Posts Tagged ‘Lankvile Daily News’

Millennials Are Moving Back to Lankville and Living Like Kings

August 18, 2015 Leave a comment
By Brock Belvedere

By Brock Belvedere


Last year, Berenice Cradles and her boyfriend Josh Wilson-Shires paid $26,000 for a three bedroom, 1,600 square-foot Lankville Northern Regional Style house in the Snowy Lake Area. After growing up in the nearby Eastern Hills, attending Lankville State Easier University, then living and making music in the Islands for two years, Cradles and Wilson-Shires came back to Lankville, where they have become active in a movement of young preservationists bent on restoring the nation’s old homes and buildings.

“The new Lankville Dream is not about owning a giant mansion or a fancy Neptune but owning something that matters more because it’s accessible,” said Cradles, as we sat over Apple Cider Toast and salmon at Flour to the People Bakery while Wilson-Shires sat very quietly and obediently nearby. “I think the whole Lankville Dream is really shifting because young people are out there changing Lankville.”

At age 26, Cradles’ life is a sort of marketing campaign for Lankville. This summer, after wrapping up a series of episodes for the Lankville Broadcasting Company in which their refinished home was shown repeatedly at different angles, Cradles and Wilson-Shires were married, becoming Lankville’s First Couple of Historic Preservation. The event had its own hashtag– #lankvilleloveweddingwithcake, mirroring the name of their own recently founded company “Lankalove Developments”, which restores old homes, commercial buildings and pebbly lots.


Berenice Cradles (Press Photo). Husband Josh Wilson-Shires not pictured.

As she wolfed down some more Apple Cider Toast (and added some brie to our repast), I asked Cradles what Lankville’s new slogan should be.

“Lankville: Comeback Nation,” she said, instantly. “Oh my God, I’ve thought about slogans for months and months and months.”

“She has,” added Wilson-Shires in a quiet, feeble manner.

According to census data analyzed by The Lankville Daily News, from 2000 to 2015 the number of college graduates between the ages of 22 and 30 in Lankville jumped 45%, more than in the Islands or the Distant Peninsulas. Part of attracting that younger demographic involves programs like the Lankville Salvage and Love Project, which provides loans for individuals and businesses to improve downtown properties, many of which have been ravaged by neglect or challenges.

“A lot of people look at these old structures and think that they’re just rotted old places full of rats and vermin and bum’s piss,” noted Lankville Re-Use Project CEO Dawn Elliott-Cryoden, aged 27. “But millennials see possibilities and so they tear out everything and put up new walls and solar panels and little gardens and they clean up the bum’s piss and what you’re left with is development. It’s really a new movement.”

Upon my arrival in Lankville, I landed on the basement couch of Nora Jeans-McGriff, a 26-year old who, in 2012, ended up in Lankville after biking up from the Islands. She had just been planning to stay for a few months while doing a work exchange at a wood shop in the Middle Outlands, but her plans changed after she bought a house at a foreclosure auction for $1,000. The house isn’t livable yet (it was partially destroyed by numerous challenges, a Super Tornado, and bum’s piss), but she’s been slowly fixing it up, adding a green roof, gutters made of recycled stiffened cardboard and insulation made of pressed trash and with help from handy friends in town.

Nora Jeans McGriff

Nora Jeans McGriff

In the meantime, she pays $150 a month to rent a room in a communal house in the Middle Outlands and waitstaffperson’s at Emoti-Flan, an artisanal custard cafe.

“I make a lot more money here than I did in the Islands,” noted Jeans-McGriff.  “And I can save a lot here– I didn’t work at all for four months! I just traveled, played music, made graffiti art, raised nine chickens, collected rainwater, fed some bum’s at a community kitchen, counseled children, built reusable water bottles out of found trash, grew tree fruit, started a bicycle laboratory, purchased some vacant lots, and hung out with my boyfriend!”

Starting a business is also less daunting in Lankville. One day, I visited PAO QUOTIDIAN (owner’s capitals), a worker-owned bakery in the Great Northern Mountain Area opened last year by first-time business owners Tori Loops, Allison Hunter-Awnings, Emily Freedmont-Westerbrook and Kim Fields, all in their late 20’s. They raised $40,000 to start the bakery from an online funding platform and now pay $400 monthly on a graduated rental lease for their 1900 square foot space. The artisanal bread market is not saturated in Lankville; business is brisk.

Loops, 28, originally from Hoover Island, got her master’s degree in performance studies and Gender Musings from Eastern Hills Easier University. After graduation, she worked sporadically as a graphic designer, co-operative farmer and a waitstaffperson at a cupcake cafe but decided she wanted to live in Lankville where she could do work that “mattered”.

“I’m glad we’re past the point where the Islands are the only places to go and be successful and make your mark on the world,” said Loops (rated about a 7 out of 10- 8 out of 10 if she ever wore a bra). “There are a lot of places in Lankville to have opportunity that are a little more accessible.”


Smith Bryce-Phillips

Smith Bryce Phillips agrees. He lived in Lankville until he was 22, when he moved to the Islands. Last year, at age 27, he moved into a house in Lankville with his homosexual lover.

“I couldn’t really make a name for myself in the Islands. I didn’t get any attention. So, I came back to Lankville. The energy feels right in Lankville now,” he told me at just desserts cafe (owner’s lack of capitals), where we met for brie, cupcakes, and pumpkins.

Right next door, Smith rents a storefront for $500 a month. He hasn’t disclosed the name or purpose of his store yet (currently, a sheet of brown raw treeless “paper” covering the front door reads #MYSTERIOUSSTORE, but he imagines it will serve as a community bike space, used gay bookshop and pottery learning center. While he fixes up the place, it stores his massive sculptures, several interconnected repurposed tractor wheels that take up nearly 3/4 of the space. He calls the sculpture HUGGINGLANKVILLE.


Psychologist Winifred P. Temple studies Millennials (Press Photo)

“People are really excited about the mysterious storefront,” noted Phillips, as he smeared an artisanal free-range pumpkin with brie. “The idea of a completely unknown storefront is something new, something they haven’t seen before. Every day, at least ten to fifteen people come up and ask what the store is going to be- try to guess, give me suggestions. It’s inspirational. I wouldn’t have got that kind of attention in the Islands.”

“Millennials have that can-do, entrepreneurial spirit, said area psychologist Winifred P. Temple. “It’s relatively easy to be in the Now,” noted Temple, “but how many of us can live in the Next? Millennials can, and do.”

As just one example, she pointed to the historic Lanqueduct that runs along Old Pondicherry Avenue in the Western Lankville Plains. The aging structure, built by the ancient Lankans who first settled in the area, still services many longtime residents with fresh, slightly colored water.

