A Conversation for 30 Hours in Hooverville: A Novel Experiment

10 November: 9 am-10 am (First Day)

Post 1

Dmitri Gheorgheni - Not Banned in China

It is 9 am. The town hall square is still a mess, but the firepeople are working on it. Most people have had breakfast and are either working or messing about. The library opens. Squirrels catch nuts and cadge handouts, even in the park across from the town hall mayhem. Will anything else happen? Will there be another bear incident? Will the biker couple find each other? Will anybody buy any china? And will Pastor Sandy Beeches discover the premature Hoovermas decoration outrage? Nobody knows. Keep reading.

10 November: 9 am-10 am (First Day)

Post 2

Dmitri Gheorgheni - Not Banned in China

Wladislaw Winzekowski is in the Hooverville Public Library, reading.

'The earliest militia in the backwoods were 'rude and raw in arms' indeed. Although existing under the law of 1807, requiring regular organization, uniform and arms, there was little of any of those adjuncts. On parade they presented a sorry appearance, rivaling General von Poffenburgh's battalion (see Irving's 'Knickerbocker') in diversity of array. The militia held their reviews at Abram Standford's, near Curllsville [on the bank of Big Licking Creek, not making this up], twice a year, and a gay time it was, with plenty of whisky and gingerbread.'

'Gingerbread?' thinks Wlad. 'Was this Alice B Toklas gingerbread? Wild bunch.'

' The uniforms were not all uniform, neither were the arms all arms, as some marched with one kind of clothing on and some with another, and while some had guns, others marched with sticks, corn-stalks, or anything that looked like guns at a distance.'

Wlad tries to imagine this, and decides that his dreams about the Revolutionary cavalry are tame in comparison to the awful reality that is US history.

'The field-officers were well uniformed, and looked well; such as brigade inspectors, generals, colonels, et., etc. The free circulation of the above named whisky caused any amount of black eyes and bloody noses, for there were men then, as now, we are sorry to say, who only needed some whisky to stir up all that was evil within them.' (Judge Clover in 'Atlas'.)

Aloysius Fenstermacher, 'History of Hoover County'

Thus further enlightened, Wlad puts the 'History of Hoover County' back on the shelf, wondering when Aloysius' descendant, Virgil, will write an update, and if it will include the story about 'the day the Lady of Justice caught fire, and how Fireman Fred fixed it.'

The library is quiet, but not for long. There's a piano in there, and Wlad gravitates toward it. A87955474

Nobody complains, although one man napping on a sofa behind the 500 section wakes up and pretends to read the geometry book which had put him to sleep, and one teenager puts on headphones. The librarians totally ignore him, because this happens a lot, and after all, they did advertise that people were welcome to come over and play the piano. 'It really does need a good tuning,' thinks Wlad as he valiantly plays. Some keys are 'sticky', reluctant to play, and he adapts his attack accordingly. Still, music is music, and it's never a bad thing, so he plays on until nearly ten.

smiley - dragon

10 November: 9 am-10 am (First Day)

Post 3

Caiman raptor elk - Yes, but what if the box is REALLY big?

OK guys and gals, the game is played. I'm going to tell the blue team that all's safe and secure again.

Hoover, I am hungry...

Last one at the Wafflehouse pays the bill!!

Hi Will, can we have eight bacon cheese sliders, two just bacon sliders (cheese doesn't agree with me), a gallon of your blackest coffee and an bunch of waffles if you can miss them?

Ted pays.

Aaaah... delicious.

Now I am going to take a stroll down main street to wear off the adrenalin.

Hey, is that a new campaign manual I see there at the book shop? I'm going in.


Good morning.

Am I correct to think that you have the latest D&D campaign available?
That would make a nice Hoovermas present.
Yes we play that, lacking a real revolution, the way the first Fred had back in the days. The Sherrif probably won't agree if we start up a real militia again, so we keep the family fighting virtual.

