Friday, June 30, 2006

More Gang News!

If New London is bloody, it is because someone has poured too much ketchup on a rare cheeseburger. New London's young rapscallions shoot pingpong balls from their slingshots. This ammunition provides enough sting to irriate and it provides a satisfying "pock," but no real damage is done.

New London's most formidable gang is the Fauntleroys, a rough and tumble assembly of toughs who operate out of a rec room on Lower Boulevard. They soap the windows of BMWs around New London's Sixth District because their car of choice is the declassee Saab. They tie red, silk carnations to the antennae of Saabs and Volvos.

The Fauntleroys' territory lies just south of the turf that belongs to the Moore Avenue Rascals. In February 2006, the two gangs rumbled over a disputed speed chess match. The Fauntleroys won and the Rascals accused them of turning the egg timers too quickly. Heated words were followed by hot action, and the gangs assembled in Caulkins Park to defend their honors.

The Fauntleroys came armed with dollar store shivs that won't hold an edge no matter how long you rub them against a stone. The Moore Avenue Rascals are more street savvy, but they don't have as much disposable income. The Rascals packed serrated butter knives, a weapon they have learned to wield like martial artists just graduated from an afterschool program.

There was a lot of shouting and posturing. Metal flashed in the rays of the setting sun. One of the Fauntleroys, Joey Bishop, was tripped by a Rascal, and when he hit the ground, the breast pocket of his leather jacket rattled. Joey Bishop was carrying an unopened box of Good 'n' Plenty.

The Rascals have a soft spot for licorice. In order to avoid bloodshed, the Fauntleroys bought off thier rivals with the box of Good 'n' Plenty, three packs of Blackjack Gum, a quarter pound of original flavor Twizzlers, and a half box of Crows. Both gangs agreed that, in the future, impartial referees will monitor thier speed chess tournaments. A ragged bloodbath was avoided.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Giant Robot Confirmed in Groton!!!!!!!

This just in from Groton, Conn., the city across the Thames River from beautiful New London: Reports of the Giant Robot under construction in the City of Groton have been confirmed. Rumors have been circulating for several years, but an eyewitness account from a local artist and reporter confirms that fact is, indeed, stranger than fiction. Mr. George Clark has produced a sketch of this Giant Robot that is worthy of a courtroom reporter.

Mr. Clark's report is more chilling for his seeming nonchalance about the menace that looms less than a mile away. According to him this machine stands approximately fifty feet tall and has more than two and less than five legs. Indeed, the makers behind this Giant Robot seem to have been inspired by 1950s B-movies.

Whalehead King, your man in the field, has been chasing this rumor for some time. To find evidence of this Giant Robot's existence is particularly gratifying. Using an old map left over from a previous search, Mr. King took a quick scoot over the Goldstar Memorial Bridge to investigate. Indeed, Mr. Clark's drawing is accurate. The Giant Robot is under construction as we go to press.

The Giant Robot's existence raises a number of questions, but unfortunately people from one side of the river do not talk to people from the other side. We were going to ask the Mayor of New London to interview the Mayor of Groton City about this matter but, unfortunately, we cannot remember who is currently serving in this figurehead position. We spoke to the City Manager's secretary and were assured that this dynamic beaurocrat would be "looking into it."

Assured that the City Manager, as usual, is on top of things, we can rest easily. Any Giant Robot threat will be averted quickly, efficiently, and under budget.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Gangs Of Young Gentlemen

Gangs in New London model themselves after The Town Hill Boys, a group of lads in the 1950s who focused on carrying groceries to widows, servings as unappointed nursery school crossing guards, and as New London's amateur baseball league. Three gangs are currently active in New London: The Prickly Moppets around Crystal Avenue, The Fauntleroys in the Sixth District, and The Roast Meat Rascals, who are headquartered where Blackhall Street meets Connecticut Avenue.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

New Urbanism

The fair and proud city of New London, Conn. has little need for "new urbanism." Old urban ideas work well enough here. True, New London is not the most glamorous of destinations, but it has cheek and pluck that cannot be found anywhere else. There is only one Thames River in Connecticut, and only one west bank on its mouth. New London occupies a fortunate spot on the globe.

