Santy Claus and the fruit cake bake-off, don’tcha know

Well if there isn’t snow on the ground today, just in time for our Lake WhaddyathinImean Santy Claus Parade and Fruit Cake Bake-off, don’tcha know.

Why right now, Twindle Mumbly is putting the last bit of topping on his 64-ingredient Santa’s-Gonna-Get-Fatter award-winning treat. How he gets all that in there is beyond ol’ Maybelle, but he’s been our top Lake W bake-off Meister ever since Scotch Burbun drowned in his own 100 proof rum-soaked fruit cake.

Why, bells are a-ringing, tinsel’s a-flyin’, and the little ones are putting extra stamps on their cards and letters to the big guy in the red suit.

But best of all…every body here in Lake WhaddyathinkImean is making presents for the wee ones just in case Santa has to lay off some of his elves and reindeer, don’tcha know.

Why even Vilma Yuccch has been tie-dying blue jeans and running shoes in sizes Really Teeny to Humungus, the biggest bein’ for Bogart, don’tcha know. Course being a bear and all, he probably won’t want to wear anything on his feet, although he does like flopping around in sandals in the cottage. But her psycho-dellic blue jeans just might tickle his fanny…especially if they’re too tight.

And how lucky we are having Vilma’s heartthrob, Officer Stanley Penelope McBottom, making all kinds of presents with his amazing new invention, the Stanley McBottom Bigger-Than-Anything-You-Can-Imagine-And-Then-Some machine.

Why right after the Santy Claus Parade, we’re all going to the Fruit Cake Bake-off INSIDE a ginger bread house! That’s right. McB, believing that anything is possible, turned a regular size fully decorated gingerbread house into the size of our Lake W curling rink, don’tcha know. Course he had to replace the jelly bean door knob with a real one cause it was too big to turn.

And oh, the sweet smell of it! Gingerbread walls, gingerbread ceiling, gingerbread floor. Just hope the kids don’t start eating it before the snow lets up.

As for the parade….Beanpole Starkman’s Tiger Moth biplane is aiming to be a sure-fire hit! Why he got Jeremy Cullers’ son, Jeremiah, and his friends, Nicholby and Ransom to help him paint and decorate it, don’tcha know. And with the help of Officer McB’s other new invention, the Stanley McBottom Tiger Moth Biplane Christmas Decoration Machine they’ve got a gazillion lights twinkling, twirling, and singing “Santa Baby!”

Now you all know ol’ Maybelle’s a gal who thinks a glass of milk is half full not half empty…well, there’s one more thing that’s making my heart pop. Twindle Mumbly’s twin brother, Stix Tooya, drummer with the rock group, Gastritis, and his whole band are here to play “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” at our Lake W tree lighting ceremony just before the parade starts on Main Street. And I can hardly wait to see them.

Gastritis’ bass player, Cliff Hanger, keyboard player, Bow Wow Epstein, guitarist, Shlemmy Kugelblintz, and my good friend, lead singer, Beans Bendel will all be there.

Hello very much.

Beans??? Oh my goodyness, Beans Bendel is here. How did you get in here?

Through that little door there.

Why I was just writing about you in my column.

Well that is making me very happy, because I came here to wish you very much happiness in this holly jolly season and fruit cake that makes your eyes glow.

Why thank you, Beans. And may all your chapattis be big ones.

And to all of you who are reading this right now … may your heart be as warm as pudding, your feet be as warm as toast, and may you know the peace and joy of kind words and an extended hand…yours, don’tcha know.

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Yer best expert? YOU! don’tcha know

I’ll tell you what makes ol’ Maybelle’s blood boil. It’s so-called experts telling folks things that just aren’t true. I’m talking about major general-citations, don’tcha know.

Like: Everybody needs to get SEVEN hours of sleep a night. Wait a minute!

EVERY BODY?

