A continuing tale of life in the boonies

No. 037

Minority Sports

"...thus, every kind their pleasure find,

The savage and the tender,

Some social join, in leagues combine,

Some solitary wander..."

(Robert Burns)

Shooting Kites: This minority sport is mainly confined to Meetinghouse Hill Road where its chief practitioner is a Mr. Joseph D. Bean, who recommends the use of a double-barreled shotgun.

"It cost $6 and you'll plug it full of holes," beseeched his daughter, Dottie, on a recent visit from Massachusetts, referring to her Boston Symphony Orchestra kite, which had snagged high up in a tree near the family farm.

The persistent jangle of a bell in the tail section suggested a need for gunplay, however, to a Mr. Bean whose hearing (or any other faculty, for that matter) was unimpaired by his 82nd year.

"I'll aim for the string," he compromised.

"Oh, yeah! You'll splatter the kite! Remember that woodchuck," his daughter admonished.

"I killed the woodchuck!" he protested.

"And the garden hose!" she reminded him, winning a temporary reprieve for the B.S.O. kite. Mr. Bean, perhaps a little wary of the Press Corps, decided to wait until the first cloudy day, for a clear shot.

Hatwatching: This one-man spectator-sport gives hours of pleasure. Home games are played near Farmington Laundromat. With regard to bareheaded law-enforcement, incidentally, important new evidence has come to light, that paints Larry Kelly et. al. in patriotic, freedom loving, and historic colors.

I quote Isaac Asimov's Book of Facts pp. 115/116..."Railroad conductors and mailmen (I kid you not, Biff) refused to wear uniforms until after the civil war. In 1844, policemen in New York City staged a strike against their proposed blue uniforms. The reason for their opposition was that they considered uniforms to be symbols of servitude, as maids and butlers wore them in the old country."


Mud, mud, glorious mud,

Nothing quite like it for cooling the blood,

So follow me, follow,

Down to the hollow,

And there we will wallow.

In glorious mud.

Although this song was written with hippopotami in mind, it applies equally well to the drivers of 4WD vehicles. Mudding correspondent, Nut Brown Maiden, states that Cow Pound Road is in "excellent condition" and has announced Martin Stanley, in a CJ5, as "Mudder of the Week." Martin could be seen last Wednesday morning doing victory laps on Main Street.

So far, 1986 has witnessed a sad decline in the number of mudders, although it still outstrips hatwatching in popularity. Nut Brown attributes this to the steady influx into Farmington of Yuppies.

Her April Mudding Tip is helpful to those who get mired down. "A case of crushed Budweiser cans, placed end-to-end will work as traction grabbers under the wheels, in the absence of other material. And remember - Take out what you take in"

Selectmen's Meetings: This weekly sport also has its devotees, though probably fewer than for Laying Down Rubber, Egging or the nocturnal diversion of Hollering. At the gathering of April 2, appointments were made as follows:

Dog Officer - Allan "Dirty Harry" Colwell, Deputy Dog Officer - Heidi Colwell, Deputy Deputy Dog Officer - Trudy Pence, Health Officer - John Fitch; Conservation Commission - Joe Petrie, Kurt Olson, Biff Silvia; Welfare Hearing Officer - Jim Bibbo; Parks and Recreation Commission - Ken Hoyt, Paul Turner (alternate); Z.B.A. - Bill Tsiros, Mary Jolles, Roger Cady; Street Parking Tire Chalker - Brownie, despite a suggestion from the spectator's benches that, "Archie Corson could do it - he wears a hat."

Selectmen also heard from Police Chief Carl Worster that preparations had been made for the implementation of the new town ordinances, which would be applied with "good plain common sense."

Reasons For Coming To Farmington: At a recent meeting in Portsmouth, regarding evacuation plans in the case of a Seabrook Nuclear Power Station Emergency, townspeople were told that they should make their way to Farmington.

"We'll take our chances with radio-active fallout, thanks," part of the audience was alleged to have murmured.

Take Me To Your Leader: Who is the spiritual mayor of Farmington? Is it someone, like Judge Nute or Grandfather Hussey, whose families has lived here so long that ridges and mountains are named after them? Perhaps. Residing within the town boundary for 10 generations is obviously an important factor. But not the only one, I realized the other day, after a conversation with a citizen who was setting forth careful and elaborate details of the differences on an issue between himself and a third party.

When he chose to undermine his rival's position by pointing out that the gentleman in question lived near the boundary with another town, I twigged that such primeval factors had to be considered. Creatures as diverse as rooks and baboons banish less popular figures to the edge of the colony.

Ergo, I thought later, whosoever liveth at the center of Farmington let me goeth unto him, for he must be worthy of council. How to find such a one? I repaired to a map of the town, which occupies a square of New Hampshire the sides of which are approximately six miles in length. I drew in the diagonal lines than connected the opposite corners and noted where they intersected, for here was the very heart of Farmington. The lines crossed near to where Cow Pound Road forms a T with Ten Rod Road. More specifically, they intersected right through the trailer of Mr. Harold Boondock Butt. All hail to thee, O Greatest of Cribbage Players.

Harold takes this opportunity for a Thought of the Week: "Cursed be the name of mudders. Blessed be the name of Ten Rod Speedway."

April 7, 1986

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