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November 6, 1997

Letter from the editor

Steve Patterson

EDITORS NOTE: The column you are about to read is true. The names
have been changed to protect the innocent. This column is being
printed as a public service. Parental discretion is advised.
Beware, good people, for this could happen to you.

Steve P., the dashing and handsome publisher of a weekly
newspaper in West Texas, was riding in a pickup truck as a
passenger of David M., a part-time city manager and full-time
cigar smoker.

The pair was returning from the city landfill, where they had
been competing in chin-up contest. The contest had turned when the
city manager, on his 49th chin-up, had inadvertently knocked his
cigar ash on the overhead bar, causing it to tumble down into the
publisher's eyes.

As they cruised back into town in the city-owned white Dodge
pickup, each commented on the amount railroad traffic the town has
been experiencing. They pulled up behind several other vehicles in
line at a flashing railroad crossing signal.

There was another white Dodge pickup truck directly in front
them pulling a 20-foot flat-bed trailer without signal lights, a
safety chain or any other devices of sanity.

As Steve P. and David M. were enjoying the last half of their
cigars and soaking up a beautiful day, they had no idea what evil
they were about to encounter.

The driver of the pickup truck in front of them turned in his
seat and issued a maniacal grin. He threw his truck into reverse,
gunned his engine and emitted a cloud of burned rubber. Laughing
hysterically, he gained speed and backed his truck and trailer up
and rammed David M.'s city-owned pickup truck.

The trailer struck David M.'s truck with such force that Steve P.
heard something go "crack!" in the back of his neck. When Steve P.
came back into consciousness, he found himself unable to stop
staring at the inside ceiling of David M.'s truck.

Steve P.'s neck was frozen in place, but yet he was able to roll
out of the cab and witness an amazing scene unfolding. Following
are his own words;

"After I made sure my cigar was okay, I saw David M. reaching
frantically into the bed of his pickup, saying `(Expletive)
where's my (expletive) chain. I'm getting to teach this
(expletive, expletive and expletive) a lesson in driving!'

"At this same time, the guy who had rammed us had jumped out of
his truck and fell on the ground laughing. Then he got up and I
was able to identify him!

"`Wait, Mister City Manager!,' I screamed, as David M. rifled
under his seat in search of his (`expletive) baseball bat he kept
for just such occasions.

"Look! It's Henry C., brother of Mayor C. and candidate for
county commissioner!

"`Henry! What in the (expletive, expletive and expletive) do you
think you're doing?'

"Although I [Steve P.] was still staring at the sky, Henry C.
placed a blue Monahans Nipple-Up gimme cap on my head and said, `I
just wanted to stop ya'll and ask you to vote me for county

So help me, every word of this story is true.

If you know the whereabouts of Henry C., do not try to apprehend
him yourself. Contact this newspaper or the City Manager's office.
A reward of two gimme caps will be given.


I will be announcing the winners of the First Freeze Contest in
next week's paper. If I am to believe Staff Meteorologist C.
Pearson Cooper, we have already two mornings where the mercury
dropped below freezing.


Candidates for local political office are welcome to send me a
short (one page typed, double-spaced) press release with a
head-and-shoulders photograph. I will run these stories as they
come in.


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