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The Archive, October - December 1999


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October 24th
Use Your Vote!
Wymsey flag This week the Wymsey Chronicles implores all it's readers to exercise their democratic duty and VOTE in the Wymsey Independence Referendum. For once a poll really will effect your future! The poll question is straightforward: "Should Wymsey become independent of the United Kingdom?"

In a further development, our mailbag has been full of support from all over the world with only a couple of desenting voices.


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No French Shortages
In Wymsey:

Miss Edith Chomsky, Wymsey Post Mistress, told the Chronicle this week that there would be no shortage of French products at the Post Office and General Store. "We will be maintaining our usual wide range of French commodities and if necessary we will take the van over on the ferry to ensure the people of Wymsey can continue to enjoy the usual wide range of quality products from France. Naturally, this does not include their Golden Delicious apples but then the French don't eat those either. We have a fine collection of Fransoise Hardy CDs, sub-titled black and white art films, onions, garlic, baguettes and those little metal models of the Eiffel Tower. "

In an earlier development (see past issues of the Chronicle) Miss Chomsky decided not to stock American walnuts this Christmas due to Clinton's banning of Dah Dits Cough Drops.


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Down Our Lane
with Sam

Well, my dears, it's all happening, as they say in North London. I spoke to my sister, 'er what lives there, and she says they are all putting a brave face on it but the reality is that people are beginning to look a little drawn. Like she says, French food is the essence of North London existence but the besuited smoothies will have to make do with our own Somerset Brie - unless, of course, they have friends in Wymsey, which they don't. I said to my sister, I said, "Don't you go expecting me to be sending up French food parcels 'cos I won't be doing it." What really worries me is if that gang of smiley goons decide to ban French letters.

Makes me laugh, it does, 'cos I reckon them Frenchies is the best friends we ever had - look at all the other things they've given us like that book Frenchmans Creek, the Foreign Legion, courgettes, pette poir, Fransoise Hardy and Oh la la! All this warmongering and posturing gets my goat I can tell you.

From where I stands - my garden gate - winter seems a bit slow this year and there's those that says it's down to that there global warming stuff but me I reckon it's got more to do with memory than much else. Anyways, don't forget to check those veg you've stored away for the winter - as recent events show - rot spreads like nobody's business.


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Blaah Julius Blaah
Backs England:

Ex-Parish Councilor and failed European Parliamentary candidate, Julius Blaah this week nailed the Union Jack to his TV aerial and slammed the Parish Council over the independence issue. "The whole idea is insane and goes to show what a crazy bunch of space cadets are now running the village. They trip from one mad cap scheme to another and never look both ways when crossing the road. I am writing to the Home Secretary and the Minister of Defense demanding that the government sends in the Army to restore order. We need to get back to the sanity that existed before this lot were elected." A sked about the impending war with France Blaah told us that he was ready to do his bit and his view had nothing to do with the fact that he was part owner of Watchester Slaughterhouse Ltd.

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Vote Now!


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November 12th
Gnome Lover
Berates Wymsey

Ms Cathy Ratkiss This week the Chronicle was somewhat belatedly contacted by GnomeWatch USA who object to the village's attitude to Gnomes, vis a vis, our Millennium Statement, (regular readers will know the whole sad story). "Gnomes have a wonderful culture and have much to teach us," said Ms Cathy Ratkiss who is National Co-ordinator Person and Chairperson of the Arkansas chapter of GnomeWatch USA. She is also head of the Department of Gnomic Studies at the University of Rural Arkansas.

We understand that Ms Ratkisser will be asking questions of her congressman.


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Queen Consults Trevor
Queen and Trevor This week Trevor Mornington - Crescent was summoned to Buckingham Palace to advise the Queen about the Wymsey situation. As Ambassador At Large In Waiting, he informed the Queen that the Village was very unhappy with the attitude of the UK government, it is understood that She relied, "One knows what you are saying and one sympathises but one would be very sad to see Wymsey leave one's Commonwealth, would you like another cup of tea?"

Uncle Trevor's wisdom is renowned in the environs and on the World Wide Web, his column Ask Uncle Trevor has fast become a favourite with Chronicle readers.


