Mike Litoris, Editor
Well, the Mrs. and I had to do some last-minute scrambling around in order to get this newsletter published but we did it. We have a few new writers with us, so I hope you enjoy the October issue.
In this issue:
- a Halloween story from yours truly
- The Small Town First Nations Band makes a very important announcement
- Margo Prentice tells the story of Howard and Louie
- Deborah Poirier is our new gossip columnist. She recently moved here from Cheticamp, Nova Scotia
- Franklin Fogg is our new Foreign Correspondent ’cause he lives on the other side of town
- Gertrude Smith tells us about eavesdropping
Scary but True
by Mike Litoris
I left the local bar last Friday evening and decided to walk home. The moonlight was bright enough to light my way home. I shivered from the cool autumn wind so I zipped up my jacket and huddled into myself to stay warm.
I took a shortcut through a field that had become a graveyard for piles of leaves that had fallen off the nearby trees. As I walked, the wind blew the leaves around and it made an eerie rustling sound.
Suddenly, I heard what sounded like the footsteps of somebody behind me walking through the leaves. My heart sped up as I realized I wasn’t alone. I began to walk faster.
I noticed that the sped up as well. I nervously glanced over my shoulder to try to see who was behind me but I couldn’t see anybody. I felt my body tense and my breathing became shallow.
I decided that the only way to deal with the person following me was to turn around and face them. In order to steel my nerves, I did a countdown to myself from 3. Taking a deep breath in, I counted slowly, 1-2-3. Then I shot around to face my opponent while emitting a loud roar. Nobody was there. It was then that I discovered the large group of leaves stuck to the bottom of my construction boots that was making the noise that made me think I was being followed.
I laughed to myself when I realized that I was alone. My laugh was replaced by a gasp when I heard the howling of wolves about a mile down the road so I ran home.
The whole ordeal left me feeling like this:
The Small Town First Nations has the only BINGO hall in the area, and they’re inviting everyone to their bi-weekly BINGO social. If you want to attend,you need to RSVP to Golly Gee by noon hour this Friday. BINGO is every Saturday and Wednesday evening.
Margo Prentice, Correspondent
Howard and Louie
Howard and Louie roam around their pastoral acreage against a backdrop of big sky and mountains. There is a small field where they run and play. Brad the businessman turned farmer, changes into denim overalls and rubber boots when he comes home from work. With a smile, he trudges to their pen carrying buckets of food.
George, Brad’s friend and neighbour sold Howie and Louie to him as starter pigs for his newest farming endeavour. Howie is bigger and is more aggressive that Louie and often bullies him at the feeding trough. They are both friendly, Louie a little more so. They are the happiest creatures on the farm. Together they both share a love of eating. No matter how many buckets of vegetables, fruit, and grains they received it is gone in a fast feeding frenzy
A generous local grocer who cannot bear to throw out perfectly good unsellable food provides Brad with fresh produce for Howard and Louie. When he walks towards the pen, both run towards him making loud noises and are delighted that he is there. When Brad calls them by name they come running to him wagging their little tails. He believes that they are smiling.
Brad, who is new at this, (a former city dweller) is becoming quite fond of them. They will even come running to him even if he doesn’t have food for them. They are genuinely happy to see him. Brad takes delight in their reactions at feeding time and enjoys watching them eat their food with such relish. He makes his daily runs to the grocer and brings back buckets of assorted fruit and vegetables. One day he had fresh pineapple for them. As he empties a pail filled with pineapples over the fence as he shouts. “Here’s a pina colada for you guys.”
The feeding ritual lasts for many weeks. Howard and Louie are becoming really large. George phoned to ask how they were doing. “Oh, fine, they definitely can eat and are getting bigger every day; come see how they are doing.”
George agrees to come and see for himself. He visits and they chat and have a beer. After their beer, they walk over to look at Howard and Louie. George leans over the top of the fence and says, “My God, what have you done?”
Perplexed, farmer Brad replies, “What do you mean what have I done?”
“These guys are way too fat. You have been over feeding them. You need to put them on a diet, slim them down.”
Brad asks, “How do I do that?”
“I’ll give you the name of some proper food, go easy on the amounts. Give them one bucket of fresh stuff a day. You need to slim those guys down.”
