Saturday, February 13, 2010

The Pennington Triplets Stop for a Late Lunch.

Dane, Dilbert and Duane Pennington stopped at Cloverdale’s McDonalds for a late lunch Saturday afternoon after delivering several bales of hay to local farmers. The Pennington triplets have been known to eat as much as a minibus full of tourists, so when the parking lot camera sees the hay wagon and horse rounding the Station Road's corner onto High Street the manager calls out "Pennington Roll!” Two baskets of frozen fries are dropped into the fat fryer and nine 1/4 lb. burger patties go onto the grill. Usually the boys will wash it all down with chocolate shakes; Cokes are preferred if its warm. Today Duane held up both arms from the buckboard, telegraphing their agreed upon symbol for shakes.

The boys appreciate the attention they get at McDonalds. Their standing Saturday order is usually hot and ready when they reach the window. It’s become a matter of pride for the Saturday McDonald’s manager and crew. In fact, the manager gives the triplets a 50% discount if he isn’t standing at the window, bags in hand when they clippity clop up to pay.

The Pennington boys start delivering hay first thing on a Saturday morning after eating their breakfast and packaging Mother Pennington’s first morning’s bakings. The boys deliver fresh baked goods along their route. For many locals a Mother Pennington fresh loaf of bread is the only proper way to start a weekend.

Their day ends when the wagon returns to the farm in the light of the setting sun. Dane, Dilbert and Duane must clean up fast and wolf down their supper if they don’t want to miss the Coastal Express for Dibley in the Downs and cowboy line dancing at the Hitching Post American Bar and Grill. The Hitching Post’s Publican spared no expense in creating an authentic American old western experience in the Pub’s decor.

Saturday night is the Pub’s busiest night. Cowboy line dancing enthusiasts come from miles around for a night of dancing, meeting friends and having a drink or two. No need for designated drivers. Dibley’s train station is one block from the Hitching Post.

At closing time the triplets catch the Midnight Express for Cloverdale. Molly, their trusted old horse, waits hitched to the wagon for their return. The boys exit the station, jump into the back of the wagon, roll under a few blankets and give Molly a "Giddy Up" for home. Moments later the triplets are asleep, trusting Molly to get them home. She's never failed them, although the trip can take quite awhile, especially if there's new Spring grass along the road. The boys aren’t in a hurry, although Mother Pennington insists they be home in time for church.

Friday, February 12, 2010

We Never Claimed our Village's Psychics Were Any Good.

Madam Voyant, a leader in Cloverdale's Psychic Community is suffering from professional embarrassment today. The 2010 Community Psychic Fair scheduled to meet at noon in the Charles DeGalle Room at the Le Petit Mort French Bistro on the High Street was canceled yesterday due to double booking. It was Madam Voyant's fault for not writing the correct date in her planner. The manager of the Bistro wrote the notice on the sandwich board. Madam Voyant protested the wording. He thought it funny and insisted it stay. She cornered him at the cash register and foretold disaster if he didn't reword the notice. He refused again saying that if she wasn't good enough to foretell a double booking then how could she be gifted enough to see a misfortune blighting his restaurant from the hands of the Fates?

The Madam and her followers left the Cafe, but before doing so, they gathered outside on the pavement and, as a group of psychics, pronounced a curse on the manager.
Strangely, the notice board disappeared with them.

The manager filed a complaint with the Constables.

The Fair has been rescheduled for The Kicking Donkey in two weeks. Madam Voyant forsees no problems and good weather.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Brewsters. Donaldson Department Store's Christmas Family for 2010.

The Brewsters of 12 Apple Court Way, Cloverdale were selected to be Donaldson’s Department Store’s Christmas Family for 2010. The selection for Christmas Family of 2010 was conducted last week at the Hairy Lemon Pub. Major Ezra Pills of the Salvation Army headed the committee (in return for permission to place a Red Kettle at the store’s main entrance during the holiday season). Other committee members included Sister Esther Mary Scown, Headmistress of St. Bartholomew’s Primary School, Constable Willard, and Samantha Jordan, librarian at Confederacy Elementary School.