Janice Tippitt-Toes, friend and sometime “physical sharer” of Berenice Cradles, has big plans for the Lanqueduct. “It will be a mixed-use development. I envision an artisan youth hostel, a Men’s Feelings Center, and an urban park that you navigate with a network of webs and pulleys,” she said, beaming with an almost off-putting confidence as she sipped a soy Lankichino near Pondicherry Square.


Cradles dances over some of her backyard plants while topless. “They grow better when you dance with them,” she noted.

Despite the growth of the millennial demographic in Lankville, the nation’s population is still in decline. “The reality is that people do tend to move to the Islands when they start drawing a good salary,” noted Eastern Hills Easier University Lankville Studies Professor E. Talbot Bonds. “We’re still dealing with the reality of the challenge problems, the tenting murder epidemic, super insects, eldritch horrors– the list goes on and on.”

But Cradles still believes that Lankville will prevail.

“We’re right at the dawning of a new age,” she said, after giving her husband the okay to consume an unadorned bagel. “So many groups are starting– I’ve started so many groups. Just while we were talking, Brock, we closed a deal to buy 22 vacant lots in Lankville. We’ll turn them into co-operative farms and composting stations.”

It’s a labor of love, Brock. A labor of love.”

Photo credits: Catrin Lloyd-Bollard and Bethany Dinsick.

A Trucker’s Food Challenge

August 4, 2015 Leave a comment
Brian Schropp on Cuisine

Brian Schropp, Senior Cuisine Writer


So there I was enjoying another endless summer day at the ‘Deep Northern Suburban Lankville Trucker’s Pool and Spa Association’. At some point earlier in the season someone found a water hose (which I guess was used for washing big rigs) and has been regularly keeping the pool and all the various kiddie pools filled with cool crisp hose water. It’s not only the water I enjoy but also talking with the truckers and hearing their road stories. Sure, when a large group of them get a little drunk they will force me to wear an adult diaper and I have to strut around and cluck like a chicken while they throw bottle caps at me for their amusement but I try not to take it too personally. Trucker Joe says that’s just the wild humorous nature of a Lankville trucker which makes them so special and it should actually be taken as a high honor. He says most ‘norms’ (non-truckers) are usually not allowed inside at all and the few that are don’t live to talk about it. The spa can look like a rough and harsh place to us on the outside but I find it actually be a warm and loving place to those they accept (as long as they don’t drink too much).

Anyway, Trucker Joe and I were sitting at the poolside basking in the sun and getting our ‘drink on’ from the bar (Joe, a nice bottle of a local brew ‘Scrub’s Delight’ and myself a nice tall glass of strawberry milk). After awhile various truckers began to set up folding tables near the pool area. At first I thought nothing of it but became curious when tablecloths were being placed on them.

​Trucker's families love to cram into a nice small kiddie pool.

​Trucker’s families love to cram into a nice small kiddie pool.

“Say Joe, what’s going on? Is there going to be another ‘Trucker’s Fest’?”

A couple times during the summer they throw these all night parties by the pool. If this was the case I was going to make a quick exit, I would soon be clucking the night away.

Joe shook his head. “Oh no Bri, today is actually a special day for us members of the spa. You know how the norms have their own ‘Lankville Food Challenge’? Well, we truckers do our own! We figure if the outsiders think they’re good enough to crisp some bacon or open a can of Lankville Sausages then so can we. I didn’t want to tell you so it would a surprise.”

I was absolutely delighted!! I had heard tales of ‘trucker cuisine’ but never had the pleasure of trying it. I started to ask him about the rules and the judging of the event since the normal food challenge is a complicated affair.

“Nothing that advanced. We usually just set everything out and people decide which one is the best. The winner gets a 25% discount coupon for ‘Sweet Georgie’s Big Rig Wash’.”

“Are you going to enter something?”

Trucker Joe gave me his goofy grin. “Oh you bet thee, I’ve come close to winning a few times but always lose out. This year I think I have it.” He looked around to make sure no one was listening “Follow me, you can help me get it ready!”

Not only was I going to be sampling a sub-genre of food I had never tried but now I would be helping one of my closest friends in their own culinary endeavors. My imagination went wild on what possible delights Joe could have envisioned. Would it be anywhere near my recent brilliant brainstorm ‘Deep Northern Meat Bits Dinner Loaf Topped With Sweet Southern Lankville BBQ in A Green And Yellow Butter Sauce’? We went into one of the side buildings and he pulled out a cooler with his name on it from under a table. Again he looked around to make sure no one was about.

“I got this really good ham and swiss cheese at an ‘off the back of a truck’ discount. I know that sounds bad but it’s pretty good quality, I think the stuff never hit the road. Now what’s really going to win it for me is this fancy bread with black seedy things from ‘Foodville’. The bread is so soft and delicious, truckers never had bread this fancy before. I mean it, they have no concept that there is even a thing as fancy bread. I can tell you that their worlds will be rocked. Come on and help me make a few.”

​Could a simple ham and swiss sandwich win?

​Could a simple ham and swiss sandwich win?

It took me a moment to process that this was actually going to be his entry. “Joe, all you have is a ham and cheese sandwich. Everybody has had that before.”

“You’re not listening to me, it’s the bread that’s going to win it for me. It’s a fancy bread with black seedy things.” He paused giving me his ‘you must be the dumbest person in Lankville’ look.

“Well the bread is from ‘Foodville’– it can’t be that good. Anyways it looks like someone has already taken a bite out of most of these buns, did you get these at a discount to?” I wouldn’t put it past a ‘manager’ like Hank Cameron to peddle shifty bread.

Joe ignored my question and went on about his ‘culinary achievement’. He began to cut the ham and swiss out of the area where the Foodville bread was ‘damaged’– now it looked like somebody had taken a bite out of the whole thing. I began to question him if he really thought this idea was going to work especially when he mentioned there were going to be no condiments on the bread as well.

He waved me off. “You gotta trust me, I know what I’m doing.”

I left Joe to go out and try some of the other offerings. I really hoped he wouldn’t make too much of a fool of himself.

Most of the other truckers had their entries set up and ready to be judged. Being a ‘norm’ but a somewhat respected foodie, I was allowed to sample small portions. A big selection of the items were baked bean themed and among those a large percent were just open baked bean cans with stuff thrown in. I learned that most truckers don’t have time to prepare full meals while hauling freight over Lankville’s interstates and highways. They are just looking for good, simple but flavorful food. I felt proud to learn a new aspect of ‘trucker culture’ I didn’t know.

While pondering this Joe made his grand entrance. “Behold! A new kind of sandwich the likes of which you have never feasted on before!!” He came out holding two paper plates while the spa dogs danced around him (he is known in the trucker circles as a bit of a ‘drama queen’).

