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Divination in Windham

Imagine our surprise here in Vermont’s Deep South when we found ourselves mentioned in an editorial in a newspaper from up near Montpelier. The editorial, which ran in the Times Argus last week, was about the role that industrial wind is playing in statewide politics. It included this: “It is unclear whether opposition in Windham will succeed in killing a (wind) project there.”

Well, gosh. This is the first time the editor of any newspaper north of Rutland has ever mentioned the name of Windham, our hometown. Once we were mentioned in a radio interview, but they got our name wrong so it didn’t count. Anyhow, we are gratified beyond words.

We were also struck, when, referring to whether Windham’s citizens will vote to defeat the company-formerly-known-as-Iberdrola’s plans to place wind turbines in the heart of our town, the editorial stated “it is unclear.” These words resonated deeply, reminding us of our youthful days when lots of things were unclear, and when we liked to seek clarity using various divining tools. We felt a sudden yearning for crystal balls and Magic 8-balls, tea leaves and Ouija boards, all of which we had consulted as teenagers with dating issues.

As you might imagine, we are fairly gasping for certainty after the four years of secrecy, dishonesty and tumult we’ve suffered from being in a forced relationship with a corporate suitor we wouldn’t have even wanted to date, much less marry. So we scurried to our attics to haul out the divination tools of yore.

One of us found a slightly warped Ouija board, but we’d lost the delicate touch required to milk the truth from that device. When somebody else found a dull and scratched Magic 8-ball, we recognized it to be a qualified adviser. Clearly, it had been hard used and had exactly the uncanny aura we were seeking. To create the proper ambience, we put on our footy pajamas, settled into our sleeping bags, and prepared to receive its wisdom.

Now, as everyone knows, in order for divination to work, you have to get your questions right. Fortunately, we are battle-hardened and already know the right questions. So in the interest of shedding light on the anxiously awaited Windham decision, we share the transcript of our Magic 8-ball session:

Question: Dear Magic 8-ball, surely you realize that most Windham voters want Iberdrola to go away, and have felt that way for the last four years. Do you think that Iberdrola intends to honor their promise to go away if a majority of ballots cast on Nov. 8 is against them?

Magic 8-Ball: Cannot predict now.

Question: Given that the vote is only three months away, do you think Iberdrola might have tricks up its sleeve, designed to confuse and divide Windham voters?

Magic 8-Ball: You may rely on it.

Question: Is it true that all Iberdrola’s tricks fall into three categories: secrecy, intimidation and bribery?

Magic 8-Ball: Without a doubt.

Question: Well, that being the case, do you think they will wait until the last minute, and then present us with more money and a scaled-back proposal, so that we won’t have time do our usual careful and logical determination of the consequences of their plans?

Magic 8-Ball: Signs point to yes.

Question: Do you think that Iberdrola and their complicit landowner, Meadowsend, will threaten to harm us in the future, if we vote to send Iberdrola away?

Magic 8-Ball: Most likely.

Question: But time is running out, and they promised they’d give us plenty of time to consider their final proposal. You don’t think they’d try to trick us, do you?

Magic 8-Ball: Yes, definitely.

Question: Well, what do you think we ought to do?

Magic 8-Ball: Beats me.

Nancy Tips is a resident of Windham.