New London's layout is older than America itself. New London hugs the water the way a child hugs its parents. If there is anything new in New London, it is the city's perrenial optimism that refereshes itself every day. Old ideas get new life when they are rediscovered. For three hundred fifty years, New London offers fresh opportunities to those who discover it. Pleasure and leisure sound the same when a New Londoner says these words. They mean the same too.

Gernerally speaking, New London exhibits the best lessons urban planners can learn. Why mess with perfection? New London has tried to perfect its fabric many times in the past forty years and the results have always been lacking. Leave people alone and they will make the best of thier surroundings. New London looks like nowhere else in the United States for reasons beyond basic geography. New London doesn't buy into current fancies. New London sticks to its shore and minds its own business. The rest of the world can go to Hell in a handbascket, all the way to Grandma's house. If you want to see a perfect city, visit New London. It isn't the prettiest dame in the room, but it is the best. Those of us who live on its streets know this in our bones. We practice the hard facts of life and have little use for theories. New London is often imitated, but never successfully.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Who is Whalehead King?

The history of Whalehead King's New London is based on fact, but sometimes the truth is bigger than facts alone. The mystery and soul of things lie within thier physical shells. New London is like that.

If you want to be happy the rest of your life, marry an ugly woman. New London isn't the prettiest bride, but she is the belle of the ball. There is something remarkable about New London that is difficult to name or fathom. Some people get bitten by the New London bug and come down with New Londonitis. Others scratch their heads and shrug.

Whalehead King has been bitten hard. He lives in New London by choice. Living here for eleven years, he has filled his time learning as much as he can. He breathes New London air like elixir. It stimulates him.

Whalehead King is proprietor of the Odditarium. This institution is dedicated to preserving artifacts and documents relating to the New London state of mind. It is a real place. It is part museum and part laboratory. It is part junk shop and part archive. Whalehead King gathers scraps of New London ephemera as he finds them and stores them in the Odditarium. Some things, as the institution's name suggests, are oddities that grow new personalities. Using advanced Krylon and Sharpie technologies, Whalehead King preserves objects, but he also adds to thier charm. Mr. King enjoys metallic paints and day-glo. He also enjoys writing directly on things.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

A Bear on a Unicycle

Pipko, the Siberian Pygmy Bear, had more talents than his ability to ride a unicycle, but that is how most people remember him. When he arrived in New London he was just a cub, and he didn't grow much bigger after that. His fame was another matter. When he exited this world, he was the sensation of his age, the most famous and admired bear on the globe. A poll by the New York Herald once showed that if Pipko had been human and born in this country he would have been elected president over Theodore Roosevelt himself. He died, aged 46, at his home on Maple Avenue in the Tootlesville section of New London.

As a cub, Pipko was considered a runt. The crew of the whaling schooner Cheerful Endeavor found him on a beach in Siberia while they were taking a sealing break from their hunt for sperm whales. The crew adopted Pipko and brought him back to their homeport. The crew drew lots to determine who would get to keep Pipko. Mr. John Beebe won the lottery, and Pipko went to live with Mr. Beebe and his mother at her house on 14 Maple Avenue.

From the start, it was determined that Pipko should be taught to ride a bicycle. Once he had mastered two wheels, he graduated to one. After that he never went back. A blacksmith was operating out of the basement of the Neptune Building. He was contracted to construct a special unicycle with a seat to fit Pipko's ursine hindquarters. Pipko spent hours circling the dirt track behind 14 Maple Avenue on his new unicycle. Crowds began to gather and the Beebe's erected a high fence so that people couldn't see Pipko practice without purchasing a ticket. be continued.


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