Day 189: Gackle Cackle

Sometimes Laetitia’s tour guests suggested that she select tour destinations mostly because their names would make good limericks rather than because they have notable scenery or historical significance. Laetitia couldn’t think of any other reason for going to Gackle, North Dakota other than that it would give her guests a taste of American small-town life.

Gackle is a town of roughly 300 inhabitants. It’s not an especially lively town, but it has a few bars and pubs where one can pick up the local gossip. Having done her homework before going there, Laetitia was aware that there was a rude meaning for “gackle” when it is used as a verb, but she decided to let her tour group look it up for themselves. It’s so easy these days with the Internet.

At the bar of one of the local pubs, there was an older woman nursing a Manhattan as she flirted with any man who walked by. Most of them were young enough to be her grandsons. After she had gotten tipsy and left with a man her own age, the bartender told Laetitia, “That’s Moll. She used to be a ravishing beauty with stunning black hair. Back then she was the toast of the town, but then she got old.” Moll became the subject of Laetitia’s limerick.

With black hair that gleamed like a grackle
Moll was the enchantress of Gackle
But she rued the day
When her tresses turned gray
And her rivals all started to cackle.

Day 188: Surrey Worry

Laetitia took her group on a bus trip to the Affiliated Tribes Museum and the Maloti Thresher’s Museum before coming back to the Minot area for the evening. They stayed a few miles down the road from Minot in Surrey. Minot State University is in Minot itself, but sometimes students find it more adventurous to go out of town to party in Surrey. One such girl was a college student named Annabelle.

A young lass named Annabelle Murray
Liked causing her parents to worry
When she sat on a keg
And lifted her leg
In front of drunk pub crowds in Surrey.

Day 187: Minot Besot

Laetitia and her group moved on to the Knife River Indian Village National Historic Site. The name comes from the knives made from the high-quality flint found in the area. The flint was much sought after for making weapons and tools and was widely traded throughout the Native American world of that time. The reconstructed village is on a site originally occupied by the Hidatsas. It was from a Hidatsa village that Sakakawea and her husband joined the Lewis and Clark expedition.

The group spent the night in Minot, North Dakota, where a conversation overheard in the lobby of their motel gave Laetitia the limerick of the day.

Young George always tried to besot
All the girls that he met in Minot
But he couldn’t hold liquor
And his mind would soon flicker
‘Til his conquest was quickly forgot.

Day 186: Beulah Moolah

Traveling east from Montana, Laetitia and her group crossed into North Dakota and visited both the north and south parts of Theodore Roosevelt National Park. They drove through the park’s grassland, viewing bison herds and prairie-dog towns. They spent the night in Beulah, where a conversation with a local man gave Laetitia the limerick of the day.

An ambitious lass named Petula
Who preferred men well loaded with “moolah”
Found the diamond was fake
Given her by young Jake
So she left him and went home to Beulah.