September has been a busy month around Small Town as townsfolk are scurrying around getting ready for Winter. There’s canning needing to be done, firewood that needs to be chopped, and the outhouses need to be maintained.
In this month’s issue, our town gossip, Deborah Poirier tells us about how one jalopy’s joy ride ended in tragedy. And I give my first restaurant review from Uptown. So, I hope you enjoy reading this edition.
Car Gets One-Way Ticket to Impound
It was a dreary fall evening when some teenagers came across a gruesome discovery. As they were walking in the woods they came across a body lying in the pathway.
One of them had a cell phone. They made the 911 call. Fortunately, I heard it on the radar and headed that way so that I could get my story.
I made my way to the wooded area where the body was discovered. The police were there and the yellow tape was already up. I made my way to the police and asked them a few questions to see what had transpired here.
Word was that the body had been there only a few hours. There was fur all over the place so it was hard to tell the exact cause of death. As I moved closer to the scene, I discovered that it was a dead deer
They were still looking over the scene, but it looked like they would need forensics to come to the scene and process the area for clues. In the meantime, the body was sent for an autopsy.
Farmer John did the autopsy and discovered that the body was struck by a vehicle. After the scene was processed, we began the search for the killer. After having all the cars in town go through the lineup, we finally found the car that had caused this heinous crime and incarcerated it for drunk driving.
During the year, this case finally made it to trial. The car was found guilty of all charges and the jury’s verdict was that it be impounded for life.
Uptown: The Fancy ‘Burb that has Everything
Well, I was fixing to take the Mrs. on a really special day to a hog-tying contest in Small Town but my teenage daughter, Myka Litoris, insisted that the wife may like something more civilized. She told me about this tea house in Uptown that she thought her Mama would like.
So I left early this morning with the Mrs. to get to Uptown. Now, for those readers who don’t know – Uptown is a fancy suburb of Metropola (a really big city). Uptown is filled with all those rich city folk with indoor plumbing.
Anyway, we went to the fancy tea room my daughter wanted us to go to. As we entered the fancy place, I held my wallet in my front pocket tightly knowing this place would hurt it.
It was definitely fancy enough with all sorts of antique dishes – the type that Granny would display in her china cabinet.
Then they brought over a menu of teas that were as long as my arms if they were laid end-to-end. After a lot of looking and talking, the Mrs. and I decided on some fruit teas. The waitress brought the teapots over and got them steeping over a candle.
Then we looked at the menu for food. While the Mrs. was “oooo’ing” and “aw’n” at the food – I was silently screaming at the prices. Some of the items I’d never heard of before – just what is a Coquille St. Jacques? (pronounced “crock-kill saint jack.”)
Anyway, while the Mrs. was taking pronunciation lessons from the waitress, I was eyein’ the booze menu. Cause Lordy! I needed a drink!
When the desserts came, I knew my pain of feeling like a logger in a china shop was almost over. Wait a minute! I am a logger! Anyway, here’s some photos.
Then the bill came. I’m still consoling myself but I am glad that the Mrs. enjoyed herself. Fellas, your wife is priceless, a few dollars spent showing her a nice time goes a long way. And I do mean a long way. On the way home, she picked up some t-bone steaks and beer. So, I got what I wanted out of the deal too.
The first blurb in this special newsletter will be from me, the Editor, Mike Litoris. The month of August was busy here in Small Town: we had our first Pride Parade, an outhouse tour, a kerfuffle at Big Town University, and we got together some bios of the people who write for us. So, I hope you enjoy this special edition of the Small Town Times.
Small Town Outhouse Tour
By Gertrude Smith
So, this week we all piled into the back of Dave’s pick-up truck and went for a special tour.
First, we went to farmer Joe’s house. Farmer Joe’s privy is the ultimate man’s retreat. He has an old-style TV strapped to the door with a bungee cord and an icebox of beer by the john. We were shocked to see pictures of bikini models papering the walls.
Second, we went down the road to see Mary Bell’s privy. She has it decorated up right pretty with flowered wallpaper, a full-length mirror on the door and a powderpuff in a coffee can. Just then a borrower mouse ran through a hole in the back, grabbed the end of the toilet paper in its mouth and ran straight out the door. It nearly scared the life out of Mary who squealed like a birthing sow. I am a little ashamed to say we all laughed uproariously
Thirdly, we went to old man Barkley’s. He has a beat-up outhouse with a few holes in the roof and a rusty bucket to catch the rainwater. We set a date with him next week for an outhouse building party. We take care of our own.
