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Butch Impresses Bettie
By Tom Carnegie
I have been living in Baton Noir since
1906, nearly fifteen years now. I'm
not going to tell you my name, because
that isn't important. The fact is,
I keep my ear to the ground and as
such I'm a great dispenser of gossip.
A while back Butch told me of a revelation
that he had. He had seen poles
in the lumberyard that were pointed at
one end and treated with something to
keep them from rotting. Butch is a
great one for telling us about his
dreams. He said that he was asleep
one night and it became crystal clear
how these aforementioned poles were
made. In the lumberyard is a very
large praying mantis that pulls a pole
from the pile and sticks it into a very,
very large pencil sharpener. After
giving the handle a few cranks the
mantis then hands the pole to a large
grasshopper who treats the pole with a
good load of tobacco juice.
But I digress.
I want to tell you about
Butch's attempts to win the favor of
Bettie. Butch always had a hankerin'
for Bonnie Doon, but he was outgunned by a
veteran of the Great European war. He wasn't too upset
though because he decided he liked
Bonnie's sister Bettie better anyway.
Early one evening he happened by the
Doon fox farm where Bettie lives.
"Just happened to be in the neighborhood",
he said. Bettie was there and
they were talking out by the driveway.
As they talked a family of skunks
came out from behind the woodpile
and started ambling across the driveway.
Butch pointed out their existence in such a manner as to startle
said skunk family. Mama skunk proceeded across the road while five or
so baby skunks decided to stay near
It bothered Butch that
these skunks were separated by the 12
foot expanse of the driveway, so he
decided to take action. A more passive person
might have just left the divided family alone on the off chance
that they could reunite themselves,
but not Butch! He thought that maybe
he could just herd these baby skunks
out of the woodpile and across the
road to their poor lonely and anxious
mother. Butch wasn't too worried
about getting sprayed because he had
heard Joseph Vant say that baby
skunks don't spray. Well, these
skunks must have been young adults
because Butch did very little prodding
with a stick before one of them let go.
Bettie was not impressed.
Hayes Olson is a beekeeper. For the
fun of it he made a beehive with glass
sides so you can watch the bees work.
The hive is built into the side of his
shed with the glass side facing the interior
of the shed.
He had shown this
hive to Butch and Butch was intrigued.
One evening, with Haye's
permission, Butch decided to show
the hive to Bettie. Bettie had misgivings
about looking at bees, but Butch
convinced her that they were very
docile, especially in the evening.
They were talking and watching the
bees in the semi-darkness of the shed
when Butch noticed that the bees
would periodically start to buzz. He
soon realized that it was their breath
from talking that made them buzz. He
thought it might be fun to really get
them buzzing, which he did by blowing
through a gap and directly into the
hive. The bees apparently didn't like
this. They sent a group out to see if
they could identify the problem. Unfortunately,
Bettie was so identified.
She was stun twice, once on the forehead and once on the lip.
Needless to say, Bettie was not impressed.
I wasn't there for this last episode, but
I think I can relate the story fairly accurately.
A tank truck was at the service station to refill the tanks.
The truck driver was smoking a cigarette
whilst he strung out the hose. Joseph
Vant was there and asked the man if
smoking and filling tanks were such
good things to do together. The truck
driver intoned that he thought it was
ok. Joseph then asked the man if he
had ever heard of anyone having
problems with gas and fire. The man
said that he had not. Joseph then suggested
that maybe this was because
they didn't live to tell anyone about it.
The truck driver then advised Joseph
of the vulnerability of his nose and
suggested that it might be in his best
interest to keep it out of other people's business.
Joseph did the prudent
thing and walked away.
As if to prove a point the man flaunted his
cigarette as much as possible from
that point on. He got results. It the
course of the filling operation somehow
the gas was ignited. As the
flames began shooting out of the hose
the man did the prudent thing - he ran
away. I guess it was quite a sight seeing
the flames coming out of the hose.
The shouts brought people from all
over to witness this spectacle. Butch
and Bettie were attracted to the scene
in this manner unbeknownst to each
other. Very soon most of the formerly
attracted crowd got a big dose of prudence
and decided that they didn't
want to witness the final outcome of
this unfolding scenario. A few people
hung nearby and wrung their hands.
The tanker driver hung around, but
didn't wring his hands as they were
slightly burnt. The valve on the hose
was partially on, so the flow of the
gasoline was somewhat restricted.
The hand wringers wondered what
would happen when the hose became
consumed and the gasoline came out
Contemplating this, several
more brave souls became prudent.
Butch being a man of action and imprudent,
grabbed a garden hose and
turned it on. He headed for the tanker.
Joseph shouted at him to stop, as the
water would just spread the gas and
hence the fire. No one expected what
Butch did next. He headed straight for
the tanker and crawled to the top. He
lifted the lid on the top and dropped
the water hose in and shut the lid and
jumped down. He then became prudent and
ran away. In a very short time
water began coming out of the hose instead
of fuel and the fire extinguished
itself. The service station was spared
any major damage, the truck driver was
much relieved, the few imprudent people were
spared their lives and denied a
really good firework show. The best
news of all is that Bettie was impressed!