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The Stray Lake Signal-Gazette
"We print all the news that's fit for Stray Lake to know."
Horace Gumblat, editor emeritus
Beautiful Stray Lake

Battle of Atlanta reenactment
panics militia, spills into Tipple Time

by
Wilma Whipstittle
Staff Writer/Photographer
The Ladies Guild reenactment of the Battle of Atlanta routed the Stray County Unregulated Volunteer Militia last week before spilling into the Tipple Time where order was restored by the Rev. Haskall of the Church of the Freewheeling Apostles and a round of free drinks from Lou the bartender.

"I am thoroughly ashamed of the way our brave volunteers turned and ran," militia commandant Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Droling Mudbinder noted as the ladies celebrated their victory with libations and chef Juan de Fuca's buzzard wings.

"Nobody told us they were going to use live ammunition when we volunteered to be the Confederates," countered militia Sgt. Vern Trenchfoot. "I didn't sign on to get shot by a bunch of crazy ladies."

"I can see your point," agreed the general, "but you're still yellow."

"That's because I haven't had a chance to wash off the camouflage paint," said Vern.

"Maybe that was the problem," noted Lou. "The yellow paint job seems to have confused the ladies."

"It didn't confuse that one with the hogleg pistol," said Vern. "That thing could take the rump off a horse at a hundred yards."

"Don't give Miss Matilda any ideas," caution Lou. "She might be passing on her way to the library and haul it out again. Oops, speaking of horses, here comes Martha Kremmel."

"Well, Droling, you old warmonger," Martha said, "are you ready to tender a formal surrender to me as President of the Ladies Guild? I want your sword."

The general took a long drink, looked Martha in the eye, and said, "Can't have it."

"No fair," said Martha. "Gimme."

"I bent it when I was running ... retreating," said the general. "I can't offer you a bent sword. That would be unmanly."

"Oh, let's just all have another drink before we get too far down that road," said Lou. "By the way, Martha, how did the guild decide on Atlanta for this year's battle?"

"We got drunk and threw bottle caps at a map," said Martha.

"Thank God you didn't hit the Little Bighorn," said the general. "And Miss Matilda keeps getting better with that sidearm. You should have made her load blanks."

"Don't get your sword more out of shape than it is," counseled Martha. "Nobody got hurt."

"Well you didn't have to chase us when we retreated," groused Vern.

"You mean when you lit out like somebody had kindled a fire under you?" said Martha. "Hey, the girls had the bit in their mouths by then."

"Don't anybody go there ..." warned Lou.

"Well we made a stand in the town square," the general reminded.

"And we held our ground until those kids from the day care started throwing rocks at us," said Vern.

"I think Col. Richardson, looking down at you from in the middle of the fountain, must have been ashamed," said Martha.

"He never had to stand up to Miss Matilda," mumbled Vern. "Or day care bullies."

"He may never stand up again," said Doc. "The useless scaffolding the Handyman Club put up around the fountain was evidently useful for keeping the old boy's statue stable. You militia knocked it over in your rush ... er, retreat, and the colonel is now listing to his left by about ten degrees."

"We were not rushing to retreat," said the general. "We were rush ... er, retreating to make a stand here at the Tipple Time."

"That's when we surrounded the place and decided not to take prisoners," Martha recalled with a smile.

"I'm glad 'Do unto others' was the theme of the sermon the Rev. Haskall was working on at the bar," said Vern. "If he hadn't talked the ladies out of ..."

"But we would have held out to the last man, right?" said the general. "Vern?"

"I'll get back to you," noted Vern.

"Which reminds me," said Lou, "drinks are on the house tonight for you, Rev. Need another?"

"Oh please," said the Rev. "With all these ladies surrounding me, I think I'm going to have to rework my sermon to say something about being led from temptation, and for some reason I can't remember the passage exactly."

"Just remember," said the general, "when they surround you, they don't take prisoners."

"Keep those drinks coming," the Rev. told Lou.

Around
Stray Lake


Bill and Elliot Huff were married last week at the gambling casino in Loomisville by the Rev. Jolly Hustings of the Church of the California Mail Order Ordination. Readers may recall that Elliot was Esther until she and Bill were divorced after 20 years of wedded bliss, when she underwent gender modification and changed her name. The opportunities for court proceedings in the matter were widened by the best man and best man, who are cousins of both the groom and the groom. The happy couple say if their current union doesn't work out they may divorce and marry the cousins, since the children are grown and have left home, probably never to return.

The Aldous Huxley lookalike contest at the library was cancelled last week when no one could find a picture of the guy.

Elton Gray's sighting of a rare Columbian Triple Throated, Red Breasted, Ivory Tufted, Three-toed Galapagos Warbler was confirmed last week when Tipple Time Chef Juan de Fuca had the bird as an appetizer on that evening's menu.

The Boys Choir of the Wentworth Exclusive School in Brakethwait Corners will be hence known as the Baritone Choir after the boys sneaked into the floor show at the gambling casino in Loomisville.

"It's okay, the reindeer are driving"

It's okay, the reindeer are driving
Holiday humor and more: Santa is stuck in the chimney, hitting the rum cookies, or jumping from an airplane. Bobby Lee parties, claim jumpers can't shoot straight, and two rats own a cheese factory. These short reads are guaranteed to give you a belly laugh, for $0.99 (that's ninety-nine cents for the numerically challenged).

It's okay, the reindeer are driving

"At Love's Crest"

At Love's Crest
A romance of intrigue and spice, set against the backdrop of a threatening flood. Can Allyson trust the man she has fallen in love with so suddenly? Is he part of the danger that threatens her, or the one who can save her from it? The waters rise and Allyson must decide, as her wild desires beat against the walls she has built around her once-shattered heart. This sort of thing will run you a little more, $2.99 to be factual about it; but then it's a lot longer.

At Love's Crest

Coming Events

The Caruthers Hargrove Four-Wheel-Drive Stupidity Race will be held next week on the cliff overlooking Stray Creek where Caruthers tried to text his mother while drinking beer, shifting gears, tuning the radio, shooting at mailboxes, and groping either a blow-up plastic Fergie doll or a laminated sailfish (it was hard to tell when they tried to separate the wreckage).


It's always time at the Tipple Time

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Copyright 1996 - 2014, Robert A. Markwalter

Any resemblance to any person or persons in this material should give same strong impetus to seek medical help and, coincidentally,
is coincidental, unintended, accidental, and all those other disclaimers people make when they shove knives into your back.