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Thanksgiving in Turkey

Continued from in front of you

so that Bob (is that his name?) and I and the kids were pushed down onto the pavement and told to keep our eyes to the ground as the entourage passed by, snaking its way toward Mount Ararat and the grave of the Apostle Paul.

     “Hey, mom,” said little Bennie, “says in this brochure that Turkey is larger than Texas. Is that for real?”

     “No, stupid, it’s just all that jihad propaganda,” piped sister Beatrice from the pruned position. “Where did you get that brochure anyway?”

     “Shut-up bitch,” said little Bennie. “Nobody’s talking to you!”

     “Now kids, let’s try to put our hatreds aside. We’re miles from our hotel and not out of this yet,” said Dad. “These people are naturally friendly and engaging. They just have to get to know us. I thought St. Paul was buried at Lookout Mountain…”

     No, that’s Buffalo Phil, fool,” said mom.

     Finally, and not without more fanfare, the procession passed. The strange men in robes told us to get up and walk to the east and we would find true enlightenment…and our hotel.

     “I wanna see Noah’s Arc,” said Beatrice, “and the ancient city of Troy. What a beat vacation. All my friends in Chicago will laugh at me if they find out I came all the way to Turkey without…”

     “Wait, daddy,” I said to my husband, “isn’t that the road to Istanbul, or is it the road to Constantinople? They must sell ottomans there. I just have to have an authentic Turkish Ottoman or I’ll just die.”

     “What about dinner?” whined Bennie. “We’ve been here three days and I haven’t seen a taco anywhere. Today is Thanksgiving. Where’s the stuffing?”

     “Now Bennie,” said my husband, whose name eludes me just now, “this isn’t America. One has to adapt. Sure, all of these rugheads wish they were in America, the land of the free, but they aren’t. They’re marooned here in Asia Minor…have been for centuries. I thought you liked the filberts in barley sauce that mom cooked up last night.”

     “I want pizza,” screamed Beatrice much to the chagrin of a large angry crowd that had now gathered, blocking our exit from behind one of a hundred mosques that crowd the cobbled square. “I hate filberts!”

     “And where is the football!” demanded little Bennie. “Don’t these Tartar savages know that it’s Thanksgiving?”

     “I hate tartar sauce too,” mumbled Beatrice, “and Kurds and whey…

     “Stop!” cried daddy. “Look a fez stand right out here in the middle of nowhere. I think we should all take home a fez as a souvenir from this lovely trip. Say there sahib. How much for four fezzes…is that the proper term? Yeah, four…and don’t try to screw me. I’m an American and I have rights.”

      At that he pulled out a U.S. fifty which the man selling the fez hats quickly grabbed and stashed in his robe. He smiled and then let go of the hats.

     “Those hats look stupid,” said Beatrice, and for once her little brother agreed. We must have looked quite the sight wandering down those snarled filthy streets, sipping a Raki looking for some familiar signs of home.

     “I have to pee,” said Bennie.

     “We need to find a halkevi, or house of the people. Surely they will have indoor facilities…

     “And cleanliness,” I crisply quipped.

     “And a make-up mirror,” added Beatrice.

     “And some good old American toilet paper,” smiled Daddy.

     “We could ask someone,” I said melodically, swept up in the worldly banter of a man I no longer knew.

     “None of these bozos talk American,” said Bennie

     “Turkish isn’t so hard to learn,” said Dad as he wagged his finger at a would-be thief. “The Turks borrowed many Arabic and Persian words during the Ottoman Empire, then Kemal Ataturk changed the whole shootin’ match over to the Roman alphabet in 1928.”

     “How does he know all that?” whispered Beatrice in my direction.

     “Daddy was once a Middle East expert in of the Bush Administrations, dear,” I explained.

     “It’s worthless information about a country that prefers figs to cranberry sauce, olives to pumpkin pie…”

     “Shhhhh,” Bennie. Here come the mashed potatoes!”

     As I looked up I saw thousands of men in the street. There were Turks from Ankara, Turks from Izmir, Turks from Cyprus. All were working together pushing a massive vat of freshly mashed potatoes, thinly veiled in Seljuk mohair, toward the largest of the mosques to the east of the square.

     “Wow, dad!” said Bennie.

     “Where are all the women?” asked Beatrice.

     “Maybe they do celebrate Thanksgiving in Turkey,” I flinched. 

