Paganistan: Notes from the Secret Commonwealth

In Which One Midwest Man-in-Black Confers, Converses & Otherwise Hob-Nobs with his Fellow Hob-Men (& -Women) Concerning the Sundry Ways of the Famed but Ill-Starred Tribe of Witches.

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Overheard at a Party

Morrison. Robert. Charmed, I'm sure. Yes, Lord Summerisle, fancy you knowing that. Ah yes, the Guardian article: not a very flattering photo, I'm afraid. Although back on island these days they call me “Summerisle” tout court. Apparently John Donne was wrong about the whole “no man is an island” business.

Oh, no politics, please. I find that the only way to survive psychologically as an MP is to maintain a strict separation between business and pleasure. What happens in the House of Lords, stays in the House of Lords, we always joke.

Yes, thank you. Finest fruit in the EU, I quite agree. Have you tried the new American Honeycrisp, by any chance? A fine apple, if I may say. Approaching Summerisle quality, though not there quite yet. Although of course I'm afraid total objectivity in these matters quite escapes me, as you'll understand.

Promises to be a bumper crop this year, thankfully. Ah, fancy you remembering that. Yes, a whole run of bad harvests, back in the late 60s and early 70s it was. Nearly ruined us economically. Everything turned around in '73, though, and harvests have just been getting better and better every year since then. We actually out-produce Somerset these days, did you know that?

Yes, I believe that was '73 also: a sorry business. Sergeant...Howard, wasn't it? Something of the sort. Set out from the mainland, never did make it to the island. No, no body ever found, although some of the wreckage from the plane did wash up afterward. Engine failure at sea, apparently. Terribly sad, that.

Well, if you'll excuse me, I've got to be off: the proverbial boat to catch, you know. Literally, in this case. Ah, the joys of island life.

No, no, the pleasure's all mine. Cheers.


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Poet, scholar and storyteller Steven Posch was raised in the hardwood forests of western Pennsylvania by white-tailed deer. (That's the story, anyway.) He emigrated to Paganistan in 1979 and by sheer dint of personality has become one of Lake Country's foremost men-in-black. He is current keeper of the Minnesota Ooser.


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