The crowd ‘oohed’ and ‘aahed’ as the plates were placed on the table. A few were afraid to try the sandwiches at first because of the black seedy things. Once they had a bite though their eyes glazed over in ecstasy. That was all it took, everyone wanted to try some. I had to help Joe make some more since the demand was so high.

“What type of bread is this?” one trucker asked.

Trucker Joe

Trucker Joe

“A fancy bread,” Joe replied.

“I didn’t know there were any other kinds expect ‘Lankville White’. Did you put the black seedy things on?”

“Nope, they came like that.”


“Is this ham and swiss from that deli tractor trailer accident the other week?” another inquired.


“Good choice. I heard the stuff never hit the road.”

It struck me that their food challenge didn’t need to be complicated or filled with any type of ‘advanced flavor profiles’. Trucker Joe actually did know what the people wanted and how to win. So kudos to him for easily winning that coupon to wash his big rig. He held the extra large coupon in the air while the music started to play from the spa speakers and a full-fledged party began. I got so caught up in Joe winning and thinking about the trucker culture I didn’t hear the chant of ‘cluck’,’cluck’,cluck’. It was too late and I found myself in the clutches of two extra strong trucker women who stripped me and threw a diaper on. I found myself clucking for the afternoon but if that was the cost for hanging around such fine folk then so be it.

Until next time dear readers, please keep your mind and mouth open to new ideas. Happy Eating!!-Bri

OPINION: I’ve Been Punched in the Mouth While Renting a Belt Sander Before, I’ll Be Punched in the Mouth While Renting a Belt Sander Again

June 8, 2015 Leave a comment
Dick La Hoyt

Dick La Hoyt


Yeah, this is a message for that shitscrew down at the Home Dump in the Lankville Hill Area. Guess what, asspipe? I’ve been punched in the mouth while renting a belt sander before, I’ll be punched in the mouth while renting a belt sander again.

So, here’s what happened. I’m just putting some finishing touches on a little patio out back– just a nice little place with some cushy seats where I can put my feet up at night, know what I mean? Got a little fire pit out there, a gas grill– I won’t lie, it’s kind of an oasis. Anyway, even though Tammy keeps saying Dick, it’s fine, it’s done I know to hell it could be better, so I go over to the Home Dump to rent me a belt sander.

I can tell the guy is a real smartass from the get go– like he thinks Dick La Hoyt is some kind of a sucker. Keeps saying, “Hey, man, your best value is to rent this for a week– that way, you can take your time.” “I don’t need no time,” I tell him. “When I start a project, I damn well finish it that day. You can bet your cheeks on that.” He gets real embarrassed then and he kind of dumps the belt sander on the counter in a real pissy way and starts writing me out some contract that’s about 20 pages long.

“What’s the speed on this thing– what kind of db’s are we looking at?  This thing got torque control?” I ask.

You wouldn’t believe it. This goon didn’t even look up– just kept writing.

“HEY, MAN! I can take my god damn business elsewhere. I already got figures from a couple of other places and they SURE AS SHIT are cheaper than YOUR ASS.”

He looks up and stops writing.

“Good for you. You must feel great now.”

Well, I won’t lie– I just about lost my shit.


“I’ll meet you in the garden section,” he said. “That outside enough for you?”

“GLADLY”.  And I walk over to  wait by the birdbaths and fountains.

Well, about fifteen minutes pass and I’m just fuming. At the same time, though, I’m burning daylight and I promised Tammy that I’d have that deck like the bottom of a baby’s ass by dinner. I ain’t got no time to wait around for this prick.

So, I start to head back to the counter. And I’m just coming around a big pile of bagged mulch and the next thing I know, the guy is standing right there. I take a swing and miss and then he pounds me right in the mouth. I go down like a god damn box of rocks and then, while I’m half-out, this turd dumps a bag of mulch on me. Even picks up a hose and waters down the mulch. Christ, I was soaked to shit.

But I just want him to know it and know it well– I been punched in the mouth while renting a belt sander before and I’ll sure as shit be punched in the mouth while renting a belt sander again.

Gump Penetrates

June 2, 2015 Leave a comment
Gump Tibbs

Gump Tibbs

It’s time for another penetrating interview with Gump Tibbs. Today, Gump interviews Lankville Daily News correspondent and gourd aficionado Dr. David Hadbawnik.

GUMP:  So, Dave, you have that little area in the paper where you write about gourds?

DH: That’s right. One day I was driving with the family through the Lankville Glens, passing by roadside stands selling fresh fruits and vegetables and ammunition, and we pulled over to choose a weapon for the kids. And there on a little woebegone table off to the side was a meager selection of gourds. It made me angry, you know? Like gourds are some kind of afterthought, almost an embarrassment. Well, not to me they’re not! That’s when I realized I had to do something. I started with skywriting. But I wanted something more interactive, so I began holding workshops. Now the workshops operate as a sort of ongoing “knowledge community,” in which we discover together that gourds are not just a neglected food item, or even a fetish object or fashion accessory, but a whole way of life. And from that, I generate ideas for the Lankville columns.

GUMP:  Excellent!  And you write about other things besides gourds?

Dr. David Hadbawnik

Dr. David Hadbawnik

DH: Yes. Gourds have been a gateway to so many other things. I now consider myself a “budding” expert on other neglected plants, such as legumes, radishes, yams… Keep an eye out for my upcoming coffee-table book, Tubers and Taproots and Bulbs: Oh My! It will be out soon from Lankville Editions.

GUMP:  That’s just fabulous. You’re a doctor now too.  What kind of medicine do you practice?

DH: I haven’t decided yet; the possibilities really are endless – cardiology, homeopathy, astrology – and I’d like to try different things before I settle down with a specialty. For the moment, I consider myself an “intuitive” doctor. That means I’ll be out and about just kind of letting my mind wander, getting into a nice, foggy Zen state, and I’ll sense that someone nearby is having some discomfort from an ailment and go over and offer to help them. Often this takes the form of an impromptu massage; sometimes a round of staring at the affected area. People are always grateful!

GUMP:  Now, Dave, I heard you celebrated with a dinner at Casa Montecristo?  Pretty posh!

DH: My wife and I loved Casa Montecristo before it became so popular with the crème de la crème of Lankville, back when it was simply known as a Respectable Dining Venue. Now – sigh – it’s an Elegant Reception Hall. But we still love it, and Deejay Humphrey always plays our favorite song, “The Rose of Lankville.”

GUMP:  Absolutely wonderful!  How do you have time to do anything else what with gourds and medicine?

DH: I don’t know! But when gourds are your life, the time really just flies by, and it’s not work, it’s fun. If I weren’t being paid so much to do it, I’d do it for free!

GUMP:  Just exceptional!  I’m going to go fire some guns into the river– want to come along?

DH: I thought you’d never ask, Mr. Gump!


