Social Distancing Notes: Excerpts from Your Local Weekly

Mr. and Mrs. Harold Hurlburl received a visit from their son, Mr. Edgar Hurlburl, of Montreal, this Saturday past. Mrs. Hurlburl served her famous shrimp pinwheels, which Mr. Hurlburl made a game of lobbing through the partially opened driver-side window of Edgar’s new Ford Taurus, inside of which he sat for the duration of the visit. A good time was had by all.


The Lucky Dozen Club met at the home of Mrs. Vera Scott for a card party on Wednesday, with Mrs. Vera Scott in attendance. Mrs. Vera Scott read the minutes of the last gathering, approved by Mrs. Vera Scott. Mrs. Vera Scott then poured the tea. The hours passed quickly but pleasantly as Mrs. Vera Scott sat down to several rounds of solitaire. Mrs. Vera Scott was declared the winner of two of the twelve games played, as is custom for the club. To bring a delightful evening to a close, Mrs. Vera Scott served a delicious lunch, receiving a hearty hand-clap for her efforts. The Club will meet next week at the home of Mrs. Vera Scott.


On March 10, a bridal shower was held to honor Miss Hayley Beezneck, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Sherman Beezneck, in the parking lot of the Dairy Queen at Exit 17, with many friends and relatives in attendance at safe distance.

The guest of honour was seated on a lawn chair decorated with white and gold streamers and situated in the middle of the lot. Many prettily wrapped and ribboned packages were then conveyed to Hayley from the guests standing along the perimeters. This was done using a skateboard loaned by Hayley’s older sister, Miss Samantha “Plaidy” Beezneck, who was in attendance with her longtime roommate, Miss Cameron Doxin.

Mrs. Beezneck made a list of the gifts as they were passed around to be admired after being wiped down with Purell. Hayley wore a lavender tie-shoulder mid-apron dress with matching surgical mask and gloves.


Miss Beryl Whirlsley was the guest outside the home of Mr. and Mrs. Newman Frond on Saturday. After yelling pleasantries to each other through the Fronds’ screened-in porch, Mr. Frond presented a slide show of their recent Caribbean cruise. Staring through the plate-glass window from the lawn, Miss Whirlsley heartily enjoyed the many, many images of the inside of the Fronds’ shipboard cabin, where they spent the majority of their voyage in quarantine.


On Friday evening, another pleasant supper was held at the WOOF Hall with many dishes shared among about thirty members followed by sugar on snow for desert, which proved to be a messy and sticky affair!

After the dishes were cleared, the members enjoyed some entertaining games, including passing a balloon using only one’s face, blindfold pattycake and good old-fashioned bobbing for apples. A Chinese auction was organized to close the evening but was cancelled after certain members took exception to the name of the auction and expressed fear that it might contain the virus.


Mr. Derrick Potsbalm recently returned from his Italian vacation to his winter residence on Pastene Avenue, where he is currently being shunned.


Recent visitors to the home of Mr. and Mrs. Wm. Hosnick were a UPS courier, the oil delivery guy and a boy from down the street who spent two minutes petting the Hosnick’s Manx cat, Stubby.


Daughters Makzine, 7, and Terrrrry, 11, as well as son Dawnold, 13, gathered at the home of their parents, Mr. and Mrs. Wallace Derpshnick, while their schools closed for an indefinite period.

Mrs. Derpshnick served refreshments at 10 am and then again at 11 am, 1:15 pm and 3:45 pm, in addition to a nutritious luncheon, which was half-eaten and later devoured by the family dog, Baxxxter. Mrs. Derpshnick then organized a rousing game of Uno, with equal parts merriment and acrimony. Maaxine later offered a detailed report of every episode of “Paw Patrol” she had ever seen, while Mrs. Derpshnick wondered where the hell Mr. Derpshnick was hiding.

The gathering indulged in many lively debates before Mrs. Derpshnick put forward a motion that she be allowed half a damn hour to herself so she could finish an arts funding proposal, even though the public arts as we know it are likely dead. This was followed by a round of Rhetorical Questions, including “How long is this going to last?” and “Can’t you children shut up for five minutes?”

The afternoon concluded with many members tragically dying of boredom and Mr. Derpshnick finally emerging to throw a frozen pizza in the oven. An enchanting day came to an end at 7 o’clock when bedtime was declared for all.


Hello, friends. To do my small part to get you through these long days, I’m making a PDF version of my novel, A Hole in the Ground, available for free. Enjoy a comic tale of a local emergency while we get through this global one. 

About rossmurray1

I'm Canadian so I pronounce it "Aboot." No, I don't! I don't know any Canadian who says "aboot." Damnable lies! But I do know this Canadian is all about humour (with a U) and satire. Come by. I don't bite, or as we Canadians say, "beet."
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31 Responses to Social Distancing Notes: Excerpts from Your Local Weekly

  1. Thelma says:

    Thanks, Ross, these were the Newsy Notes I needed today! The names of the Derpshnick children made me howl.

  2. pinklightsabre says:

    Plague humor. Shunning, the new normal: and rhetorical questions aimed at Terrrrry.

  3. Lisa Smith says:

    A much needed laugh! Well done, Ross!

  4. Thanks for the PDF of your book, Ross. I’m looking forward to your humor in long-form.

  5. The Ross Murrays entertained suggestions, and a clowder of cats, who were just visiting this planet. A lovely clatter, sorry, platter of verbal snacks was proffered – jackanaped canapés, fricasseed snippets, caramelized nuggets, blanching puns, and some mincing, probably from being unaccustomed to swanning around in slippers all day.

    I read social notes like this in old papers, looking up stuff for my aunt’s family tree project — these small-town editors were more omniscient than the Stasi.
    That’s so nice to offer your book, cheers, stay well.

    • rossmurray1 says:

      They’re actually gold mines for information about not so much the histories but the lifestyles of small towns. Some of the phrasing here is taken straight from the source. Stay well, Robert.

      • The phrasings are great, I love this stuff. One of my grandfather’s older cousins, who had the same name as me, published their hometown newspaper, in the Poconos, and it had these little social notices in it. My granddad & his brother weren’t very fond of this cousin – – when they were in high school, he’d have my great-grandmother send them to set type for him, and he never paid them a nickel.

  6. Sheila Moss says:

    Oh, dear, this is what it is coming to these days.

    • rossmurray1 says:

      My writing? I know!

      • Sheila Moss says:

        No, I meant what society is coming to… The satire was perfect. We used to have a local paper and the columnist wrote about the goings on at the local senior center, who was in the hospital, who went on the trip to the pet cemetery [yes] and such. It is pitiful what can pass for news in a small town.

        • rossmurray1 says:

          I know. I’m just being an arse. Thank you.
          It’s pure gossip, you bet, but I know local historians who have gleaned so much about past life in our local villages, many of them now disappeared. Social notes were social media before there was social media.

  7. Love the parking lot image. A skateboard, eh? Aren’t folks inventive in a crisis?

  8. beth says:

    i’m afraid the tragic numbers of the victims of extreme boredom are climbing exponentially. there is almost no way to track it. i love that the delivery people will become our connection to what’s going on in the world. i always thought my ups guy was pretty cute, but now he’s taken on a new heroic role, as a courier of stuff and food and news of what it’s like out there.

  9. Pingback: Social Distancing Notes: Excerpts from Your Local Weekly — Drinking Tips for Teens | Darling Talks

  10. List of X says:

    I apologize for visiting so late, but I’ve been mostly quarantined at my blog. I do try to visit, but only after the usual crowds of admiring readers subside, because social distancing and all.

  11. The changing dynamics of social disorder. I love it Ross!

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