the boy two days ago. I think it helped tone things down a bit. Christian will wear colored shirts on odd numbered days. Its a step in the right direction."

Princess (The Yapper)

Princess (The Yapper), poodle belonging to Miss Marple.

Princess was was found dead in the back yard while out being a 'good girl'. It is believed the cat Gattino (the Blade) Bruchelli. is responsible. Gattino was last seen in Clawless Joseppi’s Catnipateria on 3rd and State in the Little Italy neighborhood. Gattion is cuddly, cute, adorable and a Murderer. Approach with extreme caution.

Reward: $200 for the successful capture - alive. This reward is offered by Miss Marple.
Contact: The Canine Protection League. 605-555-BARK. Your identity will be protected.

Doloris Dribble

Doloris Dribble likes to keep in shape by sparing with her friend retired policeman Herman Halter at Goldman's Gym. She was once known as Deadweight Dribbles during her days as a professional woman's wrestler.

Issac Elbert

Miss Spilster's class sponsored a live wax history fair at Conferderacy Elementary School last Wednesday. Issac Elbert, shown here, was voted overall best for his rendition of ????? (Can you guess?). Isaac hasn't spoken since the night of the fair. His tongue dried out after 2 hours of hanging out and developed several cracks. He should return to school once the swelling goes down. Congratulations Isaac.

Shaylynnla Laurel

Shaylynnla Laurel, current 'person of interest' to Simon Schuster. They've been an item for the last two weeks. Simon bought Shaylynnla home to meet his parents. "She looks a bit depressed, Mary Schuster, secretary of the Christian Woman's League, said. "We're not sure she's the type of girl we would like for Simon. She looks like the kind of girl that likes her steaks raw. Perhaps Simon is taking an interest only to help. He tells us she's sick. He is a good caring boy that likes to help those in need, especially those that are ill. I had the flu last week and Simon was my angel."

Simon Schuster

Simon Schuster, president of the Confederacy Middle School's Student Council posed for this picture before school started on Monday. He is sporting the latest fad in hair styles to sweep the school. "Its the Iron Cross. It's Sick," he said when asked to make a statement. Simon would like everyone to know that he's going with the "hottest" girl in the school - Shaylynnla Laurel.
"She's SICK!" he is fond of saying. The school board meets on Tuesday to decide if this hair style fits the dress code. "It is sick," Martha Moppy, president of the board, said at a recent board meeting.

Wally Wheezer

Wally Wheezer, son of William and Wilma Wheezer of Bucket Street likes to show people how old he is. He can say "one" and "it a big one". The Wheezer's are so proud of Wally. None of their other 12 children were talking at this age.

The New Red Owl

Excitement has reach a fever pitch here in the Confederacy over the opening of the new Red Owl Supermarket across the street from the First Church of Christ Scientist on Capital Lane. Until now the citizens of the Confederacy of Dunces had one choice for groceries - the Piggly Wiggly. That all changes with the opening of Ken's Red Owl next week. "What set's us apart form the Pig?" Ken said as he thought a moment. "I guess it's our in store bakery. We've also got a photo lab but I'm suspecting our biggest attraction will be the new claw machine near the front of the store. For fifty cents you can move this claw in a windowed box over a collection of stuffed animals. If you drop it just right you might be able to pick up the toy and deliver it to the chute. Let's see the Pig top that one."

Suds Turkle

Suds Turkle is shown in this recent photograph taken after picking up his new glasses from Clear Vision Optical on Main Street. Although not cleared to drive a motor vehicle, The motor department issued Suds a temporary walking permit. “That’s all I need to make it to the Pub,” he said to this reporter. Sud’s walking permit was revoked a month ago when the local authorities determined he was a danger to himself. “Suds and walls kept meeting up,” the Traffic Warden said referring to the many teeth Suds lost in wall collisions. “We will see how things go with his new prescription.” Although many local townspeople claim it was Sud’s fondness for the local distilled spirits that caused the collisions Suds always maintained his ability to “hold his liquor”. Stop by the Northern Line Pub on the south end of the rail yard to give Suds your best wishes. You’ll find him there most days between 2:00 P.M. and 11: 00 P.M.

