A continuing tale of life in the boonies

No. 034

Calypso beats out Reggae

Judgment Day: My only pleasure, in an otherwise bleak and Spartan existence, is breakfast, and on days when the urge to view the Kennedy Painting at Kristie’s abates, I go to the Dock Square Restaurant, that little Caribbean oasis further down Farmington Main Street. While I eat, I read the Boston Globe, on account of its Scottish news, which consists of the alleged noon-time temperature in Aberdeen, the day before.

One morning last week, I was slowly absorbing this statistic, and ignoring the recorded pleadings of a Jamaican calypso singer for a tallyman to tally his bananas, when a dark shadow fell over my bacon and homefries. I looked up, and was filled with the fear one usually experiences when one inadvertently gazes on the face of God. Staring down at me was Beulah Thayer.

"That piece you wrote about the Woman's Club..." she said. My senses sharpened like those of a trapped animal, and I heard fragments of whispered conversations from other tables, "typed on eggs," "outright impudence" and "landed in soup." Through my twitching nostrils I could smell the undercooked sausages that Sam Gray had sent back, vengefully carbonizing in the kitchen. My darting eyes reluctantly returned to her face and awaited the dreaded pronouncement. "...not bad! But lay off Henry Wilson!" Beulah decreed.

I had walked in the Valley of the Shadow of Death and had been granted Life.

"Daylight come and I wanna go home," I sang in joyful chorus with the Kingston Steel Band. I have since scribbled these obsequious lines:

The pen is mightier than the sword,

The breadstick's mightier yet,

With visions of starvation, Lord,

How clear my eyes do get.

I see, though Henry's 'neath the sward,

The Nation owes a debt.

The Woman's Club is our reward,

A nouvelle Bloomsbury Set.

Can Canvass

Mr. Porky Hussey, star of the recent Henry Wilson Winter Carnival, wishes to announce that he is resuming his previous hobby of recycling aluminum cans. Porky is intending to purchase a trailer after he has collected and cashed in a sufficient number. He did not seem dismayed when given an estimated target figure of two million empty cans. If placed end to end in a straight line, these would stretch the 237 miles from Farmington to New York, but as Porky pointed out, this would be a foolish thing to do, as many cans would be stolen in the process, especially near the Big Apple. The Community Center offers itself as a collection point, for any would-be donors.

Behind The Scenes

A movie called "Highlander," currently showing in Boston, and panned by the Globe as a "sword-and-sorcery shambles," will probably crop up in local cinemas over the next few weeks. Part of the film was shot on location in the Glencoe region of Scotland, and I received a first-hand account of the drama from a friend who visited Farmington, last summer.

For the 16th century fight scenes, local crofters and foresters were recruited, along with rock-climbers from Glasgow, (among them, my buddy) and after these unlikely actors were decked out in plaid, they were given realistic wooden swords and cardboard shields.

Then, to put them in the mood, they were given strong drink. This was a monumental mistake and probable accounts for the Boston Globe's choice of the word shambles.

Little encouragement was needed from the director, for the entire cast of kilted extras to rise up and attack each other with alarming gusto. Brutal chaos ensued; then a brief strike, which was quelled by a supply of malt whisky, bandages and stouter shields. Result - a bigger shambles. I, for one, will not miss this movie.

Police Hats - The Saga Continues

Farmington has a least one disgruntled citizen who neither cast a vote nor attended last week's Town Meeting. Archie Corson is dejected by only one call having been logged on Hatwatch Hotline, and that from a Selectman as a joke.

"How come Kelly don't wear a hat?" he had asked Police Chief Carl Worster, who was directing traffic on the Square.

"They don't have one big enough," was the reply. (This has, in fact, been remedied, as Larry was jammed into a size 8 at the last Community Center Dance, with a cold rain falling)

"How come you don't wear a hat?" exploded Corson in despair, noticing the bare head of the chief, who had only just emerged from his Dock Square Restaurant lunch break, a little groggy from the calypso still ringing in his ears.

When I met Archie Corson last, I asked him why he did not elect to stand at the back of Town Meeting and holler his objections.

"A fellah who's dead now, did that once," recalled Mr. Corson, "and a few days later he was picked up on Main Street for staggering just a mite. He got sent down the County Farm and it cost him $50. I'll stay home."

Ballbouncing News

The Farmington Town and District Basketball League for Men will close its second season with an orgy of ballbouncing that lasts the entire weekend of March 22 & 23. This curious tribal behavior, known as play-offs, is conducted in such a highly charged and volatile atmosphere, that it makes Town Meeting, by comparison, look like a love-in for peaceniks.

I take this opportunity to commend referee Russell Lainey for only resigning seven times during the season (play-offs may push him into double figures), and for making a catch-phrase out of the plaintive and desparate cry, "That's it!" Any award of merit that Russell receives should be emblazoned with the words "I'd rather be sleeping."

Spectators for these gladiatorial clashes, are welcome, and they should wear protective clothing. Admission is only charged for the final, and will surely be the best value for 50 cents since Betty Mros' Nearly Hotte Henry Wilson Chowder.

March 17, 1986

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