12 October 2011

A Day of Service

Las Cruces may be a small town, but the needs of the needy are anything but small. Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were seen in mass numbers at the Mesilla Valley Community of Hope this Saturday for what they called, "A Day of Service."

The Community has several outreach services, which include a soup kitchen, health care clinic, and homeless child care. Recently, budget cuts have eliminated the establishment's ability to hire janitors or landscapers.

The volunteers were split into several groups to work around the Community. They worked in two shifts: 8am to 12pm and 1pm to 5pm. One hopeful Eagle Scout took charge of the St. Luke's Health Care Clinic. The clinic provides free limited health care to those who qualify. They also distribute hygiene kits on a monthly basis. St. Luke's used to suffer from stained walls, ripped furniture and an overall unpleasant atmosphere. When the morning shifts volunteers had finished, the walls were fresh, exciting colors, the furniture had been fixed and smiles were on the staff's faces.

Other areas reported similar transformations. In the Jardin de los Ninos, several volunteers refreshed the sand boxes. "It was a lot of fun," remarked Onate High School student.

At the Hengen house, one housewife was busy assembling ingredients to make frozen dinners. Her feelings of gratitude for her mother ignited her idea of service. The two enjoyed their time together immensely.

Such a mass gathering of volunteers may seem uncommon. However, it is not unusual to see several stalwart young men moving families into new homes. The Elder's Quorum president of the Mesilla Valley Ward is often spotted along the roads of Cruces, his father-in-law's trailer in tow.

A Day of Service? No. A Lifetime of Service. Thanks to all those who sacrifice so willingly to bear one another's burden and serve your fellowmen.

Christmas is Coming

An ice cream truck has been heard around town playing Christmas music. Apparently, the truck has been trumpeting tunes such as "Away in a Manger" and "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" since the summer. With dessert selections such as famous character heads with gumball eyes, chocolate dipped chocolate ice cream cones with chocolate sprinkles and otter pops, no one can seem to resist. The truck driver, male, was so busy serving the Daisy-Duke clad females that he did not have time for an interview. Get into the spirit of Christmas by supporting this year-round holiday vehicle next time it comes around.

30 August 2011

Beer Stash Found

A six pack and four glass bottles of apple beer were found on a matching dish towel in a local family's kitchen Sunday evening. The beer came from Provo, Utah, where three of the family's members recently traveled to. Only two of those three members returned home to Las Cruces.

Investigators reported that a large cooler was found near the beer stash. Inside were multiple cans of various highly caffeinated beverages.

Authorities tracked the stash days after its discovery. It traveled from the home of origin to another home, nearly off the grid, where it was consumed by both adults and under-age drinkers.

Apple beer is a lesser known drink in certain communities. It's highly valued for its uniqueness and ability to generate conversation while simultaneously granting the opportunity to invite potential friends to "hang out." Authorities believe this is the reason the apple beer found its way into Las Cruces. Plans are underway to create a road-block to stop potential smugglers from repeating the same offense.

Asian Massage Parlors

With the police hot the trails of less-than-reputable local massage spots, it might seem strange that the Hengen family was spotted enjoying some in-home relaxation.

Cheryl, mother of five, was the first to get the treatment. Steve, former Cougar football coach, finished up the session before he left to attend a fireside. Money did not exchange hands.

The Asian's name has not yet been released.

24 July 2011

Tick, Tock, Boom

A new hair-do hits the streets of Las Cruces.

One of Las Cruces's fashion trenders showed up in town with a hot new hairstyle. You can imagine my excitement when she agreed to sit down and have a chat about it late Thursday afternoon.

Miss Hengen took her place in an armchair with her legs comfortably crossed, but with a sort of insecurity emanating from her side of the room. Her slender figure and smooth, tanned skin are what the townspeople find themselves envying. But now with the media attention, she seemed to be nervous to give the wrong answers. Eager to get started, I began my questioning.

Arabela: Miss Hengen, this new hairstyle really is something. What do you call it?
Stephanie: Oh, I, uh...
Sharlye: It's called "The Exploding Bombshell."

Sharlye appeared to be an employee of Miss Hengen.

A: And how exactly do you get the look?
S: Well, I put it up in little sections and wait for it to dry. Then I take it out.
A: I see. Was it difficult?
S: Uh, my hair didn't dry very quickly. But it wasn't really hard or anything.

Miss Hengen wetted her perfectly plumped lips with slight pressure from her teeth as her eyes darted nervously about.