June 1, 2015 1 comment
By Suzy Sweetly-Services

By Suzy Sweetly-Services

The tables were being draped in shades of pink for important guests that were soon to arrive. Soon, though, was more of estimate than an actual depiction of time. We all know that it isn’t fashionable to wear watches. There was a big debacle about whether or not to lay the knives “in” or “out.” I thought about just picking one up and slitting my throat but thought the better of it, as it would probably ruin the overall color scheme. Whatever.

I watched the door, standing at attention with my hands firmly pressed together behind my back. An old, bespectacled man, the embodiment of dust itself and melanin challenged, moseyed on over and up the stairs. Less aged versions of himself, dapper in business casual, followed suit. A supposedly “glamorous” woman with shoes that my co-workers would not shut up about walked by, confidently carrying her blazer over her shoulder with one hand. This also showcased her extensive gold bracelets on her bronzed wrists.


The set table (take note of the lovely floral centerpiece).

“She’s from Bunkum-Gild City, ya know…” a fellow waiter said in a hushed tone.

“What a classy woman,” said another.

“Those shoes could pay for a month of my rent, lemme tell you…” commented somebody else.

From a financial standpoint, I wondered to myself if that were actually true. From a perception of style, I’d seen better. Again, whatever. The appetizers were passed around but no one was really biting, so to speak. Cluttered around the bar, these patrons knew where the good stuff was. The pre-meal was served without a hitch, water glasses were filled enough to make the ice clink a couple of times, and everybody got their entrees within seven minutes. We all stood in the corner and watched them eat and pretend to have a good time. After plates were cleared, it was time for the next and final course: dessert!


The shoes that could pay for a month’s rent (file photo)

Somebody messed up the order and went to the wrong table first, totally passing by an annoyed President Pondicherry. I held back in horror, two bowls of strawberry soup stuff in either hand, awaiting instruction from a boss.

“Just go!” commanded a boss in utter despair.

Dessert was finally served and barely eaten. Much of it went to waste. Upon clearing the tables, the old dust cloud backed his chair into one of the waitstaff, causing her to trip over the wire hooked up to a nearby podium. Causing a domino effect, the strawberry soup stuff went flying all over the place. In a pre-emptive move that essentially was non-effective, the classy woman got up and broke her heel. Unsteady and not used to walking with the ground so close to her arches, she stumbled and ended up falling forehead first into her very own stiletto spike.

There was blood everywhere and everyone was running around with strawberry soup stuff all over their Pashminas. I went over and knelt down beside her to see if she was still alive when gasping for air, she grabbed my shirt collar and whispered what the actual retail price of her shoes were. Now I’d tell you but my break’s up and I’ve got to go clean out some toilets.

Mayonnaise and Mayhem,

How to Get the Party Started

May 27, 2015 1 comment
By Mr. Mentor

By Mr. Mentor

So you think you’re real hot shit, don’t you? Careful now girl, easy does it now. Don’t inflate too many balloons if you ain’t prepared to party. Don’t pack your luggage just yet now. Deep down, you already know the itinerary; you’ve got to travel slowly and meaningfully and respectfully. Kiss maybe a quarter of the hands you meet and then shake approximately 17.5% of the babies you come across vigorously. Approximately, you know – give or take.

You want out of the endless cycle of running in place and chasing your own tail? You want to save the world? Go tell it on the goddamn mountain because some of ‘em are better than you and some of ‘em are worse but they’re all hungry, see? Which goes back into that party I mentioned before…

Did you set the table? Did you dim the lights? Are the salad forks on the correct side of the plate? Is the candelabra lit? Is the good china out? Are the glasses pristine? Is the wine sparkling? Is the conversation flowing, not forced?

Write nine ‘thank you’ notes to every guest who decided to show up, on the hour, every hour. Sound like a lot to do? Afraid you’ll mess it all up along the way, spilling gravy into someone’s irritated lap? You will, a little bit, but if you keep your head on both shoulders, your tie tucked away evenly under your collar, and your eyes and ears open – you might just host the party of a lifetime.

Pizza for Pondicherry, Part I

May 27, 2015 Leave a comment
Brian Schropp on Cuisine

Brian Schropp on Cuisine

It was late afternoon at the ‘Pizza-A-Round’ when I heard the commotion up front. It sounded even more intense than the usual ‘beginning of the early dinner’ rush so I left my ‘managerial sink’ to investigate. The focal point of this chaos was front and center in the phone area. My manager, Scott and the new assistant manager (we go through assistant managers very quickly), Melvin were fluttering all over the place screaming and yelling. This in turn was sending the phone staff into complete nervous wrecks.

“Get Sharkie on the CB and see if he’s made that delivery to Deep Eastern Lankville yet!!” Scott yelled to Melvin.

My manager Scott relaxing at home.

My manager Scott relaxing at home.

We use what Scott calls an ‘advance’ CB system system with our drivers to ensure speedy deliveries. The central giant CB is located right outside of Scott’s office next to the phones. Melvin put on the headset and flicked a few of the giant switches. “Pizza Break 5-Pizza Break 5 this is home base-over-can you give me a locale on your delivery-over-” After a moment Melvin shook his head. “He’s caught up in traffic on the East Side, will be about another 20 minutes before he even makes it to the actual delivery.”

“Well he’s going to be caught up in a lot more when he gets back.” We knew from the expression on Scott’s face that this could be Sharkie’s last night on this planet.

Scott saw me looking on and his face lightened a little. “Guess what, Bri? Someone big just ordered one of your ‘Mid Morning Snack Pizzas’ with an extra cheeseburger. I’m not talking big like ‘Big’ James who runs the nacho station, I mean big in name. None other than President Pondicherry himself!”

I was taken aback for a moment. “Wow!! If he likes it and word starts to get around–”

“Big things Bri, very big things. HUGE THINGS. Ever thought this place could have it’s own private jet? Might be a reality if—”

​The Mid-Morning Snack Pizza for $29.95

​The Mid-Morning Snack Pizza which retails for $29.95

The downside hit me all at once and I knew the need for panic. I finished the sentence “—we can get it there quickly.”

There is a long history of President Pondicherry ordering from pizza places, then the place failing to get it there ‘fast enough’. Some of the best of the best– ‘Crust-A-Must’, ‘Three Fat Guys And One Skinny Guy Pizzeria’, and ‘Elbows Deep in Sauce’ crumbled after not making the cut. Sure they were fast but no 15 or 30 minute guarantee is good enough for the President. If he wants a pizza he wants it that second.

“Can someone from the line give me an ETA on the pie?!! I need someone on the fries and cheeseburgers in a few. Where is Charlie the nugget guy? I want those nuggets CRISP!!!” A slight sweat was forming on Scott’s brow.

Outside of the “Pizza Eggwich” this particular pizza is the most complicated to make. Each section, the cheeseburgers, the fries, the nuggets are like a piece of the overall puzzle with each part to be done at the correct moment to ensure the best result. And we needed this one to be the best ever!!

