A continuing tale of life in the boonies
My heart was touched last Sunday morning by the harrowing sight of high school basketball coach, Mike Lee, shuffling, all hollow-eyed, into Bud's Star Market.
"Been up since 5:30 a.m. Can't sleep a wink," he muttered dismally.
Mike's is a typical full-blown case of what we medical chaps call B.W.S., a disease afflicting hundreds of thousands of Americans annually. It can rapidly, in the course of a few days, reduce strong and athletic individuals into shadows of their former selves. In addition to insomnia, the classic symptoms are periods of listlessness, irritability, and involuntary flapping movements of the hand, as if the sufferer is trying to swat an invisible mosquito around knee height.
This debilitating illness tends to strike down victims in late spring, and although seldom fatal, B.W.S. causes sufficient distress to make the announcement of a cure somewhat of a joyous occasion - and it is to none other than Mr. Ramgunshoch of Farmington, N.H. that the world is indebted!
Not only that, but for a short time only, Mr. R. will make available to Rochester Courier readers an unrepeatable special offer. Just send your check or money order for $79.99 plus $8.99 for shipping and handling to Farmington Corner clearly marked Ballbouncing Withdrawal Syndrome on the envelope. Within 4-6 weeks, you will have rushed to you, courtesy of Biff the Mailman, your personalized tape that is guaranteed to have you restored to mental normality within seven days or half your money back.
Simply pop your B.W.S. tape into a cassette player, crank up the volume, lie back on the sofa and listen: "Bounce bounce bounce good d. bounce bounce move it up bounce bounce bounce spread it around bounce bounce bounce bounce move inside bounce nice basket bounce bounce bounce...zzz..zzzzzz..."
No expense has been spared, according to Ramgunshoch, to bring a top quality cure into the privacy of the sufferer's own home. All bouncing is done with genuine $45 leather balls on highly polished parquet flooring. The commentator's voice has a dulcet velvety tone with scarcely a trace of Scottish accent.
And for those hardened stubborn medical cases, Mr. R. is also delighted to market, for as low as $159.99 plus $24.99 S & H, his video version of the cassette tape. This has stimulating clips of George Kourkournas coaching from underneath his elbow, Denny Scruton scoring a basket after 3½ turns with tuck and pike (difficulty factor of 9), and rare footage of Casey Howard playing for five minutes without grumbling.
Unfortunately, in the world of illness and disease, few cures come completely free of side-effects, and it should be noted that Mr. Ramgunshoch's tapes arrive with a clear warning on the side: "This product is guaranteed to bring relief to sufferers of Ballbouncing Withdrawal Syndrome. However please ensure that, when tape is played, household is cleared of spouses, children and small pets. Cage birds should be removed. Exposure of product to the non-afflicted may induce bouts of dementia, hallucinations, and apoplexy."
C For Cranks News
This has been a very difficult and trying week with regard to readership response.
The telephone rang recently, and I got an earful of Abu Woodchopper or one of his OFFAL sidekicks yelling hysterically about Anti-Americanisms in Farmington Corner.
"Do you mean the piece about buying the Korean piano?" I queried pacifically.
"Yarbah gromfah yuddly gurr!" came the uninteligible reply. Click.
And Scotty from Denver, that evergreen crank a mere 2,000 miles westward, has been particularly active, firing off diatribes of Good Ideas that in deference to the readership's limited time, I have alluded to only occasionally. But it was not a Good Idea, Scotty, to write to the Pope, nor to fake his reply scrawled on a brown paper bag and have it deposited in my mailbox by some regional accomplice. I do not wish, under any circumstances, to be considered for sainthood. I would never survive the background check.
Of course, no bouquet of cranks would be complete without Jeannie Blinkinsop-Blinkinsop, and not to be outdone by a paper bag, she has scribbled all over and inside an envelope. Alas! There’s small hope of making sense of that communication. Perhaps it is New Age Writing. Abstraction in Blue.
Then, to top everything, a joker pretending to be from the Governor's Office telephoned to say John Sununu was intending to give me an award. That's a good one. Ha! Ha! Conservative pats Socialist on head! Ho! Ho! Very funny! Good enough for a separate heading: P for Pranks.
It may come as a shock to Abu and the clan, but I am a great admirer of the United States Constitution - not so surprising really to anyone who has lived in a country like Britain where citizens have no Bill of Rights to protect them, where feudalism bubbles under a thin crust of democracy, and the Official Secrets Act of 1911 effectively seals the population from the truth about the establishment's wrongdoings.
"Spycatcher," the book that alleges the British Secret Service plotted against the Labour Government, is still banned. Sending a copy purchased in America, to friends in Scotland, feels like smuggling a Bible into the Soviet Union.
Therefore, it is an honor to be asked to assist in publicizing the Bicentennial of the Constitution of the United States celebrations, that will run in Farmington from Sunday 19th June until Saturday 25th June. Although full details are not available at this time, I have made intelligent guesses regarding what is liable to transpire:
Sunday - Church Services
Monday - LIbrary - Exhibition entitled "200 years of gerbils or so it seems"
Tuesday - Woman's Club - celebratory tea followed by old-fashioned mudding on Sheepboro Road.
Wednesday - Historical Society - Lecture entitled "Henry Wilson never existed: Conclusive proof."
Thursday - American Legion Post No. 60 - Beano around the Clock (an attempt to play 200 games in 24 hours).
Friday - Farmington Business Association - Band Concert in Fernald Park (Pease A.F.B. rock band "Airwaves").
Saturday - Bicentennial Committee - humungous parade through town plus Evening Ball with Ted Herbert and his Orchestra. (Historical Costume or formal dress - Tickets $10 each).
Not so smart, eh?
Cat kills bird - is to the doghouse sent,
Thereafter joined by over-witty gent.
Horns of a dilemma
Gae Underhill: Are you still having that dog gymkhana on Hay Day? I want to enter my African pygmy goat.
Local Shepherdess: I take extreme exception to the word "chaps" in your lead article in reference to medical practioners. This is yet another blatant example of pompous male chauvinism that tramples...
Self: Thank you! Thank you! Point well taken. Absolutely correct. Where doctors are concerned it is no longer a question of "he," or even "she" for that matter. As the income difference between practioners and patients widens ever more, it is clearly a case of "them" and "us."
Full exciting details about the Farmington Variety Show slated for Saturday, May 14, in the Town Hall...it's going to be stupendous! All tickets available at the door for a mere $2. (seniors and kids half-price).
Also - Why Sununu is really a Socialist too.
May 3, 1988
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