Major Pills called the meeting to order after everyone finished a delicious dinner of Steak and Kidney Pie and Fizzy Lemonade. The meeting started with a video of last years’s Christmas Family fulfilling their responsibilities in the store. You saw them greeting customers at the door. You saw them endure hours of tedious photo shoots complete with multiple clothing changes. You saw them passing out Donaldson Department Store coupons along the village’s Christmas parade route.

What you didn’t see was their resignation three days before Christmas. The family complained about the long hours and the fact that they were doing the paid employee's work in the store. The father wrote the following in a letter to the editor of Confederacy Times, Cloverdale's newspaper:
"My wife and I felt our job as Christmas Family was the Donaldson family's way of giving their employees paid time off as a Christmas bonus. They got the paid vacation time while we did their work for them. It wasn't right. Old man Donaldson is Cloverdale's Mr. Scrooge for sure and all we got out of the deal was a Nintendo Wii."
The committee poured over the twelve applications, comparing their qualifications to the strict guidelines the Donaldson family gave them to follow as they made their selection.
  • It had to be a traditional family.
  • The parents had to be married.
  • The had to have at least 1 boy and 1 girl with above average looks and proportioned to fit into the clothes Donaldson’s would be selling during the holidays.
  • The mother had to have a motherly look about her.
  • The parents had to be respectable in the community.
  • The family had to be Christian and celebrate Christmas.
There was only one family that met all the requirements, making the selection committee’s job easier. The Major closed the meeting thanking everyone for their time, went home and called to give the Brewsters the good news. Needless to say the Brewsters were ecstatic.

“What made us stand out over the other applicants?” Bruce Brewsters asked the Major.
“It was the photograph that accompanied your application,” the Major lied. He didn’t want to tell them they won simply through the elimination process.
I knew it!” Bruce shouted. Evidently the idea to dress up as Christmas presents was his idea for their Christmas 2009 family Christmas Card.

The Brewsters first responsibility as Christmas Family is to learn how to use the store’s cleaning chemicals.

The citizens of Cloverdale congratulate the Brewsters on their selection as Donaldson Department Store’s Christmas Family of 2010.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Miss Rosie Fissure McMartin Bean Wins Chamber Maid of the Year Award.

Miss Rosie Fissure McMartin Bean is the Chamber Maid at Miss Libby’s Bed and Breakfast on the Station Road. She cleans the guest rooms and lobby. Her work is outstanding. Rosie takes great pride in giving her guests the best Bed and Breakfast experience her cleaning agents and good old Cloverdale elbow grease can provide.

Last year, Mrs. Wineafred Bloopus, heir to the Bloopus Bright Cleaning Solution sponsored the Chamber Maid of the Year Award. Hotel, motel and Bed and Breakfast owners were encouraged to submit the names of their top maids and house keepers. A photograph and essay were required with each entry along with a bill of sale showing the establishment purchases Bloopus Bright Cleaning Solution.

Miss Libby thought about Miss Rosie the evening she saw the commercial advertising the competition on Cloverdale Weekend Television. Miss Libby isn’t one to sit and put pen to paper. Although outgoing and friendly in person, Miss Libby suffers from a peculiar shyness when putting her thoughts to paper.

After a quarter hour of pondering while sipping a cup of peppermint tea in the parlor, Miss Libby took a deep breath, reached into the sideboard’s top drawer and took out a sheet of Miss Libby’s Bed and Breakfast Stationary and a pen. She considered her sentences carefully, wanting to give Miss Rosie the opportunity she deserved. She wrote, and rewrote and erased. She anguished over the adjectives and pondered the adverbs. Three hours later she laid down her pen and held her composition up to the light of the Tiffany desk lamp. It was the best she could do. She put it in an envelope, sealed and addressed it and placed it in the mail drop for tomorrow’s collection.

Three weeks later the phone rang. 
“Miss Libby?” a kind woman’s voice asked. Miss Libby could tell from the pops and scratches it was a long distant call.
“Yes, this is Miss Libby,” she answered, speaking in a louder voice to compensate for the poor connection.
“This is Mrs. Wineafred Bloopus’s personal assistant. We are calling to tell you that Miss Rosie Fissure McMartin Bean is the winner of our this year’s Chamber Maid of the Year Award.”

