A continuing tale of life in the boonies

No. 066

A farewell to whisky

When Neil Gow, the eighteenth century Scottish fiddler, wrote this slow mournful air, he was lamenting a ban by the English on the manufacture of the "water of life," as it is known in Gaelic. Given my circumstances, last Friday evening on the Tobin Bridge in Boston, A Farewell to Whisky was still an appropriate tune to whistle.

I was driving down to Cape Cod to see a buddy (my truck full of records and tapes) to prepare a two-hour radio folkshow due out over the airwaves the following week on WUNH. I drew up before the bridge tollgate, last in a line of traffic, when, all innocent and unsuspecting - Kaabooom! A Massachusetts madcap, driving in the manic fashion of the day, rammed the back of my pick-up so hard that the truck was cannoned into the vehicle in front, and came to rest looking like a concertina.

Although my head shattered a glass panel, I was pretty much unhurt and stepped out to view the catastrophe of crumpled metal. Then I smelt the unmistakable fumes and yowled in dismay, as I ripped down the tailgate and hauled out my travel bag. It was as bad as I had feared. The force of the impact had popped the cork on a bottle of 12-year-old Glenlivet, and it had ebbed away into a stash of socks and shirts. What an ignominious end! As a tow-truck hauled the wreckage off the bridge, I whistled A Farewell to Whisky.

Then my troubles really began (and continue to date). Kafkaesque is a word that describes the world of Czech writer Frank Kafka, in which the individual struggles against the ubiquitous, elusive and anonymous powers determining and yet simultaneously opposing every step. Kafkaesque describes my struggle with my truck insurance company.

Within an hour of the collision, I had followed the instructions on a little card and reported full details to a polite person in Connecticut, who said that as I had full coverage, and being blameless, everything would be taken care of. Come Monday, hearing nothing, I called the  New Hampshire office number to check things were underway. A rude person, on behalf of the company, stated that "they say most anything in Connecticut." Call the Massachusetts office, she snapped.

"Not us," said Massachussetts, "you gotta deal with New Hampshire." And so it has gone on all week, as I try to prise information from soured claims lerks. The conclusion reached is that my Insurance Company is my Enemy.

Library News: Congratulations to Dorina Howard of Meaderboro Road, daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Kelly the Hatless, on her recent appointment as Phyliss's successor at the Goodwin Library. Dorinda majored in history at New England College in Henniker, spending a year on their British campus near London. More importantly, she is a member of the Outdoor Club. It is pleasing to report that Dorinda will be continuing the art exhibition, held each January, that was initiated by Mrs. Kolwgowski. Dust off that Kennedy painting, Ron!

Animal Corner: Once upon a time there was a man who love to jog. This man lived on the Meaderboro Road (Planning Board end) and one day as he was jogging along he came to a little fawn that was trying to get through a wire fence, probably to follow its mother. The man jogged to a stop and picked up the baby deer to lift it over the fence. Dance, dance went its little sharp hooves. Shred, shred went the kind man's jogging shorts. Disappear, disappear went the kind man, and jogged home through the thick forest so that no one could see him. Several years later, in memory of this incident, Ruth Gagnon lent a rocking chair to the school library. What an obscure column this is, unless you read it every week!

Theatre Group: With the present hanging of the cyclorama setting back curtains on the Town Hall stage (the front curtains were installed earlier this year), several people have become quite enthused with the idea of forming the Farmington Players. On Saturday, Nov. 8 at 10 a.m., anyone interested in any aspect of amateur theatre is encouraged to have breakfast at the Dock Square Restaurant, where it is hoped to get things under way. Call 2405 for further details.

Keep Fit II: Jogging, with all its thrills, is not for everyone, and many ladies in particular, prefer to attend at Main Street School on a Monday evening as part of a T.O.P.S. group. News from the Fat Club, as the members sportingly call it, trickles out now and again. For example, Joyce Nutter has successfully shed the 1.5 pounds gained from nibbling road race food during hours of preparation, but Mrs. Thayer may be in temporary reversal. She revealed recently that every time the Mets scored, she reached for a muffin.

Parking News: Mr. Archie Corson, who has no connection with the preceding paragraph, was spotted fast asleep in his truck, parked on the Square, one evening last week. The police cruiser, parking parallel, shone the spotlight and Archie almost woke, kinda like a hibernating bear disturbed by Richard Attenborough. Not like 40 years ago, when, as a victim of an ancient Farmington wheeze called Old Mae (see Rufus the Barber for details), he ran most of the way to New Durham.

Parking News II: Middleton Police Chief Anita Huckins has a lot on her plate right now, if one is to believe one's Courier. Maybe that explains her lapse of memory outside the Farmington laundromat recently when she locked herself out of her car. A discreet call to Brownie, and his magical lock releaser ensured that she regained entry without anyone noticing.

Outdoor Club News: Police officers Steve White and Ken Buttons were involved in a real epic in their recent attempt on the Thin Air route to Cathedral Ledge. They had climbed up some 200 feet and were past the crux, when a rainstorm struck and they were compelled to replod their steps. With the greatest of difficulty, suffice to say.

Finally: I would like to acknowledge the thought and impudence that went into mail received from certain disreputable sections of the readership, regarding my recent cat-related injury.


Nov. 4, 1986

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