Spring is here, the steam has been rolling off the arch, and I do not seem to have much time or energy to muster up the creative blog writing process.
During spring, we sugar makers, sequestered in our sugarhouses for long days and nights, do not seem able to visit each other much, if at all. It’s a shame too, because we really enjoy sampling a bit of syrup, sharing a beer and seeing how other people run their sugarhouses – “How fast are you boiling?” “How much fancy you get this year?” and “I’ve got 30 inches of sap in the tank and 1 cord of wood left. How about you?” Best part of being in a sugar house though, are the stories.
Last year, the great Canadian maple syrup heist made the news and more recently, here in Vermont, a local maple sugar business was linked when it was discovered they had purchased some of the stolen syrup.
My friend Craig Line, all in good fun and tongue-in-cheek, wrote a “news release” in response to these stories. My favorite quote, “…tens of dollars in profit…”. Enjoy!
—FOR RELEASE FEBRUARY 30, 2013—
It was disclosed today that the previously reported Great Maple Syrup Heist of 2012 has reached its ugly tentacles
further than what was previously known, deep into the heart of Vermont Maple Country, all the way south from
Montreal, Quebec to that bastion of independent, free-thinking progenitors of the sweet pancake condiment in Calais,
It has been purported that one of the previously-thought-to-be squeaky-clean proprietors of a back-woods sugaring
operation, he of the hardly-known Kents’ Corner Sugarhouse, Greg Lyons, has taken a turn toward the dark side,
allegedly purchasing several tractor trailer tanker loads of what is now known to be stolen maple syrup from
warehouses outside Montreal.
“It was just more than he could resist,” offered spokesman Wally Bevins, after first issuing a curt “No comment” during a
hastily called press conference this morning.
“He was suspicious of the sweet stuff, sure, and questioned the driver, known only as ‘Jacques,’ but after such a
disastrous season last year, it was just too tempting. I mean, maple syrup offered for sale for as little as $3.00 a gallon?
C’mon, would any of you ask from where it had come? I don’t think so…”
Apparently Lyons, said Bevins, first thought the large tanker truck pulling into his driveway last summer was a lost milk
truck, looking for the dairy farm up the road. But, when the driver emerged from the cab, speaking only some rural,
guttural dialect of Quebecois French and with an obviously very sticky substance dripping from his beard, Lyons began to
realize all was not as it first appeared.
After first attempting to offer the vagabond driver a plateful of his best buckwheat cakes, or at least maple-walnut
French Toast (appropriately enough, he thought) Lyons soon realized that the driver was in fact anxious to consummate
the deal, so against his better judgment, or perhaps in spite of it, he offered to buy the entire truckload for the absurd
sum of $7,462, quickly calculating in his head that when resold at his usual highly inflated retail prices, he stood to
realize a profit in the tens of dollars, far more than is typical in any sugaring operation.
That is what tipped off authorities, Bevins said. “The guy was obviously living high on the hog—throwing lavish parties,
hob-knobbing with the rich and famous, flying to places like Rio and Hawai’i on a moment’s notice. With his primary
income supposedly coming from making maple syrup, it just didn’t all add up…”
“And, he didn’t even taste the stuff,” said Bevins. “He’s never really been that concerned with how his syrup is produced
or tastes anyway, so why would this be any different?”
Lyons quickly offered to buy more of the pilfered pancake topping, arranging delivery of future truckloads with
“Jacques” in a few weeks’ time, after he was able to install several underground storage tanks.
“With my basement as full of junk as it is, and with the need to keep this stuff out of sight, I took the risk of being
spotted engaging in unlawful excavation by the local design review board, or the Vermont Land Trust, but fortunately,
those guys were asleep at the wheel as usual…”
“Who cares where it came from or who made it? I mean, syrup is syrup, right? It’s all the same—from New York
state, New Hampshire, Vermont, Quebec, Log Cabin, my Aunt Jemimah …” Bevins quoted Lyons as uttering as he was
handcuffed and stuffed into the back seat of a Washington County Sheriff’s Dep’t patrol car pulled from speed trap duty
on the County Road.
Bevins said that Lyons was served with Grand Jury indictments, habeas corpus documents and a menu from the Wayside
Restaurant in Berlin, Vermont and is awaiting processing and arraignment at an undisclosed Border Patrol holding cell.
His fate at this time, just as another maple season is almost upon us, is unknown.
For more information, please contact Mr. Lyons’s attorney, Mr. Freshly Crisp-Herald, esq.