Virus comes to Puddlegulch!

20160418__joan-04211While the country has been consumed with the tragedies and controversies of a global pandemic, it appeared that Puddlegulch might be spared. Many credit Mayor Townsend’s strict action to keep the citizens of Puddlegulch safe. He ordered the Knit Kickers Knitting Club and all hobby groups to disband, the Bowlarama to shut down, The Whispering Possum to limit their business to delivery and curbside food service, and the Civil War Reenactment group to cancel their annual bake sale and vintage mustache competition.

There have been no known cases of COVID 19, until this week. 

Jenny Hingenbotham, Puddlegulch’s maiden librarian, shares her story.

“Every evening, I sit in my backyard garden for a quiet moment of herbal tea and solitaire.  I have a possum friend who often joins me.  He crawls along my garden fence and pauses for a moment to take a sideways glance at me before continuing his hunt for ticks. Sweet creature.  Never made a sound until last Friday night.  

“At first, I thought maybe he was laughing.  I was wearing a t-shirt which says, ‘The library is a mess. We should be ashamed of our shelves.’ But as he continued, I could tell that he was coughing.  I didn’t even know a possum could cough.

“I called Jerry at the animal control depot and he was able to make it in time to trap the poor thing.”

Jerry Lindbocker took the possum over to Puddlegulch’s veterinarian, Peter Toperzer, to have it examined.

“Well, it was a’coughin and a’wheezing,” said Toperzer. “I knew something must be wrong.  I heard about the pet tiger over in Cantwell getting sick with the coronavirus and decided to test the possum.”

Toperzer drove the test to the lab in nearby Laizure City himself.  The Puddlegulch Health Department has now reported the results.  The possum has tested positive for the virus.  Mayor Townsend swiftly issued an executive order temporarily banning the consumption of possum meat.

Many agree that it was a necessary step, but some believe the mayor had a more sinister motive.

“Townsend has had it in for me for years, ” said Floyd Feltcher, owner of Feltcher’s Butcher Shop. “The executive order has nothing to do with the virus.  He knows possum roast is my number one product.  And who’s going to suffer?  The people of Puddlegulch who depend on me for their sixpies.” (Puddle Possum Pot Pie with savory persimmon pudding).

The ban will last until the possum tests negative twice. 

“I will miss my little friend,” said Hingenbotham. “He made my game of solitaire a little less solitary.”


Rival Rings Out the Old

b427d19dd6238628dc7fa8acc2c212d3Chip Chitwood, Sports Editor – The Fighting Possums’ hopes for a historic basketball season were dashed when their star center, Rowdy Wilson, was declared ineligible for competition. Cross-county rival, Barnwood High, sparked an investigation by the State Secondary School Athletic Association earlier in the season. At issue is the interpretation of the age limit rule, which says that any student who is 21 is ineligible for competition. Larry Tannehill, Puddlegulch AD, argued that the age limit should be understood to be the student’s age at the time of the beginning of the season. Landry Leftwich, Barnwood AD, argued that the rule pertains to the student’s age at any time during the season. Wilson turned 21 on January 1. In a stunning reversal of precedent, the SSSAA sided with Barnwood. Tannehill is considering legal action, citing the familial relationship between SSSAA executive director Rance Leftwich and the Barnwood coach. They are brothers.

Led by Wilson and his 11 points and 2 rebounds per game average, the 3-11 Fighting Possums were on track to set a record for most wins in a season. As it stands, the junior center is the career scoring leader for the locals. He is widely regarded as a man among boys on the court. Coach Chitwood will call on Danny Morris to step into the starting lineup. Morris, though untested, shows promise. At 6’ 7”, the 150-pound youngster has exceptional ball-handling skills. He credits lots of practice and a sixth finger on his right hand for his prowess with the ball. Morris and his teammates will face their first test when they tip off next Tuesday against the Pleasant Valley Pioneers.

Possum Could Be Playing Possum

playing-possumJack Studebaker, Reporter – A possum has been lying at the corner of Elm Street and Maple Drive for three consecutive days.  No one has been prepared to approach the area around the creature for fear of disturbing it in case he’s just pretending or taking an extended nap.

Emma French, noted local historian and lifetime Puddlegulch Playhouse Association member, lives nearby.  “Of course you know the possum is a revered creature around here,” French explained. “So these situations must be handled delicately.  Once upon a time, there was an elaborate ceremony for the recovery of the remains of such creatures. Then again, he could just be a dedicated thespian like myself.”

