A continuing tale of life in the boonies

No. 111

Teabag schmeebag

It is fitting that in the year of the Bicentennial of the Constitution of the United States of America, profound political questions should be debated and the consciousness of the citizenry focused on Justice and Liberty. Within this worthy context, and under the renowned banner "No Taxation Without Representation," I unveiled, two weeks ago, a plan to hurl a symbolic teabag into the Cocheco River, to protest disfranchisement at local elections. This intention, as I suspected, has met with a raging torrent of apathy, a massive tidal wave of disinterest and one letter to the editor. Hmm!

It is perfectly correct that someone such as I, who has not sworn allegiance to the Stars and Stripes, should be prohibited from participating in decision-making processes of a national nature, where the defense of the country is at stake. A few million rogue votes to cut the Navy back to a mere 500 ships, for example, might affect the security of the United States, and leave it vulnerable to invasion by Scotland in a fleet of hired rowing boats. Perish the thought! Nobody would want that on his or her conscience.

But we're talking potholes, here. (No offense intended, Clark) Sewer hook-ups. Whether or not to buy a fire-truck, from money raised by property, vehicle, and resident taxes. Must someone disavow the land of their birth to have a say in how their bucks are spent, or should one be simply grateful to be out of the Glasgow rain? (Massive explosion of "Yes!" from an unruly section at the rear of the hall.)

No matter. A firm date has been set for the Dumping of the Teabag - Wednesday, 9th March at midday. Mr. Royce Hodgdon has been so kind as to allow his business premises, Farmington Appliance Center, to be temporary campaign headquarters, and has assigned his two companions, Tigger and Fluffy, to accompany me on the short walk to the South Main Street Bridge. To ensure their presence, I have purchased for 89 cents a 4oz. tin of Neptune Sardines in oil, thanks to a generous donation from Mr. Roger Belanger from his pennies-swept-from-under-bleachers fund. As a marching band is out of the question, I hereby appeal to those Alton Shoe workers who blast their radios out of the window, to turn up the volume if this is possible. Probably not. But just for once, could you all play the same station? We're talking a dignified occasion, here.

In addition to Royce's elderly cats, Dorinda Howard has indicated her intention to hover in the vicinity and bear witness for Farmington Historical Society, as the leaves of an ecologically acceptable, bio-degradable herbal tea are borne off on the waves of the Cocheco River, in the name of the powerless peoples of the world.

The teabag itself, gifted by Ms. Candace Delisio, is fittingly of that Lipton brand called "Special Moments," and consists of a subtle blend of rosehips, hibiscus flowers, spearmint leaves and orange peel. (Whaddya mean - the Cocheco is the best place for it?)

The entire ceremony, from leaving Farmington Appliance Center (where all your second-hand stove and fridge needs can be accommodated) to the final fling, should take approximately eight seconds. There will be no speeches and, as no crowds are expected, it is unlikely that Brownie will be required to lob tear gas canisters. These should be retained for Town Meeting later in the day, in the remote chance of Moderator Krasner losing his grip.

Henry Wilson Grange News

The next meeting of the Mechanic-Street based organization is on that day of days, Wednesday March 9th. Perhaps this is why Jupiter and Venus have been so unusually aligned of late.

This get-together (Grange, not planets) will be a three-pointer. Included below are a few lines from Bunny Eastman's winning Valentine poem from the February meeting:

I'm way beyond the Cupid stage

No longer working for a wage

I love to hear the song of birds

And not a bunch of idle words...

Please will you be my Valentine...

That program wound up with a sing-a-long that included Cruising Down the River (the Teabag Song), Shine On Harvest Moon, and Silvery Moon.

School News

Mr. Beaupre, it is alleged, was so discouraged by his meagre ice-fishing catch, that he recently dined on Clam Chowder and Lobster Roll at David's Seafood Restaurant in Rochester. Not so, says Beaupre, he has no ideas where the plaice is.

Gravel Pit News

Covering gravel pit enquiries and public hearings is as dry as dust...not the sort of ground to find jokes lying around. Therefore, brevity.

The proposal to excavate a Spring Street 120-acre site has been thwarted, for now, by the Z.B.A. failing to give the needed three votes for a special exception for a mining operation in a residential zone.

Bill Tsiros, local Democratic Party chairman, in his rejection of a thoroughly prepared proposal, said that he was unconvinced that the health of local people and the value of existing properties in the neighborhood would be unaffected by 80 big trucks per day roaring out of the site onto a narrow rural road for a 10-year period.

March 6, 1988

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