Basement Medicine

Sticky, sweet and rewarding: maple sugaring at home

Kassandra Cousineau

April 18, 2013

Are you tired of paying $50 for a gallon of maple syrup? Do you want to know where your food products are coming from? Want to be environmentally friendly and keep a few extra Benjamins in your pocket while you're at it? At Vermont Harvest Sun, in rural Bristol, Vermont, Jacob Roy has found a way to ...

Carrie Cook loses her Samurai but finds a new bass

Carrie Cook

Elizabeth Beatty-Owens

April 18, 2013

The restaurant was filled with bodies. The employees were dragging tables and chairs out from the front of the bar, attempting to make a little more standing room for the people who were packed in along the bar stools. Feet were tapping, many seated hips were wiggling, and even a few brave souls took ...

How High is Denver, Really?

Colorado recently approved legislation legalizing marijuana

Phil O'Neil

April 18, 2013

"Take everything out of your pockets and hold your hands in the air." It doesn’t sound like the start of a promising night for concertgoers heading into the 1st Bank Arena outside Denver, Colorado, but another look around yields a surprising discovery. Most people carry keys and wallets in their pocket...

Springfield: Vt.’s seventh circle

Springfield, Vt. in the turn of the century

Thomas Benton

March 28, 2013

Here’s the scene: There’s a body on the side of the road in southern Vermont. Maybe alive, maybe dead, but no one cares. They just drive on past, and if they take their eyes off the road to glance in the rearview or, god forbid, over their shoulders, they keep their feet on the gas pedal. I was...

The Dame in the Diner Dream

Of all the dreams in all the heads in all the world...

Richard Schlong

March 28, 2013

The New Mexican mountains had all the jagged curvatures of a lie-detector test, and in the sunset on the other side I saw truth. Time to stop slacking in Sante Fe, put on my slacks and head back to the city that never sleeps. On the way there, I slept. I dreamed in a hotel room that had never heard...

Dan and Clint: a friendship begining

Once Dan had settled into Alaska, Clint convinced him a beard was necessary. All Alaskan men, and some women, carry them on their face to keep warm, he had told Dan. Although Dan protested at first, he gave in. After about three or four months wearing the scraggly mess on his face, he decided Clint had made a fool of him long enough. Dan shaved it about four or five months ago.

Dan Schwartz

March 28, 2013

I was going to tell you about my sex life, but that’s not much of a story anymore. Then I got 1,800 words into an essay about crippling depression, but we’ll save that for later; that’s not first date material. Yesterday I whittled away a 600-word nugget about a backpacking trip to the northeast...

Kevin and Cara’s Crazy Caravan II

Cara in the Danvers McDonald's

Kevin Paquet

March 14, 2013

Kevin Paquet is a 2009 JSC graduate. He, his wife, and their cats are currently crawling south in a camper from 1969 hooked to an SUV from 1994. For earlier installments see Basementmedicine.org. On the morning of Jan. 23, there was a knock on the camper door. This was the first knock we’d gotte...

To Have and Want Not

They were trying to take the paper back.  So I went under hard cover.

Richard Schlong, Private Eye

February 21, 2013

I’d been ransacking Robert Parker’s body like Sharon Stone on her wedding night. Body of work, that is. So I gave it a break. Ernest Hemingway was on the shelf. I took him off. “To Have and Have Not.” I always choose to have and end up having not. Except with Hemingway. The first night I read...

Kevin and Cara’s Crazy Caravan

Kevin and Cara’s Crazy Caravan

Kevin Paquet

February 7, 2013

My name is Kevin Paquet. Let me tell you a story. I graduated from Johnson State College, as many of you will someday do, in May of 2009. Our commencement speaker was the former U.S. ambassador to Pakistan. I fell asleep during his speech. It was the first and only time I ever fell asleep in school. ...

The Queens Pied Piper

Her music hung over the city thicker than fog, like heavenly pollution.

Richard Schlong, Private Detective

February 6, 2013

The only thing she played better than the trumpet was my heart. It wasn’t hard to play my heart: just a couple keys, a few possible notes, no real exertion required. Sometimes just a pretty face would hit the right note. The trumpet, now: that took mastery. I’d hear her from my office on the ass...

The Big Screen

The Big Screen

Richard Schlong, Private Dick

December 6, 2012

"It’s a love story!” he was saying. “‘Love in the Dark’! Surely you must see a lot of women –” “Kid,” I said, cutting him off, “the only women I see are in magazines.” Christmas time had come again, and thought my stocking was stuffed there wasn’t a ho-ho-ho in sight, not...