Hurt your foot? You look like you didn't get a lot of sleep last night. For me that is business as usual, but not for a bookshop owner, I guess.
I mean, I had to get out for that bear magnet someone put up in the middle of the night, then followed by the Lady on fire. So what happened to you?

Do you happen to have one of those books on Japanese interior decorating? I think it was called Yuc Fu, or something like that anyway. That is on Paula's list.

10 November: 9 am-10 am (First Day)

Post 4

Caiman raptor elk - Yes, but what if the box is REALLY big?

Hey! Is that what I think it is? The Agnes Nutter sequel? That is very rare indeed.

10 November: 9 am-10 am (First Day)

Post 5


I'd lost her bike! Some kind of fire department detour had set her off down narrow back streets, weaving in and out of industrial bins and gangs of indifferent cats.

The smoke clears and I'm back on one of the main roads, but still hopelessly lost! The knucklehead rumbles by on the street parallel to me, flashes of chrome and candy apple in the gaps between the stone and wood.

Waiting to turn left, I noticed the small church, *First Church of Night Hoover* proclaimed the signage, Jeez these Yanks had some weird names! Why anyone would name a church after some nocturnal vacuuming was beyond me?

Probably some deep, obscure meaning behind the name; unless the whole town was built around a vacuum company factory?

Next towns over, Dysonville, Henrytown, Dustbuster City?

I smiled to myself as the traffic lights painted the church's damp walls from crimson to green.

Into the next street, a rear light disappearing into the parking lot of the River Pirates Inn.

I coasted to a stop behind the Knucklehead, killing my engine, heart beating wildly as the girl turned around.

10 November: 9 am-10 am (First Day)

Post 6

Caiman raptor elk - Yes, but what if the box is REALLY big?

If that book is genuine it will be priceless. Or dangerous. Do you mind if have a look? I will be extremely careful.

Thanks. It's an honour.

Looks like prophecies to me....
Let's pick one at random.

"When Hoveres villain waketh Ursa Major and Minor, Law will be ablaze an arteries will scream of sizzling succulent pork drippings in a bun"

Yeah, that sounds exactly like my morning.

Here's another one.

"When Woodman's fluorescent flora flourishes, the end will be nigh and Dracul's offspring will play the pipes no more...."

Sorry, made up that last bit. Got carried away.

Any idea? I don't.

Did you know that this bookmark has your name on it?
It's a letter.

There you are. You should probably read that in private.

10 November: 9 am-10 am (First Day)

Post 7

SashaQ - happysad

Sheriff Rowdybush re-enters the Waffelhaus and sits down at a table moments before a cheesy egg-and-mushroom slider arrives. 'Wilhelmina, you're a star!' he says, then he eagerly starts eating.

Fred Ireland and his crew appear in the Waffelhaus just after Sergeant Irwin radios through on the walkie-talkie to say the Fire Brigade have succeeded in extinguishing the burning statue. The Sheriff gives a cheer.

The cinnamon waffle he had ordered earlier arrives with a mug of milky coffee that he had forgotten to order earlier, but which Wilhelmina must have known he would be needing anyway. 'Wilhelmina, you really are a star!' he says, then takes a bite of the waffle. 'Ah, your cinnamon waffle topping is the Dust of the Nighthoover - delicious!'

While he drinks his coffee, he looks at his notepad and ponders the information that Wilhelmina had provided him with about the events of early this morning. Two people, one wearing a baseball cap, seen running eastwards... A theory begins to form in his mind, but he needs more evidence to avoid jumping to conclusions.

He feels a bit sleepy after having eaten such good food after having been really hungry for hours and hours, but then the caffeine in the coffee starts to kick in. He gets his wallet out of one of his jacket pockets, pays the bill, gives a financial tip and a tip that Wilhelmina should check the smoke alarms again soon to make sure they have not been affected by the fire, then heads out on to Main Street.

He turns eastwards and goes to the China Shop. He admires the window display, feels a poignant twang when he sees the Fairy Squirrel dinner plates that he doesn't need any more of because he has two already and Deanna can't be visiting him any more, then enters the shop.