You? Me? Vilma Yuccch? Officer Stanley Penelope McBottom? Beanpole Starkman? Stix Tooya? Beans Bendel? Brad Pitt? Angelina Jolly? Everyone in the Lake WhaddyathinkImean telephone book? And everybody on our whole planet including Bogart?

I don’t think so.

Why we’re all as different as a bee and a porpoise. A rooster and a BMW.

Lindsay Lohan and common sense, don’tcha know.

We may all be part of the same flock with red blood runnin’ through our arteriors. And we may all have one nose, two eyes, and a belly that sags when we let it … but we’re NOT a flock of sheep, we’re humans. Un-numbered, free-spirited IN-DEE-VI-DUALS.

Why when poor Vilma read about some “expert” saying she needed SEVEN hours of sleep, the poor girl thought she was going to expire like spoilt milk. You see, Vilma was good fer sleepin’ a whole EIGHT hours a night. Now, she can’t sleep a wink from worryin’ about sleepin’ TOO MUCH!

Who are these people? Where do they come up with these wild procrastinations?

Uh, protestations? Hibernations? Oh you get my drift.

Then there are these so-called experts who tell us salt’s bad fer you. Well, fer some folks it probably is. But, just like us humans, not ALL salt is the same.

You got yer refined table salt that’s had all the good stuff taken out of it, then bleached, and other things added to it. And you got yer natural sea salts. All kinds of ‘em, including Himalayan organic salt that’s chuck full of minerals that our body needs, don’tcha know.

Too bad so much of the bleached kind is put into so many of our packaged foods. So you got to make sure yer not only reading BETWEEN the lines, yer reading the lines THEMSELVES!

Same with coffee. Now they’re saying it may lower yer risk of liver and colon cancer. And that’s peachy keen. But seein’ as how caffeine stays in yer system fer up to 12 HOURS … some folks, like yers truly, would be the rooster wakin’ up Lake WhaddyathinkImean at TWO O’CLOCK in the morning!

Why I can’t help but think that some of these “experts” must think we’re just plain stupid! Well, ol’ Maybelle will have none of it. I’ll make up my own mind, thank you. And when it comes to how much sleep I am needing or what I should or shouldn’t be eating…

Why the last time I slept seven hours I felt like I was swimming through molasses the whole next day. You see, I’m good with SIX hours sleep a night. Seven and you might as well plant me in the ground and water my head.

Coffee doesn’t agree with me neither. Why the last time I drank coffee I couldn’t stop blabbing through the music on my radio show and I stayed up all night watching the numbers on my blood pressure gizmo bounce up and down like the Dow Jones, don’tcha know.

As fer eatin’ salt, I stick to what’s natural and in small amounts. And my body likes it.

Now that’s just me. And that’s my point.  I listen to my OWN body. Cause I figure…if I’m feeling full of life and free of aches and ughs, then I must be doin’ something right. If I’m not, I follow my late Auntie Hester’s advice and surf the Net.

And boy if I don’t find all kinds of information that gives me a good circumspection, don’tcha know. Sure, I show it to my doctor. But the bottom line is … it’s what makes sense to ME that counts.

After all, who knows how ol’ Maybelle’s feeling better than ol’ Maybelle?

Til next time, keep smiling. And if you can’t crack a smile, then crack a joke. Why THAT’s good fer EVERY BODY, don’tcha know.

Nightie night.

Maybelle

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Look! Heroes in our own backyard!

I don’t know about you, but ol’ Maybelle’s gettin’ plum impatient with the likes of Tom Cruising, Angelina Jolly, and Bruce Willyuss gettin’ all the attention fer being action heroes in the movies when we’ve got REAL action heroes right here in Lake WhaddyathinkImean, don’tcha know.

Like my good friend, Vilma Yuccch.

Why even when she’s busy with her tie-dye sleeves business, she’s busy bein’ a volunteer firefighter. That’s right! Vilma’s got a walkie talky contrapulation stuck to the end of her arm. Why that girl’s on call 24/7!