Miss Libby jumped from her chair, finishing the conversation with her hand cupped over her mouth to contain the scream that sought release. It was one of the happiest days in her life - and the life of Miss Rosie.

Miss Rosie and Miss Libby travelled by Coastal Express to Capital City for the awards ceremony, held during the closing meeting of the Bloopus Bright Cleaning Convention.
In presenting the trophy and the $500 check, Miss Winneafred Bloopus highlighted Miss Rosie’s qualifications. In ending her remarks Miss Winneafred said:
There is one added service Miss Rosie performs for her guests that no other contestant does. Miss Rosie personally warms the beds for the guests staying in her rooms. Miss Libby, the Bed and Breakfast’s proprietor said that the cost of heating blankets and the electricity to warm them was cost prohibitive. Miss Rosie didn’t let that economy stop her from ensuring the comfort of her guests. Miss Rosie asks each resident for their expected bed time. She knocks on the door 10 minutes before, folds back the sheets, climbs in and, using her own body heat, warms the beds. This is going above and beyond the call of duty. Miss Rosie is truly exceptional and we are delighted to give her this award, along with a year’s supply of Bloopus Bright Cleaning Products.
Miss Rosie is an outstanding citizen of Cloverdale. Upon her return scores of friends and neighbors met her at the train station. A small parade was held in her honor, taking her from the train station back to the Bed and Breakfast. Miss Rosie rode in a convertible following the Odd Fellows Band and Girl Scout Troop 3, who’s members sold boxes of girls scout to the people gathered along the parade route.

Cloverdale Weekend Television. Afterschool Rock and Roll for our Younger Viewers

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Payton Pills, LDS Deacon vs. The Wrights, Jehovah Witnesses.

The Wrights, Long Time Members of Cloverdale's Kingdom Hall

The Cloverdale Branch of the LDS Church publishes a monthly newsletter to all members and potential members in the village. The newsletter is called “Awake!” Written in smaller print under the title is the sub title “Ye Soldiers of Zion”. Cloverdale’s two deacons distribute the newsletter on the first Sunday of the month when they canvas the community for Fast Offerings. Cloverdale’s Mormons are spread out evenly throughout the village so the boys either get Sunday morning rides from a parent or they ride their bikes. More often than not they are on their bikes considering the amount of time most Mormon families require to prep for morning services.

The Jehovah Witness Awake (above). Easily Distinguished Between
the Mormon Photocopied Newsletter.

“Awake,” has caused some confusion in the overall community because the Mormon newsletter’s name is the same as the “Awake!” magazine distributed door to door by Cloverdale’s Jehovah’s Witnesses.

During the October collection of Fast Offerings 13 year old deacon Payton Pills and 12 year old Christian Clapper encountered Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Wright, perhaps the most devote Jehovah’s Witnesses in the village and founders of the local Kingdom Hall, as they made their rounds witnessing door to door.

Payton Pills.Cloverdale's Newest LDS Deacon. Unconventional
is their way of describing him.

The Wrights stopped the boys and asked to see the branch’s newsletter. The boys pulled one out of a back pack and told them they could keep it. The Samuel Wrights promptly took one of their own “Awakes!” from their satchel and compared titles.
“Are you boys aware that your Awake and our Awake carry the same title?” Mr. Samuel said holding the two publications side by side.
“So?” Payton replied with a shrug of the shoulders. He was in a hurry. He was behind in his Facebook correspondences with several of the prettier girls at Cloverdale Middle School.
“This won’t do at all. We can’t have a Mormon Awake and a Jehovah Witness Awake now can we?” Mrs. Wright explained to the confused boys. “This may confuse people. They won’t know which carries the true Gospel and which carries the lies of Lucifer.”

“Are you saying our’s is from the devil?” Christian said as his eyes watered with emotion. He was a sheltered young boy that didn’t get out much and wasn’t use to having his religion questioned or challenged. Payton, on the other hand, was a new convert to Mormonism and brought with him a knowledge of the streets and a backbone.
“Don’t cry for god’s sake,” he whispered out of the side of his mouth to Christian so the Wrights couldn’t hear. “I’ll handle this.”

