Politics in America 8: When the Circus Comes to Town

It’s like Buggs and the Looney Tune Gang used to say, “On with the show, this is it.” The choo-choo came around the mountain, Old Bicuspid. Yes, it was that same famous mountain where General Beauregard T. Abouttopop lost the Battle of the Other Side of the Mountain to General Hoppingmad. Yes, the choo-choo came ‘round that mountain.

Mayor P F Sneeze steadied himself for what was to come. He had never ever been on a train. He was almost sure the ride would make him sea sick. But there the train was, standing in the station, all red and beautiful like. It was the Delegate Special.

B S Pudding kissed her Honey good luck and have a wonderful time. It was such a good kiss that P F couldn’t follow his usual protocol. He didn’t ignore his lady love. He kissed her back. It was such a kiss that B S just about swooned and fainted. She didn’t but she just about did.

As the whole town was hip-hip-hurrahing, P F stepped into the train car. He took his seat in his cabin. He found himself sitting in the lap of Luxury. It was not that the suite was great. The girl’s name was Luxury and P F was actually sitting on her lap.

“Get off me,” Luxury expressed herself as the train was building up enough choo-choo to boogey out of the station.

“I am sorry, Ma’am,” the Mayor said, standing up and taking his hat off to show his southernly manners. He took his seat across from the lady and kindly asked, “Are you a delegate?”

“I am,” Luxury responded.

“This is my first time delegating,” P F said with a smile. He smiled because he didn’t know what else to do.

“My third time,” the woman said. “There’s nothing to it. You just show up. Raise your hat when you’re told. Then go home with some swag. You’ll be getting the red carpet treatment. It’s like the Academy Awards for Politicians.”

“The Academy Awards?”

“Yes indeedy. The PEs will be handing out all sorts of awards. The Award for Best Delegate. Best Favorite Son. Best Candidate with an Ax to Grind. My ex-husband two-husbands-removed won that one two conventions ago. I got to say he was a smoothy, that one. Then there’s even Best Song. That will be the Presidential Candidate’s theme song like ‘Don’t Stop’ was Bill Clinton’s.”

P F had never been to an Academy Awards Ceremony. He had never even seen one on tv. He didn’t even own a tv. So he wasn’t sure what it were. It sounded like an occasion to take a snort. If it was an occasion to take a snort, it must be mighty fine. Just in case of an occasion like that, he had brought his own jug. No city licker for him. No city licker could compare with Dr. Pudding’s Own Home Brew. That he knew.

If all his fellow delegates were as nice as Miss Luxury, P F decided he was bound and determined to enjoy sit on their laps too. It would be a dereliction of duty not to.

In the meantime, he and Miss Luxury discussed deep political things. Like the weather. Like being an early riser and a late riser. Like the surrender of General Lee to General Grant. She was for it, he was agin it. Like the nature of a bowl of grits. Then they discussed the weather some more. They were having a fine old time. From time to time, a fellow delegate would drop by their cabin to see what was cooking.

“Did you know that Dinah is in the kitchen?” one feller asked.

“Did she rise up early in the morning?” Luxury asked and waited on baited breath.

“She most assuredly did. The captain wanted her to blow her horn.”

“She does play a mean trumpet,” Luxury said.

“Sad thing is they caught her in the kitchen with someone strumming on an old banjo. You know what they were playing on that banjo?”

“I do not,” Luxury said, then asked P F, “Do you know?”

P F shook his head. He did not know.

“Fie, fi, fiddly I o, that’s what,” the delegate in the straw hat said.

“You don’t say,” Luxury said.

“I do say,” Straw Hat said.

Then Straw Hat was gone. He was in hog heaven. The Do Naughty Convention was the only time the wife let him out of her sight. He was making the best of it.

Luxury said toodley doo and went on her way. You know the way the way Luxury always go. Sliding right through our hands. The good Lord giveth and the good Lord taketh away.

Alone and by hisself, the Mayor dropped to his knees and prayed a little pray, then ended up pleading and cajoling and begging real real hard. “Please, God, don’t let me screw up.” Of course, that has been every presidential candidate’s prayer since George Washington showed his teeth on television. They always screw up.

Before P F knew it, lickety split the train was pulling into Convention City Station. There were party colors everywhere. There were ticker tape parades. There were cheerleaders.

The Delegates stepped off the train and into a parade, all fine and dandy in their monkey suits and top hats for the male persuasion and white gowns and tiaras for the women folk. They walked into the Convention Center, the cheering crowds cheering, the exciting music musiking. It was going to be a wing ding daddy of a time.

There was just one little thing that kept the whole darn event from being the best darn political convention since God let the animals out in the Garden of Eden. The Do Naughties did not have a Presidential Candidate.

Next Wednesday there’ll be a hot time in the old town.

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