Sure it kin ring smack in the middle of kissing her significant smother, uh, OTHER…Officer Stanley Penelope McBottom. But a call fer help, and Vilma’s there in a nano-second. And oh boy, is McBottom ever proud of her.

Twindle Mumbly volunteers, too. Why he kin be taxidermy-ing a cow when his emergency contrapulation goes off. And sure enough, if he doesn’t jump into his volunteer emergency ambulance right out back of his B&B and Taxidermy to take somebody to a heli-port or hospitable, don’tcha know.

Even Beanpole Starkman volunteers. Why every fall he drives his Tiger Moth bi-plane down Main Street in the Thanksgiving parade…as a FLOAT! And oh how the kids roar when they see a real live scarecrow driving it.

Then there are all those folks who give their time sprucing up the village with flowers, pumpkins, and cornstalks each year. Just thinking about all that organizing makes ol’ Maybelle’s eyes swirl.

And how about the Lake WhaddyathinkImean Leegion gals who make the best finger sandwiches and hot meals, cakes and cookies fer community socials and the like.

And the folks who sort and sell things at the Lily Ann. Who bring supplies to the food bank. Who paddle their canoe at the award-winning volunteer radio station in Holyburton. Who do a gazillion helpful things at all of our Lake W events.

And just think about all the Lake WhaddyathinkImean-tonians who play in the Wind Simfanny, the Swingin’ Band, and who act in our summer plays.

Why you shoulda seen Officer McB and Vilma Yuccch in Streetcar Called Desirable. Him yelling: Stellaaaaaaaaa! And Vilma forgetting being in a play and yelling back: Stanley, it’s VILMA!!!  The audience sure liked that.

And good ol’ Liam McDougal from the post office.  He gave Dustin Hofferman a run fer his money in Phantom of the Oprah. Or was it Death of a Salesperson?

Plus the good folks who make people smile at our Lake W retirement home and hospitable…storytelling, strumming guitars, or just talking to folks who have nobody else to talk to.

You might say, Maybelle, it sounds like practically everybody in Lake W is a volunteer.  And I’d be saying… it’s a real come-UNITY here. Lots of people taking turns being each other’s best friend, uh…HERO!

Now, if I sound a bit gushy it’s just cause I’m proud to be where the REAL action heroes are alive and well and living…right here in Lake WhaddaythinkImean!

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Lake WhaddyathinkImean’s Balls-a-flyin’ Fun Raiser, don’tcha know

Boy oh boy, the excitement from our Bowl-to-swim-a-thon yesterday here in Lake WhaddyathinkImean is still thick as pudding and sweet as molasses. Everybody came out to Clarisse and Charlie Crumcatcher’s Balls-A-Flyin Bowlin Alley, just off Main Street on Willie Lane next to Hair-So-High beauty and toe-nail clipping parlor, don’tcha know.

Some folks came to watch and cheer fer the teams. Others were a-throwin’ balls, raising money fer something we need real bad here in Lake W … a community swimming pool!

That’s right. We got so many folks with Arthur-itis, new knee caps and hip problems and no place to exercise them in the winter, don’tcha know.  And we all know how good swimming is fer that.

Why we don’t even have an indoor mall where folks can walk about in. And the roads are just too icy to be driving an hour away to go swimming in some other community’s swimming pool or to go walk in some strange mall, don’tcha know.

And that’s not all. We also have too many kids who don’t know how to swim. That’s right. And we need to, living next to the biggest lake in the county. Plus, it’s just a good healthy way to spend time with family and friends.

So our Lake WhaddyathinkImean Balls-a-flyin Fun Raiser was just the right way to get us closer to getting that pool.

Now I could tell that Beanpole Starkman was there before I even set foot in the place, cause his Tiger Moth bi-plane was parked right next to Officer Stanley Penelope McBottom’s police cruiser.

Even Bogart was there to roll some balls for the cause. After all, he’s not just a furry face, don’tcha know.

All told, we had us 4 teams with 6 players on each. We called our team, the Missfits. Kinda revolusionary like teenagers.

