The Story of the Legend of Our Syrup

The iconic moose shaped bottle you are holding in your hands contains the finest maple syrup in North America — perhaps even South America. When you taste it (you’ll have to run the bottle under hot water and maybe smack the top against the counter. If that fails, use pliers) you are tasting the pure essence of the Northeast Kingdom, a cold and misty land of maple covered mountains, clear flowing spring water, and St. Johnsbury. 

In 1793, Jebidebah Flintlock, a famous veteran of the Revolutionary War, was tracking a moose deep into the forest. It was near the end of a terribly cold and harsh winter. Like, really cold. No global warming yet. Jeb had settled on this frontier to raise a family. With 87 mouths to feed, he desperately needed to kill this moose. But Jeb had a problem. He had only one good eye. Legend has it, the other eye was damaged in a tavern scuffle with a young lawyer from Yale. Oh wait — he had another problem. He also had only one musket ball left. And his feet were cold. So that’s two more, and three because his hands, they must have been freezing as well. No L.L. Bean then, although Jeb might have known Lucius Bean, who owned a gumshoe farm over yonder hills.  Nevertheless, sighting his quarry, he raised his musket and fired. His shot struck the moose right between the antlers, richocheted off, and grazed a nearby maple tree. Thrifty Yankee that he was, he inspected the tree to reclaim his musket ball, discovering the clear sweet sap flowing out like Ambrosia. And in that moment, Jebedebah’s Lost Moose Maple Syrup was born. Also, recycling. 

Correspondence

My Dearest Hollingsworth,

What can I say? Congratulations old fellow on a capstone to a brilliant career. A thousand apologies for missing your publication party last month at the Faculty Club. Helen had a dreadfully aching molar that night that needed attending to, thus we found ourselves scrambling for a dentist at the last minute, the dismal results which of course were preordained by virtue of our location in a small Amish hamlet named Curdsburg, Pennsylvania. The Amish it seems have no urgent care clinics as they rely on folk remedies and the power of prayer. In the end a kindly doctor was found and the offending molar was plucked as if by a magician. As there were no ATM’s nearby, it took a bit of searching to locate a farmer willing to barter one of Helen’s almost finished Faroe Island cable knit sweaters for the several dozen eggs needed to pay his fee. By then we realized we would never make your party. I look forward to reading your book, and I do hope you will forgive me for being a Kindle unlimited subscriber. I know we authors make a lot of noise about that demon empire still a penny is a penny you know. My best to William as always.

Yours,

Applethorp

Dear Applethorp,

It’s a shame you missed the party. Your absence was never noticed, if that makes you feel any better. Bill decorated in a Great Gatsby theme— the Baz Luhrman version — and even managed to twist Leo’s arm into making a surprise appearance. I hardly see Bill this summer as he spends most of his time running parties for A-listers in the Hamptons, styling photo shoots for Conde Nast, and surfing off Montauk. Anyway, the book is a great success, no thanks to your review, by the way. Of course we have not always seen eye to eye but really, “the Artful Codger?” Harsh. I’m okay with a little shade but why throw the entire forest? Continue reading

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Gotham

     It is sometime between coffee and lunch when I nearly cut my left index finger off with the molten edge of the cutting wheel. Standing there, on the gallery of the Gotham City Police precinct set, I peer into the dark hole in my work glove and for a moment my legs nearly give out as I see nothing but crimson and feel nothing but pain. My impatient task master, Hoaung – introduced to me as Juan and who I assumed was a Latino until a closer observation of his stocky features moved the pin to a different part of the globe entirely – is waiting for me to continue, as if losing the tip of a finger is no reason to delay production. I steady myself against the metal railing we are welding. My co-worker Gary, a little too eager to show Hoaung he is not intimidated by metalwork, urges me to see the medic. Continue reading