     “Look, kids. Look! It’s the march of the turkeys,” said Dad. “Look, honey, they’re coming this way. It’s going to be a wonderful holiday just like I told you. Honey? Honey? Hey, kids, where’s your mother?

     “Oh, she was forced into that black Mercedes by two men who have been following us since yesterday,” said Beatrice.

     “What? Forced into a car? gasped Daddy.

     “Relax, man she’ll be back for dinner,” said Bennie.

– Luanne Julienne 

Ms Julienne is a free-lance writer who lives in a big house in Connecticut. In addition to writing travel articles she raises amphetamines, which are then sold to collectors in New York. She hates yard sales because they contain tidbits of other peoples’ messy lives.



(Cow Creek) Residents dependent on caller ID technology to organize their social lives have been notified that the numbers employed are off by about three digits. Already several incidents have been reported involving inappropriate responses and other negative reaction to the local communication process. In short: Before you return a call or accuse someone else of monkey business remember to subtract three from the phone number on your screen.

Callers confused with all this should just hang up and try their call again. Do not rely on your GPS!

Earlier this month Wee-Mail service was interrupted between Ohio City and Pitkin after marmots chewed through rubber bands holding the system together. It has since been repaired, the cable buried underground.

Car Alarm Freaks Bear

(Ouray) An unattended car alarm has been blamed for frightening a bruin on Main Street in this mountain town. The senseless noise reportedly scared the nomadic animal who threatened to charge several pedestrians at dusk. The ensuing confrontation resulted in bent highway signs and a slight interruption of traffic, before the bear escaped into the Oak Creek brush.

Attempts at employing simple behavior modification techniques on the probing creatures has been ineffective up till now but the use of stun guns on car alarm violators and cell phone abusers has gone quite well according to a spokesman for the city.      

Car alarms and cell phones remain illegal in Ouray County.

Already this fall more than 20 obnoxious humans have been trapped and relocated while tranquil bear watch perched in nearby trees. Humans are warned that all bear are not so peaceful. Some of the fury beasts, irritated by constipation due to a lack of berries have been quite aggressive when pressed. 

Only yesterday a Red Mountain developer from Castle Rock and his courtesan land agent were almost eaten by a protective mother bear near Ironton. Fortunately for all, the black bear did not like the taste of the prey and spit both out.


(Ouray) The long deceased editor of the famous Ouray Solid Muldoon paid a visit to the Ouray Elks Lodge last night, sipping on a beer and shooting a game of pool before retreating upstairs for a weekly lodge meeting. Although newer members expressed shock at the appearance veteran Elks say it happens all the time.

“Usually the spirits stay upstairs,” said one member, “but you know how nosy those newspaper people can be.”

After the meeting Day vanished leaving those in attendance with little else to do but adjourn to the parlor.

“That’s the first meeting he’s attended in almost 100 years,” said another Elk. “I wonder if he’s planning to pay his back dues.” 

Ancient Anasazi Chuckholes Halt Work on River Road

(Ridgway) Attempts to pave the River Road between here and Ouray have met yet another glitch with the discovery of ancient Anasazi chuckholes in the path of progress.

Serious potholes exist, like washboard minefields, from Ridgway to Miller Mesa. Primary excavation, aimed at further surveying the project, revealed hundreds of these ancient apertures along the river. Further examination has exposed modular cliff dwellings hidden amid thick oak brush on the mesa to the west.

It is believed the Ancient Ones purposely constructed the chuckholes to repel invaders and collect water during dry seasons. The stretch of road will most likely be named a National Historic District Wilderness Area which means the chuckholes will stay put and motorized travel prohibited. Persons living along the road will likely be relocated to reservations in Utah.

Kareoke Security Systems Banned at Mountain Village

(Society Turn) Authorities at the Telluride Mountain Village, attempting to negotiate a left turn in traffic near here, confirmed reports that their sector would no longer tolerate kareoke security devices within the confines of that upscale settlement.

“We’ve already got a gated community and enough cops to effectively occupy Canada,” said Frank R. Flume, of the regional fire district. Why do residents feel the need for more protection? The kareoke alarms are ugly, intrusive, difficult to install and they scare the elk.

– Signel de Bushe

TV Takes Own Life

(Ridgway) A local television set has hurled itself off Ridgway Hill effectively terminating broadcasts and leaving one hell of a mess for road crews to clean up. The TV, which friends say was experiencing chronic depression over the quality of programming available, left no suicide note or will. Foul play has been ruled out

“It’s rare that we see household appliances go to such lengths,” said an investigating officer on the scene. “It’s sad and were sorry about the television too.”