10 November: 9 am-10 am (First Day)

Post 8

paulh. the world is a circus, but why d I have to work without a net?

"Hi, Sheriff," Arsenio says, shaking Sheriff Rowdybush's hand. "Glad to see you. We've changed things a bit since my aunt died. Aunt Aganista had some very traditional ideas about how china shops should be run. No, I have no idea why she chose to make me her silent partner during her last year, but I'm glad I've been able to keep the place going since she passed."

Arsenio showed the sheriff some of the new casual Thanksgiving dinnerware. "Are you having many people over for the big turkey day? Yes, I know it's a bit of a bother to have plates that can only be used one day a year. Maybe you'd like to see this new pattern that has a woodland scene with tufts of Indian corn, pine trees, and a turkey pecking for food. It can be used all Fall and Winter...."

Arsenio noticed, for the first time, that a Fairy Squirrel was partly visible through the needles in the biggest pine tree.

Hmmmmm, that could be a good selling point. Arsenio loved the way the Fairy Squirrel's fur was medium purple, a truly royal color tht few other animals could boast of..

10 November: 9 am-10 am (First Day)

Post 9


Wynken De Woordesmyth puts his computer on 'sleep' mode. Emails answered, a couple of articles written, research concluded. Oh, and a few funny kitten videos that urgently needed to be watched, were watched. Better that the kittens be on the internet than in the park. Stray cats can be devastating to the wild. Luckily there are coyotes in the park; they keep the strays under control, and they themselves aren't quite as adept at catching the small birds, fairy squirrels and other tiny things that the cats would target.

Wynken gets up from the desk. No customers yet for the day. He can risk a quick peek at the roof garden; he'll see anybody approaching from up there anyways. He scrambles up the ladder.

Up on the roof, he turns around and around to enjoy the view yet again. In the distance, a couple of librarian condors are soaring. Wynken smiles; they're really making a comeback. This Misty Mountain endemic species barely escaped extinction, like its more famous relative in California. Now that the park has been proclaimed and egg-collecting has been thwarted, they should be safer. But not entirely *safe* yet …

He walks past the solar panels to the small beds of flowers, herbs and succulents. The sage cuttings he's planted a few days ago still look fine and frisky. He squirts some water over them. The gourds are growing rampantly over the wooden trellis. There are a few late fruits still on the vines; they're bright yellow, and about the size of a golf ball. When they burst, they'll be attended by jays, robins, waxwings … maybe even a bowtie trogon, though none have so far been up this way … that he knows of.

Hmmm … more condors are coming up. They're flying northward. Maybe there's some food for them up there … maybe something died or got killed.

Wynken can't leave the office yet … but he might fly a drone on after them ...

10 November: 9 am-10 am (First Day)

Post 10


Hermione lingered over her waffle and was reluctant to leave the Wafflehaus. The fire had left her feeling confused and lost without her base in the Town Hall. However, it was pleasant sitting in the Wafflehaus, with a mix of scents from coffee and sugar to bacon and cheese. She could hear fragments of conversation as well. She had noticed fireman Fred sitting nearby and wondered if she could simply walk into the Town Hall in his absence. In the end, she left and walked briskly walked down the road. She stopped when she saw the Town Hall. There was water and foam everywhere. She sighed. It would be a while before she could return to her office. The firemen had finished their work and were standing around chatting. It occurred to her she could make use of this situation for some publicity. She shook hands with the men and praised them for their courage and devotion to duty. She would make sure her words were reported.
Once back in her house, she sat down in front of her computer, which the firemen had placed on the desk by the window. It didn't look damaged. She turned it on but nothing happened. Although she tried turning it off and then on again a few times, it made no difference. She plunged her head in her hands and wondered what to do next. Although she'd used computers for years, she didn't really understand what went on inside. There were times she hated the things. At the moment, she felt like throwing this one out of the window and imagined the sound of tinkling glass as it landed in the flower bed outside. She sighed. The mayor's budget would probably stretch to a few hours of a computer expert's time. If she could find such a person. She took her trusty pen out of a drawer and wrote an advert. The Hooverville Honker would run it.

