Life in the Edge: “The Boil Order”

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Edgerton was under a boil order when I arrived. A couple water pipes broke after the heavy rains, but they couldn’t be fixed until the water subsided. Until then, everyone was ordered to boil their bacteria. I chose not to drink the water, boiled or not.

The boil order was a topic of discussion when my mom and I ate breakfast at Harmer’s Café two days later. Billy and Maxine owned Harmer’s when I was growing up in Edgerton. Billy farmed. Maxine ran the Café serving up fried chicken and homemade pies. Today, their daughter Karen owns the restaurant.

But, back to the boil order.

Apparently, word got out at church that the boil order had been lifted before the ‘head honcho’ officially announced that it had been lifted. According to my source, this is how the information was more than likely leaked (no pun intended).

An undisclosed person who works for the water company told one of his friends that the order had been lifted. That friend told his wife who then told someone at church. The someone at church then leaked it (again, no pun intended) to whoever makes Sunday announcements. Whoever makes Sunday announcements then informed the congregation.

My source, who had dutifully attended church the day of the boil lift announcement, ate lunch at Harmer’s afterwards and said to Maxine, “So good they lifted the boil order.”

The boil lift was new news to Maxine. Nobody had informed Harmer’s Café yet. They were still boiling water on their busiest day of the week. Maxine told Karen. One of the waitresses called the city clerk. The city clerk was surprised anyone knew of the boil lift because it had not yet been officially announced. And because it had not yet been officially announced, Harmer’s had to keep boiling their water. Orders from the head honcho.

“Who’s the head honcho?” I asked while scribbling notes in my green notebook trying to keep the story straight.

“The government,” my mom responded, at which time I could no longer contain myself. I laughed hysterically. Edgerton is so alive with stories. Rich, wonderful, down-to-earth stories. My writer’s mind always works overtime when I come back to visit.

“Ladies, you’re getting a little rowdy over there,” the man at the next table said.

“You might need to move to the round table.”

I’m glad he mentioned the round table. I had been watching it out of my peripheral. It was closest to the kitchen. And it was indeed round. Men gathered there daily, reporting the town news. The round table was nearly as sacred as the table for the Last Supper.

“I would like to move to the round table,” I said. “How do we get to sit there?”

“You have to be full of BS,” my (boil order) source answered, at which time I laughed even louder. I was pretty sure the three of us already qualified.

Stay tuned my blogger friends. My next report will be straight from the round table itself.

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