A continuing tale of life in the boonies

No. 191

Strange bedfellows

Although details are still sketchy, it seems that an unlikely collection of local activists is currently forming an underground political front to support secondhand stoves and freezers king Royce Hodgdon in his heroic and unequal struggle against the massed apparatus of the state.

These monarchists, rumor has it, consist of N.R.A. supporters, Good Ole Boys, a section of Farmington Historical Society, Feminists and the N.H. Licensed Plumbers Association, and while their plan of attack is as yet unknown, their separate reasons for being drawn into this battle must warm the hearts of all patriotic Americans appalled by bureaucratic despotism.

Feminists - Their argument runs thus: If it were big macho cars and trucks this guy was selling with bimbos in skimpy briefs sprawled all over the hoods he would be permitted to stuff as many as he could out front of his showroom and never have to worry about exceeding 500 square feet, but just because he happens to sell stoves and freezers, items long associated with a life of drudgery for downtrodden women in the kitchen, it is offensive to the eyes of a white male dominated Town Hall and judicial bench to see these domestic objects on display; and so they are classified as junk whether or not they are perfectly serviceable pieces of (cont. on page 94). Thank you, the feminists.

N.R.A - Our position is: Stoves and freezers banished today? If we sit idly by and allow this to happen then you can be sure these liberal namby-pamby, tree-hugging politicians will be pushing to get grenades and bazookas outlawed tomorrow. We strongly oppose all interference with the right to bear secondhand appliances in your own front yard and we are already circulating the names of those legislators associated this unpatriotic ban to all of our 57 million members nationwide.

The Good Ole Boys - Why we support Royce: It is a badly-kept secret that a bunch of us guys like to mosey along to Royce's place late on a Friday afternoon, shoot the breeze and kill a few Buds. Nothing wrong with that, right? And with a nice healthy crop of stoves and freezers out front it is pretty hard for our old ladies to spot us as they drive by, peering in. But now, with our cover threatened, we will be as conspicuous as moose on a baseball diamond. So hands off our stoves and freezers, and yuh, how about a couple of those friendly bimbos to ... Aaargh! (Feminist knees Good Ole Boy.)

Historical Society - The Scholar's Tale: Painstaking research has shown us that some sort of chaotic activity has been conducted on this little site next to the Cocheco ever since records began. When Europeans first came to Chemung (as Farmington was then called) where Royce's shop is now there was a tepee selling mended cooking pots. Scattered all out front, they were, along with sticks for whacking laundry. Very picturesque. Well that was back in around 1748, and a couple of years later in 1750, or was it 1751? Hmm! I should know that. Memory's failing a bit. Need young people to take an interest in this stuff. Where was I? Oh yes, 1751 ... (Shuffles off to consult a tome.)

N.H.L.P.A. - New Hampshire Licensed Plumbers Association have been closely tracking events at Farmington Appliance Center and issue the following statement: Sirs, we respectfully bring it to your attention that while we have no direct interest in stoves and freezers, those items being primarily fueled by gas or electricity, we do have a great professional concern with secondhand washing machines as these contain Pipes. We therefore take this opportunity to point out that under RSA 945:47 (b) iv, Subsection 2 it is unequivocally stated that unless special provision is made under RSA 251:15 (d) iii, paragraph two, then any washing machine falling under classification F of the state's Plumbing Code, Section 47 (removal from vicinity) must first be examined by a properly licensed plumber. Penalties for failure to comply with this rule, according to RSA 398:2 (m) xii, result in ... (cont. on P. 94). Faint sound from rear of paper of plumbers and feminists fighting for the floor)

Meanwhile ... I ran into Royce himself, this week, just as he was pulling out from his store with a truck and a trailer loaded high with old kitchen appliances. He was heading for Madbury Metals to change enamel into hard cash, and I asked him if he had managed to get all his excess stock into one trip.

"Heck no! This is my ninth load and I got at least three more to go. I never knew I had accumulated so much, to be honest with you," grinned Royce.

He talked about a new lease of life, getting his loading dock built, fixing up the crusher, and other such plans as befit secondhand appliance men who are there to stay. He was a man unconsciously converting setback into victory.

November 23, 1991

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