Mack 'Tubby' Farkle

Mack 'Tubby' Farkle was found at the local McDonalds celebrating his first place prize in Piggly Wiggly's essay contest. His winning essay was titled "Pork's for Dinner". Piggly Wiggly sponsored the contest as part of the grand opening of its new store in the Confederacy. The first place prize was a ten dollar McDonald's gift certificate. "I won and that's all there is to it," Tubby said to this reporter between bites of his supper. He pulled out a copy of his essay from his back pocket. "There's the winning paper. Print it in your paper. Let everyone see what real writing looks like," he said shoving it across the table. "By the way are you going to eat those fries?" I gave him my fries and the rest of my half eaten Big Mac.

Cute as a Button

Don't we all remember our first kiss? Marbel Afterton took this picture of her granddaughter kissing Maurice Elrod's prize sow. "That pig was as cute as a button," Marbel said. "She made fine bacon as well."

The New Piggly Wiggly

Put the family in the Rambler and drive down to Fifth and Main for the Grand Opening of the Confederacy's newest Piggly Wiggly Supermarket! There's free hot dogs, cotton candy and chips! Everyone in town is excited to "Shop the Pig". Mayor Justice Everrood will cut the ribbon at noon right after the First Baptist Church Choir sings the National Anthem. Following the ribbon cutting drawings will be held for free groceries. Remember, if you are ever bored in the Confederacy you can "Shop the Pig

Jimmy Swill

Jimmy Swill’s tongue is all better as shown in this recent photograph. Jimmy saw “The Christmas Story” for the first time on CTV (Confederate TV) channel 3 two days before Christmas. He was intrigued by the part in the movie where the boy put his tongue on the cold metal swing and it stuck. “I thought it was them special effects cause all of us knows a flapper is slimy so it wouldn’t stick to no pole. Yep, is was them special effects and I was of a mind to prove it,” Jimmy said in an interview. After watching the movie Jimmy ran outside and found a metal swing very similar to the one used in the movie. “I sucked up enough spit to really coat my flapper and stuck it to the pole,” he said while showing how much spit he could create on demand. Jimmy’s tongue stuck to the pole.
“You could ov knocked me over with a feather,” Jimmy said. Jimmy spent the next two hours glued to the pole until Mrs. Emily Wacova of 23 Marigold Circle found him while she was walking her dog ‘Mr. Winkles’. “Mr. Winkles got away from me and made a bee line for the pole. You know.... to do his business. Well I heard him barking and rushed toward the sound. Right there I found Jimmy stuck to the same pole Mr. Winkles was using.” Mrs Wacova said while holding Mr. Winkles up for the camera.
Jimmy was taken to the Samaritan Clinic on the corner of Rose and St. John. “Them doctors told me that I’d loose my tongue to that frost but they saved it for sure and now its all better - here look,” Jimmy said. The picture was taken. A week later Jimmy was back at the Clinic suffering from a reaction to his fathers prescription anti fungus soap. He was repeating another scene from the same movie. Will Jimmy ever learn?

Lars Vanderpool

This is Lars Vanderpool. He was suspended from Confederacy Elementary for one day last week for smearing frosting around his mouth and shouting "Got Milk?" during lunch in the cafeteria. His mother was embarrassed and explained she had forgotten to give him his meds that morning.


The Nelsons on Mulberry Street are proud of their cat Dumpling. She is the proud holder of the title Best Mouser in the Confederacy. She was given a year's supply of cat nip and her very own cashmere scratching post.

She doesn't move as quickly as she once did, so to maintain her title Dumpling had to innovate. Her new method for catching mice is remarkably well thought out. She sits perfectly still, like a crocodile and waits. A bit of cheese is placed in front of her. Eventually the mouse will move forward to get the cheese and snap - she swallows it whole.
"She's a great kitty." Mrs. Nelson said as she stroked Dumpling. "Although you do have to hold her over the litter box so she can be a good girl. Her poor little legs don't support her any more." Dumpling purred with the attention and promptly spit up a hair ball.

