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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

Town council votes to privatize itself

Wilma Whipstittle
Staff Writer/Photographer
The Stray Lake Town Council voted unanimously last week to privatize itself

"The private sector has always been better at doing everything than government does it," explained Second District Councilperson Louise Taylor-Gumblatt. "So when we hire ourselves to run the city, we'll be getting the benefit of good business sense plus paying ourselves twice for the same job, which sounds to me like really good business sense."

Fourth District Councilperson Jay Fliptrickle, Jr. was also enthusiastic, noting, "As elected members of the council, we have to worry about pleasing the citizens who vote us into office. As private contractors, we don't have to give three hoots and a damn about what anybody thinks."

A dissenting voice was raised by Committee for Raising a Dissenting Voice president Cabot Terminage, III, who voiced at the Tipple Time while sampling Chef Juan de Fuca's poached flat things from out on the bypass.

"The immortal words of Theodore Roosevelt, 'Speak softly and carry a big stick,' come immediately to mind," said Cabot. "And our committee will be selling big sticks tomorrow morning in case anybody wants to beat the town council over its collective head with them. How is that for privatization?"

"That sounds like a veiled threat," said Third District Councilperson Paul Boxtuttler, who was discussing the situation with Alternating Mayor Leroy Wertzbrimmer a few stools down the bar.

"Let me unveil it," explained Cabot. "Unless you cut us in on some of this privatization business we will foment riots and mayhem."

"I believe you will have to get permission to foment from Doc Pandemic and the health department," Leroy observed. "And anyway, most of us have been vaccinated against that sort of thing. I remember getting a shot before I started third grade."

"I drank half a quart before I started that year," said Paul's second wife, Ernina. "That old spinster teacher Miss Whackstaff was enough to drive anybody to drink."

"You are missing my point," said Cabot.

"Thank God," said Ernina. "I was beginning to worry about myself."

"Wait a minute, didn't you tell me you fell in love with me and decided to become my second wife when you laid eyes on me on the first day of third grade?" said Paul.

"Isn't there already enough pain in our relationship?" said Ernina.

"Now that's the point," said Cabot.

"You're having an affair with him?" said Paul.

"No, but I'm considering buying one of his clubs to beat you with," said Ernina.

"Let's all calm down," said Lou the bartender. "Everybody have one on the house and enjoy the breeze coming off the sewage lagoon."

"Say, I think I smell a compromise," said Leroy. "Cabot, how about we privatize the sewer plant to you and your committee?"

"Can we take home the profits from the Bacteria Bloom Festival?" said Cabot.

"You can even take home the bacteria," said Leroy.

"Whoa now," said Lou. "Those bacteria add a lot of flavor to just about all of Chef Juan's creations."

"Okay, leave the bacteria but you can take Gilhooley Grammartripe. He's been living rent free in his office at the sewer plant for some years now, and if we are going to privatize things he will have to fork over for the lodging. Trouble is, we don't pay him enough to pay anybody rent, so privatization will solve yet another of our vexing dilemmas."

"Vexing dilemmas?" said Cabot. "If you're still sober enough to get that out, we need to negotiate for a few more hours so I can get a better deal. Bring us another one, Lou, and charge it to the council's committee on privatization."

"I don't think we have such a committee," said Leroy.

"Then I will form a private committee and you can outsource the job to me," said Cabot.

"I think I'm beginning to see the big picture of this thing," said Leroy.

"Or maybe the bacteria are just fomenting with unusual vigor tonight," said Lou.

Stray Lake

The fire department requests that no one burn anything down this week while the pumper gets an engine overhaul.

Erskine Goetz has apologized for shooting Maude Chotle's parakeet, Ralph, last week, explaining he was actually gunning for his wife's pet hamster which had escaped and was crawling up Maude's house on her cracked and broken vinyl siding. The Stray Lake Society for the Fairly Decent Treatment of Animals and Blood Relatives Who Are Bunking With You was unimpressed. Society president pro-tem Harvey Ginhaler noted, "If Erskine would stop pointing that antique blunderbuss of his at animals and try to wing a few people, Stray Lake would be a more humane place, at least from an animal's point of view." Erskine was unavailable for comment, being still in recovery from his wife's club over the head with his blunderbuss. Services for Ralph are set for next Wednesday at the Tipple Time, where he will be part of Chef Juan's pickled hors d'oeuvres and free popcorn. The hamster has not been since topping Maude's siding, but just before Erskine lost consciousness after the blunderbuss clubbing he opined a hope that the little rodent would end up as one of Juan's poached flat things from out on the bypass.

"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

There will be a silent auction next Tuesday during nap time at the Drop 'em & Forget 'em Preschool.

It's always time at the Tipple Time

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Any resemblance to any person or persons in this material should give same strong impetus to seek medical help and, coincidentally,
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