Laetitia and her group spent the day in New Mexico south of Albuquerque. They hiked in Elephant Butte State Park near Truth or Consequences, a spa city of about 7,000 people located on the Rio Grande. The city was originally named Hot Springs, but when Ralph Edwards, the host of the popular radio show Truth or Consequences, said he would air the show in the first town that renamed itself after the show, Hot Springs stepped up to the mark and changed its name.
Toward the end of the day, Laetitia brought her tour to Claunch, New Mexico, where they were spending the evening. Most of its residents consider it the center of the state, and, a few, the center of the universe. It’s a small town of fewer than 200 people—one of those towns where people mostly entertain themselves, usually with dinner parties. During her walkabout with the group, Laetitia overheard two women complaining about an acquaintance who, as a dinner guest, tended to have a lengthy and rather loud debate with herself over each food item she ate and what eating it would do to her figure. It became the subject of the limerick of the day.
Old Alice could never quite staunch
Her fear about growing a paunch
Which meant that she quibbled
Over morsels she nibbled
As she irked every hostess in Claunch.