My Fresh Hell
Life in Scribbletown.

Kuntry Kurrents

Okay, I’ve put the computer up on a higher table and wiped the slobbery prints from the keyboard. I think it’s safe from Red now but you never can tell with that kid. She’s sly – and has quite the boarder house reach these days.

Anyway, Friday is the day that the county’s local newspaper comes in the mail. It used to be published twice a week until the publisher/editor died last year and the paper was bought by some small conglomerate that publishes small local papers. It’s not as fun as it used to be but the typos are worse. So much of it, after headline news about new and delayed real estate development, board of supervisor’s meetings and high school sports, is hokey old-timey “kuntry”-related columns and letters from residents.

My favorite section is the “neighborhood network” written by women correspondents who simply put together whatever submissions they receive from people in their areas, in a disconnected hodge-podge way. If you’ve ever wanted to immerse yourself in the unnecessary use of quotation marks, this is the section for you. Here are some recent examples (I’ve left spelling errors and typos intact because, well, that’s the whole point, but I’ve changed the names):

“In Ash Creek, some students gave out free cool aid to anyone willing to donate to the cause...”

“Russell Smith has an 80-pound pumpkin growing in a field across the fence from his backyard. Last fall he threw an over-ripened gourd into the field and this began the pumpkin patch. It gives new meaning to “Reap with you sew?””

“My one and only; grandchild Karen Anne Bowling, remembered me last week with a lovely grandparents’ day card, which definitely ‘made my day.’”

And, I especially love the announcements about upcoming community/fund-raising meals. The menu is always listed. In Friday’s paper, there were two of these:

“The XYZ Ruritan Club will have its annual steak supper on Oct 1 from 5-7 pm at the club house. The meal will include steak, baked potato, green beans, salad, dessert, rolls and drink.” Drink? You go to the trouble to list the dinner items (and I’m happy to see that the steak dinner does actually include steak) but you can’t tell me what beverages will be on hand?

“The ABC Ruritan Club will start up with their all you can eat salt fish breakfast on Saturday, Sept. 17, 6:30-9am. The menu will include fish [!], eggs, bacon, potatoes, apples, juice, coffee, biscuits corn muffins.” See? ABC can list the beverages. Why can’t those lazy so-and-so’s over at XYZ?


In other local news, I got held up on my way to the grocery store on Saturday by a road block. Only one side of the road was open and my side had to wait. I could see a long line of vehicles, including cop cars with their obnoxious blue lights strobing. My first thought was: accident. As I got closer, I counted seven cop cars along with other vehicles owned by just folks. As my line was finally able to snake around the blockage and go on our merry way, I saw two canoes in the lake filled with people. Then I saw the newspaper car. I thought, “Hmmm, this is more than just a multi-car accident.” Not to mention the fact that there was no evidence of a crash. No smashed cars, no ambulance.

On the way home, same deal. Only this time, there was a local news reporter standing at the boat landing talking into a tv camera. There was also a Virginia Game Warden SUV that hadn't been there before. Clearly, the mystery was solved!

The Loch Ness Monster has been spotted in Hanover County!

Sadly, when the Sunday paper arrived it turns out that some old guy drowned in the lake while fishing. I was sorry to hear that but also kind of bummed that my theory was wrong. Oh well. But, still, don’t you think seven police cars was a little much for a drowning? I realize that crime is low in my county and the cops don’t have enough to do, but unless there really is a monster in the lake, seven cops in one spot seems like overkill.


Dusty and Red have been dancing their pants off this week to James Brown’s “I Got Ants in My Pants (and I Want to Dance).” Makes you want to shake it a little, too, just thinking about that song, huh? Thought so.


12:24 p.m. ::
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