Politics in America 26: All Reporters are Report–I take that back.

They were journalists. Reporters. The Fourth Estate. They were broadcasters. Newspaper people. Bloggers. Gossip mongers. Liberals. Liars. Those media people were downright…what was the word…people. Yes, people. Human beings. And they all had a bad case of proclaiming there was a fire when there was only smoke. That was a fact.

Big Al couldn’t believe his ears. He couldn’t believe his eyes. The reporters were calling the election. The damn reporters were calling the election. Hawaii still had to come in. And Illinois needed a recount. He sat in front of the tv in his hotel room. He was so angry he threw a lamp at the tv. Both the lamp and the tv screen busted.

He picked up his phone and called the Campaign’s legal team. A C Schister, the lead muckety muck, answered. Before Big Al could speak, A C talked, “I see. We’re heading into court first thing in the morning and asking for an injunction. I personally am suing Big News Guy. This is outrageous.”

Before you knew it, someone leaked a photo of Big News Guy on a tilt-a-whirl with his favorite co-anchor. “That will teach him. Freedom of the Press, my rump. We’ll see how much alimony it’s going to cost Big News Guy.” Big Al laughed.

Everybody at Do-Naughty Central was on pins and needles to hear from Hawaii. Some were even on needles and pins. Big Al went down stairs and joined the rest of the Campaign Staff.

They were just about to get the Hawaii results when all of a sudden they heard a noise. This wasn’t just a noise. This sounded like a tornado. Someone checked her weather app. Nothing. The weather was as fine as wine in the summertime. What the hey was that sound?

Maybe an extra terrestrial invasion? No. No e.t. on the horizon and none were phoning home.

Maybe a invasion from one of the many enemies of the United States? No. The United States did not have any enemies.

Maybe a gang of supervillains invaded the planet? No. All the superheroes had taken care of that.

Just what the heck was that sound?

Next Week It Sure Ain’t Santa Claus 

Politics in America 22: Big Al’s Big Al Day

Big Al Fresco rose early that Election Day. He rose with a big grin on his face. It was the grin to beat all grins. When Al grinned, his grin was the grinningest. He was about to crown a king and that king was P F Sneeze. Against all odds, a pig farmer from a no-name town of twenty-five was about to become the leader of the free world. And Big Al was responsible for that.

On top of all that, his rump in the hay the night before was good. Very good. At his age, he had thought he didn’t have it in him anymore. Then he met Ellie May. Oh sure, he had seen her movies. But they were nothing compared to the real deal. And Ellie May was the Real Deal. Life was so good it couldn’t get any better.

On an Election Day, Big Al was usually up before the rooster crowed. Not this Day. P F Sneeze had Little Twerp licked but good. What could go wrong?

Evidently Big Al was not expecting a case of the Murphy’s Laws. You’d think he would have known better. He’d been around politics since he was knee high to a grasshopper. He’d seen elections come and elections go. If he knew anything, he knew that something can always go wrong.

Big Al gave Ellie May a big smooch, then straightened his tie and walked through that motel door and out into the nice bright morning sun. If a man could float on air, Big would have been floating on air. He opened the door of his black caddy and slipped into the driver’s seat. He started up the engine and off he went to Campaign Headquarters for the congratulatory congratulations.

He hated to brag but he had pulled off the coup of the century. Maybe the coup of the millenium. It was indeed the coupest of the coup.  He had a lot to brag about. At least, that was what he thought as he pulled up into the empty parking lot of Campaign Central.

“Where the hell is everybody?” he asked himself, that Texas drawl of his sliding off his tongue real easy-like. Then he realized everybody must be at the polls or picking up voters. That kind of stuff you do on Election Day. But there was no one but no one in the parking lot. There should be at least a few workers manning the phones. He walked into the offices. The silence was silent. The quietness was quiet too. It was very deadly. And the room was totally empty. There wasn’t a single solitary soul in the joint. Made Big Al feel like a bartender who had just run out of booze.

Suddenly the skip in his step went away. Something was wrong. And not just wrong but very wrong.

Then the phones began their ringing. Every one of them all at once. He walked over and picked one up. It was a reporter on the other end.

“Finally,” Mr. Reporter said. “Can you give us a statement?”

“A statement?” Big Al asked. “About what?”

“There is a rumor that all the P F Sneeze Campaign Workers were raptured last night. Is that true?”

“What in the name of Billy Bob Thornton are you talking about?”

