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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

Sewage lagoon nature trail reopens

Wilma Whipstittle
Staff Writer/Photographer
The Stray Lake U nature trail around the town sewage lagoon is scheduled to reopen next week, pending arrival of new gas masks for hikers.

Making the announcement at a sparsely-attended press conference at the Tipple Time, university president Dufoise Trolleyhauler said the new masks will actually fit snugly over both the nose and mouth of the wearer and "probably leave fewer hikers retching when they stagger up the bank for fresh air."

This reporter wondered if hikers should not be referred to as staggerers, since they seemed to finish the trail in that state. Dufoise mused, "I guess that would depend on whether they start their hike with the recommended two to seven drinks here at the Tipple Time, which always makes for a more rewarding ambulatory experience, or whether they decide to try it cold sober. The cold sober people should be referred to as hiker-staggerers."

"Let's all have a drink on you and mull that one," said Lou the bartender. "By the way, I thought the state health people told you to close that trail permanently after one of their investigators staggered back to the capitol with tales about the mutant fireflies."

"First, what they don't know won't hurt them," observed Dufoise. "Second, that investigator was wearing no mask at all, not even a leaky one, and so his report of fireflies as big as buzzards was probably exaggerated."

"Don't say buzzards," warned Lou. "Chef Juan ..."

"Buzzards?" said sewer plant chief engineer Gilhooly Gramartripe. "Heck, I've seen those mutant fireflies carry off buzzards."

"I told you not to say ..."

"Buzzards?" said Chef Juan de Fuca as he poked his head from the kitchen. "It's a little early, but if they're already starting to collapse onto the deck overlooking the lagoon go out and grab a few. Tonight's special will be ..."

"Surprise us," said Lou. "And Gilhooly was talking about the mutant fireflies."

"Oh, those," said Chef Juan. "No flavor. They taste like chicken."

Dufoise frowned and said, "Trixie and I had the chicken and noodles last night."

"See?" shrugged Chef Juan.

"The chicken or fireflies were good," said Trixie Woozlebloom, the president's live-in secretary. "But the noodles were awfully tough and stringy."

"Those were probably my shoelaces," said Chef Juan. "I soaked my feet in the pot I used to cook the chicken and forgot to unshoe myself."
"One more, on me," said Lou, "and let's migrate the subject back to the nature trail. I notice the new brochure mentions wildlife. Is there something besides the fireflies and Gilhooly living in or about the lagoon?"

"Well, there are always your numerously mutant strains of bacteria crawling out," said Dufoise. "And Darnell N. Amphib, our biology professor who filed a patent on gene manipulating technology that will create chickens with lips, has been letting his smacker-equipped fowl have free range in that vicinity."

"Isn't that patent still pending?" wondered Lou.

"As is Darnell's psychiatric hearing," confirmed Dufoise.

"That must be what's been keeping me awake at night," said Gilhooly. "Those lipped chickens are making sucking sounds as they peck at insects."

"I thought chickens roostered at night," said Trixie. "Isn't it awfully hard to see bugs then?"

"Not when you combine the glow of the lagoon with the phosphorescent complexion the chickens have acquired while living near it," said Gilhooly.

"Sounds like no one will need the flashlight rental concession for night hikes," said Lou. "But tell me, Dufoise, who do you think might willingly embark on a hike on this trail?"

"Anyone who expects to receive a coveted sheepskin from Stray Lake U," said the prexy. "It's a requirement for graduation, and we charge a non-refundable fifty dollar trail hiking fee payable at student registration."

"I don't recall paying ..." began Trixie.

"You got a scholarship," said Dufoise.

"Is that like the ship when we play galley slave?" said Trixie.

"Let's all have one, or maybe more, on Stray Lake U, and think about the joys of nature," said Dufoise. "And Juan, bring us a platter of whatever tastes like chicken tonight."

"How do you like your lips?" asked Juan.

"Not a single word, Trixie," said the prexy.

Stray Lake

Head traffic disorganizing engineer Bert Fourway says that the six-way intersection at the junction of Edward, Harry, Thomas, Lewis, Norton, and Fielding streets will be dynamited sometime next week to make way for a new dog park. Drivers are asked to watch alongside the roads involved for burning fuses and take the best detours they can find on short notice. Residents of the streets involved are advised to tape up their windows, pack away any precious glass they want to remain precious, and hope for the best. Dog owners are advised to stay clear of the area until the dust has settled.

Tilly Mahoney has recovered from her St. Pat's hangover, according to Wallace Derby, who says Tilly winged him with several walnuts as he walked his pet guppy Leonard on the sidewalk across the street from her place. Leonard was unscathed. Town Marshall Carmella Casey says she is looking into any infractions of the law created by walking an unscathed fish in a public place.

Doc Pandemic is tired of people with allergies sneezing in his face and has set up an automated call line to record sneezes so he can ignore them.

"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 League for Something will meet a week from Thursday to vote again on what it is for. If a consensus cannot be reached, the league will change horses and decide on something to be against. Failing that, it will organize itself into a Political Inaction Committee and urge people not to vote at 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.