“Melvin, see who else is on the road and can be here in three minutes. I want this out the door after dropping it in the box.” Melvin called around on the central CB and soon looked at Scott just shaking his head. I knew Melvin was going to be a goner before too long.

Scott looked directly at me. “Bri, you’re going to need to run this one.” For a moment all commotion stopped in the “Pizza-A-Round”. The only sound was a pizza cutter hitting the floor.

“But-but Scott the Presidential House is clear across town!!”

My most important customer ever?

My most important customer ever?

“We have no choice in the matter. By the time any of these drivers came back and got back out on the road it will be way too late. I know the pizza will be heavy, I know it’s going to weigh you down some. But don’t worry– just stick to the main highways and weave in and out of traffic. People might slow down if you keep yelling that you’re making a Presidential pizza delivery but they would need to hear you so it’s unlikely. Not with that soft, gentle voice of yours.”

I started to complain and whine but it was no use. I knew Scott well enough that the look in his eyes meant there was no alternative.

“Go get yourself cleaned up, you’re a soppy wet mess. You have two minutes before it’s ready.”

I stumbled off mentally preparing myself when I noticed that the annoying girl who is in here all the time with her boyfriend was waiting to be seated (we have a small ‘dining area’ in a room right off the entrance). I grabbed two menus and led them to a table. With all that was happening I sorta mumbled that someone would be with them in a moment and started to walk off accidentally hitting the side of another table with my leg. The girl giggled (she never says anything) and then her boyfriend whispered something in her ear which made her laugh out loud. I had no time for this– I was moments away from beginning the run of my lifetime. A run that could make or break me.

Please join me gentle readers for my next article where I will give you the thrilling details about delivering a pizza to our very own President. Until then keep your mind and mouths open to new ideas. Happy Eating!!-Bri

Funny Stories by Dick Oakes, Jr.

May 8, 2015 Leave a comment
Dick Oakes, Jr.

Dick Oakes, Jr.

I was hanging out in the bus station reading a newspaper that some guy had dropped on the floor. They had this section called “Free Love Encounters” where people advertised all kinds of nonsense. I couldn’t figure on a bunch of ’em but I decided to try a few. It had been awhile.

There was some jackass clogging up the phone booth. He was nattering on about getting a bunch of furniture delivered to the outlands. I gave him a hard stare. He couldn’t take it none and, after awhile, he bolted.

I tried the number on the first ad– said something about nude girls with big yams that would come out to your place and clean up a little. I couldn’t figure on none of it but I dialed anyway. A swarthy-sounding guy snapped it up after two rings.

“Topless maids– can I help you?”

“What if you want a maid but you ain’t got no house?” I asked. I felt like a horse’s ass.

“Just name a place, buddy. I got Shirley right here, ready to go. She’ll do your laundry for you.”

“Nude? At a laundromat?”

There was a pause. “Naw, guess we can’t have that. Unless you got a room or something. Maybe she could wash your pants in a sink, towel ’em off. That kind of thing.”

That sounded alright. I gave him an address– the Visibility Inn. “Have her meet me in the coffee shop that’s shaped like a triangle.”

“Coffee shop shaped like a triangle?” He was getting all bent out of shape about it. I couldn’t figure on it none. “I protect my gals– I’m not gonna’ send Shirley out to a god damned coffee shop shaped like a triangle.”

“Make it a room then, Jesus. Tell her to ask for Oakes at the front desk.” skokie10

I hung up on him and huffed it down there.

The clerk was a little sissy in a tri-colored button-up. He gave me a room down on the end and handed me a couple of soaps on a towel. “Make it two towels. Actually, make it three.” I thought about the pants. He gave me a little hell about it but in the end, nobody gave a damn. The sissy went back to his magazines and his cigarettes and I went back to my room.

It was about twenty minutes later that Shirley showed up. She was sporting coiffed strawberry blonde hair and some fair business up front that was squeezed into an all-black costume with a frilly white skirt. She pushed in a cart of cleaning supplies. “What are we doing today?” she asked, disinterestedly. She looked around at the immaculate room– the Visibility Inn had thought of everything.

“You can wash these pants out in the sink,” I proffered. I took the faded, worn-through polyesters off and dropped them on the floor. They were blown to hell– there wasn’t no point in it.

“You should throw these away,” she said, removing her top. A couple of big bazooms came barreling out. I popped half a chub.

“Why don’t you throw them away for me?” I said.

She bent over and, in one motion, hurled the pants across the room into a plastic trash can. The can danced precipitously before falling straight over. It was growing dark out.

She began dressing.

“That’s it?”

“That’s it.”

I suddenly began to feel very drunk. That half a fifth was finding its mark.

“You…did a good…job. I’ll recommend you, Shirley.”

“My name is Shirley but everyone calls me Peaches.” She was all dressed now. I couldn’t make no sense of it all.

It was a long time after she was gone that I passed out.

Trucker Joe’s Tales of the Road

May 8, 2015 Leave a comment
Brian Schropp on Cuisine

Brian Schropp on Cuisine

My friend Trucker Joe loves his big rig tales. I get the impression from his countless stories that the Lankville Highway and Interstate system is a huge mangled mess that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Being that I have no license of my own (I become a “bag of nerves” whenever I try to take the driving test) I really don’t know if his stories are totally true or slightly embellished. When I’m with my folks they don’t seem to have a problem navigating around but Joe always counters that they don’t REALLY REALLY get out there and that they stick close to the burbs (plus I usually just “zone out” in the back of the car thinking of new food adventures).

Trucker Joe

Trucker Joe

Today I spent some time with Trucker Joe at the “Deep Northern Suburban Lankville Trucker’s Pool and Spa Association” (I get in free being Joe’s “guest”). Usually it’s not a bad place especially if the pool has water and it’s somewhat clean. The truckers are pretty hesitant with “outsiders” but being with him must give me some pretty good cred. In fact Joe says that’s probably what saves me from getting my throat slashed in the shower rooms. (I like to think it has more to do with my friendly personality). After a nice dip in the pool we settled down with a few cold ones (Joe had a beer and I had a refreshing diet citrus soft drink) and the tales of the Interstates began to flow.

