A continuing tale of life in the boonies

No. 063

The wild bunch rides again!

"Nae hat an' a cauld rain fallin'

Dearie me!" wrote the Edinburgh poet Alan Jackson, and entitled this masterpiece Hitchhaiku … it is inexplicably omitted from the Penguin Book of Scottish verse. Nonetheless, this poem came to mind last Friday evening when it was a cauld rain indeed that was fallin', and Police Officer Larry Kelly was on duty outside the Community Center dance. Throwing his reputation to the winds, Larry, for the first time this decade, wore a hat.

During a brief lull in he proceedings, Larry recalled that a few days previously, his daughters had been gazing out of the window, when, suddenly, they screamed and reeled back in horror.

"Yarrghh!" they had yelled, "we thought this was just a figment of disinformation in the columns of the Rochester Courier! Look outside, Dad!"

There, on the Kellys’ lawn, like the Hydra of Greek mythology, were the 20 Wild Dogs of Meaderboro Road. Reports are also coming in that on the same road (Planning Board end) someone spotted a coyote, which reminds one of Robert Burns, who managed to scrape into the Penguin anthology:

"Now westlin' winds and slaughtering guns

Bring Autumn's pleasant weather..."

The dances, incidentally, for third to sixth grade, and for seventh to twelfth grade, attracted a record 317 kids. It is a pleasure to report that in the course of five hours there were no instances of alcohol or drugs, no squabbles or fights, no unpleasantries of any kind! The students are to be roundly congratulated for starting off the dance season in the finest possible way, and creating a most favorable impression for the exchange pupils from Mexico, Japan and Germany. Long may it last!

Musical News: Mr. Lefty Lee of Lefty Lee and the Drifters has dropped Sam on Piano from his current line-up of musicians. This follows on from a tiff during which one gentleman accused the other of falling 19 beats behind. Lefty recently received a warm reception for a set at Rochester Fair, and a legal paper from Alterations by Doris regarding a Coat of many Colors. Lefty and the boys are currently booked to appear at the Cuckoo's Nest in East Wakefield. Check them out.

Also well worth a visit, on Saturday, Oct. 18, at 7:30 p.m. is the Hidden Coffeehouse on Elm Street in Farmington. Jonathan Sindorf announces a program of traditional and contemporary music (no Ramgunshoch), with free admission and refreshments.

Firehouse News: Fireman Plante is normally an alert and well-organized citizen. Recently, however, he bought two tickets for the Rochester Firemen's Ball and went on the wrong night.

Garbology News: Local garbologist, Roger Belanger, gleans late into the night, removing the trash from Main Street that has accumulated since the George Haskell final swoop in the latter part of the afternoon. After 11 p.m., on some evenings, Roger is the only sign of life downtown, apart from the odd mongrel trotting in the distance. A couple of years ago, Seymour Bowden and a few of the guys on the Ambulance Corps invented a scenario whereby Mr. Belanger was struck by a vehicle, in the dark, whilst scuttling after an enticing piece of litter. The plan was to descend on Roger and swathe him in bandages and splints as an Emergency Exercise, but for some reason it was never executed. Maybe he got wind of the impending kidnap.

The following is an excerpt from an interview granted me by Mr. Belanger:

"Roger, your jihad against litter in the streets of Farmington has gone on for over three decades and has, at an estimated four miles per day, involved you in almost 50,000 miles of travel. During this unceasing crusade have you ever encountered a valuable or noteworthy item of garbage?"


"What limitations do you place upon yourself with respect to geographic factors in this scouring of the shire?"

"Often am I tempted onto private lawns, but confine myself to public places."

"How do you feel about cleaning the remnants of a kite out of a tree on Meetinghousehill Road?"

"Let Joe Bean blast that sucker down himself!"

Selectmen's Meeting Of Oct. 8, 1986: The Board of Selectmen were presented with a petition requesting that the "dog lease law be strictly enforced." It was Marshall Colwell a letter urging tougher measures, and it was assumed that he, in turn, would inform the deputy and deputy, deputy dog officers. In my new role as interviewer, I asked Smokey Lapanne, who was snoozing in the afternoon sun on the sidewalk outside the library (behind the bank) for his reaction.

Smokey looked up, yawned, and digging deep into his one-word vocabulary, said, "Hullo!"

Oct. 15, 1986

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