10 November: 9 am-10 am (First Day)

Post 11

Tavaron da Quirm - Arts Editor

As soon as the Sheriff re-enters the Waffelhaus, Wilhelmina serves him his food. She also brings him coffee, which he didn't order, but she is sure he wants it anyway. Wilhelmina is very happy to hear the sheriff praise her cooking. She hopes he will find whoever set the Lady of Justice on fire. She will go on thinking about weather there are any more details she can remember, but she is afraid not.

Wilhelmina notices movement across the street at the Town Hall. It seems like the firemen and women are preparing to go home. With delight Wilhelmina notices that they all come to the direction of the Waffelhaus and indeed the room is soon full. After orders are taken, Wilhelmina rushes to the kitchen to produce cartloads of sliders and waffles and rivers of coffee. Wilhelmina hums a tune as she works. Fire is good for business, it seems.

Wilhelmina notices that Major Schmidt is still sitting alone at her table, looking troubled. But that is not surprising after all that was going on at the Town Hall this morning. She thinks about going over to have a chat and cheer the major up a bit, maybe offer her some herbal tea for cheering up and calming down, but then she is distracted by a different guest.

Meanwhile Cassy sits on one of her cushions which lie at various places in the waffle house. She got up a few times to beg for ham or bacon and now rests again on a cushion on a shelf, encircled by potted plants. The tendril of a climbing plant persistantly tickles her ears, no matter which way she turns. In the end she gets up and lets herself be petted by an elderly woman.

The firemen leave the Wafflehouse like grasshoppers leave an empty field. But Wilhelmina is happy, business was good this morning. Slowly the room empties, not many breakfast guests come after 10 in the morning. Maybe she will soon have time to eat something herself and maybe finally take a look at the Hooverville Honker.

10 November: 9 am-10 am (First Day)

Post 12


Lola looks up from her mug of tea to see Fireman Fred enter the shop.
(Pumpkin thief!, goes her brain).
(Friend of the Mayor's, goes the rational part of her brain. He could make trouble for you).

Good morning, Sir. The D&D books are in the Politics section, over there, next to History.

That's right, revolutions can be awfully messy, what with guillotines getting so horribly expensive these past few years...
Lola limps to the right shelf while making small talk.

My foot? Oh, just a silly accident. Surely not as bad as the town hall.

What's that, a bear magnet? Who *ever* in their right mind would do such a thing?
(Hu ho, keep your mouth shut, Lola. Maybe he doesn't know).

Japanese decorating, let me see... I have Sun Tsu's Art of War. Would that do? Or maybe this one: Studio Ghibli, Looking Back on Thirty Years of Animation. Looks like it's about how to redecorate a studio apartment. No?

The Nutter sequel, yes, quite a find isn't it?
(Lola is actually quite proud to have found that when she bought the shop. The previous owner clearly had no clue about what that was).
Of course, you're welcome to browse, but please have a wet wipe first. You don't want to get waffle grease onto it...

Well you know what they say about prophecies, they only ever matter for those who believe them...

A letter? For me? How's that possible, I've only read this book once, and I never would use anything personal as a bookmark inside the shop!
Well, thank you very much for this. Yes I'll read it when I get a minute on my own.
Yes, thank you, indeed. I'll see what I can find on that Yuck Food of yours. One of my suppliers might have information that could help. Why don't you drop by, say, in a couple of days, and I'll probably know more by then.

Have a nice day, Sir.

(Grumble, now her tea is cold. She empties her mug into the little sink at the back of the shop, and pours herself some hot tea just as the clock strikes ten).

10 November: 9 am-10 am (First Day)

Post 13

Dmitri Gheorgheni - Not Banned in China

Awards to everybody today for playing toss-the-fairy-squirrel. Also a mention to Willem for librarian condors...

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