Vilma Yuccch tie-dyed her hair for the occasion…pink and green and purple. Officer Stanley McBottom wore a bowling shirt he got at the Sally Ann with somebody else’s name on it.  Folks kept calling him Burt all day long.

Burt! Wow, a strike!…or Burt! Get yer Dr. Pepper out of my poutine!

Twindle Mumbly kept tripping over the glow-in-the-dark shoe laces on his rented bowling shoes… and I think the ghost that’s living in his bungalow came to the bowling alley with him, cause every time he rolled a ball, it went right between the pins. Every time! Poor Twindle got so fluster-ated he threw himself down the alley and knocked down all 5 pins with his head!

Well, when Bogart saw that he growled so loud it set the disco ball a-turning and the confetti buckets to rain down from the ceiling all over the mini-cupkakes Clarisse and  Charlie Crumcatcher were passing out.

The kids went crazy, screaming with laughter, and that’s when it broke out into a FUN raiser and everybody just started dancing.

Sybil Beaucannon Hughes set herself on the laps of every buffed volunteer firefighter there and then locked lips with her favorite resident, Neville … her husband of forty-seven years.

Balls-a-flyin’, friends a-laughin’…confetti, sticky cupcake frosting fingers, poutine, soda pops, raffle tickets, donated prizes…and in the end we raised $3,500 dollars more than we had before we started.

We just may get that swimming pool yet!

Nightie night.  Maybelle

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Booga Booga, don’tcha know

Seems everywhere I look these days there’s talk about the world coming to an end. On tv, in the movies, the InnerNet. Even right here in Lake WhaddyathinkImean, don’tcha know.  Only thing that’s missing is frogs falling from the sky.

Imagine that…instead of Beanpole Starkman crashing his biplane into my deer feeder and wood shed, it would be FROGS!

Well, ol’ Maybelle LIKES frogs, so that doesn’t bother me a biscuit. What DOES is everybody getting themselves in a twist about it.

Now my good friend, Sybil Beaucannon Hughes, has taken to wearing a rubber band around her wrist. The kind that comes with yer broccoli, don’tcha know. Why she’s heart set on snapping herself out of dark thinkin’ right when it happens.

Yep. Every time she thinks somethin’ that makes her feel bad she snaps that rubber band and wakes herself up. Why Sybil’s whole arm from her wrist to her elbow looks like a bright red beef steak tomato, don’tcha know. But you should see her eyes – they’re a-shining so bright you have to put window shades on to see ‘em.

Well I agree. It’s time to put the ol’ Boogy-man in his place … in a poofy pink tu-tu, a red clown nose, and big floppy over-sized shoes. Get him dancing like a puppet on a string.  A string you hold right in the palm of YER hand.

Problem is … I know some folks won’t even try Sybil’s rubber band Davie and Goliath teckneek.  And ol’ Maybelle’s trying to figure out why.

Hmm. Well, maybe it’s cause part of our noggin tells us it’s wrong not to be afraid when things around us are telling us we should be. That if we go around smiling and happy when everybody else in Lake WhaddyathinkImean is walking around all sixes and nines … we’d look like a care-less fool about to trip over our own shoe laces, don’tcha know.

Why folks might think we were selfish, even crazy. And then maybe we’d start thinkin’ that about ourselves, too.

But then I’m a-thinkin’. What kinda neighbor would ol’ Maybelle be if I didn’t try to shoo that ol’ wolf away? That Boogy-man that says it’s wrong to be enjoying today, right here, right now. Our beautiful Lake W, the bluejays and the robins, the sky streaked with light. Sharing a laugh with my good friends, and with you, too, reading this…when the world’s in a stew.

Well, right now the only things stewin’ ol’ Maybelle are the black flies and skeeters. Do I want to be stewin’ about doomin’ and gloomin’? (Oh my…that rhymes, don’tcha know).

What’s that Bogart? He’s been looking over my shoulder reading what I’m a-writing. Seems my furry friend’s got something to say. Bogart, turn on yer thought/voice synthesizer tam o’shanter hat soze I can hear what yer thinking. Good bear.

