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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

Alternating Mayor Blue the dog run down
by tourist bus; might still carry election

Wilma Whipstittle
Staff Writer/Photographer
Alternating Stray Lake Mayor Blue the Dog has been run over and killed by a busload of gambling tourists as he sat on his haunches in the middle of Maine Street doing a rectal self-exam. Blue's sudden demise sent shockwaves through Stray Lake just weeks before the next mayoral election.

"You mean the only candidate now is Leroy Wertzbrimmer?" asked Lloyd Pulfer as he viewed the spot where Blue was scraped off the street by the sanitation department. "I'd sooner vote for a dead dog than Leroy, and I think I will."

Leroy, the town's other mayor, said he was shocked by news of Blue's passing and would double his efforts to find sponsors for his victory celebration at the Tipple Time in November.

"And they better cough it up," the mayor opined, "because I'll be calling the shots by myself from now on."

Blue's untimely departure occurred at about 12:30 p.m. as the gambling tourists rounded the corner of Buford Street. According to witnesses, Blue was sitting the middle of Main Street engaging in his usual after lunch routine when the bus bore down on him without warning.

"I didn't even hear a horn honk," related Lulu Skink. "One minute, Blue was all doubled over doing his thing, and the next minute he was pretty much flat."

Town Marshall Carmella Casey said an investigation is underway but no charges have been filed against the bus driver, Ernest Gullpeffer, of Loomisville.

"Howard Rinaldo is doing toxicology tests on Blue's remains at the Small Animal Clinic and Home for Wayward Girls," the marshal revealed. "We were going to send Blue to the state police lab, but they told us they didn't do road kill. I just hope Howard and the girls don't party too much before they get the exam done. No telling what they might spill on or into the dearly departed."

Ernest, the bus driver, allowed he "saw not one dog in the middle of the road licking anything, and that's the story I'm gonna stick to. I got a schedule to keep. If those gambling tourists don't get to the casino in Loomisville on time I lose my bonus. If Leroy wants to sit in the middle of the street with his hind legs in the air, he's liable to get some of the same."

Blue's owner, Ralph Gumstock, said he was planning to sue the bus driver, the gambling casino, the people on the bus, Leroy, and the United Nations.

"My loss and suffering go beyond explaining," explained Ralph. "Blue has been a wonderful companion, my best friend, my consolation ..."

"And where the hell does that leave me?" queried Lucrecia Borgia, Ralph's inamorata. "Am I chopped liver?"

"Do we have to bring Blue's autopsy into this?" said Ralph.

"A little more of this nonsense and we'll be talking about your autopsy," warned Lucrecia.

"Speaking of which," said Leroy, "I have started a rumor that Blue was under the influence of several controlled substances at the time of his accident."

"You slipped him a mickey?" said Lucrecia.

"That is very crude," observed Leroy. "I just started the rumor. It gives me a better chance to win the election in case of a write-in candidate.""

Lou the bartender, who had been listening to the proceedings, said, "Why don't we all have an uncontrolled substance on me and bring this discussion back to reality."

"I see no chance of the latter, but the drink sounds good," said Lucrecia. "Skip Ralph, he's driving."

"Leroy, you want to go lay in the street?" said Ralph.

Leroy ignored the remark and noted, "My next administration will be marked by job growth, better schools, fewer Martians crossing our borders, and repaving the street in front of my house."

"That's been your campaign pledge for twenty years," said Lou.

"Thank you," observed Leroy.

Doc Pandemic strolled into the Tipple Time on a break from his rounds at Maid of Mercy Recuperation Clinic and said, "Miss Matilda is out in the parking lot taking contributions for a statue of Blue. She got everything I had in my pockets when she waved that pistol in my face, so Lou, I'm on the tab for the night."

"Statue?" said Leroy. "Before the election?"

"I dunno," said Doc. "But she says it will depict him in the pose he struck just before he was run down. She says Howard Rinaldo has promised to loan her Blue's remains after the autopsy so the sculptor can have something to work from."

Chef Juan de Fuca stuck his head out of the kitchen door and said, "Hey, Howard promised Blue to me. Oh gee, Lou, we're gonna have to revise tomorrow's menu."

"Make mine a double, and then double up on that for the next one," said Doc.

Stray Lake

The silent French film classic "Silent French Film Classic" will be shown next Thursday night at the Stray County Public Library's Obscure Films in a Language No One Can Understand Series, to be presented on the town square. An original score composed by Viola Trumpet will attempt to make the evening more bearable. Violet will play the score on her flute, accompanied by the howls of her cat, Crescendo, who hates flute playing. Reservations are hardly necessary, and people are urged to stop before the performance at the Tipple Time to fortify themselves and stock their coolers. In case of rain, we'll say to hell with it and just spend the evening with Lou the bartender.

Laverne Comstock is offering a reward for anything she hasn't been able to find in the last six months, except for her oldest boy, Corriander.

Monopoly Bank and Trust of Stray Lake has lowered its interest rate; it is now even less interested in the satisfaction of its customers than it used to be.

The Lawanda Hough House of Beauty and Hair Design has dropped its 100 percent satisfaction guarantee until its dryers are fully wired into the new computer sometime next month. In the meantime, warns Lawanda, don't ask for refunds.

"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 Stray County Pessimists Club has scheduled its next meeting for a week from Tuesday, but doubts it will be held.
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.