French proceeded to cite the long list of PPA theatre productions in which she’s been involved, including her award-winning performance as the lead in “On Golden Pond”.  French has a number of scrapbooks documenting each and every production of the PPA since its founding in 1982.

She has also spent a considerable amount of time pretending to be dead in the Ladies’ Historical Society reenactments of the Civil War era founding of Puddlegulch, celebrated every December.  “I know a thing or two about acting dead.” she said. “If he is indeed feigning death then I can say only one thing. What commitment to his craft!”

Clarabelle Beasley, another neighborhood resident, said she witnessed a “shiny Lincoln” careening through the intersection late at night prior to the discovery of the beast Monday morning.  “I have my suspicions,” she said. Beasley’s sister, Jennifer, corroborated her story. “I suspect there may be foul play,” she added.

The sisters live together on Elm Street near the intersection and are co-leaders of the Neighborhood Watch. “There’s only the two of us,” Clarabelle Beasley explained.  Jennifer Beasley added, “We couldn’t get anyone else involved, but we do a pretty good job on our own, if I do say so myself.”. The Beasley’s insist that crime in the neighborhood is at an all-time low since the formation of the Neighborhood Watch.   The last reported incident however was just this past summer when the Beasleys made a call to the county Sheriff’s office that resulted in the arrest of Sadie, Horace P. Crumbpacker’s 5 year old dachshund mix, for disturbing the peace.

UPDATE: After further investigation, it was determined that the possum was in fact deceased.  Sheriff’s deputy James Barnes picked up the remains later in the afternoon with a shovel and a plastic garbage bag.

Local “pastors” caught in web of disguise and deceit

Gordan Geary, Editor in Chief – Reverend Robert Titweiler (aka Reverend Bob Stitt, aka Reverend Rob Lowry) was arrested during an ecumenical Not-Celebrating-Christmas Bean Dinner with Puddlegulch Church of Christ, Possum Hill Church of Christ, and THE Church of Christ of Puddlegulch

“We’ve never gotten together before because Pastor Bob had insisted that our church is the only true Church of Christ in Puddlegulch and that our souls would be in peril if we fellowshipped with the others,” said elder Larry Carrington of THE Church of Christ of Puddlegulch. “But the elders of the three churches got to talking at the Fighting Possum’s game and decided we should put our differences aside in the spirit of not celebrating Christmas.  With some pressure we convinced our pastors to let us do it. But we never expected what happened.”

Mr. Carrington went on to describe a series of disguise mishaps which eventually led to the discovery that Robert Titweiler had in fact been the pastor of all three churches.

“It had occurred to me once that I’d never seen any of those guys in the same room, but I always assumed it was whole ‘peril’ thing,” said Gloria Stensrud of the Possum Hill Church of Christ.

Titweiller was released on bail, but the District Attorney’s office intends to pursue an aggressive investigation into what laws Titweiller may have committed in impersonating a minister.

“I just wanted to serve God,” said a remorseful Titweiler, “I don’t know how it got so out of control.  I’m just glad it’s over. The nightmare is over.”


New member of Staff!

Our copy editor,  Rose Hassler, wife of local celebrity author Chuck Hassler who is best known for his thrilling 1978 debut western novel  “Colt Hardcastle & The Persimmon Hill Posse,” has stepped down to return to her letter-writing campaign to the Post on grammar issues.


The Puddlegulch Post would like to introduce our newest staff member Kaylie Pham.  Not only will she raise the quality of writing hear at The Puddlegulch Post, she will raise the percentage of minority and attractiveness of our staff and community. She begins first thing Monday!

Kaylie graduated 44th in her class at Northeast Western University with a bachelorette in literature.  She was born in nearby Tompauk and graduated from Tompauk High where she was on the debate team and the cheerleader squad for the Tompauk High Centaurs.  She is an expert in the Grammarly spell-checking browser plugin and Google Docs both of which we will have Ezekial Jones, Puddlegulch Internet Telephone and Computer Technical Support Specialist, explain to us.  She lives with her cat, Kraylie, and she is a barista at the Ignite Church lobby expresso bar.

Gordan Geary, Editor in Chief

Solstice Fun With The Circle of the Blood Moon

Submitted by High Priestess Willow Wolfclaw who is not a professional writer and who does not work for The Puddlegulch Post (Are you happy Jolene?)

Merry Meet, People of Puddlegulch!

As the Winter Solstice approaches, The Circle of the Blood Moon coven prepares for its annual Circle of the Blood Moon Winter Solstice Festival and Clothes Drive.  There will be games and merriment for the children of Puddlegulch.  They can cut mistletoe from the oak trees as the ancient Druids did and get chased by our own Puddlegulch Krampus. Don’t let him catch  them or they’ll be spanked, sacked, and dragged back to his woodland lair! All for a good cause, of course.