Mama Maybelle. Just because a wolf shows up at yer door doesn’t mean you have to let him in.

That’s right! Why in the world world would I do that?  Oh, Bogart, yer not just a furry face.

I think I’ll buy some broccoli.

Nightie night.   Maybelle

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That’s What Friends Are For, don’tcha know

I’m over the moon giddy ’cause ol’ Maybelle’s gonna be telling stories over the summer in the Echo newsie paper in Holyburton, don’tcha know. That’s right. And there’s  nothin’ I like more than telling real stories about real people right here in Lake WhaddyathinkImean.

Why just the other day Bogart decided to take up piano lessons. That’s right. Somehow he got it in his head he wants to be a lounge singer, and figures if he kin akkompany himself while he’s singin’ Frankie Sinnatra toons, he kin get a lot more jigs, uh, gigs.

Well, it hurt me to half to tell him bears don’t sing in lounges, but he said everyone will want him to. He’s gonna put a video of himself playin and singin “I did It My Way” on YouTube, don’tcha know.

Mama Maybelle, he said, it’ll be a big virus hit and everybody will want me. I’ll even get to be on the David Letterperson show.

Bogart’s not just a furry face, don’tcha know.

Well, I was a-wantin’ to get Bogart into that little picture with me, the one that’s goin in my newsie paper column, don’tcha know. But he’s too big and it’s too small, so it’ll just have to be ol’ Maybelle and my hair.

And taking that picture became a real community project around here.  After all, it’s not like ol’ Maybelle has her picture taken every day. What should I wear? A hat? Dungarees? Birkenstox? Hiking boots?

Wait a minute, I thought. Wear whatcha always wear, Maybelle. You’re tellin about what goes on here, every day-like, so keep yer overalls on, sit in front of yer microphone where you do yer radio show (in my cottage kitchen, don’tcha know) and just be natural.

But I’ll tell ya it didn’t happen that easy. Why my good friends Vilma Yuccch and Sybil Beaucannon Hughes came over here re-arranging my hair, puttin’ me in hats and outfits the likes of which those skinny models in Vague have never seen.

Well, if Beanpole Starkman didn’t keep flyin’ his Tiger Moth biplane in circles over my cottage like he was expecting ol’ Maybelle to be hatched all brand new or something.

And just as Vilma was puttin me in shiny white vinyl disco boots and Sybil was a-sprayin my grey hair PINK… there was a big pounding at my door.

Well, if Twindle Mumbly and Officer Stanley Penelope McBottom didn’t show up to watch the specktacle. Twindle  brought binnoculars for a real close look, and some Frankie Sinnatra records and a bust of Lootwick Van Beethoven for Bogart. Officer McB brought popcorn and a big nervous kiss for Vilma.

Well if my heart didn’t bubble up like pancakes on a griddle…the way my friends were there to help me and Bogart.

It’s like that here in Lake WhaddyathinkImean.  Friends do what they kin to keep each others wheels turning and dreams a-spinnin.’

That turned out to be the most wonder-full thing of all. To know that and feel that. And to remember that, especially when the folks you love kin also make you crazy sometimes.

Yep. We’re all perdy rich in this community … with friends.

Nightie night.   Maybelle

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Those Astro Illogical Gremlins, don’tcha know

Why I must have heard from 10 listeners today complaining about some injunction or compunction or …conJUNCtion betwixt Saturn and Uranus, don’tcha know. Seems it’s causing all kinds of mishaps, mischief,  and mayhem.

The kind that make you wanna jump back in bed and hug your hot water bottle.

I can tell ya I sure didn’t want to believe it. In fact, tonight I stood out back of my cottage looking up at the sky moving this way and that, trying to out-smart those planets by being out of range of their mischief, don’tcha know.

I mean those little itsy-bitsy stars looked so harmless bein’ so far away.  But according to Elsie Panfrantic from East Westerly Chippiwagomy, the planets are acting up worse than a bull in a china shop.

