Monthly Archives: April 2013

Spring Fever: Spring Sprang Sprung

We’re all just daffy.

Vermonters are duped by none of spring’s standard heralds:  the calendar, the lusty hammering of the male woodpecker, or flower bulbs emerging.  The 2013 groundhog’s malfeasance in violation of the public trust was widely rebuked, his handlers penalized, justice served—and Vermont stood solidly behind that decision—but we know better. We don’t shelve our snow tires ’til deep into the month even when it’s 75 degrees mid-month.

It’s not just us enduring global weirding.  Motorists in MA were doing 360s on I-91 in many inches of ice balls pouring from the sky last week, and in NY there were tree-felling microbursts. In two recent trips to the Carolinas, I failed to witness the Carolina blue skies. They were more like Carolina Pre-owned Off-White Skies, from Sears.

Carolina Off-white.

Carolina Off-white.

Yet the return of spring is promised by the reappearance of air freshener (canned fresh air!) named Spring Breeze. They must be canning it elsewhere because the spring breezes in my area smell exactly like the tons of fertilizer trucked into a nearby corn field.  Brings tears to your eyes, and not in the puppy-sleeping-in-a-meatloaf-pan kind of way, more in the my-eyeballs-are-boinin’-up way. I hope the canned Spring Breeze smell better than ours, and than Yankee Candle’s  “Country Linens,” which smells like you hosed the place down with bleach.  They should call it “Country Clorox.”  If there’s anything more fun than naming candle scents, nail polish colors, or ski trails, I don’t know what that is.

Tappin' it old school.

Tappin’ it old school.

Due to travel screwed up by the [nice people] at, I am behind in local news. I’m guessing mud season was a banner year for sap, and for the sapsuckers far and wide who guzzle the glorious maple nectar of the Land. It’s nice when nature smiles on you for a change, along with the elusive orb that had Vermonters asking all winter, “Where’s that big yellow thing usta be in the sky?”

Well, Spring Fever is definitely in the air. It’s pretty much Antics City as cloudy skies haven’t stopped woodpeckers from advertising for dates, squirrels from chasing each other around their condos, and children’s eyes from swapping out the blackboard for the window. Reminds me of when the Lorris twins moved to town in the 70s. The girl was a law- (and Safety Patrol-) abiding citizen; her brother anything but.  On a spring day, we had for 8th grade English one of education’s most sad combinations: a timid substitute teacher. Naturally, we seized our advantage. Someone’s bright idea was to jump out the windows and make a run for it. They should call it Spring Idiocy.

To facilitate our escape, one Lorris twin graciously offered to “create a diversion.” We weren’t sure what that meant, but it became evident when, five minutes into class while Miz Timorous struggled through roll call, said twin suddenly howled, waved his arms wildly, then sprinted out of the room. Miz Tim, terrified, sprang after him while the rest of us made a break for it out the windows.  We made the two-foot drop to the grass and ran full-throttle to the tennis courts where we shrugged. “OK, we’re sprung. What now?” We had no plan, you see. We ended up back in the classroom with no authority the wiser (it was the 70s) and a nice little shenanigan under our belt.

In closing, to put a spring in my girlfriends’ steps, a longtime male friend had this to say just last week: “What’s the appeal of 35 year-olds? To me, there is nothing sexier than a woman our age that looks good.” I adore him because, I assure you, “our age” is more than a couple years above 35. They should call it “old.” Oh wait, they do.

You don’t have to take my advice—you rarely do—but consider this:  roll around half-naked in the sun, huff spring breezes, feel good about your age, get the fever, have a plan, execute it, do a shenanigan, and call it a (good) day.

Vermont Spring Bumper Stickers:

Gone Muddin’

Got Mud?

My Dog for Mayor

If We Ignore The Environment, It Just May Go Away.

This Land is Your Land, This Land is My Land. Now Stay on Your Land.

White Squirrel Car Wash

white squirrel

McLoving rural America

When a place is known for something, people name their businesses after it. So everything in town is called the [What This Place Is Known For] Laundromat, the [What This Place Is Known For] Grill, the [What This Place Is Known For] Shoe Repair. The confusion — and occasional beauty — of that is you say to your husband, “Honey, I’m going down to the White Squirrel,” and he thinks you mean the dry cleaners, when in fact you’re meeting Sheila at the bar for a quick pop.

Brevard, NC, is known for its white squirrels, reportedly escaped from a carnival in the 1940s.

Catch you at the White Squirrel.

The Mullet is Making a Comeback


Well, business in front when you have a SHIRT on.

The mullet goes back to the 60s. But that nascent coiff wasn’t the x-treme Kentucky Waterfall the mullet (d)evolved into. No, the Tennessee Tophat, Ape Drape, Missouri Compromise, Camaro Cut, Louisiana PurchaseSho-long, Mississippi Mudflap, or what we in Vermont like to call the Canadian Passport reached its perfected plumage potential — fueled for take-off by Bono and MacGyver and adapted by NASCAR trendsters into the sooperhot, pants-dropping fem-mullet — in the 1980s. When fashion did things it had never done before and hopefully will never do again. Business in the front, party in the back…right on.

As People of Walmart have proven, the mullet is making a comeback.

[April Fools’.]

Ann Aikens

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