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A Mendolander Flying Over King Arthur’s Court

Greetings one and all. If you are sitting comfortably then I shall begin. Although I may be a long way from the Valley, I have a few fellow Turkey Vultures flying around the Valley in my absence and keeping their eyes on things. As a result, and because I know many folks rely on this, what better place to start than with the Public Service Announcements? Calendars and pens at the ready.

#464. The Mendocino County Museum's upcoming Road Show will be at the Anderson Valley Grange on Saturday, March 1. Doors open at 6:30pm with the show at 7:30pm. With a pop-up gallery of artifacts, docents who become actors, imaginative set design, and Mendocino County history brought to life in stories and song, it's an old-fashioned traveling variety show for our communities and our times. It features seven actors playing 35 ordinary yet extraordinary local people. For information, visit or call 459-2736. #465. 9pm on Saturday, March 1 at Lauren’s Restaurant in Boonville, it’s live music by “Betsy and Beau,” as former local boy Beau Wiley brings his San Francisco based folk duo to town promising to be “crooked and sweet.” #466. The Variety Show will take place at The Grange on Friday/Saturday, March 7/8. #467. The Vets from the Mendocino Animal Hospital will be in town at the AV Farm on just one occasion next month. Thursday, March 13. Call 462-8833 for further details. They set up at the AV Farm Supply from 2pm to 3.30pm and to avoid a line perhaps go around 3pm, you will definitely be seen. New customers and their pets are always welcome. #468. It’s nearly that time again. St. Patrick’s Day! The Senior Center Dinner to celebrate the occasion is on Saturday, March 15 in the Apple Hall in Boonville with a happy hour at 5.30pm and dinner served at 6.30pm. More details to follow, or call 895-3609.

Here’s the menu for the Community Lunches over the next week at the Senior Center in the Veterans Hall in Boonville. The Center asks for a $6 donation from Seniors and charges $7 for Non-Seniors. Tomorrow, Thursday, February 27, the lunch, always served by Marti Titus and her crew at 12.15pm, will feature Stuffed Shells, Roasted Veggies, Tabouleh Salad, Garlic Bread, with Chocolate mousse Brownies for dessert . Then next Tuesday, March 4, the menu will be Meatloaf, Mashed Potatoes with Gravy, Cauliflower, Rolls, Bulgur Salad, and Birthday Cup Cakes for dessert. Remember, all ages are welcome!. Hope to see you there.

Topics and events under discussion this week at The Five-Dot Pub – yes it’s “Moans, Groans, Good Thoughts, and Rampant (and often Reliable) Rumors” from my favorite gathering place in the heart of England, where people get together and share their thoughts about life on this crowded yet very civilized little island.

…“I guess it’s an Americanism. Part 2.” Over here, when somebody dies, folks will announce that “so-and-so is dead.” In the US, this succinct and extremely accurate choice of word is often replaced by the word “passed” as in “so-and-so has passed.” I have my theories for this, mainly based around American positivism versus British realism, but this choice of words is well-entrenched on both sides of the pond and is another example of a subtle difference between the two countries, of which there are more and more appearing each passing day.

…In many conversations, many local folks tend to start a sentence with one of these phrases: “To be honest,” “To tell you the truth,” “To be frank,” or “No word of a lie, but…” What follows is more often than not a very inconspicuous comment, with little doubt or question raised. Nevertheless, it is almost as if they are trying to convince you that their words are completely truthful, as if you might disbelieve them for some reason. It is quite endearing in some ways, yet the uninitiated might think that on an occasion when someone does not start with one of these phrases then perhaps what follows is a tall story or even a pack of fiendish lies.

…Sitting in The Black Eagle pub (founded in 1835) yesterday lunchtime, the waitress walked around the lounge with a plate in each hand inquiring who had ordered the two chip sandwiches. I looked up from my pint and each plate contained a long (8”) crispy French roll packed with French fries. Apart from lashings of slowly melting butter, that was it. Nothing else to detract from the classic “chip butty.” Having already enjoyed a steak and ale pie, I was full to the end of my beak but I must say this most basic of sandwiches is a wonderful thing, although I cannot imagine The Boonville Hotel featuring it anytime soon. Which is a shame.

…Myth Buster of the Week. “English ‘soccer’ fans are a bunch of hooligans.” This hasn’t been true for about 20 years but the myth is perpetuated by the insistence of people not-in-the-know continuing to refer to the major problems that were caused by this phenomenon in the 20-year period from the late 1960s to the late 1980s. These days, with a few rare exceptions, fans from opposing teams often mix together in the pubs around the stadiums wearing their team’s colors and sharing witty banter. The threatening atmosphere and nasty violence of those bygone days is virtually non-existent. It seems as if the so-called “English Disease” has long been cured and the sooner folks realize that the better.

…A wet shave with open razor, followed by a head massage and scissor haircut is a must-do for any self-respecting Vulture. And within multi-cultural Britain, the community that seems to provide this service at the highest level is that of the Kurds. These guys are wizards with the scissors and, if I were to live here permanently, I have little doubt that I’d be sitting in the barber’s chair three times a week, maintaining the smartest of haircuts and a baby’s bum-like smoothness to my cheeks at all times!

…Overheard at a department store’s menswear department in the heart of a city: Customer: “Do you have these trousers in a bigger size?” Sales Assistant: “What size are those in your hand?” Customer: “These are large.” Sales Assistant: “Good lord, surely you can get into them, they are huge!” . Gotta love the English for their bluntness.

Time to take my leave. Until we talk again, Keep the Faith; be careful out there; stay out of the ditches; think good thoughts; and may your god go with you. A final request, “Let us prey.” Humbly yours, Turkey Vulture. PS. Contact me with words of support/abuse through the Letters Page or at PPS. Skylark, read any good books lately? … Keep on humming, Hummingbird. … Everything cool with you, OJ? Of course it is.

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