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Down Our Lane
with Sam

I remember my old granny saying, "Never trust a man with holly in his pockets." How right she was! She was one of the last wise women and certainly fey, sadly such people just faded away after the war with Hitler.

Poor old Vera Snodging fell over again last week, me I'm getting fed up with it. This time she got away with a bificated thingy but it means I have to be over there every five minutes which takes me away from me hens.

Have you been and voted in that there independence referendum? I know I have. Last I heard it was going at 10 to 1 in favour. I did like the look of that Frenchie lady, her with the legs and good English, can't wait 'til she moves here - I'll be round there with my eggs I can tell you. Vera Snodging says I'm an old goat but she's the one to talk I says.

'Had a begging letter from me sister, her what lives in North London, said she couldn't get hold of the latest Fransoise Hardy CD and that life was becoming unbearable. So I wrote straight back to her saying as she and her friends up there had made their bed without the French and they would just have to lay in it. 'Seems to have silenced her, that has.

Well, global warming or not, me late rocket and coriander is looking pretty healthy still. Did you put in your garlic, I know I did and beggar me if some dam cat didn't go and dig it up so I've put me name down for one of them Glasgow Dingo pups with that Flora McFlora cos I reckons if they're so good with the weasels they ought to give a cat a thing or two to think about.


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November 26th
Gnome Issue Not Dead?
Ms Cathy Ratkisser of GnomeWatch USA Ms Cathy Ratkisser (left) of GnomeWatch USA stirred up a hornets' nest when she protested at Wymsey's Gnomophobia (see last week's issue). "It's alright for her," said Mary Tumblin-Barker, "she wouldn't have to wake up to it every day. Such a nice looking young lady too."

Leon Leatherhead Dr Leon Leatherhead (right) of the Department of Modern Rural Artifacts at the University of Watchester (UWAT), on the other hand, told the Chronicle, "I think that Cathy has a point, she seems to know what she is talking about and GnomeWatch USA has long been a force to be reckoned with. It saddens me to think that Wymsey is not big enough to accept a gnome."

The Chronicle has received a number of letters supporting the views of Ms Ratkisser. GnomeWatch can be contacted at GnomeWatch@mail.com


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Strange Man
Found Up Tree

Strange man up tree Drama was the order of the day when Watchester Fire Brigade was called to the Green where a strange man had lodged himself in the boughs of Wymsey's oldest oak. Smiling insanely he told members of the fire crew to leave him alone. "If I was a tree frog or a gnome you wouldn't give me a second glance. I just came up here for a bit of peace and quiet and to get a different perspective on things."

A large crowd gathered as the man produced a packet of sandwiches, an apple and a bottle of Dr Pepper from his backpack and proceeded to eat his lunch. The fire crew retired to the Crown & Thorns to discuss tactics over a pint of Winter Brew. The strange man later climbed down and was last seen walking along towards Watchester.


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December
Cable Company
Causes Chaos

Wymsey Cable The Watchester based Wymsey Cable brought the centre of the village to a complete stand still this week when it's contractors began laying fibre optic cables which in their words will " drag Wymsey into the 21st Century." A trench was dug around the village green (see map) to create what the Company call the 'local loop'.

cable digger Villagers watched aghast as the Millennium Trench, as one local put it, gradually encircled them as they sat on the Herman Kranzig Memorial Bench waiting for Sam to open the Crown & Thorns. Ex-schoolmaster and local historian, John Applegate was livid, "I'm livid I can tell you,there's been nothing like this since the Enclosures, they just moved in and started drigging. Nobody asked us if we wanted their dam cable network, we're all wired up with WebSpin, bloody fools."

A spokesman for Wymsey Cable told the Chronicle, "We have much to offer Wymsey, much that is already enjoyed by much of England. There is no need for villagers to be so aggressively dismissive of our technology, it's plain old fashioned." It is understood that ex-Parish Councilor, Julius Blaah is a director of Wymsey Cable.