Lastly, we went to the Jones’ outhouse. Mrs. Jones came out all aflutter saying please help our little Sally.
I said, “What’s wrong, ma’am?”
She frantically explained, “Billy went to use the outhouse but when he saw his sister doing her business he slammed the door so hard that poor Sally was stuck in the outhouse.
We all trooped out to the outhouse where we heard Sally sobbing pitifully. I grabbed a crowbar out of the back of the pickup set to work prying the door open. Sally rushed into her mom’s arms kicking up such a fuss you would think she was dying. We assessed the damage and decided we better add patching up the hole in the door and put it back on the hinges to our to do list. Well, that was our good deed for the day.
With that, we headed into town for the big Friday night barn dance. For refreshments, there were mugs of beer, sprite for the lightweights and kids, bbq’d burgers, hotdogs and tater salad. Aunt May made her famous apple pie for desert. No party is complete without Gramps’ beef jerky so he tossed some on the table too. We congregated around the old wooden table and regaled our guests with stories of the day. Everyone thought the story about Sally in the outhouse took the cake. Poor Sally.
A Story We Take Pride In
By Margo Prentice and Mike Litoris
Leslie Wellington is 18 years old and is being raised by his Grandma. He’s a good boy, quiet, kind of pretty but has a big nose.
All of the neighbours say, “My, my, he takes good care of his grandmother. He always does her hair and she looks just beautiful.”
He has a few friends in school but he likes to be in his own creative world. Grandma and Leslie make clothes from the patterns they design together and sell them at the local store.
“Why don’t we go to church?’ he asks. Oh, my darling boy it is because of the stigma of your birth. I am afraid of people using the “B” word.” she replies.
Since they got a satellite dish Leslie likes to watch TV, he sees the Pride Parade in Toronto. He asks his grandma what the meaning of Pride is. She tells him is when people take care of themselves. His Grandma thought there was more to this ‘pride parade’ so she calls her sister who lives in Toronto to ask her about the parade.
Her sister said, “That parade is filled with people who are queer and they have sex with people of the same sex. Those people and their colourful clothes! It hurts the eyes! “ She rants on negatively about the parade.
When Grandma Wellington hangs up the phone, she looks at Leslie who is wearing his bright fuchsia top with his leopard skin pattern pants. She asks Leslie, “Do you like girls?” Leslie, “Yes, I like girls.”
She asks, “Do you have a crush on anyone right now?’
Leslie, “No. Not really. Hmmm, well I think Billy-Bob Johnson is cute.”
She says, “Billy-Bob’s a boy.”
Leslie says beaming with enthusiasm, “Y-E-S!!”
She says, “The pride parade is for boys who like boys and girls who like girls. My sister mentioned others but I can’t remember. They’re called rainbow people but another word is gay. Do you think you’re gay?”
“I don’t know but I really like boys. And I would really like to have a parade our town. That would be so exciting. Can we have a parade here?”
She says, “I can talk to the town council and see what can be done.”
Leslie hugs his Grandma and says, “Thank You, thank you, I already have a great idea for a float.”
When Grandma Wellington brings her plan to the town council, they think it is a great idea. “We’re proud of everybody. Remember when Leslie helped old Don? That was great!”
They pick a date and Leslie prepares his float by draping it in pieces of cloth the color of a rainbow over bales of hay. Then he and his friend, Dina hitched the trailer to her family’s Black Silverado truck. There are colourful streamers down the sides of the truck. Dina drives the truck with speakers blaring out ‘Achey Breaky Heart.’ Leslie is line dancing at the back of the truck. The Two Spirited people who know Leslie come in from the nearby Small Town First Nations to support him.’ They dance, play hand-drums and sing as they walk in the parade behind Dina’s truck.
Leslie proudly announces, “I’m here! I’m queer! Get used to it!”
Someone in the crowd mishears and asks another person, “What did he say?”
“I’m here! Cheer for beer! Get used to it!”
Someone else says, “I’ll cheer for beer!”
Then the crowd starts chanting “Beer! Beer! Beer!” as five people rush to the trailer and get on it to join Leslie in the line dancing for the rest of the parade
After the parade, Leslie thanks his Grandmother and hugs her.
Leslie said to her, “It’s okay being gay, Grandma.”
“Always take pride in who you are, Leslie.”
