Headlines for the First Week of August

The Municipal City Onions football team is headed back to practice. Coach Bob Mack says he expects the kids to be in fine shape by their first game in September. We’re all looking forward to seeing what they can do. GO ONIONS!

Ms. Marjorie Hinks, Municipal City’s most eligible seamstress,  is off the market. Sorry, guys, Sam “The Clam” Clements beat you to it. He took Ms. Hinks out for a nice picnic at the Plaza Park and popped the question. Best wishes to the happy couple!

We are sad to report the passing of Rev. Keith Porger. He has gone forth to his eternal rest due to old age and bad lungs. He has no surviving family, except for the entire community, and we will all miss him dearly. I bet he’s telling bad jokes to Jesus right now.

If you’re new in town, don’t forget to head down to City Hall and register. We like to know who we have in town, and it’s the law!


The History of Our Fair City, part 2.

It would be nice to suggest that we all pulled together and everything magically went back to normal. The truth is that it would never be the old normal again. It’s better than average for the world’s new normal in Municipal City now, but it was a hard time getting to this point.

The first obstacle we faced was the notion that this was all temporary. What news we got from the outside world was often contradictory, and sketchy at best. Still, people thought it would all be over any day now. The lights would flicker back on, and we’d all have a good laugh. Even after it became apparent that things were going to be this way for a while, some people continued to resent “King Joe” and his crazy ideas. They sure were willing to accept the help he arranged, though, and eventually realized that they’d have to pull with everyone else if they wanted to get through this thing.

And then there were the outsiders.

First came the gangs. The TriStars, the Wolves, and the least-creatively-named Badasses, as well as a host of smaller raiding parties, each came to take what they could. They almost always left with fewer people, guns, and knives  than they arrived with. We were expecting them.

Then came the refugees. We hadn’t expected so many, but soon they were all settled into makeshift apartments in the old schools. They were so grateful for the solid roof and protection from the gangs, they didn’t mind having to figure out how to heat and cool the buildings that were not built for this new world. These people ended up being an asset, for the most part, working hard to make Municipal City their home.

The group we weren’t expecting were the delegations from other towns that were doing relatively well. Soon there were trade deals and sharing of knowledge. Then there were mutual defense agreements. And then the doctors, veterinarians, teachers, and other specialists began circulating among the towns, a great caravan of needed services.

That brings us up to today. It has been a few years. There are new school buildings that don’t depend on our limited electricity for heating and cooling, and there’s even a new football field for the Municipal City High School Onions.  The local defense team now has snazzy uniforms, designed and sewn by Ms. Marjorie Hinks from imported cloth– imported from a town to the south somewhere. And most of us grow onions, garlic, turnips, potatoes, and beets for a living. It’s a good life.

Well… A good-ish life anyway.

The History of Our Fair City, part 1.

The end of the world was not nearly as exciting as everyone had expected. Oh, it was bad. There were riots and all kinds of craziness in the big cities, and most of the smaller cities too. But there weren’t any zombies. No rain of fire from the sky. No Jesus on a white horse leading us all to victory. It was pretty underwhelming out here in farm country.

Sure, it sucked losing electricity, and people got a little testy when they realized their hard-earned money was mostly good for writing notes and starting fires, but we’re resilient people out here. Anyway, we had Crazy Joe, and he had been waiting his whole life for this.

Joseph “Crazy Joe” Rutkowski always knew that civilization-as-we-knew-it was teetering on the edge of the abyss, and he didn’t want to be caught with his blue jeans around his knees when Armageddon broke out. He’d expected something a little more spectacular, but as he’d later say, sometimes you don’t get the disaster you want, but you get the disaster that you need. It turned out that his bunker and stacks of freeze-dried food wasn’t as useful as his general knowledge and his hitherto unrecognized leadership skills.

The town council and the mayor at the time, Bob Jenkins, called a meeting as soon as it became pretty clear that everything was circling the bowl and the outside world had forgotten about Vonnstown. The meeting started out somewhat less orderly than a bar room brawl, but as Crazy Joe sat there looking at his nephew, Little Joe, cradling his great-nephew, Baby Joe, he knew had to do something. And that something involved an air horn and his signature booming voice.

“HEY! People! CHILL. We can do this. We will be ok. Just SHUT UP for a second.”

Once he had gotten everyone’s attention, he began to lay out his plans. We needed water and maybe some electricity of our own, so wells and windmills seemed to be the thing to do. He called out the people who could make that happen. One problem at a time, he made the townspeople feel like they might survive after all.

“We are going to have to grown some food. I have seeds. The farm supply store has seeds. We can do this. Everyone plants a garden in their yard. We plant up the parks and some fields. We’ll have food for the whole year,” he declared.

A few people were not really onboard, and at least one person wanted to know if he’d get paid for his part “when things got back to normal,” but most people were happy to have someone taking charge and acting sane, even if they’d always called him Crazy Joe.