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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

Court upholds chef's right
to keep ingredients secret

Wilma Whipstittle
Staff Writer/Photographer
Stray County Judge Wilbert Wimmer has ruled that chef Juan de Fuca does not have to disclose the ingredients in his recipes. Citing recent court rulings allowing anonymity to suppliers of lethal drugs used in prison executions, Judge Wimmer wrote, "If it's okay for the state to kill somebody with a secret ingredient, it's okay for Juan to give 'em a little food poisoning."

The ruling was unanimous, Judge Wimmer being the only magistrate in on it.

At the Tipple Time, chef Juan said he was pleased.

"I still plan to market my secret sauce for buzzard wing basting," he explained, "and I don't want any imitators."

"I don't think you have to worry about that," said Doc Pandemic as he calmed his nerves between rounds at Maid of Mercy Recuperation Clinic. "Folks around here have gotten used to that stuff you slather on everything that comes out of the kitchen, but people who don't have seasoned stomachs might not fare so well. I mean, you've been trying to get someone to market that secret sauce for years."

"I want to know what is so secret about it," said sewer plant chief engineer Gilhooley Grammarptripe. "As near as I can tell it's ketchup and sewage lagoon water, about half and half. Heck, I was the one who clued Juan about lagoon water. I've been using it on everything for years, starting with my breakfast cereal."

"I hesitate to call what's in the sewage lagoon water," said Doc, "but Gilhooley's dining habits prove my point. Only a stomach pickled with lagoon juice could stand that rotgut he puts away here at the Tipple Time."

"I resent that," said Gilhooley. "I drink that rotgut in Loomisville, too, when I go to the gambling casino."

Attorney Bumbles Hatrack, who represented both sides of the case before Judge Wimmer, said he would appeal the ruling.

"I've talked the plaintiff into the appeal," said Bumbles, "and I'm sure Juan will hire me to represent him again, since I won this round. And If Juan should lose the appeal we'll go to a higher court. Heck, I could retire on this one."

"Just who is the plaintiff?" wondered Corp Rampmeter, Editor and Publisher of the Signal-Gazette.

"He or she wishes to remain anonymous," said Bumbles.

"That's illegal," said Corp. "I'll file a request under the open records law."

"I can handle that for you," said Bumbles.

"I really wish you'd get someone else, Corp," said Judge Wimmer as he strolled up to the bar. "Nothing personal, Bumbles, but I'm getting sick and tired of looking at you in my courtroom."

"I could wear a disguise," suggested Bumbles. "Maybe Perry Mason?"

"I'd have to object," said the judge. "Juan, are these appetizers today's wings or ... no, I don't want to know. If the ingredients can be anonymous, their age ought to be private, too."

"I'll object to that," said Bumbles. "If I can find a client. Wow! Look at that accident in Loomisville! That new giant television shows every cut, scrape, and bruise. Give me a couple for the road, Lou, I gotta get over there before they disturb the evidence or make off with potential windfalls ... er, clients."

"I better have one too," said Doc. "Looks like I'll be in the operating room all afternoon."

"If any buzzards suffered collateral damage, save the leftovers for me," said chef Juan.

"I thought you had a freezer full of buzzards," said Lou the bartender.

"Yes, but I've decided to do a guerilla marketing campaign for my secret sauce so I'll be making a video demonstration for YouTube and that will eat up a lot of my stock."

"To say nothing of creating havoc when it appears on giant screen televisions," said Lou.

"I can represent both sides," called Bumbles as he headed out the door.

This week in Stray Lake history

1904 - Carlotta Finch got the first indoor plumbing in Stray County when Stray Creek overflowed and deposited her outhouse in her living room. Carlotta was never quite the same and the outhouse was some worse for the wear, to say nothing of Carlotta's husband, Alford, who was in the outhouse during the event.

Stray Lake

Fire chief Randy Mossbreath reminds people that, with grilling season about to burst into flame, a few fire safety practices should be kept in mind. "Never use gasoline or unstable uranium products to start your grill," the chief noted. "Keep the grill a safe distance from the house. In most cases involving Stray Lake residents, that would be somewhere out-of-state. If you are using propane, be sure all your connections are tight or all your life insurance is paid up. And if you find something on the spit that you haven't put there, don't admit it when your neighbor comes looking for her cat."

Upon learning that May is National Recommitment Month Betty Harrison took action and sent her mother back to the state farm.

The gambling casino in Loomisville again reminds Stray Lake residents that players are not allowed to bring their own dice and cards to the tables, even if they do have notes from their mothers.

"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 Lake Garden Club Spring Plant Sale set for this Sunday has been cancelled. Maude Crawford evidently mistook poison ivy for Virginia creeper and the entire club came down with a fit of itching as they sorted their offerings. The club has rescheduled the sale for two weeks hence, when they figure most of them should be done with the chamomile lotion and Maude will be in Las Vegas finalizing her divorce from her sixth husband, whose name none of the club bothered to commit to memory. Please don't call for further information, as club members are cutting down on the itch by applying internal doses of buzzard-delivered home remedy from the Tipple Time.

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.