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Down Our Lane
with Sam

Well my dears, what a rare old couple of weeks it's been I can tell you. The whole dam gnome thing being dug again and the village green surrounded by a girt big ditch by those cable jonnies. Still they do say that the end of a millennium is a time of strange goings on. And that man up the tree, what do you think of that then? Me, I reckons he was one of them spies sent down by that Tony Blair, him with the funny look, to see what we was plotting.

Still that American gnome woman has some good points by the looks of her but then, as Vera Snodging says, I have a soft spot. Talking of Vera, the old sot has been told by the doctor that she has to give up the gin on account of it affecting her balance. Just shows what seven years at medical school does for you.

It's gone a bit quiet on the independence front what with the English prime minister having a baby and the French still throwing up into the Channel at the thought of getting BBC disease from British beefburgers - god bless 'em I say!

So, Christmas is coming and I'm going to spend it with my sister in Swanage, her with the bungalow. I'm only going 'cos I likes the beach when it's stacked up with seaweed rather than ice cream wrappers and fat old men with pink bellies and fluff in their navels.


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December 17th
Gnomes Threaten Wymsey
gnome GnomeWatch USA this week informed the Chronicle that gnomes world wide were angry and rebellious over Wymsey's rejection of a giant 350 foot gnome as the village's Millennium Statement (see NoNomes Nohow, sic). Cathie Ratkiss (see last weeks Chronicle) of GnomeWatch informed the Chronicle that angry gnomes were dangerous gnomes, "they may have small backs but once they are up it's time to run for cover. The Siberian gnomes are particularly fierce and will stop at nothing once powered up. gnome2 The trouble with you guys is that you are used to British gnomes who are extremely good at appearing docile to the extent that they often look like statues. I think you guys in Wymsey are in for a big shock come the Millennium."

Local smallholder and pig breeder, Leslie Smith suggested yesterday that we should put up "Wymsey Welcomes Gnomes" signs on roads coming into the village, "I bet the little blighters would love that and it would give us a certain credibility." Local support for gnomes would appear to be on the cusp and if you want more information contact GnomeWatch.


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Cable Company
Unrepentant:

Wymsey Cable The Watchester based Wymsey Cable, the company that last last week brought the village to a complete standstill, remain unrepentant in their attempt " drag Wymsey into the 21st Century."

A call to the Company's Customer Services produced amazement when we suggested that there was no demand for their dubious products in Wymsey. The young lady refused to give her name 'oh, I can't tell you that Sir' and went on to say that everywhere the Company lays cables people flock to get connected. But what about our lumpy road surfaces and uneven pavements we asked. "Oh, that's not us Sir, that's the contractors." Who might they be we wondered. "Oh, I can't tell you that, Sir." Could we speak to her supervisor we asked. "Oh, no Sir, she's on maternity leave." The Department Manager? "Oh, I'm very sorry Sir but she is on a management training course."

Chompsky Goose
Goes Missing:

goose Post Mistress, Edith Chompsky, was distraught this week when she discovered that the goose that guards her general store and post office was missing. "I've been so happy with her, she was a real boon after my divorce - more like a friend than a bird. I dare not begin to think what her fate might be, it's only the need to serve the public that keeps me going. This will be a miserable Christmas for me, I can tell you."

Miss Chompsky told us that the goose had been instrumental in her recovery after her short but disastrous marriage and that she had recently given a talk to the Wymsey Women's' Circle entitled 'Ditch Him and Get a Goose.'


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Prehistoric Wymsey?
monster rider In an unprovoked attack on the village, Ms Cathy Ratkisser of GnomeWatch USA proposed that Wymsey should have a dinosaur as it's Millennium Statement. "This would be in line with your rampant gnomophobia and show just how prepared you all are to deal with challenges that face us all."

In a further development we hear that Ms Ratcatcher has been made European Regional President of GnomeWatch. "All the better to keep an eye on you." she told our reporter, Charlie Stebbings, "I shall be seeking Observer status at the European Parliament and will be pressing member countries to sign the Declaration of Gnomic Rights."