A:Is there anything else you want to share with us about it?
S: No.
A: Would you mind if I did a follow up interview?
S: Alright.

Miss Hengen smoothed a hand through her hair, a breath of assurance filled her body as the interview came to its conclusion.

On Friday, I snoached Miss Hengen until the time came to stalk her for a follow-up picture and interview. She seemed slightly more confident than during our previous interview, almost like she forgot what her hair looked like.

A: Oh my, your hair seems... different than yesterday.
S: I can't help it!
Sharlye: It's the humidity. Everyone around here suffers from it.

Sharlye had practically appeared out of nowhere with a defensive voice so practiced, there was no longer any doubt that Sharlye was Miss Hengen's agent.

Miss Hengen scurried down the hall, an obvious desire to end the interview early.

No one in town has yet been donning The Exploding Bombshell.

16 July 2011

Side-Effects of Drink Brought to Light

A member of the Las Cruces community has discovered a new side-effect of Mug Diet Root Beer.

The pioneering female, who wishes to remain anonymous, was drinking a can of the liquid in the afternoon on a Sunday afternoon. Suddenly, without warning, her diaphragm was thrown off rhythm and a fit of hiccups ensued. She told the Las Cruces Beat that they were the worst hiccups she had ever experienced.

But abnormal breathing patterns weren't the only, or worst, of the effects. A disturbing pain in the woman's eye developed. It worsened with each breath, which caused her to report the ill-effects of the drink.

Since this discovery, no repeat cases have been reported. Members of the community are asked to continue drinking the refreshing caffeine-free drink without worry.

04 July 2011

Life Defined Through a Board Game

"Aaaaaah," Stephanie, recent high school grad, exclaimed when another definition to an unknown word was read. Stephanie and her family were playing Balderdash, a board game of bluffing and trivia.

Things started off well, with most players making an effort to gain points by creating a dictionary-like definition. "It always ends before the right one is said," Cheryl, mother of five, complained.

The family enjoyed snacking on everything from carrots and snow peas to popcorn and Skittles. At one point, Nikki, Tiffani's sister, with hands full of treats, had a terrible run-in with the pantry door. "My butt's a lot bigger than I thought," she noticed.

Crystal, a redhead, dressed in partial pioneer garb, was suffering from a healing sunburn. A hunk of unidentified meat was strapped to her neck to soothe the burn. Her definitions fooled very few of the family during the evening.

Soon, as the definitions got a little more creative and outlandish, they were incorporated into the family's speech. Cheryl inquired as to the whereabouts of the family cat, to which Steve, anti-communist, replied, "he's snoaching his fig."*

But Stephanie was not to be outsmarted with false definitions. She could often be seen perusing through a polka-dotted notebook, declaring, "actually, I know that word because it's in my Writer's Notebook."

In the end, Steve was the winner of the board game. But the entire family has found the new expansion of their vocabulary a refreshing boost to the doldrums of everyday speech (often laden with too many commas). The family plans on playing Taboo with their extended family at the next family gathering.

*The Hengen Family Balderdash Dictionary
chincherinchee [chin-chuh-rin-chee] -noun: the collection of chins in hopes of achieving happiness.
fig [fig] -noun: a fat date. So Friday night, I went out with this total fig.
komatik [koh-mat-ik] -unknown: the act of a tic in a coma.
piggin [pig-gin] -noun: a serious condition of bulimia wherein no purging occurs. Stephanie suffers from piggin.
snoach [snowch] -verb: stalking without a purpose. Go snoach someone else!

03 July 2011

4th of July Preparations Underway

In a swirl of color, Las Cruces seems to be getting ready for America's birthday. Stores began to run low on cobbed corn, watermelon and meat to grill. The scent of cakes baking filled neighborhoods.

A different kind of scent eminated from the Hengen household. The five females who live there drenched their nails in patriotic colors. As the eldest daughter Tiffani, who majored in Family Living, patiently painted thirty individual nails, the father of the house stayed well out of sight.

"Steve, you've got to paint something, even if it's your toenails," Cheryl called out. Faces of disgust were the only reply.

The family plans to weigh themselves on Monday morning, gorge throughout the day, play on bouncy pads, and enjoy fireworks in the evening.

02 July 2011

Royalty Hosts Party

I found myself in the presence of royalty this Saturday afternoon. Princess Boss Alta, a loving sister of four siblings, was hosting a soirĂ©e at her castle nestled against the Organ Mountains. I entered with my plastic crown and basket of nail polish, anticipating an afternoon full of adventure.

