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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

Dead dog Blue leads reelection poll
as statue to fallen leader is unveiled;
opponent claims Blue "too stiff" to govern

Wilma Whipstittle
Staff Writer/Photographer
With election day looming in Stray Lake and deceased alternating mayor Blue the dog handily leading a poll commissioned by the Signal-Gazette, his opponent, alternating mayor Leroy Wertzbrimmer, went on the attack.

As citizens gathered at the Tipple Time following the dedication of an ice sculpture memorializing the fallen leader in the town square, Leroy called the late canine a "frozen, flea-bitten, socialist, right-wing, lying, cheating, scratching, licking, drooling demi-god."

"I think he means demagogue," said Blue's self-appointed campaign manager Leonora Trotsky.

Tipple Time Chef Juan de Fuca added, "And I didn't know he had wings, but even if they are only right side wings remember that I have first dibs when the ice melts. Say, I'd better double down on that new wings sauce recipe I'm working at."

"Or get a lobotomy," Leonora suggested.

"I tried that," said Juan.

"I'm sorry it didn't take," sympathized Leonora.

"What makes you think it didn't?" wondered Tipple Time waitress Dorothea Deluney as she passed with a tray of drinks.

"Can we get back to my attack?" said Leroy. "That ice sculpture is clearly a violation of campaign laws."

"It isn't a sculpture," Leonora countered. "It's Blue. When Miss Matilda hijacked him from Howard Rinaldo's dead animal freezer after he was run down during his rectal self-exam she found out the fellow who does the ice sculptures for the gambling casino in Loomisville had managed to envelope himself into one of the creations he was making and was no longer ... uh ..."

"Alive?" said Dorothea.

"Let's call it cryogenics in action," said Leonora. "Anyway, Miss Matilda just decided to have Blue, and all those other animals he got amalgamated with in the freezer when the power failed, mounted and hauled over to the fountain."

"Then they're all in violation," said Leroy. "I demand that they all be removed."

"Don't worry, they'll melt," said Dorothea.

"Not if Miss Matilda has anything to say about it," said Leonora. "She is lobbying the town council even as we speak to erect a glass-case freezer around Blue and friends."

"Give me another drink, Lou," Third District Councilperson Paul Boxtuttler said as he hurried up to the bar. "Does my nose look out of shape? Miss Matilda just shoved that revolver up it as she lobbied for the giant see-through icebox we are going to erect."

"What?" demanded Leroy.

"I think I hear a lame duck," said Paul.

"Juan, no!" said Dorothea.

"This election isn't over," said Leroy. "Truman whipped Dewey, didn't he?"

"I must have been watching another fight that night," said Paul as he hurried off.

"Face it, Leroy, you're so far behind you couldn't buy enough votes to win," said Leonora.

"I know," said Leroy. "I ran out of money for that last week and the only thing my campaign manager says she can get when she goes fund-raising is big laughs."

Paul ran back up to the bar and said, "A double, Lou. Now she wants to freeze the fountain and statue of Colonel Richardson, too. She wants to put the Colonel in a jacket. Do you think we should call out the militia to deal with this?"

"I think they're still trying to regroup after the dedication ceremonies for Blue's statue," said Lou.

"I guess they were taken by surprise when Miss Matilda decided to do the twenty-one gun salute herself," said Paul.

"But they ran pretty fast when she opened fire," said Lou.

"Especially after she hit that hornets' nest," agreed Paul.

"I think she got a possum, too," said Leonora. "The thing was hanging from a tree limb by its tail."

"Juan, no!" said Dorothea.

"I thought that was Byron Halfnagel's boy Gerkin," said Lou.

"Juan, no!"

"Whatever it was got up and ran through the Stray Lake U Marching Scum Beasts," said Leonora. "I never heard the National Anthem played so fast."

"What I want to know is how come Blue gets a twenty-one gun salute?" said Leroy.

"Because he was smarter than you and still is," said Miss Matilda as she strolled out of the back room and holstered her pistol. "And that wasn't the National Anthem, it was God Save the King. That Stray Lake U band can't play anything without making it sound like something else."

"So we're going to be crowning a dead dog preserved in a block of ice the King of Stray Lake?" ventured Leroy.

"Objections?" said Miss Matilda as she laid her hand on the grip of her pistol.

"What the hell," said Dorothea as she put her tray of drinks on the bar and downed one. "The live politicians have never done much for us, have they?"

"Wow, what a great campaign slogan," said Leroy. "I think I'll have myself frozen in a block of ice and run on that theme."

Lou shook his head and said, "Looks like the race has just been chilled into a dead heat."

"When it melts ..." began Juan.


Stray Lake

The toilet paper hanging all over town is not the result of trick or treat pranks, according to Town Marshall Carmella Casey. It was, she explained, part of a training exercise by the Stray County Unregulated Volunteer Militia. Militia commandant Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Droling Mudbinder confirmed Carmella's statement, allowing that the paper was in fact the militia's allotment of the stuff for the coming year. "We were on field maneuvers with our artillery," explained the General. "One of the wheels fell off the gun just as the fuse was lit and the bunker with the paper in it was hit instead of the original target, which was Maude Cutwiler's outhouse. This is really a tragedy, considering our procurement budget does not contain a line for replacing toilet paper. I guess we'll just have to go on a newspaper driver." Maude allowed she would not be a contributor to such a collection effort, considering the militia targets her outhouse annually during field maneuvers and has actually hit it three times in the past 40 years. She went on to describe in some detail what she felt should be the target of next year's maneuvers, surprising everyone with her knowledge of Gen. Mudbinder's anatomy.

The Moscow Ballet has declined to perform at next spring's Stray Lake U graduation ceremonies, according to University Information Director Shifty Bradwell. "Something must have been lost in their end of the translation," said Shifty," because all they sent us was a telegram that said, 'Nuts.' So it looks like Trixie Woozlebloom, the president's live-in secretary, will be performing again this year. However, we will move Trixie's baton routine to the end of the ceremonies, after diplomas have been awarded, and insist that she wear more clothes in an effort to keep the boys in the graduating class from storming the stage."

Doc Pandemic says it is especially urgent for everyone to get a flu shot this year. "If you're going to die of Ebola, you don't want the flu on top of that," noted Doc.

The Lionel Hampton look-alike contest was cancelled last week after no one could remember what Lionel looked like in the first place.

The Kessler sisters have knitted themselves into a scarf again this year and the Stray County Knitting and Dissing Society is currently trying to unravel them at their weekly meetings at the Tipple Time. Between meetings, the girls are fed and watered through plastic tubes inserted into the yarn and Lou the bartender says, judging from the burping and snoring emanating from the scarf, they are quite content.

"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

Doc Pandemic says entrants in the volunteer militia fall turkey shoot should register early at Maid of Mercy Recuperation Clinic if they want a preferred place in the ER admitting line.
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.