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October 24th
Tony Blair UK PM Delays
Wymsey Visit
As England
Goes To War:

The English Prime Minister, Tony Blair, this week announced that his intended visit to Wymsey would be postponed for the foreseeable future. A spokesperson from the PM's Office told the Chronicle that the impending war with France necessitated all his attention and the problem of Wymsey was a trifle in comparison. (Yet again the English government uses words that are surely calculated to inflame villagers.) Asked if the Prime Minister was aware that Wymsey had signed a declaration of understanding with the French Government who were dispatching a senior diplomat to the village she replied, "No but it sounds like treason to me." After a pause she said, "Umm, does that mean you will have plenty of brie and truffles?"

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Happy New Year!
Millennial fears are driving locals to distraction, "I'm quiet distracted," remarked Vera Snodging, 87, of Granite Cottage, Church Lane, "and I'm not the only one." Wymsey Seniors Lunch Club is so concerned that they have decided to bring New Years Eve forward to November 13th. "This way, whatever happens on December 31st we will be able to celebrate the end of the millennium and also experience a few weeks of the new one," Secretary, Mrs Jo "Ronnie" Biggs, told us this week.

The Lunch Club is advising their members to post New years greetings now and to use the Wymsey card service.


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Wymsey Embraces
Trade War Boycott:

dm Residents of Wymsey were this week adamant that they would not be taking up arms in the trade war between the England and France. As local historian and retired schoolmaster, John Applegate puts it, "We don't want to be identified with this English prejudice, vis-a-vis, the French. Ever since the arrival of the Normans Wymsey has been pro-French. My recent researches show that it was the arrival of the De Mandibles in 1069 that really put Wymsey on the map. As itinerant cartographers this family were well placed to do that sort of thing and we have much to thank them for."

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French Diplomat
To Visit Wymsey

French Diplomat A spokesman for the French Office of Foreign Affairs announced this week that they would be dispensing a senior diplomat to advise the Parish Council in it's present conflict with the English Parliament.

Madame Cheri Bastilles is expected to arrive in Wymsey this week and will immediately go into talks with the Council. Chairman, Gordon deStompe told the Chronicle, "We expect to lean a lot from Madame Cheri, she is a very experienced woman and it's great to have her on our side."


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Rotundians Slim Down:
More than half of the membership of the Wymsey Rotundians resigned this week over the independence issue, it is understood that will form a new Rotundian branch which will be known as The Old Retundians. Led by ex-Parish Councilor Julius Blaah they have pledged to fight any moves towards independence

The Chronicle understands that many of these breakaway members do not actually live in the village and the Wymsey Rotundians are demanding that they be called Not The Wymsey Rotundians.


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FLC Corodos Rebels
Follow Wymsey:

The Leader of the Corodos Liberation Front (FLC), Danio Es Spirito, this week emailed the Chronicle offices, "Greetings dear friends in Wymsey - it's us again," it read, "Thanks to our revolutionary web pages, with chat and midi files, we are following your machinations and we have to tell to you that they are an inspiration to us.

We will prevail, Vive Wymsey, Vive Corodos, Vive France!" (See the earlier issue.)

Since being featured in the Wymsey Weekend the Island Republic of Corodos has become embroiled in a revolutionary uprising.


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November 12th
Blaah Effigy
Burns Beautifully

Blaah burns This weeks Annual Bonfire on the village green was once again a huge success, with flamables supplied by all and sundry. The Guy Competition attracted 32 entries and the official winner was Cherry Hinton with her Giant Mac but cheers went up when an enormous effigy of ex-parish councilor, Julius Blaah was driven up on a tractor trailer and lifted onto the bonfire by three masked members of the Wymsey Young Framers. Members of the current Parish Council were forced to turn a collective blind eye but at least one, Major General Barking-Barking, was heard to be choking on his own laughter.

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Phoney War
Over By Christmas?

Tony Blair According to the English prime minister, Tony Blair, the war with France will be over by Christmas. "The Christmas period is far too important to both the economies of England and France for either country to allow this current problem to continue after the end of November," he is quoted as saying. Once again another English adventure goes astray in order to avoid shipwreck on the stock exchange and leads to a victory for French two-finger diplomacy.

