Saturday, July 25, 2009

Boozer's Folly

Boozer belongs to Abigail Winthrop of New Church Road, Cloverdale. At one time Boozer chewed on everything, ate anything, and considered everywhere a perfectly good place to ‘do his business’.

Miss Winthrop and Boozer had an understanding. If he stayed outside she wouldn't chase him around the house frantically waving a rolled up newspaper.

On rare occasions Boozer escaped the back garden. It usually happened when the meter reader forgot to latch the gate. Once loose, Boozer made a bee line straight to Clair Wilmore’s front garden. Clair Wilmore’s front garden was Boozer’s doggy heaven. Her flower beds were a delight to dig up and her gnomes made wonderful chew toys.

The aftermath of Boozer’s last escape left Mrs. Wilmore in the hospital for what the doctors said was nervous exhaustion. Miss Winthrop occupied a bed in the room opposite. She was admitted for heat stroke. Apparently she spent two hours in 100 degree heat chasing Boozer around the back garden with Sunday’s rolled up newspaper.

Donnie Wilmore, favorite grandson of Clair Wilmore, vowed revenge after visiting his grandmother in the hospital. He purchased an explosive device from the Chinese FireWorks Depot, a fireworks stand four miles outside of Cloverdale’s village limits. Mr. and Mrs. Wong import the finest Chinese Fireworks Confederacy laws will and will not permit. His next stop was the butchers for a nice sausage link. Later that night Donnie went out into grandmother’s back garden, stuffed the explosive device into the end of the sausage, lit the fuse and called for Boozer.

The picture above tells the rest of the story.

Today's Boozer is not the old Boozer we grew to despise. The explosion took his sense of smell so he has no interest in sniffing where other dogs have been. He has no teeth so he can’t chew on everything he comes in contact with. He lost some of his hearing so he doesn’t get excited when the door bell rings. His behavioral change is so dramatic that Abigail allows him into the house for his meals. Abigail found that the Piggly Wiggly’s own brand of mushy geriatric dog food is the only one Boozer will eat (of course a healthy addition of beer is added for digestion and his occasional temper eruption).

Abigail is happy. Clair is recovering and Boozer really doesn’t know much of anything any more.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Cloverdale's Youngest Narcoleptic

Lance “Baby Boy” Rider of 54 Spring Hill Road is Cloverdale’s youngest narcoleptic. His first attack occurred during the Sixth Grade's Maturation Clinic at Confederacy Elementary School. The school nurse stood to address the gathering of boys and dads. She asked them to be serious and “grown up” during her talk whenever she used proper vocabulary for body parts.

“Now, can we be grown up about this?” she asked the boys gathered in the school’s library. The boys nodded. Many were doing all they could to keep their smiles unnoticeable. Nurse Craghead wasn’t someone you wanted to get on your bad side. She knew how to inflict pain whenever pain was the remedy for a misbehaving boy. “All right then. We will continue with the first slide.” She said as she clicked the slide projector’s remote control.

The slide changed showing a boy’s anatomy. She pointed to the screen and said one of the “grown up” words. The dads in the room squirmed in their chairs. The boys in the class started to giggle, and as fate would have it, Lance experienced his first narcoleptic attack. He immediately fell asleep, hitting the floor with a thud. The room erupted with roaring laughter. The nurse rushed to Lance as he lay on the floor sound asleep. She slapped his cheeks thinking he had fainted.
“Some boys just aren’t grown up enough for this,” she mumbled under her breath. To Lance’s misfortune, one of the boys kneeling near the nurse heard her. That is how Lance earned the nickname “Baby Boy”.

Lance’s aliment seems to have a mind of its own, always picking the worst possible time to send Lance into slumber mode. Take Bobby Daren’s 12th birthday party. Lance fell asleep just as Mrs. Darin was passing out the party favors. When he woke up he found himself completely covered in Silly String. The boys were kind enough to leave openings for his nose and mouth.

