Oysterback Tales

July 05, 1995|By HELEN CHAPPELL

OYSTERBACK, MARYLAND — Oysterback, Maryland. -- Well, here it is summer again and you know what that means. It's time for the annual Mosquito Festival here in Oysterback. If I, Desiree Grinch, proprietor of the Blue Crab Tavern, have to live through another Mosquito Festival like last year's, I think I will board up the bar and go to Capt. and Mrs. Lennie Skinner's rental cottage in Ocean City that weekend.

Now I realize that the Mosquito Festival brings in a lot of money for the VFD and the Community Center, and that we are a poor town and have to get what we can, where we can, but I also hope the current governor, whoever that is by the time you read this, will not almost declare war on Delaware like the one we had last year did.

I personally have nothing against our cousins in Slower Delaware, across the state line, and in fact, shop at Screaming Wally's Deep Discount Club every chance I get because there's no sales tax and the people-watching around Dover A.F.B. is the best I've seen since Tod Browning's film ''Freaks.''

Which is why some of us were pretty upset last year when our last year's governor and their last year's governor got into that fight at our very own Mosquito Festival and our governor had to be dissuaded from declaring war on Delaware.

I mean, don't you think the mosquito can be the state bird of both states? There certainly are plenty of Culicidae to go around without two middle-aged men in seersucker suits and striped ties standing on a bandstand swatting at each over the question of who can claim them as a state symbol. I guess it's a good thing the governor of Virginia wasn't there, or this whole peninsula would have been nuked like one of those microwave hot dogs over to Ray Bob's Gas'n'Go.

Lamont L'Eureux, the Ragin' Cajun, may not be back, either. Last year, he hauled straight through the interstates from Cou de Rouge, rolling 80 all the way in his contractor's truck, bringing us coolers of red and white boudin, crayfish, shrimp, Wonderbread and his mama's dirty rice, as well as his champion mosquito, Miss Budweiser XXVII, out of Miss Budweiser XXVI by Bayou Bob.

Lamont's got a stud ditch on his farm in Jefferson Parish, and since Miss Genevieve started computerizing those bloodlines in her spare time down at the Piggly Wiggly, Lamont's been the acknowledged breeder of champions. He doesn't even race any more; he just goes around to all the festivals to do the yearling sales and improve his breeding stock. He didn't even look twice at the battling governors. Where he comes from, politicians shoot each other over little points like that.

Which may be why all hell broke loose when he was holding Miss Budweiser XVII in his hand, showing her to Huddie and Junie and something happened. It seems that state delegate Orville Orvall thought he was a new voter and rushed over to give him a hearty handclasp. Oh, well.

I guess Orville won't do that twice; the skin-graft doctors at Hopkins won't let him, for one thing.

Speaking of medical attention, it was a good thing Dr. Wheedleton was there when Ranger Jay from Scales and Tales was showing the program's rehabilitated raptors to the Boone Brothers, who got a little put out, they being the owners of the Boone Bros We Fix and Road Kill Cooked Here Cafe over to Tubman's Corners. They sort of feel Scales and Tales is competing with them, I guess. And Gabe and Mike were in bad moods anyway because their hand-dipped Skeeter Chocolate Bites didn't go over too well.

Well, our Celebrity Guest Finish Line for the big Skeeter Derby was Ricki Lake, so that was all right. I heard she complained about all the mosquito bites, but she's big into animal rights, so I don't understand her problem. I don't know who we're getting for Celebrity Guest this year. We'd like to get Kato Kaelin, but Omar Hinton's afraid he might not leave when it's over. I suggested my current personal favorite Courtney Love, the Widow Cobain, but her 15 minutes might be up by this weekend.

I just hope this year the Patamoke Community Theatre in the Oblong doesn't decide to do that flea-circus musical about that singing fly. I mean, how many people want to see an opera called Mosca?

Helen Chappell is the amanuensis of Oysterback.

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