You are invited to join the candle ritual and meditation on the Crone, a symbol of life, death, and rebirth to welcome the lengthening of days.  Clothing optional. There will be plenty of fire to keep your earthly flesh warm.

This is a great time of year to clean house so get out your brooms and homemade vinegar cleaner!  Remove the clutter and dust from the dying year. If you don’t want to throw away your unwanted clothes, bring them to us.  We will bless them with the four elements and a candle ritual and give them to the Goodwill in Clarke’s Mill.

At our festival, sage wands can be purchased to smudge your house against evil spirits and negative energy.  We can offer a special incantation to invite The Spirit of the Christmas Possum to protect you from falls. All proceeds will go to help those with UFA (Unfortunate Spellation Anxiety.)

Our most popular event will begin at dusk.  The “manicure” tent will be set up beneath a starlit sky.  Let us care for your nails and cuticles. This is not a palm reading! It will be in full compliance with Puddlegulch statute 45.3 against soothsaying, but if we should happen to glimpse your palm, that’s between you, me, and the Crone!

Afterward, when we have all once more donned our gay apparel, you are invited to join us for a community potluck at the Puddlegultch Recreational center.  Vegan suckling pig and wild grape wine will be provided and there’ll be plenty of Yule Log to go around!

Blessed be,

High Priestess Willow Wolfclaw

Letter from Fred Frith

The Puddlegulch Post extends its sincere apology for any appearance of ableism toward our Puddlegulch newcomer, Fred Frith. UFA (Unfortunate Spellation Anxiety) and MMS (Mixed Metaphors Syndrome) are serious conditions that affect thousands of Americans each day who, although can spell very well, get too anxious to do so . We thank the passion of Dr. Archibald Rogers, acclaimed expert on the second smallest country in the world, for helping us see our error. We gladly print this congenial letter from Fred Frith. Welcome to our community, Fred and Fern.

Gordon Geary, Editor in Chief

Dere Editurd,

My name is Fred Frith.  My wife and sweathurt, Fern, have rizenly muved to yure luvly city, Pullygut.  We are quoking with exsitment at the purspict of leaving in your fairy city, Pullygut.  We left our home stade, Oglahomer, a munth ago and have been wundering aboot luukking for a newd place to sittle in.  And we theenk Pullygut is difinitly the placed.  

We have nuttisd that your town has a muscot.  We herd your muscot is a pussum. Is a pussum an enemal?  If soe, wut kind of enemal is it? We would rilly luv to meet such an enemal.  We had cowz and hurses on our furm in Oglahomer. But niver hurd of a pussum. Hopping it does nut bite. Ha, ha?!

Well, Mr. Editurd.  We are luking forwerd to our daze in Pullygut.  Buy the way, Fern and I dunt have much munny. So we mite nut be abel to affurd yore noozpooper.  Can we just come to yure urfice now and thin and you can tell us the latist nooz. And maybe we cud thin meet that pussum.

Have a gud day to you.  And dunt take eny wooden pickels!  Ha, Ha??!!

Sinsurely yurs,

Fred Frith

Letter to the Editor from Dr. Archibald Rogers

Dear Esteemed Editor,

 I write in protest, dear sir.  In protest of the outrageous treatment of one of our local citizens, a Mr. Fred Frith.  Mr. Frith, along with his wife Mrs. Fern Frith, has recently begun attending the Douglas Gulch Presbyterian Church, a church of which my family were charter members in a town of which my forebears were among the founders.  We have recently discussed, at length, the decision of your newspaper to not print Mr. Frith’s very congenial letter due to his many misspellings.  

I know that you are aware by now, due to Mrs. Frith’s letter to your paper, that Mr. Frith is the victim of UFA (Unfortunate Spellaton Anxiety).  Our church’s Session is presently in discussion about the possibility of passing a resolution of censure against the Puddlegulch Post.  

