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Singer Hits Big Time in Food Rock Circles

(Crashville TN) With the release of Sophia Quacksalver’s newest single “Twenty-four Hours From Salsa” we witness the emergence of yet another great singer from within the ranks of the Food Rock phenomenon. Taking its lead from the successes of Christian Rock and closely following the formula country scene, food rock is a category of music of which little was known, or heard from, until just a few years ago.

Quacksalver on stage with one of her three twin sisters in 2018.

Quacksalver’s first hit “Bad at 30,000 Feet Is Still Bad, Baby” is a frank, examination of the airline food fiasco, sold over a million copies the first week before it tailed off due to limited attention spans. Her rendition of the Spam Cook classic “That’s the Sound of the Men Working on the Food Chain” followed up in rare style outselling “Bad 30,000″” and making a place for her on the Grand Ol’ Feed Bag and a host of TV talk shows. Then in 2001 her smash recording of “Johnny Vegetable” followed up by a new CD entitled “Don’t Worry – Eat Croppie” landed her dead center stage at the produce stand.

Once a backup singer at a roller-skating rink, Quacksalver appears in public wearing her trademark chef’s hat and whites although she admits she has never been in a kitchen.

“I made a box of macaroni and cheese once,” she smiled, exposing a mouthful of teeth that resembled ancient asparagus spears. “Hell, Country Music is chucked full of drugstore cowboys who are probably scared of horses and Christian rock…well let’s just say the Good Lord helps those who learn guitar and have exaggerated hygiene.”

– Fred Zeppelin

Please be careful setting rodent traps this fall

Figure 1. A mess in the morning

It’s that time of the year where rodents are looking for a place to hang for the winter. They come in through crawl spaces, unused drains and doorways. They chew through wood enclosures and nest in insulation.

We all want to be rid of these pests before they invite all their cousins to the winter soiree. That’s where traps come in. Although not the most humane (drowning or freezing are said to be less harsh) the traps are effective. Rural residents in Western Colorado report maximum catches most mornings in November and December each year.

Figure 2. Tragedy can be averted

No one is condemning the use of this build a better technology. We just ask that you be careful of who and what you might catch. (figure 1). Sure, one could say these blue people were trespassing and got what they deserved but c’mon. They are none too bright but don’t deserve this horrible fate, akin to the guillotine in their eyes. (Figure 2)

The Make My Smurf Law is nothing more than draconian policy and should be abandoned at next opportunity. Tragedies can be averted even though everyone enjoys a good slug of peanut butter or a hunk of cheese as a midnight snack.

Imagine a young child discovering a snapped trap in the morning with a cute little Smurf drawn and quartered. What irreparable damage occurs? Will the child carry this trauma for a lifetime?

Quite candidly, we did not even realize that these Smurfs were still on the pecking order. In our ignorance we were led to believe that they were extinct or at least on the endangered list.

– Dag Katz

Call 800-MouseTrap on your Smart Phone before you engage killing device

Campaign Litter Taxing Landfills

(Montrose) Mounds of discarded campaign litter have journeyed to local landfills causing a nightmare for workers there. The litter, comprised of signs, banners, buttons and bumper stickers started arriving the day after the off-year election and, according to dump sources, has not let up.

At first it looked like the normal mini-election year but this time around there’s a different feel about it from dump workers to management. Tonnage is way up although estimates of actual gross weight delivery are difficult to determine since the new trash mixes quickly with existing, non-partisan trash.

One particularly offensive pickup load; mounds of campaign literature covered in fresh manure, green chili skins and rotting pumpkins, fertilized some imaginations here.

“We didn’t know if it were just a coincidence that the elements were traveling together or if someone was trying to make yet another political statement,” laughed one worker.

Landfill crews hope to get the situation under control here before the onslaught of Christmas garbage reaches their gates in late December.

– Pepper Salte

Beware of dawg?

This dapper fellow has decided to spend the rest of hunting season in my fenced yard in Colona. Security has never been better. He even runs off stray cats and an odd raccoon or two.    (Pepper Salte Photo)

Shorter Terms For Congress on Docket


(Washington) When the Congress meets again the members will be chatting about more than the coming election. They’ll be talking about campaign financing and where to get some. They’ll be arguing about foreign policy and where to get some of that too.

They’ll be talking about term limits.

Before the break it had come down to common sense (and where to get some). Define the problem: Pork barrel promises kept, and all those years to fill pretending to accomplish something while out campaigning to get elected again. Good money…good working conditions. Shake a few paws, kiss a few babies. Power.

“What about two week terms?” asked one rookie Congressman still wet behind the amendments.

Two weeks? Wasn’t that a movie with Mickey O’Rourke or somebody?” was the response.

“It’s concise,” offered one supporter, “and it would give us more time to spend campaigning.