Next Wednesday All Hell Breaks Loose 

Politics in America 15: Podunkitis

The reporters descended on Weazel Sneeze in the fives. In the tens. In the fifteens. Geraldo Geraldo. That woman on Fox. The CNN guy. MSNBC’s liberal in residence. They all showed up. And they all showed up looking for rooms. But there was no room in the inn. Now they knew what Joseph and Mary felt like. Unwelcome. Considering the stars in the sky were not the stars. The news folks were the stars.

Depending on your point of view, it was either awful. For the reporters. Or wonderful. For the people of Weazel Sneeze. This was the perfect opportunity for the country rubes to turn the tables on the big city folks. When the yokels of Weazel Sneeze saw an opportunity, they were not about to turn tail and run. They were smart enough to know these city folk would eat their offerings up hook, line and sinker.

Corncob Jones, former mayor, and now City Councilman in charge while the Mayor was out of town, called a meeting.

The first point of business was the Biannual Washing of the Clyde. That was going to have to wait. Clyde would just have to stink. His stink’em would add a bit of charm to the old home place.

Betty Ann Butt’s offered up a free fix-’em-me-up at the Twirl-and-Kurl to all the natives. Oh, sorry. Indigenous people. In other words, if you were a Weazel Sneezer, you got a makeover free. Like Betty Ann said, “We all want to look good, don’t we?”

Ella of Sam’N’Ella’s All You Can Eat Buffet offered to fix up a a special menu of deep Southern delicacies like hog jowls mixed with a ton of grits, possum innards, fried green ‘maters, and polk salad with fatback as an appetizer. “We’ll throw in some chit’lin’s for good measure.”

“Ella, sweet Ella,” Corncob asked, “why y’all fixin’ all those specialties for them ‘porters? Why don’t y’all do that for us’ens?”

“You never ask,” Ella sprang out.

The piece d’resistance the Weazel Sneezers came up with was a Genuine Weazel Sneeze Moonshine. ‘Course there was no such thing. But Clyde Perkalater had an old timey recipe from his great-great-great grandpappy. It had half-kilt most of that generation. The survivors ended up being tough as nails. Nothing would kill them.

Since the town had so much manure, they figured why not bottle it and sell it. Call the P F Sneeze Cure-all for your aches and pains. The suckers, I mean, the reporters ate it up. The Weazel Sneezers were floating in a landslide of cash. Yes, I realize that’s a mixed metaphor. But this is America. We’re well known for mixing our metaphors.

There was one final question on the agenda. Where we gonna put all these Yankees?

Sam of Sam’N’Ella had the perfect answer. “Over on Slop Hill.” Slop Hill was the local garbage dump. Since the folks in Weazel Sneeze just about kept and used everything, Slop Hill got only the worst of the worst. It was one purgatory of a place. As one reporter put it later, “Gollee gee. I gotta tell you visiting Weazel Sneeze is enough to scare the Episcopalian out of a person.”

The way the localeers felt was the ‘porters deserved what they got. This would teach ‘em to leave well enough alone.

Little did the locals know that Weazel Sneeze was down as the old home place of a future president. There was no such thing as leaving well enough alone anymore. Weazel Sneeze was now a tourist destination. The small isolated community was about to become a World Heritage Site. How ‘bout that for a kick in the rump.

Next Week Campaigning to Beat All

City Politics

There had been a rumor that The Mayor would not run for a fourth term. Like most rumor mills, there was some truth to the rumor, but mostly the gossip was fiction. The Mayor had debated with himself whether he should go for a higher office such as Governor, Senator, even President. If he could run “the City Glorious”, why not the whole darn country?

Finally he decided for a fourth run. His reasoning was that he was having way too much fun as mayor. Why give up show business? Why run for President when every Tom, Dick and Harriet would be after your rear? That didn’t sound like fun.

The morning after The Mayor’s penis appeared on the eleven o’clock news, he announced his reelection campaign. When asked about the “genital appearance,” he told reporters, “I did it for the good of the city. Tourists will realize what a fun place we are.”

He had always been a tightrope walker, but this time he didn’t have a net. Now he was caught in a compromising position. His staff thought that the voters were not going to be happy about the whole thing.

“How could you show that thing on TV,” Mrs. Bartok, a teacher at a local elementary school, asked the newsroom, madder at the television station for showing it than at The Mayor for making the “appearance.”

When asked, the President of the Chamber of Commerce commented, “The Mayor’s only doing what comes naturally. Besides it’s good for business and it’s good for the image of the city.”

