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Joe McQuaid's Publisher's Notebook: Three 'creatures,' 'fairways fire' liven week


November 05. 2012 12:30AM

Last week, I met with a pumpkin, a giraffe, a pirate, a dozen journalists and government officials from the Mideast, and another dozen Harvard fellows from various parts of the globe. The pumpkin was the cutest. The giraffe the most aloof, and the pirate the most engaging. The rest were merely okay.

I also got to hear about the time the Derryfield Country Club's fairways caught on fire; but I nearly missed the lady of the house's wedding anniversary because I was watching Carol Shea-Porter and Ann Kuster. We live in interesting times.

Grandsons Ike, Mike and Spike were in the first three creatures mentioned. It was Halloween. Pumpkin Spike just sat and smiled. (He can't quite crawl yet and he figures he better make nice to his older brothers.)

Giraffe Mike was much more intent on playing with his mother's iPhone than engaging with others.

Leave it to oldest brother Ike, the pirate, to be generous of spirit and treasure. He kept trying to share his candy with trick-or-treaters who came to his front porch. Actually, he may just have been scared. Some of the parents accompanying their kids were adorned with more face-piercing wire than a Public Service line worker. Boo!

The Mideast contingent was visting the Nackey Loeb School of Communications. Almost all asked their questions through an interpreter, which made for some interesting and quite possibly misunderstood exchanges.

One man told me that a "French newspaper" had just reported that the Republicans were responsible for the terrorist raid in Benghazi, Libya, in September. What did I think of that? he asked.

I told him my regard for French newspapering had just gone down. But when I got back to the office, I could find no trace of the alleged story.

Perhaps the fellow was just repeating a story he had heard. I am guilty of that myself regards the Derryfield "fairways of fire" report, having been out-of-state when it was allegedly stated at a public information session regarding how to fix the often water-logged course.

But it has the ring of truth. An older gent reportedly said the course was better now than in the days when it would suddenly go up in flames.

I spoke with my ace source, Thomas Q. Public, about this claim. He said it actually may have been the time a mutual friend, B.C. by name, was working for the city and was trying to kill a pest by pouring gasoline down a hole and setting it ablaze.

Since the course is built on a peat bog, and peat was once the national fuel of the poor in Ireland, it all makes sense to me.

But now I am wondering if B.C. was also engaged in last week's attempt to rid a West Side three-decker of a bed bug infestation.

The three-decker caught fire.

Not sure if a cause has been nailed down, but I'm told they sometimes use heat to battle the bugs. Could B.C. be up to his old flame-throwing tricks?

Write to Joe McQuaid at

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