Dear Uncle Dan

365-5050The Carding Chronicles are stories about the little town no one can find on a map of Vermont. When you subscribe to the Chronicles, a new story is delivered to your inbox every Friday. If you’re enjoying the Carding Chronicles, please share them with your friends!

Dear Uncle Dan,
I’m supposed to be studying for a history test but if I have to read any more about ancient Greece, I think I will scream. Besides, we haven’t seen you for a while, and I thought you might be homesick for Carding so I figured this would be a good time to send you a nice long email.

Everyone’s pretty good here. We haven’t had much snow so far this winter so there’s not much skiing which means most of the people in the Crow Town Bakery are locals which makes it nicer. I know that tourists are supposed to be a good thing but I get really tired of their snooty attitude, waltzing around town in their Lycra outfits and upscale jackets. You can pick them out a mile away, all black, pink and lime green.

Andy Cooper says the only people who look good in that stuff are twelve-year old girls because Lycra leaves “nothing to the imagination.” Personally, I think he’s right. I saw a guy yesterday, wearing Lycra, who looked like he was carrying a kangaroo in a pouch.

And he was smoking A CIGAR. Gag! Do those things taste as bad as they smell? He cleared the whole sidewalk with the stink of that thing which Wil said was his way of showing how important he is. Smoking something really stinky proves you’re important? Really?

I’ll never understand men so I’m glad I never have to be one.

Did you know that Peter Foster and Ted Owens bought the old insurance agency next to the bakery, and they’re starting a brewery? They bought this rig with lots of conveyor belts that move the bottles from the place where they get filled from the vats to the place where they get capped and then to the place where they get packed in boxes.

I think they’re still working the bugs out of the system because last night, a bunch of full bottles slid off and exploded all over the floor. The noise was BIG, you could hear it all over town. Luckily no one got hurt, and the beer smell got rid of the cigar smell so everyone was happy about that.

The Tennyson twins are back in town. They’re calling themselves Ginger and Goldie now. I don’t know what was wrong with the last names they had, Starr and Summer, or the ones before that. Seems like every time they go away on a trip, they come back with new names and hairdos. Mom says their last trip was to Las Vegas.

Anyway, they’re living in the house next to Gram’s, and I heard that they have plans to open a tea shop in the big front room if they can get the right permits. Andy doesn’t seem too pleased about it all. He keeps asking people “what kind of tea do you think they’re going to sell over there?”

Gram says that the Tennyson now called Ginger was always sweet on Andy when they were in high school together, and that Andy’s never recovered from “that relationship,” whatever that means. I notice he jumps a mile and gets away as quick as he can whenever Ginger shows up. And it’s hard not to miss her because she wears this perfume that Mom says is called  patchouli. In a way, it’s almost as bad as the cigar.

When I asked her why Ginger had to wear something so strong, Dad kinda rolled his eyes, and Mom said something about keeping people off the scent. I didn’t get what they meant but they didn’t want to explain more so I’ll have to get Wil to tell me.

Suzanna and I decided to go to the rally for our basketball team last Friday. Wil’s playing guard on the varsity squad this year, though he’s only second string. There’s this new girl hanging around him. She’s got a funny first name, Xylan, and she giggles every time Wil opens his mouth.

I know that Wil can be pretty funny, and you should see him imitate the tourists that come into the bakery. But this Xylan laughs when he says hello. So far, he’s not annoyed by it but I’m hoping he is soon.

The rally was okay until the end when Brian Muzzy came up to stand next to us during the last cheer. Brian plays guitar in the Shades, the band that won the talent show last fall, and Wil says he’s pretty good.

Brian never, ever says anything to me, not even “Hey.” Instead, he just stands there and looks at my shirt until it creeps me out.

Suzanna and I kept trying to get away from him but every time I turned around, there he was again, staring at me. So I finally told him that if he didn’t cut it out, I was going to break him where it counts the most. I said it real loud, too, and he finally left.

I guess he figured I was telling the truth even though I would never break anyone’s hands.

When are you coming to Carding again? Wil and Suzanna and I found a new entrance into the big cave down by the Crows Head Falls, and we want to explore it but Mom says we can’t go in there unless we have an adult with us. She says you’ll do in a pinch.

Love you and miss you,

The next Carding Chronicle will be published on January 15. If you are enjoying these stories (they’re a great break from politics, eh?) please encourage your friends to subscribe.

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