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