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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

Tipple Time says no to packing pistols

Wilma Whipstittle
Staff Writer/Photographer
Packing sidearms in bars and other public places was not an idea well-received at the Tipple Time as word got around regarding the state of Georgia's new "guns everywhere" law that allows firearms to be carried into bars, churches, schools, and government buildings.

"We even make Miss Matilda Chucker check her rod at the door," said Lou the bartender. "If she's going to shoot anyone in here, she's going to do it through the window from the parking lot."

"Why doesn't that make me feel safer?" wondered waitress Dorothea Deluney.

"She has a point," noted Doc Pandemic, who was taking a break from his rounds at Maid of Mercy Recuperation Clinic. "I've never known Miss Matilda to hit anything she was aiming at. If she was blazing away in here, the people in the parking lot or on the deck overlooking the sewage lagoon ought to be the ones to worry."

"But what about the packers who might hit what they aim for?" asked Lou.

"The only deer I've ever seen strapped over the hoods of trucks piloted by members of the Stray Lake Rod, Gun, and Cudgel Club are the ones they've run over," said Doc, "so your point is moot."

"Keep it clean, Doc," chided Dorothea. "There are children in our after school program waiting in the back booths for their parents to pick them up."

The Rev. Haskall of the Church of the Freewheeling Apostles, who had been working on his sermon at the end of the bar, offered, "Well, I don't think we ought to have firearms in our churches, either. After all, Jesus wasn't packing when they came to get him in the garden."

"Well history might have been different if he had been," observed Lt. General (Ret.) Droling Mudbinder, Commandant of the Stray Lake Unregulated Volunteer Militia.

The rev. downed his drink in one swallow, set the glass on the bar, motioned to Lou for another, and said, "I suppose that is a valid point, General. But consider this: when I warn the crowd at a wedding that if anyone has an objection and it ought to be made now or never, what if someone begins to wave a pistol?"

"Shoot him," said the general.

"But I'm a man of the cloth," said the rev.

"Then strangle him with it," the general retorted. "You did study hand-to-hand at the seminary, didn't you? The chaplain in the Rough Riders when my great-grandfather shot Teddy Roosevelt in the buttocks as he charged up San Juan Hill could throw any man in the outfit."

The rev. downed the drink Lou brought, motioned for another, and said, "The Good Book ..."

"You don't need to quote the army manual to me," said the general. "Holy cow, there's that crazy Chucker woman! Grab that hogleg before she starts blazing with it."

"Arms control, General?" asked Lou.

"Damn right," said the general. "My flack vest is at the cleaner."

"I guess it depends on whose ox is gored," mused the rev.

"Ox? Gored?" called chef Juan de Fuca from the kitchen.

"Keep your shirt on," answered Lou.

"Please," seconded Dorothea.

"I guess Miss Matilda was just passing on her way to the library," Lou concluded as the sound of gunshots began to fade.

"Just the same, I think we ought to have the militia establish a perimeter," said the general.

"Look, General, I explained that people get sort of put off when they see the place surrounded by armed men," said Lou.

"Well they would probably feel better about it if they were armed themselves, wouldn't they?" said the general.

"Well then, if I surround the church every Sunday with armed men and women, and invite the congregation to come armed, you think the crowds would get bigger?" asked the rev.

"And probably be self-limiting," said Dorothea.

"Look," said the general, "I'll let women carry weapons in the militia, but I'm not going so far as to allow them opinions."

"Juan, can I borrow a big knife?" said Dorothea.

"Sorry, I need all of them right now" said Juan. "Miss Matilda must have winged a bird, because one just flopped onto the deck overlooking the sewage lagoon. I can't quite identify it, but ... what the hell, it's close to a buzzard. The special will be ready in ten minutes, Lou."

"Then can I have the knife?" said Dorothea.

"Excuse me, I have to go to the Stray Lake U baseball game," said the general.

"Let's hope no one who is packing disagrees with an umpire's call," said Lou.

Stray Lake

The memorial service for Tom Aachen has been cancelled due to Tom being found hiding out in the woods behind his house. Don't put the black suits and dresses away just yet, though, for Tom's wife Hilda had blood in her eye when the rescuers dragged him into the living room.

Wilmer and Dorene Hibbits will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary this week at the Tipple Time. Friends who want to drop by can find them as usual in their respective booths, which may account for the longevity of their romance. (Incidentally, Lou the bartender urges those who feel they need some acknowledgement of their congratulatory wishes to arrive before Wilmer finishes his fifth drink, and after Dorene gets her sixth down.)

Highlight of the Stattler-Porkerhouse nuptials last week was the duet of "I Love You Truly" by Persephonie Lemster and her basset hound, General Grant. Word is there was not a dry eye in the house. It is unfortunate that the bride and groom had to miss the performance, being forced to leave just as it started to catch the bus for the gambling casino in Loomisville, where they spent their honeymoon.

"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 proposed Stray County ordinance prohibiting the construction of cellphone towers within 200 yards of a house of ill repute has been passed for a third reading. Stray County Commissioners will have a fourth reading sometime next month. They planned to have it the same night as the third until ordinance opponent Gilda Freetonsil declared, "I think it is rank discrimination. Citizens of this great country should be forced to endure the ugly things regardless of their race, religion, profession, taste in shoes, or lack thereof concerning any or all of the aforementioned," at which point commissioners agreed by nodding in unison to adjourn to the Tipple Time and try to figure out what Gilda had just said.

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.