A mysterious but apparently harmless ‘gas-like odor’ spread across Woodstock this morning, leaving people holding their noses and scratching their heads. Based upon air quality tests, “It’s not dangerous,” First Selectman, Margaret Wholean said. “It may be just an unpleasant smell. At this point we don’t know any more than that.” Ms. Wholean added “Our town Department of Homeland Security, headed by Gus Derriere is monitoring the situation.” Just to be safe though, Selectmen Very and Eaffy, Town Clerk Judy Alberts, and Town Treasure Barbara Rich demanded that City Hall be closed down for the day with pay.
Gus Derriere stated “There’s no indication at this time that terrorism is connected. Nor is there any credible intelligence to suggest an imminent threat to Woodstock at this time. At City Hall, Mitch Eaffy Police commissioner for emergency affairs said “If we had a town cop this probably would not have happened.” He said that the Town’s Emergency Medical Service had received hundreds of health complaints but only 20 residents had to be taken to Day Kimball Hospital.
The smell also caused commuting problems. Motorists were seen swerving wildly on Route 171 near the Miller Farm, and the Dial-a-Ride bus actually drove off the road near Foskett’s. Fire trucks from Putnam, Thompson, Dudley, Eastford, Union and Southbridge began blocking all roads leading into and out of Woodstock in an attempt to quarantine the situation until the stench could be identified.
“City Hall and the fire departments began getting calls about the bad odour around 9 AM” spokesman Russell Dowd said from the Muddy Brook strategic command center. Dowd added, “It’s like a bad fart, after a night of drinking and eating a lot of wieners and fresh sauerkraut, …only worse.” “The smell is very strong. It was very scary” noted Petey Racine, a long time resident of North Woodstock.
The elderly residents of New Roxbury Village also asked to be evacuated after seeing several ‘scent canaries’ fall from the bird feeders recently hung by Delpha Very. New Roxbury resident Cooch Tuberosum said “While watching the birds with such pleasure as I do every morning from my kitchen window, I noticed that the bright yellow canaries at the bird feeders started spiting out the seed rather than swallowing it. Then the poor birds started to sway noticeably on their perches before falling to the ground. It was a horrible scene.”
Finally at about noon Gus Derriere announced on WINY “No need to panic, people of Woodstock! Some light has now been shed on the real cause of the foul waft.” It appears that the Miller Farm introduced a new form of experimental feed to their cattle this morning - primarily a mixture of cabbage, kohlrabi, lentils, and mussels at the recommendation of a group of venture capitalist investors in a local start-up Biotech company recently spun off by the Woodstock Agricultural Society.
Residents of Woodstock are being asked to shut down all furnaces and to curtail use of matches, wood burning stoves, and gas ranges until the prevailing winds can evacuate the plume de la derriere to Thompson and Putnam.