A continuing tale of life in the boonies

No. 045

Doctor Spooner, I presume, typesetter

The policy of this column - to place in your hands the Truth, the Whole Truth, and Nothing but the Truth - has placed me in a dilemma. I have been wrestling with my conscience all night. Never have I been so close to deadline without a word on the page. But now, in the clear light of morning, I think I have an honorable solution, which is this: In the course of the next few sentences I will disclose the whereabouts of the Bibbo-Bois goldfield, but in the interests of public safety this knowledge must be restricted to the 50,000 readers of the Rochester Courier.

Therefore, I am appealing to you to eat this article once you have digested it, and in this way the information can be kept from the rude hordes south of the state line. As an additional safeguard I will use code-names for geographic localities.

About two weeks ago, with Jim, Randy and a Connecticut geologist called Mike, I drove a N.N.W. course from Farmington up to the small New Hampshire town of Tub (synonym). The journey was punctuated with heavy geological conversation the like of which would have the typesetter in a cold sweat, and the reader nodding off before the gold was mentioned. (Yeah, get to the gold - Ed.)

Randy and Mike, it quickly became apparent were rock nuts who would stop at nothing to lay hands on a crystals of precious this and rare that. I had brought a small geology hammer and chisel, but these guys were talking dynamite and front-end loaders, jack-hammers, rock-splitters and black powder. Every now and then they invoked the name Frank with reverential awe, a mineralogical Rambo, it seems who wouldn't hesitate to blow up the Old Man of the Mountain for a specimen of tourmaline.

Anyway, after devastating a portion of Grafton County with pry bars, wedges and 16-pound hammers to stock up on pyrite cubes, we at last came to the gold-bearing stream known as Low Music, O Nomad (Anagram). And Jim Bibbo, in the first panful of gravel, struck pay-dirt. Glittering golden flakes that set the blood a-pounding and made you want to elbow your best buddy out of the way.

Unfortunately, the weather was against us, with torrential rain causing the Low Music O Nomad to rise rapidly over the main gravel beds. Regretfully we tore ourselves away with a promise to return when the river level had dropped. Since this time I have been scurrilously accused by Jim, Randy, Mike and no doubt, Frank, in absentia, of making off with the film capsule of gold flakes. Gentlemen I am wounded. This discovery must be shared with mankind (Spoonerism), and even as you read, is on exhibition in Phyllis's show-case in the Woodgin Library.

Great Honor: I am on the verge of receiving a great honor from the town of Farmington - the largely ceremonial post of Civil Defense director. Only a few details remain to be ironed out, a few minor inquiries made. What greater reward can be bestowed on someone then the theoretical responsibility for the well-being of one’s neighbors? This is a proud day for me.

Of course, there are outrageous whisperings that reach the ears, like, "He ain't American, that don't seem right." Well, Scotland's in NATO, buddy, even if we want to get out, with all those nuclear silos up in Glen Douglas, only 20 miles from Glasgow. Other objectors are suggesting that I will visit a zaniness on the position and have the population out of their beds at 3 a.m. practicing evacuations. Well, you all got up for the Mooney’s Mill fire, didn't you?

Still more rogues are saying that I just want to get my hands on the town Geiger counters to trace the Bibbo-Bois mother lode. I am prepared to negotiate on this one, with the carrot of lower taxes for all.

More disturbingly though, several people have suggested that the uranium oxide samples on my porch are there to give false readings when I take over the Chernobyl disaster monitorings from the public-spirited gentleman who has assumed this responsibility for the present. Nonsense, I say, merely geological curios that will hardly cause a blib on the screen.

(How come the dog downstairs has got sick? - Ed.)

Quickly Changing the Subject: Brownie, everyone who hasn't been arrested recently would agree, is a darned fine cop. When he looks along Main Street and fails to recognize someone, you can bet that person is from out of state. Accordingly, there is no need for Brownie to get in a sweat when he spots a misdemeanor from afar. He'll bide his time and square up later.

But one day, Brownie broke the golden rule of Have Feet Will Plod with devastating consequences, and occasionally, over a Fitch donut he is persuaded to recall the event.

Once upon a time, along with a Special Officer called Donny Foss, Brownie had effected an arrest of some ne'er-do-well for an incident downtown, and the miscreant was being walked back to the station. With his arms held by the officers, the prisoner indicated by jerks of his shoulder that a spot on his neck required to be itched. Brownie and Donny Foss both released their grip, whereupon the prisoner scooted for freedom, hotly pursued by a determined Foss with baton drawn. Brownie, too, although lying a poor third, was definitely running and slowly picking up speed. As the escapee and Foss clattered along Main Street, a conversation was struck up regarding what the officer would do if the prisoner did not stop. Feeling a raging hot breath on the back of his neck, that made him think his itch was soon to be caressed with a night-stick, the prisoner dropped suddenly to the ground. So suddenly, in fact, that Officer Donny Foss tripped over him, and also lay on the sidewalk. Brownie saw this up ahead, but had built up such momentum that braking, or even evasive action, was quite out of the question. He charged into the prone bodies, fell down and broke Foss's ankle, putting him out of work for three months. Brownie made a resolution never to run again.

Food Notes: Mrs. Jolles's readiness class is hatching out chicks that have been incubating, courtesy of Ray Charbonneau's equipment, for a couple of weeks. Mrs. Hoyt's class tried the same wheeze, but due to a faulty thermostat or a faultier conversion of Centigrade to Fahrenheit, all they got, after 14 days, were hard boiled eggs. O cruel world!

Historical Society: Mary-Jane Boggs, snowed off in January, will have a second attempt at the White Mountains of New Hampshire lecture on June 6. This day will also mark the throwing open of the doors of the Historical Museum to the general public from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., allowing them to gaze in rapture at the one-armed nut-carver's baskets, Henry Wilson's gallstone and a 101 other treasures. Well worth a visit.

Sports News: Finally, an appeal from old Mr. Ramgunshoch to the sports page of the Rochester Courier to give adequate coverage of Scotland's games in the World Cup, currently being played in Mexico. He alleges that this international event is being pointedly ignored by the U.S. media to prevent general depression in the population. (Uncle Sam was knocked out by a succession of pokey little Central American states.)

Ramgunshoch says that he sympathizes with America as Scotland were once beaten 2-0 by Peru, a country no one had ever heard of. A man he knew, at the end of this game, hurled his T.V. through a glass door and over a verandah. As it exploded in the street below, people came out onto their balconies and shouted, "On ye go, Tommy MacIntyre!" and similar words of encouragement. Nonetheless, Mr. R. invites the leadership to support Scotland, whom he feels are world-beaters in 1986.

June 3, 1986

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