Dear Yuletide Merrymakers,
Well, this has been one of the most unnoteworthy years in our humble burg’s history — which, ironically, is itself somewhat noteworthy seeing as 2021 followed on the heels of 2020 when virtually the entire world shut down. Despite the fact that most businesses in town have now reopened (the ones that survived), things still seem to be working haphazardly or only in part, leaving the general populace to entertain themselves primarily by sitting around and watching the ground crack.
Probably the biggest event to hit Bedrock this year was the protest old Harold Simms organized in front of the local health clinic to object to the vaccination mandate. He led the charge stating in no uncertain terms that nobody could force him to get vaccinated. When he was reminded that he’d already been vaccinated earlier this year, Harold marched into the clinic and demanded that they suck it back out. It was all Deputy Waxman could do to convince Harold to go home and tend to his much-neglected vegetable garden. Waxman promised Harold that if he’d stop bothering the nurses the department would overlook the funny little green plants growing alongside his crop of giant ragweed.
Oddly enough, for once Mrs. Simms actually has endorsed Harold’s shenanigans in this case, since she herself has thus far refused vaccination, feeling that her having treated herself to copious quantities of her famous lemonade for decades has given her protection against practically everything ... except perhaps liver damage. Her only physical participation in the fracas, however, was limited to her selling said lemonade to thirsty protest marchers and underage enthusiasts.
Once Harold and his contingent settled down, things returned to abnormal for a time until a new outbreak of Covid hit the community. For a couple weeks the county actually had the most cases per capita in the nation, leading Mayor Frump to quip that “at least Bedrock has become number one in something.”
Fortunately the city council did not proceed with Frump’s suggestion to make the county’s number-one status a means of promoting tourism. Instead they recommended that more outdoor events be planned to keep people from gathering inside and risking further contagion. One of the most popular events was when the local historical society offered tours of the city cemetery. Things were going well until the tour guide made the grave mistake of overcharging his EVP recorder and conjured up the spirit of the last Democrat mayor of Bedrock who proceeded to regale the assemblage with a thinly veiled campaign speech of eternal duration.
But the pandemic has had its positive effects as well, one of which is that more folks seem to be taking interest in religion of late. When the county went into the Covid red zone this summer, even town agnostic Bobby Jim Martin appeared to have gotten religion. People noticed that he now has erected a cross, a star of David, and a statue of Buddha on his front lawn. When asked about the representations of so many different faiths he is reported to have said that he “didn’t want to be lost on a technicality.”
Pastor Blotfester (who has been exonerated after last year’s FBI investigation of his Zoom services involving minors) has resumed live services at his church, though still requesting that his parishioners continue wearing masks ... especially Widow Bartlett. He even allowed the resumption of Communion services earlier this year, utilizing commercially available single-serve packets referred to affectionately by his communicants as “Christ Lunchables.” The term has sparked a minor division within the parish, but most are simply happy to be amongst actual people again after the long quarantine.
The Cratons have remained more or less undaunted throughout all the past year’s challenges, and Dr. Debbie continues her longtime work with the sick people of Bedford ... and also with those who have diseases. She has begun contemplating retirement someday, but exactly when that might transpire remains a troubling question for her. She fears that retirement could seriously jeopardize her husband’s well-being as she’d most likely not be able to tolerate him on a 24/7 basis.
Ben & Nyssa remain safely ensconced in their home and respective jobs in Lafayette, Indiana, where they also enjoy tending their garden of indigenous flowers and a variety of deadly peppers — but not including such plants as Harold Simms is wont to grow.
Jon & Annie are still in Snohomish, Washington. Jon recently changed jobs, working now as a “general consultant and retail inventory manager” for a local game café. He appears to enjoy the more direct experience of gaming with actual people.
It seems that Stephen decided to do battle with Covid this year, confronting it head-on (or lung-on, as the case may be), but thankfully he emerged victorious. It has put a temporary halt on his running program, however, but he hopes to be back sprinting with the sprites again before long.
Old John persists in haranguing a few students still and also does a bit of composing. He did complete another opera this year, and now he’s waiting to see how much dust it gathers on the shelf along with all the previous ones.
Be all that as it may, we wish one and all a very Merry Christmas and happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year.
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