Metropola Memory Loss Study Misplaced
by Mike Litoris
There was a flurry of frenzied movements and hysterical voices through the halls of the Psychology Department at the University of Big Town today. Professor Tumult was turning around in circles flapping their arms and hands repeating, “Oh my God! Oh my God!”
Their assistants were yelling, pulling out files from cabinets and tossing papers anxiously aside in search of the recent Memory Loss study.
Today was the day Professor Tumult was to present their new research findings at a conference in Metropola, but they couldn’t find a copy in their suitcase. They weren’t worried at that point because they thought they could just print a copy from the laptop computer. When they opened their computer, the paper wasn’t found in any of their files. They called their assistants immediately to begin an indepth search to locate the missing paper but to no avail.
When asked what the paper was about, Professor Tumult tearfully responded with their bottom lip shaking, “I can’t remember!”
“Couldn’t you just attend the conference without the paper, and tell them about the study?”
Professor Tumult burst into tears and said, “The address of the conference was on the paper that’s lost!”
Thank you to our contributors
by Mike Litoris and Verna-May Litoris
Without our contributors, this newsletter would not be possible. As a special Thank you for the anniversary edition, we are presenting a little bio about each contributors:
Annette Joyal as Deborah Poirier,
Annette is originally from Cheticamp, Nova Scotia. She has a fancy government job doing some typing on the computer and what not. She has been a tireless contributor to The Small Town Times and we really appreciate her!
Frances Hamlin as Franny Farkle
Franny lives in a big city in Ontario. She’s another one of those fancy office worker types. She is married, has 3 children and 2 grandchildren.
Gord Pollock as Verna-May Litoris and Terry Floyd.
Gord lives in British Columbia. He works on a computer all day. He says he does some sort of surfing on the computer but I don’t understand how one can actually get a surfboard mounted on a computer.
Ron Kearse as The Old Bastrich
When Ron isn’t doing social media marketing for a TV show then he’s jet-setting around the world like those uppity Yuppies!
David Blair as Barton Frogmeade
David lives in British Columbia. He told us that he does some kind of counting for a living. Apparently, he’s quite good at counting as he doesn’t even need to remove his shoes in order to count higher than five.
Storm as Franklin Fogg,
Storm is a retired shrink who lives in Washington state. He only goes by one name, like Cher.
Katherine Stringer as Petunia Flowerchild.
Katherine is a nurse and lives in rural Ontario. She has 2 children. She enjoys nature and her life.
Anne Bierworth as Annatooshus Belle.
Anne lives in a big city in Ontario but her heart belongs to rural Ontario. She’s got a big fancy job in the big city and 5 cats.
CJ Jackman Zigante as Aunt Blabby
CJ lives in British Columbia with her family. Her job is to talk to cameras all day. We’re not sure if the cameras have talked back.
Margo Prentice as herself.
Margo lives in British Columbia with her husband. She is a retired Theatre Director. We appreciate her energy and creativity.
Jessie Blair as Mike Litoris and Golly Gee.
Jessie lives in British Columbia with her family. She attends a university where is she working towards her B.A. – still. I think she actually lives in a classroom on campus now.
The Mrs. and I have been working tirelessly on this month’s newsletter. We now have an Advice Columnist named Aunt Blabby.
Barton Frogmeade reports on an interview he had at Small Town University. Deborah Poirier provides the latest gossip. There’s also a report about the monthly Philosopher’s Debate, and this month edition of Small Talk. Enjoy!
Dear Aunt Blabby
This month’s letter comes from someone named Transparent.
“Dear Aunt Blabby, ever since I started wearing my snazzy new invisibility cloak, my wife treats me like I’m not even here. What should I do? “- Transparent
Dear Transparent, It seems to me that you could be looking at a positive, not a negative. This way all them things you used to get yelled at for she can’t see you doing them. So now you can go on ahead and do them things and watch her cuss at the empty room. Win, win right?
Reverend Tewkesbury stormed out of the meditation class he was teaching this morning; claimed he couldn’t focus
Taking the bait
By Deborah Poirier
It was a beautiful sunny morning when Earl Jacobsen decided to take his son and their friends out on their new boat and go fishing.
Earl got the boat ready to go by filling up the gas tank and making sure that the boat was ready for a great fishing trip. They all went to the Gunderson’s Bait Store to get their supplies.
