Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Magpie 42

“What does it say?”
“What does what say?”
“On the cup. The words on the cup.”
“Oh. ‘Winner, First City-Wide Dance Contest, Huaraches, Texas.’”
“So it definitely says ‘winner’? Then we’ve got a problem.”

“I really don’t think you should be blaming me for this, Ken. I had nothing to do with it. This was Bill’s project.”
“Well, where is Bill? He should be here, for God’s sake.”
“He’s sick. Had to take the day off.”
“Very convenient. He was placed in charge of this project, given very detailed instructions as to how to handle it, and now it seems he’s screwed it all up and has gone off to hide.”
“I can get him on the phone, set up a conference call.”
“First let’s go over this carefully again. The whole point of this dance contest was that it would be great publicity for Mabel Carswell, who may be our next mayor. Her daughter Stella was to win and the two of them, Mom and daughter, would be writ up in our weekly Tribune and be seen holding the winner’s cup.”
“Right, and everyone understood that.”
“Evidently not everyone. Then, once the election was held, I was assured that I would be appointed City Manager. But now someone – Bill or you or whoever – has messed up and allowed somebody else to win! You simply can’t depend on people any more; that’s what’s wrong with this country!”
“Well, it wasn’t that they were allowed to win. That girl Sissie Hasenpfeffer and her partner were simply the best dancers.”
“What has that got to do with it? My job – and yours, as far as that goes – depends on Mabel’s daughter Stella winning that cup. Now, start thinking; how can we fix this?”
“Phil has an idea.”
“I never thought I’d be saying this, but okay, I’d like to hear Phil’s idea.”
“Well, that girl Sissie’s partner is named Martinez. Maybe, with a bit of luck, he could turn out to be an illegal alien.”
“No dice. Joe Martinez’ family has lived here since before the gringos arrived.”
“Okay then, how about this? Those cups only cost thirty-five bucks. We could buy another cup, inscribe on it ‘Special Award’ or some such thing and give that to Sissie and her partner. The winner’s cup would then go to Stella and Mabel would be happy.”
“But Stella didn’t win. An unimportant point to us, but it’s of great interest to the residents of our fair city.”
“Well, who let this happen? Who were the judges? Don’t they know anything about politics? We spent thousands of dollars putting this dance contest together for one reason, as support for Mabel Carswell’s campaign, and we didn’t blow all that dough to give an award to someone named Sissie!”
“Let alone someone named Hasenpfeffer.”
“Thanks, Phil. You’ve made your contribution. Now go sit over there.”
“Suppose we let it leak out that someone has stolen the cup, since it is so valuable. So the dance festival authorities, who are you and me by the way, have decided that the only fair thing to do is to acquire another cup and award it to both Sissie and Stella. They’ll be co-winners. Sissie will ultimately get the cup to keep and Stella in the meantime gets her photo op, holding the dam’ thing with her Mom for the local media.”
“You don’t know much about Mabel Carswell, do you? I have a feeling that the only thing that would mean anything to her would for her daughter to win – which is what I pretty well guaranteed her would happen. Way things are going, someone else is going to wind up as City Manager and I’ll be back to convincing folks that they may be able to save fifteen percent on their car insurance, like that little green rodent on TV.”
“Well, as far as I can see, that ‘co-winner’ solution is all we’ve got. How about it, Phil? Have you got anything else to suggest?”
“Well, in tight situations like this it was always encouraging for me when I remembered what my Dad used to say: when the tough get going – or when you go getting tough – something like that, whatever – but it was always encouraging.”

34 comments:

Steve said...

Someone should perhaps start eating humble pie.
This is not fiction is it? I love it when great conspiracies are thwarted by the innocent!

ninotaziz said...

Strange, funny and totally unforgiving.

Ken got what he deserved, didn't he? Some angel is laughing up above, I'm sure!

gautami tripathy said...

Justice...!!

shifting with the winds

Jinksy said...

Life does get complicated when manipulative people get going, never mind the tough ones!

Cad said...

Win or loose, it's all in the game...

Helen said...

You probably haven't strayed too far from reality! Loved this!

Friko said...

So, how long did you stay in local politics?

Brigid said...

Fantastic dialogue, so witty and clever.

kaykuala said...

When there's politics involved it'll bring into play, manoeuvrings, plots, despair and unsavory happenings to the forefront. Good twist to a fine dialogue.

Janice said...

Ha! "Dancing With the Stars"...Berowne style!

Mary said...

Hahahaha! Art depicting life? I keep looking for anagrams of certain (American) ex-politicians/tv personalities in here, lol. Very good!

Berowne said...

Janice: "Ha! 'Dancing With the Stars'...Berowne style!"
Thanks -- I wondered if everyone would get that reference.

Berowne said...

Friko: "So, how long did you stay in local politics?"
Ha! Terrific comment. :-)

Rene/ Not The Rockefellers said...

This post was a Ballroom Brawl...a real Bristol stomp :)

Kristen Haskell said...

That was funny I read it with a Texas accent. I love it when I can do that.

Tumblewords: said...

DWTS - has to be - clever take...

hedgewitch said...

This would be funny if it wasn't making me whimper. You stopped before the violent ending,too, where a Mama Grizzly eats your City Manager.

R. Burnett Baker said...

Berowne, have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Rick

Berowne said...

hedgewitch: "You stopped before the violent ending,too, where a Mama Grizzly eats your City Manager."
Funny -- and perceptive. :-)

Berowne said...

Rene: "..a real Bristol stomp."
The new dance craze. :-)

Coloring Outside the Lines said...

Timely tale....Surreality.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

Berowne said...

Some fine comments from my friends Tumblewords, Kristen H, Mary, kaykuala, Brigid, Helen, Jinksy, ninotaziz and Steve -- Thanks!

Lyn said...

Yes, what's wrong with this country when even corruption doesn't work?
Green rodent, indeed...a riot!

OJ Gonzalez-Cazares said...

I would never thought you were in to pop culture too! clever and funny!

Margaret Bednar said...

I'm not the only one thinking "Dancing with the Stars". Gotta love politics.

Berowne said...

OJ Gonzalez: "I would never have thought you were in to pop culture too!"
Actually, I'm also quite a bit into mom culture. :-)

Neve said...

thanks for the visit! i appreciate your comment. i also like your take on the assignment. to be honest, i didn't know that we could also do a short anecdote on the picture, i thought we were only supposed to make poems. ;-) well, that's me, not reading the instructions carefully. LOL.


charmedwishes18.blogspot.com

thingy said...

Politics everywhere. Ugh.

Wonderful tale.

Berowne said...

thingy: "Wonderful tale."
Wonderful comment; thanks.

Bee's Blog said...

The names have been changed to protect the not so innocent! Love it!

Berowne said...

Thanks, Bee of Bee's Blog, for your generous comment.

Pat transplanted to MN said...

Wow, I am still laughing at this "converstion" where everything went upside down. The humor is so evident watching this through your words; Sissie Hapenfeffer! Too funny! Loved it!

Berowne said...

Pat: "Too funny! Loved it!"
You've made my day, Pat. Thanks.

nimaruichi said...

Interesting how you worked the story around the words on the cup, and totally convincing too. :)

 
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