Why poor Elsie was on her way to the A & P when a biplane falls right out of the sky onto her truck. KER-PLUNK!!! Metal to metal.

Seems the thing that saved her just seconds before, was a big ol’ Maple Leaf 16 wheeler. It bumped straight into her be-hind and forced her truck off the road where a construction crew was building a retaining wall, don’tcha know…an experimental one made of bumper tires.

So Elsie’s truck goes a-bouncin’ off the wall back into the 16 wheeler. And if the doors didn’t fly open and hundreds of pounds of bacon come hurtling out. That’s when the biplane falls on her truck.

Well, Elsie pokes her head up through the bacon and she doesn’t have a scratch on her.  The other good news is: Elsie likes bacon.

And how about our very own Twindle Mumbly?

Why he was about to taxidermy his favorite neighborhood squirrel who was found with his wee head at rest on a copy of “Withering Heights,” don’tcha know. (That ending could kill jest about any body.) And as he was putting together the little critter’s GAP-for-dolls outfit, if the little guy didn’t open his eyes and run off.

As for ol’ Maybelle … with so many unexpected changes flying and a-swirling around Lake WhaddyathinkImean’s up-coming INUKSHUCK LET’S GET STONES FESTIVAL…I’m jest gonna sit tight ’til the planet gremlins get tired of disrupting everything and take up knitting.

It’ll also give me a chance to have a good heart to heart with Bogart. He’s more than a bear, don’tcha know.

He’s my friend and Astro Illologer.

Nightie night.  Maybelle

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Night Time in Cottage Country, don’tcha know

Did you ever notice how loud silence can be? A high pitched kinda sound that you can only hear when nothing is on in yer cottage but life itself. The kinda sound that makes you feel grateful for being where you are and where the noise isn’t. No traffic or big trucks roaring under yer windows or sirens screaming at you when yer wanting to just sit quietly and hug yer bear.

I know Bogart feels the same even though he isn’t wearing his voice synthesizer tam o’shanter cap so I can hear what he’s thinkin’.  But if a bear can smile, he’s a-smilin’ right now.  He likes it when I read him recipes from Julia Child’s cookbook, don’tcha know. Especially the ones made with honey.

I don’t miss having a television. There’s so much else to do. Like fixing something, or painting or sanding or cleaning or mowing or shoveling or planting. Why, with all that extra time, ol’ Maybelle can learn something knew every day. That’s right…Bogart’s teaching me how to speak Squirrel and Chipmunk so I can talk to his friends.

I’m also learning to play the kazoo. After being turned down for last year’s Christmas show at St. Francis of the Sandle church, I’m learning a much valued instrument here in Lake WhaddyathinkImean. And it ain’t just any kazoo. I’m playing my late Auntie Hester’s kazoo. The one she painted green and covered with chicken feathers. She had a gift for fashion all right.

In fact, I’ll be playing a solo in the Bedbug song that Twindle Mumbly wrote for our upcoming Lake WhaddyathinkImean spring festival, don’tcha know. It’s such a pretty love song. Took me by surprise that Twindle had it in him …

Late at night when the bed bugs bite, I’m in bed lookin’ fer you. Late at night when the bed bugs bite, I’m in bed lookin’ fer you. Late at night when the bed bugs bite, baby why do you run from me? Can’t you see I’m in love with you, what’s a little bug or two?

Sure pulls at my heart strings.

See? If I was a-watchin’ television right now I wouldn’t be thinking about my friends, and I sure wouldn’t be writing to you. And although I can’t see you, I know yer there, and that’s a good thing…cause in this big crazy world, it’s good to know we truly are connected like Einstein said. Or was it General Electric?

I always thought Electric was a strange name fer a general. How about you?

Nightie night.  Maybelle

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Golf is a-callin, don’tcha know

There’s yer mini-putt with a windmill or two, and then there’s a real golf course like we have here in Lake WhaddyathinkImean with 11 ½ holes. Big holes to make it easier to score, don’tcha know.