As Earl approached the store, he noticed that there seemed to be a tense situation developing between 3 men, a woman, and Gunderson, the store owner. Earl called me in to find out what was happening.
Sacré bleu! By the time I arrived the Police were there. The argument had escalated with one of the men making a rude gesture at the woman. The woman responded by grabbing his bait bucket and refusing to give it back. It looked like there was going to be a riot for sure!
Mon Dieu! It turns out that the store could not find its bait! Well, only Gunderson could be that careless! Rumour has it that he drinks more than he thinks if you know what I mean.
The police continued their search for the missing bait. They found the store owner’s cat feasting on the bait at the back of the shed.
It looks like the fish are not the only ones taking the bait.
Small Town University
by Barton Frogmeade
Today I have the great privilege of interviewing Dr. Bernice Fabelhaft, Professor of Linguistics and Fashion Science at Small Town University.
Barton: Dr. Fabelhaft, Small Town is all abuzz with the opening of the new Small Town University. What gave you the idea of opening a university here?
Dr. Fabelhaft: Well, as you know, Barton, my late fourth husband ran one of two funeral homes here in Small Town. After his sudden passing, I was left to decide what to do with the place. With health care all the rage, and people living longer and longer, death just isn’t the growth industry it used to be. So instead, I decided to invest in our youth, and open the first university in Small Town.
Barton: Quite so, but isn’t it a bit of a stretch to call it a university?
Dr. Fabelhaft: Not at all! I turned the upstairs offices into a library, converted the mortuary into a science lab, and the chapel into a pub. That gives us arts, sciences, and alcohol: everything you need for a modern university.
Barton: Could you explain the research you’re planning at this new institution? I’m not sure our readers understand the connection between linguistics and fashion science.
Dr. Fabelhaft: We’re at a very exciting time in the development of language. I wrote my Ph.D. dissertation on the similarities between ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics and the growing use of emoji in social media. What we’re observing now is the rise of the new glitterati that communicates on social media using symbols instead of words.
Barton: That’s fascinating, but how does it relate to fashion, and what does science have to do with any of this?
Dr. Fabelhaft: In fashion science, we develop complex formulas to forecast how social trends filter down from the centers of high culture to the lowest common denominators in places like Small Town. Based on my latest computations, I predict that by 2050, no one in Small Town will be talking to each other. Everyone will communicate just by sending stickers, GIFs, and emoji in Facebook Messenger. The written word will be long forgotten.
Barton: You could be onto something. I spoke to our town gossip, Deborah Poirier, just last week, and she told me that half the people in Small Town aren’t on speaking terms with her anymore.
by Mike Litoris
Small Talk is where I interview people at a local bar – before they get sent to the drunk tank. This month’s question focuses on tourism in Small Town.
The Small Town Business Association, which consists of 3 farmers, an anarchist, and Mrs. Baker’s cat, want to increase tourism to our town this summer.
The town’s business association took a poll to find out what about our biggest tourism draws. The poll showed that the biggest tourism draw, after moonshine, is our friendliness and coming in third place is our gender neutral outhouses. The business association was fresh out of ideas once the poll was finished.
I went to the straight to the heart and soul of Small Town – its bars. I wanted to hear suggestions from folks:
“I think we need a cow chip tossing contest. Maybe we should add some of that moonshine too and call it The Chip n’ Ales Tournament.”
“Moose Tipping! La, la, la, la, la!”
“Why can’t we have tours of Mrs. Baker’s manure sculptures? They’re already on display in her garden.”
“I think we should offer the city folk eco tours to the dump to see the bears.”
Philosopher’s Debate held at Anarchist Cafe
The Philosopher’s Debate at the Anarchist Cafe that was held on June 1. This month’s topic: If I enter the kitchen, and forget what I came for, will going into the living room help me to remember?
The debate got underway at 7:00 p.m. Present at the debate was Franny Farkle, Terry Floyd, Mike Litoris, and Petunia Flowerchild.
Franny: “I think retracing your steps can be helpful.”
Terry: “Space is an illusion. It’s all part of the system.”
Franny: “What system is space part of?”
Terry: “The injustice system! All this physics and thinking all this exists. It’s them trying to get to you!”
Franny: “Matter is a part of physics and space is a part of matter.”
Terry: “You’re twisting my words, man!”
Franny and Terry kept arguing back and forth.
Mike: “I need a beer.”
Mike goes and pours himself a mug at the bar.
Petunia just started singing the song “Loving You” by Minnie Ripperton.