The night before the news broke, The Mayor had been in tough negotiations with the garbage people. During a particularly difficult part of the session, The Mayor needed to take a leak. He called a recess, urged all heads to cool off, while he went to the head. Then he made a dash down the hall to the men’s room because he had to go real bad. Twinkie Twinkler, a local tv reporter, followed, on the hunt for a story

For seven long years, Twinkie served in the journalistic wilderness. She put in her time as the perky weather girl. But she had ambition. She wanted to be an anchor. She spent months cajoling, begging the news editor to let her do some reporting, any reporting.

Finally he broke down and said, “Yes, as long as you continue to do the weather forecasts.” What could it hurt? the editor thought. I get both a perky weather girl and a news reporter. Just to be on the safe side, he assigned her to the city hall beat. Lots of boredom and no glory. He underestimated Twinkie.

When Twinkie told all her friends, they commented on The Mayor’s larger than life personality. He ran city hall like it was his own private fiefdom.

“That shrimp,” Twinkie said, unafraid. “He’s short and skinny and bald.”

“Yes,” her friend Norah said, “but he’s such a womanizer, except with his wife. At least, that’s what I’ve heard. So you watch yourself, kid.”

Now here she stood outside the men’s room. She needed a story to help her with her career. That’s when it came to her. Like a bolt of lightning. “I’ll get my story.” She walked through the men’s room door and saw The Mayor before one of the urinals.

“Mayor, can you give me a comment about the negotiations?”

When The Mayor turned around, Twinkie’s eyes became large moons. What Twinkie saw was unbelievable. So unbelievable she grabbed her smart phone from her purse, aimed its camera and clicked a pic. Just to be on the safe side, she took several clicks.

The Mayor was always a man who acted well under pressure. He hadn’t gotten where he was by backing down when confronted with what he would later refer to as “an interesting situation.”

“Well, my dear,” The Mayor said, standing there with his flag run up full mast. “I’m always glad to share a little of my charismatic personality with the local media.”

The pictures appeared on the eleven o’clock news. The phones started to ring off the wall around the town. His honor had done it again. Everybody was telling everybody else what they’d seen. “Can you believe it?” they asked.

The next day one of the city commissioners approached the city manager, “Do you think we could sell them? The pictures, I mean.”

“Maybe,” the city manager said, “we could use the money to pay off the budget deficit. At least it would keep the public’s mind off all the money we’ve stolen. I mean, wasted.”

The Mayor, who had always been popular, soon found his poll numbers going from 75% to 90%. The public loved him even more than they had before. It gave the city’s nickname “The City Gorgeous” a real meaning. A local amusement park even developed a Weiner Ride in honor of His Honor. The owner of the local minor league baseball team changed the name of his team from the Hot Dogs to the Hot Weiners.

All this was to say that it looked like The Mayor was going to be a shoo-in. Until he shot his wife.

Actually she shot at him first and missed. In the City Gorgeous it was to become known as the Shootout at the OK Corral, the OK Corral being the local watering hole for all the big fishes in the little pond.

When Mrs. Mayor thought about what she had seen on the news, she became angrier and angrier. Her anger started getting angry. She arrived at the OK around six the next night and she was totting. In her purse, she had a magnum the size of the thing The Mayor carried in his pants. Over in the corner, The Mayor squeezed one of his female constituents’ buttocks. He figured why not. Anything to keep the voters happy.

Mrs. Mayor pulled the gun from her purse and aimed. Then she said, “I haven’t seen that thang in a month of Sundays. Now here you are, showing it on TV. Who do you think you are?”

“I’m The Mayor.”

Mrs. Mayor fired, not once, not twice, but three times. Unfortunately she couldn’t hit the side of a barn. She was near-sighted. She missed The Mayor and hit his constituent in the bottom. It was not a pretty sight. It is never a pretty sight to see a bottom bleed all over the place.

The Mayor, being the opportunist he was, saw the opportunity he had been waiting for. A way to rid himself of a wife, who was no longer the entertainment she had once been, and get away with it. For a very long time, he had the hankerings for his secretary, Willow Pussywillow.

The Mayor pulled out the .45 he carried in the concealed weapon department and shot her corpus dilecti. Mrs. Mayor fell over dead. And not just dead. She was as dead as a corpse in a coffin six foot under.

Now the citizens of the City Gorgeous were a very tolerant people. Sure, The Mayor had no legal recourse but to stand his ground. It was a sure thing that he would get off scot free. But that wasn’t the point. The point was that the standoff would hurt the tourist trade. When the story broke on the national news, people cancelled their tickets to paradise by the bushel load.

There was only one thing to do. Fire The Mayor, arrest him and throw him in jail for exposing his weapon in public. And that was exactly what happened. As they say in the news biz, it was Bye Bye, Miss American Pie for The Mayor.