As far as the Chronicle is concerned we just watch from the sidelines and report what we see - tee, hee, hee.


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French Diplomat To Buy
Home In Wymsey

French Diplomat After a successful diplomatic visit to Wymsey Madame Cheri Bastilles indicated that she intended to purchase a second home in Wymsey. "I loved your village and people. I deeply admire your independent spirit which is so like my own country." Madame Bastilles told the Chronicle that her talks with Parish Council were very exciting and pointed to much closer relations in the future. "I just love the atmosphere in the public bar of the Crown and Thorns and would like to live in Church Lane near to that nice Glasgow Dingo lady."

We understand that should Wymsey become independent Madame Bastilles will be appointed French Ambassador and her new home in the village will become the French Embassy.


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Stuffe Urges
Millennial Calm:

Ernest Stuffe World famous philosopher Ernest Stuffe this week reacted to local fears of Millennial Mayhem. He told those attending a seminar at the Ernest Stuffe Institute(ESI) in Wymsey that there was no point in raising blood pressure over the issue. "If things go wrong it will be a timely lesson for those people who have become slaves to technology. Let their toast burn, their traffic lights stall at red and their electric screwdrivers reverse. Not many bicycles will fail come New Years Day. I'm sure that those of you that participate in the connected world will have availed yourselves of a copy of ESL Computing's Y2KOK software. So my friends, forget the Millennium, chew a clove of garlic and focus on the here and now." he told his spellbound audience.

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FLC Corodos Rebels Cheer Wymsey:
The Leader of the Corodos Liberation Front (FLC), Danio Es Spirito, this week once again emailed the Chronicle offices, "Greetings dear friends in Wymsey - it's us again," it read, "Thanks to our revolutionary web pages, with chat, midi files and RealAudio we are following you with glee! We will prevail, Vive Wymsey, Vive Corodos, Vive France!" (See the earlier issue.)

Since being featured in the Wymsey Weekend the Island Republic of Corodos has become embroiled in a revolutionary uprising.


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November 26th
Ex-Parish Councilor
To Be Father:

Ex-Parish Councilor, failed European Parliament candidate, church warden and local business man Julius Blaah this week announced that his wife was pregnant. "It came as a complete shock to me," he told the Chronicle, "goodness only knows how it happened." Cynics were heard to be saying that it was only the first step in an attempt to rehabilitate himself politically in order to run for the Mayoral Election in May.

"Baby Blaahs the village can do without," said local pig breeder, Leslie Smith . Local BabyWatch UK spokes-person, Natalie Romper, told us, "How nice, a Spring baby is such a joy - where would we all be without babies?"


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Blaah Named
As Love Child Shock:

Miriam Twain, spy Shocked villagers were stunned last weekend by claims in an English newspaper, The Sunday Tribulator, that ex-Parish Councilor Julius Blaah was the love child of local spy Mrs Miriam Twain and her long dead controller at Lympshire County Council, John Julius Smith who was Chief Engineer with the County for over thirty years. Julius Blaah, love child. When we contacted Mrs Twain in her new home at the Forked Bend Sheltered Housing Project in Yorkshire she told us, "You have to call me Miss Mary Twunk now as I've been given a new identity as well as a home in this safe house. Well young man, I knew Miriam Twain very well and I can tell you that she only did the spying for the money but what you're suggesting she would not have done for any sum and if she had she sure as hell would not admit to it. Now you have to go as it's time for my aroma therapy."

Mr Blaah was unavailable for comment, we understand he is visiting his off-shore bankers in Belgium.


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Helicopter Buzzes
Rosebud Cottage:

helicopter Rosebud Cottage in the Church Lane was buzzed three times this week by a mysterious unmarked helicopter. The cottage is the home of Julia St. Carlton Es Pernier, ex-super model Torquay and she was understandably angry at the invasion of her privacy. Julia, ex-supermodel Torquay Group Captain Charlie "One Engine" Bisto, public relations off icier for RAF Watchester told the Chronicle, "It was not an RAF helicopter - you can tell ours because we paint targets on them - the only thing I can think of is that we have had a number of officers from the Air Force of Corodos. The AFC have been carrying out acceptance tests on a new machine for their Counter Insurgence Force so it might have been them.

