Community Channel Opening

Mike Litoris smoking  Mike Litoris, Editor

The residents here in Small Town are all excited about the opening of our new community channel.  Our residents are already talking ’bout how to best entertain you. Please stay tuned.

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October 2016 Issue

Mike Litoris smoking  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:

chicken-running


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.

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margo-prentice 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.


annette-joyal 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!

Anyway, 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?


frankli-fogg-photo   Franklin Fogg, Foreign Correspondent

Forefathers’ Day

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 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.

Community Dinner

The Ladies Home and Rifle Club invite you to a community dinner tonight to celebrate the first day of fall. The dinner will be followed by a discussion about hunting season. Topics will include:

  • Matching your high heels to your camouflage
  • Not smudging your mascara while aiming your rifle
  • Preventing lipstick from getting on your teeth while doing turkey calls

This event will take place at the United Church on Main Street at 6:00pm.

 

 

Beer Abandoned in Small Town

Mike Litoris smoking Mike Litoris, Editor

A few of us fellas from the lumber mill were walking along the river bank when Buddy French started pointing and yelling, “Look there!” We all gathered around to take a look. We couldn’t believe what we saw.

It was an abandoned beer just left in the cold river.  It was hard for us to imagine what would make somebody do this. Oh! The humanity!

wild-beer

September 2016 Issue

Mike Litoris smoking Mike Litoris, Editor

Mike Litoris here. Welcome to the second issue of The Small Town times! We have some new writers here in Small Town who have contributed to this month’s newsletter. I hope you enjoy it.

The Small Town Times is a place to know about what’s new in town before your gossipy Aunt Martha does.


 margo-prentice Margo Prentice, Writer

Old Man’s Shopping Club

There is a weird cult of old men who belong to secret groups of, “retired grocery shopper guys.” They have meetings in malls.  In warm weather they meet at designated bus stops where they sit on the benches. The topics on their meeting agendas involve coupons, the best deals and where the sales are. They compare prices and are very competitive; trying to outdo each other with the amounts of money they can save.

My husband has an envelope of coupons stuffed in his back pant pocket. He carries flyers with him and circles the items he is considering buying. If ham is on sale at more than one store, it is outlined in red in different flyers. The store that has best price is where he goes to shop.

Like many retired older men, many decide to take over the grocery shopping. This is not an unusual or new phenomenon. A group of older men was sitting having coffee at the Mall. My husband told me he met these guys when he saw them looking at the food flyers at a big round table. He asked what they were doing. They told him and invited him to join them. He joined in and from that first meeting there was no looking back.

There is a secret ritual of coupon poker; I have only watched from a distant and heard a little. They bid like five card stud, only with coupons. “I’ll have two coupons and they pick from the pile.” The coupons are slid carefully across the table to the bidder. Then the bidding begins. I bid two Safeway orange juice specials; I’ll raise you, three Thrifty store beef specials. The best coupon poker player ends up with a table of coupons. He is allowed to trade them at a later time.

They have maps showing the best and fastest routes to the stores on their lists.  It is extremely important that the “OMSSC” (Old Man’s Secret Shopping Club), gets to the store that has the best price as quickly as needed to get to a sale item while the supplies last. It is a slowed down type of feeding frenzy.

They have a telephone list and phone each other to notify members where and when to meet. The business of serious bargain hunting starts at these meetings; they drink coffee, scan through flyers and discuss sales. My husband says they are getting t-shirts made with, “OMSSC”on them.

I learned early in my marriage never to tell my husband that I like something. Honesty hasn’t been the best policy for me. It all started when I mentioned how much I liked Peek Freen cookies, the ones with the jam in the center. “Yum, I sure love these cookies, dear!”

His dedicated mission is to buy these treats when they are on sale. He will buy four boxes at a time. This has been going on for years and I can hardly stand them anymore. When I open my cupboard there is a whole row of Peak Freens on my top shelf. Storage had become a problem.

