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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

Annual Firefighter-Police
snowball fight called "dirtiest ever"

by
Wilma Whipstittle
Staff Writer/Photographer
Tempers were still running high hours after the annual fire and police departments snowball fight last week degenerated into mayhem, landing six people in the ER at Maid of Mercy Recuperation Clinic while another three or four dozen nursed their injuries at the Tipple Time.

"My eye looks like it was hit by a snowball with a rock in it," lamented fire chief Randy Mossbreath as he sat at the bar.

"That's what happened, remember?" said Doc Pandemic. "Juan, get the chief a raw buzzard wing to slap over his eye."

"I thought it was steak," said Randy.

"It is," said Doc, "but Juan says there's only one left in the cooler and I haven't eaten since before this snowball nonsense started, so just shut up and slap the wing on it."

"You want sauce on that wing?" asked Juan.

"Just dip it in my mug," said Randy.

"I can't recall this sort of thing happening in past snowball contests," mused Lou the bartender.

"It hasn't," said Doc. "But someone evidently dug up some statistics that showed the annual melee was tied this year at 50, and the competition turned cutthroat."

"Don't blame the messenger," said Signal-Gazette Sports Editor Arthur T. Arthroscope. "Heck, I figured there'd be a big celebration on moving the event into a new epoch."

"New havoc is more like it," said Doc. "I've seen rugby matches with fewer injuries."

"Well it was Carmella's fault," said Randy as he gnawed on the buzzard wing.

"On your eye," Doc reminded him.

"She started training for the snowball fight," Randy went on, "making up formations and plays, studying Patton and Stonewall Jackson ..."

"Well we lost last year," said Town Marshall Carmella Casey, "and I just wanted to start the new havoc on a winning note."

"But there were rocks in your snowballs," said Randy.

"Maybe I can explain that," said Dorothea Deluney as she passed with a tray of drinks. "Last week, right at the end of my term as alternating mayor, I ordered a bunch of gravel for Gilhooley, at the sewage lagoon."

"The lagoon had eaten away the aerating fountain in the middle of itself," explained sewer plant chief engineer Gilhooley Grammartripe. "The mutant fireflies had nowhere to sleep."

"Then Leroy took over as mayor," said Dorothea.

"Let me guess," said Arthur T. "He thought the fireflies should sleep in the town square."

"No, he just didn't read the memo I left on the mayor's desk," said Dorothea. "So the gravel got dumped on the square. Then it snowed, and the cops didn't know the gravel was there, and so the snowballs ..."

"But the fireflies are safe," said Gilhooley. "They're sleeping on my ..."

"Please don't tell us," said Dorothea.

"So is all forgiven?" Lou asked Randy and Carmella.

"I suppose so," said Randy. "But next year, we're going to throw doughnuts at the police, then switch to snowballs when they start eating."

"Talk about playing dirty," gasped Carmella. "Do you suppose Judge Wimmer will give us an injunction forbidding that, Lou?"

"Not tonight," said Lou. "He's already asleep in his booth."

"Then maybe we'd better call the contest off," said Carmella.

"Now that's your sore winner," said Randy.

"How about you and me go outside right now and toss a few snowballs?" threatened Carmella.

"Oh, gee, I'd better get back to the clinic and set up some triage," said Doc. "Lou, give me a couple of go cups, and make them heavy on the go."




"The Tap Dancing Pig"

The Tap Dancing Pig
Yes, the pig dances in these laugh-out-loud stories, but he really wants to direct. There is also a cattle drive to make John Wayne cringe, a giant shrimp with an endless thirst, and a lighthouse keeper who has so many personalities he can't keep track of which one he's having a conversation with. Gleaned from over 20 years of humor columns, these 35 stories (and a couple of bonuses at the end) will keep you in good spirits. So settle back as the Lincolns and Grants play poker at the White House, Teddy Roosevelt hits himself with a big stick, and anarchists refuse to reset their clocks. Oh yes, there's a detective on the trail of the Fat Man, just so the suspense won't sneak up on you (the laughs will be out in the open). Read these tales one a day or gulp them in a sitting, it's your limit of laughter that sets the agenda. Available at the Amazon Kindle Store for $2.99, free download for

The Tap Dancing Pig


"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 steamy romance, with twists and turns of menace and intrigue, 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


It's always time at the Tipple Time

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Copyright 1996 - 2015, 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.