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Meanwhile our White House is quite calm this morning

Avoiding the current drama of indictments and denials on Pennsylvania Avenue, our local White House Mountain appeared ultra-calm this morning, preparing to welcome the first real winter snow in the San Juans.

Champion Fly Swatter in Town

(Almont) Legendary fly assassin, Melvin O’ Toole is expected here this week to instruct the faithful in proper fly control techniques. The acclaimed “Matador de Moscas” (Fly Killer) will be offering classes for the beginner all the way up to expert fly combatant.   

Toole’s 70 years of fly extermination experience is not likely to be lost on desperate local residents. Many are faced with large, aggressive green-headed beasts “in their buttermilk” that come down to lower country after a summer of torturing livestock up high.

Attributing his legendary status to long arms and concentration, Toole reportedly smashed an estimated 74 flies, during an interview with The Gunnison Times.

“He did it bare-handed, the old-fashioned way, one fly at a time,” said the paper “with nothing but a paper towel tube and three rubber bands.”

A bit jumpy, Toole sat rubbing his hands together during most of the interview.

– Rocky Flats

“The Maharaja of Gwalior killed over 1400 tigers in his lifetime and was the author of a work destined for a limited if select audience, “A Guide to Tiger Shooting.”  – from Freedom at Midnight by Larry Collins and Dominique Lapierre.

Don’t dump it!

THE RAZOR’S EDGE: A short peek at shaving


Stubble in the form of whiskers has been with us almost since the invention of the face. As cultures have changed throughout history, so have people’s attitudes toward whiskers. The early people of the Fertile Crescent wore their facial hair proudly. Artifacts have been uncovered that show a proud Sumerian man with his beard adorned with oil and chicken bones and bits of parsley, although some scholars suggest that these findings merely showcase sloppy ancient eaters.

An early legend tells of a man with his beard decorated with many bits of bread. The story says that, even though this was very attractive to ancient females, the man had a perplexing problem of birds swooping constantly upon his beard. This so annoyed him that he took to pulling large chunks of his beard out until the clean-shaven look was born. Today’s modern men (and even some women) would never consider this gruesome method to be a proper removal of unwanted facial hair.

Actual shaving was done some years later with pottery shards. Many archeological digs reveal literally truckloads of pottery shards. For years archeologists thought these were bits of broken ceramic vessels, but now many believe these shards to be, not broken bits, but original shaving tools. Some scientists believe that the shards even say, “bic” on the back.

As hygiene evolved, new and better tools came along. Finally, a sharpened razor blade with a handle was invented by a Greek inventor named Idios. Idios also invented an electric razor, but electricity was unfortunately not available for 2200 more years. But the razor blade was plenty exciting enough for people akin to using pottery shards.

In fact shaving got to be such a joy that even woman and children got into the act. Thus up until this century children were sometimes affectionately called “little shavers.”

Today stubble removal is easier than ever. Still it requires time and daily attention. If a man spends 3-5 minutes every day shaving then over the course of his lifetime this could add up to hundreds of years. Little wonder then that many men prefer to let at least some of their facial hair grow, the hair above their top lip, or on their chin, or all the hair on the left side of their face for example.

So then what of the future of shaving?  Some analysts forecast a time in the near future when men can get a shave over the internet. A technology institute in Germany is currently experimenting with a hat that projects a holographic image over the wearer’s face so that he appears to be clean- shaven at all times. Holograms, on-line shaving, who knows what’s in store? Call me old fashioned, but I like hot shaving cream, a straight razor and barber shop aftershave.


“I don’t really want to do anything, I just want to own.”

– Gen. Worthington Bulbous, Military Industrial Complex


(Salem — 1928) A large group of dark-clad, clearly anxious pilgrims calling themselves Puritans have landed on the rocky coast near Marblehead just to the east of here. According to eye witnesses within the indigenous population the funny looking aliens wore stiff collars and wool dress despite the harsh summer weather.

Estimates say there were over 300 of the bug-eyed, somber arrivals. While the actual landing was carried off in an organized manner, several of those present worked until dark unloading crates of guilt which they intended to share with the natives. The New World guilt was processed on the island of Monserrat by Irish slave children, survivors of the Cromwell wars. Much of the cargo replaced reason and compassion on the wooden ships.

“We just ran out of room and opted to keep our weapons, our rigid ideas and a good helping of guilt so as to embrace the future for continental generations to come,” said Orville Pulpitt, an elder said to favor hair shirts and is prone to epic sermons. Unfamiliar with a sextant (which was invented in 1731) Pulpitt took to calling out the demons in the sea and splashing himself with salt water in what some say was an attempt to control seizures brought on by an advanced case of the scurvy.

Puritan missionary work in North America

It is not known if this brand of Calvinism would take root in the New World or if the Roundheads, long persecuted in England, would tolerate other religious ideologies in the forests of New England. Already rumors reaching Europe tell of witch burnings and castigation of fringe/liberal church members.

One member of local Pennacook tribe expressed concern about the new neighbors, saying they appeared pompous and judgmental despite the peaceful message in their sacred guidebook. He plans to move north to avoid potential conflict with the zealots.   

– Kashmir Horseshoe

“Coaxing rain drops on a dry Colorado afternoon is like raising the flag on a lover who has fallen asleep.”

– Susanne Composte


(Crested Butte) A controversial and potentially lethal ordinance, that prohibits the exchange of mountain property after January, has gained the approval of the town council here. In a town long known for an innovative approach to commerce, the decision was received calmly by most. However, anger and confusion reigned within the real estate sector and in other fringe interest groups engaged in land speculation and tumbleweed investments.

The moratorium could achieve stability in land prices since no one can buy or sell property after the deadline. Supporters of the plan say it will weed out the profiteers and transform the local population into one dominated by people who simply want to enjoy living here. The brave, new world will then be populated by people who have purchased land and homes simply to live in and not short-term profit.

“It should improve our lifestyles significantly,” said one council member who is in favor of the concept.

Opponents of plan say it is ridiculous to infringe on the rights of private property and that it is un-American to attempt to control free trade.

“It’s like rent control in the cities and even worse,” said one realtor who admitted that she would have to pack up and move to Paonia if the ordinance goes into effect.

One thing appears certain: If the ordinance prohibiting land transfers is adopted the market will be brisk this fall. The green light does not yet affect Crested Butte South, Mount Crested Butte or an assortment of outlying communities, but rumblings in many of these environs suggests that year-round populations there will follow suit in solidarity with the Crested Butte design.

“Let the soil panderers make a healthy pay check or two before their little world comes crashing down,” said one unreliable source.

The realtors have scheduled a meeting for Wednesday night in hopes of solidifying an effort against the moratorium.

In other council notes the governing group voted to pave their driveways by December and to give licensed dogs the vote in 2020.

– Kashmir Horseshoe