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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

Pope will not visit Stray Lake

Wilma Whipstittle
Staff Writer/Photographer
The Vatican says Pope Francis is not planning a visit to Stray Lake, despite persistent rumors circulating in Stray County.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, a Vatican spokesperson who claimed to have seen the Pope on TV told the Signal-Gazette, "The guy may be a humanitarian, but he's not crazy."

Talk of a Papal visit surfaced last week at the Tipple Time, according to Lou the bartender.

"A bunch of nuns stopped in for a few drinks," Lou recalled. "They had a few more than a few, and I recall hearing them talking about which booth the Pope would like if he should drop by. Do you remember that, Dorothea?"

"I always remember nuns," said Dorothea Deluney as she set a tray of empty glasses on the bar. "I went to Saint Whatsit School, so I remember nuns."

"Well do you recall them talking about the Pope visiting?" said Lou.

"I always hide when I see nuns, so no, I don't," confirmed Dorothea.

"I remember it," said sewer plant chief engineer Gilhooley Grammartripe. "They drank shots with chasers and ate buzzard wings."

"That doesn't sound like the nuns at Saint Whatsit," said Dorothea. "Maybe I should have stuck around."

"And maybe I should have paid attention to that call about a bunch of nuns in a fistfight in a parking lot at Stray Lake U," said Town Marshall Carmella Casey. "I just figured it was a prank call. Heck, I've never busted a nun."

"And you don't want to try," said Dorothea.

Seeking some ecclesiastical advice, Lou looked to the end of the bar where the Rev. Haskall of the Church of the Freewheeling Apostles was working on his sermon and asked, "Rev, have you even seen a bunch of nuns get into a fistfight?"

The Rev. gave it some thought and said, "No, but I do recall seeing two deacons come to blows over a matter of church policy."

"That's awful," said Dorothea. "Fisticuffs over doctrine?"

"Actually," explained the Rev., "it was over which Sunday school class should buy the next keg for the immersion ceremonies. And it wasn't fisticuffs. They alternated blowing into each other's faces until one passed out from the fumes."

"I have never inquired where your divinity degree was obtained, and I do not think I ever will," noted Lou.

Doc Pandemic strolled in to order a nerve soother and remarked, "That must have been some fistfight in the parking lot at Stray Lake U the other night. I had to reorder thread, Mercurochrome, and even needles after I sewed them all back together."

"You sewed a bunch of nuns together?" asked Dorothea.

"Not actually sewed them together," said Doc. "I just patched them up one at a time. And boy, I'll bet the audience at the Stray Lake U Theatre's performance of 'Nunsense' the next night had to wonder what was going on."

"Well, that's one thing I don't have to wonder about," said Lou. "However I will have to break the news to chef Juan. He's trying to find holy water to baste his wings."

"I can get my cousin to show up if the Pope really isn't coming and Juan is set on serving wings to a noted religious figure," offered the Rev. Haskall. "My cousin is a bishop in the Church of the Trembling Vineyard by the Foaming Sea and the Sliding Hillsides, in California."

"And does he have a degree to proclaim this?" said Lou.

"Of course," said the Rev. "From the Betty and June Kilgore School of Radio and TV Divinity and Online Sales Scams, in Omaha."

"Just when I thought we had offended almost everyone," said Lou.

"It's a correspondence school," explained the Rev.

"Go ahead, whittle the non-offended group down a bit more," said Lou.

"Okay," said the Rev. "I can do the holy water."

"Don't stop there," Lou encouraged.

"For a small fee."

"That ought to hold us for this edition," decided Lou.

Stray Lake

Stray Lake U is considering adding a Master of Obfuscation degree (M Obf Dg) to its repertoire. "The field is of increasingly global interest," explained SLU President Dufoise Trolleyhauler. "In light of the university's continuing examination of the fundamental thrust of our ongoing efforts at improving our strategic planning as we think outside the box, we felt we should proactively explore in a preliminary way the ramifications of such a course of potential action. And in any case, a degree in double talk and lying ought to get you a political job just about anywhere, so we figure to clean up on the tuition receipts."

The family of Lou Horndecker asks that anyone having information about Lou's whereabouts let him know where he is.

Doc Pandemic says he has treated at least 10 people for Race Track Blindness after last weekend's triple auto race spectacular of the Grand Prix of Monaco, the Indianapolis 500, and the Charlotte 600. He advises others who keep seeing automobiles of one sort or another roaring past their vision to go to the Tipple Time and have a drink on the deck overlooking the sewage lagoon. "The booze or the fumes or the combination of the two should clear up just about anything," Doc noted.

"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 Kravner Egg Farms and Brewery will hold its annual tasting event, "Raw Eggs and Rawer Brew," next weekend. The celebration is free and open to the public, but LaGrange Kravner reminded parents that only half the menu will be open to youngsters. "We don't want the kiddies to get salmonella, do we?" noted the egg and beer baron.

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.