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Topic: Humor

Yankee Humor | Welcome to Your Small Town

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As a newcomer to New England, here are the crucial things you should know about your small town.

small-town-brewer

The town bulletin board 
lists local events, but the really important information—who moved in, got a speeding ticket, or didn’t pay their taxes—travels via the grapevine. The grapevine can be annoying, but it also brings neighbors to help stack your wood, feed your cat, and drop off a casserole when you’re sick. Try getting that 
in the big city.

The town bulletin board lists local events, but the really important information—who moved in, got a speeding ticket, or didn’t pay their taxes—travels via the grapevine. The grapevine can be annoying, but it also brings neighbors to help stack your wood, feed your cat, and drop off a casserole when you’re sick. Try getting that in the big city.

Photo/art by Mark Brewer

New England is known for its historic inns, generally rich in charm and gracious hospitality. The Smalltown Inn is not. Built in 1783, the inn’s last big renovation involved the installation of rotary-dial phones. It was considered as the location for filming The Shining, but the producers found the inn “too creepy.”

New England is known for its historic inns, generally rich in charm and gracious hospitality. The Smalltown Inn is not. Built in 1783, the inn’s last big renovation involved the installation of rotary-dial phones. It was considered as the location for filming The Shining, but the producers found the inn “too creepy.”

Photo/art by Mark Brewer

Bertha Hadley presides over the town library and knows at all times who’s reading what, which books are overdue, and which selectman got yelled at for chewing gum in the reading room back in 1962. Don’t cross her.

Bertha Hadley presides over the town library and knows at all times who’s reading what, which books are overdue, and which selectman got yelled at for chewing gum in the reading room back in 1962. Don’t cross her.

Photo/art by Mark Brewer

Bud’s Garage—the only garage in town—has just one lift, so you’d better not be in a rush. The parts department is the collection of old cars sitting out back, some of which Bud inherited from his father (Big Bud) along with the shop. 
You may be tempted to try the 
coffee that Bud keeps on a burner in the waiting area. Don’t.

Bud’s Garage—the only garage in town—has just one lift, so you’d better not be in a rush. The parts department is the collection of old cars sitting out back, some of which Bud inherited from his father (Big Bud) along with the shop. You may be tempted to try the coffee that Bud keeps on a burner in the waiting area. Don’t.

Photo/art by Mark Brewer

When you go to the post office, don’t forget your key. Postmaster Albert Whittle will retrieve your mail, but he’ll take his time about it, and he’ll subject your mail to extra scrutiny, which helps him piece together your life story. Albert likes to talk, and if you get in line behind one of 
the town gossips, you could be there till the cows come home (roughly 5:00 p.m.). Folks in town know when the local chatterboxes mail their packages and plan their visits accordingly.

When you go to the post office, don’t forget your key. Postmaster Albert Whittle will retrieve your mail, but he’ll take his time about it, and he’ll subject your mail to extra scrutiny, which helps him piece together your life story. Albert likes to talk, and if you get in line behind one of the town gossips, you could be there till the cows come home (roughly 5:00 p.m.). Folks in town know when the local chatterboxes mail their packages and plan their visits accordingly.

Photo/art by Mark Brewer

Town Hall is the site of Town Meeting, where civic-minded Yankees get together once a year to argue with their neighbors. The meeting opens with a silent prayer that it won’t last all day and ends when the last warrant article has been moved, seconded, and subjected to a secret ballot because no one wants to admit what a dumb idea it is.

Town Hall is the site of Town Meeting, where civic-minded Yankees get together once a year to argue with their neighbors. The meeting opens with a silent prayer that it won’t last all day and ends when the last warrant article has been moved, seconded, and subjected to a secret ballot because no one wants to admit what a dumb idea it is.

Photo/art by Mark Brrewer

The historic Community Church is an older congregation of about a dozen people who sit one or two to a pew despite the fact that—due to the age of the furnace—the main source of heat in the building is the congregation itself. As a newcomer, you’ll be welcomed warmly and promptly made chairman of the Sunday-school committee.

The historic Community Church is an older congregation of about a dozen people who sit one or two to a pew despite the fact that—due to the age of the furnace—the main source of heat in the building is the congregation itself. As a newcomer, you’ll be welcomed warmly and promptly made chairman of the Sunday-school committee.

Photo/art by Mark Brewer

At Bert’s Barbershop, Bert Fletcher has one way of cutting hair, which he has been inflicting on 
the men and boys in town for more than 50 years. A few brave guys sneak into Clara’s Kut ’n’ Kurl, where they have to bring their own magazines, but at least they catch up on all the local gossip.

At Bert’s Barbershop, Bert Fletcher has one way of cutting hair, which he has been inflicting on the men and boys in town for more than 50 years. A few brave guys sneak into Clara’s Kut ’n’ Kurl, where they have to bring their own magazines, but at least they catch up on all the local gossip.

Photo/art by Mark Brewer

The dump—officially the Town Recycling Center, but nobody calls it that—is the favorite meeting place for locals. The highlight of the dump is the Swap Shop, the Filene’s Basement of small-town life. Saturday morning finds savvy locals awaiting the arrival of new stuff, like sharks circling a bait boat.

The dump—officially the Town Recycling Center, but nobody calls it that—is the favorite meeting place for locals. The highlight of the dump is the Swap Shop, the Filene’s Basement of small-town life. Saturday morning finds savvy locals awaiting the arrival of new stuff, like sharks circling a bait boat.

Photo/art by Mark Brewer

Everyone shops at the town market, which dates back to the 1800s, as does some of its stock. The aisles are wide enough for about 1.7 persons, but locals shop there because the MegaMart overwhelms them with 13 different types of reduced-fat gluten-free vitamin-enriched crackers. The 
market carries saltines. Need imported capers for your veal 
orecchiette recipe? Forget about it.

Everyone shops at the town market, which dates back to the 1800s, as does some of its stock. The aisles are wide enough for about 1.7 persons, but locals shop there because the MegaMart overwhelms them with 13 different types of reduced-fat gluten-free vitamin-enriched crackers. The market carries saltines. Need imported capers for your veal orecchiette recipe? Forget about it.

Photo/art by Mark Brewer

At the local diner the famous and infamous sit side by side, the town drunk next to the Pulitzer Prize winner—which is sometimes the same person. By your second visit, Doris—who has been the waitress at the diner since the Eisenhower administration—will know you by your order, not your name.

At the local diner the famous and infamous sit side by side, the town drunk next to the Pulitzer Prize winner—which is sometimes the same person. By your second visit, Doris—who has been the waitress at the diner since the Eisenhower administration—will know you by your order, not your name.

Photo/art by Mark Brewer

The town office is where you register your car, your dog, and your complaints about the chicken coop your neighbor built 10 feet from your hot tub. It’s also where you get your dump sticker, the green card of the small New England town.

The town office is where you register your car, your dog, and your complaints about the chicken coop your neighbor built 10 feet from your hot tub. It’s also where you get your dump sticker, the green card of the small New England town.

Photo/art by Mark Brewer

 

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