A continuing tale of life in the boonies

No. 209

Take a walk on the wild side

Ever since the Foster’s headline "Women fight over cord of wood on Main Street" a few years back, Puddledock gents have felt eclipsed and frustrated. Yes, sir! A politically correct outlet for machismo has been badly needed here.

In bygone days a chap could express his inner self by stuffing a rubber ball through a metal hoop several hundred times, or test his stamina by counting how many electrical zaps it took before the cops could slap the cuffs on him. But all that is a bit too passé for the sensitive New Age man-about-Farmington with his ponytail and crystal.

To fill the gap, well-known Spartan sophisticate, Mr. Ramgunshoch, has decided to offer a 24-hour long experience that will probe the depths of the masculine soul whilst exploring the rich beauty and culture of the area, to create an unforgettable bond with Nature and one’s male companions. Slated for Saturday, Jan. 30, the details (below) of the Homeric adventure are tentative at this time, being dependent upon the availability of the facilitators. (Note: Ramgunshoch’s course is in no way associated with the Appalachian Mountain Club’s "A Gathering of Men in Winter" mentioned on the Courier’s Dining & Entertainment page.)

Midnight – Men will assemble at the flagpole on the Square, and lope on snowshoes to New Durham Ridge where coon-hunter extraordinaire, Biff Silvia, will demonstrate a dying art. No, not hacking budgets – hunting bushy-tailed carnivores. Participants will scale trees, the like of which would scare them silly in daylight. (That’s why it’s done at night.) Bring two hounds and a flashlight each. Note to authorities: Reports of New Durham Ridge spaceship sightings, on Jan. 30 only, should be discounted.

2:50 a.m. – Over a Bud nightcap, Biff will lead a seminar on man’s perplexing role now that Barbara Spear is chief town father. The party will then dig holes in the snow and retire for the night. Points to be deducted for sleeping bags.

6:00 a.m. – The Men will travel to Royce’s Stoves and Freezers for an alfresco cold tub. Overzealous officials should note that the appliances lined up in readiness are not defying a court ban – they are providing a bracing, cultural service. Hands off, please.

7:45 a.m. – After a few early-morning Buds, Men will jog along for a famous Dumontskee’s Hunter Special breakfast. There follows a verbal appreciation of the Kennedy Painting by Ronnie Dumont, himself. Farmington’s art treasure, Ron assures, has just undergone its annual restoration with a Brillo, and is to be seen at its best, set against a glowing pink wall, over the next few weeks.

9:30 a.m. – Two environmental improvement lectures are slated for the Community Center, these especially designed to hone one’s winter skills. Firstly, Bubber Haycock will deliver an informative talk entitled "Diving for Bob Houses" with a period for questions. Next, Roger Belanger is scheduled to deliver his speech, "Garbology under Blizzard Conditions." There will be a hands-on opportunity to test Roger’s theories immediately after the session.

11:55 a.m. – Men will march to the Fire Safety Building for a lunch of bean-hole beans prepared by Deputy Chief Joel Plante. BYOBud. Remember to pack eating utensils – hand ax and five pound mallet recommended. Later, there will be a round-table exploratory discussion under the heading, "Maybe Women Make Better Cooks, After All."

1:45 p.m. – The group will be joined by Chief Ritty Moulton whose chosen topic for debate is "Real Men Don’t Use Three-inch Fire Hose." He will give a tour of four-inch fire hose, declared impotent due to a lack of four-inch brass fittings.

2:50 p.m. – Under the expert tutelage of Lt. Clapper Vachon, Men will be given the chance to handle the ladder truck, the one denied the benefits of power steering. This segment is designed to show that Brute Strength is a noble and valued masculine skill, and fully acknowledged by the Budget Committee.

4:15 p.m. – Over wine and cheese at Ye Olde Brushe Factory, host George Meyer will lead the first of two Nature-based activities, with his slide show entitled "Surefire Ways to Identify That Bull Moose." He will include topical examples of unpardonable error. Men, since they are there, will then be asked to relocate several large pieces of used furniture.

5:30 p.m. – Next in the Nature slot is a rare and exciting ornithological tidbit – the chance to watch pigeons roost on a downtown ledge in the protective lee of a plastic boa constrictor. The reptile, recently hung there by a distressed building manager to bug the birds, now serves to scare off any nocturnal predators they might have. Men are requested not to slip the pigeons whisky-soaked popcorn, even if it is funny to watch them get a buzz on and peck the snake.

7:00 p.m. – Proceeding to River Road for a true test of Manhood, participants will consume a haggis supper prepared by Ramgunshoch, himself, in honor of the poet Robert Burns. In an alarming prelude, Ramgunshoch will mutter in Lallans to the concoction of sheep’s innards before stabbing it with a dirk. Recitation and outbursts of singing, interspersed by usque-baugh toasts, ensue.

10:30 p.m. – Dog sleds, kindly provided by John Fitch (so more mongrels than malamutes), will be the mode of travel over Teneriffe Mountain to the North Country Pub. Traditional hip flasks (outlawed by Live Free or Die bureaucratic traitors) will not be confiscated. Each conveyance will be fitted with the ultra-chic bumper sticker – I Brake for Hugging Buddies.

11:40 p.m. – While Ron Jones’ Band blasts out "Werewolves of London," Men will choke down a few more Buds and discuss the serious societal implications of such lyrical snatches as "another old lady got mutilated late last night." Should one really yell "Oooooooooo" in the refrain with quite such gusto? Where’s the party? It’s after midnight, can we bring women? Didn’t anyone remember to hitch the dogs to the rail? These and other penetrating enquiries will bring Ramgunshoch’s Macho Marathon to a thrilling conclusion.

Milton Corner

Milton Dog Officer and mathematician, Larry Trask, would like to point out to the Men that seven unhitched dog sleds comprising nine animals each will attract a total fine of $1,575.

January 21, 1993

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