He tells me, I will save enough money for a holiday each year.” He does save but not enough for a holiday, maybe a visit and a good dinner in Surrey.

It is just too much of a good thing. I do have a strategy though, every week or so I donate boxes of Peek Freen cookies the food bank bag. He hardly notices they are gone. Maybe I should be honest with him and tell him I don’t like them anymore. I just don’t want to upset the ‘apple cart’ of his dedicated sale shopping. I wouldn’t want him to lose face with his secret club buddies either.


Mike Litoris smoking Mike Litoris, Editor

“Big Five” Introduce Robbie

In a move that has stunned townspeople, the Big Five banks have merged into one financial institution just for Small Town and area.  The mouthpiece for the banks, Ms. Maureen Pawn, explains, “We’re very pleased to announce that we have a new Customer Service Representative to look after all your banking needs! His name is Robbie, and he’s a robot!”

The Big Five banks announced this past spring that they would be closing all their branches in Small Town and the surrounding area. The Town Council have been struggling to come up with banking alternatives. So when Ms. Pawn notified the town’s bigwigs about a solution, they were eager to attend the press conference. Myself, the town council and the town drunk, Nick, who was passed out and snoring something awful, all made an appearance at this historic event.

Robbie is stainless steel and looks like a cartoon. I brought up the similarity to Ms. Pawn who said, “Our best research indicated that we design him to look like Elmer Fudd’s robot in the episode Robot Rabbit so that our older customers would feel calm and reminisce about their childhoods. It’s a good way to distract them from our 12% increase in service fees.”

I asked, “Does he talk?”

Ms. Pawn said, “He’s programmed to speak in five different languages except English.”

“He doesn’t speak English?”

Then there was a loud crash, and we turned around to see that Nick had fallen off his chair.

Pawn didn’t take any notice and said, “But the robot speaks five different languages, it’s hard to find that skill level in an employee. Best of all, we don’t have to pay him because he’s a robot. He can just stay at the bank branch and work all the time. He’s a model employee so Small Town is actually getting the best of this situation.”

I asked, “How does that help the customers?”

Giving me the big ignore, Ms. Pawn said, “Robbie is programmed to deal with all kinds of situations. For instance, whenever there’s hostility from a customer, Robbie is programmed to stop everything and play soothing lounge music until the customer either calms down or walks away.”

When this reporter mentioned that ignoring the needs of bank customers in small towns is what the Big Five does best, Ms. Pawn started to hum lounge music.


From the News Desk

Everyone was anticipating who would win September 10’s tractor pull contest.  Last year’s winner was Verna-May Litoris and she returned to defend her title. Her main competitor was Ida Thompson. Both ladies are known to pull their tractors several feet in under a minute. Yesterday’s competition was tense as both contestants were neck-to-neck.

Suddenly, the tension was broken by the screams of a man running between the two tractors being chased by the Wilson family’s dog. The man crossed the finish line first, followed by the dog. We never did find out the name of the man because he kept running away from the dog. So, first place went to the dog.

The Wilsons are very proud of their dog!

Here’s a picture from 5-year old Timmy Wilson:timmy


 

Barton Frogmeade, Writerbarton-frogmeade

Sunday School Doubles Attendance

Recently a worried parent spoke to Reverend Bertha Brackenridge at Small Town United Church. The parent was concerned that their child was spending a lot of time speaking and playing with an invisible friend.

After reassuring the parent that this was not unusual behaviour, the Reverend realized that this was a great opportunity to present her idea for the next Sunday School class. Reverend Brackenridge is asking all of the children in the class to invite their invisible friends to attend a special lesson this Sunday. At that time she will introduce them to “my invisible friend Jesus”.

If all goes well, attendance at the Sunday school could double.


