August 21, 2017

Angels of Accord Dwelling Midst Residents

When one is surrounded by the beautiful green trappings of nature and a lovely stream is playing soft music all around, it’s hard to find something about which to be discontented. And with angels of accord dwelling midst residents of this tiny Island nation and salting the very earth with harmony and happiness, it’s difficult to entertain discordant thoughts and negative emotions. Not impossible, understand, just difficult. Seated in my office at the Doodlebug Digest and lulled by nature’s lullaby, I was just nodding off when Pansy Hastings came in twittering about the high school prom held the night before….

If I Survive This, I’ll Give Up Drinking…

Charlie Huffinger had spent the evening bending an elbow at the Faithless Dog saloon in Clarkdale and arrived back at Doodlebug Island in the not-so-wee hours of morning, driving more by instinct than by regulation. Truthfully, he wasn’t sure which highway he’d taken to get home, and he was only vaguely aware that he’d arrived home at all. His immediate problem was which of the three bridges he saw leading to the Island was the correct one? He debated the issue with himself, then chose the left one and promptly drove off into Oak Creek. Early risers jogging along the…

Men Love to Gossip

It is a widely-denied fact that men are equal to women when it comes to gossip, and those given to a troublesome regard for truth say they enjoy a superiority. This is sometimes obfuscated by the nature of the gossip in which men engage–for contrary to women who like to discuss events, men like to discuss their friends and neighbors along topic lines or themes. The general discussion may be structured around domestic disputes, natural disasters, errors of judgment, or physical capabilities, and the men will use their friends, neighbors, fellow workers, or acquaintances to define, illustrate or round out…

A Man of Parts

Folk wisdom assures us that necessity is the mother of invention, but those of us who live amidst the verdant acres of Doodlebug Island are convinced that the father is as often merely someone single-mindedly given to experimenting with whimsical ideas that float in and out of his consciousness and take root in what thin, fallow layers of gray matter may be found there. Our Loy Lacy Lockhart is such a guy and he’s at it again! Now, if residents hear those words, “He’s at it again!” they know immediately who the “he” is; that ambulance service and medical personnel…

What Goes Up . . .

Clarence Johanson didn’t mean to start a fire in Doodlebug Island’s back country, and he certainly didn’t plan on a $28,000 bill from the Forest Service for suppressing that fire; and most of all, he didn’t mean to upset and alienate his wife, Sally. But he did all three things through the simple means of acquiring the hot air balloon he’d coveted. Sally had insisted that Doodlebug Island was a poor place from which to launch or land a balloon, but Clarence was listening to the siren voice that spoke of limitless views and of wind-borne pleasure. He fancied himself…

Humorous Mischief Maker, J.C.

J.C. Wrangle is a Doodlebug Island rancher who surrounds his land, cattle, and other holdings with barbed wire and advertises himself as living in a gated community. Claims it’s the finest on the Island. J.C. himself, however, is as open-handed as his property is enclosed, and he has an irrepressible humor about him which bubbles over in his dealings with other ranchers and residents. Now, it happens that part of J.C.’s land lies parallel to the fourteenth fairway of the Doodlebug Island five-star resort golf course, so he finds a good many golf balls lost by players fighting a vicious…

Amidst The Delightfully Green Foliage

Despite many years of feuding and fussing, their notorious resort to physical mayhem and their penchant for murderous onslaught, the National Association of Grammarians once again held their annual convention amidst the delightfully green foliage of Doodlebug Island. That they were able to do so is a testament to the forgiving nature of local residents who, not too secretly, wish these grammatical storm troopers would conduct their military campaigns elsewhere. The last combatant left yesterday. This year’s outcomes were no different from previous years, though the rancorous disagreements were noticeably louder and more pointed. Delegates appeared to agree upon only…

Life of Dan

A black sheep, aside from its more utilitarian virtues, serves to reveal just how white white sheep really are. Of course, the thing works in reverse and in other fields, so when we find someone on Doodlebug Island of a virtuous eccentricity, we take note of him. He’s likely to show the rest of us as real oddities. Dan Piedmont, owner of the Doodlebug Hardware Store, is a man whose actions are noteworthy. His life seems to have been cobbled together out of the parts of other lives, yet he is one of the happiest and most exuberant men on the Island….

Picking a Fight

Thom Swingel’s repeated request for more favorable advertising rates in my newspaper, the Doodlebug Island Run-on, irked my past remembrance of those few religiously induced tolerances suggested to me at my mother’s knee and my father’s woodshed, and I finally told him to take his business elsewhere. Well, he did, but was soon back. “Rates at other Sedona newspapers are no better, Bill. Do you guys get together?” “The truth is we don’t, and actually, there’s no need. Publishing costs are the same for all of us, and that, after all, is what drives prices.” After he left, I got…

National Rival Association, Turning a Deaf Ear and Putting Out Fires

Doodlebug Island fire chief Claude Finnegan has at last solved one of his more perplexing and reoccurring problems, and it has lightened his load appreciatively. He has begun calling the Caldwell household each evening to learn whether the wife, Laurie, or the husband, Dave, is cooking dinner. If he learns that it’s Dave, Claude feels free to close the fire station and go home to his own dinner. But, if he hears that Laurie is cooking, he or one of his staff remains on duty for the emergency call he knows is inevitably going to be made. Now, it’s not…

Christmas 2012!

Christmas this year fetched up on the shores of Doodlebug Island in much the same fashion as in previous years with the exception of the increase of baking, neighboring, and gift giving that threatened to swamp past records for their intensity and thoroughness. It almost had an Aztec “end of the world” quality to it because activity rose to a peak about the twenty-second following a solid month of preparation, which nearly eclipsed Thanksgiving altogether. The twenty-third, twenty-fourth, and Christmas Day itself were anticlimactic with Islanders hunkering down at home like so many hibernating bears, content in the belief they’d…

Perfect Tolerance for Problems

Age and experience have taught me that I have a perfect tolerance for problems–those belonging to other people–and I have an entire collection of solutions that I stand ready to advance when opportunity presents itself. Not for nothing have I practiced the counseling techniques “I hear you saying. . .”, or “Go with that . . .” or “I feel your pain .. .” But little of this mattered much during a recent visit I had with Paul Murchison, Principal of the Doodlebug High School. Paul is normally the picture of affability; so when I ran into him at the…

Evolution vs. Intelligent Design

Whether out of boredom, pure cussedness, or faulty genetics, a goodly number of our Doodlebug Island residents allowed themselves to get caught up in the controversy currently entertaining the rest of America–namely evolution vs intelligent design. The furor has died down, and evolution has been restored to its former position as the single best theory available, but not before much wrangling, vituperation and near bloodshed; and strangely, not with the slightest involvement of the theory’s advocates. No, the dust-up appeared to be the work of that small percentage of our population given to the notion the universe cannot operate or…

The Contract of Marriage

Of all the foibles possessed by mankind, the desire to center attention on the marvels of the locality in which one lives is the least understandable. Apparently, there simply exists the need to excite the envy or curiosity of others to the grandeur of the place people call home. A fellow can live by himself in the midst of a dust-bedeviled wilderness and he’ll find some way to advertise the place as the center of the natural world. If he has to build a rock castle or install a sand-blown golf course, he’ll work his heart out till he attracts…