The Small Town Times
First-year Anniversary edition
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.