A continuing tale of life in the boonies

No. 139

Eat more spaghetti!

During a good-natured meeting of Farmington Democrats, party faithful were urged by the state executive director of the party to eat more spaghetti.

Ramsey McLauchlan, full-time staffer from Concord, gave this sound nutritional advice at a gathering called to elect a new local chairman, after the defection of the previous leader to the Republicans. It was not implicitly stated that a lack of spaghetti caused Bill Tsiros to change parties, but obviously, McLauchlan feels that a well-fed Democrat is a happy Democrat, and that future lashings of pasta may help to bind the rump.

It makes sense, after all. Isn't the Fire Department held together by bean suppers? Don't local Republicans swarm around caviar and champagne? And the Farmington Rabbie Burns Appreciation Society is certainly bound up with haggis.

The political get-together was opened, last Wednesday, by Vice Chairman Ron Chagnon, who read out a letter of resignation from Tsiros, in which the state’s newest Republican expressed his sincere regrets, whilst tactfully avoiding mention of a lack of grub. Next Chagnon announced local treasurer Cathy Tsiros's, apologies for absence, and her intimation that party funds currently stood at $202.62. No checks had been written since 1986. Spaghetti or no, Cathy mentioned her willingness to remain both a Democrat and treasurer.

The next (and main) item of business was a call for nominations for chairman of Farmington Democratic Party. Roland "Babe" Chagnon (not Ronald) nominated Emmanuel "Manny" Krasner. This was seconded by Lena George, and in the face of no opposition, Mr. Krasner was unanimously elected.

Next, a copy of the party bylaws was called for, to ascertain if it was appropriate to elect an entirely new slate of officers, while everyone was in a voting mood. The Paul Blouin Archives, consisting of a brown paper bag stuffed with yellowing papers, were consulted and, lo, the bag surrendered confirmation that a full election was indeed appropriate.

After a flurry of nominating, seconding and voting, the dust had settled, and Ron Chagnon was still vice-chairman, John McStocker had taken over as treasurer, and Michelle Bazenas had become secretary. Completing the Executive Committee were Pat Schaffer, Roland Chagnon and Dorinda Howard.

In his opening remarks as chairman, Emmanuel Krasner said the party had "taken a good step towards a broader base."

This speech was followed by another from McLauchlan of Concord, who recalled that local funds stood at $202.62.

"How can we raise more money, and have fun?" he asked, immediately answering his own question with the brilliant, "Spaghetti dinners!"

Moving, albeit reluctantly, away from food and into politics, Ramsey told the group it was very important that they become involved in town elections, and run for things like supervisors of the checklist. Lena George and Anne Hoage immediately piped up that they were supervisors of the checklist already, and that Manny Krasner was town meeting moderator.

McLauchlan promised to send out a regular monthly update of such Democratic news to the Farmington group, and pledged to attend any forthcoming spaghetti soirees. At this stage, Mr. Ramgunshoch, in an uncharacteristic fit of generosity, offered to raffle a haggis to help raise money, but this suggestion was not acted upon.

Before closing their meeting, the Democrats decided to "beat the bushes" for candidates to run for even more town offices at the elections in March, the filing deadline for which is Feb. 13. Recalling the days when Farmington had partisan elections Ronald Chagnon said, "It was better when we had two factions - they (Republicans) would get their people and we would put up ours." With the passing of such spirited competition, Chagnon felt that some of the interest had waned from town politics.

"Now we are at the mercy of anyone who wants to run," he lamented.

Food News II

The Farmington Rabbie Burns Appreciation Society's annual supper, held to mark the poet's birth on Jan. 25, 1759, was hailed by most people as a noteworthy occasion. Those who know about these things say that the haggis was the tastiest in years; well peppered, not too much liver to dominate the flavor, a good fresh sheep's heart, and with just the right amount of barley...this last ingredient is essential, although often omitted from the recipes of lesser newspaper.

Anyway, the haggis received respectful treatment. Pat Boyle wailed over it with a set of bagpipes, after which Don Whittum muttered several unintelligible incantations, before poking it with a dagger when it wasn't looking. Later, several lumps of haggis that three dozen guests didn't eat, were fed to wild birds, and produced instant flightlessness amongst the feathered kingdom.

Between the haggis being eaten, and the birds turning flightless, a poetry contest raged, the theme of which was Robert Burn's "To a Mouse," from which comes the world famous line "...the best laid schemes 'o mice and men gang aft agley..."

Standards were high, but after going into a huddle, judges eventually pronounced Craig Werth of New Durham the winner of a bottle of 12-year-old Glenlivet whisky. His entry was entitled "To a New York Mouse" and should be read with a Long Island accent, and haggis on the breath. It goes as follows:


What's that racket? Just a mouse?

It's 2 a.m. you mangy louse!

Keep it down you rodent jerk,

You tiny fuzz ball.

In 2 more hours I go to work,

You little scuzzball.


For such a teensy weensy mammal,

You make as much noise as a camel,

Hey, where you goin' you crazy nut,

You tiny creature?

I don't want to bust your butt.

Ain't gonna eat ya.


There's Cheerios on the top shelf,

You go ahead and help yourself,

I'm heading up to hit the sack,

But, like I said,

Keep it quiet, or I'll be back

And "kkhhett" - you're dead!

January 30, 1989

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