A continuing tale of life in the boonies


The Deerhunters

Christie's, the restaurant that tried (and failed) to convert its patrons to tablecloths, is currently attracting a plethora of good old boys in orange hats by serving gargantuan platters of fried grub, seasonally called Hunter's Specials, an ideal prelude to a day of gunplay and six-packs. Outside the eatery, on Main Street, a line of pickup trucks wait patiently in the frost, and contribute to the antipodal quality of American life.

In Scotland, in such circumstances, the choice of horseless carriage would be a Rolls Royce, the sporting diners would be made up of earls and dukes, and the cries would undoubtedly be "Kippers!", "Marmalade!" and "Damned bad show, no tablecloths, what?"

The Scalphunter

"A hat is the difference between looking adequate and looking your best," according to no less an authority than one Martha Sliter. Mr. Archie Corson, that equally famous personage, would be the first to agree. Prompted by sheer love for his police department, Mr. Corson has been conducting a lone crusade aimed at enduring Farmington police officers wear Farmington police hats. At all times. Be it hurricane or heatwave.

To assist Archie, himself a pork-pie-hat man, I have pleasure in announcing Hatwatch Hotline (755-3703), a service whereby trained operators will interrupt their pool games to log instances of hatless law enforcement. Concurrent with this, in a praiseworthy attempt to mollify Mr. Corson, Farmington Police Officers are talking Christmas Present. A taxi driver's T-shirt has been mentioned…

Great Bridges Of The World: Central Street Bridge, Farmington.

One of the engineering wonders of the modern world, this structure soars in two graceful arches, high above the raging Cocheco River.

"In the misty crystal glitter of the wild and windswept spray

Man fought the pounding waters, etc."

Remarkably completed (nearly) in a shorter timeframe than either San Francisco's Golden Gate or New York's Verrazano-Narrows, Central Street Bridge escaped trial by elephant. In August a visiting contingent of those herbivores was obliged, unfortunately or otherwise to proceed to its supper of trees at Fernald Park by a circuitous route. Professional bridgewatcher Jim Bibbo will have to wait until Spring run-off for a real test of strength…

Great Pyramids Of The World

Famous pyramids are found at Gizeh in the deserts of Egypt, and they soar into the Mexican skies at Teocuitatlan. However, on May 15, 1985, these ancient structures had to share their glory with a polyhedronic upstart, the Farmington Pyramid.

Several facts concerning this structure quickly became apparent:

1. It arrived overnight.

2. It was built entirely of sand.

3. It was probably the result of prayers offered up to the Road Crew for a little clay to grace the horseshoe pits.

4. It dwarfed the Community Center and required urgent geometric conversion into a low rectangular prism, by means of a workman's shovel.

May 15 was remarkable for two further occurrences, one of which was the unprecedented heat of the day. The other, and more irritating, phenomenon was the puzzlingly large number of citizens of that ilk who wear orange ballcaps and eat Hunter's Specials in season, who found occasion to pass by the pyramid in pick-up trucks, gleefully waving as one toiled with one's shovel. And after 2 p.m., waved also at Zeke Ghareeb as she labored with temperatures in the mid-eighties. Gradually, the low rectangular prism took shape, and as dusk fell, Zeke opened her twenty-second Pepsi-cola, splashed the contents around the surrounds of the Community Center and ceremoniously pronounced "I name thee Horseshoe Beach." But deep in the Town Shed, champagne corks popped. The Day of the Pyramid belonged to Them.…

Dogs Go Doggo

Since this column last appeared in April, dogs have conducted a tactical game of gradual re-infiltration, cleverly avoiding direct confrontation with the town's canine officer, Marshal Colwell. The shrewdness of dogs was apparent on Hay Day, in August, when large numbers of these quadrupeds failed to show for their annual gymkhana, despite the inducement of ribbon-bedecked prize bones and their very own life-like cat to bite. With the marshal, whose new buggy plates read Dog Cop, as a judge, too many dogs read the event as a sneaky trap to check on licenses, discs and collars. Even Smokey Lapanne failed to say "Hullo."

Monkey-Shine II

The Day of the Dogs, a Hindu festival, incidentally, was followed by the Evening of the Elephants (see above) and this led on to the Sunday Circus, featuring, among other attractions, the world's wettest ostriches. I see them yet, immobile, eyes glazed with implacable hatred as torrential rain splashed through their tatty plumage and dribbled pitifully off their sullen beaks. Yet, in spite of the rain, folks came to the Big Top in their hundreds. Gloom lifted from the circus hands, now setting up extra bleachers, and as the audience reached sell-out proportions, performers were wreathed in smiles that read "Paycheck this week." Mr. Donny Vachon of the Public Works Department, having efficiently assisted the regular constabulary with the task of traffic control, wisely took shelter from the down-pour under the canvas. Fate propelled him, as he watched a performing chimpanzee, against Mr. Ramgunshoch, to whom he politely commented, "Gee, that monkey's almost human."

"Aye, it could start with the road crew on Monday." was the uncalled for retort.

I utterly disassociate myself from this remark and take the opportunity to praise Mr. Vachon and his fellow workers and thank them for the kind delivery of sand to the horseshoe pits…

Light Blight Fight

Farmington Businessmen's Association is engaged in the laudable enterprise of raising money for Christmas (not Xmas, Mrs. Quinn) lights for the town, by selling drawing tickets. Buy one and have your monogrammed bulb hand-painted by the talented Joyce Nutter. Visit it, guard it, in Christmas week. Back in September when the lights fund stood at a lowly $17, the F.B.A. bravely rejected a suggestion from a roguish faction that the cash be placed on a long odds shot at the Rochester Fair harness racing. Now, with tickets selling well, with no small thanks to High School sophomores, perhaps it is not stretching things too far to say that Christmas lights may twinkle from Puddledock Grooming to Vinnie's Pizza Parlour.

Dove Tail

Kindly Stella Michaud of Ten Rod Road deserves a mention for her adoption of a tame pigeon. Despite the approach of Christmas, the hitherto luckless bird had been evicted from two downtown Farmington apartments in as many weeks by flint-hearted landlords. Now this feathered friend is safe from the ravages of winter, although it is unhappily confined to a cage on account of sharing a trailer with 12 cats and three dogs. Well done, Stella!

Spreading The Word

Mrs. Jeannie Blinkinsop-Call, while we are in such a fascinating neck of the woods, spoke out this week about the distressing continuance of Ten Rod Speedway. The owners, Mr. and Mrs. Horne have apparently chosen to ignore the directives of the Z.B.A. and the wishes of Farmington selectmen, electing instead to fight in court for what they consider their American rights. Her passionate views on the matter aired, Mrs. Blinkinsop-Call drove off, revealing a rear bumper sticker that advised "Question Authority!" I guess the Hornes took the message to heart.

"The free mind must have one policeman, Irony" Elbert Hubbard.

Next Week

School news, selectman's news and sensible news.

Nov. 25, 1985

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