“Son of a sea dog!”
“Lemon meringue pie!”
“Diologue des sourds!” muttered Merle Cooger, surveying the chaos before them. Spittle frothed up onto the lip of the dais like foam on a sea beach.
Sitting to his right, Babe Martin sighed. The meeting hadn’t even started and already people were screeching at each other like wounded owls. For the thousandth time Babe wondered how he’d ever been roped into letting them appoint him to the county council seat that had been vacated when Mr. Harwell had had a stroke while arguing with a citizen about whether the county roads should have a 12 inch berm or a 16 inch berm.
“Every inch of berm is one less inch of freedom, you hippie!” the man had cursed right before Harwell blanked out. Later, when he’d awaken in the hospital, his first act, after making sure his hands and feet still worked, was to retire from politics. This led to Babe’s appointment, all because he needed that $600 a year that council members received for their troubles.
“We all know about you people’s secret agenda!” Fred Jack Hatres accused from the crowd.
“Agenda?” Babe laughed. “What agenda? I don’t even know what I’m going to eat for dinner.”
“You shut up, you human piece of garbage! You weren’t even elected!” Hatres viciously replied. “There was never a Martin born who was worth a damn!”
Babe’s face turned bright red while his mouth flapped like an astonished centipede.
“Welcome to the club,” Merle Cooger murmured, banging his gavel to start the meeting.
I need to laundrify my face.
—Aunt Molly Caudell
Babe was not a vindictive man but that night changed him forever. The first thing he did was get an agenda. The second was to convince the highway department to build a road through the middle of Fred Jack Hatres’ house. Wherever Hatres moved after that a road seemed to spring up, or a waste water treatment facility moved next door, or a State Police shooting range was set up, or an emergency siren testing facility was constructed across the road, or—well, you get the idea.
The next thing Babe did was run for governor, then senator. It was United States President Babe Martin who happily signed the bill turning the caverns beneath Hatres’ house in Nevada, where he thought he was beyond Babe’s reach, into a nuclear waste dump.
Babe Martin sighed happily as he dreamed in his bed, in his little house high upon the slopes of Vinegarroon County. “Hee hee,” he chuckled. “Hee hee.”