Saturday, May 9, 2009
Blog-a-Bitch/ Any political position is for sale if you can pay the price
Big surprises often come in little packages. This year, at the annual fundraiser and auction for the Chappell Hill Volunteer Fire Department, my husband and I attended and marveled at the gallon jars of pickles sold to the highest bidder, somewhere close to $100, the homemade coconut creme cake paraded about by one of the volunteer firefighters. My husband observed the cake was so heavy it had bent the pan it was resting on...It was a diabetic coma waiting for some lucky bidder. It sold.
The beer was warm and the auction was taking a lot of time. The crowd was growing restless.
Sitting next us were a group of huntin' men and their women folk, dressed in matching camouflage, smoking cigarettes and pouring their homemade margaritas. It was beginning to get interesting.
After the pickles and the cakes and the golden hatchet and the all-purpose knives were auctioned off, the big event was about to occur.
The annual auctioning of the coveted "Mayor of Chappell Hill" gimme cap. Now you must understand, there really isn't a mayor in Chappell Hill, as we are unincorporated; no city council...just braggin' rights.
Last year, the honor went to the highest bidder, Jerry, a small man with deep pockets and very tall in virtue and standards. In fact, he is a midget and very well liked, fondly called Little Jerry. He bought the cap for $5,200. There is a rumor that he had a special affection for the fire department because one of his ex-wives had set him on fire and they had to come put him out...after his wife put him out.
Anyway, we were waiting for Mayor Jerry to appear. We knew he was there somewhere because his sidekick, Cadillac, a tall, thin black man with a dachshund, was circling about. For entertainment over at the Second Fiddle Bar and Grill, the patrons would sic that little dog on little Jerry and belly-laugh at the sight of the little dog biting the ankles of the little man.
Little Jerry finally emerged but declined public comment. Even Miss America gives a farewell speech on her final walk down the runway before passing the crown. Not Jerry. Something was amiss.
The bidding opened. Mayor Jerry made a paltry opening bid, perfunctory, I suspect. I glanced at my husband and said, "Now that's just not right" and without thinking I upped the bid.
In full expectation that Little Jerry would not be outdone, the crowd darted their eyes at Jerry. We knew he would come through. After all, he is an heir to that tree cutting company the electric company contracts to cut the trees off the power lines.
The auctioneer was getting nervous and was chirping like a chipmunk. He's looking at me, I'm looking at Jerry. The tension was building.
I want you to know that little midget, ducked under one of the folding tables, bobbed and weaved through the crowd and and flat out 'cut and run'.
The gavel fell and that is how I became the new Mayor of Chappell Hill. My husband glared at me and said "I can't believe you just did that". Quite frankly, neither could I.
The last item up for bid was a 1974 La France fire truck. No pump, no hoses, but plenty of lights and sirens. For a moment, early on, my husband was considering buying it for the local bank. He said, " Think about it, we could park anywhere!" Ultimately, the fire truck sold to the group of huntin' men with the encouragement of the auctioneer that they could strap a BBQ pit on the back of it and go and win any chili cook-off in the state.
The next morning, my husband gigged me a little bit about the Mayor's cap. Now, I will admit to having woken up on occasion with a lampshade on my head...But at least we didn't wake up to find a used fire truck in the yard!
And in the end, I AM THE MAYOR AND I CAN PARK ANYWHERE!