Sure, folks here are all about havin’ fun instead of beating each other for a beer or 6…though that can be fun too I suppose.

Why my Auntie Hester used to golf at Liam Caw-Fittup’s 11 ½  Big Ones, and once she had to reach so far down to get her ball out of a hole, she got her arm stuck and the volunteer fire brigade had to come pull her out.

I think ground hogs live in those holes. Cause I seen little eyes staring at me on the 8th and 9th ones.  Either that or my arthur-itis medication is stronger then I thought!

And oh boy is it ever pretty out there. Course you got to tee off from top of a picnic table so you don’t sink down in to a mud hole. But once you walk a hundred yards or so it’s real nice. Almost like real grass, don’tcha know.

All kidding aside… we all like golfing at 11 ½ Big Ones and getting around in the carts they got from Arnie’s Vegetables & Veterinary. Makes folks feel connected to the things that grow in the earth and the things that do their thing on ’em.

Why ol’ Maybelle’s gonna hit some balls tomorrow morning with Sybil Beaucannon Hughes, Twindle Mumbly, and Vilma Yuccch.

Twindle’s pre-game warm up? — putting on his jacket.

Sure hope the weather holds. Right now it’s April in Paris right here in Lake WhaddyathinkImean.

Nightie night.  Maybelle

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They’re Ba-aaack … the black flies, don’tcha know

It was Bogart who gave me the first clue. He was out in the yard growling and a-swinging his big bear arms so violent-like, you’d have thought he was gonna take off like a helicopter, don’tcha know.

Bogart! I shouted. What in the world are you doing?

He wasn’t wearing his voice synthesizer tam o’shanter cap so I couldn’t hear what he was thinking, but that’s when I saw them… a big swarm of black flies making poor Bogart spin like a top… a bear top.

Quick, Maybelle, I thought, do something. I grabbed the garden hose, whipped it around and sprayed those varmints like there was no tomorrow.

Poor ol’ Bogart’s fur got so drenched you could hear him growling from one end of Lake WhaddyathinkImean t’other.

Next thing I know, Officer Stanley Penelope McBottom is racing up my driveway in his police cruiser, siren a-wailing…Beanpole Starkman’s flying over head in his Tiger Moth bi-plane. The Lake W volunteer fire fighter brigade drives up with Vilma Yuccch hanging onto the back wearing bright yellow sequin hip boots, don’tcha know … and Sybil Beaucannon Hughes rides up on her motor bike with Neville sputtering out of breath behind her.

Where’s the fire? everybody shouts. There’s no fire, I shout, the black flies are back!

Well their groan was so heavy I could have sworn the earth shifted.  Black flies?!@ Not alreaddyyyy!!!

Well if the phones didn’t go crazy.  I ran into the cottage and found caller after caller complaining about the same thing and telling ol’ Maybelle I need to warn all my listeners, don’tcha know.

Nickie B! I shout, and sure enough, he clomps up the stairs from the basement in his Led Zeppelin t-shirt and leather collar. We gotta get on the air quick, the biters are back!

Fffffttt! if he didn’t disappear in a nano-second. Then, fffffft! he’s back, covered head to ankles in a one-size fits all prune colored black fly space-lookin’ suit shuffling over to the control board twisting knobs and pushing buttons, don’tcha know.

Are we live yet? I ask.  Oh yea, says Nickie B.

So I sit down in front of the microphone and tell my listeners…

Hello everybody out there in radio land, this is Maybelle Morton with a black fly advisory, don’tcha know.

Well, if the phones didn’t ring off their hooks again. Only this time, they were callers shouting that black flies have rights too.

In fact, they’re still a-callin’, and the flies are still a-flyin’. So this is what I’m proposing to you…

If you have some innovative ideas about how folks can protect themselves from black flies, you just write it into the comment box.

After all, ain’t that what community is for?

Nightie night.  Maybelle



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