I was greeted amiably by Princess Snaaack Edyn. I asked her the question I ask most people upon meeting after a long absence, "do you have to go potty?" She answered how she answers all questions, in the affirmative.

Princess Mom Camille announced the royal commencement of the cake, which was hand selected from the cookbook. Princess Coach Coda sucked on a bottle as the rest of the girls sucked the batter remains from the metal wisks.

Queen/King team "Bampa" rolled up in extended carriage to the castle walls soon after the cake was placed in the oven. A small feast in honor of their arrival was held over Hersheys with Almonds and served with cold milk.

Once the chocolate was cleared from our hands, we began the nail-painting ritual. Alta and Edyn chose a bright plum, while I went with an Independence Day scheme.

 My nails hadn't finished drying completely when Camille and I were temporarily self-demoted to peasants. After rolling two 300-pound bouncy playthings across the yard, we received self-induced flogging on the Spiders Web.

A quick application of makeup fixed any damage (except chocolate cheeks, which are actually an essential part of "the look").

"I'm going to have a Princess Party everyday," Princess Alta promised. Las Cruces can only benefit from her benevolence.

Mysterious Cat Stalks Town

A small cat was spotted on the table of the Hengens, family of seven, Saturday night.

The cat, which has not been named, has been stalking the family for years. "Don't you remember? It was always hiding around in beds and stuff," Cheryl, mother of five, reminisced. Steve, husband of 25 years, was by her side, face tucked into his neck and arms spread apart in blatant mock of the cat.

"For a while there were using frogs and hippos, too," Cheryl continued in her trip down memory lane.

If you have any information about the cat, please report it to the Las Cruces toxicity center. Hallucinations and contorted body positions are only a few of the known side effects when humans are near the beast.

Couple Makes it to Twenty-Five

Steve, 44, and his wife Cheryl, 44, made it to a milestone this week. After twenty-five years of marriage, they decided to have a go at another year.

The couple retreated to Albuquerque on Thursday in celebration. Promptly after checking into the Hilton Garden Suite, they fell into the deep comfort of worry-free sleep.

Denny's dished up a hearty serving of calories and cholesterol to the love birds for breakfast on Friday morning. The rest of their day was spent in the Lord's house in service of their ancestors.

When stomachs grumbled, the couple was spotted at Outback Steakhouse enjoying hunks of meat, potatoes and bread. Rumors of Coldstone Creamery for dessert have been confirmed.

Shunning the hotel's pool for it's small, indoor features, Steve and Cheryl redboxed The Dilemma that night. "We wanted to go swimming, but we didn't," Cheryl explained.

Saturday was another busy day in the temple, where Steve and Cheryl had fast become recognized by all patrons. When the work was done, the only stop on the way home to Las Cruces was a nondescript Mexican restaurant.

"We did married-people stuff, too," Steve interjected at the end of the interview, without provocation.

Upon arrival home, the couple was greeted by a faux wedding cake, designed, baked and decorated by their eldest daughter, who holds a college degree in home-making.

Steve and Cheryl seem mildly optimistic about the next twenty five years.

Extra! Extra!

In the bustling metropolis of Las Cruces you'll find people with stories, stories with people and fresh, sizzling gossip dished out on a plate so hot, it'll burn your fingers. Readers, let your appetite grow because there's more than enough to go around.

Our first scoop involves one of the community's most essential pantries, Walmart. Here, in a place so often disgraced by its 3-mile lines and past-expiration-date merchandise, dozens of people fill not only their shopping carts, but gain life experiences.

My experience was with Mary*, a middle-aged jewelry register cashier. Although her counter loudly brandished the "This Lane is Closed" sign, she eyed the three boxes of unflavored gelatin in my hand through her thinly-rimmed glasses.

"You're fine," Mary said, without a smile. I responded with my sincere gratitude and handed her the boxes. I pointed to the headphones pressed into my ears, declaring my preparations for queing a waste. A call for Chris to clean up the spill on aisle four resounding through the loud speakers was the only reply.

"Here you go," Mary said, handing me the receipt, again without smiling.

As I walked out into the parking lot, I passed the garden section. You won't believe this, but a black cat crossed my path and headed straight through the locked gate into Walmart's property. A flash of thinly rimmed glasses appeared as a car passed. And that's when I realized that Mary not only provided concise customer service, she is secretly harboring a community in the garden section where cats can gather and try on fashion rings.

Committed to bringing you the latest, hottest news before you even know it's happened, it's Arabela, b.

*name has been changed because I don't know her real name.