Christmastime 2014

Dear Yuletide Yokels,

’Tis the season once more to spread cheer and glad tidings, despite the attempts of miscreant merrymakers to besmirch our humble traditions. As of yet, Bedford remains still on this side of Purgatory, so our misguided masses continue their gleeful practice of disseminating joy worldwide through their annual Christmas missives.

And what a year it has been for our humble burg! Bedford has several recent achievements of which its citizens are quite proud. Perhaps of eminent note has been the fact that Bedford sponsored its first half-marathon this year ... which, as old Harold Simms said, was appropriate given that the town does everything half-assed. Actually, it turned out that a half-marathon was entirely appropriate, seeing as nearly two-thirds of the participants seemed barely able to remain upright after consuming some of Mrs. Simms’ famous lemonade during the last water break. At least they all finished with smiles on their faces.

The city youth also have been in stiff competition to maintain hold on the trophy they won back from Gary, Indiana, the previous year of having the highest teen-pregnancy rate in the state. And the populace has been working diligently for the claim of most meth labs per county as well, though so far they’re lagging markedly behind neighboring regions. The competitions have had Deputy Waxman pulling vast amounts of overtime, seriously straining the county budget. The newly proposed cannabis tax may help the treasury recover, however.

The local populace also became quite civic-minded during the latest elections. Tempers flared dramatically on the courthouse lawn during the campaign, though unexpectedly all sides seemed to combine forces against the growing Washington bureaucracy. Even Chad Holman, despite being a life-long Democrat, spoke out against the current administration this past fall and issued the statement that “Obamacare is for the dogs!” He was forthrightly summoned to Washington, but rather than being reprimanded as expected he found to his surprise that he instead was asked to help develop a national veterinary health-care plan.

The city also joined the ranks of the “hipster hamlets,” according to Jake Williams, when it converted a large segment of the Milwaukee railroad line into a hiking trail. Jake was among those adamantly opposed to the conversion, not only because it took away his sole opportunity to traverse the county in his vintage hand car but more so because he says it will be an occasion to attract more of the “godless IU crowd” who doubtless will share drugs and who knows what variety of lewd diseases along the hidden pathways. In protest, he has allowed his mule unlimited access to the trail to leave hefty evidences of his repugnance over the city’s decision.

The Cratons have continued to distance themselves from all such community involvement, however, and have endeavored to maintain what sanity they possess within the confines of their own worthy compound.

They were particularly blessed to have youngest offspring Stephen with them throughout most of the year, since he remained in Bedrock after returning to the States for brother Jon’s wedding last October. Stephen returned to what he calls the Third World in September, though we aren’t entirely clear how that Third World differs from Bedford. He hopes to rejoin his dysfunctional family for Christmas, and perhaps then we can compare notes.

Middle son Jon remains happily nupted to the lovely Annie, and they both seem to have adapted reasonably well to the natural fauna of Seattle. Any hopes of getting them to return to the nation’s meddling Midwest seem forever abandoned seeing as they both actually have gainful employment on the Left Coast. And Jon says he’s more apt to contend with the occasional earthquake than to put up again with our annual joust with multiple tornadoes in Indiana.

Eldest son Ben provided us all with wonderful news this year as he actually became engaged. We had begun to despair of his ever finding a suitable mate, but the experience has taught us all that some things are definitely worth waiting for. A more perfect match could hardly be envisioned, especially since that failed cloning experiment in his basement a few years back. He and Nyssa Boyd are to be wed this coming May in Lafayette.

Dr. Debbie continues her efforts to heal all the sick people in Bedford, though it seems a never-ending task. While circumstances almost persuaded her to relocate her talents to other climes this past year, she appears now resolved to spending her every last moment of medical practice repulsing sundry contagions in Lawrence County, Indiana.

Old John just keeps getting older. He still vents his screed to unsuspecting students on a regular basis and continues to offend the Muses with his musical scribblings, but otherwise he largely hibernates in his studio/man cave and plays butler-dad to two cats instead of to three sons, as was formerly the case.

As not much else worthy of note has transpired in this sector, we’ll pause now to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a survivable 2015.

John Douglas & Debbie Craton
(plus cats & turtles)

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