Howard and Louie were not happy about this. Gone was the friendly lovable greeting when they got their food. They were really pissed off and ignored Brad when he came around.
Many weeks passed and Howard and Louie were a good slimmed down size. One day George came for them and loaded them on his pick-up truck. They went reluctantly into the truck. George slammed the back shut and off he drove. Brad could hardly bear to see them go or say goodbye to them.
A week later, they came back wrapped in packages: of hams, sausages, lean ribs and roasts and bacon. Brad got over his sadness after his first feast of barbecued spare ribs. Pig farming isn’t all sad.
Deborah Poirier, Acadian Gossip Columnist
Pssst, Have You Heard?
In our small town, we have no newspapers to tell us the events that are happening across our area. If you want to hear about what is going on, all you have to do is visit our local Co-op grocery store. It’s in the center of Small Town, Canada.
I was in the Co-Op Grocery store the other day when I overheard two teenage girls whispering to each other in the chips and pop aisle. Apparently, Sandra Bujold, the daughter of Genevieve and Michel, is pregnant. Mon Dieu! Only 16 years old! Babies having babies! Personally, I think it’s all this sex ed stuff being taught in the schools. They hear about this stuff and they want to experiment. In my day, we had to wait until we were in university to experiment. Nowadays, they practically give step-by-step instructions! Pffft! We didn’t have that in my day, not even in university!
someone, I told two friends, a few bartenders, the radio announcer, the fire department, and an entire BINGO hall about the news. Well, I’m uncertain how the news traveled across town in an hour, but it did.
When Genevieve and Michel caught wind of the news they came to my house and accused me of being a two-bit gossip. Well, that’s Thanks for you! It’s not my fault that Sandra is in this predicament. Sacre bleu! I tell you, what is this town coming to?
Franklin Fogg, Foreign Correspondent
Small Towners may recall that last October we were visited by a research team from the University of Southeastern Northwest Territories (USENWT), for a study into the genetic heritage of our community. Spit samples were collected from just about everyone, except Biff Jerky and his family who had just left on their annual hedgehog and skunk hunt.
The USENWT researchers came back last Monday to report their findings, which are, shall we say, intriguing. Their results indicate that 93% of Small Towners carry genetic markers most commonly seen in hedgehogs and skunks.
Mayor Aloysius Toadstool has issued an executive proclamation declaring hedgehogs and skunks to be official forefather critters of Small Town and establishing them as protected species. There will be an official ceremony held as part of the Forefathers’ Days celebration next summer.
Sheriff Gunther Toadstool has dispatched deputy Hermione Toadstool into the woods to notify Biff Jerky.
Gertrude Smith, Correspondent
The Unapologetic Eavesdropper
I kid you not, I heard this exchange while I was waiting for the bus. You can’t make these things up. Names changed so as not to embarrass these sweet old ladies.
Marge said, “So Hilda, my son gave me one of those new-fangled cell phones and I can’t figure out how to use it. I texted my daughter twice today and she didn’t answer.”
Hilda says, “I think you are supposed to type out your number, and hit this little button then they can call you back.
Marge says, “Also, my daughter says she tried to call me twice yesterday but I didn’t hear it ring.”
*they both examine Marge’s cell*
Just then, a young woman comes over.
She says, “hi grandma” and they hug.
Her granddaughter let’s call her Penny, says “What are you doing, grandma?”
Marge says, ” I’m trying to get this dang cell phone working.”
Penny sighs and tries not to smile as she asks, “Grandma, can I see your purse please?”
Penny’s grandma hands her the purse with a puzzled expression. Penny digs around till she pulls out a cell phone.
Penny pulls out an object and says, “This your cell phone, grandma. This one is a calculator.”
At this point, I can barely contain myself, but manage not to laugh out loud.
Marge says “These new-fangled gadgets all look alike.”
Hilda nodded in agreement.
My bus came at that moment, and as I get on, I burst into gales of laughter.
We would like to Thank our contributors:
Annette Joyal as Deborah Poirier, Margo Prentice as herself, Stom White as Franklin Fogg, Tabetha Farnell as Gertrude Smith, and Jessie Blair as Mike Litoris and Golly Gee.