At the end of the debate, Terry was upset and charged everyone more for their beer.
The next Philosopher’s Debate will be on July 15.
The Small Town Times would like to say a Big Thank You to all of their contributors:
David Blair as Barton Frogmeade, Annette Joyal as Deborah Poirier, CJ Jackman Zigante as Aunt Blabby, Katherine Stringer as Petunia Flowerchild, Frances Hamlin as Franny Farkle, Gord Pollock as Terry Floyd, Margo Prentice as herself, and Jessie Blair as Mike Litoris.
It was a beautiful sunny morning when I met with my informant at Tim Horton’s. They were ready to spill the beans on The Johnson’s marital affairs. I had pen and paper handy to get the scoop on this gossip.
Just as he was getting to the nitty gritty of the Johnson’s affairs, the place was interrupted by three dogs who were demanding to get donuts. They were growling and drooling at the mouth at the staff.
The person at the counter said that she could not serve the dogs donuts unless they had some way of paying for them. The dogs started growling again and attacking the staff and customers. It was a chaotic scene.
When police arrived, they used water soaker guns and drenched everyone and everything. The dogs were caught, told they were bad dogs, and taken to the pound where they await trial.
Now I will never know about the Johnson’s affairs! Mon Dieu! It’s getting so you can’t report real news without it going to the dogs!
Ye Old Barn Dance
by Gertrude Smith
Come on down to ye ole barn dance bring your do-si-do and skip-to-the-loo right on down to the old barn on Main Street. Joey and the Butter Churners will be playing some of their toe-tapping music. So come take that special lady for a spin around the dance floor. Admission is a case of homebrew or some good snacking food to share with all us good folk.
Family Feud comes to Social Media
Last week, local Small Towner, Leon Boltowitz posted a status on Facebook stating that if anybody had a problem with him that they need to clear it up with directly. When Mary Campbell liked the status, she was immediately contacted by two other local people claiming that they don’t have a problem with Leon. This perplexed Ms. Campbell as she only liked Leon’s status because she agreed that people need to clear up things to directly with each other. She told this reporter that she was unaware of who the status was referring to.
Apparently, Ms. Campbell unwittingly stumbled upon a long-time feud between the Boltowitz family and The Scotts family. The two families have been fighting since 1868 when Great Great Great Grampa Scott accused Great Great Great Grampa Boltowitz of stealing his newspaper from his outhouse. The Scott family says they still feel their ancestor’s pain of mistakenly using Poison Ivy as a toilet paper substitute for the stolen newspaper. The Scotts family retaliated by tipping over The Boltowitz family outhouse while Grampa Boltowitz was in it. Grampa Boltowitz apparently had a heart attack and took months to recover from being in the outhouse while it was being tipped over.
Ms. Campbell says that she won’t be talking to either family anytime soon.
The Spring Outhouse Decorating Contest
The Small Town Outhouse decorating contest starts on May 19. Tickets are $5.00 for the whole family. Maps for a self-guided tour are included in the price. Don’t miss out on the fun! Get your tickets today!
Verna-May’s Birthday Shindig
by Mike Litoris
It was the Mrs. Birthday the other week so I planned a big party for her. I went into Uptown to get the cake for her. She wanted to try one of those fancy gluten-free cakes. The one I ordered her had butter icing with fancy flowers on it. When Verna-May saw it, she blushed and said it looked like our Wedding cake. Here’s a photo of it:
Well, the night got rowdier as it went onand morepeople startedbeltingback the ale. One of ourneighbours, Len and his Mrs. brought their cat named Tabby and some Djembe drums. We were drunk drumming and the energy and vibration had our house hopping.
Around midnight when the party got swinging when Martha Hupplewater donned her red long johns with the squarehatch back. Martha started doing her infamousDance of the Many Moonshineswhile everyone clapped in time to the drumbeats. A good time was had by all.
Highway closed due to flooding
Highway 65 has been flooded by a beaver dam. A number of cars have been diverted – two at last count! At this rate, there will be a traffic jam for sure!
When Bodswell the Beaver saw the chaos caused by his family’s dam, he said, “Oops! My bad!”
That was followed by a chorus of high-pitched laughter from the other beavers.
We wish to express our heartfelt gratitude to our contributors:
Annette Joyal as Deborah Poirier, Tabetha Farnell as Gertrude Smith, Jessie Blair as Mike Litoris