“Yes, I think you’ve got something there but will the public buy it?” asked a third.

“They’ve bought it so far. Just throw in a few mentions of democracy and wave the flag…maybe a brass band and free tickets to the coliseum… I mean circus…”

“Let’s put it to a vote…Aye or Nay,” said a veteran of these things. “The last thing we need is a filibuster. I’m not willing to miss dinner again. These Washington pizzas just aren’t as good as the ones back home in New Jersey.”

Finally the Speaker restates the proposal for those who have not already nodded off the sleep:

“Bill Number 48839 proposes that all Congressional Terms be limited to no more than two weeks. This will create a time period of inactivity (5 years and 50 weeks for Senators and a substantially shorter term for Representatives). Is there discussion?”

An ancient Senator is helped to the podium.

“I forget what I’m doing here,” he starts, his aide whispering the issue into his one good ear. “Oh, yes, term limitations…Will they interrupt my nap? Back when I was in the Electoral College girls and boys didn’t live in the same dorms…”

Another Congressman snaps: “This is another waste of the taxpayers’ money! I have questions for the legislators assembled here: Will there be enough time to placate the special interests in just two weeks? Will the sacred pork barrel runneth dry?”

Everyone in the body looked at each other blankly.

“Yes, and will we get a chance to ride around Washington in our Congressional limos? Can we expect to make the contacts necessary to land a lucrative lobbyist position in just two weeks? Can we hope to vote ourselves another pay raise in that time period?”

The Speaker interrupts.

“These are pertinent questions that we must answered before further pursuing a final vote,” he stressed. “But in today’s arena we cannot simply withdraw to the proverbial smoky room like before. It’s politically incorrect. The voters will think we’re backing the tobacco lobby.”

After a few minutes a vote was taken and the amendment passed. Two-week terms with long recesses and more fact-finding trips to places like Monaco and Fiji. Salaries unaffected. Retirement packages quite substantial. Power.

“I’m confidant the House will go along with this. Now if we can only convince the President to follow suit…” said one member of Congress, “we might finally a responsive government.”

– Kashmir Horseshoe


The Uninvited Wedding Guests

The day started as most summer days high in the Elk Mountains. The early hours featured bright, blazing sun, then sparse clouds arrived for lunch. Today was the day that Rudy Triglavic would marry Irene Sulek. Relatives from Baldwin, Pittsburgh, Elkton and parents from Croatia and Slovenia were in town. The night before was filled with merry making and the following morning everyone was moving slow.

At 1 pm the families met at Queen of All Saints for the ceremony, the I dos and the you dos and then the rice…and another party. The reception was held at the home of Hugo Prespa, superintendent at the Daisy Mine. Guests included miners and their families from the Keystone, the Standard, Jokerville and Smith Hill Mines. Although competitive underground and in the taverns (with names like the Bucket of Blood Saloon and Kochevar’s) most were having a great time listening to polkas, to tunes on the gusle. They stopped mid-sentence to watch as the bride and groom engaged in the traditional wedding dance. There was prase roasting on hot ash, cevapcici and culbastija and lots of wine. Thoughts of the Sava ran through the heads of the more recent immigrants to North America.

It was quite the scene that July day in 1899, just months before 1900 would come calling. Rudy Triglavic had arrived in Crested Butte three years before. He was a quiet man who worked hard. His family ties to the old country had been tarnished by political conflict. In a country divided into distinct regions ruled by the Byzantines, the Austrians, then by the Ottoman Turks it was not hard to make enemies. The Triglavic family had been staunch supporters of Francis Joseph in the hopes that the Austrians would create a Slavic nation like the Magyars of Hungary had won some years before.

Josip Triglavic, Rudy’s father, had even talked of leaving Slovenia. Things were not so good there for the supporters of the Hapsburgs in the dawn of nationalism. The anarchists were busy, the climate was ripe for what would be World War I. Josip had been mocked by fellow villagers because he insisted that the Austrian monarchy should be recognized as legitimate rulers of his country. There were threats on his life and on the life of his son, Rudy, who had served in Italy with the army and had even attended the university at Innsbruck. When Rudy left Europe, rumors were the residue. Had he informed on a Croatian nationalist in Zagreb? Someone had. Rudy was gone. He was a monarchist. Conclusions were drawn.

A contingent of nationalists, comprised of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes had sought to throw off the Hapsburg yoke and create a new country. They were led by a man named Draza Petrinja, a charismatic Croat from Dalmatia. Seeking to take advantage of the weaknesses of the Austrians, who had recently been defeated by the Prussians, the French and the Sardinians, the movement flourished. Along the Adriatic, especially in cities like Trieste, nationalists were openly hostile to anything Austrian. With promises of aid from Italy, they plotted a full scale revolt in the fall of 1896. Suddenly, in August, without further provocation, Austrian troops swarmed along the coastline forcing all of Dalmatia to heel. Petrinja and others were arrested and imprisoned in Carinthia. The revolt was crushed.

