A continuing tale of life in the boonies

No. 099

Christmas books

Farmington is a town that is fortunate in being the residence of many flourishing writers, and as some 18 months have past since their work was last reviewed, I have selected about a dozen titles that can be heartily recommended as stocking-fillers on the big day.

1. "Confessions of a Garbologist" by Roger Belanger.
From a midnight dash onto a lawn for an old Bud can to the 65 cents that he has accumulated from sweeping under the bleachers, Roger reveals all. Not for the nervous or fainthearted reader. (Autobiography)

2. "Nose in the Air" by Richard Moulton.

Is it a dragster? Is it a plane? Is it a performing white elephant? Riti has written a Chuck Yeager style book that has us gripping our seats as he test-drives Farmington's two-wheeled water tank. (Non-fiction).

3. "Facing Death Daily" by Rick Miller.

Worse than Tombstone or Saigon. More terrible than Belfast or Beruit. Foster's war zone reporter has produced a personal journal on Farmington that brings the smell of fear and death into your own livingroom. (Fiction).

4. "My Ten Favorite Operas" by Willis Berry.

Farmington's musical selectman briefly traces the history of opera from the comedies of the Greek Aristophanes to the ultra-modern Tommy by the Who. After discussing his choices, Willis, in a useful appendix, gives advice on what to do during the boring bits, like sawing logs or playing air hockey. (Pastime).

5. "Yummy! Yummy! Yummy!" par Monsieur Jean.

A recipe book with some very novel ideas, including Filets de Chienne Rue Rivierre, Cotelettes de Minet Sauvage, and Escalopes de Roquet Mal. This book is dedicated to Strafford County Kennel Club. (Cuisine).

6. "Cycling on $80 a Day" by Farmington Police Department.

With the value of the dollar plunging on the foreign markets who can afford a European vacation in 1988? Why not settle for a bicycle tour of the 234 towns and communities that comprise New Hampshire. Assuming that they all follow Farmington's proposal to introduce a $5 bike tax, only a little over $1,000 is required for the necessary permits to visit each locality. This P.D. guide is invaluable for a leisurely two-week trip around the state. (Travel).

7. "Intensive Urban Cultivation" by Bubber Haycock

This is the one that gardening freaks have been waiting for. A scholarly definitive treatise with particularly interesting sections on vegetables, flowers, grass, pest control, and how to get the most out of an unpromising locality. (Biology)

8. "Mission Impossible" by Clark Hackett

Farmington's answer to Agatha Christie, road agent Clark has turned out to a who-dun-it mystery of the highest order. Set on the Poor Farm Road in mid-winter, the plot involves the unlikely theft of the town's bucket loader by a ghostly figure who vanishes without trace. Does Sherlock Cosgrove track him down? Was it the butler? Read on? (Detective Thriller)

9. "1001 Do's and Don'ts" by Farmington Planning Board.

An update on recent codes and ordinances produced by the board, that interestingly breaks down into 997 Don'ts and 4 Do's. An addendum gives a useful glimpse into 1988 legislation, which promises renewed attacks upon downtown peacocks and laws to thwart nuclear waste dumping on Meaderboro Road. (Factual Report)

10. "Back Home in Jamaica" by Sonia Bowden

This wistful book, put out by exiled Caribbean restaurateur Sonia, is basically a compilation of speeches and lectures delivered to Dock Square audiences over the years. The range of subjects encompassed by her nostalgic work, is simply staggering, and ranges from ice fishing to turkey pie and cranberry sauce. (Romance)

11. "I Knew Henry Wilson" by Maurice Weymouth

Maurice, in his book, recalls his 292 years with Farmington Fire Department, much of it spent guarding the illuminated sign from letter-shufflers. There are chapters on horse-drawn pump wagons, bean supper spectaculars, and an up-to-the-minute appreciation of the All Male Review. (Sociology)

12. "Predictions for 1988" by R. Ramgunshoch

According to this almanac, Basketball is likely to remain popular in the coming year, with Mudding and Hollering being adopted as Olympic events. Potholes will possibly become a little deeper, and a large dump of sand near the Community Center is probable. Hmm. (Reference)

School Kitchen news

With Richard Smart out with fractured discs, Marie Patch recovering from a gall bladder operation, and Lorraine Chagnon suffering from asthmatic flu, the Loperettes are hurting. Temporary help is urgently needed. Contact Marion Loper for details of pay, work and conditions. (Get-well-soon messages are passed on to the above mentioned)

Greatest Nation on Earth news

It is sad to report that the response to the school nurses' appeal for hats and mittens was trifling. These items, as well as middle-aged jackets, to fit first through sixth graders, are desperately required. Please help - I mean it is Christmas, and all.

More Christmas news

The lights are up, Bunny Clifford's tree is illuminated, the pole decorations are hung, thanks to Barry Elliot, and Stuart Pease has created 113 wreaths that adorn Main Street from Lem's to C & B Minimarket. The town has not appeared so festive for years. If only the nurses can get some hats and mittens donated, everybody will have reason to feel proud.

Woman's Club tidbit

Last week the ladies, their spouses and guests were gathered in the room above the library for a social hour that preceded a Clemantines Concert. The most splendidly bedecked citizen was Lorraine Meyer. (She is always noted for her spectacular apparel, but on this occasion, she had excelled.)

Lorraine was wearing a shimmering blouse composed entirely of white metal bands that made her appear a cross between Barbarella and an armadillo.

Meanwhile, the electricity pole outside the window was also drawing crowds, as, due to an overload (caused by Christmas lights) it started to arc in an alarming fashion. Suddenly, all the street lamps went out, and the room, too, was plunged into darkness while blue electrical flashes continued to run down the pole.

People began to leave the library and walk along to the church nearby, where lights still burned, being served by another circuit.

"Watch as you pass that pole," I warned Lorraine, "you may get zapped, on account of wearing all that metal."

"Don't worry," intervened husband George, "it would be nice to see her come alive!"

Straight to the dog-house George. Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200.

Next Week: The Hundredth Column!

Dec. 15, 1987

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