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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

Talking garbage can opens
political debate season

Wilma Whipstittle
Staff Writer/Photographer
"Lou, I think the garbage can off to the side of your front porch is having a conversation with itself," Gilhooley Grammartripe announced as he strolled through the front door of the Tipple Time.

"I think you've been breathing too many fumes from the sewage lagoon," Lou the bartender told Stray Lake's sewer plant chief engineer. "I know you love your job, but you really ought to stop living in the back room of the treatment plant. Why don't you move in with your mother?"

"She's moved into the sewer plant," said Gilhooley.

"Well, at least the fumes can't do much more damage to your end of the gene pool," observed Lou.

"But I tell you I heard ..."

"Lou, has chef Juan taken up ventriloquism?" said Doc Pandemic as he strolled in for his break from rounds at Maid of Mercy Recuperation Clinic. "I could swear I heard your garbage can talking to itself."

"See?" said Gilhooley.

"I'm gonna need a third opinion," said Lou, "but if chef Juan has taken up throwing his voice I wouldn't be surprised. You remember last year when he decided to be a magician on the side?"

"Isn't that when he was hired to entertain at little Bobby Smith's birthday party?" said Doc. "And he made the yak disappear?"

"Boy, those dismembered yak parts sure clogged the sewage plant," recalled Gilhooley.

"And the images of seeing the dismembering in real time are still clogging the minds of the folks who attended the party," said Doc. "I see three or four of those children at least once a week."

"I did not know you were a psychiatrist, Doc," said Lou.

"Nor did I," revealed Doc. "But you would be surprised what some of those free pill samples the drug salesmen leave me can do to a child's mind."

"We stick with the tried and true here," said Lou, "and the parents of those youngsters regularly seek relief. But of course, we charge for it."

"And who says I don't?" wondered Doc.

"Can we get back to the talking garbage can?" said Gilhooley. "Oh wait, there it is now. Oh wait, I've never seen a walking garbage can, either. Lou, is it time to panic?"

"I'll give you five minutes' notice," said Lou. "And I believe that garbage can has a tail."

Doc went over, lifted the lid off the can, replaced it, and said, "It's our alternating mayor, Blue the dog.

Blue let out a howl as the lid settled upon his tail and the garbage can said, "It won't do you any good to shout. Your opinion is still vile, ignorant, uninformed, communistic, socialistic, hedonistic, and several other nistics I can't call to mind because you're standing on my left foot."

"Leroy?" said Gilhooley.

"Well who else would be debating my opponent in the coming mayoral campaign," said Stray Lake's mayor, Leroy Wertzbrimmer, as he poked his head around the garbage can. "Dammit, Blue, get off my foot."

"But Blue never talks," said Doc. "Don't you remember the last election?"

"Only vaguely," said Leroy. "And of course he can't talk, which is why I have to do both sides of the debate. And boy, does he say some dumb things."

"How do you manage to separate those dumb things from what you're saying?" said Lou.

"I throw my voice," explained Leroy. "So when I say dumb things and the garbage can says them, I know I'm not saying them."

"I fear one or both of our mayors is showing aptitude for higher office," said Doc. "Lou, give me a double."

"Me too," said Gilhooley. "And can I get takeout from the kitchen for Mom?"

"Absolutely not," said chef Juan from the kitchen. "The last time I took out your mother, she was an octopus."

"If anyone mentions calamari, I am barring him, her, or it from our front door forever," said Lou.

Stray Lake

Al Licktensplit asks anyone who knows of his whereabouts for the last couple of weeks to give him a call and remind him before he goes home to Doris.

The Bartlett sisters have given up their dreams of fame in the movies and returned to Stray Lake, despite their parents' generous offer to finance a lengthier stay by selling their house and living in a pup tent. Mom says she and the old man may still live in the pup tent if the girls plan to settle in for a lengthy stay at home.

Bertie Evans asks that the portrait of her grandmother which was stolen from above her mantel last week be returned because her grandmother is threatening to come to live with her while a replacement is painted.

"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

Lou Hartstein will be selling his handmade wood models of the Eiffel Tower on the town square next weekend. Lou will be the one with the bandages on all his fingers. The Eiffel Towers are not exact replicas so if your interpretation is the Great Pyramid or the Leaning Tower of Pisa Lou will not be offended, especially if you buy one. He recommends not standing too close to the things because he ran shy of glue during their construction.

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.