MASSHOLE! Our Bay State curmudgeon bloviates on rotaries and roundabouts

MASSHOLE!  Our Bay State curmudgeon bloviates on rotaries and roundabouts

Don Eaton

November 15, 2012

If two wrongs don’t make a right, but three lefts do, does that make rotaries not just right, but in fact a spiraling computer proof of god’s own intentions, a coiling helix encoded with his plan for us? Maybe elsewhere, but not here in Vermont. Rotaries, excuse me, “roundabouts,” have been...

The Hot November

The Hot November

Richard Schlong, Private Investigator

November 15, 2012

It was November but I was stuck in September, mostly because I didn’t have anything to be thankful for and I hoped if I gave September another chance something might come up. Monk’s “Misterioso” on vinyl at a garage sale, fifty bucks in a birthday card, a glance I hadn’t met in a coffee shop,...

The Big Fat Wolf

The Beast of College Hill.

Richard Schlong

September 26, 2012

This story was credited to Dixie Schlong, Public Educator. I’d made a friend named Cain. He shortly thereafter became the first evidence of death I’d seen in as long as I could remember. I went to his house after his wife told me he wasn’t staying with us anymore. He’d checked out: he’d p...

The Dixie Chick

Just me mowing the lawn.

Richard Schlong

September 11, 2012

This story was credited to Dixie Schlong, Public Educator. We were sitting on opposite sides of the living room – possibly figuratively as well. We had nothing in common but the cups of coffee we held. I thought he’d moved past it when his ass hit the couch, but he hadn’t: as I breathed his eyes...

The Stiff and the Dead

 The Stiff and the Dead

Richard Schlong, Private Investigator

May 3, 2012

“Just stick it in there,” he said. “Not too fast. That’s it. Woah – easy there. Almost had an accident. Oh, yeah. That’s it.” The coroner slammed the steel door on the female body. He’d been kind enough to let Biceps help him ease in the slab. “You boys aren’t from around here,...

Two Heart to Handle

Two Heart to Handle

Richard Schlong, Private Investigator

April 12, 2012

I was heading out the door for my annual check-up when I got a call from my old pal Biceps De Bruder. He’d taken off some time ago, on a pilgrimage around America, searching for hidden truths. I asked him what he’d found. “I dunno,” he said. I told him I was going to the doctor, and asked...

The Unbearable Heaviness of Being the Fat Chef

The Unbearable Heaviness of Being the Fat Chef

Richard Schlong, Private Investigator

March 22, 2012

First I was afraid. I was petrified. Kept thinking I could never live— Then a spatula slapped across my face and things became clear. It was like this. There was a rotund Englishman, Kaufman, squinting at me with his hands clasped before his groin, 15 yards in front of me and to the left. To...

Fry Me Deadly

Fry Me Deadly

Richard Schlong, Private Investigator

March 8, 2012

As I awoke one afternoon from uneasy dreams, I found myself transformed in my bed into a gigantic dick. The plump Englishman at the foot of the bed was the first sign. He held a cigar so long that when he put it in his mouth he looked like Pinocchio lying. His left eye was big and pink and covered...

Naughty Nonna Knows All: advice to the perplexed

Naughty Nonna Knows All: advice to the perplexed

March 8, 2012

Dear Naughty Nonna,   My boyfriend says that if we have sex without a condom at first, that it’s ok as long as he puts it on later. This makes me a little uncomfortable. Is he right? Is this safe?   Gullible’s Travels   If you believe this, Gullible, I have a bridge...

Confessions of a Snowmaker

Confessions of a Snowmaker

Donny Eaton, Staff Reporter

February 16, 2012

Snowmaking, in essence, is a hubris of inverse, Ahabian proportions. Rather than roaming the seas in search of the White Whale, snowmakers roam the alpine heights trying to turn whales into the elusive white carpet which can then be spread from trail-edge to trail-edge, mountaintop to base area, allowing...

The Long Tomorrow

The Long Tomorrow

Richard Schlong, Private Investigator

February 2, 2012

It was past Christmas and I was alone. Eva had come and gone as fast and as sweet as the holidays. With her, breaking up was like breaking wind: it reeked of past dinners, some candlelit, some overshadowed by the envious eyes of other men in the room, a consequence of pleasure I’d never stopped to...

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