Then there was the time he was learning to skate board near Becky Pores Ten Cent Lemonade stand. Just as he rounded the corner - out he went, falling into the stand, sending her lemonade crashing to the pavement and down the gutter into Cloverdale’s storm drainage system.

Lance is getting treatment from the Capital City Sleep Disorder Clinic. Until a cure is found Lance is learning to live with his disorder. He is careful not to get into situations where he could hurt himself or others should he suddenly fall asleep. All is well and good as long as everyone cooperates - which they don’t always do.

Last week Baby Boy Lance lost one of his sneakers while attempting to kick a goal during lunch recess. One of his classmates picked up the shoe and tossed it into a nearby tree. The bell rang. Everyone rushed into the building, except Lance. He stood at the bottom of the tree looking at his sneaker caught in a set of branches. He knew narcoleptics should never climb trees but he wanted to shake his ‘Baby Boy’ image. Climbing a tree to fetch his own shoe would be a start in his character rehabilitation process.

“Where’s Lance?” Miss Globber asked the class after completing her after lunch attendance. No one answered. Miss Globber walked into the hall to see if he was asleep outside the door. He wasn’t. She walked down the hallway to the exit. She opened the door and stepped out onto the playground. Lance was no where to be seen. She turned to reenter the school. Something red caught her eye. She looked across the playground and saw something up a tree. She thought it could be a wayward kite. She walked closer until the object revealed itself to be a young boy.

Miss Globber screamed and rushed into the building. The principal was notified. The fire department was called out. Every child had his or her face pressed up against their classroom windows to watch the rescue. It was one of Lance’s worst days.

The boy that took the shoe was suspended for three days. Lance promised never to climb trees again and life continues here in Cloverdale in our beloved Confederacy of Dunces.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Cloverdale's New Mary Poppins

Neema Pope is preparing to play Mary in The Empire Theater’s newest production of Mary Poppins. Neema is a member of Cloverdale’s Starving Actor’s Guild and one day hopes to break through the Talent Ceiling and into the spotlight.

Good on ya Neema! You put everything into the part, including a total disregard for personal safety.

Carlos and Kate's Big Night Out

Kate and Carlos Kellogg live on the 3rd floor of Lilac Green Apartments in Cloverdale. Kate runs the desk at Cloverdale’s Public Baths and outdoor pool. Carlos works for the Shire’s Roadworks Department.

Tonight the couple are celebrating Carlo’s recent promotion to senior flagman. Senior Flagman are responsible for the busier side of the road.
“Carlos knows his roads and has real people skills,” reported Walter Bernard, Carlo’s immediate supervisor and manager of the village’s four stoplights. “I’ve seen Carlos work miracles with the evening traffic rush. He handles the sign well, always gets it pointed in the right direction. A less experienced flagman might angle the sign incorrectly. The approaching motorist wouldn’t see the stop or go. That, my friend, is how accidents happen.
Carlos enjoys a good chatter with motorists while he has them stopped for the road works. He tells jokes to shorten the time. He keeps his pockets' full of sweets for the waiting kids. Now who else takes such pride in their work?”

Tonight Kate is wearing her authentic simulated mink coat, protected by Duraband silicon spray (for the nasty spills). She loves her mink because it symbolizes their love for each other. Kate wanted the coat in place of a wedding ring. Carlos couldn’t be bothered one way or the other.
“It was her decision. Sugar Baby gets what she wants.” Carlos said in an article announcing his promotion in yesterday’s edition of The Trumpet, Cloverdale’s weekly newspaper.

The couple’s plans for the evening are closely guarded to avoid harassment from Newman Lloyd, Cloverdale’s one paparazzi. Newman has instructions from The Trumpet to do a followup story on Carlos’s promotion and its effect on his family and friends. Newman is waiting outside on his two stroke Millman Scooter. Kate spotted him from the kitchen window.