“Bri, you might think it’s an easy life, speeding down the road with somewhat illegal contraband, wind blowing through your hair while gazing at the light purple sky of an evening’s sunset, some rambling jam band on the radio shoving their good vibes into your soul. It’s not that peachy, I know that’s the romantic spin people like you try to put on it (I tried to tell him not really but he wasn’t listening) but there is some real danger out there. Take the roads in Western Lankville for example, it seems to be the hot bed for a lot of accidents and strange happenings these days. Not sure if it’s all metaphysical stuff but I hear the people chanting in the woods just like everybody else that passes, even seen a person or two in a robe. Does that really mean the occult? People like to dress in robes to be comfortable all the time, right? But one does have to admit the roads are just plain bad out there with a lot of twists and turns. There’s a spot called “The Devil’s Bend” off of Highway 402 where you will find an accident almost every other hour. I passed by a nasty one not too long ago, one sixteen wheeler crashed right into another. One of them was hauling frozen fish sandwiches, you know like you find in the frozen aisle at Foodville (for some reason Joe shops there) and they were scattered all over the road. I think a few cars were caught up in it as well, crumpled and burning under the bottom of both trucks. Yes, people of all sorts take that bend too fast but is it because these chanting people in robes by the woods are taking over the driver’s minds and causing this? Do they also cause the tire blow outs that send trucks spinning out of control and crashing into innocent families picnicking on the side of the road? Or do they get in the heads of the families and make them have a picnic on the side of the road because that’s one hell of a place to have one if you ask me. It’s these types of trucking questions that can tear at a man’s soul.”


​”The Devil’s Bend” near Highway 402

I was going to mention that I had never heard of any family ever picnicking by the side of a highway and then being killed. Sadly, I was wrapped up thinking about the frozen fish sandwiches which would never be eaten. What a loss.

“Another weird area is Interstate 63 in Middle Southeast Suburban Lankville. Back in the golden heyday of trucking that was one of the finest roads to drive through. For whatever reason, they decided to put a walking lane for people to stroll down, how does that even make sense? I understand the area has fallen on hard times and the folks are poor but the merging onto it is a real pain in the ass now.”

Come on, I can believe hooded cultists causing accidents on a highway but a walking lane on the interstate? That’s a bit much.

“Joe, that sounds a little too crazy. You are either making that up or mixing something up.”

“I knew you were going to say that! Always not believing me and such. Well this time I took a picture just to prove you wrong.”


​”The walking lane” on Interstate 63

Joe opened his trucker’s fanny pack and took out the picture. I snatched it out of his hand.

“Jeez Joe did you take this to prove a point or did you want a picture of this woman?” He had an unhealthy obsession of taking pictures of women while on the highway.

“Don’t get sore because I am right.”

I tuned out his playful taunting and studied the picture closely for a few minutes.

Who’s to say that woman’s car broke down a few miles away and she was trying to get help? Just because you see one woman walking down Interstate 63 doesn’t mean it’s a walking lane.”

He rolled his eyes like I was the biggest idiot in the world. “BECAUSE I saw other women walking down the road, up and down the road in fact.”

“Hmmmm.” I thought about it for another minute. Why would women be walking up and down that stretch of pavement unless it really was a walking lane. “Guess you’re right–this time.”

“Well the next time we go out to eat you’re buying!!”

We sat for a little awhile taking in the sun and sipping our drinks basking in the warmth of our friendship. I was quietly building up the nerve to ask him a question. This question I ask every once in awhile in hope of finally hearing some stories. “Hey Joe, can we talk about Highway 71 now?”

​The Fried Egg Hot Dog- A trucker's dream!!!

​The Fried Egg Hot Dog- A trucker’s dream!!!

This single question turns the usually joyful trucker into a very serious one. “I don’t know if you are ready Bri, those tales make places like Highway 402 look like a field day in the park.”

Highway 71, also known as the “Badlands”, is located in South South Lankville. I have always been personally obsessed with the place ever since reading books about it as a lonely teenager in the school library. The tales of the macabre, the strange and supernatural, the utter madness!! Some say it’s all the natural gas from the mountains that make people hallucinate, others say it’s a true portal to Hell. I know Joe has driven it at least a few times and each time coming back a slightly changed man. I patiently wait for the day when he is ready to open up about it.

Before wrapping this article up I just have to mention the delight of the Trucker Spa’s eatery– most notably their “Fried Egg Hot Dog”. Sure, the eatery is usually very filthy with last night’s grease still dripping off the oven and the constant smell of urine from the nearby restrooms always in the air. Sure the cook and staff are the rudest people in the world especially to me as one of the “outsiders”. And sure they make me take off my pants and cluck like a chicken for the food I want but it’s so so worth it. The way the grease melts on the egg to the hot dog then soaking into the bun making it a soggy mess. Believe me you will want to get a truckers license just to get in and try this!!

Well until next time my gentle readers, keep your mouth and mind open to new ideas. Happy Eating!!-Bri

Royer Buys Box of Puppies

May 7, 2015 Leave a comment
By Lloyd Byas-Kirk

By Lloyd Byas-Kirk


Notable Lankville business magnate Ric Royer has purchased a box of puppies, sources are confirming.

Royer: Puppy Daddy

Royer: Puppy Daddy

“Yes, it’s true, I have purchased the puppies,” noted Royer, who was interviewed in his Lankville High Hills home. “The dew of the light bathes all of our souls in perfume and the lambent flame brings us the continuity of consciousness.  Now, let’s open the box of puppies.”

Royer tore open the box and seven puppies were seen to suddenly dart under some nearby furniture.

“What a light!” the executive exclaimed. “The rays consume me!”

The puppies are believed to have been purchased from an Outlands farm. Phone calls have not been returned.

“It’s very difficult to be alone in a fourfold dimensional world, possessing the Double Wand of Power (interviewees capitals) as I do,” Royer later stated. “These puppies will help me focus, keep me company and, later, as they grow older, they will be able to scare off or even eat intruders.”

“Now the mystery is done,” Royer added after a long period of eerie silence.

A press conference is expected later today.

Kitchen Kerfluffle Leaves Hurt Feelings, Unsightly Mess

April 28, 2015 Leave a comment
By Dennis Updatables

By Dennis Updatables


An ongoing dispute in the shared kitchen space in the Office of Financial Excellence at Lankville State University has entered its third week, with no resolution in sight. The dispute began when the last few drops of cleaning liquid were squeezed out of a large bottle of Barlow’s “Magic Hands” Detergent, a popular brand around the upper echelons of the Vice Presidents’ Citadel on the Lankville State Campus.

The "mess".

The “mess”.

The “Magic Hands” Detergent was not replenished, and the dirty dishes (and silent, seething frustration) began to pile up.

“Ridiculous … disgusting … Un-Lankvillian” were some of the words used by Susie P. Totenhotten to describe the scene in the kitchen. Ms. Totenhotten is second special assistant administrator to the Interim Vice President of Financial Excellence and often finds herself tasked with flushing out a coffee pot in the late afternoons.

Rebekah Wollstonecraft, part-time student assistant to the Interim VP, agreed. “Usually the ‘Magic Hands’ gets low, somebody leaves a Post-it Note on the cupboard above the sink, and the next week there’s a new bottle. Not this time.”

“I’m just a student,” she added. “It’s not my job to buy detergent for these assholes.”


