The Coal Mine on 

Valentines Day

Mining Operations at Martini Junction

While harvesting the last of a poor potato crop, we were surprised when we discovered a coal vein. It appeared to be an anthracite deposit that had seeped up from Pennsylvania. Limited resources meant that the mining operation needed to start out small and so we started looking for smallish people to work the mine. 

While I generally support existing child-labor laws, I also think a case could be made that a little age appropriate manual labor could be of benefit to a large segment of our younger population. This line of thinking did not sit well with our board and some actually voiced the opinion that they thought I was full of it. That stung a bit! 

Even though I had a real doctor, with a stethoscope and everything, ready to testify as to the little known health benefits of working in a coal mine (i.e., one could eat all the canaries they wanted and we all know that canaries are a great source of protein for young growing bodies) it still wasn’t enough to convince some of the more environmentally sensitive members. There was also some concern as to the legal implicatons of hiring underage workers. So, the coal mining operation was halted. 

And just as well because we were recently informed that the Town of Needham has a by-law that specifically prohibits the mining of any type of coal in the Town Forest. The glory days were over. 

Just as an aside; this past Halloween when I put out the obligatory bowl of candies, I also put out a small stack of employment applications and would you believe that within 48 hours I got twelve of them back complete with signed parental consent forms! Shows you what kind of a neighborhood I live in.

And as we were sadly shutting down the coal mine what should we find but a few more potatoes and, even more importantly, we discovered gold. We immediately sought the advice of an assay specialist who told us we had found an “inexhaustible” supply of gold and we were, once again, jubilant. 

The new mine was moving along nicely and we’d already established some of the infrastructure needed for a gold mining community like a barber shop, a sheriff's office and jail and of course a brothel which was repurposed from a youth hostel from the coal mining operation, when we got an engineer's report that said the

The "Foolish" Gold Mine

The "Youth Hostel" 

assay guy had made a mistake. He got the inexhaustible part right but the the gold part was actually “fools gold”. Darn. Of course I felt foolish, we all felt foolish especially the guy I sold some of the “gold” too; I don’t remember his name and I certainly hope he doesn’t remember mine.

Now, with mines shut down, we’re looking at a Ghost Town and an economic disaster. That’s when we came up with the idea to build a Super Highway. We would build a short demonstration section and then try to get Federal funding to connect to the Interstate system. This would bring new life to Martini Junction and the brothel, which was now operating only on weekends. 

(See also “Traffic Cones”