Will You Sign the Petition?

There is a petition circulating through Cloverdale in the Shire to have this picture removed from the School Council’s Public Meeting Hall. It hangs on the wall right behind the President of the Council’s desk.
“We need that picture removed at once!” said Janice Needly local parent and trouble maker. “Why is it here? What good does it do? I ask you. I ask all of you,” she said at a recent council meeting. She has gotten nearly 35 signatures on the petition. Most of them shoppers at the Piggly Wiggly.
“Yes I signed that paper,” said local shopper Betty Bernard of 312 Samson Lane in an interview with a reported from the Confederacy Times. “I had to. She stood behind my car so I couldn’t back out until I did. Besides, she has a good point. Why is that picture in the Council Room. She wants it hanging in the foyer of the elementary school where it can do some good. I guess I have to agree. Let them move the picture to the school. It’ll scare the ‘heck’ out of the kids. Isn’t that what a good school does? Now can I back out?”

The Lu’s are the owners of the Wicked Woc Chinese restaurant, take out, and laundry on Riverside Avenue. Their marquee is a response to the recent internet rumor spreading through Cloverdale in the Shire regarding their ‘Cat in the Hat’ Special of the Week and reading promotional for the local schools.
“It General Tao Chicken in hat of rice. No Cat..No Cat,”
Lie Lu said to a reported from KRAP radio. “We want little ones to read. Cat in Hat yes? You read Cat in Hat yes? You know - it the funny cat wear strip hat. Lean cat, stringy not tasty like siamese. You know book? You read 10 pages you get come here and eat Cat in Hat. No Cat.... No Cat... General Tao Chicken.”
KRAP radio urges our citizens not to react to rumors and keep your animals indoors during this special reading drive. It is cold outside.

The Passage of a 5% Tax

The CTU’s (Confederacy Teacher’s Union) billboard on the High Street celebrating the 5% tax increase imposed on all Confederacy families by the School Council.
“You don’t mess with kid’s futures,” said Lavern Spillster spokeswoman for the CTU. "We fought hard for this tax increase. We haven’t had a raise in five years."
Lavern blamed the past failures of the tax increase for teacher pay on Maurice Marpool, the local Scrooge and personality challenged President of the School Council.
"Maurice hates teachers. Who could hate teachers? What a Moron. He sure changed his mind about our pay raise when we threw a strike in his face. This poster is our way of saying ‘We Won and Stick it to you!" Lavern shouted with a finger pointed to heaven and a little hop in her step. "Look at the expression on that kid. It only took 34 attempts of giving him a cookie and then taking it away. He cried at first but we conditioned that out of him. Our teacher training came in handy?” Lavern added with a sincere look of accomplishment.
Maurice Marpool, was shocked by the billboard. “Damn Teachers,” he was overheard repeating as he stood on the street corner staring at the larger than life abomination.
"That is so Offensive," he added as he walked away. There was additional mumbling but it couldn't be heard.

Pounder and his Drums

Laura and Frank Huish of Clover Way are about to start a new, post Christmas, tradition in their family. “We call it Santa giveth and Santa Taketh,” said Laura as she watched her son Pounder enjoy his new Christmas drum set. “It’s been a living hell around this house. Frank won’t even come home until Pounder goes to bed. Look at the bags under my eyes,” she said referring to the large fleshy bags of fat and skin protruding from under her steely gray eyes. “I can’t sleep.”

Pounder loves his drums. A short lived love for in the dead of night on January 25th Santa will make another visit to Cloverdale in the Shire and take back the drums he stupidly delivered to Pounder.

Frank Barnes, manager of the local Costco on Meredith Drive reports this new, ‘Santa Taketh’, tradition is spreading through the Shire as more and more of these mini drum sets are finding their way back to the store. “Nobody wants them, not even the homeless shelters. We tried to give them to the disadvantaged children in the shelter but their parents refused.
“We’re poor mister not stupid,” said Ima Poorly, spokeswoman for the disadvantaged.
“There in the dumpster if anyone wants one.” Frank said pointing to the overflowing dumpster outback.