Inability to spell, I assure you, does not mean that Mr. Frith lacks intelligence.  In fact, he has recently enrolled in a course that I teach at a college in nearby Tompauk .  I have been a professor at this college for 10 years. My field is the study of the country of Tuvalu, the second smallest country (in terms of population) in the world.  Risking a lack of humility on my part, I confess that I am known by some as the world’s expert on Tuvalu. My college, which has as its motto “Small is Often Better,” hired me specifically to teach one class each year on some aspect of Tuvalu.  They require me to teach no other classes, but to spend the rest of my time continuing my research on this beautiful small country. Unfortunately, until Mr. Frith enrolled in my class, only one other student has signed up to take my class in the last 10 years.  As it turned out, that one student was not able to attend even one class session. He was, alas, afflicted with a very severe case of folliculitis which he apparently got from his parent’s hot tub. This resulted in his dropping out of school completely. My college is not daunted.  They are proud to be known as the only college in the country, indeed the world, that offers a class concerned with the history, culture, and present events of the second smallest country in the world. I am, it seems, a feather in my college’s cap. And may one day, be one of many ‘feathers’ which will lead to this school’s becoming not a college, but a university! 

But back to Mr. Frith.  Simply put, I urge you to print his letter.  I think your readers will enjoy being introduced to this lovely and unassuming man who I think you will find is a picture of the spirit we so admire in our own Perry the Possum. 

With the Deepest Sincerity, 

Dr. Archibald Rogers

Ph.D. in Ancient Tuvaluvian Studies and author of  “Tuvaluvian Philatelic Bureau: The Staggering Diversity of Tuvalu Stamps”

Puddlegulch votes to keep possum in Live Holiday Baby Barn

The old Puddlegulch library was standing room only last night.  Mayor Townsend banged the gavel for a full two minutes to call the assembly to order. 

The first order of business was a song-by-song vote of the “Turn Up the Heat” Puddlegulch High Winter Dance playlist.  Several songs were highly contested; “Taste and See” was hotly debated until it was discovered that it was a Christian rock song based on the scripture “Taste and see that the Lord is good.”  Other controversies centered around “Pet My Monkey,” “Rock and Twirl,” and “Take My Love from Behind” (full lyric “Take my love from behind the curtains of my sorrow”).  

Only one song was rejected. Although it received high marks for being based on a Charles Wesley hymn tune and its keeping with the theme of the dance, “Lick My Heat Pump” was voted down.

The next item, a motion to designate the official sixpie recipe, was withdrawn without a vote because of the Ladies’ Historical Society’s compelling case that what the modern Puddlegulchian knew as a sixpie (Puddle Possum Pot Pie with Persimmon Pudding) was really a product of many years of evolution from a recipe which was never actually recorded; therefore, an “official” recipe could not be designated.

Reverend Alderman of The Second Resurrection Holiness Church insisted on adding to the record his objection to the term “evolution” in regard to pot pies and other savory pastries.

The item, however, which drew the mighty crowds of concerned Puddlegulchians was regarding the continued inclusion of the opossum in the city’s Live Holiday Baby Barn display, formerly known as Live Nativity.

Many on the religious right argued that they should be afforded at least one accuracy of what they continued to insist was a representation of the birth of Jesus, citing that there were no mentions of any type of marsupial in scripture.  

Clive Bartlett of the Puddlegulch Atheist and Bowling Society argued that because this was no longer a Nativity, there was no measure of accuracy.  

But the argument which won the day came from Dr. Archibald Rogers, member of the Douglas Presbyterian Church and leading expert on the second smallest country in the world, Tuvalu, who eloquently said: “The humblest of births should be honored with the humblest of creatures; a creature who appears to model itself from the example of one’s savior of choice by laying down its own life.”

At 1:35 am, the motion to keep the opossum in the display was approved, and the meeting was adjourned.

A vote to be taken at the Town Council Meeting on the inclusion of Perry the Possum in the annual “Live Holiday Baby Barn” display

Tonight’s monthly town council meeting at 7 pm promises lots of lively discussion. 

On the agenda is a review of music for the upcoming Puddlegulch High Winter Dance, titled “Turn Up the Heat”; a vote on the formation of a new committee to form committees; and a discussion on the designation of the official sixpie recipe

But the hot topic tonight regards the continued inclusion of Perry the Possum in the city’s “Live Holiday Baby Barn.” 

Since its inception, the barn has housed a donkey, two sheep, a cow, and the humblest of animals, the opossum. But this year, Third Baptist Christ the Beloved Living Water Church has petitioned to draw the line on “civic religious corrosion.” 

The scene was renamed from “Live Nativity” to “Live Holiday Baby Barn” in 2018 after a well-funded campaign by The Committee on Outrage on Behalf of Others at Douglas Presbyterian Church as a response to The Circle of the Blood Moon coven not being outraged enough.

Third Baptist has taken this opportunity to strike against any form of marsupial being included in the display — a long-held stance of the Baptists.

Both sides will be heard by the town council, after which a vote will be taken.  The debate is expected to go late into the night.