Bad Poetry Contest

August 18 was Bad Poetry Day in Small Town.  The winner was Santy, the runners-up were Barton Frogmeade and Gertrude Smith. There were two prizes. The first was publication in this here newsletter, and the second, was not having to take their cod liver oil for the day.

santy Santy, Winner of the Bad Poetry Contest. 

His poem reminds us that winter is coming and we best be prepared. So get your stewing pots ready:

A squirrel is a many-splendored thing
A stew, a flying rat
The tail for a hat
A weird companion in the bath
Ponder that

barton-frogmeade Barton Frogmeade is the 1st runner-up

With poems I am ever so slick
just watch me write a limerick
it’s not like haiku
it’s three lines plus two
it’s the rhyming that makes it so sick

gertrude-smith Gertrude Smith, 2nd runner-up

He played the drum, While trying to hum, and drinking rum

…too tired.Please submit for me. Thx. Goodnight.

___________________________________________________________

We would like to say Thank You to our contributors:

Margo Prentice, Sean Dwyer as Santy, David Blair as Barton Frogmeade, Tabetha Farnell as Gertrude Smith, and Jessie Blair as Mike Litoris

 

Dog wins tractor pull

Everyone was anticipating who would win yesterday’s tractor pull contest.  Last year’s winner was Verna-May Litoris and she returned to defend her title. Her main competitor was Ida Thompson. Both ladies are known to pull their tractors several feet in under a minute. Yesterday’s competition was tense as both contestants were neck-to-neck.

Suddenly, the tension was broken by the screams of a man running between the two tractors being chased by the Wilson family’s dog. The man crossed the finish line first followed by the dog. We never did find out the name of the man because he kept running away from the dog. So, first place went to the dog.

The Wilson’s are very proud of their dog. Congratulations!

timmy

Here is a picture from 5-year old Timmy Wilson

The Old Man Secret Shopping Club

by Margo Prentice

There is a weird cult of old men who belong to secret groups of, “retired grocery shopper guys.” They have meetings in malls.  In warm weather they meet at designated bus stops where they sit on the benches. The topics on their meeting agendas involve coupons, the best deals and where the sales are. They compare prices and are very competitive; trying to outdo each other with the amounts of money they can save.

My husband has an envelope of coupons stuffed in his back pant pocket. He carries flyers with him and circles the items he is considering buying. If ham is on sale at more than one store, it is outlined in red in different flyers. The store that has best price is where he goes to shop.

Like many retired older men, many decide to take over the grocery shopping. This is not an unusual or new phenomenon. A group of older men was sitting having coffee at the Mall. My husband told me he met these guys when he saw them looking at the food flyers at a big round table. He asked what they were doing. They told him and invited him to join them. He joined in and from that first meeting there was no looking back.

There is a secret ritual of coupon poker; I have only watched from a distant and heard a little. They bid like five card stud, only with coupons. “I’ll have two coupons and they pick from the pile.” The coupons are slide carefully across the table to the bidder. Then the bidding begins. I bid two Safeway orange juice specials; I’ll raise you, three Thrifty store beef specials. The best coupon poker player ends up with a table of coupons. He is allowed to trade them at a later time.

They have maps showing the best and fastest routes to the stores on their lists.  It is extremely important that the “OMSSC” (Old Man’s Secret Shopping Club), gets to the store that has the best price as quickly as needed to get to a sale item while the supplies last. It is a slowed down type of feeding frenzy.

They have a telephone list and phone each other to notify members where and when to meet. The business of serious bargain hunting starts at these meetings; they drink coffee, scan through flyers and discuss sales. My husband says they are getting t-shirts made with, “OMSSC”on them.

I learned early in my marriage never to tell my husband that I like something. Honesty hasn’t been the best policy for me. It all started when I mentioned how much I liked Peek Freen cookies, the ones with the jam in the centre. “Yum, I sure love these cookies, dear!”

His dedicated mission is to buy these treats when they are on sale. He will buy four boxes at a time. This has been going on for years and I can hardly stand them anymore. When I open my cupboard there is a whole row of Peak Freens on my top shelf. Storage had become a problem.

