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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

Chicken-powered bobsled lays an egg
in bid for Olympics stature

Arthur T. Arthroscope
Sports Editor
Consensus around the Tipple Time is that the chicken-powered bobsled ski jump will not be an Olympic sport in the near future, even though Will Fitstaff and his brother, Henry, survived the demonstration ride.

"I don't know why they thought those chickens in the cage on the back of that sled contraption were going to keep it in the air once they shot off the roof here," said Lou the bartender. "But they drew a drinking crowd for the test run, and I figured what the hell. Also, they used the section of the roof that has been condemned for some years, so nobody was in that part of the building and I was thinking of having it demolished anyhow."

Tipple Time chef Juan de Fuca stuck his head out of the kitchen to ask Lou, "Can I call these chicken parts buzzard wings?"

"That's our signature bar food," said Lou, "so why call it anything else no matter what might be in it?"

Will, the most talkative and least injured of the chicken-bobsled brothers, said he was encouraged by the initial run.

"If we had not struck Miss Matilda Chucker in the parking lot as she was passing on her way to the library, I believe we would have gained enough speed to clear the sewage lagoon," said Will. "Especially if Miss Matilda had not recovered in time to draw her piece and wing several of our chickens, if you will forgive the double intended thing there."

"I could forgive it if the chickens had not clogged the sewage lagoon overflow system," allowed sewer plant chief engineer Gilhooly Gramartripe. "But you know the water sanitation plant is immediately adjacent to the lagoon, and those little orange things the federal people hand out for you to string across a waterway in case of a major disaster don't work worth a hoot. I had to take extraordinary measures to see that our drinking water was safe."

"My coffee smelled like formaldehyde this morning," agreed waitress Dorothea Deluney as she spilled a drink on a patron.

Gilhooly shook his head and said, "Once those mutant bacteria in the lagoon get ahead of you, that's the only thing that keeps them in check. I don't know what I'll use after they mutate up an immunity to formaldehyde. Maybe some of the cheaper high-test libations Lou keeps behind the bar could make some headway."

"You may be right," said Lou. "I for one have never understood why that stuff you swill hasn't killed you long ago."

"I eat a lot of roughage," explained Gilhooly.

"Roughage is important," said Doc Pandemic as he ordered up a drink at the bar. "Will and Henry should have eaten more roughage instead of trying to get airborne on the wings of chickens. But I guess Henry will recover, because he always has. Do you remember the time those boys had Elton Schmidt's brahma bull get a head of steam and butt that jalopy they built from orange crates to give them an edge at the start of the homemade jitney races which were discontinued when they ran that the thing through the antique quilt exhibit and the pie judging at the county fair?"

"I do not," said Will.

"That is probably just as well," Doc counseled. "And I think you should disassociate yourselves from both chickens and bobsleds for a while. Concentrate on roughage."

"That seems a very narrow field for our talents," said Will. "But we do have a plan for a giant aluminum kite dangling a key sent aloft in a thunderstorm on the winds provided from a fan powered by ..."

"Don't tell me," said Doc. "Half the fun of treating you boys is guessing what combination of animal, mineral, vegetable, and genetically flawed logic gave you your latest scars."

"And please wait until after the sewage lagoon bacteria digest the bobsled," said Gilhooly. "I seem to remember some historic gentleman doing that key and kite business and attracting lightning, which would not be a good thing considering the gas that digestion activity seems to generate. I dropped my false teeth last night, struck a match to find them, and the water began to smolder."

"Calling that stuff in the lagoon water is a matter for debate," said Lou, "considering chef Juan uses it as buzzard wing marinade."

"Does it ever melt his wings?" said Gilhooly. "I never did find my teeth."

"Lou, set everybody up with a round of your back-shelf stuff," said Doc. "We need to elevate the level of this conversation. And have Juan send out some wings. Tell him to puree a handful for Gilhooly. I think he needs the roughage."

Tippple Time open during renovations

Lou the bartender says Stray Lake's watering hole "Will remain open during major renovations. The Hammer Slammers Handyman Club has volunteered to do the work, and heck, they're usually all here at the bar most of the time anyway so it's just a matter keeping them sober enough to drive nails. Oh gee, that sounds like a problem when I say it out loud."

Stray Lake

Bill Bussey advises against putting down an electric blanket on your driveway before a big snow to speed cleanup. Fire chief Randy Mossbreath agrees, as does Bill's insurance company. If Bill's cat Shallote were still among us, she would probably third the notion.

The Lawanda Hough House of Beauty and Hair Design has forbidden its stylists to bring their phones to work after Dotty Hoppnagel buzz cut Gladys Kramer whilst Dotty was exchanging thumb-driven poison pen messages with her ex's new squeeze. Lawanda has given Gladys a loaner wig to use while her hair grows out, so be aware that Glad is no longer a redhead (if indeed she ever was).

WANTED: Information about the whereabouts of Solomon Smith. I don't want him back, just the frying pan I wrapped around his head as he went out the door. Delores Smith, usually at the Tipple Time.

"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 annual Blessing of the Pets will be held next Saturday at Candle Creek. The Rev. Haskall of the Candle Creek Church of the Freewheeling Apostles requests that those wishing wolverines to receive the blessing this year please drug their animals heavily to avoid the panic induced last year when Leon Hall's pet wolverine Damascus ate three cats and nearly chewed off Maude Selmeier's left big toe, bunyon and all.

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.