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December
Christmas Pantomime
Off Again:

For the second year running there will be no pantomime in the Parish Hall at Christmas, after the audience rioted in 1997 at the final performance of the Wymsey Arts Club's musical adaptation of Macbeth the Parish Hall Committee is reluctant to allow the proposed production The Naked Mistletoe Seller to go ahead. "It's not the nudity that bothers us but we think the plot is far too pro-French and we don't want to push the English government too far too fast," a spokeswoman for the committee told the Chronicle.

We understand that the heroine of the pantomime saves the French Mistletoe Industry after a large English supermarket chain cancels a 1m order due to the French reluctance to catch BBC disease from British beef. She achieves this by selling French Mistletoe naked on the streets of London and ends up being made Lady Mayoress of Paris.


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December 17th
Sleigh bells Roasting
On An Open Fire:

A Seasonal message from the Editor:Once again Wymsey has become embroiled in the season of goodwill, this happens every year and strains the populace to the limits. We wonder where it will end. This being the Millennium Rollover Holiday there is likely to be even more goodwill around than usual, families will be spending over two weeks together being nice to each other so it is likely that facial strain will be at a maximum.

At this time of year the Wymsey Diaspora will be packing their bags and checking their flight details before heading for the Village and when they get here they will spend the holiday telling anyone who will listen that the best thing they ever did was to emigrate to Belgium / Corodos / Arkansas / Canada, etc. The Chronicle wonders why they bother to come back.

What really upsets villagers is the absolute impossibility of sitting down in the public bar of the Crown & Thorns as visitors attempt to escape hosts and hosts try to avoid visitors Last year disgruntled locals were seen to be lining up two hours before opening time.

The Emergency Department of Watchester General Hospital told the Chronicle this week that all staff leave had been canceled, "At the time of year we experience a dramatic increase in familial injuries," a spokesperson said.


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Down Our Lane
with Sam

It's nearly here then with all that being jolly and smiling at strangers and kissing Vera Snodging under the mistletoe - gets me every year she does. Did you read about that Edith Chompsky's goose going, bet that will be looking good on someone's table come Christmas Day. I did tell her to watch it but no one takes a bit of notice these days, everyone thinks they know best but there's some that do and some that don't.

What do you reckon to that there Cathy Ratkisser then, is she something or what? Last I heard she was saying that what we needed were some prehistoric monsters to complete the picture plus closer ties with England. Damn me if we ain't a little too close as it is. Still she seems to have her heart in the right place and her other bits too.

Me, I'm sitting by me fire with old Shep snoring on the rug and me thoughts are turning to the homemade Elderberry wine under the stairs and other great years for Elderberry wine. That would be 1994, 1990, 1985, 1980 and then me memory starts to fade with each good year spilling into the previous one - that's time and Elderberry wine for you me dears.

Still it's a boon not to have to be out there turning the soil, weeding, planting and reaping the harvest - damn garden, can't see as to why I does it except that I lives in the country.

Did you feel sick when you heard that Cliff Richard song - I know I did, swore at the radio I did and tuned into some static, serves the dam fool right I says.


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An Ohio Christmas:
A Resident recalls:The township of Briarhop Corners will this year celebrate Christmas as it has to done since 1875 - excessively. On the day before Christmas all fit men will take part in the Annual Turkey Slaughter and Drinkout, usually the womenfolk stay indoors. Later we will all go down to the Chinese Laundry for the Annual Bath and Soakout, Mrs Chan usually locks herself and two daughters in the cupboard under the stairs. We usually dry off by setting fire to a boarded up store out on the highway.

Warmed up, the next event is the Annual Bar Bust - we go to the one we missed last year to give the other a chance to recoup expenses - any bottles left we take with us to the Christmas State Highway Road sign Shootout. Last year, Alchem Yakanvich cheated by using a sub-machine gun so this year he's Highway Patrol Watchout. Then we all go down to the chapel to sing carols. Ahh, those old fashioned Christmases!


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