Friday Fan Submissions – 8/23/19

The following two stories were written by our fans and selected as finalists for the ultimate prize – a cheap t-shirt that we have yet to create, but will be coming soon. Please vote for you favorite story on our Takoma Torch page on Facebook. Voting ends Monday night at midnight. The authors’ names have been removed to prevent any bias by our incredibly judgmental, grudge-holding fan base.


Takoma Park is Not a True Sanctuary City

The lush leaves undulated like a canine tongue on this dog-day afternoon.  “People don’t realize that this living being first was received as a gift” Bartholomew Peet, Takoma Park’s Senior Kudzorist bemoaned.  “Kudzu has fallen on hard times of late. It’s tragic”. 

 Kudzu allegedly made its US debut at the 1876 World’s Fair Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia, after a long and arduous journey from Japan. Once welcomed with open, long-sleeved arms, the beautiful trifoliate leaves of this perennial vine are now appallingly referred to as an invasive species. It is, however, what the Woke Horticulture movement now calls an “Immigrant Species”.  

“Kudzu deserves to be respected”. Peet went on, “If Takoma Park is a true sanctuary city, we need to welcome kudzu not only in to our public green spaces, but everywhere – and that means “YIMBY”- Yes, In My Backyard”.   

Peet became emphatic as he described the harmful effects of the herbicide RoundUp and its particularly devastating impact on Kudzu.  His voice cracked as he described how Glyphosate, the active ingredient in the poisonous brew, is absorbed through the foliage and casts its deadly spell, inhibiting a plant enzyme involved in the synthesis of kudzu’s life preserving aromatic amino acids.  Peet stated that if one listens carefully to the leaves immediately after they are sprayed with RoundUp, “you can hear the kudzu softly weep”.   

Most citizens of Takoma Park are familiar with the Tree Commission, and the feared and respected Town Arborist.  The Commission was established “to preserve, protect and promote the urban forest of Takoma Park and to hear pathetic, whining appeals from tree permit decisions”, as its charter reads.  Some residents might be surprised to learn of the Office of Kudzu Affairs, a small but dedicated group of “vine-huggers” as the like-minded environmentalists playfully refer to themselves. 

The Town Kudzorist is the public face of this devoted agency that has deep roots in green preservation and a perennial mission to spread “Love 2 the Kudzu”©.  Bartholomew mused: “If I can prevent one three-foot plant from being murdered, that little vine will potentially cover an acre of trees and bushes within a few weeks. That is why I get up in the morning”.    

There are false claims that the kudzu that migrated here and formed “flora gangs” whose collective vines foist a sinister grasp upon more meek and vulnerable species, such as pine trees and Takoma Park’s beloved azalea bushes. I asked Peet to comment: “Again, with the azalea bushes!” Peet lamented in exasperation. “Could I have one day at work without hearing someone drone about: “The azalea bushes! Who will take care of the azalea bushes?” 

If he has his way, Bartholomew believes in a few years Takoma Park will be rebranded as “The Kudzu City”. Peet lit his pipe and gently cradled a kudzu leaf to his cheek:  “Then, and only then, my work will be done”. 

Takoma Park Band Stumbles into Major Gig

Local Takoma Park avant-garde, folk-acid, jazz-industrial-metal band, Wearing a Custom Made Electric Green Yoda Themed Tuxedo to Komodo Dragon Racing League, found itself the beneficiary of an online shopping fluke this week when it was accidentally chosen to be the opening act for rock/pop superstar Peter Gabriel. 

“I was shopping online and thought I was purchasing an outfit for an upcoming obscure sporting event,” said Gabriel. “I guess I wasn’t paying attention to what I was actually purchasing because I accidentally booked Wearing a Custom Made Electric Green Yoda Themed Tuxedo to Komodo Dragon Racing League as the opener for the entire Mid-Atlantic portion of my next tour. Let’s all just hope this isn’t the fatal mistake that kills a 40-year musical career.” 

According to other members of the Takoma Park music scene, WACMEGYTTTKDRL is known to employ an unrealistic combination of chord structure and time changes with smells, imagery, organic WiFi signals, and activist catch phrases.  Bill Bowery of Takoma Park’s Rock the Loop Records noted that the band’s unusual stage show has some unfortunate side effects on the audience.  “At every performance 30% of the crowd experiences severe nausea with a sudden onset of dogmatic inflexibility. I’m serious. Exactly 30%! We kept track on a spread sheet!”

Sarah Shephard, a bartender at the local VFW where WACMEGYTTTKDRL used to perform regularly, was unimpressed with the band. “First of all, the name used up all the letters for our marquee. Secondly, their shows would just dissolve into a bunch of bickering, conflict, and puke.  We had to get a biohazard certification just to clean up after their performances.” 

Several VFW patrons, who requested to remain anonymous, were surprised to hear that WACMEGYTTTKDR were back on the circuit.  “A few years ago, I heard they were being booked for studies at Langley and Walter Reed,” said one patron. “That makes a lot more sense to me than having these guys perform for thousands of people.” 

In spite of the potential dangers of mass argument and vomiting, most in Takoma Park are happy for the band to book the Gabriel tour, even if it was the result of a fluke. They are just glad to see members of their local community get some visibility and experience some success. And, needless to say, members of WACMEGYTTTKDRL are ecstatic. “Who knew we would have an opportunity like this!” said bassist Christian Redmond.  “We can’t wait to make the Yoda tuxedo community proud!”

Before the band heads out to its first tour date, WACMEGYTTTKDRL will first perform at the next Takoma Park Folk Festival.  The band is even thinking of setting up a “Beyond Town Hall” tour throughout Montgomery County. Biodegradable vomit bags will of course be provided via Takoma Park Public Works.