A continuing tale of life in the boonies

No. 190

The Leaning Tower of Freeza



The general tone of this week's column will be elevated (Hooray! - Ed.) with an intelligent discourse entwining Euclidean geometry, Italian architecture, legal labyrinths, stoves and freezers.

First, students, take out your pencils and notebooks for the following spatial problem. What volume is occupied by a figure four feet high by 150 feet long by 20 feet wide?

Yes, very good, 12,000 cubic feet.

But supposing a district court judge were to curtail the length and width of our figure to 500 square feet, how high would it have to rise to occupy the same volume as before?

Quickly ... do I hear 24 feet high? Correct.

Now we're going to complicate things, so hold on tight. What if a bureaucrat from the Department of Tourism tells you circles are a bigger draw than squares, work out the circumference of a stoves and freezers tower which occupies the legal 500 square foot base, but which has an inner core of 250 square feet containing an elevator shaft, emergency stairs, revolving restaurant and a postcard booth? And what must be its height if the constant of 12,000 cubic feet is to be maintained?

Too confusing? Okay, don't worry. We'll briefly leave geometry and go to medieval architecture plus legal labyrinths and their influence upon the exterior display of used stoves and freezers in northern Strafford County.

The famous campanile known as the Leaning Tower of Pisa shoots up 179 feet into the Tuscan air and millions of people annually gawk at its 16-foot deviation from the perpendicular. So can you imagine the boost to local tourism (especially in the absence of the Horseshoe Hall of Fame - see below) if Mr. Royce Hodgdon, working strictly within existing legal restrictions, constructs such an eye-catching used appliance tower on his South Main Street property?

Believe me. Everybody will come out a winner.

Meanwhile, back at the geometric conundrum (and notice how everything is falling into place?) ... the answer is 79.272 feet! Royce must erect his tower of stoves and freezers in accordance with a blueprint showing a circumference of 79.272 feet. Then the leaning tower, and you can bet it will lean, must rise 48 feet to permit all his present 12,000 cubic feet of stoves and freezers to be displayed.

But this is America, so think big. Let's shoot for 180 feet and really start packing in those tourists to ogle at the world's tallest tottering structure - the Leaning Tower of Freeza. Such a magnificent edifice will satisfy Judge Carignan's restrictions, for its radius of 12.614 feet will give a base covering 500 square feet precisely. Furthermore, the tower will contain a central landscaped patio measuring 17.841 feet in diameter, where the finest Buds may be sipped and local delicacies savored amid avant garde surroundings and the twittering of song birds. Plus, Royce will have gained 45,000 cubic feet of second-hand appliance display space!

Work on this New Age masterpiece is expected to commence almost immediately, for Royce must report his progress to Judge Carignan on his next trip to Farmington District Court on Oct. 23.

Meanwhile a $3 prize for christening the appliance crusher is awarded to Mrs. Cora Staples of Somersworth for her entry "The Patriotic Helper." Cora obviously realizes Royce's enormous contribution to the ecology of this planet by recycling and refurbishing old machinery despite the hurdles placed before him.

The Horseshoe Hall of Fame

What follows can only be described as the most crushing of disappointments and an indication of the awesome behind-the scenes power of Farmington Woman's Club. This column recently offered $3 for the best sentence starting out: "I feel the National Horseshoe Hall of Fame should commandeer Farmington Woman's Club because..."

It offered the cash believing a Horseshoe Hall of Fame would give that magic shot in the arm to our local economy, way and beyond the sale of playing cards engendered by the Woman's Club.

Well! Not a single entry from town, beyond a rash of impudent cards all traceable to Ramgunshoch. I even asked local florist Stuart Pease for his thoughts on the subject, thinking his trade would soar once the demand for horseshoe wreaths took off. But strangely, Stuart declined to make a public utterance suggesting the women be winkled out of their premises, although a twinkling eye betrayed an inner thought.

I suppose I could award the $3 to one of several out-of-town entrants, but realizing the attendant publicity may place these persons in severe social jeopardy, I will put the money back in my pocket and my eggs in the tourist basket entitled The Leaning Tower of Freeza.

Fishing and other school news

Ken Beaupre, principal of Farmington High School, announces that he has caught a ton of rainbow trout this season thanks to some sort of power bait sold by Kmart. This stuff looks like playdough and doesn't even have to be squeezed into a worm-like shape but just jammed on the hook and the irresistible scent does the rest. It all sounds vaguely unfair.

Oh, I almost forgot. Ken also says there will be an open house at FHS on Tuesday, Oct. 22, from 7-9 p.m. during which parents will have a chance to discuss students' progress in addition to debating the ethics of power bait. And any dry academic discussions that occur can be washed down with apple cider.

A thought for your pennies

Vicki Plante, chairperson of St. Peter's Parish Church 14th Annual Penny Sale, announces the date of this year's event as Saturday, Nov. 2, in the high school gym. That's the Burtman Rondeau Auditorium to use its Sunday name. Refreshments will be augmented by hot food now there's power bait for you. Full info from Vicki at 755-2511.

October 19, 1991

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