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John Mahoney's Free-fire Zone
John Mahoney
John Mahoney
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is editor of the Log Cabin Chronicles.

His previous columns are archived HERE.

Posted 05.20.06
Fool's Hollow, Quebec

JOHN MAHONEY

I get mail and some of it's strange

FOOL'S HOLLOW, QC | Every now and then I receive these strange e-mail messages. Sometimes, someone, somewhere, is annoyed with me for my trash-writing. I most always reply in a kindly fashion -- rarely do I Dick Cheney them with a GFY answer.

Sometimes, someone has something nice to say about a piece or a photograph in the LCC. These always generate a quick thank-you.

And then there are those folks out there with requests/demands for information:

  • "Send me the history of the world. I'm in a hurry..."

  • "I think my great-great-great Grandfather Smith was from Canada. When and where was he born and who are his descendents? Gosh, I really like the genealogy stuff."
And then there was this one from (I think) a student at a private high school that I received this week:

"Hi. I would like to know the history about the Tomifobia River."

I replied thusly:

THE TRUE HISTORY OF THE TOMIFOBIA RIVER

12,000 years ago the glaciers melted.
Water from Holland Pond in Vermont made its way north to Lake Massawippi in Ayer's Cliff, Quebec.

As the river got older, it got more twisty.

The Indians might have called it, in the Algonquin tongue, shallow-crooked-water-home-to-small-fish.

Then the white man came.
They called it the Barlow River.

The Indians changed their name to shallow-river-stolen-by-crooked-white-man.

Then the railroad came.
The RR magnates changed the name to Tomifobia River.
No one knows what Tomifobia means.
No one knows why they did it.
It remains another RR mystery.

Meanwhile, the white man living in Rock Island flushed their toilets into the river, and sent their stuff to Ayer's Cliff.

Stupid effing white man, cursed by the five-gallon-flush disease. It made him crazy.

Today, the Tomifobia River has a friend.
It is called a bicycle path.

Sometimes, when it rains for a long time, the river gets wider and higher.

But usually, it remains the way the Indians saw it: shallow-crooked-water-home-to-small-fish.

The end.

PS -- this probably won't help you but it was fun to write it.

Best regards,

John

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