Life in the Shadows

SYCAMORE SHADOWS, Ohio.

While I appreciate all contributions to “Life in the Shadows,” I cannot mention private spats between married couples or siblings. If you want your name in my column, scuffle in public.

In Sycamore Shadows, where most people would rather go to bed with dirty feet than without praying, you wouldn’t think public nudity would have such a long history. In the Van Horne Journal of 1808, an important account of the town’s early years, we find the following reference to Aedre Bowman: “…she doth shed her clothing and slip into the water, where she delights in sinful dances and speaks her language to the beasts of the fields, and the woodchuck be her friend, and like Bathsheba, she delighteth in her shame.” Ignoring Van Horn’s misguided and humorous attempt to invoke the language of the King James Bible while writing in the early 19th century, it is the first recorded instance of what has become a Sycamore Shadows tradition: skinny dipping.

Wilson Hahn says the problem with the world today is that his thesaurus lists 39 synonyms for the sexual act and one for the word “woo.”

Miss Ada Sanderling wishes the public to know that she has an illness which has kept her abed these past two days but that she is still able to pray for the less fortunate and hopes to recover soon. I’m sure we’ll see her supplicating on the street corners again before the week has ended.

Elmer Flair, Flair Cleaners, says that since the Church of the Lost Sheep changed communion cups, he’s seen a marked increase in neckties with grape juice stains and suggests men throw their tie over their shoulder when taking communion.

Charlie Sternwiesse, Sycamore Savings Bank, says that rumors of an underground railroad era tunnel running from beneath the bank to Sanderling Park are untrue. He explains that local sentiment was so strongly in favor of abolition that an underground tunnel would have hardly been necessary. He further cautions the public not to take Mr. Curly Dowd and his divining rod seriously.

Edna Minzel says someone who eats a lot of TV dinners keeps putting trash in her cans, therefore she hardly has room for her personal garbage.  She wishes everyone would kindly use their own trash receptacles and reminds them that TV dinners aren’t healthy.

Wilson Hahn hit a pothole on Kishwaukee St. and lost a hubcap, probably while reviewing the 39 synonyms.

Andy Bollman, Postmaster, warns that wanted posters are government property and defacing them by drawing cross-eyes, beards, and eyeglasses on the faces is a crime. Although he wouldn’t prosecute for what is obviously a joke, he wishes the perpetrator would stop because the posters now look unprofessional and he saw an out-of-towner smirk at them.

Ethel Mayberry wants to know when it became acceptable to eat saltwater taffy during worship services.

Willie Fimple has replaced the door hardware at Fimple’s Furniture & Appliance and has 27 door knobs available free for anyone who will haul them away.

NEXT WEEK: “Kentunhe Hill”

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