He stepped forward and held out his hand.
“I’d like our Awake back,” Payton demanded. To which the Wrights refused saying it was given to them and they intended to keep it to show the other Witnesses at the Kingdom Hall.
“Tell your congregation’s leader that we insist he change the name of your newsletter or he will be hearing from us.” Mr Payton emphasized his point by sticking his index finger into Payton’s chest. Upon which Payton, never willing to back down from a challenge, grabbed Mr. Wright's outstretched finger and twisted it causing Mr. Wright to lose concentration. Payton’s other hand shot out and snatched the Mormon Awake from Mr. Wright’s other hand. Mrs. Wright saw Lucifer was at the heart of Payton's action. She recognized it as a confrontation between heresy and truth and momentarily lost control of her senses and stepped forward.

“Lucifer be Gone!” she shouted as she slapped Payton hard across the face. Payton fell backwards; his eyes watered. Christian screamed, jumped on his bike and rode away to get help. Payton’s eyes watered as his face reddened. Mrs. Wright suddenly realized what she’d done and held both her hands up to her own face in embarrassment. Mr. Wright tried to diffuse the situation.
“OK, OK let’s calm things down,” he said while stepping forward to stop Payton from striking back as his wife.
Payton’s anger was out of its cage and billowed for revenge. A moment later Payton noticed a stream of blood pouring from his nose.
“You’re bleeding,” Mrs. Wright said. She pushed her husband away and stepped forward. She fished in her purse for a handkerchief. Payton saw an opportunity. The female was in his grasps. He didn’t know much about religion in general but knew enough to remember that Jehovah Witnesses had a real aversion to blood. He held both hands up to his nose and gathered as much blood as he could. His mind raced ahead. He needed to draw the woman even closer still.
“Here, take this handkerchief,” Mrs. Wright said sympathetically. “I’m sorry I did that. I don’t know what got into me.” Payton refused the hankerchief and gathered more blood from his offended nose. A moment later he was ready.

Payton began crying. He stumbled toward Mrs. Wright as if he were about to faint. She instinctively reached out to steady him. She was open and vunerable. Payton jumped forward and held both sides of her face with his bloody hands. He smeared blood over her face and across her lips. She screamed; Mr. Wright stepped forward to grab Payton but before he could do so Payton was off on his bike knowing he had had the last word on the Awake debate. Payton had capitalized on the Jehovah Witness aversion to blood and finished what Mrs. Wright had started.

So, the score in the Cloverdale Religious War was: Mormons 1. Jehovah Witnesses 0. Payton was the new LDS branch hero, although the Branch President severely reprimanded him for setting a very poor example as a young priesthood holder. The Branch President attempted to contact the Wrights by phone to settle the issue but they never answered.

The next round in the battle was shot the very next Sunday while the Mormons were in Sacrament Meeting. Three of the Jehovah Witness young adults placed copies of their November “Awake” under the windshield wipers of every car in the parking lot. Stapled to each copy was a card which read:

Awake to the truth. Turn from the lies that will surely drag you to hell. Read the true Awake, repent and join us at Cloverdale’s Kingdom Hall where you’ll find a forgiving congregation ready to accept you with open arms.
Then in small print it said:
We know where each of you live and will visit as we canvas door to door on a very, very regular basis.
The Branch President swore the members to forgiveness the following Sunday threatening to have a month’s worth of Sacrament talks on Forgiveness and Turning the Other Cheek if they struck back.

To date there have been no further incidents except very minor alterations with shopping carts at the Piggly Wiggly and Red Owl grocery stores. The War of adventist faiths seems to be over.

Cloverdale Weekend Television. Songs of Praise. Onward Christian Soldiers!

Libera Sings Onward Christian Soldiers for Songs of Praise.
Church time weather for Cloverdale and surrounding region. The sun is shy today with broad patterns of clouding bringing droplets through the Shire towards the midday. Temperatures favor the mild ranges with occasional cooling advanced with A.M. breezes. Afternoon hours will favor a bolder sun and warming. Jackets and sweaters are suggested for the P.M. toward sunfall.

From the Weather Bureau, Enjoy your Sunday Worship at the Cloverdale Church of your Choice.