Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Raven’s Wake for the Lost Lenore

The Haunted Bellvue Estate off Highway 3

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
"'Tis some visitor," I muttered, "tapping at my chamber door —
Only this, and nothing more."

Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December,
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow; — vainly I had sought to borrow
From my books surcease of sorrow — sorrow for the lost Lenore —
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore —
Nameless here for evermore..............

Edgar Allan Poe

Cloverdale’s Edgar Allan Poe Society will hold their yearly The Raven’s Wake for the Lost Lenore at the haunted Bellvue estate. The estate is located just off Highway 3 four miles outside of the village. Turn left at the pole with the attached camera standing in Floyd Farnell’s field (See post on Floyd Farnell). The road is not maintained so prepare for a bone jarring journey.

The Society encourages you to dress warmly and bring your first aid kit. There were a few minor injuries last year when the stuffed Raven broke off the slip wire stretching across the dining room and fell into the widow Morris’s lap. The widow, already in a state of excitement from the poem’s reading by candle light, sprang from her chair screaming the white off the estate's ghosts. This ear shattering shriek caused a minor stampede and the partial collapse of the once grand stairway.

The Society spent the major portion of its member’s dues on repairs to the estate and feels the Wake this year will be safe for all, including our ‘unearthly visitors’. So come join the Society for The Raven’s Wake for the Lost Lenore. The food will be ‘ghastly’ and the company 'terrifyingly spooky'.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Madam Toppel and the Champagne Ball

Madam Toppel of Toppel's Champagne Dance Academy
Taken just before her fall at the Dibley in the Down MiniMall.
Her hip replacement was successful.

The Salvation Army’s Ragtime Band will be playing at the monthly Champagne Ball held on the last Friday of each month in the gym at the Comprehensive Upper School. Come join your neighbors in a high stepping, room spinning evening of waltz and polka. The Champagne Ball begins at 8:00 P.M. The Cloverdale Cloggers will conduct free dance lessons in the chemistry lab one hour before the dance begins for those suffering from two left feet, club feet, and flat feet.
A special performance will make this month's dance an evening not to forget. Madam Murdle Toppel will get the night started with a free range feather dance. Madam Toppel was the proprietress of Toppel’s Champagne Dance Academy until she retired three years ago at age 92. This will be her first public performance since her hip replacement last summer. Her broken hip was the result of a terrible fall at the Dibley in the Downs MiniMall when jumping from the base of a lamp post while dancing to "Singing in the Rain".
Madam Toppel’s free range feather dance will be very special. She will be incorporating her cane and walking frame (the feathers are attached to the frame) into the dance itself.

Enjoy your Friday evening at the Cloverdale’s Champagne Ball.

Warning: the gym floor grows slippery as the evening progresses due to the soapy residue from the bubbles created by the bubble machine. We urge senior citizens to surrender the floor around 10:00 P.M. before it becomes too slippery. Also, Refreshments are served but the punch tends to get soapy as well.

The New Salvation Army Thrift Store on the High Street

The New Salvation Army Thrift Store and Ragtime Band

Cloverdale in the Shire’s Salvation Army is opening their new Thrift Store on the High Street. They wish to thank the citizen’s of Cloverdale and Dibley in the Downs for their generous contributions of nearly new, not so new, barely new, and laughably new donations of clothing, furnishings, appliances and electronics.

The Salvation Army Ragtime Band played Christian hits from the 1920's all day long as they welcomed the steady stream of cars and wagons bringing donations to the Thrift Store. Each donor was thanked in song and given a piece of donated, nearly new day old, cake from the Red Owl Grocery Store’s Bakery.

“I’m so glad they are here,” said Martha Wantnot as she arrived with two UHauls full of items and an unwelcomed pick up truck full of cheering neighbors. She was accompanied by the city's Fire Marshall. “My home was nearly condemned as a fire trap by the Fire Marshall because of my collections. I just can’t throw anything away bless my soul. The Good Book says ‘Waste Not, Want Not’ and I take my scriptures seriously. It’s obvious they don’t, ” she added while pointing to her ecstatic neighbors. On her way to help unload her collections she was seen stooping over to pick up a plastic fork. It went promptly into her purse.

“Yes, I’m happy we have a Thrift Store in Cloverdale,” said Derman Donaldson of Donaldson’s Department Store and President of the local Chamber of Commerce. “Donaldson’s wants to contribute to the poor and needy any way we can, while at the same time, remembering that the Lord helps those who help themselves. Why just look at the handicapped over there sorting the clothing we donated. Where else could people like that work and feel some sense of success no matter how insignificant? Working here for the Salvationists takes them off the welfare roles and isn't that the true purpose of religion? Bless the Salvationist's hearts for the good they'll do in our community,” he added as he pocketed his ‘in kind’ tax receipt from General Isaiah Junkell, General of the local Salvation Army. “Besides the town dump won’t take most of this junk anymore,” he was heard to mumble under his breath as he climbed into his Rolls Royce and sped away nearly running down a car greeter in a wheel chair.

General Junkell

General Junkell and his lovely wife Shirley encourage everyone to come down, visit the new store and buy a raffle ticket for a fantastic Grand Prize donated by Donaldson’s Department Store (See Picture Below). A brand new, never sold, once - state of the art video camera.