Avoiding Newman is no easy task but Kate and Carlos have things well in hand. They plan on exiting the apartment building through the back hallway. Once outside they’ll make a left at the dumpster, walk down the alley and out onto Baker’s Lane where Cloverdale’s taxi will be waiting.

Their evening out begins with a stop at Wimpey Burger. The couple plan on ordering ‘The Works’ (triple burger with cheese with every topping possible, vinegar fries and a jumbo sized licorice shake). It’s a real splurge but they feel they can afford it on account of the 2% raise Carlos received because of his promotion. After their supper the couple will take the air along the canal. The walk will end at Cloverdale’s Grand Theater. .

Carlos is wearing his sunglasses. It is a bit odd to wear sunglasses at night but according to Carlos, famous people do it all the time.
“Famous people use sunglasses to mask their true identity.” Carlos said while checking his wallet for the two tickets he pre booked for tonight’s showing of The Pink Panther. “I’ll wear them ‘til the excitement wears down. It’s all part and parcel when you get your name in the papers. Its a different world up here at the top.”

After the movie the couple will stop at the Piggy Mart for a Slurpee and a sweet. Carlos is partial to Babe Ruths. Kate is considering a Milky Way bar or perhaps a Charleston Chew. She hasn’t decided but isn’t in a hurry. She has all evening to make up her mind.

Congratulations to Carlos and Kate, the village's newest celebrities.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Lance York and the Young Entrepreneurs

Lance York (pictured with his best fried Ian Mulligan) was recently elected The Young Entrepreneur's Club President at Confederacy Elementary School in Cloverdale. The YE club meets after school every Thursday in Mr. Matthew’s classroom. Lance’s first presidential decree required all club members to wear white shirts and club ties to school and Thursday meetings. Lance believes a successful businessman should look and dress the part. The new dress code did not go over well with the laid back, easy going, computer oriented, garage business type young entrepreneurs. Three of them left the club. Sloop Jones (known as Sloppy Joe) led the walk out and started a rival club which also meets every Thursday at his home. They spend most of their time playing video games, drinking soda and eating chips. Occasionally they do a bit of simple Flash programming. They claim they are doing research on the elements that make a video game successful.

“They’re all a bunch of nerds that will end up working for us some day,” Lance reportedly said at recess last Thursday near the monkey bars on the school’s south playground. His remarks were followed by several “Here Here’s,” from the ten or so other members gathered around him waiting their turn to swing across the make believe flaming moat with flesh eating fish. Lance considers swinging across the monkey bars without falling a test of strength and will power, all excellent qualities in the nation’s future leaders. Falling from the bars brought Lance’s disapproval. One fall and you were exposed to a round of laughter from the others. Two falls and you earned a private one on one meeting with Lance. Three falls and you turned in your blue striped club tie for the yellow tie of shame. The yellow tie had to to be worn until you successfully complete the failed task, or until someone else needed to wear it. Lance picks all the club challenges and needless to report always successfully completes them (usually on the first attempt).

Last Thursday’s meeting started at 3:30 P.M. Ian read the minutes from the last meeting. Mr. Matthew, the club’s teacher sponsor, quietly graded papers in the back of the room. After the meeting Lance rose to speak.
“Young Entrepreneurs,” he said looking everyone eye to eye, another quality he feels important to earn a customers respect and business. “today we talk about an absolute must for every successful businessman.” Lance cleared his throat and continued. “Gentleman, a successful businessman must have a beautiful woman at his side. My dad calls them trophy wifes.”

The room went strangely quiet. Mr. Matthew stopped grading papers. All eyes were on Lance.
“Look at my mother for example. She is beautiful and you all know she is. I see the way every boy looks at her when she comes to the room to give me something. When my successful dad goes to business socials my mother goes with him. Every man in the room looks at her and knows my dad must have what it takes to win a lady’s hand like my mother’s.” Lance's reasoning caused every boy in the room to wondering if their dads were as successful as Lance’s based purely on their mother's appearance.