Anger bubbles over at missing suds.

Dave Schlarsberger, 52-year-old Assistant Vice President in the Office of Financial Excellence, could not be reached for comment. His office released a statement of surprise and dismay at the state of affairs, however, while disavowing any responsibility.

“I don’t know what the world is coming to, I really don’t,” said Margaret Winchell, someone we stopped in the hall. “I understand that people are frustrated, they’re angry, tensions are boiling over and they have to come out somehow. But what does this solve?” she asked, gesturing helplessly at the neglected kitchen sink. “How does this help anything?”

Ms. Winchell hurried off in distress as a couple of burly men passed by with keys jangling.

As of press time, the “standoff” continued, with the Special-Interim VP of Extimate Affairs threatening to call in an outside cleaning unit if the mess is not dispersed soon.

OPINION: It is an Injustice that My Novels Have Not Garnered a Wider Audience

March 20, 2015 1 comment
By Cust Shirley, Novelist

By Cust Shirley, Novelist


I began writing 25 years ago.

In that time, I have produced 16 novels, countless short stories and several chapbooks of humorous poetry. I have penned essays, critical reviews, travel accounts and even a novella written entirely in rhymed couplets. And if you think that’s easy to do, my friend, then I invite you to try it. Hell, you can even use my desk and sleep in my guest room if you want to give it a shot.

But despite all this work, I bet you haven’t heard of me, right? Why?

Because of a grave injustice. Let me explain.

My first novel The Shed Out Back was a realistic story of a love-hungry girl in the Lankville scrublands. I actually spent several months in the scrublands just so I could get the feel of the place. It paid off. I ended up with what I thought was a masterpiece. Here’s a sample:

In the end, Gretchen was a one-man woman– a woman who could give only one man the full passion of her being– the wild, unheeding surrender of a scrubland animal. Cliff may have been the wrong man– he probably was the wrong man but it didn’t matter. Because scrubland trash loves it that way.

If you can’t get excited by the power of the written word over that paragraph, then we better start checking your pulse.

Anyway, the novel gets printed and comes out in some selected bookstores in the Lankville scrubland and peninsula areas. It gets reviewed– in this very paper, no less by a man who shall remain nameless. And this is what that reviewer wrote:

The Shed Out Back is the printed equivalent of vomit. And also, piss and shit.

I will never forget those lines. But I would not be deterred. I pressed on.

More novels followed in quick succession. Jezebel in the Meadows, Square and Bare, Hard Phil, High Pillows in the Snowy Region, Demon Experiences in Many Lands. Each and every one– a gem in my mind (and the minds of my wife and some of our friends, I should add!) And every time– the same kind of review or some version of it. Here’s what that same reviewer said about Hard Phil:

If you’ve ever wondered if it were possible that a pile of dung could be run through a printing press, bound and sold in bookstores, then pick up a copy of Hard Phil.

Can you god damn believe that? I told my wife that if I ever ran into that guy…

I pressed on. I completed a trilogy of novels about a quartet of overly-endowed revolutionary women and some bears who live in medieval times. The bears talk like humans and it’s sort of about the complex interactions that they might have if there were these overly-endowed revolutionary women around. I add further bears in the second volume and then several child bears with oversized heads in the third novel (they are meant to be from another planet). Then, everyone actually travels to another planet. It was a deeply personal work coming as it did at the zenith of my creative powers and when I sent it off to the publisher, I thought to myself “Shirley, you’ve done it. The first truly important work of our new century.” Then, I waited.

And waited. And waited.

Finally, I called Herb Howard over at Night Pyramid Books. I said, “Herb, what the hell’s going on over there?”

And he said, “I’m sorry, Cust. But we won’t be publishing the Nude in Orbit Trilogy. It’s just…” He sputtered out. I slammed the phone down.

And you know what I did? I published the god damn thing myself.

I got copies for $19.95, $29.95 for the signed deluxe edition. You wanna’ correct an injustice? Buy one.

You WILL NOT be disappointed.

The opinions of Cust Shirley are not necessarily the opinions of The Lankville Daily News or any of its subsidiaries.

The Lankville Daily News Guide to Great Sex

November 17, 2014 1 comment
By JoLayne Fasters

By JoLayne Fasters

JoLayne Fasters is Lankville’s premier authority on sexual intercourse.

Was it good for you?

If you’re like most of Lankville, chances are it wasn’t. Chances are it was really bad and maybe even scary. You were addled with anxiety, there was an otherworldly piercing noise you couldn’t identify, you were worried about your physical worth. Even if the act achieved the idealized heights of a romantic novel or the back of one of those juice cans, you still harbor your suspicions. Sure, you thundered like a bucking stallion, sure, you melted at his touch like candy on a particularly hot Easter. And yet, you still think- you’re pretty much not getting it anywhere as often as everyone else.

You think to yourself– can’t we all just have great sex???

Of course we can. All the time. But first, we must decide what great sex is.

“Great sex starts in here,” says clinical psychologist Patti Cooks, pointing to her breast. “What, in your boobs?” we asked. “No, no, in your heart.”

“Great sex starts in here,” says clinical psychologist Patti Cooks, pointing to her breast. “What, in your boobs?” we asked. “No, no, in your heart.” We nodded slowly. “It starts in your heart and great sex is about what is in your particular heart and in the heart of your lover and then the two hearts come together to decide what great sex is. It could be multiple orgasms throughout an entire raucous night, it could be a lot of chatter and then some quick sort of breezy thing. But first, you have to do this.” Cooks then pointed to her wide open mouth.

“What…? Oral…?” we asked confusedly.

“No, no,” she admonished. “You have to open your mouth. You have to talk.”


Maybe you want your lover to dress up as a happy, smiling tooth and distribute dental supplies while you videotape the whole thing. You'll never know if they're up for it without an open, honest line of communication.

Maybe you want your lover to dress up as a happy, smiling tooth and distribute dental supplies while you videotape the whole thing. You’ll never know if they’re up for it without an open, honest line of communication. (Photo by J. Fasters)

So, as we found out, the mouth is great for kissing and for orally-administered forms of arousal but it’s also a tool of communication. Try it. Tell each other what you want. Maybe you want something simple like a particular part of your body rubbed sensuously. Maybe you want your partner to dress up as a happy smiling tooth and distribute dental supplies on a street corner while you videotape the entire thing. But you’ll never know any of this without an open line of communication. Shoot for trust and openness.


Don’t believe all the bragging out there about sexual potency– everyone is apt to exaggerate their exploits and paint distorted pictures of their sex lives.

“About 97% of people are liars,” Cooks says. “A lot of people think they’re missing out on something because they read all the crazy talk on things like Lankbook and at amusement parks. “Don’t think the pleasure ship has sailed and left you behind. The pleasure ship is still docked. It’s ready for you to hop aboard.”