The entire Triglavic family, along with other supporters of the Hapsburgs, was suspect. People had looked for a scapegoat. But that was years ago. Surely the family could find reprieve from old world struggles in the Rockies.

Two cold men stood at the fringe of the reception. Each had a glass of wine in his hand. They smiled cordially although nobody knew them. Each family thought the two were guests of the other. Maybe they were friends of the bride from Ljubljana, where many Suleks still lived. Maybe they worked in the mines. Were they cousins from Pueblo? Maybe they were the caterers. At any rate, they spoke the right language and were welcomed graciously by both families.

“Which one is he?” whispered the taller of the two men.

“I can’t tell from this photograph,” was the answer. “We’ll have to wait him out. Someone will drop his name, then we’ll do our business and vanish like we did on our last project.”

“Watch the wine,” smiled the first. “We don’t want to miss. Let’s just take it slow and strike when the party is in full swing. Surprise is our best weapon. It shouldn’t be long before most of the men are well on their way to a good drunk.”

The party went on all afternoon with much dancing and drinking. Then, at about 4:30 there was a toast from the father of the bride, Amill Sulek. The cake was cut. The band played on. It was at that moment that the two intruders first realized which guest was Rudy Triglavic.

“He’s the groom!” gulped the first. “He’s the damn groom. Damn. They didn’t say anything about shooting a groom…”

“Just relax,” whispered the second man, biting down on his lower lip, swallowing a healthy slug of wine. “We haven’t made ourselves known and there’s still time to finish our business. It’s not like we’re going to shoot the traitor at the altar.”

Both men stood silently, confused as to what action to take. This turnabout had taken the wind out of their assassin’s sails. They had no way to consult with the people who had sent them all this way to kill Rudy Triglavic. Besides, the powers in Dalmatia had no way to know they had sent two executioners to dust off a bridegroom.

“We can’t just leave,” offered the second gunman. “If we go back without completing our mission we could end up dead too. You know how much they want this Triglavic. We have no choice. We have to give them their pound of flesh, satisfy the vengeance.”

The assassins took a seat, smiled sweetly to someone’s grandmother and were presented with a piece of wedding cake. They ate quietly until the band struck up another polka.

“The powers back home want revenge,” started the first man. “They order us to retaliate for what they believe was a betrayal. They give us steamship passage and pistols. They give us a picture…It doesn’t even look like this Triglavic. They tell us to shoot him. They didn’t say it would be on his wedding day.”

The second gunman smiled, “They wouldn’t know the bridegroom from Archduke Ferdinand. They just want vindication. All we have to do is provide them with a body. I’m not about to shoot the groom. What do you think?”

After pushing the last piece of cake into his mouth the first man sighed, “Then let’s give them one.”

After further consultation the two decided that they would pick out an acceptable victim, one different from the groom. They scanned the reception looking for the proper target. After several circles the taller man nudged the other and gestured toward an irascible crank of a man who was disrupting his corner of the festivities by arguing with his wife.

“He’s just about the same size,” quipped one of the gunmen.

“Cantankerous looking fellow,” winked the other. “Who’s gonna miss him.”

The two plotted the attack and their escape as the wedding party grew more merry. They wanted to wait until they had a clear shot, for the right time. When several of the ladies herded the children into a nearby pasture for games, they drew their pistols and fired. At first the party was not interrupted. The guests turned and thought the noise was part of the celebration. When the victim fell to the ground it became apparent that something was very wrong.

The assailants calmly holstered their pistols and disappeared as the crowd gathered around the mark, who was propped up on one elbow, talking to himself. A doctor was summoned and the victim was pronounced quite healthy with the exception of a bullet wound in the forearm and a bump on the head, suffered in the fall.

“Did we get him?” said the first man to the second as they rode furiously up Kebler.

“I aimed low, you aimed high. He must be dead,” said the second.

*       *       *       *       *

Weeks later the two gunmen returned to Dalmatia and announced that they had concluded the business at hand. Everyone seemed satisfied. There would be more revolts, more trouble in the Balkans, a World War to distract them. The matter was considered settled.

Five months later as winter began its occupation of the East River Valley the Triglavic family received a small card. Josip, who had stayed in the United States to avoid the troubles in his country and to see his grandchildren born, opened the letter. He didn’t recognize the handwriting or the first names on the card.

“It says these people here are sorry for interrupting the wedding reception,” he frowned. “Do you really think it’s from the same men who shot your cousin in the arm? Why would they send a sympathy card? They never even brought a gift.”

– Rex Montaleone