A continuing tale of life in the boonies

No. 178

High society lowdown

After years of failure, Farmington Corner has managed to infiltrate the prestigious bosom of New Hampshire high society by having a spy unwittingly accepted into the powerful Farmington Woman's Club.

However, our courageous agent filing this report on such an omnipotent group of ladies is fearful her social standing will be jeopardized if her cover ever gets blown. Therefore, whenever Mrs. Fred Astaire is mentioned, readers should be aware this is really a protective pseudonym. Also, folks should realize that in the shadowy world of espionage, agents can sometimes be fed false information, and so the eyebrow-raising revelations that follow may contain a few wisps of hyperbole. (Or great coils of nonsense - Editor)

How many people know that in the past few years the membership of FWC has quietly doubled and now stands at 95, larger than the combined strengths of Farmington Lions, the Road Crew, Tack On Pounds Slowly, and the Henry Wilson Winter Carnival Steering Committee? Stealthy local recruiting and the absorption of homeless Alton ladies when their own club took a dive have contributed to this phenomenal surge. And growth has certainly been converted into political clout as the two flourishing sidewalk trees outside the Village Bouquet and Greenery can attest to.

In theory, according to Mrs. Fred Astaire, membership of FWC is open to all, yet subtle, invisible barriers seem to deter those women who fight over cords of wood on Main Street from dusting off and seeking admittance to the ranks. Perhaps it is the glaring omission of a No Bare Feet sign on the club's front door that throws some aspirants into confusion. Does this mean bare feet are welcomed or so loathed they are unmentionable? Toe b. or not toe b. - that is the dilemma! (In her dispatch, incidentally, Mrs. Fred Astaire said she witnessed only fashionable clad pedal extremities.)

Could it also be that the somberness of the oak paneling acts as an unintended deterrent to younger ladies accustomed to walls bedecked with Harley-Davidson regalia? Perhaps, to them, the FWC premises are vaguely reminiscent of a courtroom. And then there is the heady fragrance of lavender sachets everywhere, conjuring up sepia-toned images of Victorian grandeur or a bunch of old fuddy-duddies, depending on the extent of one's horizons. So many subtleties. So many invisible barriers.

But what of the induction ceremony for novices? Astaire is nervously hazy on this point, but says the birds involved are of the type commonly featured on the pages of National Geographic magazine. Following the ritual of acceptance, initiates are shown how to prepare a secret concoction by pouring scalding water over heaps of tiny brown leaves.

The shuffling, dealing and furious study of playing cards appears to loom large in FWC activities and Mrs. Fred Astaire caused many eyes to narrow suspiciously when she admitted an ignorance of the rules of bridge. To regain the membership's good graces, however, she volunteered to sit by the club window and watch for Brownie sneaking up with a chalk stick on parked cars.

One Friday per month, the club has a special program which entails a guest speaker sharing his or her particular expertise with the membership. Among the fascinating lectures in the offing, according to our spy's information, are:

Advanced Washer and Dryer maintenance featuring Royce Hodgdon

Ice House Racing Tips from Willis Berry

How to Paint Moon of the Popping Trees by Numbers with Jeannie Blinkinsop-Blinkinsop

The Key to Harmonious Co-existence starring Swami Johnson and Maharishi Nash

Patch Your Own Pothole by a mystery expert, and

A special Horticultural Pep-talk by twice Gardener-of-the-Month, Bubber Haycock and the Boys. (Small Whorled Pogonias no problem. How many d'ya want?)

Further dispatches from Mrs. Fred Astaire will be aired if and when they are received.

Fishing news

Past Mudder-of-the-Month Crowbar Tufts it was, I believe, who had to fish a vehicle out of Northeast Pond after it went through the ice recently. Meanwhile angler extraordinaire, High School Principal Ken Beaupre, says he has been catching zilch lately, shoals and shoals of 'em, striped zilch, snub-nosed zilch, rainbow zilch, razorbacked zilch... wherever zilch swim, in fact, Ken's right there.

Pothole of the Year

With the perennial exception of River Road, potholes do not seem to have raised their heads yet in large numbers, but in the coming weeks there are bound to be a few beauties out there. Last year, the Rochester Courier, in its magnanimity, established a three-foot high (or deep) Pothole of the Year trophy (topped by a tractor) to be competed for annually. The current holder is Mr. Roger Belanger, a garbologist, of Farmington with a Route 153 monster called Jaws, that beat allcomers in 1990.

Farmington Corner is now seeking nominations for Pothole of the Year 1991. Send in a postcard (or call 332-1182) with the location, description, and name of your choice pothole - it should be embedded within the readership area. Photographs and horror stories are welcome. Closing date for entries is March 13, 1991.

Desert Tigers

A total of 21 former graduates of Farmington High School have yellow ribbons displayed with their names thereon at the Goodwin Library to denote their participation in Desert Storm, and Dorinda is eager to receive information of anyone who might be missing from the following list:

William Merrill, Andy Servitas, Keith Gagne, David Funk, Jr., Edward Cilley, Michael DePalma, Edmond Bernier, Gary Hubbard, Mark Cardosi, Mark Hill, Donald West, Michael Kuligowski, Christopher Lover, Jeffrey Conner, Thomas Todd II, Robert Russell, Brian Tuck, William Miller and Rick Carpenter.

February 25, 1991

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