Cooks excused herself momentarily.


Commutes. Computational devices. Calculators. Challenges. “The Four C’s”. And they all lead us to stress.

Stress is a great enemy of sex. So is anxiety about performance. Minimizing both helps maximize your enjoyment of your partner. “If we can quiet our minds,” Cooks says, “put away those calculators for just a minute, we can open ourselves up to better sex.”

Cooks recommends a mentra: FOLPS (Focus on Luscious Pleasurable Sensations).

“There are techniques ranging from quiet leering at your partner at close range to a sort of synchronized breathing that helps keep you in the moment,” she notes. “Great sex happens in the present. It never happens in the future.”

The author and Dr. Cooks suddenly got into an argument about time machines and this segment came to an abrupt end.


No two people are built the same (fact) and it’s important to have compatible body parts. For some women, men of a modest size may be a perfect fit. For other women, they need the good stuff. Nevertheless, it’s a matter of physiology and personal preference. Perfect-fitting penetration isn’t the only avenue to satisfying sex.

“My goodness, no,” Dr. Cooks laughed. “Small men can be perfectly useful. There’s kissing. Cooing. They can sit in the corner and coo at you. It’s a full panoply of pleasure giving.”

Next time, we’ll continue with a few more great sex tips. In the meantime, try a few of these out and let us know how they go. We always appreciate your letters, electronic mails and telephone calls.

Royer Briefed By Popinjay; Orders Massive Shipment of Saltines

November 17, 2014 Leave a comment
By Sha-Nell Byas-Kirk

By Sha-Nell Byas-Kirk


Rumored to be “coming out of his funk again,” storied business magnate Ric Royer has been seen this week consulting an unusual source for medical advice for his ongoing severe case of jaundice.

The Popinjay (File illustration)

The Popinjay (File illustration)

Last Tuesday, Lankville Action News: YES! was trailing Royer as he was carried on a palanquin by six of his trusty “life interns” (all of whom he met on Lanklist and who he says have “worked out pretty well”) at the Knott Salt Depository just outside town. Royer, resplendent and tinged yellow, held a discrete meeting behind the salt mound with a popinjay for forty-five minutes, and inside sources within Royer’s inner circle have suggested the topic was Royer’s skin color.


Detail of Royer’s face (take note of the fine eyebrows).

It is not known exactly what passed between the two behind the mound, but public records show that Royer’s shell company also bought a massive 200 ton shipment of saltines from The Depths via Teets Island just two days later. The shipment evidently filled two of Royer’s warehouses.

Coincidence? Medical cure? Or just pure eccentricity?

You decide!

In unrelated news, Royer’s autobiography, “Strangling People Without Leaving a Mark and Other Riddles” is expected to be out in June.

Analysis Pending on Bumpkin Trailer Inventory; Schropp on the Breakfast Sandwich Underground

November 17, 2014 Leave a comment
By Lloyd Byas-Kirk

By Lloyd Byas-Kirk


Analysis is still pending on the bumpkin trailer inventory handed over to Lankville Daily News reporter Lloyd Byas-Kirk last Friday. The bumpkins were taken off by the wind over two weeks ago.

The bumpkin inventory is still being "analyzed".

The bumpkin inventory is still being “analyzed”.

“I can’t imagine what the hell you’re “analyzing”,” noted Detective Gee-Temple, who handed over the roster of household items and utilized air quotation marks when pronouncing the word “analyzing”. Gee-Temple then began a long pedantic folksy tale involving a rabbit that need not be reproduced here.

There have been no further sightings of the bumpkins since their mysterious wind abduction.


To address a question I have been asked a lot recently, yes, the BSU (Breakfast Sandwich Underground) is real. No it’s not just me (so, let’s stop the letters please!), they are a true group for whom I am their spokesperson. They are not a terror group, they are not evil, they are everyday folk like you and me going to their offices, retail jobs and grease pits. But in their hearts, upset at the state and policies of breakfast sandwiches in Lankville and tired of getting laughed at\ridiculed about it. Do I condone some of their actions? No. The trash cans knocked over in front of supermarkets and convenience stores with “BSU” spray- painted on them is not very civil. But I feel their frustration and maybe if these places had better breakfast sandwich options these types of things wouldn’t happen.

Now, onto another topic that I have been asked about recently. The popularity of “fresh frozen” has reached an all-time high recently. What is “fresh frozen”? Put simply, it’s food which is prepared fresh, then is frozen to be delighted in at a later date. And of course this food trend has been popping up in the arena of breakfast sandwiches. Have I tried it? Yes, a few times when my mom has allowed me to “make a mess in the kitchen”. And I do believe there is a better taste and quality to your normal frozen variety of breakfast sandwich.

I have tried it…when my Mom has allowed me to “make a mess in the kitchen”.

A thought came to me while I was testing out this process. Why can’t grocery stores make breakfast sandwiches fresh in the morning, let’s say in their deli department, and then keep them frozen for customers throughout the day to enjoy? I decided to call one of my nearby grocers “Foodville” and speak with the manager Hank Cameron (who can be a real a-hole, frankly– though, don’t print that, please). Here is the transcript from that call:

“Thanks for calling Foodville, this is Louise speaking how can I help you?”

Foodville manager Hank Cameron who Schropp referred to as "a bit of an a-hole". Cameron enjoys camping and guns.

Foodville manager Hank Cameron who Schropp referred to as “a bit of an a-hole”. Cameron enjoys camping and guns.

“Hi, I was wondering if I could talk with Hank Cameron please.”
“Is this Brian? Listen, he doesn’t have time for you today. He’s going to be upset with you hassling him.”
I remained silent.
“Alright, hold on a sec.”
“What do you want Brian?”
“Yes Mr. Cameron, I have a wonderful idea that you may want to introduce to your deli department. It could really help with your sales.”
“I don’t have time for your breakfast sandwich ideas right now, I’m dealing with a delivery in the back.”
“But if I could just talk to you about fresh frozen options for breakfast sandwiches it could give you an edge over Food Mart.”
“Fresh what?!!!”
“Oh come on, you’ve heard of fresh frozen. You call yourself a grocery manager? You need to stay on top of these trends.”
“I’m hanging up now.”
“You can if you want but the BSU will probably not be happy about it.”
“Listen Brian if I find out you are the one knocking over the trash cans in front of the store I’m calling Gee-Temple.”
[Mr. Cameron slams down the phone]

Again, I do not condone any measures the BSU takes. I hope Mr. Cameron can listen to reason about new and exciting breakfast sandwich possibilites down the road. Speaking of new and exciting possibilities, The Lankville Daily News has assured me that this, dear readers, will finally be my first dedicated article! No more bumpkins! Congratulations to the News for taking an important step forward. Well until next time readers, keep your mind and mouth open to new things!!


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