Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Dateline Woodstock:

Last week’s House and Garden TV special spotlighting Woodstock, Vermont as one of the best places in the United States to spend Christmas has brought a flood of tourists to our town. Even without the extra publicity, this is a very special time of year when visitors from neighboring states join the locals in sharing centuries-old traditions such as trying to find a parking space on Main Street. They traditionally do this by driving up and down the street until they see a shopper emerge from one of our many gift shops and art galleries, then they follow them in much the same manner as did the Three Wise Men, who 2000+ years ago, followed a star until, finally, it led them to a parking space. The tourists follow emerging shoppers closely, hunching over the steering wheel, whistling “It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas” until they arrive at their car which is often parked several time zones away from Woodstock Town Hall. Sometimes a shopper will try to indicate that they were just planning to drop off some packages and go back to shopping, but apparently New York and New Jersey drivers have developed a technique of revving their engines in a festive fashion which is reported to drive up to 58% of holiday shoppers back into their automobiles. We do not mean to suggest that the true meaning of the holiday season is finding a parking space. Woodstock resident Jim Dashbury says, for him the true meaning of the season is finding a sales clerk – and Jim has developed a fool-proof method that he demonstrated to us earlier today. Once inside a store, Jim looks for one of those doors marked “Employees Only” then bursts through it without warning. More often than not, Jim will scare up 8 or more clerks who will, of course, as soon as they see him, a shopper, bolt for the sales floor where they can be easily corralled towards a cash register. If you can’t make it to Woodstock during the holiday season, Jim suggests you try out his technique at your local K-Mart or Home Depot. Try it – it really works!

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