According to llamas grazing near the point of departure the television worked its way to the edge of the hill then leaned over until it slipped off into Pleasant Valley. It said nothing but canned laughter was reportedly heard just before the jump.

“The little TV was trying to make a point,” said Elrone Rabbitears, a local media critic once jailed for threatening local news professionals in Bland Junction. “All that potential for information, art and entertainment and we have arrived at abrasive game shows and poorly concocted sit-coms aimed at the mentally inept. The only decent programs are on the Mexican Network but we still haven’t figured out what they’re saying.”

     A service for the dead TV will be held on Sunday preempting the Bronco game on local channels.

– Sergio Jingles


(Montrose) Students at Columbine Middle School have discovered the existence of what teachers think is the North Pole during a seasonal field trip on the Uncompahgre Plateau. Participants, collecting rocks for a school terrarium, stumbled across small stones containing an iron ore thought to be magnetite. 

“One end of the stone was obviously attracted by the earth’s north pole while the other end was attracted by the earth’s south pole. This is powerful medicine to say the least,” said one teacher.

Up until now most people believed that the North Pole was nothing more than the fictitious home of Santa Claus and that the South Pole was full of worthless penguins hanging out waiting to be eaten by polar bears or sharks. The remainder thought magnetic pull was a result of witchcraft.

“Last year all we got out of the annual filed trip was a field. This year we may be on our way to developing electromagnets,” said the teacher.

– Lora Borealis

Reformed smoker lights nose on fire

(Ridgway) A Log Hill resident is in stable condition today at St. Roscoe’s Hospital after reportedly lighting his nose on fire. The action, which took place on Wednesday morning while the victim was still half asleep, has been attributed to robotic behavior left over from many years of cigar smoking.

Melvin Jackhammer who, after ten years sans tobacco admits to still craving a smoke every so often, apparently lit the end of his nose mistaking it for a Nicaraguan cheroot in the early morning hours. At first only his nose hairs were ignited but it then became clear that his entire snout was ablaze encompassing the frontal sinuses and threatening the Pharyngeal Tonsil and even the little appreciated Eustachian Tube. 

Medical sources hint that this type of behavior is a result not of addiction to a substance but rather a psychological reliance on familiar repeated action associated with the practice of puffing.

“What a buzz!” yelped Jackhammer, as paramedics hauled him off. “I hated to create such a fuss over one nose but it could have happened to anyone. I just hope my sense of smell comes back.”

Jackhammer is expected to undergo simple plastic surgery to rebuild the affected cavity in the morning.

This the first smoker-related injury in the county since 1968 when a Cahone woman, visiting Cookie Tree Ranch, attempted to light up next to a propane tank causing a massive blast that set an out building and surrounding fields on fire. Although she survived the experience she suffered minor burns in addition to the loss some 60% of her body hair. Despite the harrowing to-do she still pounds two packs a day and at 96 has no plans to change her habits.

“That woman was nothing but sage trash,” said a neighbor who recalled the event. “She had no shame. Why she even wrote a book about it. Fortunately it was never made into a movie.”

– Mongo Congo

Low Riders prohibidos por Engineer

Low Riders prohibidos por Engineer

(Ouray) Las personas que operan vehículos de pasajeros bajos, amortiguadores hidráulicos, woodies de la era espacial, vehículos recreativos y Humvees rotos han sido prohibidos en Engineer Pass debido a consideraciones de espacio libre. El paso, conocido por los profundos barrancos y los montículos de pizarra, es un desafío para los vehículos todo terreno.

Según el Servicio Forestal y el Departamento de Transporte, los vehículos de la calle no tienen por qué atravesar curvas cerradas y manipular pendientes pronunciadas que se encuentran en Engineer. Ambos dicen que se pueden emplear matemáticas simples para determinar la tasa de éxito en la negociación del pase.

Además de los peligros de la altura, muchos de estos vehículos prohibidos simplemente no tienen el par para llegar a la cima.

Los funcionarios del condado de Hinsdale aún tienen que decidir qué, si se debe tomar alguna medida, en su lado del paso. Muchos sienten que si los conductores del interior del país llegan a la cima, no deberían tener restricciones en el descenso. Recuerdan a todos los conductores que revisen sus frenos antes de comenzar cuesta abajo. 

-Dolores Alegria