He tells me, I will save enough money for a holiday each year.” He does save but not enough for a holiday, maybe a visit and a good dinner in Surrey.

It is just too much of a good thing. I do have a strategy though, every week or so I donate boxes of Peek Freen cookies the food bank bag. He hardly notices they are gone. Maybe I should be honest with him and tell him I don’t like them anymore. I just don’t want to upset the ‘apple cart’ of his dedicated sale shopping. I wouldn’t want him to lose face with his secret club buddies either.

I like having chocolate bars, he buys on sale. I do like having a plentiful supply of delicious food items that I am not tired of.

My lack of honesty, has added girth to my waist and a taste for the good things.  I will just leave well enough alone and let my husband do the shopping. He’ll never have to worry, he can retain his membership in the, “Old Man’s Secret Shopping Club.” It offers companionship. He gives him something to do. He belongs to a group united in a purpose.  And thank God I never have to push another grocery cart again.

 

First Issue of The Small Town Times

Mike Litoris smoking  Editorial by Mike Litoris 

This here’s the very first issue of The Small Town Times. We’re Small Town’s number one source for news and events.  I hope you enjoy it!

Subscribe to our monthly newsletter to find out what’s new in town before your gossipy Aunt Martha does.


Congratulations to Verna-May Litoris, for being named Woman of the Month for the magazine, Outhouse and Home. She is the wife of lumber mill worker and Editor of The Small Town Times, Mike Litoris.

In her interview, she talked about her work, life, and Mike or as she says, “the reasons I need aspirin”. Outhouse and Home has a county-wide distribution which makes Verna-May one of our local celebrities now.

 


Our Annual Hooping Contest was on July 21. Jim Murdoch won again this year for the second year in a row. The judges are always impressed with how he can hoop that truck tire. The runners-up: Brad Johnston’s horse who can swing that hula-hoop around its hind leg, and a polar bear who can hoop a car tire around its arm.

hooping hotties


A bonfire and Corn Roast Potluck social was held on July 30. Buddy French called out the Square Dancing. Good times!


Yours truly, Mike Litoris, was on the cover of Men’s Health magazine for the July issue. My advice for healthy living: Plenty of fresh air, chopping wood, and a good wife who does everything else.

Mike on men's health mag - Copy


The Beer Belly Jug Band performed at The Anarchist Café on August 9. Six people attended…their largest audience ever!


August 12 was the monthly barn dance at Archie Bird’s barn dance out just off Highway 9. Archie says if you want to be put on the invite list to send him a letter. Please address it to A. Bird, RR#2 Small Town, Canada.


Upcoming Events in September

The Agricultural Fair will be between September 9 -12. On Friday, we’ll have hay rides, a corn roast and for dessert there’s some homemade pies from the Ladies’ Home & Rifle Club.

The Annual Tractor Pull will be on Saturday. Last year’s winner was Mike Litoris’ good wife, Verna-May. She pulled her tractor 20 feet in 1 minute! It looks like she may have some stiff competition from Ida Thompson this year. This event happens rain or shine.

On Sunday, we’re having a cattle auction and we’re hoping that you’ll feel moooved to attend. Monday’s for cleaning up after the cattle auction. We’ll need as many volunteers as possible to clean. Please bring your own shovels. We hope to see you there!


Personal Ads

Caution: Please don’t accept any Facebook requests from me. I just don’t know what I’m going to do or say next. I got depressed when I found out that I was friends with myself on Facebook. You’ve been warned! -Ida Thompson

• I’m looking for the riding lawnmower I lent to Buster Brown last week. Buster, return the damn thing! –Jim Murdoch

Wanted: somebody with a pickup truck to help me pull a lawnmower out of a ditch. Contact Buster Brown.


Contributors:

Jessie Blair as Mike Litoris, Gord Pollock as Verna-May Litoris