As Lord Mayor of Cloverdale in the Shire I want to welcome the new Salvation Army Thrift Store to our community.

A Once State of the Art Home Video Camera
The First Prize in the Salvation Army Raffle
Kindly Donated from the back of Donaldson's Warehouse

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Daddy and Doughnuts at St. Bartholomew's Primary School

Sister Esther Mary Scown
St. Bartholomew's Headmistress with her ruler "Vengeance is Mine"

Tomorrow is Daddy and Doughnuts at St. Bartholomew's Primary School in Cloverdale in the Shire. The school opens at 5:00 A.M. for the dads that work at the plant. The event lasts until school starts at 9:00 A.M. A kindly reminder to the dads out there, this is not an all you can eat event. We ran out of Doughnuts last year. We had 150 participants and 500 donuts!
Sister Esther Mary Scown, the Headmistress, will be monitoring Doughnut consumption. And yes, she still carries her metal ruler 'Vengenance is Mine' - just in case. She's the fastest draw in the Shire (in the last Headmaster/Headmistress metal ruler and palm slapping competition for encourageable youth).

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Cloverdale Weekend Television. Its Whats On!

You know what to expect from Cloverdale Weekend television channel 12 right here in Cloverdale in the Shire.
Your local entertainment,news, sports and weather broadcast 5 hours daily. It's CWT delivered right to your living room! Tune in to CWT for an evening with the family. Don't forget the popcorn and of course KOOL AID, your sponsor for this evening's programming. Kool Aid, popcorn and CWT, a perfect combination!

Brendan McFarland Sings at The Kicking Donkey in Cloverdale

The Kicking Donkey, Home of Cloverdale's Open Microphone Night
every Wednesday Evening.

Come join us for Open Microphone Night on Wednesday at The Kicking Donkey in Cloverdale. Enjoy their non alcoholic speciality - Fizzy Lemonade. I'm known for saying, "It gets right up my nose," after a glass or two. It brings a round of polite laughter from the table.
The vocal talent on a Wednesday night ranges from the ear shattering to somewhat digestible to relatively decent. You'll get a real treat this Wednesday. Brendan McFarland will be there while his dad enjoys a pint or two with his mates from work. After Brendan, I plan on singing my favorite songs from the Middle Ages including "Et Terra Pax Dominicant". Its a real knee slapper when sung in latin.

Try as I might to overthrow him (even after spending exorbitant amounts of money on voice lessons) little Brendan will steal the show. He enjoys singing. His favorite country artist is Hank Williams. Brendan usually sings every other Wednesday for Open Microphone Night if his mother gives permission. That permission depends on the following:

  1. His Homework is done.
  2. His Chores are finished.
  3. He hasn't fought with his brothers and sisters.
  4. He practiced the piano a full 30 minutes.
 After a quick game of darts, Brendan and his dad enjoy the long walk home. Sometimes they make a quick stop at the PiggyMart. Brendan loves his cherry slurpees.
Brendan is available to sing for birthdays, funerals, company events, weddings and bar mitzvahs.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Halbert 'Hal' Herring Says "No!"

Run Away Hal Herring's Police File Photo taken right after his capture

Six year old Halbert Herring (known as Hal) was found three hours after his mother Harriot Herring reported him missing. He was discovered two miles from home in Cloverdale's Lake Park.
“He was upset,” she reported to the constable who returned the boy. “Our Branch President asked him to be our youth speaker at Church next Sunday and he told us no. Well what do you do with a disobedient child like that? A spanking is the only thing that works. That time out stuff is for wimps,” she said in a very determined and all knowing voice.

The Herrings are new converts to Mormonism. They were converted into the church by two new missionaries seen recently in local neighborhoods. Contrary to rumor, the missionaries are not Jehovah’s Witnesses. You can tell the difference by the Mormon’s dress (suits, ties and name tags), and their correct use of grammar.

“We blame Cloverdale’s progressive educational system for Hal’s independent streak,” Harriot said. “I’m sure it comes from that program that teaches our kids to say NO. What are they trying to teach our kids? We told Hal that President Jones left the topic for his talk to him. Well how is Hal suppose to know what to talk about in church? My husband and I wrote the talk for him. We finished it the next day. It was a well researched, thoroughly referenced twenty five minute talk outlining the protestant reformation leading to the restoration of the Church. He tried to read it and had a little trouble with some of the words. He got frustrated, shouted “NO”, and threw the talk at us as he ran out the door. We were beside ourselves. We both agreed that Hal’s only hope for salvation was home schooling,” Harriot told the constable.

“My mom said I was an embarrassment to the Herring name,” Hal said when questioned.
“She said dad would never make Branch President with a boy like me so I figured I’d run away and find a family that wanted me.”

The Mormon Branch President is sending new missionaries to reteach the Herrings. He knew something was wrong when they started paying 15% tithing. When asked why in a recent interview Kyle Herring, Hal’s father, winked at the Bishop and with a finger beside his nose said, “We have an idea how you move ahead in this organization and we Herrings always rise to the top.” Apparently Kyle Herring is one of Cloverdale’s more successful multi level marketers, selling all kinds of vitamins and fruit juices that promise everything short of raising the dead.

“We hope to clear up all misunderstandings,” their Branch President said. Little Hal is now home schooled but still says ‘No’ to talking in church much to his mother’s anguish.