Artwork by Linda Whitten



        It all started out one warm summer evening. The fans were blowing the air around in the dire hopes of completing the cooking of us, as we already felt half baked. My friend and I were reading quietly. Occasionally we would speak to each other and then go back to reading.

        Then it happened. Kara got up to use the bathroom. Little did we know what was in store for us! HAD we known, we'd've gone out to dinner or faced the wrath of Sweetums.

        A few moments later Lyndie heard a frantic call from the bathroom. "Help! The toilet is backing up!" Lyndie laid down the book she was reading and went to Kara's aid. "What's wrong?" Kara certainly looked a little panicky to Lyndie. "Do you know how to use that thing?" Kara inquired, pointing to the toilet plunger. "Yeah. I can use it." Maybe things weren't as bad as they seemed. Or so Kara thought.

Lyndie worked a moment or two. Things seemed okay. They tried flushing the toilet again. Still, to their dismay, the darned thing wouldn't flush right.

        A second attempt to make the potty work correctly was made.

        This time the results startled the two women when Lyndie worked the plunger. They heard water backing up in the bathroom sink and in Kara's shower. Surprised at this, they looked at each other and then into the empty shower.

        "That doesn't sound promising!" Lyndie decried. Kara looked at her friend and promptly agreed with her.

        Lyndie's eyes grew wide. "Say, you don't think that's the Cesspool Monster that's been plaguing the neighborhood, do you?"

        Kara looked thoughtfully at her friend. "I don't know. It sure seems to look that way."

        Both of them sincerely hoped it would go away, as they were leaving town the next morning on business. They felt Kara's husband, Bryce Litspiter, should and assuredly could deal with this little problem.

        Neither of them hoped that nature would call until some time after they were on the road. "You know," Lyndie began, "The toliet worked fine just a little while ago. I wonder why the silly thing decided to act weird now." Lyndie promptly returned to what she was trying to read.

        Soon, Lyndie crawled off to bed. She was looking forward to the trip they were taking in the morning. Kara stayed up a little longer to tell her husband, Bryce, that the toilet was acting truly strange. Not much longer after that she went to bed.

        The next morning Kara and Lyndie loaded up their vehicle and started their drive to the business appointment they had. Before they left, however, Kara left three separate and well worded messages for Bryce.

        One message told him in no uncertain words that he'd better get the problem solved or HE'D end up in cesspool. That's the one Lyndie remembered of the three. She sort of thought the other two dealt with the borings aspect of housekeeping - laundry, dishes and such - but she wasn't certain.

        The trip, the ladies reported, was successful.


        Mr. Lyme and his valiant assistant, Chuckie, were attacked by something decidedly odd over the weekend. Rioting townsfolk aside, this was uglier than even that! Or so Mr. Lyme reported to us.

        Mr. Lyme told us that it was huge and really ugly. "The stench was almost unbearable. Especially at first when it came at us!" Young Chuckie explained.

        Both men were armed only with toilet plungers and cesspool chemicals.

Cesspool Monster

        The ensuing struggle to subdue and contain the Cesspool Monster took the better part of two hours as it is understood. The two men emerged victorious, but tired and covered with a lot of yucky stuff all over them. They were offered the use of the Lipspiter's shower, changes of clothes and a ritual burning of the offending clothing.


        On Thursday afternoon Lyndie Whiddlesom had been walking through the park innocently enjoying the sunny afternoon and the pleasures of nature when she was struck from behind.


        She thought she saw a vaguely familiar black foot retreating rapidly into the bushes.

        With great caution she carefully parted the shrubbery and saw a rather disturbingly familiar feline face. With the perpetually permanent malevolent grin on its face, Sweetums stared back.

        Needless to say, a string of rather uncomplimentary words left Miss Whiddlesom's mouth. Some of the nearby citizenry looked on in shock at Sweetums attempted to take another piece of Miss Whiddlesom's leg off. She managed to dance just out of reach of the annoyed cat.

        Lyndie Whiddlesom left the scene leaving a trail of surprised Simes and Gens muttering something about getting even with THAT cat.


" 'Old Lady' Detweiler At It Again"

Detweiler Artwork by "Ma Gen" (Lois M. Tartaglio)

        Better run for cover!
        After obtaining her mobility with a wheelchair suggested by the local nursing home staff, "Grandma" Detweiler is not one to be lightly reckoned with. It is the belief of this reporter that Mrs. Detweiler's encounter last year in the suds filled fountain has finally made her really "slip a cog."
        Mrs. Detweiler with her deranged cat Sweetums has always plagued the townsfolk of Somerset. She's got a malicious mischief, terroristic threats police record from way back. When she was relatively immobile because of her walker she only preyed on townspeople from her nursing home window and balcony, which we suspect only made her more miserable.
         With the onset of arthritis and the loss of the cat, she was determined that everyone should be as miserable as herself. To ease her out of her depression the staff of the Convalescent Center have given her the top of the line wheelchair she now takes such sport in. The added attraction of an ancient "air horn" only adds to her sport. The horn is suspected to be her own maniacal idea.
         According to Mrs. Detweiler, Sweetums has now been trained to respond to the air horn. Even though the cat has been found, and is firmly ensconced in her suite at the Convalescent Center, somehow Grandma feels the cat is still lost, and is in a perpetual state of looking for her "precious."
         Grandma takes great glee is sliding up to unsuspecting townspeople in the shopping district, and letting loose with the air horn and its ear splitting racket, and then taking off cackling with joy, and rolling as far and as fast as her arms can propel her, still looking for the cat. It is suggested that the occasional passerby pick up the cat at the Convalescent Center (if they have the nerve, falconer's gloves, and are willing to put their life on the line, since the beast is not known for being very social) and present it to Mrs. Detweiler in the hopes that the found animal may take the woman off the streets for at least a short time.


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