This is the Rubbery Shrubbery (RS) blog, where you’ll learn how Yachats (YAH-hots), Oregon, acquires a Major League Baseball franchise. To learn more about Yachats and its inhabitants—called Yachatians (yah-HAY-shuns)—please go to this page or go to GoYachats.
Today’s post comes to you from Wart Wallow, Oregon, where Edgar Allan Spindlehopper reports on how Mayor Cramp McSnort hopes to persuade that town to leapfrog over the 20th century directly into the 21st. Letting Duck Egg’s minor league baseball team play all its home games in Wart Wallow might be a good start.
The Tell-Tale Bear Skin Rug
by Edgar Allan Spindlehopper
WART WALLOW, OR — Mayor Cramp McSnort’s office is in the historic Wallow House, a Victorian mansion dating from before the Civil War. The Wallow House, like everything else, sits on the outskirts of town. The town hall occupies its first floor and a historical museum fills the second and third floors.
As I came into his elegant office the mayor, a gaunt, fiftyish gentleman, had just soiled his tea cozy and was mightily perturbed, flinging his caramel egg rolls to the floor in a pique. He quickly recovered, however, and being a professional, I suppressed witticisms and began the interview.
“Thank you for meeting with me, Mr. Mayor. Sorry about the caramel on the awesome bear skin rug,” I said, demonstrating my empathy.
McSnort glared at me a quick acknowledgement and grunted.
“And let me say what a magnificent building this is,” I added. “Such a novel exterior color scheme—red, green, blue, orange, yellow, and purple. I don’t think I’ve seen a building so kaleidoscopic before.”
By now Mayor McSnort was scrubbing the rug with vigor, but he looked up with concern. “Call me Cramp. Yes, the Wallow House is quite unique. Our local housepainter—Dogeye Pollock—is colorblind, you see. (Check out Fig. 1.) Can only distinguish blue, yellow, gray, and brown. But even beyond the colors, this building is pretty remarkable…does caramel stain?”
Dogged by uncertainty, I grappled to get hold of my nerves. “I don’t think so. Would you like to talk about it?”
With an edge in his voice, McSnort replied, “Of course I would. This valley is swarming with Wallows because Warton Wallow and his prolific, hardworking wife, Willow, were the first folks other than the Sasquatch to settle here.” I was impressed that he managed all that without taking a breath and with a lighted fig clenched between his teeth.
I know I showed unwise impatience but couldn’t help myself. “Okay, now tell me about baseball coming to Wart Wallow.”
Snarling, he replied, “Yeah, sure, but first I’m going to tell you about the Wallow House, okay? Now, Warton built this house with his own two hands, chopping down and carving trees with nothing but a snickersnee. His wife, Willow, held all the logs in place while Wart nailed them with a big rock…I think all the caramel is out now. What do you think?” There was fire in his eyes.
I put my glasses on and gave him a reassuring smile. “Nope. It doesn’t look like you washed behind his ears. By the way, I don’t believe I’ve ever seen a Victorian log cabin before.”
Snickering heartily and oddly, McSnort replied, “Oh, drat! I’ve scrubbed there, and look at it! Well, no, I bet you haven’t. If you want tangible evidence, that rock’s upstairs in the museum right now. So’s Willow. You can’t miss her—they have her propped up at the top of the stairs. Pretty surprising if you’re not expecting her. The staff gets a lot of laughs with their candid video camera.”
I took a chance. “I suppose old Wart’s up there, too?”
Smiling only through his nose, McSnort retorted, “That’s what you suppose, is it? Well, you’re dead wrong there, buddy boy. Old Wart’s buried right proper in the town cemetery. Besides, he wasn’t much to look at after the bear…” McSnort suddenly turned both away and silent.
My keen journalistic reflexes kicked in immediately. All I learned in newspaper school came back to me. I began scribbling notes onto my little notepad with a fury reminiscent of other great journalists such as…well, you know who they are.
McSnort suddenly seemed defensive. “Hey! You there, writing those notes. Yes, you. Are you a reporter? I’m not going to have people reading about how I soiled my tea cozy. I have a political career to protect.”
“Oh, you have more to worry about than your fancy tea cozy, Mr. Mayor. Is that the bear skin rug that murdered Old Wart Wallow?”
McSnort was nonplussed. It was a joy to see. I moved in for the kill. “You’ve been harboring a fugitive from justice, haven’t you, McSnort? Well, right now I’m going upstairs and take a peek at that historic rock (I can’t resist), but when I come back down we’ll talk to the cops.”
As I ascended (creaky, creaky) the stairs, I thought for a moment I could hear an eerie little-girl giggle filling the mayor’s office behind me.
To be continued!
* “Michelangelo Buonarroti” by Jacopino del Conte (1510–1598).
Next time: When we say “To be continued!” we mean just that.
NOTE: We have received a disturbing telephone call from Penelope Proudhorse, Tyler Macaroon’s wife. She asked us to stress that Tyler is indeed indelibly married, no question about it. She said they’ve had a spate of phone calls, email messages, and smoke signals from ladies inquiring about such matters. So, TYLER IS IRREVOCABLY HITCHED! That should take care of the problem. Sorry for any inconveniences we might have caused.
NOTE AGAIN: In a similar but opposite vein, Dzunukwa, the Sasquatch witch who has made several appearances on our pages, has requested we point out that she is single and looking for someone who likes mango ice cream, long walks on the beach in the moonlight, and eye of newt. She wants to stress that she no longer does that gunnysack thing—she’s gotten help.
Rubbery Shrubbery evolves under the watchful eyes of Eric Sallee and Dave Baldwin.