A continuing tale of life in the boonies

No. 088

More signs of the times

Few Farmington residents who awoke last Wednesday morning, were aware that their right to Live Free of Die had been chipped away on the previous evening.

Farmington Planning Board, rebounding from the crushing defeat on downtown peacocks, struck back on Tuesday evening to pass draconian laws affecting the entire literate population, after a scantily attended public hearing. This dreaded and complex web of strangulating bureaucracy is entitled Sign Use Regulations.

Unfortunately the presumed drafter of these new laws, the code enforcement officer, resigned his position three weeks ago, and so the town is at present without an official skilled in answering queries regarding the legal standing of refeoffed disseisor (sub-seisin) in seignyfrankapuis and vivmain as far as signs are concerned. Therefore, in the absence of an official spokesperson, and the Irish Times legal columnist Flann O'Brien having died in 1966, I will try my best to deal with your flood of questions.

Q. I wish to remain anonymous. Must I have a permit for my weekend yard sale sign?

A. No, provided the sign is temporary. However it should be smaller than the phone pole to which it is tacked and not give the illusion of movement. Ergo, two thumbtacks would be required, and men will be sent out to check on this.

Q. I wish to remain anonymous. Maybe I do and maybe I don't own a gun shop with an illuminated flashing sign. What's the situation now?

A. As this sign (which may or may not be in front of a gun shop) does not contain a thermometer, I read it to be a Non-Conforming Sign. If it were to be quickly cemented into place, it could no longer be defined as temporary and portable. Then, provided that it is less than 16 square feet, a $10 permit can be obtained within 60 days, valid for two years only. Men will be sent out, after this.

Q. If the sign at Davidson Rubber exceeds 25 square feet, will men be sent out?

A. Yes.

Q. I am a politician. Can I still put signs out before an election?

A. Sure, as many as you like sir! Up to 32 square feet each. Live free or die, remember.

Hatwatch news

Tis a marvellous thing, the power of the press. Within an hour of the Courier hitting the streets last week, Archie Corson had removed his famous chapeau from the Town Hall. In other developments, Police Officer Kelly, shrugging off his title of Kelly the Hatless, has taken to wearing his official cap after a hiatus of two decades. A few days back, he left his hat unattended for an hour or so, and was greatly dismayed, on retrieving it, to discover that person or persons unknown had stolen the badge on front. Being over 20 years old, the insignia in question was a rare collector’s item, and had much nostalgic value. Where was Larry's hat when the thieves struck? In Farmington Police Station! Hmm.

School news

Kremlinologists, those guys who make a buck by trying to guess what the Russians are up to, are always attempting to assess which of the comrades is in favor, and who is in the dog-house. Therefore, they attach great importance to reviewing parade line-ups, and deduce much from who is missing.

A similar technique may be applied to the corridor at Farmington High School, where Mr. Beaupre is often found. And Willis. And Martha D. Blais. But speaking volumes by his absence, last week, was Tuffy the Tiger, deposed, one surmises, in a bloody coup. I tracked him down eventually, to the rear of the art class from when he had began life. Stars they glow and fade!

Reggae news

The Dock Square restaurant, in downtown Farmington, wishes to announce the Peter Tosh Memorial Breakfast on Saturday, Oct. 3 from 7:30 a.m. onwards, to mark the tragic death of the world famous Rastafarian. The menu will include sauted Trenchtown vegetable, fried green banana, Kingston dumpling, eggs any style, toast and coffee, all for an unbeatable $2.75. Depending upon availability, the bill of fare will also include Le Pierre Tosh Royale (ragout avec hamster de Goodwin Libraire).

Tosh's music will be featured, and there will be two showings of the video film "Peach Treaty" (at 8 a.m. and 9 a.m.) starring Peter along with Bob Marley, Prime Minister Manley and a cast of thousands.

Diners, on that morning, are invited to wear green, red and gold dreadlocks (check Rufus the Barber for a Special, that week) and sandals. And Mrs. Meyer, if you wear your flashing champagne bubble sweater, please do not arrive on foot, as you will constitute an illegal non-conforming sign, causing men to be sent out.

C for Cranks news

Mr. Scotty Redfield, a crank from Denver, Colorado, and an occasional contributor to this column (see bygone C for Cranks news) has gotten loose again. Unabashed by the dismal rejection of his scheme to have vast cattle herds harnessed for the production of papyrus, Scotty has rocketed to national fame by capturing a world record. He recently piloted a hot air balloon, in Nevada, to the new low height of 272 feet below sea level.

Garden of Eden news

Gardener of the Month, Mr. Bubber Haycock, wishes to thank Rochester Construction Co. Fencing Division, for the donation of chain link fence. On an aesthetic note, I see that instead of flamingoes, Bubber and the boys have elected to go with small robins on sticks, for their lawn decoration. I also notice, uneasily, that although the Boys are adhering to the red-tiled walkway to drink Buds, they are casting wistful glances at the pristine stretches of grass. Watch this column.

Nute Ridge Half Marathon

New Hampshire's second toughest race (after Mt. Washington) falls this year on Sunday, Oct. 11. It starts at 1 p.m. on Main Street in Farmington and winds along the ridge through Rochester and Milton, before returning to town. Entries, so far, are well up to expectations, and the final field could well comprise 200 runners, depending on the weather. Enquiries and applications in 1987 have come in from all over New England, and from New Jersey, New York, and as far off as Colorado. (No, not from Scotty Redfield - he would want to hang-glide it or something weird). Supported by FNS Bank, Union Telephone, Davidson Rubber, the Town of Farmington, Pepsi, Bud (see Boys, above), and a gratifying stash of local businessmen and individuals, the race is one of the finest occasions in the town calendar, and wins many friends.

Each year, after the race, in fact, there are many letters from New Hampshire runners expressing astonishment at the warmth of the reception given them, which is quite at odds from their preconceived notions of Farmington. Unfortunately, their opinions up to this point have been shaped by the vitriolic nonsense they have read in some local daily newspapers.

Latest Scores: Royce Hodgdon 0      Freezer Reminders 13 (What was that again about the power of the press?)

Sept. 29, 1987

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