“I’m not so sure about that,” Toby Tubbs said. “My dad’s successful and my mom’s not as pretty as yours. Now don’t get me wrong, my mom is fantastic but again, not as pretty as yours.”

“Toby, my dad owns a factory. Your dad owns a video store. My dad employees nearly thirty people. Your dad employees eight at the most? Come on Toby, admit it. If your dad had married someone like my mom he could have started Blockbuster or something. But he didn't so now you own Tubb's Video and Pizza - no offense intended.”

Toby’s chubby face went red, which added an interesting color contrast to the yellow tie he was wearing for not crossing the flaming moat with flesh eating fish.

“All right, before we move on to my lesson on micro economics I’m issuing you all a challenge. We are too young to marry but we can get girl friends. You’ve all got two weeks to get a girl friend. After two weeks we will compare girl friends to see who’s is prettiest. The winner will get his name on the Club’s Honor Roll and allowed to wear the Tie Pin of Honor for one month. The boy with the ugliest girl friend wears the yellow tie. Now lets go on to my Power Point presentation.”

Mr. Matthew shifted in his chair. He felt it his duty to say something about Lance’s ridiculous challenge but realized it wasn’t his place. This club was established to give its members challenges. Besides, Lance’s dad was a generous giver to the school’s foundation.
He went back to grading his papers.

The next day the club members came to school with their hair combed neatly and teeth brushed. Lance wore his dad’s cologne. Some of the boys had an advantage. They had older brothers that gave them some pointers. Others had to wing it on their own.


Several day passed and none of the boys had girl friends. The girls in the fourth year couldn't be bothered and ignored the boys. Lance believed Sloppy Joe tipped them off to the Club’s challenge because not even he could get a girl. He offered his hand to six of the prettiest girls in the grade. Each time it was refused.

“Sloppy Joe poisoned the well,” he said to the members during Wednesday’s recess. The club was gathered at the swings for their next challenge. According to Lance, a successful businessman set goals and achieved them. For Wednesday’s challenge, each member was to swing as hard as they could and then jump from swing and out onto the grass. The member with the shortest jump would wear take the yellow tie from Toby.

“I think I found a way to get Marsha to like me,” Lance said to Ian as they waited for their second attempt at the swing jump.

“What?” Ian asked.

“My brother helped me write some notes about love and stuff. I’m going to pass them to Marsha every hour until school is out. Tomorrow I’ll bring her candy or something.”

“Do you think it will work? I already tried passing Linda notes and it didn’t work.”

“No offense Ian but you’ve got red hair and fat cheeks. I’m better looking so I’ve got a better chance.”

“I suppose you’re right.”

Lance was up next. Mike Applegate had the current record. Lance had to break it. He hopped up onto the swing and started to pump. Each pump took him higher and higher. Finally, when the swing would go no higher, Lance released himself into the air. Everyone gasped as he hurdled toward the ground. One girl screamed. Lance lost his posture. Instead of coming down feet first, Lance came in belly first. He landed with a thud heard round the playground. He bounced once and came to a stop. He rolled to his back and lay motionless. The entire playground rushed to his side.

“He can’t breath,” Ian shouted. The playground supervisor rushed to his side, sat him up and calmed him down to the point where he could breath normally again. Tears and sobbing followed.

Lance came to school the following morning with a broken wrist. To his surprise, and to the surprise of every member of the club, all the girls in the class signed a get well card and left it on his desk. Marsha Palmer’s signature had hearts for the dots over the i’s. Lance sat down, read the card, looked over at Marsha and smiled. Marsha smiled back.

Ian slumped down in his desk. Lance won again. Not only did his death defying leap take the club's swing jump record but now he was about to get the prettiest girl in the forth year as his girl friend. What’s a red haired boy with chubby cheeks suppose to do about that?